a b s t r a c tHoney has always been regarded as a food which is advantageous for one's health and as a product which has healing qualities. For this reason, is necessary to protect consumers from the fraudulent mislabeling of inferior honeys. The purpose of this study was to investigate some properties of artisanal honey samples (n = 45) collected from the Northwest of Portugal by using different honey analysis tests such as moisture, ash, pH, free acidity, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), apparent sucrose, reducing sugars and diastase activity. 77.8% of the total exceeded the quality parameters and should be labeled as ''virgin" (humidity 618% and HMF 6 25 mg/kg). The present study found a linear correlation (y = 0.551x À 0.089; R = 0.995) between the electrical conductivity of honeys and their ash content. All of the samples showed an Erica sp. pollen percentage P15%, and 42% of the total were monofloral Erica sp. In respect to coliforms and Salmonella's presence, all the honey's samples shown to be negative. The existence of sulphite-reducing Clostridia was low, and well below the established limit by MERCOSUR. Yeasts, moulds and aerobic mesophiles were detected in low amounts.
SummaryHoney legislation has been addressed to establish the minimum marketing level of the product and the need for consumer protection through correct denominations. Research oriented toward assessment of floral origin and physicochemical properties may increase the commercial value of these products. The characteristics of thirty-one honeys produced in the Entre-Douro e Minho region in Portugal were studied. Pollen features and some physicochemical parameters (moisture, ash, pH, free acidity, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural contain, apparent sucrose, reducing sugars and diastase activity) were determined. The samples were found to meet international honey specifications. The present study found a linear regression between the ash content of honeys and their specific conductivity. Five samples are listed as Eucalyptus honey, one sample as Citrus honey, and twenty-five samples as multifloral honeys. Of the total, 87.1% exceeded the quality parameters and should be labelled as 'virgin' honey.
Six months-old seminal plants of 36 cacao genotypes grown under greenhouse conditions were subjected to two soil water regimes (control and drought) to assess, the effects of water deficit on growth, chemical composition and oxidative stress. In the control, soil moisture was maintained near field capacity with leaf water potentials (ΨWL) ranging from −0.1 to −0.5 MPa. In the drought treatment, the soil moisture was reduced gradually by withholding additional water until ΨWL reached values of between −2.0 to −2.5 MPa. The tolerant genotypes PS-1319, MO-20 and MA-15 recorded significant increases in guaiacol peroxidase activity reflecting a more efficient antioxidant metabolism. In relation to drought tolerance, the most important variables in the distinguishing contrasting groups were: total leaf area per plant; leaf, stem and total dry biomass; relative growth rate; plant shoot biomass and leaf content of N, Ca, and Mg. From the results of these analyses, six genotypes were selected with contrasting characteristics for tolerance to soil water deficit [CC-40, C. SUL-4 and SIC-2 (non-tolerant) and MA-15, MO-20, and PA-13 (tolerant)] for further assessment of the expression of genes NCED5, PP2C, psbA and psbO to water deficit. Increased expression of NCED5, PP2C, psbA and psbO genes were found for non-tolerant genotypes, while in the majority of tolerant genotypes there was repression of these genes, with the exception of PA-13 that showed an increased expression of psbA. Mutivariate analysis showed that growth variables, leaf and total dry biomass, relative growth rate as well as Mg content of the leaves were the most important factor in the classification of the genotypes as tolerant, moderately tolerant and sensitive to water deficit. Therefore these variables are reliable plant traits in the selection of plants tolerant to drought.
To facilitate the identification of Theobroma cacao L. that possess desirable traits to meet changing production and market conditions, there is a need to understand the genetic relationships among T. cacao germplasm. In addition, new cultivars are needed to provide more broadly based resistance to devastating diseases such as witches' broom disease [Crinipellis perniciosa (Stahel) Singer]. A subset of 270 T. cacao accessions based on (i) witches' broom disease resistance data, (ii) genetic characterization experiments, and (iii) a random sampling of recently acquired accessions was selected from the extensive germplasm collection at the Centro de Pesquisa do Cacau (CEPEC; Itabuna, Bahia, Brazil) in collaboration with Fazenda Almirante, a division of M&M Mars Incorporated in Itajuipe, Bahia, Brazil. Estimates of genetic distance based on random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity among the selected accessions. Incorporation of recently acquired accessions (Accessions 181–270) did not increase the breadth of the distribution of genetic diversity already present within the “original” group sampled (Accessions 1–180) suggesting new accessions collected from already sampled geographic regions do not increase the existing genetic diversity in the germplasm collection. In addition, differences in RAPD marker frequencies were associated with accessions that had a high threshold of tolerance to witches' broom disease. Most accessions exhibiting tolerance to witches' broom disease were from the Upper Amazon region, with the exception of SGU 26, a hybrid from Guatemala. This suggests that the Upper Amazon is not the only region to have genes for resistance to witches' broom disease and stresses the need for further collection and examination of germplasm from other regions.
BackgroundThe genetics of transcript-level variation is an exciting field that has recently given rise to many studies. Genetical genomics studies have mainly focused on cell lines, blood cells or adipose tissues, from human clinical samples or mice inbred lines. Few eQTL studies have focused on animal tissues sampled from outbred populations to reflect natural genetic variation of gene expression levels in animals. In this work, we analyzed gene expression in a whole tissue, pig skeletal muscle sampled from individuals from a half sib F2 family shortly after slaughtering.ResultsQTL detection on transcriptome measurements was performed on a family structured population. The analysis identified 335 eQTLs affecting the expression of 272 transcripts. The ontologic annotation of these eQTLs revealed an over-representation of genes encoding proteins involved in processes that are expected to be induced during muscle development and metabolism, cell morphology, assembly and organization and also in stress response and apoptosis. A gene functional network approach was used to evidence existing biological relationships between all the genes whose expression levels are influenced by eQTLs. eQTLs localization revealed a significant clustered organization of about half the genes located on segments of chromosome 1, 2, 10, 13, 16, and 18. Finally, the combined expression and genetic approaches pointed to putative cis-drivers of gene expression programs in skeletal muscle as COQ4 (SSC1), LOC100513192 (SSC18) where both the gene transcription unit and the eQTL affecting its expression level were shown to be localized in the same genomic region. This suggests cis-causing genetic polymorphims affecting gene expression levels, with (e.g. COQ4) or without (e.g. LOC100513192) potential pleiotropic effects that affect the expression of other genes (cluster of trans-eQTLs).ConclusionGenetic analysis of transcription levels revealed dependence among molecular phenotypes as being affected by variation at the same loci. We observed the genetic variation of molecular phenotypes in a specific situation of cellular stress thus contributing to a better description of muscle physiologic response. In turn, this suggests that large amounts of genetic variation, mediated through transcriptional networks, can drive transient cell response phenotypes and contribute to organismal adaptative potential.
BACKGROUND: Honey legislation has been addressed to establish the minimum marketing level of the product and the need for consumer protection through correct denominations. Research oriented toward assessment of floral origin and physicochemical properties may increase the commercial value of these products. The characteristics of 23 unifloral honeys of Erica sp., from Portugal, were studied. Pollen features and some physicochemical parameters (moisture, ash, pH, free acidity, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural content, apparent sucrose, reducing sugars and diastase activity) were determined.
Molecular markers (RAPD, AFLP and microsatellites) were used to generate a linkage map and to identify QTLs associated to witches' broom (Crinipellis perniciosa) resistance in cacao (Theobroma cacao), using 82 individuals of an F 2 population derived from the clones ICS-1 (susceptible) and Scavina-6 (resistant). Fifteen evaluations of the number of brooms have been carried out in six years (1997)(1998)(1999)(2000)(2001)(2002). In order to increase the precision and accuracy in the measures of resistance, each F 2 plant was cloned in three replications in a randomized block design with singletree plots and evaluated over 2 years. Three hundred and forty-two markers were obtained, being 33 microsatellites, 77 AFLPs and 232 RAPDs. The distribution of the number of brooms in the F 2 population was skewed to resistance, suggesting the involvement of major genes controlling resistance and the repeatability estimated for resistance was 44%. A strong putative QTL was detected as being related to witches' broom resistance. Associated to this QTL, the microsatellite mTcCIR35 explained 35.5% of the phenotypic variation in resistance. This marker is being used for marker-assisted selection in Scavina-6 progenies, including those selected in private plantations, as an auxiliary tool to the phenotypic selection.
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