Genetic Characterization of a Plum Landrace Collection from La Palma, Canary Islands

A plum collection located in the island of La Palma, Canary Islands, composed of twenty-nine European and Japanese plums was analyzed using nine simple sequence repeat (SSR) highly polymorphic loci. First, a cytometry flow analysis was performed to determine the ploidy level. Sixteen accessions turned out diploid and thirteen hexaploid. According to morphological characteristics, fourteen of the sixteen diploid accessions were assigned to Prunus salicina, and two accessions to P. cerasifera. All the hexaploid accessions were assigned to P. domestica. The 29 accessions were compared using SSR markers with twenty-two P. domestica accessions maintained at the CITA plum germplasm collection located in Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain. A principal component analysis (PCA) and a clustering approach grouped the accessions according to the assigned species and geographical location, while some synonyms and homonyms were found within La Palma accessions. The two principal components explained 80.3% (67.3% and 13%, respectively) of the total variance. A tree generated with UPGMA hierarchical clustering and Bruvo distance grouped the accessions in two main clusters according to ploidy level and species assignment. The STRUCTURE approach clearly differentiated La Palma diploid accessions and some of the hexaploid accessions from those of the CITA collection. The results obtained could be used for management and conservation purposes of this valuable local plum germplasm.

Pérez Méndez, Verónica; Rodrigo, Javier; Abdallah, Donia; Larranaga, Nerea; Hormaza, José I.

Agronomy, 12(9), 2179: 1-14 (2022)

Hypochlorous Acid Chemistry in Mammalian Cells—Influence on Infection and Role in Various Pathologies

This review discusses the formation of hypochlorous acid HOCl and the role of reactive chlorinated species (RCS), which are catalysed by the enzyme myeloperoxidase MPO, mainly located in leukocytes and which in turn contribute to cellular oxidative stress. The reactions of RCS with various organic molecules such as amines, amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and DNA are described, and an attempt is made to explain the chemical mechanisms of the formation of the various chlorinated derivatives and the data available so far on the effects of MPO, RCS and halogenative stress. Their presence in numerous pathologies such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, neurological and renal diseases, diabetes, and obesity is reviewed and were found to be a feature of debilitating diseases.

Curieses Andrés, Celia María; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel; Andrés Juan, Celia; Plou Gasca, Francisco José; Pérez-Lebeña, Eduardo.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23 (18) : 1-46 (2022)

Addressing the contribution of small molecule-based biostimulants to the biofortification of maize in a water restriction scenario

Biostimulants have become an asset for agriculture since they are a greener alternative to traditionally used plant protection products. Also, they have gained the farmers’ acceptance due to their effect on enhancing the plant’s natural defense system against abiotic stresses. Besides commercially available complex products, small molecule-based biostimulants are useful for industry and research. Among them, polyamines (PAs) are well-studied natural compounds that can elicit numerous positive responses in drought-stressed plants. However, the studies are merely focused on the vegetative development of the plant. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate how drenching with putrescine (Put) and spermidine (Spd) modified the maize production and the yield quality parameters. First, a dosage optimization was performed, and then the best PA concentrations were applied by drenching the maize plants grown under well-watered (WW) conditions or water deficit (WD). Different mechanisms of action were observed for Put and Spd regarding maize production, including when both PAs similarly improved the water balance of the plants. The application of Put enhanced the quality and quantity of the yield under WW and Spd under WD. Regarding the nutritional quality of the grains, both PAs increased the carbohydrates content, whereas the contribution to the protein content changed by the interaction between compound and growth conditions. The mineral content of the grains was also greatly affected by the water condition and the PA application, with the most relevant results observed when Spd was applied, ending with flour richer in Zn, Cu, and Ca minerals that are considered important for human health. We showed that the exogenous PA application could be a highly efficient biofortification approach. Our findings open a new exciting use to be studied deep in the biostimulant research.

Hernandiz, Alba E.; Jiménez-Arias, David; Morales-Sierra, Sarai; Borges, Andres A.; De Diego, Nuria.


Antibacterial, Antioxidant, and Phytotoxic Potential of Phytosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles Using Elaeagnus umbellata Fruit Extract

Due to its eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, ability to be handled safely, and a wide variety of biological activities, the green plant-mediated synthesis of nanoparticles has become increasingly popular. The present work deals with the green synthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using Elaeagnus umbellata (fruit) and the evaluation of its antibacterial, antioxidant, and phytotoxic activities. For the synthesis of AgNPs, fruit extract was treated with a 4 mM AgNO3 solution at room temperature, and a color change was observed. In UV-Visible spectroscopy, an absorption peak formation at 456 nm was the sign that AgNPs were present in the reaction solution. Scanning electron microscopy and physicochemical X-ray diffraction were used to characterize AgNPs, which revealed that they were crystalline, spherical, and had an average size of 11.94 +- 7.325 nm. The synthesized AgNPs showed excellent antibacterial activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae (14 mm), Staphylococcus aureus (13.5 mm), Proteus mirabilis (13 mm), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12.5 mm), as well as considerable antioxidant activity against DPPH with 69% inhibition at an IC50 value of 43.38 µg/mL. AgNPs also exhibited a concentration-dependent effect on rice plants. Root and shoot length were found to be positively impacted at all concentrations, i.e., 12.5 µg/mL, 25 µg/mL, 50 µg/mL, and 100 µg/mL. Among these concentrations, the 50 µg/mL concentration of AgNPs was found to be most effective. The plant biomass decreased at higher AgNP exposure levels (i.e., 100 µg/mL), whereas 50 µg/mL caused a significant increase in plant biomass as compared to the control. This study provides an eco-friendly method for the synthesis of AgNPs which can be used for their antibacterial and antioxidant activities and also as growth promoters of crop plants.

Zulfiqar, Hafsa; Shoaib Amjad, Muhammad; Mehmood, Ansar; Mustafa, Ghazala; Binish, Zakia; Khan, Samiullah; Arshad, Huma; Procków, Jarosław; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel.

Molecules, 27(18), 5847 : 1-17 (2022)

Collective and harmonized high throughput barcoding of insular arthropod biodiversity: Toward a Genomic Observatories Network for islands

Current understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes underlying island biodiversity is heavily shaped by empirical data from plants and birds, although arthropods comprise the overwhelming majority of known animal species, and as such can provide key insights into processes governing biodiversity. Novel high throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches are now emerging as powerful tools to overcome limitations in the availability of arthropod biodiversity data, and hence provide insights into these processes. Here, we explored how these tools might be most effectively exploited for comprehensive and comparable inventory and monitoring of insular arthropod biodiversity. We first reviewed the strengths, limitations and potential synergies among existing approaches of high throughput barcode sequencing. We considered how this could be complemented with deep learning approaches applied to image analysis to study arthropod biodiversity. We then explored how these approaches could be implemented within the framework of an island Genomic Observatories Network (iGON) for the advancement of fundamental and applied understanding of island biodiversity. To this end, we identified seven island biology themes at the interface of ecology, evolution and conservation biology, within which collective and harmonized efforts in HTS arthropod inventory could yield significant advances in island biodiversity research.

Emerson, Brent C.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Cardoso, Pedro; Convey, Peter; deWaard, Jeremy R.; Economo, Evan P.; Gillespie, Rosemary G.; Kennedy, Susan; Krehenwinkel, Henrik; Meier, Rudolf; Roderick, George K.; Strasberg, Dominique; Thébaud, Christophe; Traveset, Anna; Creedy, Thomas J.; Meramveliotakis, Emmanouil; Noguerales, Víctor; Overcast, Isaac; Morlon, Hélène; Papadopoulou, Anna; Vogler, Alfried P.; Arribas, Paula; Andújar, Carmelo.

Molecular Ecology : 1-16 (2022)

Iron(III)-Catalyzed Synthesis of 2‑Alkyl Homoallyl Sulfonyl Amides: Antiproliferative Study and Reactivity Scope of Aza-Prins Cyclization

A direct, catalytic, and complementary method to obtain 2-substituted homoallyl sulfonyl amides is described, starting from sulfonyl amides, aldehydes, and allyltrimethylsilane using iron(III) chloride as a sustainable catalyst. The scope of the process and the reactivity in aza-Prins cyclization is evaluated and supported by density functional theory (DFT) studies. Finally, an evaluation of the antiproliferative activity for this family of sulfonyl amides is also included.

Carballo, Rubén M.; Padrón, José M.; Fernández, Israel; Cruz, Daniel A.; Grmusa, Luana; Martín, Víctor S.; Padrón, Juan I.

Journal of Organic Chemistry

Synthesis of Tetrahydroazepines through Silyl Aza-Prins Cyclization Mediated by Iron(III) Salts

A new methodology for the synthesis of sevenmembered unsaturated azacycles (tetrahydroazepines) was developed. It is based on the powerful aza-Prins cyclization in combination with the Peterson-type elimination reaction. In a single reaction step, a C−N, C− C bond and an endocyclic double bond are formed. Under mild reaction conditions and using iron(III) salts as sustainable catalysts, tetrahydroazepines with different degrees of substitution are obtained directly and efficiently. DFT calculations supported the proposed mechanism.

Sinka, Victoria; Fernández, Israel; Padrón, Juan I.

Journal of Organic Chemistry

Synthesis of Oxazole–Tetrahydropyran Hybrids and Study on Their Antiproliferative Activity Against Human Tumour Cells

A series of triazole linked tetrahydropyran–oxazole hybrids was synthesized based on a previously reported lead compound with selective antiproliferative activity against human tumour cell lines. The series was prepared to evaluate the impact of LogP and different modifications in the activity, and the new compounds were assayed against A549, HBL-100, HeLa, SW1573, T-47D, and WiDr cell lines. Also, the potentiality to be P-gp substrate was tested. The compounds exhibited good antiproliferative results when compared with the standards cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil. In silico studies to evaluate pharmacokinetic properties using pkCSM software were also carried out.

Quintana, Vanesa; González-Bakker, Aday; Padrón, Juan I.; Martín, Víctor S.; Padrón, José M.; Davyt, Danilo; Valdomir, Guillermo.

European Journal of Organic Chemistry

Effects of Phytogenically Synthesized Bimetallic Ag/ZnO Nanomaterials and Nitrogen-Based Fertilizers on Biochemical and Yield Attributes of Two Wheat Varieties

Wheat is the most important staple food worldwide, but wheat cultivation faces challenges from high food demand. Fertilizers are already in use to cope with the demand; however, more unconventional techniques may be required to enhance the efficiency of wheat cultivation. Nanotechnology offers one potential technique for improving plant growth and production by providing stimulating agents to the crop. In this study, plant-derived Ag/ZnO nanomaterials were characterized using UV-Vis spectroscopy, SEM, EDX, FTIR, and XRD methods. Various concentrations of phytogenically synthesized Ag/ZnO nanomaterials (20, 40, 60, and 80 ppm) and nitrogen-based fertilizers (urea and ammonium sulphate 50 and 100 mg/L) were applied to wheat varieties (Galaxy-13 and Pak-13). The results obtained from this research showed that application of 60 ppm Ag/ZnO nanomaterials with nitrogenous fertilizers (50 and 100 mg/L) were more effective in improving biochemistry and increasing yield of wheat plants by reducing enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants (proline content, soluble sugar content, malondialdehyde, total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and catalase); and significantly increasing the protein content, number of grains per pot, spike length, 100-grain weight, grain yield per pot, and harvest index of both wheat varieties, compared to untreated plants. These findings allow us to propose Ag/ZnO nanomaterial formulation as a promising growth- and productivity-improvement strategy for wheat cultivation.

Ehsan, Maria; Iqbal Raja, Naveed; Mashwani, Zia Ur Rehman; Zohra, Efat; Abasi, Fozia; Ikram, Muhammad; Mustafa, Nilofar; Hamid Wattoo, Feroza; Procków, Jarosław; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel.

Nanomaterials, 12(17), 2894 : 1-23 (2022)

Efficient Oral Priming of Tenebrio molitor Larvae Using Heat-Inactivated Microorganisms

Microbial resistance is a global health problem that will increase over time. Advances in insect antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) offer a powerful new approach to combat antimicrobial resistance. Invertebrates represent a rich group of animals for the discovery of new antimicrobial agents due to their high diversity and the presence of adaptive immunity or “immune priming”. Here, we report a priming approach for Tenebrio molitor that simulates natural infection via the oral route. This oral administration has the advantage of minimizing the stress caused by conventional priming techniques and could be a viable method for mealworm immunity studies. When using inactivated microorganisms for oral priming, our results showed an increased survival of T. molitor larvae after exposure to various pathogens. This finding was consistent with the induction of antimicrobial activity in the hemolymph of primed larvae. Interestingly, the hemolymph of larvae orally primed with Escherichia coli showed constitutive activity against Staphylococcus aureus and heterologous activity for other Gram-negative bacteria, such as Salmonella enterica. The priming of T. molitor is generally performed via injection of the microorganism. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the oral administration of heat-inactivated microorganisms for priming mealworms. This technique has the advantage of reducing the stress that occurs with the conventional methods for priming vertebrates.

González-Acosta, Sergio; Baca-González, Victoria; Asensio-Calavia, Patricia; Otazo-Pérez, Andrea; López, Manuel R.; Morales-delaNuez, Antonio; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel.

Vaccines, 10(8), 1296 : 1-11 (2022)