The bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacities of polyphenolic extracts of 18 fresh and dry native non-traditional fruits from Brazil were determined using ABTS, DDPH, FRAP and b-carotene bleaching methods. The study provides an adaptation of these methods, along with an evaluation of the compounds related to antioxidant potential. The results show promising perspectives for the exploitation of non-traditional tropical fruit species with considerable levels of nutrients and antioxidant capacity. Although evaluation methods and results reported have not yet been sufficiently standardised, making comparisons difficult, our data add valuable information to current knowledge of the nutritional properties of tropical fruits, such as the considerable antioxidant capacity found for acerola-Malpighia emarginata and camu-camu-Myrciaria dubia (ABTS, DPPH and FRAP) and for puçá-preto-Mouriri pusa (all methods).
Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) are ubiquitous and abundant in nature and play a major role in nitrogen cycling. AOA have been studied intensively based on the amoA gene (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A), making it the most sequenced functional marker gene. Here, based on extensive phylogenetic and meta-data analyses of 33,378 curated archaeal amoA sequences, we define a highly resolved taxonomy and uncover global environmental patterns that challenge many earlier generalisations. Particularly, we show: (i) the global frequency of AOA is extremely uneven, with few clades dominating AOA diversity in most ecosystems; (ii) characterised AOA do not represent most predominant clades in nature, including soils and oceans; (iii) the functional role of the most prevalent environmental AOA clade remains unclear; and (iv) AOA harbour molecular signatures that possibly reflect phenotypic traits. Our work synthesises information from a decade of research and provides the first integrative framework to study AOA in a global context.
Summary1. Parasites can have important effects on host populations influencing either fecundity or mortality, but understanding the magnitude of these effects in endemic host-parasite systems is challenging and requires an understanding of ecological processes affecting both host and parasite. 2. Avian blood parasites (Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) have been much studied, but the effects of these parasites on hosts in areas where they are endemic remains poorly known. 3. We used a multistate modelling framework to explore the effects of chronic infection with Plasmodium on survival and recapture probability in a large data set of breeding blue tits, involving 3424 individuals and 3118 infection diagnoses over nine years. 4. We reveal strong associations between chronic malaria infection and both recapture and survival, effects that are dependent on the clade of parasite, on host traits and on the local risk of infection. 5. Infection with Plasmodium relictum was associated with reduced recapture probability and increased survival, compared to P. circumflexum, suggesting that these parasites have differing virulence and cause different types of selection on this host. 6. Our results suggest a large potential survival cost of acute infections revealed by modelling host survival as a function of the local risk of infection. 7. Our analyses suggest not only that endemic avian malaria may have multiple fitness effects on their hosts and that these effects are species dependent, but also that adding ecological structure (in this case parasite species and spatial variation in disease occurrence) to analyses of host-parasite interactions is an important step in understanding the ecology and evolution of these systems.
A mesophilic, neutrophilic and aerobic, ammonia-oxidizing archaeon, strain EN76T, was isolated from garden soil in Vienna (Austria). Cells were irregular cocci with a diameter of 0.6–0.9 µm and possessed archaella and archaeal pili as cell appendages. Electron microscopy also indicated clearly discernible areas of high and low electron density, as well as tubule-like structures. Strain EN76T had an S-layer with p3 symmetry, so far only reported for members of the Sulfolobales. Crenarchaeol was the major core lipid. The organism gained energy by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite aerobically, thereby fixing CO2, but growth depended on the addition of small amounts of organic acids. The optimal growth temperature was 42 °C and the optimal pH was 7.5, with ammonium and pyruvate concentrations of 2.6 and 1 mM, respectively. The genome of strain EN76T had a DNA G+C content of 52.7 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes showed that strain EN76T is affiliated with the recently proposed phylum Thaumarchaeota, sharing 85 % 16S rRNA gene sequence identity with the closest cultivated relative ‘Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus’ SCM1, a marine ammonia-oxidizing archaeon, and a maximum of 81 % 16S rRNA gene sequence identity with members of the phyla Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota and any of the other recently proposed phyla (e.g. ‘Korarchaeota’ and ‘Aigarchaeota’). We propose the name Nitrososphaera viennensis gen. nov., sp. nov. to accommodate strain EN76T. The type strain of Nitrososphaera viennensis is strain EN76T ( = DSM 26422T = JMC 19564T). Additionally, we propose the family Nitrososphaeraceae fam. nov., the order Nitrososphaerales ord. nov. and the class Nitrososphaeria classis nov.
The functioning of Arctic soil ecosystems is crucially important for global climate, and basic knowledge regarding their biogeochemical processes is lacking. Nitrogen (N) is the major limiting nutrient in these environments, and its availability is strongly dependent on nitrification. However, microbial communities driving this process remain largely uncharacterized in Arctic soils, namely those catalyzing the rate-limiting step of ammonia (NH 3 ) oxidation. Eleven Arctic soils were analyzed through a polyphasic approach, integrating determination of gross nitrification rates, qualitative and quantitative marker gene analyses of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) and enrichment of AOA in laboratory cultures. AOA were the only NH 3 oxidizers detected in five out of 11 soils and outnumbered AOB in four of the remaining six soils. The AOA identified showed great phylogenetic diversity and a multifactorial association with the soil properties, reflecting an overall distribution associated with tundra type and with several physico-chemical parameters combined. Remarkably, the different gross nitrification rates between soils were associated with five distinct AOA clades, representing the great majority of known AOA diversity in soils, which suggests differences in their nitrifying potential. This was supported by selective enrichment of two of these clades in cultures with different NH 3 oxidation rates. In addition, the enrichments provided the first direct evidence for NH 3 oxidation by an AOA from an uncharacterized Thaumarchaeota-AOA lineage. Our results indicate that AOA are functionally heterogeneous and that the selection of distinct AOA populations by the environment can be a determinant for nitrification activity and N availability in soils.
Avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) and other blood parasitic infections of birds constitute increasingly popular model systems in ecological and evolutionary host-parasite studies. Field studies of these parasites commonly use two traits in hypothesis testing: infection status (or prevalence at the population level) and parasitaemia, yet the causes of variation in these traits remain poorly understood. Here, we use quantitative PCR to investigate fine-scale environmental and host predictors of malaria infection status and parasitaemia in a large 4-year data set from a well-characterized population of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). We also examine the temporal dynamics of both traits within individuals. Both infection status and parasitaemia showed marked temporal and spatial variation within this population. However, spatiotemporal patterns of prevalence and parasitaemia were non-parallel, suggesting that different biological processes underpin variation in these two traits at this scale. Infection probability and parasitaemia both increased with host age, and parasitaemia was higher in individuals investing more in reproduction (those with larger clutch sizes). Several local environmental characteristics predicted parasitaemia, including food availability, altitude, and distance from the woodland edge. Although infection status and parasitaemia were somewhat repeatable within individuals, infections were clearly dynamic: patent infections frequently disappeared from the bloodstream, with up to 26% being lost between years, and parasitaemia also fluctuated within individuals across years in a pattern that mirrored annual population-level changes. Overall, these findings highlight the ecological complexity of avian malaria infections in natural populations, while providing valuable insight into the fundamental biology of this system that will increase its utility as a model host-parasite system.
Many tropical fruits are rich in anthocyanins, though limited information is available about the characterization and quantification of these anthocyanins. The identification and quantification of anthocyanin pigments in four tropical fruits were determined by HPLC-MS/MS. Fruits studied included acerola (Malphigia emarginata), jussara (Euterpe edulis), jambolão (Syzygium cumini), and guajiru (Chrysobalanus icaco). All four fruits were found to contain anthocyanin pigments. Anthocyanidin backbones included cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, pelargonidin, petunidin, and malvidin. Guajiru contained several acylated forms, while acerola, jussara, and jambolão contained only nonacylated glycosides. These results demonstrate that these tropical fruits are rich in anthocyanins and that the anthocyanins are widely ranging in anthocyanidin backbone, glycosylation, and acylation.
Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) are ubiquitous throughout the oceanic water column; however, our knowledge on their physiological and ecological diversity in different oceanic regions is rather limited. Here, we report the cultivation and characterization of two novel Nitrosopumilus strains, originating from coastal surface waters of the Northern Adriatic Sea. The combined physiological and genomic information revealed that each strain exhibits different metabolic and functional traits, potentially reflecting contrasting life modes. Strain NF5 contains many chemotaxis-related genes and is able to express archaella, suggesting that it can sense and actively seek favorable microenvironments such as nutrient-rich particles. In contrast, strain D3C is non-motile and shows higher versatility in substrate utilization, being able to use urea as an alternative substrate in addition to ammonia. Furthermore, it encodes a divergent, second copy of the AmoB subunit of the key enzyme ammonia monooxygenase, which might have an additional catalytic function and suggests further metabolic versatility. However, the role of this gene requires further investigation. Our results provide evidence for functional diversity and metabolic versatility among phylogenetically closely related thaumarchaeal strains, and point toward adaptations to free-living versus particle-associated life styles and possible niche differentiation among AOA in marine ecosystems.
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