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Biology, Volume 10, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 124 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, we tried to obtain an in-depth understanding of ethnomedicinal, cultural, and ritual perspectives on plant diversity in the Ladakh region. The Balti and Brokpa ethnic groups showed greater similarity, whereas the least overlap in plant use was observed between Beda and Brokpa. Plants common to all cultures were mostly used for medicinal applications, while some were also used for religious purposes in the two major religions (Islam and Buddhism). Plants were collected based on their availability in distinct phenophases according to the Tibetan traditional calendar. We found that plants provide tangible economic benefits to indigenous communities, in addition to aiding in the treatment of various ailments. Sustainable use and management of wild resources can help to improve livelihoods and food security and alleviate poverty. View this paper.
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Article
Response to Climate Change: Evaluation of Methane Emissions in Northern Australian Beef Cattle on a High Quality Diet Supplemented with Desmanthus Using Open-Circuit Respiration Chambers and GreenFeed Emission Monitoring Systems
Biology 2021, 10(9), 943; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090943 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of supplementing beef cattle with Desmanthus virgatus cv. JCU2, D. bicornutus cv. JCU4, D. leptophyllus cv. JCU7 and lucerne on in vivo methane (CH4) emissions measured by open-circuit respiration chambers [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of supplementing beef cattle with Desmanthus virgatus cv. JCU2, D. bicornutus cv. JCU4, D. leptophyllus cv. JCU7 and lucerne on in vivo methane (CH4) emissions measured by open-circuit respiration chambers (OC) or the GreenFeed emission monitoring (GEM) system. Experiment 1 employed OC and utilized sixteen yearling Brangus steers fed a basal diet of Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay in four treatments—the three Desmanthus cultivars and lucerne (Medicago sativa) at 30% dry matter intake (DMI). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was added to the diets to neutralize tannin binding and explore the effect on CH4 emissions. Experiment 2 employed GEM and utilized forty-eight animals allocated to four treatments including a basal diet of Rhodes grass hay plus the three Desmanthus cultivars in equal proportions at 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% DMI. Lucerne was added to equilibrate crude protein content in all treatments. Experiment 1 showed no difference in CH4 emissions between the Desmanthus cultivars, between Desmanthus and lucerne or between Desmanthus and the basal diet. Experiment 2 showed an increase in CH4 emissions in the three levels containing Desmanthus. It is concluded that on high-quality diets, Desmanthus does not reduce CH4 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Response to Climate Change)
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Article
Analysis of the Microbial Intestinal Tract in Broiler Chickens during the Rearing Period
Biology 2021, 10(9), 942; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090942 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Gut microbiota contributes to animal health. However, identifying which microorganisms or associated functions are involved remains, still, difficult to assess. In the present study, the microbiota of healthy broiler chickens, under controlled diet and farm conditions, was investigated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing [...] Read more.
Gut microbiota contributes to animal health. However, identifying which microorganisms or associated functions are involved remains, still, difficult to assess. In the present study, the microbiota of healthy broiler chickens, under controlled diet and farm conditions, was investigated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing in four intestine segments and at four ages. In detail, 210 Ross-308 male chickens were raised according to the EU guidelines and fed on a commercial diet. The duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and caecum microbiota were analyzed at 11, 24, 35, and 46 days of life. Although the microbial composition was revealed as homogeneous 11 days after chicks hatched, it was found to be similar in the proximal intestine segments and different in ileum and caecum, where almost the same genera and species were detected with different relative abundances. Although changes during the later growth stage were revealed, each genus remained relatively unchanged. Lactobacillus mostly colonized the upper tract of the intestine, whereas the Escherichia/Shigella genus the ileum. Clostridium and Bacteroides genera were predominant in the caecum, where the highest richness of bacterial taxa was observed. We also analyze and discuss the predicted role of the microbiota for each intestine segment and its potential involvement in nutrient digestion and absorption. Full article
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Article
Modeling Dengue Immune Responses Mediated by Antibodies: A Qualitative Study
Biology 2021, 10(9), 941; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090941 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Dengue fever is a viral mosquito-borne infection and a major international public health concern. With 2.5 billion people at risk of acquiring the infection around the world, disease severity is influenced by the immunological status of the individual, seronegative or seropositive, prior to [...] Read more.
Dengue fever is a viral mosquito-borne infection and a major international public health concern. With 2.5 billion people at risk of acquiring the infection around the world, disease severity is influenced by the immunological status of the individual, seronegative or seropositive, prior to natural infection. Caused by four antigenically related but distinct serotypes, DENV-1 to DENV-4, infection by one serotype confers life-long immunity to that serotype and a period of temporary cross-immunity (TCI) to other serotypes. The clinical response on exposure to a second serotype is complex with the so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) process, a disease augmentation phenomenon when pre-existing antibodies to previous dengue infection do not neutralize but rather enhance the new infection, used to explain the etiology of severe disease. In this paper, we present a minimalistic mathematical model framework developed to describe qualitatively the dengue immunological response mediated by antibodies. Three models are analyzed and compared: (i) primary dengue infection, (ii) secondary dengue infection with the same (homologous) dengue virus and (iii) secondary dengue infection with a different (heterologous) dengue virus. We explore the features of viral replication, antibody production and infection clearance over time. The model is developed based on body cells and free virus interactions resulting in infected cells activating antibody production. Our mathematical results are qualitatively similar to the ones described in the empiric immunology literature, providing insights into the immunopathogenesis of severe disease. Results presented here are of use for future research directions to evaluate the impact of dengue vaccines. Full article
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Article
Diversity and Evolution of pogo and Tc1/mariner Transposons in the Apoidea Genomes
Biology 2021, 10(9), 940; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090940 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Bees (Apoidea), the largest and most crucial radiation of pollinators, play a vital role in the ecosystem balance. Transposons are widely distributed in nature and are important drivers of species diversity. However, transposons are rarely reported in important pollinators such as bees. Here, [...] Read more.
Bees (Apoidea), the largest and most crucial radiation of pollinators, play a vital role in the ecosystem balance. Transposons are widely distributed in nature and are important drivers of species diversity. However, transposons are rarely reported in important pollinators such as bees. Here, we surveyed 37 bee genomesin Apoidea, annotated the pogo and Tc1/mariner transposons in the genome of each species, and performed a phylogenetic analysis and determined their overall distribution. The pogo and Tc1/mariner families showed high diversity and low abundance in the 37 species, and their proportion was significantly higher in solitary bees than in social bees. DD34D/mariner was found to be distributed in almost all species and was found in Apis mellifera, Apis mellifera carnica, Apis mellifera caucasia, and Apis mellifera mellifera, and Euglossa dilemma may still be active. Using horizontal transfer analysis, we found that DD29-30D/Tigger may have experienced horizontal transfer (HT) events. The current study displayed the evolution profiles (including diversity, activity, and abundance) of the pogo and Tc1/mariner transposons across 37 species of Apoidea. Our data revealed their contributions to the genomic variations across these species and facilitated in understanding of the genome evolution of this lineage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics)
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Article
HuD Regulates mRNA-circRNA-miRNA Networks in the Mouse Striatum Linked to Neuronal Development and Drug Addiction
Biology 2021, 10(9), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090939 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
The RNA-binding protein HuD (a.k.a., ELAVL4) is involved in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity mechanisms, including addiction-related processes such as cocaine conditioned-place preference (CPP) and food reward. The most studied function of this protein is mRNA stabilization; however, we have recently shown that [...] Read more.
The RNA-binding protein HuD (a.k.a., ELAVL4) is involved in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity mechanisms, including addiction-related processes such as cocaine conditioned-place preference (CPP) and food reward. The most studied function of this protein is mRNA stabilization; however, we have recently shown that HuD also regulates the levels of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in neurons. To examine the role of HuD in the control of coding and non-coding RNA networks associated with substance use, we identified sets of differentially expressed mRNAs, circRNAs and miRNAs in the striatum of HuD knockout (KO) mice. Our findings indicate that significantly downregulated mRNAs are enriched in biological pathways related to cell morphology and behavior. Furthermore, deletion of HuD altered the levels of 15 miRNAs associated with drug seeking. Using these sets of data, we predicted that a large number of upregulated miRNAs form competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks with circRNAs and mRNAs associated with the neuronal development and synaptic plasticity proteins LSAMP and MARK3. Additionally, several downregulated miRNAs form ceRNA networks with mRNAs and circRNAs from MEF2D, PIK3R3, PTRPM and other neuronal proteins. Together, our results indicate that HuD regulates ceRNA networks controlling the levels of mRNAs associated with neuronal differentiation and synaptic physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA-Binding Proteins: Function, Dysfunction and Disease)
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Article
Idebenone Decreases Aβ Pathology by Modulating RAGE/Caspase-3 Signaling and the Aβ Degradation Enzyme NEP in a Mouse Model of AD
Biology 2021, 10(9), 938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090938 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 591
Abstract
The coenzyme Q10 analogue idebenone is an FDA-approved antioxidant that can cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The effects of idebenone on the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been comprehensively investigated. Here, we examined the impact of [...] Read more.
The coenzyme Q10 analogue idebenone is an FDA-approved antioxidant that can cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The effects of idebenone on the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been comprehensively investigated. Here, we examined the impact of idebenone treatment on AD pathology in 5xFAD mice, a model of AD. Idebenone significantly downregulated Aβ plaque number via multi-directional pathways in this model. Specifically, idebenone reduced the RAGE/caspase-3 signaling pathway and increased levels of the Aβ degradation enzyme NEP and α-secretase ADAM17 in 5xFAD mice. Importantly, idebenone significantly suppressed tau kinase p-GSK3βY216 levels, thereby inhibiting tau hyperphosphorylation at Thr231 and total tau levels in 5xFAD mice. Taken together, the present study indicates that idebenone modulates amyloidopathy and tauopathy in 5xFAD mice, suggesting therapeutic potential for AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Folding, Aggregation, and Cell Death)
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Perspective
Sex and Regeneration
Biology 2021, 10(9), 937; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090937 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Regeneration is usually regarded as a unique plant or some animal species process. In reality, regeneration is a ubiquitous process in all multicellular organisms. It ranges from response to wounding by healing the wounded tissue to whole body neoforming (remaking of the new [...] Read more.
Regeneration is usually regarded as a unique plant or some animal species process. In reality, regeneration is a ubiquitous process in all multicellular organisms. It ranges from response to wounding by healing the wounded tissue to whole body neoforming (remaking of the new body). In a larger context, regeneration is one facet of two reproduction schemes that dominate the evolution of life. Multicellular organisms can propagate their genes asexually or sexually. Here I present the view that the ability to regenerate tissue or whole-body regeneration is also determined by the sexual state of the multicellular organisms (from simple animals such as hydra and planaria to plants and complex animals). The above idea is manifested here by showing evidence that many organisms, organs, or tissues show inhibited or diminished regeneration capacity when in reproductive status compared to organs or tissues in nonreproductive conditions or by exposure to sex hormones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
Article
Identification and Characterization of a Rhodopsin Kinase Gene in the Suckers of Octopus vulgaris: Looking around Using Arms?
Biology 2021, 10(9), 936; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090936 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 959
Abstract
In their foraging behavior octopuses rely on arm search movements outside the visual field of the eyes. In these movements the environment is explored primarily by the suckers that line the entire length of the octopus arm. In this study, for the first [...] Read more.
In their foraging behavior octopuses rely on arm search movements outside the visual field of the eyes. In these movements the environment is explored primarily by the suckers that line the entire length of the octopus arm. In this study, for the first time, we report the complete characterization of a light-sensing molecule, Ov-GRK1, in the suckers, skin and retina of Octopus vulgaris. We sequenced the O. vulgaris GRK1 gene, defining a phylogenetic tree and performing a 3D structure model prediction. Furthermore, we found differences in relative mRNA expression in different sucker types at several arm levels, and localized it through in situ hybridization. Our findings suggest that the suckers in octopus arms are much more multimodal than was previously shown, adding the potential for light sensing to the already known mechanical and chemical sensing abilities. Full article
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Article
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Revealed Genes Involved in Sexual and Polyploid Growth Dimorphisms in Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)
Biology 2021, 10(9), 935; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090935 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Sexual and polyploidy size dimorphisms are widespread phenomena in fish, but the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) displays both sexual and polyploid growth dimorphism phenomena, and are therefore ideal models to study these two phenomena. In this study, RNA-seq [...] Read more.
Sexual and polyploidy size dimorphisms are widespread phenomena in fish, but the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) displays both sexual and polyploid growth dimorphism phenomena, and are therefore ideal models to study these two phenomena. In this study, RNA-seq was used for the first time to explore the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between both sexes of diploid and tetraploid loaches in four tissues (brain, gonad, liver, and muscle). Results showed that 21,003, 17, and 1 DEGs were identified in gonad, liver, and muscle tissues, respectively, between females and males in both diploids and tetraploids. Regarding the ploidy levels, 4956, 1496, 2187, and 1726 DEGs were identified in the brain, gonad, liver, and muscle tissues, respectively, between tetraploids and diploids of the same sex. When both sexual and polyploid size dimorphisms were considered simultaneously in the four tissues, only 424 DEGs were found in the gonads, indicating that these gonadal DEGs may play an important regulatory role in regulating sexual and polyploid size dimorphisms. Regardless of the sex or ploidy comparison, the significant DEGs involved in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and oxidative phosphorylation pathways were upregulated in faster-growing individuals, while steroid hormone biosynthesis-related genes and fatty acid degradation and elongation-related genes were downregulated. This suggests that fast-growing loaches (tetraploids, females) have higher energy metabolism levels and lower steroid hormone synthesis and fatty acid degradation abilities than slow-growing loaches (diploids, males). Our findings provide an archive for future systematic research on fish sexual and polyploid dimorphisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptome and Genome Analyses Applied to Aquaculture Research)
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Article
Pilot Study of Anti-Th2 Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Breast Cancer-Related Upper Extremity Lymphedema
Biology 2021, 10(9), 934; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090934 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that Th2 cells play a key role in the pathology of secondary lymphedema by elaborating cytokines such as IL4 and IL13. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of QBX258, a monoclonal IL4/IL13 neutralizing antibody, in women [...] Read more.
Recent studies suggest that Th2 cells play a key role in the pathology of secondary lymphedema by elaborating cytokines such as IL4 and IL13. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of QBX258, a monoclonal IL4/IL13 neutralizing antibody, in women with breast cancer–related lymphedema (BCRL). We enrolled nine women with unilateral stage I/II BCRL and treated them once monthly with intravenous infusions of QBX258 for 4 months. We measured limb volumes, bioimpedance, and skin tonometry, and analyzed the quality of life (QOL) using a validated lymphedema questionnaire (Upper Limb Lymphedema 27, ULL-27) before treatment, immediately after treatment, and 4 months following treatment withdrawal. We also obtained 5 mm skin biopsies from the normal and lymphedematous limbs before and after treatment. Treatment was well-tolerated; however, one patient with a history of cellulitis developed cellulitis during the trial and was excluded from further analysis. We found no differences in limb volumes or bioimpedance measurements after drug treatment. However, QBX258 treatment improved skin stiffness (p < 0.001) and improved QOL measurements (Physical p < 0.05, Social p = 0.01). These improvements returned to baseline after treatment withdrawal. Histologically, treatment decreased epidermal thickness, the number of proliferating keratinocytes, type III collagen deposition, infiltration of mast cells, and the expression of Th2-inducing cytokines in the lymphedematous skin. Our limited study suggests that immunotherapy against Th2 cytokines may improve skin changes and QOL of women with BCRL. This treatment appears to be less effective for decreasing limb volumes; however, additional studies are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Biology)
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Article
Influence of Season, Population and Individual Characteristics on the Prevalence of Leptospira spp. in Bank Voles in North-West Germany
Biology 2021, 10(9), 933; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090933 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease with more than 1 million human cases annually. Infections are associated with direct contact to infected animals or indirect contact to contaminated water or soil. As not much is known about the prevalence and host specificity of [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease with more than 1 million human cases annually. Infections are associated with direct contact to infected animals or indirect contact to contaminated water or soil. As not much is known about the prevalence and host specificity of Leptospira spp. in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), our study aimed to evaluate Leptospira spp. prevalence and genomospecies distribution as well as the influence of season, host abundance and individual characteristics on the Leptospira prevalence. Bank voles, which are abundant and widely distributed in forest habitats, were collected in the years 2018 to 2020 in North-West Germany, covering parts of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The DNA of 1817 kidney samples was analyzed by real-time PCR targeting the lipl32 gene. Positive samples were further analyzed by targeting the secY gene to determine Leptospira genomospecies and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to determine the sequence type (ST). The overall prevalence was 7.5% (95% confidence interval: 6.4–8.9). Leptospira interrogans (83.3%), L. kirschneri (11.5%) and L. borgpetersenii (5.2%) were detected in bank voles. Increasing body weight as a proxy for age increased the individual infection probability. Only in years with high bank vole abundance was this probability significantly higher in males than in females. Even if case numbers of human leptospirosis in Germany are low, our study shows that pathogenic Leptospira spp. are present and thus a persisting potential source for human infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biology of Leptospira, Borrelia and Other Spirochetes)
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Article
Artificial Intelligence Meets Marine Ecotoxicology: Applying Deep Learning to Bio-Optical Data from Marine Diatoms Exposed to Legacy and Emerging Contaminants
Biology 2021, 10(9), 932; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090932 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Over recent decades, the world has experienced the adverse consequences of uncontrolled development of multiple human activities. In recent years, the total production of chemicals has been composed of environmentally harmful compounds, the majority of which have significant environmental impacts. These emerging contaminants [...] Read more.
Over recent decades, the world has experienced the adverse consequences of uncontrolled development of multiple human activities. In recent years, the total production of chemicals has been composed of environmentally harmful compounds, the majority of which have significant environmental impacts. These emerging contaminants (ECs) include a wide range of man-made chemicals (such as pesticides, cosmetics, personal and household care products, pharmaceuticals), which are of worldwide use. Among these, several ECs raised concerns regarding their ecotoxicological effects and how to assess them efficiently. This is of particular interest if marine diatoms are considered as potential target species, due to their widespread distribution, being the most abundant phytoplankton group in the oceans, and also being responsible for key ecological roles. Bio-optical ecotoxicity methods appear as reliable, fast, and high-throughput screening (HTS) techniques, providing large datasets with biological relevance on the mode of action of these ECs in phototrophic organisms, such as diatoms. However, from the large datasets produced, only a small amount of data are normally extracted for physiological evaluation, leaving out a large amount of information on the ECs exposure. In the present paper, we use all the available information and evaluate the application of several machine learning and deep learning algorithms to predict the exposure of model organisms to different ECs under different doses, using a model marine diatom (Phaeodactylum tricornutum) as a test organism. The results show that 2D convolutional neural networks are the best method to predict the type of EC to which the cultures were exposed, achieving a median accuracy of 97.65%, while Rocket is the best at predicting which concentration the cultures were subjected to, achieving a median accuracy of 100%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Stress Ecology—From the Gene to Population)
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Article
Human Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells Response to Titanium Implant Surface: Extracellular Matrix Deposition
Biology 2021, 10(9), 931; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090931 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
The major challenge for dentistry is to provide the patient an oral rehabilitation to maintain healthy bone conditions in order to reduce the time for loading protocols. Advancement in implant surface design is necessary to favour and promote the osseointegration process. The surface [...] Read more.
The major challenge for dentistry is to provide the patient an oral rehabilitation to maintain healthy bone conditions in order to reduce the time for loading protocols. Advancement in implant surface design is necessary to favour and promote the osseointegration process. The surface features of titanium dental implant can promote a relevant influence on the morphology and differentiation ability of mesenchymal stem cells, induction of the osteoblastic genes expression and the release of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The present study aimed at evaluating the in vitro effects of two different dental implants with titanium surfaces, TEST and CTRL, to culture the human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs). Expression of ECM components such as Vimentin, Fibronectin, N-cadherin, Laminin, Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and Integrin beta-1 (ITGB1), and the osteogenic related markers, as runt related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), were investigated. Human PDLSCs cultured on the TEST implant surface demonstrated a better cell adhesion capability as observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and immunofluorescence analysis. Moreover, immunofluorescence and Western blot experiments showed an over expression of Fibronectin, Laminin, N-cadherin and RUNX2 in hPDLSCs seeded on TEST implant surface. The gene expression study by RT-PCR validated the results obtained in protein assays and exhibited the expression of RUNX2, ALP, Vimentin (VIM), Fibronectin (FN1), N-cadherin (CDH2), Laminin (LAMB1), FAK and ITGB1 in hPDLSCs seeded on TEST surface compared to the CTRL dental implant surface. Understanding the mechanisms of ECM components release and its regulation are essential for developing novel strategies in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Our results demonstrated that the impact of treated surfaces of titanium dental implants might increase and accelerate the ECM apposition and provide the starting point to initiate the osseointegration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Precision Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health)
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Article
Alterations in Mycelial Morphology and Flow Cytometry Assessment of Membrane Integrity of Ganoderma boninense Stressed by Phenolic Compounds
Biology 2021, 10(9), 930; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090930 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Global increase in demand for palm oil has caused an intensification in oil palm plantation; however, production is greatly hindered by Basal Stem Rot (BSR) disease caused by Ganoderma boninense. There are many approaches to controlling BSR, although, there is no accurate, [...] Read more.
Global increase in demand for palm oil has caused an intensification in oil palm plantation; however, production is greatly hindered by Basal Stem Rot (BSR) disease caused by Ganoderma boninense. There are many approaches to controlling BSR, although, there is no accurate, sustainable and effective method to suppress G. boninense completely. Hence, four phenolic compounds [Gallic acid (GA), Thymol (THY), Propolis (PRO) and Carvacrol (CARV)] were selected to evaluate their antifungal effect, ability to alter the mycelium morphology, and fungal cell integrity against G. boninense. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed and 94% of inhibition was exerted by GA on G. boninense growth. Scanning Electron Microscopy and High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy observations revealed that GA and THY treatment caused severe damage to the mycelium and recorded the highest amount of sugar and electrolyte leakage. The study of cell integrity and morphological disruption has elucidated the reduction of G. boninense cell viability. Generally, our findings confirm the fungistatic effects of GA and THY. The evolution of phenolic compounds during the phytopathology studies indicated their coherence in eradicating the G. boninense. It is proposed that GA and THY had the potential to be developed further as a natural antifungal treatment to suppress G. boninense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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Article
The Ultrastructural Analysis of Human Colorectal Cancer Stem Cell-Derived Spheroids and Their Mouse Xenograft Shows That the Same Cells Types Have Different Ratios
Biology 2021, 10(9), 929; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090929 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Spheroids from primary colorectal cancer cells and their mice xenografts have emerged as useful preclinical models for cancer research as they replicate tumor features more faithfully as compared to cell lines. While 3D models provide a reliable system for drug discovery and testing, [...] Read more.
Spheroids from primary colorectal cancer cells and their mice xenografts have emerged as useful preclinical models for cancer research as they replicate tumor features more faithfully as compared to cell lines. While 3D models provide a reliable system for drug discovery and testing, their structural complexity represents a challenge and their structure-function relationships are only partly understood. Here, we present a comparative ultrastructural and flow citometric analysis of patient colorectal cancer-derived spheroids and their mice xenografts. Ultrastructural observations highlighted that multicellular spheroids and their xenografts contain the same cancer cell types but with different ratios, specifically multicellular spheroids were enriched in cells with a stem-like phenotype, while xenografts had an increased amount of lipid droplets-containing cells. The flow cytometric analysis for stem cell marker and activity showed enrichment of stem-like cells presence and activity in spheroids while xenografts had the inverse response. Our results evidence the effects on cancer cells of different in vitro and in vivo microenvironments. Those differences have to be paid into account in designing innovative experimental models for personalized drug testing. Full article
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Review
Peripheral Immune Dysfunction: A Problem of Central Importance after Spinal Cord Injury
Biology 2021, 10(9), 928; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090928 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) exhibit increased susceptibility to infection, with pneumonia consistently ranking as a leading cause of death. Despite this statistic, chronic inflammation and concurrent immune suppression have only recently begun to be explored mechanistically. Investigators have now identified numerous [...] Read more.
Individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) exhibit increased susceptibility to infection, with pneumonia consistently ranking as a leading cause of death. Despite this statistic, chronic inflammation and concurrent immune suppression have only recently begun to be explored mechanistically. Investigators have now identified numerous changes that occur in the peripheral immune system post-SCI, including splenic atrophy, reduced circulating lymphocytes, and impaired lymphocyte function. These effects stem from maladaptive changes in the spinal cord after injury, including plasticity within the spinal sympathetic reflex circuit that results in exaggerated sympathetic output in response to peripheral stimulation below injury level. Such pathological activity is particularly evident after a severe high-level injury above thoracic spinal cord segment 6, greatly increasing the risk of the development of sympathetic hyperreflexia and subsequent disrupted regulation of lymphoid organs. Encouragingly, studies have presented evidence for promising therapies, such as modulation of neuroimmune activity, to improve regulation of peripheral immune function. In this review, we summarize recent publications examining (1) how various immune functions and populations are affected, (2) mechanisms behind SCI-induced immune dysfunction, and (3) potential interventions to improve SCI individuals’ immunological function to strengthen resistance to potentially deadly infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI))
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Review
Mitochondrial Heterogeneity in Metabolic Diseases
Biology 2021, 10(9), 927; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090927 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Mitochondria have distinct architectural features and biochemical functions consistent with cell-specific bioenergetic needs. However, as imaging and isolation techniques advance, heterogeneity amongst mitochondria has been observed to occur within the same cell. Moreover, mitochondrial heterogeneity is associated with functional differences in metabolic signaling, [...] Read more.
Mitochondria have distinct architectural features and biochemical functions consistent with cell-specific bioenergetic needs. However, as imaging and isolation techniques advance, heterogeneity amongst mitochondria has been observed to occur within the same cell. Moreover, mitochondrial heterogeneity is associated with functional differences in metabolic signaling, fuel utilization, and triglyceride synthesis. These phenotypic associations suggest that mitochondrial subpopulations and heterogeneity influence the risk of metabolic diseases. This review examines the current literature regarding mitochondrial heterogeneity in the pancreatic beta-cell and renal proximal tubules as they exist in the pathological and physiological states; specifically, pathological states of glucolipotoxicity, progression of type 2 diabetes, and kidney diseases. Emphasis will be placed on the benefits of balancing mitochondrial heterogeneity and how the disruption of balancing heterogeneity leads to impaired tissue function and disease onset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Heterogeneity)
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Article
Multifactorial Evaluation of Atenolol, Caffeine, Carbamazepine and Ibuprofen on Raphidocelis subcapitata and Chlorella vulgaris
Biology 2021, 10(9), 926; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090926 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Micropollutants in aquatic resources have raised global concerns regarding the conservation of ecosystems. Although they are usually found in the environment at trace concentrations to a maximum of several µg/L, it is still necessary to address the potential risks these pollutants may represent [...] Read more.
Micropollutants in aquatic resources have raised global concerns regarding the conservation of ecosystems. Although they are usually found in the environment at trace concentrations to a maximum of several µg/L, it is still necessary to address the potential risks these pollutants may represent to organisms. A multifactor analysis was conducted using two algae as bioindicators. Four different pharmaceuticals were chosen based on their occurrence in domestic wastewaters and persistency after biological treatment processes ranging from 1/8th to four-fold representative environmental concentrations over 96 h exposure. The present multifactor analysis evaluated cell size, photosynthetic capacity and growth rate. These data were later combined into a simplified single entity: “the index effect”. The results obtained showed that, even at concentrations below the environmentally relevant concentrations (ERC), the pharmaceuticals’ residues (PRs), caused a cellular behavioural variation in both organisms. In addition, the algae cultures’ response to exposure to these stressors was generally dependent on the concentration over time. By examining four different PR over three different characteristics of two types of algal bioindicators, this work covers significant and specific responses on the algae exposure cycle. This is unique research since most studies do not consider multiple parameters in the assessment of the environment risk for bioindicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Stress Ecology—From the Gene to Population)
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Article
The Emergence of New Aggressive Leaf Rust Races with the Potential to Supplant the Resistance of Wheat Cultivars
Biology 2021, 10(9), 925; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090925 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 551
Abstract
Characterization of the genetic structure and the physiological races of Puccinia triticina is a growing necessity to apply host genetic resistance against wheat leaf rust as a successful control strategy. Herein, we collected and identified about 130 isolates of P. triticina from 16 [...] Read more.
Characterization of the genetic structure and the physiological races of Puccinia triticina is a growing necessity to apply host genetic resistance against wheat leaf rust as a successful control strategy. Herein, we collected and identified about 130 isolates of P. triticina from 16 Egyptian commercial wheat cultivars grown at different locations, over two seasons (2019/2020 and 2020/2021). The 130 isolates of P. triticina were segregated into 17 different physiological races. TTTST and TTTKS were the most common virulent races, whereas TTTST and MTTGT were the most frequent races. The races were classified into three groups, based on their distinct DNA band sizes (150 bp, 200 bp, and 300 bp) after RAPD analysis. The new wheat cultivars (Sakha-94, Sakha-95, and Shandweel-1) infected with the most virulent race (TTTST), Gemmeiza-12, and Misr-3 were resistant to all physiological races. The resistance of these cultivars was mostly due to the presence of Lr19- and Lr28-resistant genes. Our results serve as a warning about emerging aggressive races capable of supplanting resistance to leaf rust, and help in the understanding of the pathotype–cultivar–location association and its role in the susceptibility/resistance of new wheat cultivars to P. triticina. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Improvement and Breeding of Wheat)
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Article
Microorganisms of Two Thermal Pools on Kunashir Island, Russia
Biology 2021, 10(9), 924; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090924 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 506
Abstract
The Kuril Archipelago is a part of the Circum-Pacific Belt (Ring of Fire). These islands have numerous thermal springs. There are very few studies on these microbial communities, and none of them have been conducted by modern molecular biological methods. Here we performed [...] Read more.
The Kuril Archipelago is a part of the Circum-Pacific Belt (Ring of Fire). These islands have numerous thermal springs. There are very few studies on these microbial communities, and none of them have been conducted by modern molecular biological methods. Here we performed the first metagenomic study on two thermophilic microbial communities of Kunashir Island. Faust Lake is hot (48 °C) and highly acidic (pH 2.0). We constructed 28 metagenome-assembled genomes as well as 17 16S ribosomal RNA sequences. We found that bottom sediments of Faust Lake are dominated by a single species of red algae belonging to the Cyanidiaceae family. Archaeans in Faust Lake are more diverse than bacteria but less abundant. The Tretyakovsky Thermal Spring is also hot (52 °C) but only weakly acidic (pH 6.0). It has much higher microbial diversity (233 metagenome-assembled genomes; 93 16S ribosomal RNAs) and is dominated by bacteria, with only several archaeans and one fungus. Despite their geographic proximity, these two thermal springs were found to not share any species. A comparison of these two lakes with other thermal springs of the Circum-Pacific Belt revealed that only a few members of the communities are shared among different locations. Full article
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Review
Romantic Love and Sleep Variations: Potential Proximate Mechanisms and Evolutionary Functions
Biology 2021, 10(9), 923; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090923 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
This article provides a narrative review of what is known about romantic love and sleep variations and provides possible explanations for the association. Romantic love and sleep are described using a comprehensive, unifying framework advocated by Tinbergen. We summarise the findings of studies [...] Read more.
This article provides a narrative review of what is known about romantic love and sleep variations and provides possible explanations for the association. Romantic love and sleep are described using a comprehensive, unifying framework advocated by Tinbergen. We summarise the findings of studies investigating the relationship between romantic love and sleep. Sleep variations are associated with romantic love in adolescents and young adults. We then detail some proximate mechanisms that may contribute to sleep variations in people experiencing romantic love before considering potential evolutionary functions of sleep variations in people experiencing romantic love. The relationship between symptoms of psychopathology and sleep variations in people experiencing romantic love is described. With the current state of knowledge, it is not possible to determine whether sleep variations associated with romantic love are adaptations or by-products of romantic love. We conclude by proposing areas for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Evolutionary Biology)
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Article
Adding New Pieces to the Puzzle of Karyotype Evolution in Harttia (Siluriformes, Loricariidae): Investigation of Amazonian Species
Biology 2021, 10(9), 922; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090922 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 528
Abstract
A remarkable morphological diversity and karyotype variability can be observed in the Neotropical armored catfish genus Harttia. These fishes offer a useful model to explore both the evolution of karyotypes and sex chromosomes, since many species possess male-heterogametic sex chromosome systems and [...] Read more.
A remarkable morphological diversity and karyotype variability can be observed in the Neotropical armored catfish genus Harttia. These fishes offer a useful model to explore both the evolution of karyotypes and sex chromosomes, since many species possess male-heterogametic sex chromosome systems and a high rate of karyotype repatterning. Based on the karyotype organization, the chromosomal distribution of several repetitive DNA classes, and the rough estimates of genomic divergences at the intraspecific and interspecific levels via Comparative Genomic Hybridization, we identified shared diploid chromosome numbers (2n = 54) but different karyotype compositions in H. dissidens (20m + 26sm + 8a) and Harttia sp. 3 (16m + 18sm + 14st + 6a), and different 2n in H. guianensis (2n = 58; 20m + 26sm + 2st + 10a). All species further displayed similar patterns of chromosomal distribution concerning constitutive heterochromatin, 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sites, and most of the surveyed microsatellite motifs. Furthermore, differences in the distribution of 5S rDNA sites and a subset of microsatellite sequences were identified. Heteromorphic sex chromosomes were lacking in H. dissidens and H. guianensis at the scale of our analysis. However, one single chromosome pair in Harttia sp. 3 males presented a remarkable accumulation of male genome-derived probe after CGH, pointing to a tentative region of early sex chromosome differentiation. Thus, our data support already previously outlined evidence that Harttia is a vital model for the investigation of teleost karyotype and sex chromosome dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
MIDESP: Mutual Information-Based Detection of Epistatic SNP Pairs for Qualitative and Quantitative Phenotypes
Biology 2021, 10(9), 921; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090921 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
The interactions between SNPs result in a complex interplay with the phenotype, known as epistasis. The knowledge of epistasis is a crucial part of understanding genetic causes of complex traits. However, due to the enormous number of SNP pairs and their complex relationship [...] Read more.
The interactions between SNPs result in a complex interplay with the phenotype, known as epistasis. The knowledge of epistasis is a crucial part of understanding genetic causes of complex traits. However, due to the enormous number of SNP pairs and their complex relationship to the phenotype, identification still remains a challenging problem. Many approaches for the detection of epistasis have been developed using mutual information (MI) as an association measure. However, these methods have mainly been restricted to case–control phenotypes and are therefore of limited applicability for quantitative traits. To overcome this limitation of MI-based methods, here, we present an MI-based novel algorithm, MIDESP, to detect epistasis between SNPs for qualitative as well as quantitative phenotypes. Moreover, by incorporating a dataset-dependent correction technique, we deal with the effect of background associations in a genotypic dataset to separate correct epistatic interaction signals from those of false positive interactions resulting from the effect of single SNP×phenotype associations. To demonstrate the effectiveness of MIDESP, we apply it on two real datasets with qualitative and quantitative phenotypes, respectively. Our results suggest that by eliminating the background associations, MIDESP can identify important genes, which play essential roles for bovine tuberculosis or the egg weight of chickens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics)
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Article
Pathogens and Elicitors Induce Local and Systemic Changes in Triacylglycerol Metabolism in Roots and in Leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana
Biology 2021, 10(9), 920; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090920 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Interaction of plants with the environment affects lipid metabolism. Changes in the pattern of phospholipids have been reported in response to abiotic stress, particularly accumulation of triacylglycerols, but less is known about the alteration of lipid metabolism in response to biotic stress and [...] Read more.
Interaction of plants with the environment affects lipid metabolism. Changes in the pattern of phospholipids have been reported in response to abiotic stress, particularly accumulation of triacylglycerols, but less is known about the alteration of lipid metabolism in response to biotic stress and leaves have been more intensively studied than roots. This work investigates the levels of lipids in roots as well as leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana in response to pathogens and elicitor molecules by UPLC-TOF-MS. Triacylglycerol levels increased in roots and systemically in leaves upon treatment of roots with the fungus Verticillium longisporum. Upon spray infection of leaves with the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, triacylglycerols accumulated locally in leaves but not in roots. Treatment of roots with a bacterial lipopolysaccharide elicitor induced a strong triacylglycerol accumulation in roots and leaves. Induction of the expression of the bacterial effector AVRRPM1 resulted in a dramatic increase of triacylglycerol levels in leaves, indicating that elicitor molecules are sufficient to induce accumulation of triacylglycerols. These results give insight into local and systemic changes to lipid metabolism in roots and leaves in response to biotic stresses. Full article
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Article
Clinical Significance of the Head-Up Tilt Test in Improving Prognosis in Patients with Possible Neurally Mediated Syncope
Biology 2021, 10(9), 919; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090919 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Syncope is commonly encountered in daily clinical practice. Depending on its etiology (benign or life-threatening conditions or environmental triggers), syncope can be neurally mediated (reflex), cardiac, or orthostatic. Furthermore, neurologic disease can cause symptoms that mimic syncope. However, there is limited research on [...] Read more.
Syncope is commonly encountered in daily clinical practice. Depending on its etiology (benign or life-threatening conditions or environmental triggers), syncope can be neurally mediated (reflex), cardiac, or orthostatic. Furthermore, neurologic disease can cause symptoms that mimic syncope. However, there is limited research on neurally mediated syncope (NMS), which is considered a benign disorder, and close follow-ups are rarely performed. NMS can cause serious clinical events, including severe trauma and car accidents. The head-up tilt test (HUTT) is the gold standard for diagnosing NMS; however, its clinical significance remains unknown, and its relevance to NMS prognosis requires further research. This retrospective study aimed to assess the clinical significance of the HUTT for NMS. We reviewed the charts of 101 patients who underwent HUTT at Tokai University Hospital in Japan between January 2016 and March 2019. During the HUTT, 72 patients (69.2%) experienced syncope. Patients were followed up for 886.1 ± 457.7 days (interquartile range: 518–1293 days). The syncope recurrence rate was 16.9%; however, no significant difference was observed between the two groups (HUTT positive vs. negative) (13.8% vs. 18.1%, p = 0.772). Four of 29 (13.9%) and two of 72 (2.8%) patients in the negative and positive HUTT groups, respectively, experienced cardiac events (p = 0.019). Negative HUTT results may assist in anticipating unexpected clinical events within a few years. A negative HUTT result may allow us to reconsider the NMS diagnosis based on clinical information. Close outpatient follow-up of patients with negative HUTT results is warranted. Full article
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Article
Isolation and Identification of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Exosomes Derived from the Serum of Colorectal Carcinoma Patients
Biology 2021, 10(9), 918; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090918 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs consisting of more than 200 nucleotides in length. LncRNAs present in exosomes may play a critical role in the cellular processes involved in cancer pathogenesis and progression including proliferation, invasion, and migration of tumor cells. This [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs consisting of more than 200 nucleotides in length. LncRNAs present in exosomes may play a critical role in the cellular processes involved in cancer pathogenesis and progression including proliferation, invasion, and migration of tumor cells. This paper aims to identify the differential expression of exosomal lncRNAs derived from the sera of non-cancer individuals and patients diagnosed with colorectal carcinoma. These differentially-expressed exosomal serum lncRNAs may provide an insight into the pathogenesis and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). Serum exosomes and exosomes from SW480-7 cell culture supernatants were isolated and viewed by transmission electron microscope (TEM). The particle size distribution and protein markers of exosomes derived from SW480-7 were further analyzed using the Zetasizer Nano S instrument and western blotting technique. TEM showed that exosomes derived from serum and SW480-7 cells were round vesicles with sizes ranging from 50–200 nm. The exosomes derived from SW480-7 had an average diameter of 274.6 nm and contained the exosomal protein, ALIX/PDCD6IP. In our clinical studies, six lncRNAs, namely GAS5, H19, LINC00152, SNHG16, RMRP, and ZFAS1 were detected in the exosomes from sera of 18 CRC patients. Among these six lncRNAs, the expression level of LINC00152 was found to be significantly lower in CRC patients as compared to non-cancer individuals (p = 0.04) while lncRNA H19 was significantly up-regulated in advanced-stages (stage III and IV) of CRC (p = 0.04) as compared to early-stages (stage I and II). In conclusion, the detection of lower LINC00152 in exosomes of sera from CRC patients versus non-cancer individuals and H19 upregulation in advanced stages suggests that they may play important roles in pathogenesis and progression of CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of cancer)
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Article
Gaseous Elemental Mercury Exchange Fluxes over Air-Soil Interfaces in the Degraded Grasslands of Northeastern China
Biology 2021, 10(9), 917; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090917 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant that may potentially have serious impacts on human health and ecologies. The gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) exchanges between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere play important roles in the global Hg cycle. This study investigated GEM exchange fluxes [...] Read more.
Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant that may potentially have serious impacts on human health and ecologies. The gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) exchanges between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere play important roles in the global Hg cycle. This study investigated GEM exchange fluxes over two land cover types (including Artemisia anethifolia coverage and removal and bare soil) using a dynamic flux chamber attached to the LumexR RA915+ Hg analyzer during the growing season from May to September of 2018, in which the interactive effects of plant coverage and meteorological conditions were highlighted. The daily mean ambient levels of GEM and the total mercury concentrations of the soil (TSM) were determined to be 12.4 ± 3.6 to 16.4 ± 5.6 ng·m−3 and 32.8 to 36.2 ng·g−1, respectively, for all the measurements from May to September. The GEM exchange fluxes (ng·m−2·h−1) during the five-month period for the three treatments included the net emissions from the soil to the atmosphere (mean 5.4 to 7.1; range of −27.0 to 47.3), which varied diurnally, with releases occurring during the daytime hours and depositions occurring during the nighttime hours. Significant differences were observed in the fluxes between the vegetation coverage and removal during the growing months (p < 0.05). In addition, it was determined that the Hg fluxes were positively correlated with the solar radiation and air/soil temperature levels and negatively correlated with the air relative humidity and soil moisture under all the conditions (p < 0.05). Overall, the results obtained in this study demonstrated that the grassland soil served as both a source and a sink for atmospheric Hg, depending on the season and meteorological factors. Furthermore, the plants played an important inhibiting role in the Hg exchanges between the soil and the atmosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology)
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Article
Clinical Relevance of the Microbiome in Odontogenic Abscesses
Biology 2021, 10(9), 916; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090916 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Odontogenic abscesses are usually caused by bacteria of the oral microbiome. However, the diagnostic culture of these bacteria is often prone to errors and sometimes fails completely due to the fastidiousness of the relevant bacterial species. The question arises whether additional pathogen diagnostics [...] Read more.
Odontogenic abscesses are usually caused by bacteria of the oral microbiome. However, the diagnostic culture of these bacteria is often prone to errors and sometimes fails completely due to the fastidiousness of the relevant bacterial species. The question arises whether additional pathogen diagnostics using molecular methods provide additional benefits for diagnostics and therapy. Experimental 16S rRNA gene analysis with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics was used to identify the microbiome of the pus in patients with severe odontogenic infections and was compared to the result of standard diagnostic culture. The pus microbiome was determined in 48 hospitalized patients with a severe odontogenic abscess in addition to standard cultural pathogen detection. Cultural detection was possible in 41 (85.42%) of 48 patients, while a pus-microbiome could be determined in all cases. The microbiomes showed polymicrobial infections in 46 (95.83%) cases, while the picture of a mono-infection occurred only twice (4.17%). In most cases, a predominantly anaerobic spectrum with an abundance of bacteria was found in the pus-microbiome, while culture detected mainly Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Prevotella spp. The determination of the microbiome of odontogenic abscesses clearly shows a higher number of bacteria and a significantly higher proportion of anaerobes than classical cultural methods. The 16S rRNA gene analysis detects considerably more bacteria than conventional cultural methods, even in culture-negative samples. Molecular methods should be implemented as standards in medical microbiology diagnostics, particularly for the detection of polymicrobial infections with a predominance of anaerobic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Biology)
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Article
Temperatures Outside the Optimal Range for Helicobacter pylori Increase Its Harboring within Candida Yeast Cells
Biology 2021, 10(9), 915; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090915 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori is capable of entering into yeast, but the factors driving this endosymbiosis remain unknown. This work aimed to determine if temperatures outside the optimal range for H. pylori increase its harboring within Candida. H. pylori strains were co-cultured with Candida [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori is capable of entering into yeast, but the factors driving this endosymbiosis remain unknown. This work aimed to determine if temperatures outside the optimal range for H. pylori increase its harboring within Candida. H. pylori strains were co-cultured with Candida strains in Brucella broth supplemented with 5% fetal bovine serum and incubated at 4, 25, 37 or 40 °C. After co-culturing, yeasts containing bacteria-like bodies (Y-BLBs) were observed by optical microscopy, and the bacterium were identified as H. pylori by FISH. The H. pylori 16S rRNA gene was amplified from the total DNA of Y-BLBs. The viability of intra-yeast H. pylori cells was confirmed using a viability assay. All H. pylori strains were capable of entering into all Candida strains assayed. The higher percentages of Y-BLBs are obtained at 40 °C with any of the Candida strains. H pylori also increased its harboring within yeast in co-cultures incubated at 25 °C when compared to those incubated at 37 °C. In conclusion, although H. pylori grew significantly at 40 °C, this temperature increased its harboring within Candida. The endosymbiosis between both microorganisms is strain-dependent and permits bacterial cells to remain viable under the stressing environmental conditions assayed. Full article
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Article
Numerical Optimization of an Open-Ended Coaxial Slot Applicator for the Detection and Microwave Ablation of Tumors
Biology 2021, 10(9), 914; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biology10090914 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
A multiobjective optimization method for a dual-mode microwave applicator is proposed. Dual-modality means that microwaves are used apart from the treatment, and also for the monitoring of the microwave ablation intervention. (1) The use of computational models to develop and improve microwave ablation [...] Read more.
A multiobjective optimization method for a dual-mode microwave applicator is proposed. Dual-modality means that microwaves are used apart from the treatment, and also for the monitoring of the microwave ablation intervention. (1) The use of computational models to develop and improve microwave ablation applicator geometries is essential for further advances in this field. (2) Numerical electromagnetic–thermal coupled simulation models are used to analyze the performance of the dual-mode applicator in liver tissue; the sensitivity evaluation of the dual-mode applicator’s sensing mode constrains the set of optimal solutions. (3) Three Pareto-optimal design parameter sets are derived that are optimal in terms of applicator efficiency as well as volume and sphericity of the ablation zone. The resulting designs of the dual-mode applicator provide a suitable sensitivity to distinguish between healthy and tumorous liver tissue. (4) The optimized designs are presented and numerically characterized. An improvement on the performance of previously proposed dual-mode applicator designs is achieved. The multiphysical simulation model of electromagnetic and thermal properties of the applicator is applicable for future comprehensive design procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Use of Microwaves in Cancer Treatments)
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