Metschnikowia koreensis sp. nov., a novel yeast species isolated from flowers in Korea.
A novel ascomycetous yeast was isolated from flowers of Lilium sp. and Ipomoea sp. in Korea. The name Metschnikowia koreensis sp. nov. (type strain SG99-34T = CBS 8854T = KCTC 7998T) is proposed for this novel species based on comparative sequence analyses of the D1/D2 domain of 26S rDNA and phenotypic characteristics. (+info)
Anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic activity of Ipomoea imperati (Vahl) Griseb (Convolvulaceae).
Ipomoea imperati (Convolvulaceae) lives on the sandy shores of the Brazilian coast and in other areas of the world. The anti-inflammatory activity of a methanol-water extract of the leaves of I. imperati was investigated in experimental models of acute and subchronic inflammation. Topical application of the extract (10 mg/ear) inhibited mouse ear edema induced by croton oil (89.0 +/- 1.3% by the lipid fraction with an IC50 of 3.97 mg/ear and 57.0 +/- 1.3% by the aqueous fraction with an IC50 of 3.5 mg/ear) and arachidonic acid (42.0 +/- 2.0% with an IC50 of 4.98 mg/ear and 31.0 +/- 2.0% with an IC50 of 4.72 mg/ear). Phospholipase A2, purified from Apis mellifera bee venom, was also inhibited by the extract (5.0 mg/ml lipid and aqueous fraction) in vitro in a dose-dependent manner (85% by the lipid fraction with an IC50 of 3.22 mg/ml and 25% by the aqueous fraction with an IC50 of 3.43 mg/ml). The methanol-water extract of I. imperati (1000 mg/kg) administered by the oral route also inhibited the formation of cotton pellet-induced granulomas (73.2 +/- 1.2% by the lipid fraction and 56.14 +/- 2.7% by the aqueous fraction) and did not cause gastric mucosal lesions. I. imperati extracts (10 mg/ml) also inhibited in a dose-dependent manner the muscle contractions of guinea pig ileum induced by acetylcholine and histamine (IC50 of 1.60 mg/ml for the lipid fraction and 4.12 mg/ml for the aqueous fraction). These results suggest the use of I. imperati as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic agent in traditional medicine. (+info)
The flowerpiercers' hook: an experimental test of an evolutionary trade-off.
The evolution of features that enhance an organism's performance in one activity can adversely affect its performance in another. We used an experimental approach to document a trade-off associated with the evolution of the long hook at the tip of the bill of birds belonging to the genus Diglossa (flowerpiercers). In Diglossa, the more derived flower-robbing nectarivorous species have maxillae (upper jaws) that terminate in enlarged curved hooks. The ancestral frugivorous species have maxillae with relatively small hooks. We mimicked bill evolution by clipping the terminal bill hook of nectarivorous Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercers (Diglossa baritula) to resemble the frugivorous condition. We found that birds with experimentally shortened bills ingested fruit more efficiently, but had a reduced ability to rob flowers. Birds with intact bills, by contrast, were good flower robbers but poor frugivores. The evolution of a hooked bill endowed flowerpiercers with the ability to efficiently pierce flowers and extract nectar, but hindered their efficiency to feed on fruit. (+info)
Molecular cloning and expression analysis of a CONSTANS homologue, PnCOL1, from Pharbitis nil.
The Arabidopsis CONSTANS (CO) gene is a key regulator of the long day (LD)-dependent flowering pathway and two CO homologous genes COL1 and COL2 are involved in the regulation of the circadian rhythm. In order to understand the role of CO and COL in short-day plants, a CO homologue, PnCOL1, was isolated and characterized from Japanese morning glory (Pharbitis nil). The deduced PnCOL1 protein of 386 amino acid residues contained two putative zinc finger motifs at the N-terminal region and a conserved CCT domain at the C-terminal region. The deduced amino acid sequence of PnCOL1 was 34% identical to that of PnCO, but 32%, 34%, and 34% identical to those of CO, COL1, and COL2, respectively. Expression of PnCOL1 was barely detected in the cotyledons of plants grown under continuous light (CL), but highly expressed in the cotyledons of plants grown under SD. Expression of PnCOL1 showed a pattern of circadian rhythm as well as daily oscillation. The overexpression of PnCOL1 by a 35S promoter did not overcome the late-flowering phenotype of Arabidopsis co mutants. The results provided in this study suggest that PnCOL1 may have a role in the circadian rhythm in Pharbitis nil. (+info)
Evolutionary rate variation in anthocyanin pathway genes.
Over a broad taxonomic range that spans monocots and dicots, upstream enzymes of the anthocyanin pigment pathway have evolved less rapidly than downstream enzymes. In this article we show that this pattern is also evident within the genus Ipomoea. Specifically, the most upstream enzyme, chalcone synthase (CHS-D), evolves more slowly than the two most downstream enzymes, ancyocyanidin synthase (ANS) and UDP glucose flavonoid 3-oxy-glucosyltransferase (UFGT). This pattern appears not to be due to variation in mutation rates, because the CHS-D gene exhibits higher synonymous substitution rates than the genes for the other two enzymes. Codon-based tests for positive selection suggest that it has been negligible or absent in all three genes. In addition, the mean number of indel-creating events is four times as high in the downstream genes as in CHS-D. Unlike the downstream genes, CHS-D also exhibits evidence of codon bias. Together, the evidence suggests that the difference in nonsynonymous substitution rates between upstream and downstream genes is due to relaxed constraint on the downstream genes rather than a greater frequency of positively selected substitutions. (+info)
The genetic basis of a flower color polymorphism in the common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea).
The common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) is highly polymorphic for flower color. Part of this phenotypic variation is due to allelic variation at the P locus. This locus determines whether flowers will be purple or pink, where purple is dominant to pink. We have determined that the anthocyanin biosynthetic gene flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (f3'h) corresponds to the P locus. In the pink allele of f3'h there is a large insertion in the third exon, which results in the production of a truncated transcript. This shortened transcript produces a nonfunctional F3'H enzyme, resulting in the production of pink flowers rather than purple. In addition, we describe a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay that can be used to determine the genotype of a plant at this locus. (+info)
Gibberellin induces alpha-amylase gene in seed coat of Ipomoea nil immature seeds.
Two full-length cDNAs encoding gibberellin 3-oxidases, InGA3ox1 and InGA3ox2, were cloned from developing seeds of morning glory (Ipomoea nil (Pharbitis nil) Choisy cv. Violet) with degenerate-PCR and RACEs. The RNA-blot analysis for these clones revealed that the InGA3ox2 gene was organ-specifically expressed in the developing seeds at 6-18 days after anthesis. In situ hybridization showed the signals of InGA3ox2 mRNA in the seed coat, suggesting that active gibberellins (GAs) were synthesized in the tissue, although no active GA was detected there by immunohistochemistry. In situ hybridization analysis for InAmy1 (former PnAmy1) mRNA showed that InAmy1 was also synthesized in the seed coat. Both InGA3ox2 and InAmy1 genes were expressed spatially overlapped without a clear time lag, suggesting that both active GAs and InAmy1 were synthesized almost simultaneously in seed coat and secreted to the integument. These observations support the idea that GAs play an important role in seed development by inducing alpha-amylase. (+info)
Absorption and metabolism of bisphenol A, a possible endocrine disruptor, in the aquatic edible plant, water convolvulus (Ipomoea aquatica).
Water convolvulus, a vegetable, absorbed bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor, from the medium. One week later, no BPA could be detected in the plant, indicating that BPA had been metabolized in the plant. BPA monoglucoside was detected as the BPA base at ca. 10% in the roots, some in the stems, but none in the leaves. (2)H-NMR analyses of MeOH extracts and hydrolyzates of the plant treated with BPA-d(16) showed the presence of metabolites (ca. 7% and 26%, respectively, as BPA equivalents) other than the glucoside. Over 50% of BPA might be polymerized and/or tightly bound in the plant residues. (+info)