REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0066.v1
Subject: Keywords: Vitis vinifera; Plasmopara viticola; plant-pathogen interaction; proteomics; defence-related proteins, ETS, ETI
Online: 5 October 2020 (10:58:33 CEST)
Grapevine is one of the most relevant crops in the world being used for economically important products such as wine. Yet, relevant grapevine cultivars are heavily affected by diseases such as the downy mildew disease caused by Plasmopara viticola. Improvements on grapevine resistance are made mainly by breeding techniques where resistance traits are introgressed into cultivars with desired grape characteristics. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on how resistant or tolerant cultivars tackle the P. viticola pathogen. In this study, using a shotgun proteomics LC-MS/MS approach, we unravel the protein modulation of a highly tolerant grapevine cultivar, V. vinifera ‘Regent’, in the first hours post inoculation (hpi) with P. viticola. At 6 hpi, proteins related to defence and to response to stimuli are negatively modulated while at 12 hpi there is an accumulation of proteins belonging to both categories. The co-occurrence of effector-triggered susceptibility (ETS) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI) is detected at both time-points, showing that these defence processes present high plasticity. The results obtained in this study unravel the tolerant grapevine defence strategy towards P. viticola and may provide valuable insights on resistance associated candidates and mechanisms, which may play an important role in the definition of new strategies on breeding approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0257.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Extracellular vesicles (EVs); mRNA; fungal pathogen; plant pathogen; Ustilago maydis
Online: 9 June 2021 (10:59:36 CEST)
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can transfer diverse RNA cargo for intercellular signalling. EV-associated RNAs have been found in diverse fungi and were proposed to be relevant for pathogenesis in animal hosts. In plant-pathogen interactions, small RNAs are exchanged in a cross-kingdom RNAi warfare and EVs were considered to be a delivery mechanism. To extend the search for EV-associated molecules involved in plants-pathogen communication, we have characterised the repertoire of EV-associated mRNAs secreted by the maize smut pathogen, Ustilago maydis. For this initial survey, EVs were isolated from axenic filamentous cultures that mimic infectious hyphae. The EV-associated RNAs were resistant to degradation by RNases and the presence of intact mRNAs was evident. The set of mRNAs enriched inside EVs relative to the fungal cells are functionally distinct from those that are depleted from EVs, particularly overrepresented in metabolic enzyme activities. Intriguingly, mRNAs of some known effectors and other proteins linked to virulence were found in EVs. Furthermore, several mRNAs enriched in EVs are also upregulated during infection, suggesting that EV-associated mRNAs may participate in plant-pathogen interaction.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0351.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: Ash; ash dieback; disease management; Fraxinus excelsior; fungal plant pathogen; Hymenoscyphus fraxineus; mycology; plant pathology; plant pathogen; plant science; tree disease
Online: 24 January 2022 (11:50:43 CET)
Ash trees have considerable economic, cultural and environmental value on the island of Ireland. However, European ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is currently under threat from the invasive ascomycete pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. This pathogen is the causal agent of ash dieback disease, which was initially reported in Poland in 1992. Hymenoscyphus fraxineus has since spread across Europe and the first recorded case of the disease on the island of Ireland was in 2012 at a forestry plantation in Co. Leitrim. The pathogen is now present in all 26 counties in Ireland and 6 counties in Northern Ireland, and it is considered unfeasible to eradicate. The spread of ash dieback disease is reflected in recent policy changes, which focus on management rather than eradication strategies. Since the first formal description of H. fraxineus in 2006, considerable research efforts have been made by the international scientific community to understand the biology of the pathogen and to develop management strategies against it. This review provides an update of current knowledge of H. fraxineus biology and infection. We then explore examples of mitigation techniques that have been trialled in Europe, in order to identify strategies that are feasible for disease management at a local level on the island of Ireland. Finally, we outline five key avenues of research that have the potential to provide breakthroughs in methods to protect valuable F. excelsior resources.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0093.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: bacterial pathogens; host-pathogen interaction; infection biology; omics
Online: 27 August 2017 (11:18:27 CEST)
By providing useful tools to study host-pathogen interactions, next-generation omics has recently enabled the study of gene expression changes in both pathogen and infected host simultaneously. However, since great discriminative power is required to study pathogen and host simultaneously throughout the infection process, the depth of quantitative gene expression profiling has proven to be unsatisfactory when focusing on bacterial pathogens, thus preferentially requiring specific strategies or the development of novel methodologies based on complementary omics approaches. In this review, we focus on the difficulties encountered when making use of omics approaches to study bacterial pathogenesis. Besides, we review different omics strategies (i.e. transcriptomics, proteomics and secretomics) and their applications for studying interactions of pathogens with their host.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0378.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: FHB; plant metabolomic; plant-pathogen interaction; barley; wheat; Brachypodium distachyon; pathway enrichment
Online: 26 July 2022 (03:22:55 CEST)
Background: Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious fungal disease of crop plants due to substantial yield reduction and production of mycotoxins in the infected grains. The breeding progress in increasing resistance with maintaining a high yield is not possible without a thorough examination of the molecular basis of plant immunity responses; Methods: LC-MS based metabolomics approaches powered by three-way ANOVA and differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) selection, correlation network and functional enrichment were conducted on grains of resistant and susceptible to FHB genotypes of barley and wheat as well as model grass Brachypodium distachyon (Bd) still poorly known at metabolomic level; Results: We selected common and genotype-specific DAMs in response to F. culmorum inoculation. Immunological reaction at metabolomic level was strongly diversified between resistant and susceptible genotypes. DAMs common for all tested species from porphyrins, flavonoids and phenylpropanoids metabolic pathways were highly correlated and reflects conservativeness in FHB response in Poaceae family. Resistant related DAMs belonged to different structural classes including tryptophan derived metabolites, pirimidines, amino acids proline and serine as well as phenylpropanoids and flavonoids. Physiological response to F. culmorum of Bd was close to barley and wheat genotypes however, metabolomic changes were strongly diversified. Conclusions: Combined targeted and untargeted metabolomics provides comprehensive knowledge about significant elements of plant immunity with potential of being molecular biomarkers of enhance resistance to FHB in grass family. Thorough examination of Bd21 metabolome in juxtaposition with barley and wheat diversified genotypes facilitate their setting as model grass for plant-microbe interaction.
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: global change; plant-herbivore interactions; plant-pathogen interactions; coexistence; antagonistic biotic interactions
Online: 23 July 2020 (10:36:26 CEST)
Indirect effects of global change via changing species interactions have been largely ignored in studies predicting global change impacts on ecosystems. Antagonistic biotic interactions, however, can strongly affect ecosystems and are likely to be affected by global change drivers themselves. We synthesize current knowledge on the impact of invertebrate herbivores and pathogens on plant productivity, diversity and community composition, and outline theory and expectations on how important global change drivers – nitrogen enrichment, climate change and elevated CO2, and plant and insect diversity loss, may affect enemy impact on plant communities. We illustrate that our ability to predict global change impact requires a holistic perspective, taking into account direct as well as indirect effects via the biotic component of ecosystems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0503.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Plant Pathogen; Biocontrol; Microbes; AMF; Bacteriophages; Microbiome; Sustainable strategies
Online: 31 December 2021 (10:45:32 CET)
Food security has become a major concern worldwide in recent years due to ever increasing population. Providing food for the growing billions without disturbing environmental balance is incessantly required in the current scenario. In view of this, sustainable modes of agricultural practices offer better promise and hence are gaining prominence recently. Moreover, these methods have taken precedence currently over chemical-based methods of pest restriction and pathogen control. Adoption of Biological Control is one such crucial technique that is currently in the forefront. Over a period of time, various biocontrol strategies have been experimented with and some have exhibited great success and promise. This review highlights the different methods of plant-pathogen control, types of plant pathogens, their modus operandi and various biocontrol approaches employing a range of microorganisms and their byproducts. The study lays emphasis on the use of upcoming methodologies like microbiome management and engineering, phage cocktails, genetically modified biocontrol agents and microbial volatilome as available strategies to sustainable agricultural practices. More importantly, a critical analysis of the various methods enumerated in the paper indicates the need to amalgamate these techniques in order to improve the degree of biocontrol offered by them.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0748.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Verticillium dahliae; plant-pathogen interactions; disease resistance; integrated disease management
Online: 30 September 2020 (14:10:04 CEST)
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a valuable horticultural crop grown and consumed worldwide. Optimum production is hindered by several factors of which Verticillium dahliae, the cause of Verticillium wilt, is one of the major biological constraints in temperate production regions. V. dahliae is difficult to manage because it is a vascular pathogen, has a broad host range and worldwide distribution, and can persist in soil for years. Understanding the pathogen virulence and genetic diversity, host resistance, and plant-pathogen interactions can ultimately inform the development of integrated strategies to manage the disease. In recent years, considerable research has focused on providing new insight into these processes as well as the development and integration of environment-friendly management approaches. In this review, we discuss and summarize the recent findings on the race and population structure of V. dahliae; pathogenicity factors; host genes, proteins, and enzymes involved in defense; the emergent management strategies, and recent approaches to managing Verticillium wilt in tomatoes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0029.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: protease; plant; pathogen; defence; substrate; immunity; hypersensitive response; recognition; signalling; priming
Online: 5 February 2018 (04:11:42 CET)
Proteases are integral enzymes of the plant immune system. Multiple aspects of defence are regulated by proteases, including the hypersensitive response, pathogen recognition, priming and peptide hormone release. These processes are regulated by unrelated proteases residing at different subcellular locations. In this review we discuss ten prominent plant proteases contributing to the plant immune system, highlighting the diversity of roles they perform in plant defence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0639.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Plants; polyamines; abiotic stresses; biotic stresses; transgenic plants; Plant-pathogen interaction; Plants-fungal interaction
Online: 30 October 2020 (13:10:51 CET)
The biotic and abiotic stresses are the main causes of the loss of agricultural crops productivity, their normal growth and development in the environment. It has been calculated that two-thirds of the major crops are frequently lost due to adverse environmental conditions. The productivity of crops under unfavorable environmental stresses is apparently the main challenge to the breeders and farmers where polyamines (PAs) play diverse roles in environmental stimuli. PAs (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) are low molecular weight positively charge compounds have the active potential power to negative charge molecules (DNA, RNA, and proteins) is widely distributed in all living organisms. Evidence showed that PAs contribute a lot of different physiological and biological functions, such as cell growth and development, controlling the cell cycle, involve in gene expression, cell signaling, replication, transcription, translation, and membrane stabilization. Naturally occurring polyamines activity acuminated to their involvement with different biotic and abiotic stresses and contribute to the survival of the plant in the environment. Here, we have described the potential mechanisms, synthesis, and various roles of PAs during stresses tolerant and disease resistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0106.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Fish pathogen; host-pathogen interaction; proteomics; infection assays; virulence factors
Online: 4 September 2020 (12:51:22 CEST)
Piscirickettsia salmonis is an intracellular bacterial fish pathogen that causes piscirickettsiosis, a disease with numerous negative impacts in the Chilean salmon farming industry. Although transcriptomic studies of P. salmonis and its host have been performed, dual host-pathogen proteomic approaches during infection are still missing. Considering that gene expression not always corresponds with observed phenotype, and bacteriological culture studies inadequately reflect infection conditions, to improve the existing knowledge for the pathogenicity of P. salmonis we present here a global proteomic profiling of Salmon salar macrophage-like cell cultures infected with P. salmonis LF-89. The proteomic analyses identified several P. salmonis proteins from two temporally different stages of macrophages infection; some of them related to key functions for bacterial survival in other intracellular pathogens. Metabolic differences were observed in early-stage infection bacteria, compared to late-stage infections. Virulence factors related to membrane, LPS and surface component modifications, cell motility, toxins and secretion systems also varied between the infection stages. Pilus proteins, beta-hemolysin and the T6SS were characteristic of the early-infection stage, while fimbria, upregulation of 10 toxins or effector proteins, and the Dot/Icm T4SS were representative of the late-infection stage bacteria. Previously described virulence-related genes in P. salmonis plasmids were identified by proteomic assays during infection in SHK-1 cells, accompanied by an increase of mobile-related elements. By comparing the infected and un-infected proteome of SHK-1 cells, we observed changes in cellular and ROS homeostasis, innate immune response, microtubules and actin cytoskeleton organization and dynamics, alteration in phagosome components, iron transport and metabolism, and amino acids, nucleoside and nucleotide metabolism, together with an overall energy and ATP production alteration. Our global proteomic profiling and the current knowledge of the P. salmonis infection process allowed us to propose a model of the macrophage-P. salmonis interaction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0159.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: plant PII protein; protein-protein interaction; PII foci; BiFC; FRET/FLIM; plastidic protein degradation; cpUPR
Online: 8 November 2021 (15:30:44 CET)
The PII protein is an evolutionary highly conserved regulatory protein from bacteria to higher plants. In bacteria it modulates the activity of several enzymes, transporters and regulatory factors by interacting with them and thereby regulating important metabolic hubs like carbon/nitrogen homeostasis. More than two decades ago the PII protein was characterized for the first time in plants, but its physiological role is still not sufficiently resolved. To gain more insights into the function of this protein, we investigated the interaction behaviour of AtPII with candidate proteins by BiFC and FRET/FLIM in planta and with GFP/RFP traps in vitro. In the course of these studies we found that AtPII interacts in chloroplasts with itself as well as with known interactors like NAGK in dot-like aggregates, which we named PII foci. In these novel protein aggregates AtPII interacts also with yet unknown partners, which are known to be involved in plastidic protein degradation. Further studies revealed that the C-terminal part of AtPII is crucial for the formation of PII foci. Altogether, the presented results indicate a novel mode of interaction for PII proteins with other proteins in plants, which may be a new starting point for the elucidation of physiological functions of PII proteins in plants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0097.v7
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: convalescent plasma; serology; pathogen reduction technologies; pathogen inactivation; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2
Online: 1 July 2020 (14:12:21 CEST)
Convalescent blood product therapy has been introduced since early 1900s to treat emerging infectious disease based on the evidence that polyclonal neutralizing antibodies can reduce duration of viremia. Recent large outbreaks of viral diseases for whom effective antivirals or vaccines are still lacking has revamped the interest in convalescent plasma as life-saving treatments. This review summarizes historical settings of application, and surveys current technologies for collection, manufacturing, pathogen inactivation, and banking, with a focus on COVID-19.
Online: 11 January 2020 (11:30:10 CET)
Public health agencies are increasingly using pathogen whole genome sequencing (WGS) to support surveillance and epidemiologic investigations. As access to WGS has grown, greater amounts of molecular data have helped improve our ability to detect outbreaks, investigate transmission chains, and explore large-scale population dynamics, such as the spread of antibiotic resistance. However, the wide adoption of WGS also poses challenges due to the amount of data generated and the need to transform raw data prior to analysis. This complexity means that public health agencies may need more advanced computational infrastructure, a broader technical workforce, and new approaches to data management and stewardship. As both a guide for how this development could occur, and a place to initiate discussion, we describe ten proposals for developing and supporting an informatics infrastructure for public health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0033.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Campylobacter; Antimicrobial Resistance; Foodborne Pathogen; Animal Source
Online: 5 May 2021 (11:05:37 CEST)
Campylobacter is one of the major foodborne pathogens of concern in its growing trend of antimicrobial resistance. C. jejuni and C. coli are the major causative agents, with C. jejuni contributing to most of the cases in approximately 90% in the world. Infection is transmitted to humans due to consumption of contaminated food and water. Campylobacteriosis caused by C. jejuni is commonly presented with severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting with some extreme cases resulting in Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) and acute flaccid paralysis. Symptoms are severe in cases of children below 5 years, elderly and individuals who are immunocompromised. The infection is usually sporadic, and self-limiting and thus does not require antibiotics for treatment. Still, the antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter is a major concern because of the transmission of resistance from animal sources to humans. This review highlights the recent epidemiology, geographical impact, resistance mechanisms, spread of Campylobacter spp. and the strategies to control the transmission of Campylobacter from veterinary sources and its antimicrobial resistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0225.v1
Subject: Keywords: pathogen, climate change, sand, water quality, modeling
Online: 22 January 2019 (17:28:22 CET)
Humans may be exposed to microbial pathogens at recreational beaches via environmental sources, such as water, sand, and aerosols. Although infectious disease risk from exposure to waterborne pathogens has been an active area of research for decades, sand is a relatively unexplored reservoir of pathogens and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). Beach sand and water habitats provide unique advantages and challenges to pathogen introduction, growth, and persistence, as well as continuous exchange between habitats. Models of FIB and pathogen fate and transport in sandy beach habitats can help predict the risk of infectious disease from recreational water use, but filling knowledge gaps such as decay rates and potential for microbial growth in beach habitats is necessary for accurate modeling. Climatic variability, whether natural or anthropogenically-induced, adds complexity to predictive modeling, but may increase human exposure to waterborne pathogens via extreme weather events, warming of water bodies and sea level rise in many regions. The popularity of human recreational beach activities, combined with predicted climate change scenarios, could amplify the risk of human exposure to pathogens and related illnesses. Other global change trends such as increased population growth and urbanization are expected to exacerbate contamination events and the predicted impacts of increasing levels of waterborne pathogens on human health. Such changes will alter microbial population dynamics in beach habitats, and will consequently affect the assumptions and relationships used in population models and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA). Here, we discuss the literature on microbial population and transport dynamics in sand-water continuum habitats at beaches, how these dynamics can be modeled, and how climate change and other anthropogenic influences (e.g., land use, urbanization) should be considered when using and developing more holistic, beachshed-based models.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0099.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: enterovirus; viral proteins; signalling pathways; host-pathogen interaction
Online: 7 September 2022 (04:41:56 CEST)
Enteroviruses are members of Pichornaviridae family consisting of human enterovirus group A, B, C, and D as well as nonhuman enteroviruses. Human enterovirus type 71 (EV71) has emerged as a major cause of viral encephalitis Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in children worldwide especially in the Asia‐Pacific region. EV71 and coxsackievirus A16 are two viruses responsible for HFMD which are members of group A enterovirus. The identified EV71 receptors provide useful information for understanding viral replication and tissue tropism. Host factors interact with the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of EV71 to regulate viral translation. However, the specific molecular features of the EV71 genome that determine virulence remain unclear. Although an EV71 vaccine has been currently approved, there is no effective therapy for treating EV71 infected patients. Therefore, understanding the host-pathogen interaction could provide the knowledge in viral pathogenesis and further benefit in the anti-viral therapy development. The aim of this study was to investigate the latest findings about the interaction of viral ligands to the host receptor as well as the activation of immune related signalling pathways for the activation of innate immunity and involvement of different cytokines and chemokines in the host pathogen interaction of EV71 along with interaction of viral proteins, mainly 2A and 3C protease, and Interferons production/signaling pathway and their inhibitory effects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0404.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: pathogen reduction; blood safety; platelet transfusion; INTERCEPT; plasma
Online: 27 October 2021 (12:27:33 CEST)
(1) Background: We reviewed the logistics of the implementation of pathogen inactivation (PI) using the INTERCEPT Blood System™ for platelets and the experience with routine use and clinical outcomes in the patient population at the Sírio-Libanês Hospital of São Paulo, Brazil. (2) Methods: Platelet concentrate (PC), including pathogen reduced (PR-PC) production, inventory management, discard rates, blood utilization, and clinical outcomes were analyzed over the 40 months before and after PI implementation. Age distribution and wastage rates were compared over the 10 months before and after approval for PR-PC to be stored for up to 7 days. (3) Results: A 100% PR-PC inventory was achieved by increasing double apheresis collections and production of double doses using pools of two single apheresis units. Discard rates decreased from 6% to 3% after PI implementation and further decreased to 1.2% after 7-day storage extension for PR-PCs. The blood utilization remained stable, with no increase in component utilization. A significant decrease in adverse transfusion events was observed after the PI implementation. (4) Conclusion: Our experience demonstrates the feasibility for Brazilian blood centers to achieve a 100% PR-PC inventory. All patients at our hospital received PR-PC and showed no increase in blood component utilization and decreased rates of adverse transfusion reactions.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: TMUV; emergent arboviruses; zoonosis; host-pathogen interactions; vector
Online: 9 July 2021 (07:36:16 CEST)
Reported for the first time in 1955 in Malaysia, Tembusu virus (TMUV) remained for a long time in the shadow of flaviviruses with human health importance such as dengue virus or Japanese encephalitis virus. However, since 2010 and the first large epidemic in duck farms in China, the threat of its emergence on a large scale in Asia or even its spillover into the human population is becoming more and more significant. This review aims to report current knowledge on TMUV from viral particle organization to the development of specific vaccine and therapeutic with a particular focus on host-virus interaction.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0664.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Pathogen; Herd Immunity Threshold; R-naught; Infection dynamics
Online: 27 May 2021 (10:33:34 CEST)
In this article we have presented a new perception of herd immunity threshold (HIT) which considers that only a “band of population” are susceptible to any pathogenic infection. This is termed as the “effective herd immunity threshold” (EHIT) and the progression of the disease (caused by this pathogenic infection) is mainly determined by this EHIT value. We have argued here that this EHIT value (considering the immunity band picture in the population) will be substantially lower than the estimated canonical HIT values obtained from various existing models. We propose that the actual prediction of the disease progression should now be calculated using the EHIT values.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0220.v1
Subject: Keywords: alphaherpesvirus; EHV-1; phosphatidylserine; inhibition; pathogen host interaction
Online: 14 April 2020 (08:54:01 CEST)
Exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane is induced by infection with several members of the Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily. There is evidence that PS is used by the equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) during entry, but the exact role of PS and other phospholipids in the entry process remains unknown. Here, we investigated the interaction of differently charged phospholipids with virus particles and determined their influence on infection. Our data show that liposomes containing negatively charged PS or positively charged DOTAP [N-[1-(2,3-Dioleoyloxy)propyl]-N,N,N-trimethylammonium)] inhibited EHV-1 infection, while neutral phosphatidylcholine (PC) had no effect. Inhibition of infection with PS was transient, decreased with time, and was dose dependent. Our findings indicate that both cationic and anionic phospholipids can interact with the virus and reduce infectivity, while acting through different mechanisms. Charged phospholipids were found to have antiviral effects and can may be used to inhibit EHV-1 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0194.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: AMF; Vegetable production; plant pests; plant diseases
Online: 13 October 2021 (10:30:06 CEST)
AMF (Arbuscular Mychorhizal Fungi) are very well known due to their importance in promoting growth and developments of plants especially vegetables. These fungi can be grown easily, stored and multiplied with simple means, also the application of these fungi is generally on the layer of the soil or near the roots in the inner layers of the soils. The growth of the amf fungi is very easy and they are highly adjustable to any soil and environmental conditions. In this review our main focus is on the use of amf for production of vegetables and also the effect of amf against insects and pests. The amf is known to reduce several symptoms caused by different insect pests and also plant diseases thereby promoting healthy growth of the plants. Also use of this amf will increase the uptake of nutrient from the soils through symbiotic relationships between plants and fungi. The uptake of important minerals which are drawn from deeper layers of soils is observed with the help pf amf. This study reveals the benefits of the use of amf under severe disease and pest incidences thereby known as an alternate for harmful chemical pesticides and fungicides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0182.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: RpoS; crystal structure; Legionella pneumophila; intracellular pathogen; regulatory factor
Online: 29 November 2017 (05:04:33 CET)
Legionella pneumophila RpoS (LpRpoS) is an alternative sigma factor of RNA polymerase (RNAP) essential for virulence and stress resistance. To investigate the mechanism of RpoS in the intracellular pathogen L. pneumophila, we determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the LpRpoS (residues 95-194) containing a partial region 1.2 and region 2. The structure of LpRpoS (residues 95-194) reveals that the conserved residues are critical for promoter melting, DNA and core RNAP binding. The differences in regulatory factor binding site between Escherichia coli RpoS and LpRpoS suggest that LpRpoS may employ a distinct mechanism to recruit alternative regulatory factors controlling transcription initiation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0174.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Game theory; Plant behavioral ecology; Plant competition; Plant interaction mechanisms; Root foraging strategies; Root methods
Online: 14 February 2022 (11:29:43 CET)
Understanding how plants change their root foraging strategy in the presence of neighbors is of paramount importance for plant ecology and agriculture. The root tragedy of the common (RToC) is a plant behavior predicted by game theory models in which competing plants forage for soil resources inefficiently. The RToC is generally assumed to be induced by non-self root recognition, and researchers consider root overproliferation and reduced fitness with respect to a plant growing solo as the trace left by plants engaging in an RToC in experiments and model results. Herein, I first challenge both notions, and argue that the RToC is a suboptimal phenotypically plastic response of plants that is based in soil resource information exclusively. Second, I discuss how this new perspective carries important implications for the design of experiments investigating the physiological mechanisms underlying observable plant root responses. Finally, I discuss why placing the RToC theory in the context of more general root research is fundamental: The RToC represents a mechanistic foundation for understanding the belowground behavior of plants interacting with neighbors, and a spatially explicit approach to RToC may produce more comprehensive results.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0080.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: plant-parasitic nematodes; resistance; xenobiotic metabolism; ABC transporters; gene silencing
Online: 17 November 2020 (11:40:02 CET)
The molecular interaction between the nematode and the host plant cells is complex and sophisticated. Initial contact with the plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) triggers immune response in the host plant system which includes the release of toxic molecules. To put a bridle on this immune response, PPNs trigger pivotal cytoprotective mechanisms, such as antioxidant and detoxification pathways. Mechanisms of these pathways have been studied in PPNs and the specific genes involved have been targeted for gene silencing research in view of developing novel control measures. However, one of the important group of proteins involved in detoxification pathways known as ABC-transporters are not being studied until recently in PPNs. This opinion article focusses on the current knowledge and future prospects of ABC transporters in PPNs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0355.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Leishmania; Human Pathogen; Targeting Metabolic Pathways; Repurposed Drugs; New Antileishmanials.
Online: 27 June 2022 (08:47:01 CEST)
Leishmaniasis is a tropical disease caused by a protozoan parasite Leishmania that is transmitted via infected female sandflies. At present, leishmaniasis treatment mainly counts on chemotherapy. The currently available drugs against leishmaniasis are costly, toxic, with multiple side effects, and limitations in the administration route. The rapid emergence of drug resistance has severely reduced the potency of anti-leishmanial drugs. As a result, there is a pressing need for the development of novel anti-leishmanial drugs with high potency, low cost, acceptable toxicity, and good pharmacokinetics features. Due to the availability of preclinical data, drug repurposing is a valuable approach for speeding up the development of effective antileishmanial through pointing to new drug targets in less time having low costs and risk. Metabolic pathways of this parasite play a crucial role in the growth and proliferation of Leishmania species during the various stages of their life cycle. Based on available genomics/proteomics information, known pathways-based (sterol biosynthetic pathway, purine salvage pathway, glycolysis, GPI biosynthesis, hypusine, polyamine biosynthesis) Leishmania-specific proteins could be targeted with known drugs that were used in other diseases, resulting in finding new promising anti-leishmanial therapeutics. The present review discusses various metabolic pathways of the Leishmania parasite and some drug candidates targeting these pathways effectively that could be potent drugs against leishmaniasis in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0511.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Antioxidant enzymes; hemibiotroph; reactive oxygen species; host-pathogen interaction; sporulation
Online: 21 December 2020 (11:23:57 CET)
Wheat blast caused by the hemibiotroph fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum (MoT) pathotype, is a destructive disease of wheat in South America and Bangladesh. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is one of the defense responses in plants during the infection process by a pathogen. However, empirical evidence on regulation of ROS in wheat and other host and non-host plants towards MoT is limited. This study aimed to determine the susceptibility of some major cereals and weeds of Bangladesh and compare the antioxidant enzyme activities in host and non-host plants in response to artificial inoculation by MoT. Seedlings of wheat, maize, barley and swamp rice grass were susceptible to MoT and produced considerable number of conidia on infected leaves (host). Rice seedlings showed a resistant response in our laboratory conditions (non-host). The activities of ROS-detoxifying enzymes; catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), Glutathione peroxidase (GPX), Glutathione S-transferase (GST), Peroxidase (POX) increased in all plants after inoculation by MoT with a few exceptions. Interestingly, an early and very high accumulation of CAT was observed within 24 hours of inoculation (hai) in wheat, barley, maize and swamp rice grass while H2O2 concentration was low during that time and immediately after that (24-48 hai). In contrast, an early and high accumulation of H2O2 was observed in rice at 48 hai with little CAT activity only at a late stage. The APX, GST and POD activity was also increased due to the inoculation of MoT at the early stage of infection in rice but were very high at the disease progression stage in wheat, barley, maize and swamp rice grass. GPX activity gradually decreased with the increase of time in rice. Taken together, our results suggest that a robust and late induction of most of the antioxidant enzyme activities occurs in susceptible/host plants whereas an early induction of antioxidant enzyme activities occurs in resistant/ non-host plant but with slow kinetics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0061.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Forests; Emerging infectious diseases; Disease transmission; Human pathogen; Environmental impacts
Online: 6 April 2020 (14:06:44 CEST)
Deforestation and associated changing landscapes are major components of environmental changes, with important implications for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity conservation. Tropical forests are hot spots of biodiversity and provide multiple goods and ecosystem services which benefit people in many ways Forest also play an important role in health-related legends, myths, and fairy tales from all over the world, and are important sources of new potential emerging microbial threats to human. Although plausibly numerous abundant microbial forms with a forest origin may exist, our systematic literature review shows that forest-derived infection studies are relatively unexplored, and both taxonomically and geographically biased. Since biodiversity has been associated with emergence of novel infectious diseases at macro-scale, we describe the main biogeographical patterns in the emerging infection-biodiversity-forest loss nexus. Then, we illustrate four fine-scale case studies to decipher the underlying processes of increased infection risk in changing forest clearing landscapes. Finally, we identify scientific challenges and regional management measures required to mitigate these important new emerging threats.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0152.v1
Online: 13 September 2022 (02:33:37 CEST)
A synoptic review of plant disease epidemics and outbreaks was made using two complementary approaches. The first approach involved reviewing scientific literature published in 2021, in which quantitative data related to new plant disease epidemics or outbreaks had been obtained via surveys or similar methodologies. The second approach involved retrieving new pest presence records added to the CABI Distribution Database in 2021. The literature review for the first approach had two stages. Stage 1 aimed to identify publications on plant diseases caused by pathogen taxonomic groups and led to retrieval of 99 core articles describing studies in 62 categories (pathogen species or species complexes) across more than 40 host species in 6 continents. In Stage 2, the core articles were augmented with further articles providing more context and information for the pathogen species identified in Stage 1. When both sets of articles were combined, the pathogen species with more than 5 articles were: Bursephalenchus xylophilus, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, cassava mosaic viruses, citrus tristeza virus, Erwinia amylovora, Fusarium spp. complexes, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense, Magnaporthe oryzae, maize lethal necrosis co-infecting viruses, Meloidogyne spp. complexes, Pseudomonas syringae pvs, Puccinia striiformis f.sp tritici, Xylella fastidiosa, and Zymoseptoria tritici. The automated search of the CABI Distribution Database led to 617 new distribution records from 283 plant pathogens in 2021 and was followed by manual review of all pathogens with more than 4 new records, to identify confirmed first reports in a new location. A total of 15 pathogens was identified: apple hammerhead viroid, apple rubbery wood viruses, Aphelenchoides besseyi, Biscogniauxia mediterranea, Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, citrus tristeza virus, Colletotrichum siamense, cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus, Erwinia rhapontici, Erysiphe corylacearum, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical Race 4, Globodera rostochiensis, Nothophoma quercina, potato spindle tuber viroid, and tomato brown rugose fruit virus. Although 3 very important pathogens – Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, citrus tristeza virus and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense – were represented in the results of both approaches, in general the two approaches revealed distinct sets of plant disease outbreaks and new records, with little overlap in the results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0270.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: MPDB2.0,; medicinal plant; medicinal plant database of Bangladesh; folk medicine
Online: 10 February 2021 (16:29:00 CET)
Medicinal plants are generally defined as rare herbals with potent medicinal activities that can be used as an alternative treatment for diseases. Recent studies exploring novel medicine developments, originating from folk-medicinal practices challenges this notion and suggests that both the circumference of the term medicinal plant and their potential application covers a substantially extensive verse than previously suggested. While medicinal plants are not limited to the borders of any country, Bangladesh and its south-east Asian neighbors do boast a huge collection of potent medicinal plants with considerable folk-medicine history compared to most other countries of the world. MPDB 2.0 is the continuation of MPDB 1.0, it serves as both a data repertoire for medicinal of Bangladesh and a user-friendly interface for researchers, health practitioners, drug developers, and students who wish to study the various medicinal & nutritive plants scattered around Bangladesh and the underlying phytochemicals contributing to their efficacy in folk medicine. While in developing MPDB 2.0 human diseases have been highly focused upon, the information in this database is not limited in its application for human diseases or diseases only, as many of the plants indexed here can serve in developing biofuel or bioremediation technologies or nutritive diets or cosmetics, etc. MPDB 2.0 comprises a collection of more than five hundred medicinal plants from Bangladesh along with a record of their corresponding scientific, family, and local names together with their utilized parts, information regarding ailments, active compounds, and PubMed ID of related publications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0108.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Plant phenotyping, Plant pixel classification, Colour space, , Gaussian mixture model, Earth mover distance, Variance ratio, Plant segmentation.
Online: 15 December 2017 (16:52:23 CET)
Segmentation of a region of interest is an important pre-processing step for many colour image analysis techniques. Similarly segmentation of plant in digital images is an important preprocessing step in phenotying plants by image analysis. In this paper we present an analytical study to statistically determine the suitability of colour space representation of an image to best detect plant pixels and separate them from background pixels. Our hypothesis is that the colour space representation in which the separation of the distributions representing plant pixels and background pixels is maximized would be the best for detection of plant pixels. The two classes of pixels are modelled as a Gaussian mixture model (GMM). In our GM modelling we don't make any prior assumption about the number of Gaussians in the model. Rather a constant bandwidth mean-shift filter is used to cluster the data and the number of clusters and hence the number of Gaussians is automatically determined. Here we have analysed following representative colour spaces like $RGB$, $rgb$, $HSV$, $Ycbcr$ and $CIE-Lab$. This is because these colour spaces represent several other similar colour spaces and also an exhaustive study of all the colour space will be too voluminous. We also analyse the colour space feature from the two-class variance ratio perspective and compare the results of our hypothesis with this metric. The dataset for this empirical study consist of 378 digital images of plants and their manual segmentation. Dataset consist of various species of plants (arabidopsi, tobacco, wheat, rye grass etc.) imaged under different lighting conditions, indoor and outdoor, controlled and uncontrolled background. In results we obtain better segmentation of the plants in $HSV$ colour space, which is supported by its Earth mover distance (EMD) on the GMM distribution of plant and background pixels.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0520.v3
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: plant-plant interactions; stress gradient hypothesis; functional trait ecology; inter-plant distance; individual-based models; consumer-resource models
Online: 17 February 2022 (19:37:10 CET)
Ecologists use the net biotic interactions among plants to predict fundamental ecosystem features. Following this approach, ecologists have built a giant body of theory founded on observational evidence. However, due to the limitations that a phenomenological approach raises both in empirical and theoretical studies, an increasing number of scientists claim the need for a mechanistic understanding of plant interaction outcomes, and a few studies have taken such a mechanistic approach. In this synthesis, we propose a modeling framework to study the plant interaction mechanistically. We first establish a conceptual ground to frame plant-plant interactions, and then, we propose to formalize this research line theoretically developing a family of individual-based, spatially-explicit models in which biotic interactions are an emergent property mediated by the interaction between plants’ functional traits and the environment. These models allow researchers to evaluate the strength and sign of biotic interactions under different environmental scenarios and thus constitute a powerful tool to investigate the mechanisms underlying facilitation, species coexistence, or the formation of vegetation spatial patterns.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0378.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: annexins; inflammation; wound healing; host-pathogen interplay; drug target; translational research
Online: 27 May 2018 (11:32:34 CEST)
The vertebrate annexin superfamily (AnxA) consists of 12 members of a calcium (Ca2+) and phospholipid binding protein family which share a high structural homology. In keeping with this hallmark feature, annexins have been implicated in the Ca2+-controlled regulation of a broad range of membrane events. In this review, we identify and discuss several themes of annexin actions that hold a potential therapeutic value, namely the regulation of the immune response and the control of tissue homeostasis, and that repeatedly surface in the annexin activity profile. Our aim is to identify and discuss those annexin properties which might be exploited from a translational science and specifically clinical point of view.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0466.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Butyrylcholinesterase; plant cell suspension cultures; kifunensine; N-glycosylation; plant-made biopharmaceuticals
Online: 20 August 2020 (13:22:12 CEST)
The production and N-glycosylation of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a model highly glycosylated therapeutic protein, in a transgenic rice cell suspension culture treated with kifunensine, a strong α-mannosidase I inhibitor, was studied in a 5 L bioreactor. A media exchange was performed at day 7 of cultivation by removing spent sugar rich media (NB+S) and adding fresh sugar free (NB-S) media to induce the rice α-amylase 3D (RAmy3D) promoter to produce rice recombinant human BChE (rrBChE). Using a 1.25X concentrated sugar-free medium together with an 80% reduced working volume during the media exchange lead to a total active rrBChE production level of 79 ± 2 µg (g FW)-1 or 7.5 ± 0.4 mg L-1 in the presence of kifunensine, which is 1.5-times higher than our previous bioreactor runs using normal sugar free medium with no kifunensine treatment. Importantly, the amount of secreted active rrBChE in culture medium was enhanced in the presence of kifunensine, comprising 44% of the total active rrBChE at day 5 post-induction. Coomassie stained SDS-PAGE gel and Western blot analyses reveal different electrophoretic migration of purified rrBChE bands with and without kifunensine treatment, which is attributed to different N-glycoforms. N-Glycosylation analysis shows substantial increase of oligomannose glycans (Man5/6/7/8) in rrBChE treated with kifunensine compared to controls. However, mass transfer limitation of kifunensine is likely the major reason for incomplete inhibition of α-mannosidase I in this bioreactor study.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0398.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: intellectual property; intellectual property protection; plant variety protection, plant breeders’ rights, essentially derived variety; utility patent; plant breeding; biotechnology.
Online: 17 May 2021 (17:03:30 CEST)
This review examines the categorization of Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV) introduced in the 1991 revision of the Convention of the Union internationale pour la protection des obtentions végétales (UPOV). Challenges in the implementation of the concept and progress made on a crop-by-crop basis to provide greater clarity and more efficient implementation are reviewed. The current approach to EDV remains valid provided i) clarity on thresholds can be achieved including through resource intensive research on an individual crop species basis and ii) that threshold clarity does not lead to perverse incentives to avoid detection of essential derivation. However, technological advances leading to new varieties resulting from the simultaneous introduction or change in expression of more than “a few” genes will so challenge the concept to require a new Convention. Revision could include deletion of the concept of essential derivation and revision on a crop-by-crop basis of the breeder exception. Countries that allow utility patents for individual plant varieties per se should consider removing that possibility unless plant breeders utilize those encouragements for risk taking and investment to broaden the germplasm base upon which the long-term sustainability of plant breeding resides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0167.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: plant in vitro culture; plant extracts; gas chromatography; hexadecanoic acid, antifungal activity
Online: 3 November 2020 (15:26:36 CET)
Eysenhardtia platycarpa (Fabaceae) is a medicinal plant used in México and it lacks biotechnological studies for its use. The aim of this work was to establish a cell suspension cultures (CSC) of E. platycarpa, determine the phytochemical profile, and evaluate its antifungal activity. Friable callus and CSC were established with 2 mg/L 1-naphthaleneacetic acid plus 0.1 mg/L kinetin. The highest total phenolics of CSC was 15.6 mg GAE/g dry weight and the total flavonoids content ranged from 56.2 to 104.1 µg QE/g dry weight. CG‒MS analysis showed that the dichloromethane extracts of CSC, sapwood and heartwood have a high amount of hexadecanoic acid (22.3 ‒ 35.3 %) and steroids (13.5 ‒ 14.7%). Heartwood and sapwood defatted hexane extracts have the highest amount of stigmasterol (≈ 23.4%) and β-sitosterol (≈ 43%), and leaf extracts presented β-amyrin (16.3%). Methanolic leaves extracts showed mostly sugars and some polyols, mainly D-pinitol (74.3%). Dichloromethane and fatty hexane extracts of CSC exhibited the percentages inhibition higher for Sclerotium cepivorum with 71.5 and 62.0%, respectively. The maximum inhibition for Rhizoctonia solani was with fatty hexane extracts of the sapwood (51.4%). Our study suggest that CSC extracts could be used as a possible complementary alternative to synthetic fungicides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0072.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Mediterranean flora; endemic plants; IUCN assessments; island biogeography; plant conservation; Tyrrhenian islands; biological forms; plant evolution and distribution; plant diversity
Online: 4 February 2022 (12:06:51 CET)
The vascular flora of Sardinia has been investigated for more than 250 years, with particular attention to the endemic component, due to their phylogeographic and conservation interest. However, continuous changes in the floristic composition through natural processes, anthropogenic drivers or modified taxonomical attributions require constant updating. We checked all available literature, web sources, field and unpublished data from authors and acknowledged external experts to compile an updated checklist of vascular plants endemic to Sardinia. Life and chorological forms, and the conservation status of the updated taxa list were reported. Sardinia hosts 340 taxa (15% of the total native flora) endemic to the Tyrrhenian islands and other limited continental territories; 195 of these are exclusive to Sardinia. Asteraceae (50 taxa) and Plumbaginaceae (42 taxa) are the most representative families, while the most frequent life forms are hemicryptophytes (118 taxa) and chamaephytes (105 taxa). The global conservation status, available for 200 taxa, indicates that most endemics are under the ‘Critically Endangered’ (25 taxa), ‘Endangered’ (31 taxa) or ‘Least Concern’ (90 taxa) IUCN categories. This research provides an updated basis for future biosystematics, taxonomic, biogeographical and ecological studies, and for supporting more integrated and efficient policy tools.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0302.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: papillomavirus; feline; cat; felid; cancer; squamous cell carcinoma; phylogeny; discovery; pathogen; oncogenic
Online: 23 December 2019 (12:01:11 CET)
Papillomaviruses infect the skin and mucosal surfaces of diverse animal hosts with consequences ranging from asymptomatic colonization to highly malignant epithelial cancers. Increasing evidence suggests a role for papillomaviruses in the most common cutaneous malignancy of domestic cats, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Using total DNA sequencing we identified a novel feline papillomavirus in a nasal biopsy taken from a cat presenting with both nasal cavity lymphoma and recurrent squamous cell carcinoma affecting the nasal planum. We designate this novel virus as Felis catus papillomavirus 6 (FcaPV6). The complete FcaPV6 7453 bp genome was similar to those of other feline papillomaviruses and phylogenetic analysis revealed that it was most closely related to FcaPV3, although was distinct enough to represent a new viral species within the genus Taupapillomavirus. Archived excisional biopsy of the SCC, taken 20 months prior to presentation, was intensely positive on p16 immunostaining. FcaPV6, amplified using virus-specific, but not consensus, PCR was the only papillomavirus detected in DNA extracted from the SCC. Conversely, renal lymphoma, sampled at necropsy two months after presentation, tested negative on FcaPV6-specific PCR. In sum, using metagenomics we demonstrate the presence of a novel feline papillomavirus in association with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0309.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: in vitro diagnostics; microfluidics; full integration; lab-on-a-chip; pathogen detection
Online: 26 November 2019 (09:56:47 CET)
Microfluidics is facing critical challenges in the quest of miniaturizing, integrating, and automating in vitro diagnostics, including the increasing complexity of assays, the gap between the macroscale world and the microscale devices, and the diverse throughput demands in various clinical settings. Here a “3D extensible” microfluidic design paradigm that consists of a set of basic structures and unit operations was developed for constructing any application-specific assay. Four basic structures- check valve (in), check valve (out), double-check valve (in and out), and on-off valve, were designed to mimic basic acts in biochemical assays. By combining these structures linearly, a series of unit operations can be readily formed. We then proposed a “3D extensible” architecture to fulfill the needs of the function integration, the adaptive “world-to-chip” interface, and the adjustable throughput in the X, Y, and Z directions, respectively. To verify this design paradigm, we developed a fully integrated loop-mediated isothermal amplification microsystem that can directly accept swab samples and detect Chlamydia trachomatis automatically with a sensitivity one order higher than that of the conventional kit. This demonstration validated the feasibility of using this paradigm to develop integrated and automated microsystems in a less risky and more consistent manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0234.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Chytridiomycosis; Amphibian pathogen; Amphibian disease; Culex quinquefasciatus, vector-borne disease
Online: 26 March 2019 (10:01:02 CET)
The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease responsible for the worldwide decline of amphibian species. To mitigate these declines, it is necessary to identify the various vectors by which the fungus can be transmitted between individuals and populations. The objective of this study was to determine whether adult female mosquitoes can carry and transfer Bd fungal cells. Mosquitoes were exposed to net soaked in a live Bd zoospore suspension to determine whether they are able to externally acquire the fungus. Another group was placed into containers with a sterile and Bd-inoculated agar plate to determine whether mosquitoes could transfer Bd between these surfaces. Bd DNA was found to be present on mosquito legs exposed to inoculated netting and agar plates suggesting that Bd can be transmitted by the mosquito over short distances This is the first study to demonstrate that an insect host may be a mechanical vector of Bd and suggests that we should begin to consider the role of mosquitoes in the dissemination and control of the fungus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0553.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Citrus bark cracking viroid; differentially expressed genes; hop; pathogen; transcriptome analysis; viroids
Online: 28 September 2018 (05:26:31 CEST)
Viroids are smallest pathogen that consist of non-capsidated, single-stranded non-coding RNA replicons and exploits host factors for their replication and propagation. The severe stunting disease caused by Citrus bark cracking viroid (CBCVd) is a serious threat, which spread rapidly within hop gardens. In this study, we employed comprehensive transcriptome analyses to dissect host-viroid interactions and identify gene expression changes associated with disease development in hop. Our analysis revealed that CBCVd-infection resulted in the massive modulation of activity of over 2000 genes. Expression of genes associated with plant immune responses (protein kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase), hypersensitive responses, phytohormone signaling pathways, photosynthesis, pigment metabolism, protein metabolism, sugar metabolism and modification and others were altered, which could be attributed to systemic symptom development upon CBCVd-infection in hop. In addition, genes encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, pathogenesis-related protein, chitinase as well as those related to basal defense responses were up-regulated. The expression levels of several genes identified from RNA sequencing analysis were confirmed by qRT-PCR. Our systematic comprehensive CBCVd-responsive transcriptome analysis provides a better understanding and insights into complex viroid-hop plant interaction. This information will assist further in the development of future measures for the prevention of CBCVd spread in hop fields.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0214.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: immunomagnetic separation (IMS); bacterial pathogen; 3D printing; preconcentration; DNA purification; molecular diagnostics
Online: 12 August 2018 (19:26:04 CEST)
Molecular detection of pathogens in clinical samples often requires pretreatment techniques, including immunomagnetic separation and magnetic silica bead (MSB)-based DNA purification to obtain the purified DNA of pathogens. These two techniques usually rely on handling small tubes containing a few millilitres of the sample and manual operation, implying that an automated system encompassing both techniques is needed for larger quantities of the samples. Here, we report a 3D-printed microfluidic platform that enables bacterial preconcentration and genomic DNA (gDNA) purification for improving the molecular detection of target pathogens in blood samples. The device consists of two microchannels and one chamber, which can be used to preconcentrate pathogens bound to antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles (Ab-MNPs) and subsequently extract gDNA using magnetic silica beads (MSBs) in a sequential manner. The device was able to preconcentrate very low concentrations of pathogens and extract their genomic DNA in 10 mL of 10% blood within 30 min, and thus allowed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative PCR to detect 1 colony forming unit of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in 10% blood. The results suggest that the 3D-printed microfluidic platform is highly useful for lowering the limitations on molecular detection in blood by preconcentrating the target pathogen and isolating its DNA in a large volume of the sample.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0142.v3
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Plant Diseases; Modern Agriculture; Plant Health; AWS DeepLens; SageMaker; Machine Learning; Deep Learning
Online: 14 September 2020 (06:24:16 CEST)
In the Agriculture sector, control of plant leaf diseases is crucial as it influences the quality and production of plant species with an impact on the economy of any country. Therefore, automated identification and classification of plant leaf disease at an early stage is essential to reduce economic loss and to conserve the specific species. Previously, to detect and classify plant leaf disease, various Machine Learning models have been proposed; however, they lack usability due to hardware incompatibility, limited scalability and inefficiency in practical usage. Our proposed DeepLens Classification and Detection Model (DCDM) approach deal with such limitations by introducing automated detection and classification of the leaf diseases in fruits (apple, grapes, peach and strawberry) and vegetables (potato and tomato) via scalable transfer learning on A.W.S. SageMaker and importing it on AWS DeepLens for real-time practical usability. Cloud integration provides scalability and ubiquitous access to our approach. Our experiments on extensive image data set of healthy and unhealthy leaves of fruits and vegetables showed an accuracy of 98.78% with a real-time diagnosis of plant leaves diseases. We used forty thousand images for the training of deep learning model and then evaluated it on ten thousand images. The process of testing an image for disease diagnosis and classification using AWS DeepLens on average took 0.349s, providing disease information to the user in less than a second.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0277.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: revegetation; forest, springs preservation; Arjuna mount; plant species; nursery; fertilization; planting; plant care
Online: 27 August 2019 (04:34:25 CEST)
The research objectives was to determine the plants vegetation profile in forest revegetation and Mount Arjuna springs. The method used was descriptive method. While based on the techniques and tools used to research, the author uses the survey method to obtain facts that occur in the research area, namely in the area around the springs of Arjuna mount, Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia. Data obtained in the field are then processed and analyzed using GIS, ArcView 3.3 and Google Earth programs. The results of the study explain the profile of plant vegetation, namely plant stratification, bird wealth, taxonomic wealth and plant density have a significant effect on forest revegetation and springs in Arjuna mount. The forest vegetation profile has a positive and significant effect on the preservation of springs. The better the profile of forest vegetation, the preservation of springs will be better, and vice versa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0714.v1
Online: 31 May 2021 (08:32:16 CEST)
Plant sterols are compounds with multiple biological functions, mainly cholesterol-reducing. There are no comprehensive databases on plant sterols, which makes it difficult to estimate their intake in the Polish population. In this study we used international food databases, supplemented by scientific data from the literature, to create a database on plant sterols in the food consumed in Poland to assess the size and sources of dietary plant sterols in the adult population of Poland. The literature search was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify possible sources of published food composition data for plant sterols. The study group consisted of 5690 participants of the WOBASZ II survey. We identified 361 dietary sources of plant sterols based on the consumption of foods and dishes reported by participants. Cereals and fats provided 61% of the total plant sterols, and together with vegetables and fruits, this totaled 80%. Total plant sterol intake for the Polish population was 282.97 mg/day, and divided by men and women was 320.77 and 252.19 mg/day, respectively. Canola oil provided the most plant sterols at 16.92%, followed by white bread at 16.65% and soft margarine at 8.33%. This study found that the database of plant sterols facilitates the calculation of plant sterols in the typical Polish diet, and the results are comparable to those of other studies, despite different methodologies of nutritional assessment and slightly different databases. The main sources of dietary plant sterols did not differ from the data for other populations. This study confirmed the observations of other research that women's diets may have a higher plant sterol density compared to men.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0035.v3
Online: 24 October 2019 (11:04:57 CEST)
EuAP2 genes are famous for their role in flower development. A legacy of the founding member of this subfamily of transcription factor, whose mutants lacked petals in Arabidopsis. However, studies of other euAP2 genes in several species have accumulated evidence highlighting the diverse roles of euAP2 genes in other aspects of plant development. Here, we emphasize other developmental roles of euAP2 genes in various species and suggest a shift from regarding euAP2 genes as just flowering genes to consider the global role they may be playing in plant development. We hypothesize that their almost universal expression profile and pleiotropic effects of their mutation suggest their involvement in fundamental plant development processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0089.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Signalling, rhizosphere microbiome, plant hormones
Online: 7 March 2019 (11:58:15 CET)
Signalling is a strongly influenced area trending to be applied in almost every focus of biological sciences. The part of signalling or communication from cellular level to a whole organism including plant as well as animal drags a vast diversity of wealthy structural compounds. There is immense demand for new bioactive compounds for the pharmaceutical, agro and food industries. Plant-associated microbes present an attractive and promising source. The concept of the microbiome and the significance it has to host health, diseases state, and the role of immune have been the hub of research that has led to advances in our understanding of the massive power of the small unseen majority of the microbes (Peterson Andrew H., 2013). Before we say about microbiome—plant relation, it is important to first understand the working concept of the microbiome. Every organism on earth counts on their neighbours to sustain life. Microbiome can be considered a community of microorgasims who can prove to be loveable and hateful. The analysis of microbiome structure and function was protagonise in studies of human hosts and has been extensively documented as essential to genetic and functional capacity attributed to the host, comprehending aspects of metabolism and physiology. Plants are crowded with microbial organisms, counting those that colonize internal tissues, also those that adhere to external surfaces. The wide diversity of microorganisms in the soil rhizosphere is collectively plant–soil-associated microbes cover the plant microbiome. The intricate involvement of microbiome serves to plant health and as a tank of additional genes that plants can access when needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0538.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Lophelia pertusa; Haplosporidia; Vibrio; Rickettsiales-like organisms; Histology; PCR; Pathogen; Cold-water corals
Online: 24 May 2021 (08:20:11 CEST)
Temperature and pH can expedite the ability of pathogens to cause diseases in cold-water corals (CWCs). The present study employed a combination of histology and polymerase chain reaction diagnostic techniques to investigate potential pathogens present in the CWCs Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata in the Porcupine Bank Canyon (PBC), NE Atlantic. No pathogen was observed in the Madrepora samples. Neither histology nor standard PCR detected Vibrio spp. in the corals, although using Illumina technology, V. shilonii was observed in some L. pertusa samples in low abundances (0.22%). A Rickettsiales-like organisms (RLOs) occurred at a prevalence of 8.0% and at a low infection intensity of 1 - 4. Lophelia showed a few RLOs infection from the PBC canyon head (2.7%) and high infections in the south branch (5.3%). Similarly, unidentified cells observed in L. pertusa from the south branch (4.0%) were more common than those found in the canyon head (1.3%) with a prevalence of 5.3%. Although the route of pathogen infection is unclear, a likely mode of entry could be associated with particulate availability and the feeding strategies of the scleractinian corals. This suggest that L. pertusa invests energy into an enhanced immune function and reduced susceptibility to global pathogens despite a changing ocean environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0306.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; osteoblast-like cells; internalization; inflammation; immune system; host-pathogen interaction; cytokines
Online: 10 November 2020 (12:06:04 CET)
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterium causing a range of mild to life-threatening infections including bone infections such as osteomyelitis. S. aureus is able to invade and persist within non-professional phagocytic cells such as osteoblasts. In the present study four different S. aureus strains, 2SA-ST239-III, 5SA-ST5-II, 10SA-ST228-I, and 14SA-ST22-IVh were tested for their ability to modulate cell viability in MG-63 osteoblast-like cells following a successful invasion and persistence. Methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) ATCC-12598-ST30 was used as control. Despite the demonstrated similar abilities of internalization and persistence of ATCC-12598-ST30, 2SA-ST239-III, and 14SA-ST22-IVh strains in MG-63 osteoblast-like cells under our experimental conditions, we demonstrated that the decrease in cell viability was due to the different behavior of the considered strains, with the number of intracellular bacteria playing a limited role. We focused our attention on different cellular biochemical functions related to inflammation, cell metabolism, and oxidative stress during osteoblast infections. We were able to show that: 1) ATCC-12598-ST30 and 2SA-ST239-III were the only two clones able to persist and maintain their number into the cellular hostile environment during the entire period of infection; 2) 2SA-ST239-III was the only clone able to significantly increase the gene expression (3 and 24 h) and protein secretion (24 h) of both interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in MG-63 osteoblast-like cells; 3) the same clone determined a significant up-regulation of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and the metabolic marker glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNAs at 24 h post infection; 3) neither the MSSA nor the four MRSA strains induced oxidative stress phenomena in MG-63 cells, although a very different expression pattern towards nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its downstream gene heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) activation was observed among the different clones. Our results can open a new way of considering therapies, going in the direction of an individualized therapeutic strategy that should take into account the difference existing between MSSA and MRSA as well as the distinctive features of the different clones. Not only, therefore, a different antibiotic approach but also a starting point for considering different host factors, i.e. the modulation of specific cytokines such as IL-6, TNF-α, and TGF-β1.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0528.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: In vitro; in vivo; animal model; Malassezia; infection; host-pathogen interaction; Galleria mellonella
Online: 22 July 2020 (11:34:57 CEST)
Malassezia is a lipid-dependent genus of yeasts known for being an important part of the skin mycobiota. These yeasts have been associated in the development of skin disorders and cataloged as a causal agent of systemic infections under specific conditions, making them opportunistic pathogens. Little is known about the host-microbe interaction of Malassezia spp., and unraveling this implies the implementation of infection models. In this mini review we present different models that have been implemented in the fungal infections study with greater attention in Malassezia spp. infections. These models range from in vitro (cell cultures and ex vivo tissue), to in vivo (murine models, rabbits, guinea pigs, insects, nematodes, and amoebas). We additionally highlight the alternative models that reduce the use of mammals as model organisms, which have been gaining importance in the study of fungal host-microbe interactions. This is due to the fact that these systems have shown to have reliable results, which correlate with those obtained from mammalian models. Example of alternative models are Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Tenebrio molitor, and Galleria mellonella. These are invertebrates that have been implemented in the study of Malassezia spp. infections in order to identify differences in virulence between Malassezia species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0041.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: Vimentin; Cell surface vimentin; SARS-CoV; Vimentin-pathogen interactions; Anti-vimentin autoantibodies; Inflammation
Online: 3 May 2020 (09:00:43 CEST)
Vimentin is an intermediate filament protein that plays key roles in integration of cytoskeletal functions, and therefore in basic cellular processes such as cell division and migration. Consequently, vimentin has complex implications in pathophysiology. Vimentin is required for a proper immune response, but it can also act as an autoantigen in autoimmune diseases or as a damage signal. Although vimentin is a predominantly cytoplasmic protein, it can also appear at extracellular locations, either in a secreted form or at the surface of numerous cell types, often in relation to cell activation, inflammation, injury or senescence. Cell surface targeting of vimentin appears to associate with the occurrence of certain posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation and/or oxidative damage. At the cell surface, vimentin can act as a receptor for bacterial and viral pathogens. Indeed, vimentin has been shown to play important roles in virus attachment and entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV), dengue and encephalitis viruses, among others. Moreover, the presence of vimentin in specific virus-targeted cells and its induction by proinflammatory cytokines and tissue damage contribute to its implication in viral infection. Here, we recapitulate some of the pathophysiological implications of vimentin, including the involvement of cell surface vimentin in interaction with pathogens, with a special focus on its role as a cellular receptor or co-receptor for viruses. In addition, we provide a perspective on approaches to target vimentin, including antibodies or chemical agents that could modulate these interactions to potentially interfere with viral pathogenesis, which could be useful when multi-target antiviral strategies are needed .
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0525.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hepatitis E virus; innate immunity; interferon response; JAK/STAT pathway; zoonosis; emerging pathogen
Online: 27 September 2018 (03:34:49 CEST)
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for large waterborne epidemics of hepatitis in endemic countries and is an emerging zoonotic pathogen worldwide. In endemic regions, HEV-1 or HEV-2 genotypes are frequently associated with fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women, while with zoonotic HEV (HEV-3 and HEV-4), chronic cases of hepatitis and severe neurological disorders are reported. Hence, it is important to characterize the interactions between HEV and its host. Here, we investigated the ability of the non-structural polyprotein encoded by the first open reading frame (ORF1) of HEV to modulate the host early antiviral response and in particular the type I interferon (IFN-I) system. We found that the amino-terminal region of HEV-3 ORF1 (MetPCP), containing a putative methyltransferase (Met) and a papain-like cysteine protease (PCP) functional domain, inhibited IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activation and the expression of several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in response to IFN-I. We showed that the MetPCP domain interfered with the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription protein (STAT) signalling pathway by inhibiting STAT1 nuclear translocation and phosphorylation after IFN-I treatment. By contrast, MetPCP had no effect on STAT2 phosphorylation and a limited impact on the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway after IFN-II stimulation. This inhibitory function seemed to be genotype-dependent as MetPCP from HEV-1 had no significant effect on the JAK/STAT pathway. Overall, this study provides evidence that the predicted MetPCP domain of HEV ORF1 antagonises STAT1 activation to modulate the IFN response.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0057.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: tomato cultivar; allelopathy; competitive ability; plant-plant interactions; weed suppression; sustainable agriculture; weed management; vegetable
Online: 3 September 2021 (10:33:20 CEST)
The present study aims to identify tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars with weed-suppressive ability against target weed species in the tomato growing season. A greenhouse study was conducted with 17 tomato cultivars and target weeds Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats), yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.), and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L.). Tomato plants and weed species were grown in the same pot. The height, chlorophyll, and dry weight biomass of the weeds were measured 28 days after sowing. The largest effect of tomato interference was on Palmer amaranth. Cultivar 15 reduced Palmer amaranth height, chlorophyll, and biomass by 58, 28, and 83%, respectively. Chlorophyll percentage of yellow nutsedge seedlings was suppressed by 15% by cultivar 64, whereas 13% of its height was reduced by cultivar 20. Cultivar 15 reduced biomass of yellow nutsedge by 40%. The percentage of chlorophyll of large crabgrass was reduced by 22% with cultivar 5, whereas the height and biomass were reduced by 35 and 44% with cultivars 38 and 63, respectively. Factoring all parameters evaluated, cultivars 38, 33, and 7 were most suppressive against the problematic weed species in tomato.
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: Plant water transport, plant long-distance water transport, sorption hypothesis, cohesion theory, cohesion-tension theory
Online: 12 April 2019 (20:55:26 CEST)
In the case of vascular plants the process of water loss by leafs and water absorption by the root is well known. There is agreement on the passive nature of long-distance moisture movement in the dead cells of the xylem; however, controversy exists focusing on the long-distance water transport principle. Hales (1726) founded a view of bulk flow based on water suction after experiments with cut twigs. The previous doctrine of long-distance water transport within vessel elements and tracheid of the xylem of intact plants – the relevant cohesion theory in text books – was developed mainly by Boehm (1893), Renner (1911) and Dixon (1914) with plant artefacts. Water movement according to this theory is based on an assumed hydrodynamic bulk fluid flow in xylem in continuous water columns (free of water vapour space), under tension, according to the law of Poiseuille (see e.g. Dixon 1914). Physically hydrodynamics is part of fluid mechanics, as a result Poiseuille’s law is usually valid only for hydrodynamic bulk flow in ideal capillaries (Sutera & Skalak, 1993). Besides the basic requirement for transport, according to cohesion theory, the existence of ideal capillaries is not compatible with either: “Because vessel elements and tracheid do not stand as ideal capillaries. …” (Bresinsky et al. 2008, translated from German). Unlike ideal capillaries, the walls of vessel elements and tracheid interact with the transported water. These walls are able to function as a source or as a sink for the transported water because of interaction with the cell walls. With the interaction, vessel elements and tracheid, part of the xylem, can shrink and swell, unlike ideal capillaries. Because the xylem (in woody plants part of the wood) is inconsistent with the basic law of fluid flow, the equation of mass balance (Zimmermann et al. 2004) and cohesion theory are not strictly followed.Many plant physiologists view the cohesion theory as appropriate, however, this theory remains controversial, i.e. by Eisenhut (1988), Laschimke (1990) and Hahn (1993). Nultsch (1996) gives doubts referring to the present doctrine of plant water transport. Zimmermann et al. (2004) reject the cohesion theory and conclude: “... that the arguments of the proponents of the Cohesion Theory are completely misleading” (Zimmermann et al. 2004). Hence cohesion theory can be treated as inapplicable and the question arises: how does water transport in fact function? In the following, it is gone into in more detail. A sorption hypothesis of actual water transport, based on empirical fact, shall be addressed in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0135.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: rice; endophyte; sustainable agriculture; plant microbiome; simplified bacterial community; syncom; taxonomic profiling; core plant microbiome
Online: 21 November 2017 (03:33:00 CET)
Rice is currently the most important food crop in the world and we are only just beginning to study the bacterial associated microbiome. It is of importance to perform screenings of the core rice microbiota and also to develop new plant-microbe models and simplified communities for increasing our understanding about the formation and function of its microbiome. In order to begin to address this aspect, we have performed the isolation of bacterial strains from the endorhizosphere of two rice cultivars from Venezuela. The validation of plant-growth promoting bacterial activities in vitro has led us to select and characterize 15 isolates for in planta studies such as germination test, endophytism ability and plant growth promotion. Consequently, a set of 10 isolates was selected for the set-up of an endophytic consortium as a simplified model of the natural rice bacterial endomicrobiota. Upon inoculation, the colonization and abundance of each strain within the rice roots was tracked by a culture-independent technique in gnotobiotic conditions in a 30 days period. Four strains belonging to Pseudomonas, Agrobacterium and Delftia genera have shown a promising capacity for colonizing and coexistence in root tissues. On the other hand, a bacterial community taxonomic profiling of the rhizosphere and the endorhizosphere of both cultivars were obtained and are discussed. This study is part of a growing body of research on core crops microbiome and simplified microbiomes, which strengthens the formation process of the endophytic community leading to a better understanding of the rice microbiome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0031.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: rice; endophyte; sustainable agriculture; plant microbiome; simplified bacterial community; syncomm; taxonomic profiling; core plant microbiome
Online: 8 September 2017 (14:02:56 CEST)
Rice is currently the most important food crop in the world and we are only just beginning to study the bacterial associated microbiome. It is of importance to perform screenings of the core rice microbiota and also to develop new plant-microbe models and simplified communities for increasing our understanding about the formation and function of its microbiome. In order to begin to address this aspect, we have performed the isolation of hundreds bacterial isolates obtained from endorhizosphere of two rice cultivars from Venezuela. The validation of plant-growth promoting bacterial activities in vitro has led us to select and characterize 15 isolates for in planta studies such as germination test, endophytism ability and plant growth promotion. Consequently, a set of 10 isolates was selected for the set-up of an endophytic consortium as a simplified model of the natural rice bacterial endomicrobiota. Upon inoculation, the colonization and abundance of each strain within the rice roots was tracked by a culture-independent technique in gnotobiotic conditions in a 30 days period. Four strains belonging to Pseudomonas, Agrobacterium and Delftia genera have shown a promising capacity for colonizing and coexistence in root tissues. On the other hand, a bacterial community taxonomic profiling of the rhizosphere and the endorhizosphere of both cultivars were obtained and are discussed. This study is part of a growing body of research on core crops microbiome and simplified microbiomes, which strengthens the formation process of the endophytic community leading to a better understanding of the rice microbiome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0204.v1
Subject: Keywords: One Health; Planetary Health; Pandemics; Ecology; Evolution; Environment; Climate change; Biodiversity loss; Emergence; Pathogen
Online: 8 June 2021 (09:34:57 CEST)
The implementation of One Health/EcoHealth/Planetary Health approaches has been identified as key (i) to address the strong interconnections between risk for pandemics, climate change and biodiversity loss, and (ii) to develop and implement solutions to these interlinked crises. As a response to the multiple calls of scientists in that direction, we have put forward seven long term research questions regarding COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) that are based on an effective integration of environmental, ecological, evolutionary, and social sciences to better anticipate and mitigate EIDs. Research needs cover the social-ecology of infectious disease agents, their evolution, the determinants of susceptibility of humans and animals to infections, and the human and ecological factors accelerating infectious disease emergence. For comprehensive investigation, they include the development of nature-based solutions to interlinked global planetary crises, addressing ethical and philosophical questions regarding the relationship of humans to nature and regarding transformative changes to safeguard the environment and human health. In support of this research, we propose the implementation of innovative multidisciplinary facilities embedded in social-ecosystems locally: the “ecological health observatories” and the “living laboratories”. This work has been carried out in the frame of the EC project HERA (www.HERAresearchEU.eu) that aims to set the priorities for an environment, climate and health research agenda in the EU by adopting a systemic approach in the face of global environmental change.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0554.v1
Subject: Keywords: microbiome; vectorial capacity; density; competence; biting; extrinsic incubation period; longevity; mosquito; symbiosis; pathogen transmission
Online: 22 December 2020 (10:49:13 CET)
Microbiome research has gained considerable interest due to the emerging evidence of its impact on human and animal health. Similar to higher organisms, the gut-associated microbiota of mosquitoes affect host fitness and other phenotypes. It is now well established that microbes can alter pathogen transmission in mosquitoes, either positively or negatively, and avenues are being explored to exploit microbes for vector control. However, less attention has been paid to how microbiota affect phenotypes that impact vectorial capacity. Several mosquito and pathogen components, such as vector density, biting rate, survival, vector competence and pathogen extrinsic incubation period all influence pathogen transmission. Interestingly, the mosquito gut-associated microbes can impact each of these components, and therefore ultimately modulate vectorial capacity. Promisingly, this expands the options available to exploit microbes for vector control by also targeting parameters that affect vectorial capacity. However, there are still many knowledge gaps in the biology of the mosquito – microbe symbiosis that need to be addressed in order to understand these interactions more thoroughly and exploit them efficiently. Here, we review current evidence of the impacts of the microbiome on aspects of vectorial capacity highlighting opportunities for novel vector control strategies and areas where further studies are required.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0500.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Actinobaculum; urinary tract infection; biofilm; catheter; CAUTI; host-pathogen interaction; proteome; polymicrobial; metabolism; uropathogen
Online: 26 September 2018 (06:07:28 CEST)
Actinobaculum massiliense, a Gram-positive anaerobic coccoid rod colonizing the human urinary tract, belongs to the taxonomic class of Actinobacteria. We identified A. massiliense as a cohabitant of urethral catheter biofilms (CB). The CBs also harbored common uropathogens such as Proteus mirabilis and Aerococcus urinae, supporting the notion that A. massiliense is adapted to a life style in polymicrobial biofilms. We isolated a strain from an agar colony derived from a clinical sample. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and shotgun proteomics, we identified and characterized A. massiliense, comparing the isolate grown in vitro and four clinical ‘in vivo’ samples. Based on abundances of proteins in the in vivo milieu, we assessed their functions related to nutrient import and responses to hostile host conditions characterized by neutrophil infiltration. Two putative subtilisin-like proteases and a heme/oligopeptide transporter were highly expressed in vivo and are perhaps important for survival in the host milieu. The uptake of xylose/glucuronate and oligopeptides apparently enables feeding metabolites into mixed acid fermentation and peptidolysis pathways, respectively, to generate energy. A putative polyketide synthase which may generate a secondary metabolite interacting with either the host or co-colonizing microbes was identified. The enzyme may contribute to A. massiliense persistence in CBs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0375.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: melanin; extraction; isolation; animal; plant; microbes
Online: 27 May 2022 (09:07:30 CEST)
Melanins are phenolic biopolymers synthesised by most of the living organism mainly for photoprotection or surviving in harsh conditions. Melanin is localised in different areas or complexed with different other biomolecules when observed from animals to microbes. This makes the melanin extraction procedure different in animal, plant and microbial tissues. Basically, the alkali-acid extraction is used in most protocols of which slight variations are there depending on the tissue used. This review will try to compile melanin extraction procedures from different cells and tissues ranging from animals to bacteria.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0205.v2
Online: 5 January 2022 (10:37:29 CET)
There are many medicinal plants that have various medicinal properties in their different parts. The medicinal plants are major backbone of pharmaceutical industries. In this article we compare the antioxidants properties from various plants parts (root, stem, leaf, flower and bark) of the most important medicinal plant, Justicia adhatoda L. Various plant parts showed the good amount of antioxidant properties. These results enhance the medicinal properties of this plant due to the presence of good amount of antioxidants; among all the plant parts leaves and flowers showed maximum natural antioxidants, hence the study could be saying that this plant has good efficacy of antioxidants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0168.v1
Online: 10 May 2020 (14:48:23 CEST)
Trees provide key ecosystem services, but the health and sustainability of these plants is under increasing biotic and abiotic threat, including from the growing incidences of non-native invasive plant pests (including pathogens). The island of Ireland (Ireland and Northern Ireland) is generally accepted to have a high plant health status, in part due to its island status and because of the national and international regulations aimed at protecting plant health. To establish a baseline of the current pest threats to tree health for the island of Ireland, the literature and unpublished sources were reviewed to produce a dataset of pests of trees on the island of Ireland. The dataset contains 396 records of pests of trees on the island of Ireland, the majority of pests being arthropods and fungi, and indicating potentially more than 44 non-native pest introductions. The reliability of many (378) of the records was judged to be high, therefore the dataset provides a robust assessment of the state of pests of trees recorded on the island of Ireland. We analyse this dataset and review the history of plant pest invasions, including (i) discussion on notable native and non-native pests of trees, (ii) pest interceptions at borders and (iii) pests and climate change. The dataset establishes an important baseline for the knowledge of plant pests on the island of Ireland, and will be a valuable resource for future plant health research and policy making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0015.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: plant; sesquiterpenes; biosynthesis; graph grammars; database;
Online: 1 March 2019 (14:30:16 CET)
Plants produce a diverse portfolio of sesquiterpenes that are important in their response to herbivores and the interaction with other plants. Their biosynthesis from farnesyl diphosphate depends on the sesquiterpene synthases. Here, we investigate to what extent metabolic pathways can be reconstructed just from knowledge of the final product and the reaction mechanisms catalyzed by sesquiterpene synthases. We use the software package MedØlDatschgerl (MØD) to generate chemical networks and elucidate pathways contained in them. As examples, we successfully consider the reachability of the important plant sesquiterpenes β-caryophyllene, α-humulene, and β-farnesene. We also introduce a graph database to integrate simulation results with experimental biological evidence for selected predicted sesquiterpenes biosynthesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0371.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: biosynthesis; nanoparticles; plant extracts; Citrus reticulata
Online: 16 November 2018 (04:33:22 CET)
Biosynthesis of nanoparticles for delivery of therapeutic agents has introduced new opportunities in upgrading medical treatment. Plant extracts contains different capping and reducing agents naturally thus provided simpler and less expensive way to synthesize AgNPs. In present work, Citrus reticulata mediated stabilised AgNPs was synthesized. Optimum concentration of reactants was achieved by varying the amount of extracts (1-11 ml) and AgNO3 concentration (0.5-3 mM). Surface Plasmon peak of Citrus reticulata mediated AgNPs was determined by UV-visible spectrophotometer and functional groups of capping agents were examined by FTIR analysis. Surface Plasmon peaks of Citrus reticulata fresh peel, seed, and juice extracts were observed at 420 nm. But in dry peel extract, absorption peak of AgNPs appeared at 410 nm. Colour of different extracts was changed after the reduction of AgNO3 to AgNPs by reducing agents present in the extracts. FTIR analysis showed band peaks at 3316 cm-1 correspond to amide (N-H and O-H) stretching vibrations while alkanes peaks was observed at 1638 cm-1 which showed C=C stretching aromatic ring (flavonoids). Furthermore, Citrus reticulata fresh peel mediated AgNPs showed impressive stability up-to 112 days. In conclusion, Citrus reticulata fresh peel extract provided an excellent source of reducing agents for synthesizing stabilized AgNPs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0049.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: plant extracts; antifungal activity; fungal pathogens
Online: 13 October 2016 (11:50:21 CEST)
Abstract Plant fungal pathogens are frequently found as one of limiting factors for crop production. More than 10,000 species of fungi can cause disease in plants. To control the diseases, many farmers are still rely on the use of chemical fungicides, however most synthetic fungicides can cause acute toxicity, and some cause chronic toxicity as well. Thus, an appropriate technological improvement towards a more effective use of natural resources is required in agriculture to develop environmentally friendly sustainable farming system. This paper highlights the potential of extracts of tropical plants as antifungal agent to control plant fungal diseases. Information and data presented in this paper are mainly derived from selected and related references that previously published in the scientific journals. Many higher plants of tropical origin with fungicidal activities and their potential for fungal disease control of agricultural crops have been studied, however most of the studies have been done under in vitro condition. Some plant extracts showed strong antifungal activities on in vitro as well as in vivo tests, but some plant extracts showed significant antifungal activities on in vitro test, but did not obvious on in vivo tests. A great variation in antifungal activities were shown by plants extracts of different species and plant parts, in one hand, and on the other hand, variation was also observed on the responses of different fungal species to the same plant extract. Since the purpose of the use of plant extract is to control plant fungal diseases, the field trial is needed to ensure the stability of efficacy of certain plant extract. In addition, isolation and identification of active substances in the extracts is needed to assess possible mode of action and side effect of their use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0240.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: pathogen detection, bacteria quantification, dark field imaging, hydrodynamic diameter, E.coli, biosensing, water contamination, magnetic microparticles
Online: 12 November 2021 (17:09:40 CET)
In this paper, we present a method for detecting and quantifying pathogens in water samples. The method proposes a portable dark field imaging and analysis system for quantifying E. coli concentrations in water after being labeled with magnetic particles. The system utilizes the tracking of moving micro/nano objects close to or below the optical resolution limit confined in small sample volumes (~ 10 µl). In particular, the system analyzes the effect of volumetric changes due to bacteria conjugation to magnetic microparticles (MP) on their Brownian motion while being suspended in liquid buffer solution. The method allows for a simple inexpensive implementation and the possibility to be used as point-of-need testing system. Indeed, a work-ing prototype is demonstrated with the capacity of quantifying E. coli colony forming units (CFU) at a range of 1x10³ - 6x10³ CFU/mL.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Genomic Epidemiology; GenomeTrakr; microbial pathogen surveillance, NCBI submission; whole genome sequencing; QA/QC; One Health
Online: 16 April 2020 (05:26:42 CEST)
The holistic approach of One Health, which sees human, animal, plant, and environmental health as a unit, rather than discrete parts, requires not only interdisciplinary cooperation, but standardized methods for communicating and archiving data, enabling participants to easily share what they have learned and allow others to build upon their findings.Ongoing work by NCBI and the GenomeTrakr project illustrates how open data platforms can help meet the needs of federal and state regulators, public health laboratories, departments of agriculture, and universities. Here we describe how microbial pathogen surveillance can be transformed by having an open access database along with Best Practices for contributors to follow. First, we describe the open pathogen surveillance framework, hosted on the NCBI platform. We cover the current community standards for WGS quality, provide an SOP for assessing your own sequence quality and recommend QC thresholds for all submitters to follow. We then provide an overview of NCBI data submission along with step by step details. And finally, we provide curation guidance and an SOP for keeping your public data current within the database. These Best Practices can be models for other open data projects, thereby advancing the One Health goals of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR) data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0026.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: rhizosphere; phyllosphere; endophyte; plant microbiome; plant mycobiome; rare microbiome; fungi; bacteria; microbes; soil microbiology; inoculum; microbial ecology
Online: 1 August 2022 (15:22:30 CEST)
A plant’s health and productivity is influenced by its associated microbes. Although the common microbiome is often thought to be the most influential, significant numbers of rare or uncommon microbes (eg. specialized endosymbionts) may also play an important role in the health and productivity of certain plants in certain environments. To help identify rare/specialized bacteria and fungi in the most important angiosperm plants, we contrasted microbiomes of the shoots, roots and rhizospheres of Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, maize, wheat, sugarcane, rice, tomato, coffee, common bean, cassava, soybean, switchgrass, sunflower, Brachiaria, barley, sorghum, and pea. Plants were grown inside sealed jars on sterile sand or field soil. About 95% and 86% of fungal and bacterial diversity inside plants was uncommon, however judging by read abundance, up to half of the mycobiome consists of uncommon fungal cells, while less than 11% of bacterial endophytes are rare. Uncommon seed transmitted microbiomes consisted mostly of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes, Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes that most heavily colonized shoots, to a lesser extent roots and least of all rhizospheres. Soil served as a more diverse source of rare microbes than seeds, replacing or excluding the majority of the uncommon seed transmitted microbiome. With the rarest microbes, their colonization pattern could either be the result of stringent biotic filtering by most plants, or uneven/stochastic inoculum distribution in seeds or soil. Several strong plant-microbe associations were observed such as seed transmission to shoots, roots and/or rhizospheres of Sarocladium zeae (maize), Penicillium (pea and Phaseolus), and Curvularia (sugarcane), while robust bacterial colonization from cassava field soil occurred with the cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya into Arabidopsis and Panicum roots, and Streptomyces into cassava roots. Some abundant microbes such as Sakaguchia in rice shoots or Vermispora in Arabidopsis roots appeared in no other samples, suggesting they were infrequent, stochastically deposited propagules from either soil or seed (impossible to know based on the available data). Future experiments with culturing and cross inoculation of these microbes between plants may help us better understand host preferences and their role in plant productivity, perhaps leading to their use in crop microbiome engineering and enhancement of agricultural production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0398.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Keywords: Preparation of Off-Site Consequence Analyses; Chemicals Control Act; Risk Assessment; Paint Manufacturing Plant; Plating Industry Plant
Online: 23 September 2021 (10:18:56 CEST)
: Chemical accidents can occur anywhere. The need for chemical management in Korea was realized following the 2012 Gumi hydrofluoric acid accident in 2012. The Chemicals Control Act was enacted in 2015. This system evaluates the risks (high, medium, low) and consequent safety management at all plants that handle hazardous chemical substances. However, the system was criticized as excessive when most plants were designated high-risk without considering their size. Thus, laboratories and hospitals handling very small quantities were subject to regulation. Accordingly, in 2021 Korea revised the system to include off-site consequence analyses and a Korean-style risk analysis. Plants handling very small quantities, such as laboratories and hospitals, were exempt from regulation. In this study, plating and paint manufacturing companies, which were classified as high-risk in the previous system, even though they were medium-size business plants, were re-evaluated as low-risk plants. In the Korean-style risk analysis, it is possible to see at a glance what is lacking in the plants, such as cooperation between local residents and local governments and the construction of safety facilities according to the type of accident scenario. The revised system is a reasonable regulation for medium business plants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0463.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: disturbance; drylands; photovoltaic; plant community; plant traits; rare species; renewable energy; seed traits; seed banks; solar energy
Online: 20 July 2020 (08:55:44 CEST)
Seed bank survival underpins plant population persistence but studies on seed bank trait-environment interactions are few. Changes in environmental conditions relevant to seed banks occur in desert ecosystems owing to solar energy development. We developed a conceptual model of seed bank survival to complement methodologies using in-situ seed bank packets. Using this framework, we quantified the seed bank survival of two closely related annual desert plant species, one rare (Eriophyllum mohavense) and one common (Eriophyllum wallacei) and the seed bank-environment interactions of these two species in the Mojave Desert within a system that emulates microhabitat variation associated with solar energy development. We tracked 4,860 seeds buried across 540 seed packets and found, averaged across both species, that seed bank survival was 21% and 6% for the first and second growing seasons, respectively. After two growing seasons, the rare annual had a significantly greater seed bank survival (10%) than the common annual (2%). Seed bank survival, across both species, was significantly greater in Shade (10%) microhabitats compared to Runoff (5%) microhabitats and Control microhabitats (3%). Our study confers insight into this early life-stage across rare and common congeners and their environmental interactions using a novel conceptual framework for seed bank survival.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0198.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: plant vegetation profile; forest rehabilitation; vegetation stratification; bird wealth; taxonomic wealth; plant density; springs in Arjuna mount
Online: 20 August 2019 (04:02:08 CEST)
The research objectives was to determine the plants vegetation profile in forest revegetation and Mount Arjuna springs. The method used was descriptive method. While based on the techniques and tools used to research, the author uses the survey method to obtain facts that occur in the research area, namely in the area around the springs of Arjuna mount, Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia. Data obtained in the field are then processed and analyzed using GIS, ArcView 3.3 and Google Earth programs. The results of the study explain the profile of plant vegetation, namely plant stratification, bird wealth, taxonomic wealth and plant density have a significant effect on forest revegetation and springs in Arjuna mount. The forest vegetation profile has a positive and significant effect on the preservation of springs. The better the profile of forest vegetation, the preservation of springs will be better, and vice versa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0210.v1
Online: 8 March 2021 (10:56:37 CET)
Vascular pathogens are the causal agents of main diseases threatening the health and growth of olive crops worldwide. The use of endophytic microorganisms represents a challenging and promising strategy for management of vascular diseases in olive. Although current research has been focused on analyzing the structure and diversity of the endophytic microbial communities inhabiting the olive xylem, the characterization of this ecological niche has been overlooked and to date remain unexplored, despite that the characterization of the xylem sap composition is essential to unravel the nutritional requirements of xylem-limited microorganisms. In this study, branches from plantlets and adult olive trees of cultivars ‘Picual’ and ‘Arbequina' were selected to characterize the chemical composition of olive xylem sap extracted using a Scholander pressure chamber. Metabolome and ionome analyses of xylem sap were performed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based and by inductively coupled plasma with optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), respectively. Olive xylem sap metabolites included a higher relative percentage of sugars (54.35%), followed by alcohols (28.85%), amino acids (8.01%), organic acids (7.68%) and osmolytes (1.12%). Within each of these groups, the main metabolites in the olive xylem sap were mannitol, ethanol, glutamine, acetate and trigonelline, whereas K and Cl- were the main element and inorganic anion, respectively. Metabolomic profile varied when comparing olive plant age and genotype. The levels of glucose, fructose, sucrose and mannitol, choline, B and PO43 were significantly higher in adult trees than in plantlets for both olive genotypes, whereas NO3- and Rb content showed the opposite behavior. On the other hand, levels of aspartate, phenylalanine and Na were significantly higher in ‘Picual’ than in ‘Arbequina’ whereas Fe showed the opposite behavior but only for adult trees. Non-supervised hierarchical clustering analysis separated xylem sap composition firstly according to the plant age and then by the olive cultivar. Supervised PLS-DA analysis revealed that B, ethanol, Fe, Fructose, glucose, mannitol, sucrose and Sr were the most significative compounds discriminating adult trees from plantlets, whereas asparagine, aspartate, glutamate and phenylalanine or aspartate, arginine, ethanol and Sr were the most contributory compounds in the discrimination of both olive genotypes for adult trees or plantlets, respectively. Knowledge of the chemical composition of xylem sap will lead to a better understanding of the complex nutritional requirements of olive xylem-inhabiting microorganisms, including its vascular pathogens, and would allow the design of artificial growing media to improve culturing the olive microbiome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0545.v1
Subject: Biology, Horticulture Keywords: LCIA; plant protection; compost; sustainable greenhouse production
Online: 22 December 2020 (09:32:12 CET)
Italian floriculture is facing structural changes. Possible options to maintain competitiveness of the involved companies include promotion of added values, from local productions to environmental sustainability. To quantify value and benefits of cleaner production processes and choices, a holistic view is necessary, and could be provided by life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Previous studies on ornamental products generally focused on data from one company or a small sample. The aim of this study was a gate-to-gate life cycle assessment of two ornamental species (Cyclamen persicum Mill. and Pelargonium ×hortorum Bailey) using data from a sample of 20 companies belonging to a floriculture district in Treviso, Veneto region. We also assessed the potential benefits for the environmental impact of the selected species of alternative management choices regarding plant protection and reuse of composted waste biomass. Life cycle impact assessment showed the higher impact scores for the zonal geranium, mainly as a consequence of greenhouse heating with fossil fuels. This factor, along with higher uniformity of production practices and technological level of equipment, translated in lower variability observed in comparison with cyclamen production, which shows a wider results range, in particular for eutrophication, acidification and human toxicity potentials. The application of integrated pest management had significant benefits in terms of impact reduction for acidification and human toxicity of cyclamen, while reduced use of mineral nutrients through compost amendment of growing media resulted in a reduced eutrophication potential. The achievable benefits for zonal geranium were not observable because of the dominant contribution of energy inputs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0444.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: blueberry; crop modeling; plant nutrition; machine learning
Online: 19 September 2020 (03:27:32 CEST)
Nutrient management of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) depends on several yield-limiting features. Machine learning models can process such yield-impacting variables to predict berry yield. We investigated the effects of local variables on yields and nutrient management of lowbush blueberry. We collected 1504 observations from N-P-K fertilizer trials conducted in Quebec, Canada. Meteorological indices at various phenological stages showed the greatest impact on yield. High mean temperature at flower bud opening and after fruit maturation, and total precipitation at flowering showed positive effects. Low mean temperature and low total precipitation before bud opening, at flowering, and by fruit maturity, as well as number of freezing days (< -5ºC) before flower bud opening, showed negative effects. Soil fertility variables, leaf nutrient compositions and N-P-K fertilization showed smaller effects. Gaussian processes predicted berry yields from historical weather data, soil analysis, fertilizer dosage, and leaf nutrients with a root-mean-square-error of 1447 kg ha-1 on the testing data set. An in-house Markov chain algorithm optimized yields modelled with Gaussian processes from leaf nutrient composition, soil test value, and fertilizer dosage conditioned to specified historical weather features. We propose to use conditioned machine learning models to manage nutrients of lowbush blueberry at local scale.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0086.v1
Online: 4 September 2020 (07:31:34 CEST)
Space missions have always assumed that the risk of spacecraft malfunction far outweighs the risk of human system failure. This assumption breaks down for longer duration exploration missions and exposes vulnerabilities in space medical system. Space agencies can no longer buy down the majority of human system risk through the crew member selection process and emergency re-supply or evacuation. No mature medical solutions exist to close the risk gap. With recent advances in biotechnology, there is promise in augmenting a space pharmacy with a biologically-based space foundry for on-demand manufacturing of high-value medical products. Here we review the challenges and opportunities of molecular pharming, the production of pharmaceuticals in plants, as the basis of a space medical foundry to close the risk gap in current space medical systems. Plants have long been considered an important life support object in space and can now also be viewed as programmable factories in space. Advances in molecular pharming-based space foundries will have widespread application in promoting simple and accessible pharmaceutical manufacturing on Earth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0090.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: biostimulant; plant defence; mushrooms; antioxidant; septoriosis; wheat
Online: 5 March 2020 (12:08:56 CET)
The Septoria Leaf Blotch Complex (SLBC), caused by the two ascomycetes Zymoseptoria tritici and Parastagonospora nodorum, can reduce global yearly yield of wheat by up to 50%. In the last decade in Italy, SLBC incidence has increased; notably, durum wheat has proven to be more susceptible than common wheat. Field fungicide treatment can efficiently control these pathogens, but it leads to the emergence of resistant strains and adversely affects human and animal health, and the environment. Our previous studies indicated that active compounds produced by Trametes versicolor can restrict the growth of mycotoxigenic fungi and the biosynthesis of their secondary metabolites (e.g. mycotoxins). Specifically, we identified Tramesan: a 23 KDa -heteropolysaccharide secreted by T. versicolor that acts as a pro-antioxidant molecule in animal cells, fungi, and plants. Foliar-spraying of Tramesan (3.3 µM) in SLBC-susceptible varieties of durum significantly diminished symptoms of Stagonospora Nodorum Blotch (SNB) and Septoria Tritici Blotch (STB) by 75% and 65%, respectively. Tests were conducted under controlled conditions as well as in field. We show that Tramesan elicits wheat defence against SNB and STB augmenting the synthesis of defence-related hormones, notably JA and SA, that in turn switch on the expression of markers of defence (PR1, PR4 inter alia). In field experiments, yield of durum wheat plants treated with Tramesan was similar to that of untreated ones. The results suggest the use of Tramesan for protecting durum wheat against SLBC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0215.v4
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: coevolution; herbivory; host-plant specialization; phylogeny; speciation
Online: 17 October 2019 (10:12:05 CEST)
During the last two decades, ecological speciation has been a major research theme in evolutionary biology. Ecological speciation occurs when reproductive isolation between populations evolves as a result of niche differentiation. Phytophagous insects represent model systems for the study of this evolutionary process. The host-plants on which these insects feed and often spend parts of their life cycle constitute ideal agents of divergent selection for these organisms. Adaptation to feeding on different host-plant species can potentially lead to ecological specialization of populations and subsequent speciation. This process is thought to have given birth to the astonishing diversity of phytophagous insects and is often put forward in macroevolutionary scenarios of insect diversification. Consequently, numerous phylogenetic studies on phytophagous insects have aimed at testing whether speciation driven by host-plant adaptation is the main pathway for the diversification of the groups under investigation. The increasing availability of comprehensive and well-resolved phylogenies and the recent developments in phylogenetic comparative methods are offering an unprecedented opportunity to test hypotheses on insect diversification at a macroevolutionary scale, in a robust phylogenetic framework. Our purpose here is to review the contribution of phylogenetic analyses to investigate the importance of plant-mediated speciation in the diversification of phytophagous insects and to present suggestions for future developments in this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0258.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: power quality; wind power plant; voltage fluctuations
Online: 21 May 2019 (11:19:57 CEST)
Integration of wind energy into the grid faces a great challenge regarding power quality. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)~61400-21 standard defines the electrical characteristics that need to be assessed in a Wind Turbine (WT), as well as the procedure to measure the disturbances produced by the WT. One of the parameters to be assessed are voltage fluctuations or flicker. To estimate the flicker emission of a Wind Power Plant (WPP), the standard establishes that a quadratic exponent should be used in the summation of the flicker emission of each WT. This exponent was selected based on studies carried out in WPPs with type I and II WTs. Advances in wind turbines technology have reduced their flicker emission, mainly thaks to the implementation of power electronics for the partial or total management of the power injected into the grid. This work is based on measurements from a WPP with 16 type III WTs. The flicker emission of a single WT and of the WPP were calculated. Low flicker emission values at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC) of the WPP were obtained. The flicker estimation at the PCC, based on the measurement from a single WT, was analyzed using different exponents. The results show that a cubic summation performs better than the quadratic one in the estimation of the flicker emission of a WPP with type III WTs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0136.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: endophytes; resistance inducers; biological control; abiotic stress; plant-microbe interactions; sustainability; integrated pest management; microorganisms; plant disease control
Online: 4 February 2021 (12:07:42 CET)
Plant diseases cause losses of approximately 16% globally. Thus, management measures must be implemented to mitigate losses and guarantee food production. In addition to traditional management measures, resistance induction and biological control have gained ground in agriculture due to their enormous potential. Endophytic fungi colonize plant tissues internally and have the potential to act as biological control agents, as elicitors in the process of resistance induction and in attenuating abiotic stresses. In this review, we list the action of this group of microorganisms as potential agents which can act in controlling plant diseases and describe several examples in which endophytes were able to reduce the damage caused by pathogens and adverse conditions. This is due to their arsenal of molecules generated during the interaction by which they form a kind of biological shield in the plant. Studies on these microorganisms have grown due to the existing diversity and the multiple benefits they can offer. Finally, considering that endophytic fungi can be an important tool in managing diseases due to the large amount of biologically active substances produced, bioprospecting this class of microorganisms is tending to increase and generate valuable products.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0123.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Lignocellulosic biomass crops; biofuels; plant miRNAs; miR156; miR156/SPL-system; plant biotechnology; abiotic and biotic stresses; bio-confinement
Online: 9 June 2020 (11:52:23 CEST)
Currently, energy security and environmental degradation are the two biggest challenges before humanity that can be surmounted with the use of green and sustainable biofuels produced from lignocellulosic crops. In the future, to ensure adequate and cost-effective supply of biofuels, it requires a sufficient amount of amenable and quality lignocellulosic feedstocks. Therefore, agricultural yields of lignocellulosic biomass crops should be substantially increased by intense genetic maneuvering of key gene regulatory mechanisms and signaling pathways that control plant biomass yield. Recently, numerous miRNAs families are identified, characterized, and validated across the plant kingdom. Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) are 21 to 24 nucleotides long, non-coding small RNAs, act as regulators of their target genes via inducing modifications in transcription, translation, and epigenome. MiRNAs represent many hallmark characteristics like sequence-specific regulation, tissue, and species-specific expression, evolutionary conservation, and functional diversity. They coordinate well physiological and life cycle processes in plants under adverse environmental conditions. Hence, miRNAs offer accurate, precise, and efficient regulatory switches in the miRNA-targeted genetic networks. It is evident from the study of the miR156 family and its target SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) genes network that controls highly significant agronomic traits in crop plants. The miR156/SPL module acts as a master circuit that synchronizes many intricate complex biological functions such as growth and development, and metabolic processes by sensing internal and external environmental signals in plants. Therefore, miR156 can prove a potential target for miRNAs based plant biotechnology to harmonize complex biofuel traits and improve biomass yield in lignocellulosic biomass crops.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0246.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: agriculture 4.0; chlorophyll; early diagnosis; fungal tree pathogens; mycology; plant disease; plant pathology; smart viticulture; vegetation indices; wine grapes
Online: 11 May 2021 (14:21:25 CEST)
The Armillaria genus represents one of the most common causes of chronic root rot disease in woody plants. The disease damage prompt assessment is crucial for pest management. However, the disease detection current methods are limited at the field scale. Therefore, an alternative approach that can enhance or supplement traditional techniques is needed. In this study, we investigated the potential of hyperspectral methods to identify the changes between fungi-infected and uninfected plants of Vitis vinifera in early detecting the Armillaria disease. The hyperspectral imaging sensor Specim-IQ was used to acquire images of leaves of the Teroldego Rotaliano grapevine cultivar. We analysed three groups of plants: healthy, asymptomatic, and diseased. Highly significant differences were found in the Near infrared (NIR) spectral region with a decreasing pattern from healthy to diseased plants attributable to internal leaf structure changes. Asymptomatic plants emerged from the other groups due to a smaller reflectance in the red-edge spectrum (around 705nm). Hypothetically associated with the presence of secondary metabolites involved in plant defence strategy. Furthermore, significant differences were observed in the wavelengths close to 550 nm in diseased plants versus asymptomatic. We used linear discriminant analysis from a machine learning context to classify the leaves based on the most significant variables (vegetation indices and single bands), with resulting overall accuracies of 85% and 84% respectively in healthy vs. diseased and healthy vs. asymptomatic. To our knowledge, this study represents the first report on the possibility of using hyperspectral data for root rot disease diagnosis on woody plants. Although further validation studies are required, it appears that the spectral reflectance technique, possibly implemented on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), could be a promising tool for a cost-effective, non-destructive method of Armillaria disease early diagnosis and mapping in the field, contributing to a significant step forward in precision viticulture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0110.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: invasion ecology; biotic resistance; exotic plants; heterospecific pollen; reproductive interference; alien plants; indirect plant-plant interactions; Darwin's naturalization hypothesis
Online: 9 February 2020 (16:32:53 CET)
1. Heterospecific pollen interference has recently been proposed as a mechanism contributing to the success of alien invaders, as heterospecific pollen of alien plants interferes with the reproduction of natives by reducing fruit and seed set. However, no study has looked at the opposite interaction. Moreover, few studies have considered the roles of phylogenetic and trait distances between pollen donors and recipients. 2. We did a large multi-species experiment in which we used alien and native species both as pollen recipients and as pollen donors, and included phylogenetic as well as trait distance as explanatory variables. 3. We found that both alien and native recipients suffered from heterospecific pollen from donors of the opposite status in terms of seed and fruit set. Phylogenetic distance and trait distance both affected heterospecific pollen interference, but the effect depended on recipient and donor statuses. 4. We conclude that heterospecific pollen interference affects both native and alien recipients, thus indirectly altering community composition and increasing biotic resistance against invaders.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0186.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Air pollution; coal-fired thermal power plant; oil thermal power plant; geocoded; lung cancer; bladder cancer; North-eastern Italy
Online: 20 June 2017 (08:50:26 CEST)
This study investigated the risk of lung and bladder cancers in people residing in proximity of a coal-oil-fired thermal power plant in an area of north-eastern Italy, covered by a population-based cancer registry. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) by sex, age, and histology were computed according to tertiles of residential exposure to benzene, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particular matter, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) among 1076 incident cases of lung and 650 cases of bladder cancers. In men of all ages and in women under 75 years of age, no significant associations were observed. Conversely, in women aged >75 years significantly increased risks of lung and bladder cancers were related to high exposure to benzene (IRR for highest vs. lowest tertile: 2.00 for lung cancer and 1.94 for bladder cancer) and NO2 (IRR: 1.72 for lung cancer; and 1.94 for bladder cancer). In these women, a 1.71-fold higher risk of lung cancer was also related to a high exposure to SO2. The findings of this descriptive study indicated that air pollution may have a role with regard to the risk of lung and bladder cancers, limited to women aged ≥ 75 years. Such increased risk warrants further analytical investigations.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0108.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; antimicrobial resistance; circular dichroism spectroscopy; efflux protein; efflux pump; foodborne pathogen; hospital-acquired infection; polyamine
Online: 10 January 2022 (12:19:07 CET)
The aim of this work was to test polyamines as potential natural substrates of the Acinetobacter baumannii chlorhexidine efflux protein AceI using near-UV synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy. The Gram-negative bacterium A. Baumannii is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections and an important foodborne pathogen. A. Baumannii strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antimicrobial agents, including the synthetic antiseptic chlorhexidine. AceI was the founding member of the recently recognised PACE family of bacterial multidrug efflux proteins. Using the plasmid construct pTTQ18-aceI(His6) containing the A. Baumannii aceI gene directly upstream from a His6-tag coding sequence, expression of AceI(His6) was amplified in E. coli BL21(DE3) cells. Near-UV (250-340 nm) SRCD measurements were performed on detergent-solubilised and purified AceI(His6) at 20 °C. Sample and SRCD experimental conditions were identified that detected binding of the triamine spermidine to AceI(His6). In a titration with spermidine (0-10 mM) this binding was saturable and fitting of the curve for the change in signal intensity produced an apparent binding affinity (KD) of 3.97 +/- 0.45 mM. These SRCD results were the first experimental evidence obtained for polyamines as natural substrates of PACE proteins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0157.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Cetacean Morbillivirus; Canine Distemper Virus; Rinderpest Virus; viral phylogeny; viral evolution; Host-pathogen interactions; cetaceans; aquatic mammals
Online: 16 January 2019 (08:38:32 CET)
Cetacean Morbillivirus, the most relevant pathogen impacting the health and conservation of cetaceans worldwide, has shown in recent years an increased tendency to cross “interspecies barriers”, thereby giving rise to disease and mortality outbreaks in free-ranging dolphins and whales. The present article deals with the evolutionary “trajectories” of this viral pathogen, likely originating from Rinderpest Virus, along with its “journey” from land to sea (and viceversa), mimicking that of cetaceans' terrestrial ancestors.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0366.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Vibration Detection; Progress; Power Plant; Bibliometrics; Visual Analysis
Online: 23 September 2022 (09:24:21 CEST)
After long years of development, the technology of analyzing the working condition of power units based on vibration signals has had relatively stable applications, but the accuracy and the degree of automation and intelligence for fault diagnosis are still inadequate due to the limitations of the current development of key technologies. With the development of big data and artificial intelligence technology, the involvement of new technologies will be an important boost to the development of this field. To support the subsequent research, bibliometrics is used as a tool to sort out the development of the technology in this field at the macro level; at the micro level, the classical and key literature is studied to grasp the development status at the technical level and prepare for the selection of entry points to continue in-depth innovation afterwards.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0302.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Verticillium wilt; cotton; transmembrane protein; resistance; plant immunity
Online: 17 August 2022 (05:28:04 CEST)
Verticillium wilt (VW) is a soil borne fungal diseases caused by Verticillium dahliae Kleb, and lead to serious damage to cotton production annually in the world. In our previous study, a transmembrane protein 214 protein (TMEM214) gene associated with VW resistance was map-based cloned from Gossypium barbadense (G. barbadense). TMEM214 proteins are a kind of transmembrane protein, but their function in plants is rarely studied. To reveal the function of TMEM214s in VW resistance, all six TMEM214s were cloned from G. barbadense in this study. These genes were named as GbTMEM214-1, GbTMEM214-4 and GbTMEM214-7 according to their location on the chromosomes, and the encoded proteins are all located on cell membrane. TMEM214 genes were all induced by Verticillium dahliae inoculation and showed significant differences between resistant and susceptible varieties, but the expression patterns of GbTMEM214s under different hormone treatments were significantly different. Virus-induced gene silencing analysis showed the resistance to VW of GbTMEM214s-silenced lines decreased significantly, which further proves the important role of GbTMEM214s in the resistance to Verticillium dahliae. Our study provides an insight into the involvement of GbTMEM214s in VW resistance, which was helpful to better understand the disease resistance mechanism of plants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0593.v1
Online: 25 May 2021 (08:56:26 CEST)
Cacao is an understory plant cultivated under full-sun monocultures to multi-strata agroforestry systems, where cocoa trees are planted together with fruit, timber, firewood, and leguminous trees, or grown within thinned native forests. Under agroforestry systems of cultivation, cacao is subjected to excess shade due to high density of shade trees, and overgrown or unmanaged pruning of shade trees. Cacao is tolerant to shade, and the maximum photosynthetic rate occurs around irradiance of 400 μmol m−2 s−1 but excess shade reduces the irradiance further which is detrimental to photosynthesis and growth functions. Intra-specific variation is known to exist in cacao for the required saturation irradiance. A greenhouse study was implemented with 58 cacao genotypes selected from four geographically diverse groups: (i) wild cacao from river basins of the Peruvian Amazon, (PWC), (ii) Peruvian farmers’ collection (PFC), (iii) Brazilian cacao collection (BCC) and (iv) national and international cacao collections (NIC). All the cacao genotypes were subjected to 50% and 80% shade where photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) was 1000 and 400 μmol m-2 ּs-1 respectively. Intra-specific variations were observed for growth, physiological and nutritional traits, and tolerance to shade. Cacao genotypes tolerant to shade were: UNG-77 and UGU-130 from PWC; ICT-2173, ICT-2142, ICT-2172, ICT-1506, ICT-1087, and ICT-2171 from the PFC; PH-21, CA-14, PH-990 and PH-144 from BCC; and ICS-1, ICS-39, UF-613 and POUND-12 from NIC. Genotypes that tolerate excess shade might be useful plant types to maintain productivity and sustainability in agroforestry systems of cacao management.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0461.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Germplasm; Genetic plant resources; Preservation; Propagation; in vitro
Online: 19 April 2021 (11:28:31 CEST)
Germplasm is a valuable natural resource in plant diversity that is crucial for its potential use. It provides knowledge about a species genetic composition. Germplasm protection strategies are not just planting hope threatened with extinction, they preserve medicinal and other essential plants on which survival rests. The successful use of genetic plant resources necessitates diligent collection, storage, analysis, documentation, and germplasm exchange. Slow growth cultures, cryopreservation, pollen and DNA banks, botanic gardens, genetic reserves and farmer’s fields are few conservation techniques. However, usage of an in vitro procedure with any chance of genetic instability leads to the destruction of the entire substance. Improved understanding of basic regeneration biology would, in turn, undoubtedly increase the capacity to regenerate plants from in vitro harvested explants, thus expanding selection possibilities. Germplasm conservation seeks to conserve endangered and vulnerable plant species worldwide for future proliferation and development; it is also the bedrock of agricultural production.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0336.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: plant fructans; fructosyltransferase; metabolism; evolution aspects; functional foods
Online: 13 April 2021 (10:11:41 CEST)
Fructan, a fructose polymer, is used as carbohydrate reserve in many plants. The nutritional and therapeutic benefits of fructans have attracted increasing interest by consumers and food industry. In the course of evolution, many plants have developed the ability of regulating plant frunctan metabolism genes to produce different structures and chain length fructans, which are strongly correlated with their survival in harsh environments. De nevo domestication of fructan-rich plants based on genome editing is a viable and promising approach to improve human dietary quality and reduce the risk of chronic disease. These advances will greatly facilitate breeding and production of tailor-made fructans as a healthy food ingredient from wild plants such as polygonati rhizoma. The purpose of this review is to broaden our knowledge on plant fructan biosynthesis, evolution and beneficial applications for human health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0030.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: micro minerals, selenium, deficiency, soil-plant relationship, Kosovo
Online: 1 April 2021 (16:17:35 CEST)
Minerals play many important functions in plant and animal metabolism. Therefore, we investigated the concentration of Se and other minerals and their relationships in soils and fodder plants in Kosovo. Seventy-three samples of each soil and fodder plants (grass, maize, and wheat) from 30 farms were collected. Both soil and plant samples, after processing and digestion, were analyzed for mineral concentration by ICP-MS. Mineral concentrations in soil and fodder crops, and the best predicting/explanatory models for micro minerals concentration, achieved by stepwise linear regression, are presented. Results showed very low concentration of Se in most of the soil and all fodder samples. In addition, the concentration of Co, Zn and Fe was not sufficient to satisfy requirements for all categories of farm animals. Plant Se concentration showed a positive relationship with Se concentration in soils. Plant Zn, Mo, Mn, Fe and Pb, in general, showed no significant relationship with their concentration in soil, while plant Co and Cd showed positive relationship only in maize, and Cu in wheat grain. Among the soil properties, pH had the highest effect on the concentrations of Co, Mo, Mn, Cd and Pb in fodder crops.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0325.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: meat substitute; meathybrid; consumer preference, plant-based proteins
Online: 14 December 2020 (11:44:14 CET)
High levels of meat consumption are increasingly being criticised for ethical, environmental, and social reasons. Plant-based meat substitutes have been identified as healthy sources of protein in comparison to meat. This alternative offers several social, environmental and health benefits and may play a role in reducing meat consumption. However, there has been a lack of research on how specific meat substitute attributes can influence consumers to replace or partially replace meat in their diets. Research demonstrates that in many countries consumers are highly attached to meat. They consider it as an essential and integral element of their daily diet. For these consumers which are not interested in vegan or vegetarian alternatives to meat, so-called meathybrids could be a low-threshold option for a more sustainable food consumption behaviour. In meathybrids only a fraction of the meat product (e.g. 20% to 50%) is replaced with plant-based proteins. In this paper, the results of an online survey with 501 Belgium consumers are presented with focus on preferences and attitudes relating to meathyrids. The results show that more than fifty percent of consumers substitute meat at least occasionally. Thus, about half of the respondents reveal an eligible consumption behaviour in respect to sustainability and healthiness to a certain degree. Concerning the determinants of choosing either meathybrid or meat it becomes evident that a strong effect is exerted by the health perception. The healthier meathybrids are perceived, the higher is the choice probability. Thus, this egoistic motive seems to outperform altruistic motives like animal welfare or environmental concerns when it comes to choice for this new product category.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0241.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: meat substitute; meathybrid; consumer preference, plant-based proteins
Online: 10 December 2020 (09:22:00 CET)
High levels of meat consumption are increasingly being criticised for ethical, environmental, and social reasons. Plant-based meat substitutes have been identified as healthy sources of protein that, in comparison to meat, offer a number of social, environmental and health benefits and may play a role in reducing meat consumption. However, there has been a lack of research on the role they can play in the policy agenda and how specific meat substitute attributes can influence consumers to replace partially replace meat in their diets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0677.v1
Online: 26 November 2020 (23:08:59 CET)
High levels ofmeat consumption are increasingly being criticised for ethical, environmental, 2 and social reasons. Plant-based meat substitutes have been identified as healthy sources of protein in 3 comparison to meat. This alternative offers several social, environmental and health benefits and may 4 play a role in reducing meat consumption. However, there has been a lack of research on how specific 5 meat substitute attributes can influence consumers to replace or partially replace meat in their diets. 6 Research demonstrates that in many countries consumers are highly attached to meat.They consider 7 it as an essential and integral element of their daily diet. For these consumers which are not interested 8 in vegan or vegetarian alternatives to meat, so-called meathybrids could be a low-threshold option 9 for a more sustainable food consumption behaviour. In meathybrids only a fraction of the meat 10 product (e.g. 20% to 50%) is replaced with plant-based proteins. In this paper, the results of an online 11 survey with 500 German consumers are presented with focus on preferences and attitudes relating 12 to meathyrids. The results show that more than fifty percent of consumers substitute meat at least 13 occasionally. Thus, about half of the respondents reveal an eligible consumption behaviour in respect 14 to sustainability and healthiness to a certain degree. Concerning the determinants of choosing either 15 meathybrid or meat it becomes evident that the highest effect is exerted by the health perception. The 16 healthier meathybrids are perceived, the higher is the choice probability. Thus, this egoistic motive 17 seems to outperform altruistic motives like animal welfare or environmental concerns when it comes 18 to choice for this new product category.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0460.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: plant breeding; genomic selection; Bayes; BLUP; machine learning
Online: 18 November 2020 (11:21:50 CET)
Estimation of breeding values through Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) using pedigree-based kinship and Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) are the two fundamental breeding methods used before and after the introduction of genetic markers, respectively. The emergence of high-density genome-wide markers has led to the development of two parallel series of approaches inspired by BLUP and MAS, which are collectively referred to as Genomic Selection (GS). The first series of GS methods alters pedigree-based BLUP by replacing pedigree-based kinship with marker-based kinship in a variety of ways, including weighting markers by their effects in genome-wide association study (GWAS), joining both pedigree and marker-based kinship together in a single-step BLUP, and substituting individuals with groups in a compressed BLUP. The second series of GS methods estimates the effects for all genetic markers simultaneously. For the second series methods, the marker effects are summed together regardless of their individual significance. Instead of fitting individuals as random effects like in the BLUP series, the second series fits markers as random effects. Differing assumptions regarding the underlying distribution of these marker effects have resulted in the development of many Bayesian-based GS methods. This review highlights critical concept developments for both of these series and explores ongoing GS developments in machine learning, multiple trait selection, and adaptation for hybrid breeding. Furthermore, considering the increasing use and variety of GS methods in plant breeding programs, this review addresses important concerns for future GS development and application, such as the use of GWAS-assisted GS, the long-term effectiveness of GS methods, and the valid assessment of prediction accuracy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0068.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Microbiome; Plant Immunity; Priming; Transgenerational Immune Priming (TGIP)
Online: 5 July 2020 (11:35:04 CEST)
One of the biggest demanding situations for food security in the 21st century is to enhance crop yield stability through the improvement of diseases-resistant crops. Managing plant health is a major challenge for modern food production and compounded by the lack of common ground among the many disease control disciplines involved. All plants simultaneously engage with billions of microbes which can be collectively referred to as the plant microbiome. Most microbes inside the plant microbiome are harmless or even beneficial to the plant as they promote plant growth or provide protection in opposition to diseases. However, some of these microbes also cause disease with devastating effects on crop yields. To prevent pathogen infection, plants have evolved an advanced innate immune system that recognizes conserved cell surface molecules that most pathogen possesses. Activation of the plant immune system stops the invading pathogen, however this comes with fitness cost that significantly reduces plant growth and leads to yield penalty. Apart from their innate immune system controlling pre-programmed defense reactions, plants can also increase the responsiveness of their immune system in response to selected environmental signals. This phenomenon is known as “defense priming”. Although defense priming rarely provides full protection, its broad-spectrum effectiveness, low-fitness cost, long‐lasting durability and inherited to future generations make it attractive for sustainable crop protection.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0306.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: ideal plant architecture; food-nutritional security; climate change
Online: 24 June 2020 (18:12:06 CEST)
Crop domestication and breeding considerably increased productivity over centuries, but simultaneously involved unconscious selection against ‘selfish plant behavior’. Paradoxically, modern-day crop breeding largely enhances individual plant-fitness. As agriculture relies on community performance, embracing an “Agroecological Genetics and Genomics” viewpoint might maximize communal yield by matching crop genotypes to target environments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0226.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-2019; Mpro; 6LU7; medicinal plant compounds; docking
Online: 13 March 2020 (03:19:02 CET)
COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus (CoV), was identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019. No specific therapies are available and investigations regarding COVID-19 treatment are lacking. Liu et al. (2020) successfully crystallised the COVID-19 main protease (Mpro), which is a potential drug target. The present study aimed to assess bioactive compounds found in medicinal plants as potential COVID-19 Mpro inhibitors, using a molecular docking study. Molecular docking was performed using Autodock 4.2, with the Lamarckian Genetic Algorithm, to analyse the probability of docking. COVID-19 Mpro was docked with several compounds, and docking was analysed by Autodock 4.2, Pymol version 22.214.171.124 Edu, and Biovia Discovery Studio 4.5. Nelfinavir and lopinavir were used as standards for comparison. The binding energies obtained from the docking of 6LU7 with native ligand, nelfinavir, lopinavir, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, epicatechin-gallate, zingerol, gingerol, and allicin were -8.37, -10.72, -9.41, -8.58, -8.47, -8.17, -7.99, -7.89, -7.83, -7.31, -7.05, -7.24, -6.67, -5.40, -5.38, and -4.03 kcal/mol, respectively. Therefore, nelfinavir and lopinavir may represent potential treatment options, and kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, and epicatechin-gallate appeared to have the best potential to act as COVID-19 Mpro inhibitors. However, further research is necessary to investigate their potential medicinal use.
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: host plant resistance; pest management; Planococcus ficus; vineyard
Online: 11 September 2019 (02:41:28 CEST)
Mealybugs cause economic loss to vineyards through physical damage, fouling fruit and leaves with honeydew, and the transmission of viruses. Planococcus ficus is one of several mealybug species in vineyards, and one that causes economic damage over a relatively large global range. To develop novel management tools, host resistance to P. ficus, which has not previously been identified for any grape cultivars, was studied. Ten grape lines (species, cultivars, and rootstocks) were evaluated for P. ficus resistance across two separate potted plant assays. Significant differences were detected among cultivars and rootstocks in the recorded number of P. ficus juveniles, adults and egg sacs. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were two of the most susceptible grape cultivars for mealybug population growth, whereas rootstocks IAC 572, 10-17A and RS-3 all demonstrated some level of resistance. Southern fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) was positively associated with mealybug populations, but did not have a negative effect on the observed presence of other arthropod species including potential predators.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0099.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: virtual power plant; distributed energy sources; smart grid
Online: 8 July 2019 (04:00:00 CEST)
This article presents an in-depth review of Virtual Power Plant (VPP), its organization in the energy system and its prospects in the face of the promising future of the increasing bidirectional complexity exposed in the current scenario. A new paradigm for the operations of modern power distribution and transmission systems requires greater grid flexibility that is accompanying an extensive change in the structure of electricity markets, the fruit of the development of the renewable industry and of the growing photovoltaic systems popularized, but in contrast due to the intermittent nature cause variable uncertainties in the power system. Innovative concepts like VPP are becoming a reality, establishing an efficient and effective mechanism. The objectives and components are described in a comprehensive way, and some of the most important are pointed out and presented in detail to contribute with a description of the energy systems and the implicit research needed for sustainability and resilience in the eminent energy scenario with this technology. In addition, the literature and studies of this technology already indicate a direction of this new tool as a promising solution to manage the uncertainties of the renewable energies.