Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil phosphorus level on expression of protein and activity of peroxidase on passion fruit roots. (1/50)

The effects of mycorrhizal inoculation and increasing soil P levels on the expression of total proteins and peroxidase activity on passion fruit roots were evaluated. The experimental design was entirely at random, with four treatments of inoculation (a--control; b--Gigaspora albida; c--Scutellospora heterogama; d--mixture of G. albida, G. margarita, S. heterogama, and Glomus clarum) x three levels of soil P (4, 11, and 30 mg/dm3 of soil), each with three replicates. Plants were harvested 70 days after inoculation, when root colonization, shoot P level, protein content, and enzymatic activity of peroxidase (PAGE--7%) on root extract were evaluated. Regarding protein, there was no significant difference among the treatments, except between those roots receiving mixed inoculum and 11 mg P/dm3 of soil. Effect of P on protein concentration, when compared with the inoculation effect was observed. For peroxidase, there was an eletrophoretic band common to all treatments (rf: 0.43) and another that was absent only in noncolonized plants, grown in soil with lower P (rf: 0.46). Mycorrhizal specific bands were not present but a small decrease of intensity of bands in noncolonized plants was observed. Conversely, the control roots presented a single band (rf: 0.33) not observed in the other extracts, that may demonstrate an inhibitory effect of AMF on some host activities. The data showed the influence of P level in soil on the protein expression of roots, suggesting the influence of this nutrient on root genetic expression as well as on the mechanisms of symbiotic control/recognition.  (+info)

Geographical variation in larval host-plant use by Heliconius erato (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) and consequences for adult life history. (2/50)

Adult body size, one of the most important life-history components, varies strongly within and between Heliconius erato phyllis (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) populations. This study determines if this variation is caused by geographical changes in host-plant used by the larval stage, whose reproductive parameters are influenced by female body size, with estimates of the corresponding heritability. The variation in adult body size was determined together with a survey of passion vine species (Passifloraceae) used by the larvae in seven localities in Rio Grande do Sul State: three located in the urban area of Porto Alegre and Triunfo Counties, two within Eucalyptus plantations (Barba Negra Forest, Barra do Ribeiro County, and Aguas Belas Experimental Station-Viamao County), one in a Myrtaceae Forest (Itapua State Park-Itapua County) and one in the Atlantic Rain Forest (Maquine Experimental Station-Maquine County). Effects of female body size on fecundity, egg size and egg viability were determined in an outdoor insectary. Size heritability was estimated by rearing in the laboratory offspring of individuals maintained in an insectary. The data showed that adults from populations where larvae feed only upon Passiflora suberosa are smaller than those that feed on Passiflora misera. The larvae prefer P. misera even when the dominant passion vine in a given place is P. suberosa. Fecundity increases linearly with the increase in size of females, but there is no size effect on egg size or viability. Size heritability is null for the adult size range occurring in the field. Thus, the geographical variation of H. erato phyllis adult size is primarily determined by the type, corresponding availability and quality of host-plants used by the larval stage. Within the natural size range of H. erato phyllis, the variation related to this character is not genetically based, thus being part of H. erato phyllis phenotypic plasticity.  (+info)

Restoration of chronic-Delta 9-THC-induced decline in sexuality in male rats by a novel benzoflavone moiety from Passiflora incarnata Linn. (3/50)

1 The present study comprised treatment of healthy male rats with Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, 10 mg kg(-1), p.o.), and combinations of THC with benzoflavone moiety (BZF, 10 and 20 mg kg(-1), p.o.) isolated from Passiflora incarnata Linneaus, over a period of 30 days. 2 Upon 30-days chronic administrations, the THC-treated male rats had a significant loss of libido (mounting behaviour with non-oestrous female rats), decrease in sperm count, and number of impregnated pro-estrous female rats. 3 Co-administration of BZF (10 and 20 mg kg(-1) p.o.) afforded significant protection against the chronic-THC-induced decrease in libido, mating performance and fertility during 30-day experimental regimen. The 20 mg kg(-1) dose of BZF exhibited better results. 4 Upon discontinuation of THC, treatment with BZF (10 and 20 mg kg(-1) p.o.) also facilitated the early restoration chronic-THC-induced decline in libido, sperm count and sexual fertility within 7 days.  (+info)

Variability of the 5S and 45S rDNA sites in Passiflora L. species with distinct base chromosome numbers. (4/50)

Cytologically, the species of Passiflora with known chromosome number can be divided into four groups: (1) 2n = 12, 24, 36; (2) 2n = 24; (3) 2n = 18, 72; and (4) 2n = 20. The base chromosome number proposed for the genus is x = 6, with x = 9, x = 10 and x = 12 being considered secondary base numbers. In the present study, variability of 5S and 45S rDNA sites was investigated in 20 species of these four groups to check the reliability of this hypothesis. In the group with x = 6, five diploid species (2n = 12) exhibit two 5S rDNA sites and two (P. capsularis, P. morifolia and P. rubra) or four (P. misera 2x and P. tricuspis) 45S rDNA sites. The hexaploid cytotype of P. misera had 12 45S rDNA sites and six 5S rDNA. A tetraploid species, P. suberosa, had ten 45S rDNA sites and four 5S rDNA sites, both in the same chromosomes as the 45S rDNA sites. In the group with x = 9, P. actinia, P. amethystina, P. edmundoi, P. elegans, P. galbana, P. glandulosa and P. mucronata displayed six 45S rDNA sites, whereas P. alata, P. cincinnata, P. edulis f. flavicarpa, P. edulis var. roxo and P. laurifolia had four sites. In this group, all species were diploid (2n = 18) and had only two 5S rDNA sites. Passiflora foetida, the only species with 2n = 20, had six 45S rDNA sites and four 5S rDNA sites. The species with x = 12 (2n = 24), P. haematostigma and P. pentagona, showed four 45S rDNA sites and two 5S rDNA. In general, the number and location of 5S and 45S rDNA sites were consistent with the hypothesis of x = 6 as the probable ancestral genome for the genus, while the groups of species with x = 9, x = 10 and x = 12 were considered to be of tetraploid origin with descending dysploidy and gene silencing of some redundant gene sites, mainly those of 5S rDNA.  (+info)

Attenuation of benzodiazepine dependence in mice by a tri-substituted benzoflavone moiety of Passiflora incarnata Linneaus: a non-habit forming anxiolytic. (5/50)

PURPOSE: A tri-substituted benzoflavone moiety (BZF) recently isolated from the methanol extract of aerial parts of the plant Passiflora incarnata Linneaus had exhibited encouraging results in countering the dependence produced by addiction-prone substances like morphine, nicotine, cannabinoids and ethyl alcohol, during the studies performed by the authors. Since the BZF moiety had exhibited significant anxiolytic properties at 10 mg/kg p.o. dose in mice, therefore, it was desirable to evaluate this potential phyto-moiety (BZF) for its own dependence-liabilities It was also deemed viable to evaluate BZF moiety for its possible usefulness in countering the dependence-liabilities associated with the chronic use of benzodiazepines keeping in light their tremendous clinical use in the management of anxiety and insomnia. METHODS: Different groups of mice were administered BZF alone (10, 50 or 100 mg/kg, p.o.), and concomitantly with diazepam (20 mg/kg, p.o.) in a 21-days treatment regimen, followed by no treatments for the next 72-hours. The withdrawal effects in the form of ambulatory behavior of the treated animals were recorded on the 25th day using an Actophotometer. RESULTS: The BZF-alone (three doses) treated mice exhibited a normal ambulatory behavior on 25th day. Mice groups receiving co-treatments, i.e., BZF-diazepam concomitantly, also exhibited a normal ambulatory behavior in a dose-dependent manner, i.e., the higher dose of BZF (100 mg/kg) being more effective in countering the withdrawal effects of chronically administered diazepam than the lower doses (10 or 50 mg/kg). CONCLUSIONS: The studies revealed that the chronic administration of the BZF moiety (three doses), did not exhibit any dependence-liability of its own, even upon an abrupt cessation. Additionally, the BZF co-treatments with diazepam also prevented the incurrence of diazepam-dependence, which might be because of the aromatase enzyme inhibiting properties associated with the BZF moiety.  (+info)

Potent inhibition by star fruit of human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) activity. (6/50)

There has been very limited information on the capacities of tropical fruits to inhibit human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) activity. Thus, the inhibitory effects of tropical fruits on midazolam 1'-hydroxylase activity of CYP3A in human liver microsomes were evaluated. Eight tropical fruits such as common papaw, dragon fruit, kiwi fruit, mango, passion fruit, pomegranate, rambutan, and star fruit were tested. We also examined the inhibition of CYP3A activity by grapefruit (white) and Valencia orange as controls. The juice of star fruit showed the most potent inhibition of CYP3A. The addition of a star fruit juice (5.0%, v/v) resulted in the almost complete inhibition of midazolam 1'-hydroxylase activity (residual activity of 0.1%). In the case of grape-fruit, the residual activity was 14.7%. The inhibition depended on the amount of fruit juice added to the incubation mixture (0.2-6.0%, v/v). The elongation of the preincubation period of a juice from star fruit (1.25 or 2.5%, v/v) with the microsomal fraction did not alter the CYP3A inhibition, suggesting that the star fruit did not contain a mechanism-based inhibitor. Thus, we discovered filtered extracts of star fruit juice to be inhibitors of human CYP3A activity in vitro.  (+info)

Effect of supplemental tryptophan, vitamin E, and a herbal product on responses by pigs to vibration. (7/50)

Economic losses related to increased stress during the transport of pigs are well documented. The effects of supplementing of tryptophan (Trp), vitamin E, or a herbal product via feed or drinking water were investigated in terms of effects on stress response in pigs during transport simulation. The study consisted of three analogous experiments. For the testing in each experiment, the pigs (23.5+/-3.2 kg) were allocated to one of two treatments, with and without supplementation of a product. The applied doses were Trp (5 g/L drinking water for 3 d), vitamin E (additional amount of 300 mg/kg feed for 21 d, as-fed basis), and Sedafit (2.5 g/L drinking water for 2 d). Sedafit is a commercial herbal product containing Valeriana officinalis L. and Passiflora incarnata L. as active components. In each experiment of the study, at least 47 pigs were involved, which were treated in groups of 3. The day before transport simulation, a Holter device was attached to the pigs to produce an electrocardiogram during the night (rest values), as well as during vibration in the transport simulator (1.2 Hz, 1 m/s2), where the behavior of the pigs (standing-sitting-lying) was also observed. Samples of saliva (taken before, during, and after [3x] vibration) and blood (taken before and after vibration) were analyzed for cortisol and intermediate metabolites (glucose, lactate, creatine kinase, and nonesterified fatty acids), respectively. Pigs supplemented with Trp tended to spend more time lying down during the second hour of vibration (P < 0.05). Vitamin E decreased the peak heart rate (P < 0.05), ventricular ectopic beats (P < 0.01), and ST elevation (P < 0.10). The supplementation of Sedafit resulted in smaller increases of the investigated heart variables (minimum heart rate, P < 0.05; ventricular ectopic beats, P < 0.05; ST elevation, P < 0.01) during and after stress evocation compared with the control group. None of the tested products influenced the intermediate metabolites; one possible explanation for this finding may be that peak values were reached before the time of bleeding. In conclusion, Trp had a positive behavioral effect in this experiment, and vitamin E and Sedafit mediated an increase in some heart variables, suggesting sedative and antianxiety effects.  (+info)

Hypnotic activities of chamomile and passiflora extracts in sleep-disturbed rats. (8/50)

In the present study, we investigated hypnotic activities of chamomile and passiflora extracts using sleep-disturbed model rats. A significant decrease in sleep latency was observed with chamomile extract at a dose of 300 mg/kg, while passiflora extract showed no effects on sleep latency even at a dose of 3000 mg/kg. No significant effects were observed with both herbal extracts on total times of wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep and REM sleep. Flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, at a dose of 3 mg/kg showed a significant antagonistic effect on the shortening in sleep latency induced by chamomile extract. No significant effects were observed with chamomile and passiflora extracts on delta activity during non-REM sleep. In conclusion, chamomile extract is a herb having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.  (+info)