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Grains of 12 accessions of Triticum timopheevii (Zhuk.) Zhuk. ssp. timopheevii (AAGG, 2n = 4x = 28) and one bread wheat cultivar Chinese Spring (CS) and one durum wheat cultivar Langdon (LDN) grown across two years were analyzed for grain iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) concentrations. All the 12 tested T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii genotypes showed significantly higher concentration of grain Fe and Zn than CS and LDN. Aboundant genetic variability of both the Fe and Zn concentrations was observed among the T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii accessions, averagely varied from 47.06 to 90.26 mg kg−1 and from 30.05 to 65.91 mg kg−1, respectively. Their grain Fe and Zn concentrations between years exhibited a significantly positive correlation with the correlation coefficients r = 0.895 and r = 0.891, respectively, indicating the highly genetic stability. Flag leaf possessed twice or three times higher concentrations for both Fe and Zn than grain, and a significantly high positive correlation appeared between the two organs with r = 0.648 for Fe and r = 0.957 for Zn concentrations, respectively, suggesting flag leaves might be indirectly used for evaluating grain Zn and Fe contents. Significant correlations occurred between grain Fe and Zn concentrations, and between grain Zn concentration and the two agronomic traits of plant height and number of spikelets per spike. Both the concentrations were not related to seed size or weight as well as NAM-G1 gene, implying the higher grain Fe and Zn concentrations of T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii species are not ascribed to concentration effects of seed and the genetic control of NAM-G1 gene. There might be some other biological factors impacting the grain’s Zn and Fe concentrations. These results indicated T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii species might be a promising genetic resource with high Fe and Zn concentrations for the biofortification of current wheat cultivars.

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Abstract  

A macroporous silica-based supramolecular recognition absorbent (Calix[4] + Dodecanol)/SiO2–P, was prepared by successive impregnation and fixing the 1,3-[(2,4-diethylheptylethoxy)oxy]-2,4-crown-6-Calix[4]arene (Calix[4]arene-R14) and its molecule modifier 1-Dodecanol onto SiO2 silica-based polymer support. The characterization of (Calix[4] + Dodecanol)/SiO2–P was examined by thermal gravimetry and differential thermal analysis and electron probe microanalysis. Relatively large separation factors of Cs and other metal ions (α Cs/M n+ ) above 60 were obtained in the presence of 3 M HNO3. The adsorption data of Cs(I) fitted well with Langmuir isotherm and the maximum adsorption capacity was estimated to be 0.19 mmol g−1. The Cs(I) in 3 M HNO3 were also effectively adsorption on (Calix[4] + Dodecanol)/SiO2–P in the column operation, and the loaded Cs(I) was successfully eluted with an eluent of H2O. The column packed with (Calix[4] + Dodecanol)/SiO2–P had excellent reusability after three cycles.

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In this study, the cDNA of homocysteine S-methyltransferase was isolated from Aegilops tauschii Coss., with the gene accordingly designated as AetHMT1. Similar to other methyltransferases, AetHMT1 contains a GGCCR consensus sequence for a possible zinc-binding motif near the C-terminal and a conserved cysteine residue upstream of the zinc-binding motif. Analysis of AetHMT1 uncovered no obvious chloroplast or mitochondrial targeting sequences. We functionally expressed AetHMT1 in Escherichia coli and confirmed its biological activity, as evidenced by a positive HMT enzyme activity of 164.516 ± 17.378 nmol min−1 mg−1 protein when catalyzing the transformation of L-homocysteine. Compared with the bacterium containing the empty vector, E. coli harboring the recombinant AetHMT1 plasmid showed much higher tolerance to selenate and selenite. AetHMT1 transcript amounts in different organs were increased by Na2SeO4 treatment, with roots accumulating higher amounts than stems, old leaves and new leaves. We have therefore successfully isolated HMT1 from Ae. tauschii and characterized the biochemical and physiological functions of the corresponding protein.

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Global rice supplies have been found contaminated with unapproved varieties of genetically modified (GM) rice in recent years, which has led to product recalls in several of countries. Faster and more effective detection of GM contamination can prevent adulterated food, feed and seed from being consumed and grown, minimize the potential environmental, health or economic damage. In this study, a simple, reliable and cost-effective multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for identifying genetic modifications of TT51-1, Kemingdao1 (KMD1) and Kefeng6 (KF6) rice was developed by using the event-specific fragment. The limit of detection (LOD) for each event in the multiplex PCR is approximately 0.1%. Developed multiplex PCR assays can provide a rapid and simultaneous detection of GM rice.

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Citri Grandis Exocarpium (CGE) is a traditional Chinese medicine with a variety of biological activities. For efficient quality control of CGE, a simple, rapid, and accurate high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was developed for simultaneous determination of four main compounds (naringin, rhoifolin, meranzin hydrate, and isoimperatorin) in this herb. These four compounds were separated on a C18 column by gradient elution with methanol and water. The flow rate was 1.0 mL·min−1, and the detection wavelength was 324 nm. The recoveries of the method ranged from 96.32% to 103.71%, and good linear relationships (r 2 > 0.9998) over relative wide concentration ranges were obtained. Then this validated method was successfully applied to the analysis of nine batches of CGE samples.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: G. Chen, M.H. Zhang, X.J. Liu, J.Y. Fu, H.Y. Li, M. Hao, S.Z. Ning, Z.W. Yuan, Z.H. Yan, B.H. Wu, D.C. Liu, and L.Q. Zhang

Premature termination codons (PTCs) are an important reason for the silence of highmolecular- weight glutenin subunits in Triticum species. Although the Glu-A1y gene is generally silent in common wheat, we here isolated an expressed Glu-A1y gene containing a PTC, named 1Ay8.3, from Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum (AmAm, 2n = 2x = 14). Despite the presence of a PTC (TAG) at base pair positions 1879–1881 in the C-terminal coding region, this did not obviously affect 1Ay8.3 expression in seeds. This was demonstrated by the fact that when the PTC TAG of 1Ay8.3 was mutated to the CAG codon, the mutant in Escherichia coli bacterial cells expressed the same subunit as in the seeds. However, in E. coli, 1Ay8.3 containing the PTC expressed a truncated protein with faster electrophoretic mobility than that in seeds, suggesting that PTC translation termination suppression probably occurs in vivo (seeds) but not in vitro (E. coli). This may represent one of only a few reports on the PTC termination suppression phenomenon in genes.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. Inn, Zhichao Lin, Zhongyu Wu, C. McMahon, J. Filliben, P. Krey, M. Feiner, Chung-King Liu, R. Holloway, J. Harvey, I. Larsen, T. Beasley, C. Huh, S. Morton, D. McCurdy, P. Germain, J. Handl, M. Yamamoto, B. Warren, T. Bates, A. Holms, B. Harvey, D. Popplewell, M. Woods, S. Jerome, K. Odell, P. Young, and I. Croudace

Abstract  

In 1977, the Low-level Working Group of the International Committee on Radionuclide Metrology met in Boston, MA (USA) to define the characteristics of a new set of environmental radioactivity reference materials. These reference materials were to provide the radiochemist with the same analytical challenges faced when assaying environmental samples. It was decided that radionuclide bearing natural materials should be collected from sites where there had been sufficient time for natural processes to redistribute the various chemically different species of the radionuclides. Over the succeeding years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with other highly experienced laboratories, certified and issued a number of these as low-level radioactivity Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) for fission and activation product and actinide concentrations. The experience of certifying these SRMs has given NIST the opportunity to compare radioanalytical methods and learn of their limitations. NIST convened an international workshop in 1994 to define the natural-matrix radionuclide SRM needs for ocean studies. The highest priorities proposed at the workshop were for sediment, shellfish, seaweed, fish flesh and water matrix SRMs certified for mBq per sample concentrations of 90 Sr, 137 Cs and 239 Pu + 240 Pu. The most recent low-level environmental radionuclide SRM issued by NIST, Ocean Sediment (SRM 4357) has certified and uncertified values for the following 22 radionuclides: 40 K, 90 Sr, 129 I, 137 Cs, 155 Eu, 210 Pb, 210 Po, 212 Pb, 214 Bi, 226 Ra, 228 Ra, 228 Th, 230 Th, 232 Th, 234 U, 235 U, 237 Np, 238 U, 238 Pu, 239 Pu + 240 Pu, and 241 Am. The uncertainties for a number of the certified radionuclides are non-symmetrical and relatively large because of the non-normal distribution of reported values. NIST is continuing its efforts to provide the ocean studies community with additional natural matrix radionuclide SRMs. The freeze-dried shellfish flesh matrix has been prepared and recently sent to participating laboratories for analysis and we anticipate receiving radioanalytical results in 2000. The research and development work at NIST produce well characterized SRMs that provide the world's environment-studies community with an important foundation component for radionuclide metrology.

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