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Lovastatin Production by Aspergillus sclerotiorum Using Agricultural Waste

Jutarut Iewkittayakorn1*orcid tiny, Kannika Kuechoo1orcid tiny, Yaowapa Sukpondma2orcid tiny, Vatcharin Rukachaisirikul2orcid tiny, Souwalak Phongpaichit3orcid tiny and Wilaiwan Chotigeat1,4orcid tiny

1Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 90112 Songkhla, Thailand

2Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 90112 Songkhla, Thailand

3Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 90112 Songkhla, Thailand

4Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics Research, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 90112 Songkhla, Thailand

Article history:

Received: 29 January 2019

Accepted: 15 July 2020

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Key words:

agricultural waste, Aspergillus sclerotiorum, lovastatin, solid-state fermentation, soya bean sludge


Research background. Lovastatin is a well-known drug used to reduce hypercholesterolaemia. However, the cost of lovastatin production is still high. Therefore, alternative low-cost carbon sources for the production of lovastatin are desirable.

Experimental approach. Four different agricultural wastes, namely corn trunks, rice husks, wild sugarcane, and soya bean sludge, were tested separately as substrates to produce lovastatin using a new fungal strain, Aspergillus sclerotiorum PSU-RSPG 178, under both submerged and solid-state fermentation (SSF).

Results and conclusions. Of these substrates and cultivation systems, soya bean sludge gave the highest lovastatin yield on dry mass basis of 0.04 mg/g after 14 days of SSF at 25 °C. Therefore, the soya bean sludge was separately supplemented with glucose, wheat flour, trace elements, palm oil, urea and molasses. The addition of the palm oil enhanced the lovastatin yield to 0.99 mg/g. In addition, the optimum conditions, which gave a lovastatin yield of (20±2) mg/g after 18 days of SSF, were soya bean sludge containing 80 % moisture (dry basis) at a ratio of soya bean sludge (g) to mycelial agar plugs of 1:4, and a ratio of soya bean sludge (g) to palm oil (mL) of 1:2. Besides, the lovastatin yields obtained from SSF using fresh or dry soya bean sludge were not significantly different.

Novelty and scientific contribution. We conclude that A. sclerotiorum PSU-RSPG 178 has a good potential as an alternative strain for producing lovastatin using soya bean sludge supplemented with palm oil as a carbon source.

*Corresponding author: +6674288791

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Lipoxygenase and Its Relationship with Ethylene During Ripening of Genetically Modified Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

Arturo Alberto Velázquez-López1orcid tiny, Javier De La Cruz-Medina1orcid tiny, Hugo Sergio García1orcid tiny, Gilber Vela-Gutiérrez2orcid tiny, Cristóbal Torres-Palacios1orcid tiny and Elizabeth León-García3*orcid tiny

1Mexican National Technology/Technological Institute of Veracruz, 2779 M.A. de Quevedo, 91897 Veracruz, Mexico

2Faculty of Food and Nutrition Sciences, University of Science and Arts of Chiapas, 1150 Northwest bypass, 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico

3National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research, La Posta Experimental Field, Km 22.5 Federal Highway Veracruz-Córdoba, Medellín de Bravo, 94277 Veracruz, Mexico

Article history:

Received: 16 January 2019

Accepted: 15 July 2020

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Key words:

lipoxygenase activity, TomloxB, ethylene production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase, tomato ripening


Research background. TomloxB is the main isoform of lipoxygenase associated with ripening and senescence of fruits. On the other hand, ethylene, a gaseous hormone, is essential for the regulation of ripening in climacteric fruits like tomatoes. However, the relationship between TomloxB and ethylene production has not been thoroughly studied. Therefore, we aim to assess the effect of exogenous ethylene in transgenic tomatoes that contain a silenced TomloxB gene, and subsequently evaluate lipoxygenase activity, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase and ethylene production; as well as to quantify the expression of the genes encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase and TomloxB.

Experimental approach. To investigate the effect of lipoxygenase and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity, fruits harvested at the stages of break, turning and pink were used. Tomatoes at break stage collected from transgenic and wild type plants were used to determine ethylene production and gene expression. Genetically modified and wild type tomato fruits were exposed to 100 μL/L exogenous ethylene. Lipoxygenase activity was measured spectrophotometrically. Activity of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase and ethylene production were determined by gas chromatography. Oligonucleotides for differentially expressed genes: 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase and TomloxB were used to determine gene expression by real-time PCR.

Results and conclusions. The data showed that silencing of TomloxB caused a reduction in lipoxygenase activity and ethylene production in tomato fruits, and also reduced 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity. Hence, the addition of exogenous ethylene increased lipoxygenase activity in all treatments and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity only in transgenic lines at break stage, consequently there was a positive regulation between TomloxB and ethylene, as increasing the amount of ethylene increased the activity of lipoxygenase. The results suggest that lipoxygenase may be a regulator of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase and production of ethylene at break stage.

Novelty and scientific contribution. These results lead to a better understanding of the metabolic contribution of TomloxB in fruit ripening and how it is linked to the senescence-related process, which can lead to a longer shelf life of fruits. Understanding this relationship between lipoxygenase and ethylene can be useful for better post-harvest handling of tomatoes.

*Corresponding author: +522291598887
  +522292622200 ext 321

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Lipid Composition of Sheffersomyces stipitis M12 Strain Grown on Glycerol as a Carbon Source

Stela Križanović1orcid tiny, Damir Stanzer2orcid tiny, Jasna Mrvčić2orcid tiny, Karla Hanousek-Čiča2orcid tiny, Elizabeta Kralj3orcid tiny and Gordana Čanadi Jurešić4*orcid tiny

1Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

2Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

3Karlovac University of Applied Science, Trg Josipa Jurja Strossmayera 9, 47000 Karlovac, Croatia

4Department of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, B. Branchetta 20, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Article history:

Received: 14 October 2019

Accepted: 29 June 2020

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Key words:

lipid composition, Sheffersomyces stipitis, S-adenosyl-L-methionine production, lipid metabolism scheme


Research background. In this study the content and composition of lipids in ergosterol-reduced Sheffersomyces stipitis M12 strain grown on glycerol as a carbon source is determined. Blocking the ergosterol synthesis route in yeast cells is a recently proposed method for increasing S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) production.

Experimental approach. The batch cultivation of M12 yeast was carried out under aerobic conditions in a laboratory bioreactor with glycerol as carbon source, and with pulsed addition of methionine. Glycerol and SAM content were monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography, while fatty acid composition of different lipid classes, separated by solid phase extraction, was determined by gas chromatography.

Results and conclusions. Despite the reduced amount of ergosterol in yeast cells, thanks to the reorganized lipid metabolism, M12 strain achieved high biomass yield and SAM production. Neutral lipids prevailed (making more than 75 % of total lipids), but their content and composition differed significantly in the two tested types of yeast. Unsaturated and C18 fatty acids prevailed in both the M12 strain and wild type. In all fractions except free fatty acids, the index of unsaturation in M12 strain was lower than in the wild strain. Our tested strain adjusts itself by changing the content of lipids (mainly phospholipids, sterols and sterol esters), and with desaturation adjustments, to maintain proper functioning and fulfil increased energy needs.

Novelty and scientific contribution. Reorganization of S. stipitis lipid composition caused by blocking the metabolic pathway of ergosterol synthesis was presented. A simple scheme of actual lipid metabolism during active SAM production in S. stipitis, grown on glycerol was constructed and shown. This fundamental knowledge of lipid metabolic pathways will be a helpful tool in improving S. stipitis as an expression host and a model organism, opening new perspectives for its applied research.

*Corresponding author: +38551651132

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Synthesis of Nano-Scale Biopolymer Particles from Legume Protein Isolates and Carrageenan

Indika Dilrukshi Koralegedaraorcid tiny, Charith Aravinda Hettiarachchi*orcid tiny, Batugahage Don Rohitha Prasanthaorcid tiny and Kuruppu Mudiyanselage Swarna Wimalasiriorcid tiny

Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, 20400 Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Article history:

Received: 7 March 2019

Accepted: 10 July 2020

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Key words:

biopolymer particles, protein-polysaccharide interactions, electrostatic complexes, legume proteins, carrageenan


Research background. Food proteins and polysaccharides can be used for the synthesis of nano-scale biopolymer particles with potential applications in the fields of food and pharmaceuticals. This study focuses on utilizing legume proteins for the production of biopolymer particles via regulation of their electrostatic interactions with carrageenan.

Experimental approach. Protein isolates were obtained from mung bean (Vigna radiata), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and black gram (Vigna mungo) and their protein profiles were determined. Next, these isolates were allowed to interact with carrageenan at pH=5.0-7.0 to determine optimum conditions for obtaining nano-scale biopolymer particles. Selected biopolymer mixtures were then subjected to a heat treatment (85 °C for 20 min) to enhance the interactions among biopolymers.

Results and conclusions. Nano-scale biopolymer complexes were obtained at pH=6.5. They were roughly spherical in shape with a majority having a diameter in the range of approx. 100-150 nm. Heating of the biopolymer mixtures increased the diameter of the biopolymer particles by approx. 2.5-fold. In addition, their negative surface charge was increased, stabilizing them against aggregation over a broader pH range (4.0-7.0), enhancing their potential to be utilized in food matrices.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This study reports the applicability of mung bean, cowpea and black gram proteins for the synthesis of stable biopolymer particles. These biopolymer particles can be potentially used for the encapsulation and delivery of bioactive components.

*Corresponding author: +41768171355

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Antidiabetic and Hypolipidaemic Action of Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana)-Enriched Probiotic Fermented Milk: An in vivo Rat Study

Jinal Kesharbhai Chaudharyorcid tiny and Sreeja Mudgalorcid tiny

Dairy Microbiology Department, SMC College of Dairy Science, Anand Agricultural University, 388110 Anand, Gujarat, India

Article history:

Received: 28 March 2019

Accepted: 18 June 2020

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Key words:

finger millet, antidiabetic potential, functional food, probiotic, fermented milk


Research background. Diabetes is a chronic multi-system disease having long term consequences to the health of people suffering from it. This study investigates the role of finger millet (Eleusine coracana)-enriched probiotic fermented milk in alleviating the diabetic complications in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Experimental approach. The probiotic strain used in the study was Lactobacillus helveticus MTCC 5463. Study comprised six groups each containing 6 Sprague Dawley rats: two controls (nondiabetic and diabetic), and four diabetic groups fed finger millet-enriched probiotic fermented milk, probiotic fermented milk, finger millet flour or metformin (standard drug). Samples were administered orally for four weeks, and parameters associated with diabetic disorders were studied.

Results and conclusions. Oral administration of finger millet-enriched milk significantly (p<0.001) decreased (64.26 %) the fasting blood glucose level of diabetic rats compared to metformin (56.43 %) and diabetic groups receiving the probiotic fermented milk (18.88 %) and finger millet flour (47.14 %) after four weeks of treatment. The finger millet-enriched milk significantly ameliorated the diabetic symptoms polyphagia and polydipsia and improved body mass. In diabetic control group, body mass was reduced up to 15.60 % at the end of experiment, while in the group receiving the probiotic fermented milk, body mass significantly (p<0.0001) increased by about 5-30 %. Significant (p<0.0001) reduction in total cholesterol, triglyceride levels in the groups treated with finger millet flour, finger millet-enriched probiotic fermented milk and probiotic fermented milk was observed compared to diabetic control rats. The probiotic fermented milk enriched with finger millet caused significant (p<0.05) decrease in low-density lipoprotein and very-low-density lipoprotein levels (p<0.0001) and insignificant increase in high-density lipoprotein level. A reversal of altered activities of hepatic marker enzymes aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase was observed in the group receiving the probiotic milk enriched with finger millet. Histological observations of pancreatic tissues and liver showed that the enriched milk prevents more severe changes in the acinar cells and ameliorated the inflammation and alteration in the liver structure to some extent. Therefore, the finger millet-enriched probiotic fermented milk can be a potential functional food in the management of diabetes.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This is the only paper reporting about the antidiabetic potential of finger millet-enriched milk fermented using probiotic Lactobacillus helveticus MTCC 5463 and Streptococcus thermophilus MTCC 5460. It also shows the synergistic antidiabetic effect of milk and finger millet used in combination, thus offering a novel functional food.

*Corresponding author: +919998326542

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