Outbreaks of Shigella sonnei infection associated with eating fresh parsley--United States and Canada, July-August 1998.
In August 1998, the Minnesota Department of Health reported to CDC two restaurant-associated outbreaks of Shigella sonnei infections. Isolates from both outbreaks had two closely related pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns that differed only by a single band. Epidemiologic investigations implicated chopped, uncooked, curly parsley as the common vehicle for these outbreaks. Through inquiries to health departments and public health laboratories, six similar outbreaks were identified during July-August (in California [two], Massachusetts, and Florida in the United States and in Ontario and Alberta in Canada). Isolates from five of these outbreaks had the same PFGE pattern identified in the two outbreaks in Minnesota. This report describes the epidemiologic, traceback, environmental, and laboratory investigations, which implicated parsley imported from a farm in Mexico as the source of these outbreaks. (+info)
Effects of total coumarins of Cnidium monnieri on bone density and biomechanics of glucocorticoids-induced osteoporosis in rats.
AIM: To evaluate the effects of total coumarins from dried fruits of Cnidium monnieri (TCCM) on glucocorticoids (GC)-induced osteoporosis (OP) in rats. METHODS: Single photon absorptiometric and biomechanical character measurements of femurs were used. RESULTS: The bone density (BD) indices in proximal, middle, and distal segments in GC group were decreased by 12% (P < 0.05), 14% (P < 0.05), and 12% (P < 0.05), respectively vs control group. The BD on proximal, middle, and distal segments in GC-TCCM group were increased by 26% (P < 0.01), 34% (P < 0.01), and 31% (P < 0.01), respectively vs GC group. The biomechanical competence in femoral middle segments in GC group tended to decrease vs control group. In GC-TCCM group, the torsional strength, energy, maximal torsional angle, and rigidity were increased by 15% (P < 0.05), 32% (P < 0.05), 14% (P > 0.05), and 13% (P > 0.05), respectively vs the GC group. CONCLUSION: TCCM not only prevented glucocorticoids-induced osteoporosis but also increased the torsional strength of femurs in rats. (+info)
Early nuclear events in plant defence signalling: rapid gene activation by WRKY transcription factors.
Parsley WRKY proteins comprise a family of plant-specific zinc-finger-type factors implicated in the regulation of genes associated with pathogen defence. In vitro, these proteins bind specifically to functionally defined TGAC-containing W box promoter elements within the Pathogenesis-Related Class10 (PR-10) genes. Here we present in vivo data demonstrating that WRKY1 is a transcriptional activator mediating fungal elicitor-induced gene expression by binding to W box elements. In situ RNA hybridization revealed that the WRKY1 gene is rapidly and locally activated in parsley leaf tissue around fungal infection sites. Transient expression studies in parsley protoplasts showed that a specific arrangement of W box elements in the WRKY1 promoter itself is necessary and sufficient for early activation and that WRKY1 binds to such elements. Our results demonstrate that WRKY transcription factors play an important role in the regulation of early defence-response genes including regulation of WRKY1. (+info)
Overexpression of a designed 2.2 kb gene of eukaryotic phenylalanine ammonia-lyase in Escherichia coli.
Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (EC 126.96.36.199) is a key enzyme in the secondary metabolism of higher plants catalyzing the non-oxidative conversion of L-phenylalanine into transcinnamate. The nucleotide sequence of its 2.2 kb gene was designed for expression in Escherichia coli and synthesized in a single reaction from 108 oligonucleotides using assembly PCR. After amplification, the gene was cloned into the expression vector pT7-7 and coexpressed with the chaperone HSP-60 system. The expression system yielded 70 mg of fully active enzyme per liter culture. (+info)
rsmC of the soft-rotting bacterium Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora negatively controls extracellular enzyme and harpin(Ecc) production and virulence by modulating levels of regulatory RNA (rsmB) and RNA-binding protein (RsmA).
Previous studies have shown that the production of extracellular enzymes (pectate lyase [Pel], polygalacturonase [Peh], cellulase [Cel], and protease [Prt]) and harpin(Ecc) (the elicitor of hypersensitive reaction) in Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora is regulated by RsmA, an RNA-binding protein, and rsmB, a regulatory RNA (Rsm stands for regulator of secondary metabolites) (Y. Liu et al., Mol. Microbiol. 29:219-234, 1998). We have cloned and characterized a novel regulatory gene, rsmC, that activates RsmA production and represses extracellular enzyme and harpin(Ecc) production, rsmB transcription, and virulence in E. carotovora subsp. carotovora. In an rsmC knockout mutant of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora Ecc71 carrying the chromosomal copy of the wild-type rsmA(+) allele, the basal levels of Pel, Peh, Cel, Prt, and harpin(Ecc) as well as the amounts of rsmB, pel-1, peh-1, celV, and hrpN(Ecc) transcripts are high, whereas the levels of rsmA transcripts and RsmA protein are low. Furthermore, the expression of an rsmA-lacZ gene fusion is lower in the RsmC(-) mutant than in the RsmC(+) parent. Conversely, the expression of an rsmB-lacZ operon fusion is higher in the RsmC(-) mutant than in the RsmC(+) parent. These observations establish that RsmC negatively regulates rsmB transcription but positively affects RsmA production. Indeed, comparative studies with an RsmC(-) mutant, an RsmA(-) mutant, and an RsmA(-) RsmC(-) double mutant have revealed that the negative effects on exoprotein production and virulence are due to the cumulative regulatory effects of RsmC on rsmA and rsmB. Exoprotein production by the RsmC(-) mutant is partially dependent on the quorum sensing signal, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone. Southern blot data and analysis of PCR products disclosed the presence of rsmC sequences in E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica, E. carotovora subsp. betavasculorum, and E. carotovora subsp. carotovora. These findings collectively support the idea that rsmA and rsmB expression in these plant pathogenic Erwinia species is controlled by RsmC or a functional homolog of RsmC. (+info)
Phosphorylation of the parsley bZIP transcription factor CPRF2 is regulated by light.
The analysis of the complex network of signal transduction chains has demonstrated the importance of transcription factor activities for the control of gene expression. To understand how transcription factor activities in plants are regulated in response to light, we analyzed the common plant regulatory factor 2 (CPRF2) from parsley (Petroselinum crispum L.) that interacts with promoter elements of light-regulated genes. Here, we demonstrate that CPRF2 is a phosphoprotein in vivo and that its phosphorylation state is rapidly increased in response to light. Phosphorylation in vitro as well as in vivo occurs primarily within the C-terminal half of the factor, and is caused by a cytosolic 40-kDa protein serine kinase. In contrast to other plant basic leucine-zipper motif factors, phosphorylation of CPRF2 does not alter its DNA binding activity. Therefore, we discuss alternative functions of the light-dependent phosphorylation of CPRF2 including the regulation of its nucleocytoplasmic partitioning. (+info)
Phytophotodermatitis associated with parsnip picking.
Phytophotodermatitis to certain plant groups is a well recognised entity. The combination of sunlight exposure and contact with plants of the umbelliferae family leads to the development of painful, erythematous, and bullous lesions and later to cutaneous hyperpigmentation. Agricultural workers and many clinicians often fail to make this link when patients present with these lesions. An incident involving 11 patients is presented to high-light this problem. (+info)
Adipose tissue triacylglycerols of rats are modulated differently by dietary isomeric octadecenoic acids from coriander oil and high oleic sunflower oil.
Earlier feeding studies of rats revealed that petroselinic acid [18:1(n-12)] from triacylglycerols of coriander (Coriandrum sativum) oil is extensively incorporated into the lipids of heart and liver and metabolized via beta-oxidation and chain elongation. We report here the composition and stereospecific distribution of acyl moieties, particularly isomeric octadecenoyl moieties, in adipose tissue triacylglycerols of male weaned Wistar rats fed diets containing, in addition to 20 g corn oil/kg feed, 120 g coriander oil per kg feed at a level of 63 g 18:1(n-12) moieties/100 g acyl moieties of the oil for 10 wk. For comparison, a group of rats was fed a similar corn oil-containing isocaloric diet with large proportions of oleoyl moieties [18:1(n-9)] from high oleic sunflower oil [72 g 18:1(n-9)/100 g acyl moieties of the oil]. The composition of the triacylglycerols of epididymal, subcutaneous and perirenal adipose tissues was very similar for each feeding group, broadly reflecting the composition of the dietary oils. Feeding coriander oil, compared with high oleic sunflower oil, led to extensive incorporation of 18:1(n-12) into the triacylglycerols of the adipose tissues with a concomitant significantly and dramatically lower 18:1(n-9) concentration and, as a consequence, to the generation of triacylglycerol species containing 18:1(n-12) moieties. Petroselinoyl moieties from coriander oil were esterified predominantly at the sn-1,3 positions of the adipose tissue triacylglycerols; 18:1(n-9) moieties from high oleic sunflower oil were fairly evenly distributed between the sn-1,3 and sn-2 positions. We suggest that acyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of adipose tissue triacylglycerols direct 18:1(n-12) moieties preferentially to sn-1,3-positions. (+info)