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Summary

A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method has been developed for simultaneous determination of six alkaloids, i.e., (−)-(R)-platydesmin, noroxyhydrastinine, berberine, skimmianine, canthin-6-one, and pteleine in the herbal medicine of Phellodendron amurense Rupr. The optimal condition for extraction and separation was achieved with a linear mobile phase gradient prepared from 0.1% phosphoric acid and acetonitrile. The LODs and LOQs for the analytes ranged from 0.06 to 0.22 μg mL−1 and from 0.25 to 0.80 μg mL−1, respectively. The optimized method was applied to the determination of alkaloids in P. amurense Rupr. and was found to be efficient. This method can provide a scientific and technical platform to the manufacturers for setting up a quality control standard as well as to the public for quality and safety assurance of the proprietary traditional Chinese medicines.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Z. Xiao, D. Liu, C. Wang, Z. Cao, X. Zhan, Z. Yin, Q. Chen, H. Liu, F. Xu, and L. Sun

Abstract  

The effect of mechanical alloying on Zn-Sb alloy system is investigated with X-ray diffraction (XRD), laser grain size analysis and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) respectively. The results of laser particle size analysis shows that the particle size decreases with increasing of the grinding time between 0 and 24 h. XRD and DSC results indicate that longer the grinding time of Zn-Sb is, the more content of Zn4Sb3 become in the product in this process.

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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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Summary

Radix Isatidis has widely useful activities including anti-virus, anti-bacterial. Tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin are active ingredients in R. Isatidis. Response surface methodology (RSM)-optimized infrared-assisted extraction (IRAE) was developed and combined with HPLC for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from R. Isatidis. IRAE were investigated through extraction yields of the three components and optimized by RSM. The optimum conditions were as follows: infrared power of 129 W, solid/liquid ratio of 1:40 g/mL, and irradiation time of 22.5 min. IRAE conditions obtained by RSM were not only accurate, but also had practical value reflecting the expected optimization. Subsequently, this novel IRAE method was evaluated by extraction yield of the components of R. Isatidis samples from different regions. Compared with common extraction methods including maceration extraction (ME), reflux extraction (RE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), IRAE showed higher yield with advantages of no limitation of solvent selection, low cost, convenience under optimum extraction conditions. These results suggested the potential of RSM-optimized IRAE for extraction and analysis of the water-/fat-soluble compositions of Chinese herbal medicine. A simple chromatographic separation for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from Chinese herbal medicine R. Isatidis was performed on a C18 column (Diamonsil 150 mm × 4.6 mm i.d., 5 μm) with a mobile phase isocratic consisting of methanol and water at a flow-rate of 0.8 mL min−1. The retention times of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin were 15.4, 31.9, and 58.6 min, respectively. The linear equations were obtained as follows: y = −3094.5744 + 21208.792x for tryptanthrin (R = 0.9998, 0.9–18.0 μg mL−1), y = 4730.0448 + 30180.567x for indigo (R = 0.9997, 0.5–10.0 μg mL−1) and y = −6582.9045 + 67069.312x for indirubin (R = 0.9997, 0.4–8.0 μg mL−1). The result showed that RSM-optimized IRAE was a simple, efficient pretreatment method for the analysis of complex matrix.

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Seed germination is a new beginning for the crop life cycle, which is closely related to seed sprouting and subsequent plant growth and development, and ultimately affects grain yield and quality. Salt stress is one of the most important abiotic stress factors that restrict crop production. Therefore, it is highly important to improve crop salt tolerance and sufficient utilization of saline-alkali land. In this study, we identified the phosphorylated proteins involved in salt stress response by combining SEM, 2-DE, Pro-Q Diamond staining and tandem mass spectrometry. The results showed that salt stress significantly inhibited seed germination and starch degradation. In total, 14 phosphorylated protein spots (11 unique proteins) in the embryo and 6 phosphorylated protein spots (4 unique proteins) in the endosperm were identified, which mainly involved in stress/defense, protein metabolism and energy metabolism. The phosphorylation of some proteins such as cold regulated proteins, 27K protein, EF-1β and superoxide dismutase could play important roles in salt stress tolerance.

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

Seven Glu-A1 m allelic variants of the Glu-A1 m x genes in Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum, designated as 1Ax2.1 a, 1Ax2.1 b, 1Ax2.1 c, 1Ax2.1 d, 1Ax2.1 e, 1Ax2.1 f, and 1Ax2.1 g were characterized. Their authenticity was confirmed by successful expression of the coding regions in E. coli, and except for the 1Ax2.1 a with the presence of internal stop codons at position of 313 aa, all correspond to the subunit in seeds. However, all the active six genes had a same DNA size although their encoding subunits showed different molecular weight. Our study indicated that amino acid residue substitutions rather than previously frequently reported insertions/deletions played an important role on the subunit evolution of these Glu-A1 m x alleles. Since variation in the Glu-A1x locus in common wheat is rare, these novel genes at the Glu-A1 m x can be used as candidate genes for further wheat quality improvement.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Z. L. Li, D. D. Wu, H. Y. Li, G. Chen, W. G. Cao, S. Z. Ning, D. C. Liu, and L. Q. Zhang

Gliadin is a main component of gluten proteins that affect functional properties of bread making and contributes to the viscous nature of doughs. In this study, thirteen novel ω-gliadin genes were identified in several Triticum species, which encode the ARH-, ATDand ATN-type proteins. Two novel types of ω-gliadins: ATD- and ATN- have not yet been reported. The lengths of 13 sequences were ranged from 927 to 1269 bp and the deduced mature proteins were varied from 309 to 414 residues. All 13 genes were pseudogenes because of the presence of internal stop codons. The primary structure of these ω-gliadin genes included a signal peptide, a conserved N-terminal domain, a repetitive domain and a conserved C-terminus. In this paper, we first characterize ω-gliadin genes from T. timopheevi ssp. timopheevi and T. timopheevi ssp. araraticum. The ω-gliadin gene variation and the evolutionary relationship of ω-gliadin family genes were also discussed.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: L. Wei, S.G. Bai, X.J. Hou, J.M. Li, B. Zhang, W.J. Chen, D.C. Liu, B.L. Liu, and H.G. Zhang

Among 20 awnless Tibetan wheat cultivars analyzed by SDS-PAGE, the migration rate of an HMW-GS in XM001584 and XM001593, named 1BX23*. was shown to be slightly faster than 1Bx6. and slower than Bx7. Its nucleotide sequence was isolated based on homology clones. In a phylogenetic tree of 1Bx genes, 1Bx23* was apparently clustered with 1Bx23. Compared with 1Bx23. eight single nucleotide replacements caused four single amino acid replacements in 1Bx23*. The deletion of “G” at base pair 1463 and insertion of “A” at 1509 bps induced a 42-nucleotide frame shift. “GQRQQAGQWQRPGQ” was replaced by “DKGNRQDNGNDRDK”. The new segment cannot be found in other HMW-GSs, and it is very similar to a segment found in collagen. Moreover, an 18-nucleotide deletion made 1Bx23* six amino acids shorter than 1Bx23. The cultivar XM001593 had 28 chromosomes, which signifies that it was tetraploid wheat, and that the new HMW-GS 1Bx23* cannot be used directly for breeding in common wheat.

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Red coleoptile is an easily observed agronomic trait of wheat and has been extensively studied. However, the molecular mechanism of this trait has not yet been revealed. In this study, the MYB gene TaMYB-D1 was isolated from the wheat cultivar ‘Gy115’, which possesses red coleoptiles. This gene resided at the short arm of the homoelogous group 7 chromosomes. TaMYB-D1 was the only gene expressed in the coleoptiles of ‘Gy115’ and was not expressed in ‘Opata’ and ‘CS’, which have uncoloured coleoptiles. Phylogenetic analysis placed TaMYB-D1 very close to ZmC1 and other MYB proteins regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. The encoded protein of TaMYB-D1 had an integrated DNA binding domain of 102 amino acids and a transcription domain with 42 amino acids, similar to the structure of ZmC1. Transient expression analysis in onion epidermal cells showed that TaMYB-D1 was located at the plant nucleus, which suggested its role as a transcription factor. The expression of TaMYB-D1 was accompanied with the expression of TaDFR and anthocyanin biosynthesis in the development of the coleoptile of ‘Gy115’. Transient expression analysis showed that only TaMYB-D1 induced a few ‘Opata’ coleoptile cells to synthesize anthocyanin in light, and the gene also induced a colour change to red in many cells with the help of ZmR. All of these results suggested TaMYB-D1 as the candidate gene for the red coleoptile trait of ‘Gy115’.

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