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Critical Reviews in Biotechnology

Tong Li, Ya-Hui Wang, Jie-Xia Liu, Kai Feng, Zhi-Sheng Xu, Ai-Sheng Xiong
Biotic stress is one of the key factors that restrict the growth and development of plants. Fruit crops are mostly perennial, so they are more seriously endangered by biotic stress. Plant responses to different types of biotic stresses such as pathogens and insects are controlled by a very complex regulatory and defense system. High-throughput sequencing (next-generation sequencing) has brought powerful research strategies and methods to the research fields of genomics and post-genomics. Functional genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and deep-sequencing of small RNAs provides a new path to better understand the complex regulatory and defense systems behind biotic stress in plants...
May 8, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ying-Yu Wang, Jian-Zhong Xu, Wei-Guo Zhang
l-Leucine, as an essential branched-chain amino acid for humans and animals, has recently been attracting much attention because of its potential for a fast-growing market demand. The applicability ranges from flavor enhancers, animal feed additives and ingredients in cosmetic to specialty nutrients in pharmaceutical and medical fields. Microbial fermentation is the major method for producing l-leucine by using Escherichia coli and Corynebacterium glutamicum as host bacteria. This review gives an overview of the metabolic pathway of l-leucine (i...
May 6, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Matías Gutiérrez-González, Yesenia Latorre, Roberto Zúñiga, Juan Carlos Aguillón, María Carmen Molina, Claudia Altamirano
The continuous increase of approved biopharmaceutical products drives the development of more efficient recombinant protein expression systems. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are the mainstay for this purpose but have some drawbacks, such as low levels of expression. Several strategies have been applied to increase the productivity of CHO cells with different outcomes. Transcription factor (TF) engineering has emerged as an interesting and successful approach, as these proteins can act as master regulators; the expression and function of a TF can be controlled by small molecules, and it is possible to design tailored TFs and promoters with desired features...
April 29, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ilaria Mannazzu, Paola Domizio, Gavino Carboni, Severino Zara, Giacomo Zara, Francesca Comitini, Marilena Budroni, Maurizio Ciani
Killer toxins are proteins that are often glycosylated and bind to specific receptors on the surface of their target microorganism, which is then killed through a target-specific mode of action. The killer phenotype is widespread among yeast and about 100 yeast killer species have been described to date. The spectrum of action of the killer toxins they produce targets spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. Thus, they have potential as natural antimicrobials in food and for biological control of plant pathogens, as well as therapeutic agents against animal and human infections...
April 25, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ushmaben Chandrakantbhai Dave, Ravi-Kumar Kadeppagari
Alanine dehydrogenase (AlaDH) (E.C. is a microbial enzyme that catalyzes a reversible conversion of L-alanine to pyruvate. Inter-conversion of alanine and pyruvate by AlaDH is central to metabolism in microorganisms. Its oxidative deamination reaction produces pyruvate which plays a pivotal role in the generation of energy through the tricarboxylic acid cycle for sporulation in the microorganisms. Its reductive amination reaction provides a route for the incorporation of ammonia and produces L-alanine which is required for synthesis of the peptidoglycan layer, proteins, and other amino acids...
April 24, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Rodrigo Gómez, Paula Vicino, Néstor Carrillo, Anabella F Lodeyro
Plants exposed to hostile environmental conditions such as drought or extreme temperatures usually undergo oxidative stress, which has long been assumed to significantly contribute to the damage suffered by the organism. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduced under stress conditions were proposed to destroy membrane lipids and to inactivate proteins and photosystems, ultimately leading to cell death. Accordingly, considerable effort has been devoted, over the years, to improve stress tolerance by strengthening antioxidant and dissipative mechanisms...
April 16, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Isiri Adhiwarie Perera, Sudharsanam Abinandan, Suresh R Subashchandrabose, Kadiyala Venkateswarlu, Ravi Naidu, Mallavarapu Megharaj
The excessive generation and discharge of wastewaters have been serious concerns worldwide in the recent past. From an environmental friendly perspective, bacteria, cyanobacteria and microalgae, and the consortia have been largely considered for biological treatment of wastewaters. For efficient use of bacteria‒cyanobacteria/microalgae consortia in wastewater treatment, detailed knowledge on their structure, behavior and interaction is essential. In this direction, specific analytical tools and techniques play a significant role in studying these consortia...
April 11, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Tao Liu, Shihu Hu, Jianhua Guo
Due to serious eutrophication in water bodies, nitrogen removal has become a critical stage for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) over past decades. Conventional biological nitrogen removal processes are based on nitrification and denitrification (N/DN), and are suffering from several major drawbacks, including substantial aeration consumption, high fugitive greenhouse gas emissions, a requirement for external carbon sources, excessive sludge production and low energy recovery efficiency, and thus unable to satisfy the escalating public needs...
April 11, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Qingyun He, Piao Xu, Chen Zhang, Guangming Zeng, Zhifeng Liu, Dongbo Wang, Wangwang Tang, Haoran Dong, Xiaofei Tan, Abing Duan
The objective of this study is to summarize the effects of surfactants on anaerobic digestion (AD) of waste activated sludge (WAS). The increasing amount of WAS has caused serious environmental problems. Anaerobic digestion, as the main treatment for WAS containing three stages (i.e. hydrolysis, acidogenesis, and methanogenesis), has been widely investigated. Surfactant addition has been demonstrated to improve the efficiency of AD. Surfactant, as an amphipathic substance, can enhance the efficiency of hydrolysis by separating large sludge and releasing the encapsulated hydrolase, providing more substance for subsequent acidogenesis...
April 8, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ashish Prasad, Namisha Sharma, Mehanathan Muthamilarasan, Sumi Rana, Manoj Prasad
Small RNAs (sRNA) are reported to play pivotal roles in the epigenetic and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression during growth, development, and stress response in plants. Recently, the involvement of two different classes of sRNAs namely, miRNAs (microRNAs), and siRNAs (small interfering RNAs) in biotic stress response has been underlined. Notably, during virus infection, these sRNAs deploy antiviral defense by regulating the gene expression of the modulators of host defense pathways. As a counter defense, viruses have evolved strategic pathways involving the production of suppressors that interfere with the host silencing machinery...
April 4, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Rohini Bhat, Dhiraj Vyas
Glucosinolate-myrosinase is a substrate-enzyme defense mechanism present in Brassica crops. This binary system provides the plant with an efficient system against herbivores and pathogens. For humans, it is well known for its anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-bacterial, cardio-protective, and central nervous system protective activities. Glucosinolate and myrosinase are spatially present in different cells that upon tissue disruption come together and result in the formation of a variety of hydrolysis products with diverse physicochemical and biological properties...
April 2, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
María Gómez-Brandón, Marta Lores, Heribert Insam, Jorge Domínguez
Grapes are one of the most cultivated fruit crops worldwide. Either for wine or juice production, grape processing generates a large amount of residues that must be treated, disposed of or reused properly to reduce their pollution load before being applied to the soil. In this review, a special focus is given to the treatment and valorization of the winemaking by-product like grape marc via anaerobic digestion, composting and vermicomposting at laboratory, pilot, and industrial scales. The impact of the final products (digestates, composts, and vermicomposts) on soil properties is briefly addressed...
April 2, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Winny Routray, Deepika Dave, Sukhinder K Cheema, Vegneshwaran V Ramakrishnan, Julia Pohling
Microorganisms (microalgae and fungi) are currently the main sources of astaxanthin; however, this carotenoid also accumulates in crustaceans, salmonids, and birds. Seafood (derived from marine animals) processing wastes are significant sources of astaxanthin and can be employed as feed and for nutraceutical applications, where shrimp wastes are the most exploited seafood industry waste employed for astaxanthin extraction. This review discusses different sources, efficient environment-friendly extraction methods employed for astaxanthin extraction, biorefinery approaches for efficient extraction and future aspects of the application of these waste sources for commercial preparation of astaxanthin complexes...
April 2, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
David Bolzonella, Matteo Papa, Cinzia Da Ros, Lokeshwer Anga Muthukumar, Diego Rosso
Wine production is one of the leading sectors of the food processing industry. The wine industry produces a large amount of wastewater characterized by a high strength in terms of organic pollution and large variability throughout the year. Most of the organic matter is soluble and easily biodegradable. On the other hand, nitrogen and phosphorous are lacking. The aerobic and anaerobic processes are largely applied for winery wastewater treatment because they can quickly react to changes in the organic loading...
April 2, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Drew Kuraitis, Katsuhiro Hosoyama, Nick J R Blackburn, Chao Deng, Zhiyuan Zhong, Erik J Suuronen
Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of death in developed nations. As the disease progresses, myocardial infarction can occur leaving areas of dead tissue in the heart. To compensate, the body initiates its own repair/regenerative response in an attempt to restore function to the heart. These efforts serve as inspiration to researchers who attempt to capitalize on the natural regenerative processes to further augment repair. Thus far, researchers are exploiting these repair mechanisms in the functionalization of soft materials using a variety of growth factor-, ligand- and peptide-incorporating approaches...
April 1, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Mariateresa Ferone, Francesca Raganati, Giuseppe Olivieri, Antonio Marzocchella
Succinic acid (SA) has been recognized as one of the most important bio-based building block chemicals due to its numerous potential applications. Fermentation SA production from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks can have the economic and sustainability potential to replace petroleum-based production in the future, not only for existing markets, but also for new larger volume markets. Design and operation of bio-reactors play a key role. During the last 20 years, many different fermentation strategies for SA production have been described in literature, including utilization of immobilized biocatalysts, integrated fermentation and separation systems and batch, fed-batch, and continuous operation modes...
March 31, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Cristiano E Rodrigues Reis, Heitor B S Bento, Ana K F Carvalho, Aravindan Rajendran, Bo Hu, Heizir F De Castro
The establishment of an efficient and feasible biorefinery model depends on, among other factors, particularly the selection of the most appropriate microorganism. Mucor circinelloides is a dimorphic fungus species able to produce a wide variety of hydrolytic enzymes, lipids prone to biodiesel production, carotenoids, ethanol, and biomass with significant nutritional value. M. circinelloides also has been selected as a model species for genetic modification by being the first filamentous oleaginous species to have its genome fully characterized, as well as being a species characterized as a potential bioremediation agent...
March 31, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Vemana Gowd, Lianghua Xie, Xiaodong Zheng, Wei Chen
Diabetes mellitus (DM) increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other secondary complications, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, etc. The important risk factors for the pathogenesis of DM are aging, family history, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy dietary habits, and obesity. Evidence from epidemiological studies also indicates that DM is characterized by specific alterations in the human gut microbiota (GM). GM transplantation in rodents and humans revealed that a specific GM constituent can be the cause and not just the consequence of the DM condition and complications...
February 27, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Bo-Bo Zhang, Yu-Yan Guan, Peng-Fei Hu, Lei Chen, Gan-Rong Xu, Liming Liu, Peter C K Cheung
Edible and medicinal mushrooms have usually been considered as a sustainable source of unique bioactive metabolites, which are valued as promising provisions for human health. Antrodia cinnamomea is a unique edible and medicinal fungus widespread in Taiwan, which has attracted much attention in recent years for its high value in both scientific research and commercial applications owing to its potent therapeutic effects, especially for its hepatic protection and anticancer activity. Due to the scarcity of the fruiting bodies, the cultivation of A...
February 27, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Wentao Sun, Lei Qin, Haijie Xue, Yang Yu, Yihua Ma, Ying Wang, Chun Li
Triterpenoids possess versatile biological activities including antiviral, anticancer, and hepatoprotective activities. They are widely used in medicine and other health-related fields. However, current production of such compounds relies on plant culture and extraction, which brings about concerns for environmental, ecological, and infield problems. With increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, various microbes have been engineered to produce natural products, in which yeast turned out to be feasible for the heterologous biosynthesis of triterpenoids on account of its inherent advantages such as the robustness, safety, and sufficient precursor supplementation...
August 2019: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
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