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The results of a field study revealed that the application of fertilizers to the companion crop in a millet/legume intercropping system is essential to optimize the yield of the legume component. Supplying nutrients to the main crop alone tended to decrease the productivity of the companion crop, probably because of shading as a result of overgrowth of the main crop. The highest contents of N and P in the grain and straw of the intercrop were recorded with 100% of the recommended dose to both the component crops (M100I100). However, the uptake of nutrients was highest from the plots receiving 50 and 100% of the recommended dose to the main and companion crop, respectively (M50I100). Higher uptake was due to the fact that the yields increased to a greater extent than the nutrient concentrations.

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Summary

An online-hyphenated high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array-mass spectrometry (HPLC-PDA-MS) analytical method was developed for the simultaneous determination of six lignans of therapeutic importance in four Phyllanthus spp. (P. amarus, P. maderaspatensis, P. urinaria, and P. virgatus). HPLC with monolithic reverse phase silica column (4.6 × 100 mm) and simple isocratic elution of methanol-water mixed with dioxane facilitated the separation of lignans of diverse nature such as diarylbutyrolactone, tetrahydrofuran, isomeric aryltetralin, and diarylbutane type for quantitative analysis. Targeted lignans viz. heliobuphthalmin lactone (1), virgatusin (2), hypophyllanthin (3), phyllanthin (4), nirtetralin (5), and niranthin (6) were confirmed unambiguously in four Phyllanthus species by their abundant molecular adduct ions, retention time, UV, and mass spectra as compared with those of reference compounds. Advantages and limitations of both detection techniques for qualitative (fingerprinting) and quantitative analysis of the above mentioned lignans in four Phyllanthus spp. are discussed. The method was validated following international guidelines. The described method can be utilized for assays and stability tests of P. amarus extracts as well as traditional Indian medicine based on Phyllanthus herb.

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The present study reports the effects of pre-treatment with ferulic acid (FA) on antioxidant response of wheat seedlings. In comparison to hydropriming, 100 and 150 ppm of FA significantly enhanced seedling growth of wheat at 6th day after germination (DAG). However, 1000 ppm of FA led to reduction in seedling growth. Roots and shoots of wheat seedlings pre-treated with 100 ppm of FA showed significant upregulation of peroxidase (POX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities. Although catalase (CAT) remained unaffected in the roots, but showed about 2-fold increase in the shoots. Despite of low glutathione reductase (GR) and high polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities in the shoots and roots, respectively, ascorbic acid and total phenolic contents also increased at 6th DAG which may be due to the activation of their biosynthetic pathways in seedlings pre-treated with 100 ppm of FA. Proline content of wheat seedlings pre-treated with 100 ppm of FA remained unaffected. Results signify the role of FA pre-treatment in augmenting the antioxidant response of wheat and thereby suggest that at lower concentrations, it can be used for improving performance of wheat under various environmental constraints.

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Abstract

Schiff base metal complexes derived from 2-thiophenecarboxylidine-4-anisidine, 3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrobenzylidine-2-amino-5-methylthiazole and 3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrobenzylidine-4-chloroaniline have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, IR, UV–Vis, molar conductance and thermal analyses. The complexes are coloured and stable in air at room temperature. The complexes exhibit coordination number to be 4 and 6. The thermal behaviour of metal complexes shows that the hydrated complexes lose water molecules of hydration in the first and then is immediately followed by decomposition of ligand molecules in the subsequent steps.

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Abstract  

This paper deals with the studies on decontaminations of spent ion exchange resin used for purification of plutonium in PUREX process stream. Studies were carried out to optimize the chemical procedure for removal of plutonium and fission products activities form spent Ion Exchange resin. Different metal complexing reagents were tested for leaching out of radionuclides entrapped in irradiated spent ion exchange resin. The experimental results indicate that 0.01 M NaF solution was found the most suitable for removal of plutonium. The mixture of Na2CO3 and sodium salt of EDTA solution was found to be better for decontamination of spent ion exchange resin from beta and gamma activities. Optimized mixture of 0.5 M Na2CO3 and 0.1 M sodium salt of EDTA solution was found to be the most effective for fission product activities removal. After successive multiple contacts using these suitable reagents, the Pu and fission product activities in spent ion exchange resin were brought down to a minimum possible level, making it quite suitable for its long term storage.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: S. Gupta, R. Yadav, K.B. Gaikwad, A. Arora, A. Kumar, A. Kushwah, and N.K. Bainsla

Physiological breeding complementing the conventional approach is increasingly being explored in wheat in view of stagnating annual genetic yield gain. Designing improved plant types required knowledge about physiological traits associated with yield gain in the past. Fourteen wheat varieties including 12 historically important and popular (mega) wheat cultivars and two recently registered varieties were observed for various physiological traits for two years. Both breeding period and genotypes within breeding period accounted for significant differences for most of the physiological traits. Regression analysis indicated curvilinear trend for leaf area index (LAI), flag leaf area, and root length and root weight. Near perfect leaf area index (LAI 5.94) with semi-erect leaves and higher flag leaf area was observed in all time mega variety HD 2967 indicated the importance of plant architecture and crop canopy in yield maximization. Linear declining trend was observed for coleoptile length, number of stomata per cm2 and flag leaf length. Increasing trend for total chlorophyll content and normalized difference for vegetative indices (NDVI) at both vegetative and flowering stage indicated the importance of leaf greenness in yield improvement. Root length has continuously declined except for the latest released varieties, however no such trend was observed for root weight. We propose that grain yield stabilization at still higher level can be achieved by increasing photosynthetic capacity, optimizing the crop canopy slightly less than the optimum, and better partitioning to grain yield through directed physiological based breeding.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: E. Sapi, K. Gupta, K. Wawrzeniak, G. Gaur, J. Torres, K. Filush, A. Melillo, and B. Zelger

Our research group has recently shown that Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium, is capable of forming biofilms in Borrelia-infected human skin lesions called Borrelia lymphocytoma (BL). Biofilm structures often contain multiple organisms in a symbiotic relationship, with the goal of providing shelter from environmental stressors such as antimicrobial agents. Because multiple co-infections are common in Lyme disease, the main questions of this study were whether BL tissues contained other pathogenic species and/or whether there is any co-existence with Borrelia biofilms. Recent reports suggested Chlamydia-like organisms in ticks and Borrelia-infected human skin tissues; therefore, Chlamydia-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses were performed in Borrelia-positive BL tissues. Analyses of the sequence of the positive PCR bands revealed that Chlamydia spp. DNAs are indeed present in these tissues, and their sequences have the best identity match to Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia trachomatis. Fluorescent immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods demonstrated the presence of Chlamydia antigen and DNA in 84% of Borrelia biofilms. Confocal microscopy revealed that Chlamydia locates in the center of Borrelia biofilms, and together, they form a well-organized mixed pathogenic structure. In summary, our study is the first to show BorreliaChlamydia mixed biofilms in infected human skin tissues, which raises the questions of whether these human pathogens have developed a symbiotic relationship for their mutual survival.

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Abstract

Amaranth is considered to be a part of “superfood”, however, due to multiple restricting properties, its functionality in the food industry is still not explored to its fullest. The present study investigated the effect of almond gum concentration (3–10 g), temperature (50–90 °C), and quantity of water (30–70 mL) on the functional properties of amaranth starch. A central composite rotatable design (CCRD) showed that the 6.9 g of almond gum, 64.43 mL of water, and temperature maintained at 90 °C, were the optimised conditions to attain 16.77 g g−1 of swelling power, 12.97% of solubility index, and 20.13% freeze-thaw stability. Moreover, the modified amaranth starch was further employed to develop pudding as a value-added product. The findings concluded that the developed pudding using modified amaranth starch exhibited enhanced sensorial attributes due to an increase in cohesiveness, chewiness, and resilience of starch gel.

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Lyme disease is a tick-borne multisystemic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Administering antibiotics is the primary treatment for this disease; however, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued. The reason for relapse remains unknown, but recent studies suggested the possibilities of the presence of antibiotic resistant Borrelia persister cells and biofilms.

In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of whole leaf Stevia extract against B. burgdorferi spirochetes, persisters, and biofilm forms in vitro. The susceptibility of the different forms was evaluated by various quantitative techniques in addition to different microscopy methods. The effectiveness of Stevia was compared to doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin, and their combinations. Our results demonstrated that Stevia had significant effect in eliminating B. burgdorferi spirochetes and persisters. Subculture experiments with Stevia and antibiotics treated cells were established for 7 and 14 days yielding, no and 10% viable cells, respectively compared to the above-mentioned antibiotics and antibiotic combination. When Stevia and the three antibiotics were tested against attached biofilms, Stevia significantly reduced B. burgdorferi forms. Results from this study suggest that a natural product such as Stevia leaf extract could be considered as an effective agent against B. burgdorferi.

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Pomelo fruit juice is concentrated using two different techniques, i.e. block freeze concentration (BFC) and thermal concentration (TC), and both concentrates were spray dried separately to observe the effects of two different concentration techniques on the physicochemical properties of the spray dried powder. BFC juice had comparatively better values of retention of acidity, colour, vitamin C, DPPH● scavenging activity, total phenolic content (TPC), and total sugar content than TC juice. The powder obtained from the combination of BFC and spray drying had better retention of vitamin C (121.17 mg/100 g), colour, and exhibited higher DPPH● scavenging activity than TC spray dried powder. The physical parameters including solubility index, bulk density, and hygroscopicity were significantly higher in BFC spray dried powder. BFC was observed as an efficient concentration technique in comparison to TC as a pretreatment to produce spray dried powder with a better retention of bioactive components and powder flow properties.

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