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Authors: Y. Jin and B. Wunderlich
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Single run heat capacity measurements

II. Experiments at subambient temperature

Authors: Y. Jin and B. Wunderlich

A prior study of single-run differential scanning calorimetry that leads directly to heat capacity results is extended to low temperatures (180 K). The instrument considered was the duPont dual sample differential scanning calorimeter with auto sampler and liquid nitrogen cooling accessary-II. The major error is caused by the low temperature isotherm. After optimizing all parameters, heat capacities of selenium, aluminum, quartz, polystyrene, sodium chloride were measured between 180 to 370 K. The root mean square error of all measurements on comparison with well established adiabatic calorimetry is ±2.9%.

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Abstract  

The mathematical equations for step-wise measurement of heat capacity (C p) by modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) are discussed for the conditions of negligible temperature gradients within sample and reference. Using a commercial MDSC, applications are evaluated and the limits explored. This new technique permits the determination ofC p by keeping the sample continually close to equilibrium, a condition conventional DSC is unable to meet. Heat capacity is measured at ‘practically isothermal condition’ (often changing not more than ±1 K). The method provides data with good precision. The effects of sample mass, amplitude and frequency of temperature modulation were studied and methods for optimizing the instrument are proposed. The correction for the differences in sample and reference heating rates, needed for high-precision data by standard DSC, do not apply for this method.

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Rice straw represents a significant energy source for ruminant animals, and fibers and lignin contents of rice straw are negatively related to intake potential of forages. For improvement of the digestibility of rice straw, it is necessary to understand the genetic basis of the related traits. In present study, mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent lignin (ADL) was carried out using a doubled haploid (DH) population derived from a cross between indica variety Zai-Ye-Qing 8 (ZYQ8) and japonica variety Jing-Xi 17 (JX17). The results indicated that all three parameters were continuously distributed among the DH lines, but many DH lines showed transgressive segregation for all the three traits. A total of three main-effect QTLs were identified for ADF and ADL, two of which, qADF-9 and qADL-9, shared the same region on chromosome 9. These two main-effect QTLs explained more than 20% of the total phenotypic variations, whereas the other QTL, qADF-5, explained 12.8% of the total phenotypic variation for ADF. In addition, another two epistatic QTLs, qADF-2 and qADF-3 could explain 17.6% of the total variations. Thus, we concluded that both main-effects and epistatic QTLs were important in controlling the genetic basis of ADF.

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Gastrodia elata Blume polysaccharide (GEP) was extracted and then chemically characterised. Its antioxidant activity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The results of the in vitro investigation show that GEP consists of glucose with molecular weight of 875 185 Da and exhibits high hydroxyl radical scavenging, as well as 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl activity and reducing capacity. For antioxidant activity in vivo, D-galactose-induced-aged mice were orally administered with three different doses of GEP over a period of 6 weeks. The administration of GEP dosedependently increased the body weight gain rates, liver and brain indices, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities, and malondialdehyde levels in the sera and brains of ageing mice. These results suggest that GEP exhibits high antioxidant activity and can retard human ageing associated with free radicals.

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Lipopolysaccharide and b-1,3-glucan binding protein (LGBP) is a pattern recognition receptor that can recognize and bind LPS and b-1,3-glucan. LGBP has crucial roles in innate immune defense against Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. In this study, LGBP functions in Portunus trituberculatus innate immunity were analyzed. First, the mRNA expression of PtLGBP in hemocytes, hepatopancreas, and muscle toward three typical pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) stimulations were examined using real-time PCR. Results show that the overall trend of relative expressions of the LGBP gene in three tissues is consistent, showing up-down trend. In each group, the highest expression of the LGBP gene was at 3 and 12 h post-injection. The LGBP gene is also expressed significantly higher in the hemocytes and hepatopancreas than in the muscle. The highest level of LGBP was in the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and glucan-injected group, whereas the lowest level was in the PGN-injected group. Furthermore, bacterial agglutination assay with polyclonal antibody specifically for PtLGBP proved that the recombinant PtLGBP (designated as rPtLGBP) could exhibit obvious agglutination activity toward Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and V. alginolyticus; Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis; and fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae. LGBP in Portunus trituberculatus possibly served as a multi-functional PRR. In addition, LGBP is not only involved in the immune response against Gram-negative and fungi, as manifested in other invertebrates, but also has a significant role in anti-Gram-positive bacteria infection.

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Stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp tritici of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most destructive cereal diseases globally. Concern about the disease has increased since 1999 with the discovery in Uganda of a new virulent race of Pgt, designated as race TTKSK (also known as Ug99). The objectives of this experiment were to characterize the resistance and to determine the chromosomal location of the stem rust resistance in the spring wheat line PI 410966. A mapping population was developed from a cross between PI 410966 and a susceptible wheat line OK3040. An inoculation test with isolate 04KEN156/04 of race TTKSK was conducted at the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory in the F6:7 generation, and the F6:7 phenotypic data were used to genetically map the resistance gene to the centromeric region on chromosome 2BS. The single locus explained the observed F6:7 resistant and susceptible scores. The location of the gene and molecular marker banding profiles of the diagnostic markers suggest that the stem rust resistance gene in PI 410966 could be a new gene, an allele of Sr36, or Sr36.

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Abstract  

The sorption of Eu(III) on calcareous soil as a function of pH, humic acid (HA), temperature and foreign ions was investigated under ambient conditions. Eu(III) sorption on soil was strongly pH dependent in the observed pH range. The effect of ionic strength was significant at pH < 7, and not obvious at pH > 8. The type of salt cation used had no visible influence on Eu(III) uptake on soil, however at low pH values, the influence of anions was following the order: Cl ≈ NO3  > ClO4 . In the presence of HA, the sorption edge obviously shifted about two pH units to the lower pH, whilst in range of pH 6–7, the sorption of Eu(III) decreased with increasing pH because a considerable amount of Eu(III) was present as humate complexes in aqueous phase, then increased again at pH > 11. The results indicated that the sorption of Eu(III) on soil mainly formed outer-sphere complexes and/or ion exchange below pH ~7; whereas inner-sphere complexes and precipitation of Eu(OH)3(s) may play main role above pH ~8.

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Authors: Q. Ren, Y. Hua, H. Shen, L. Zhong, C. Jin, Y. Mi, H. Yao, Y. Xie, S. Wei and L. Zhou

Abstract  

The uptake of rare earth elements (REE) by Euglena gracilis cells has been investigated in Fudan University. The remarkable ability to transport REEs to these cell’s compartments had been observed. X-ray absorption fine structure experiments (XAFS) of cerium in Euglena gracilis were performed at Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF) to directly determine the cerium valence state and coordination structure in situ. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) derived calculation showed that cerium was surrounded by 8 N atoms with bond length of 0.258 nm. Combining with other measurements, it may indicate that most likely REEs are mainly located in chlorophyll molecules.

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