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Objectives

Impaired intestinal barrier function has been demonstrated in the pathophysiology of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D). This study aimed to describe the intestinal ultrastructural findings in the intestinal mucosal layer of IBS-D patients.

Methods

In total, 10 healthy controls and 10 IBS-D patients were analyzed in this study. The mucosa of each patient’s rectosigmoid colon was first assessed by confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE); next, biopsied specimens of these sites were obtained. Intestinal tissues of IBS-D patients and healthy volunteers were examined to observe cellular changes by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Results

CLE showed no visible epithelial damage or inflammatory changes in the colonic mucosa of IBS-D compared with healthy volunteers. On transmission electron microscopic examination, patients with IBS-D displayed a larger apical intercellular distance with a higher proportion of dilated (>20 nm) intercellular junctional complexes, which was indicative of impaired mucosal integrity. In addition, microvillus exfoliation, extracellular vesicle as well as increased presence of multivesicular bodies were visible in IBS-D patients. Single epithelial cells appeared necrotic, as characterized by cytoplasmic vacuolization, cytoplasmic swelling, and presence of autolysosome. A significant association between bowel habit, frequency of abdominal pain, and enlarged intercellular distance was found.

Conclusion

This study showed ultrastructural alterations in the architecture of intestinal epithelial cells and intercellular junctional complexes in IBS-D patients, potentially representing a pathophysiological mechanism in IBS-D.

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Three field experiments were conducted to determine the effect of soil Zn, foliar Zn, and soil N application on Zn and phytic acid concentrations in wheat grain grown on potentially Zn-deficient soil. Results showed significant genotypic variation in grain Zn concentrations among fifteen wheat cultivars commonly grown in northwest China. Soil Zn application had mixed effects, increasing grain Zn concentrations of some cultivars by as much as 21%, but reducing grain Zn concentrations of other cultivars by as much as 14%. In comparison, foliar Zn application increased grain Zn concentrations by 26 to 115%. Grain Zn concentrations were 14% larger in the combined (foliar Zn + soil Zn) treatment compared to the foliar Zn treatment, but the added cost of soil Zn application may not be economically justifiable. Wheat grain phytic acid concentrations and phytic acid: Zn molar ratios were less in the foliar Zn and (foliar Zn + soil Zn) treatments compared to the soil Zn and the unfertilized treatments. This indicated that foliar Zn increased Zn bioavailability. Best results were obtained when foliar Zn was applied at early grain filling. Overall, these findings indicate that foliar Zn application to Zn-efficient cultivars could reduce human Zn deficiency in regions with potentially Zn-deficient soil.

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Protein and starch are important in wheat quality and yield. To understand the genetic relationship between protein and starch at the quantitative trait locus (QTL)/gene level, 168 doubled haploid (DH) lines were used at three locations over 2 years. The QTLs for proteinfraction contents and starch content were analyzed by unconditional and conditional QTL mapping. We detected 17 unconditional additive QTLs (four albumin QTLs, three globulin QTLs, six gliadin QTLs, four glutenin QTLs) controlling protein-fraction contents. We detected 19 conditional QTLs (five albumin QTLs, three globulin QTLs, five gliadin QTLs, six glutenin QTLs) based on starch content. Of these QTLs, QAlu1B, QGlo6A, QGli1B, QGli7A, QGlu1B and QGlu1D increased the protein-fraction contents independent of the starch content. These QTLs could regulate the usual inverse relationship between protein and starch in wheat seeds. The results could possibly be used in the simultaneous improvement of grain protein and starch content in wheat breeding.

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Abstract  

The thermal behavior of rutin extracted from the buds of Sophora japonica L. by different methods and conditions have been investigated using TG and DTG. The results showed that every sample had different mass loss, curve shape, and peak location related to varied extraction technology. The TG-DTG characteristics of the rutin sample extracted by alkali-dissolution and acid-sedimentation with the solution adjusted to pH 9 and simply borax as stabilizer were highly similar to that of standard rutin, with the maximal purity determined by spectrophotometry. Therefore, the TG-DTG patterns could be served to characterize rutin extracted from the buds of Sophora japonica L.

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Starch is a product of photosynthetic activities in leaves. Wheat yields largely depend on photosynthetic carbon fixation and carbohydrate metabolism in flag leaves. The mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with flag leaf starch content (FLSC) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was completed using unconditional and conditional QTL analyses. The FLSC of this population during the early grain-filling stage was measured at six stages in six environments. Combining unconditional and conditional QTL mapping methods, eight unconditional QTLs and nine conditional QTLs were detected, with five QTLs identified as unconditional and conditional QTLs. Four unconditional QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1B, qFLS-1D-1, qFLS-4A, and qFLS-7D-1) and one conditional QTL (i.e. qFLS-3A-1) were identified in two of six environments. Two QTLs (qFLS-1D-2 and qFLS-7D-1), which significantly affected the FLSC, were identified using the unconditional QTL mapping method, while three QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1A, qFLS-3A-1, and qFLS-7D-1) were detected using the conditional QTL mapping method. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic mechanism and regulatory network underlying the diurnal FLSC in wheat.

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High-yield common buckwheat ‘cv. Fengtian 1’ (FT1) and tartary buckwheat ‘cv. Jingqiao 2’ (JQ2) were selected to investigate the characteristics of the grain-filling process and starch accumulation of high-yield buckwheat. FT1 had an average yield that was 43.0% higher than that of the control ‘cv. Tongliaobendixiaoli’ (TLBDXL) in two growing seasons, while JQ2 had an average yield that was 27.3% higher than that of the control ‘cv. Chuanqiao 2’ (CQ2). The Richards equation was utilized to evaluate the grain-filling process of buckwheat. Both FT1 and JQ2 showed higher values of initial growth power and final grain weight and longer linear increase phase, compared with respective control. These values suggest that the higher initial increasing rate and the longer active growth period during grain filling play important roles to increase buckwheat yield. Similar patterns of starch, amylose and amylopectin accumulation were detected in common buckwheat, leading to similar concentration of each constituent at maturity in FT1 and TLBDXL. Tartary buckwheat showed an increasing accumulation pattern of amylose in developing seeds, which differed from that of starch and amylopectin. This pattern led to a significant difference of the concentrations of amylose and amylopectin at maturity between JQ2 and CQ2, the mechanisms of which remained unclear. Nevertheless, both FT1 and JQ2 showed increased starch, amylose, and amylopectin accumulation during the physiological maturity of grains. The results suggest that prolonging the active grain-filling period to increase carbohydrate partitioning from source to seed sink can be an effective strategy to improve buckwheat yield.

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Aegilops sharonensis (Sharon goatgrass) is a valuable source of novel high molecular weight glutenin subunits, resistance to wheat rust, powdery mildew, and insect pests. In this study, we successfully hybridized Ae. sharonensis as the pollen parent to common wheat and obtained backcross derivatives. F1 intergeneric hybrids were verified using morphological observation and cytological and molecular analyses. The phenotypes of the hybrid plants were intermediate between Ae. sharonensis and common wheat. Observations of mitosis in root tip cells and meiosis in pollen mother cells revealed that the F1 hybrids possessed 28 chromosomes. Chromosome pairing at metaphase I of the pollen mother cells in the F1 hybrid plants was low, and the meiotic configuration was 25.94 I + 1.03 II (rod). Two pairs of primers were screened out from 150 simple sequence repeat markers, and primer WMC634 was used to identified the presence of the genome of Ae. sharonensis. Sequencing results showed that the F1 hybrids contained the Ssh genome of Ae. sharonensis. The sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis profile showed that the alien high molecular weight glutenin subunits of Ae. sharonensis were transferred into the F1 and backcross derivatives. The new wheat-Ae. sharonensis derivatives that we have produced will be valuable for increasing resistance to various diseases of wheat and for improving the quality of bread wheat.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: X. Zhao, Y. Itoh, Y. Aoyagi, T. Sugano, K. Hirata, Y. Kobayashi, T. Ohdaira, R. Suzuki, and T. Mikado

Abstract  

Positron and positronium annihilation investigations were applied to nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) thin films, for the first time. The nc-Si thin films with average grain diameters of 3–5 nm show intense blue luminescence at room temperature. The nanometer-sized Si crystallites formed in amorphous Si (a-Si) matrix give rise to this luminescence. Very highS-parameters up to 0.62 were observed in the as-grown a-Si thin film suggesting positronium formation in the a-Si layer. The average lifetime of the positrons in the a-Si was determined to be about 520 ps. TheS-parameters dropped significantly to 0.53 by crystallization of the thin film at 800 °C for 10 seconds, which was almost the same to the value observed in bulk Si (100) substrate. Further crystallization from 60 seconds to 1 hour showed smaller change in theS-parameters than that from the a-Si to 10 seconds. The large change in theS-parameters due to the annealing might be caused by the formation of Si nanocrystallites in a-Si matrix suggesting that positron is a sensitive probe for structural investigations of the nc-Si materials.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: X. Gong, C. Liu, Y. Wang, X. Zhao, M. Zhou, M. Hong, S. Wang, N. Li, and F. Hong

The mechanism of the fact that Mn deficiency damages the photosynthesis of plants is not yet fully understood. The main aim of the study was to determine Mn deficiency effects in photophosphorylation and key enzymes of CO 2 assimilation of maize. Maize plants were cultivated in Hoagland’s solution. They were subjected to Mn deficiency and to Mn administered in the Mn-deficient Hoagland’s media. The results showed that Mn deficiency was found to cause extensive declines in plant weight and chlorophyll a content, electron transport and oxygen-evolving rate, photophosphorylation rate, activities of Mg 2+ -ATPase, Ca 2+ -ATPase, Rubisco and Rubisco activase, and mRNA expressions of Rubisco and Rubisco activase of maize, but it only slightly affected chlorophyll b and carotenoid formation. However, Mn addition decreased the inhibition of the photosynthesis in maize caused by Mn deficiency.

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Grain yield (GY) and yield components (YC) were investigated using two F8: 9 RILs, comprising 229 and 485 lines, respectively. A conditional analysis was conducted to generate conditional values for GY independent of each YC. Then both unconditional and conditional values were analyzed to map QTLs with additive effect. In both RILs, up to 23 unconditional and conditional QTLs were detected. However, only two QTLs were identified repeatedly among environments. All QTLs, except for 4 detected in unconditional mapping, were also identified as conditional QTLs, whereas a number of QTLs were additionally detected in conditional mapping. The number of QTLs detected that affected GY was different with respect to component-special influences. Our results revealed that the contributions of YC influencing QTL expression related to GY differed.

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