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Iquique, Chile

Universidad Arturo Prat is a university in Chile. It is a derivative university part of the Chilean Traditional Universities.This university was created in 1981 from the former campus of the University of Chile in Iquique.Also has campuses in Arica, Calama, Santiago and Victoria Wikipedia.

Bhargava A.,Amity University | Fuentes F.F.,Arturo Prat University
Molecular Biotechnology | Year: 2010

Microsatellites are a ubiquitous class of simple repetitive DNA sequences, which are widespread in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. The use of microsatellites as polymorphic DNA markers has considerably increased both in the number of studies and in the number of organisms, primarily for genetic mapping, studying genomic instability in cancer, population genetics, forensics, conservation biology, molecular anthropology and in the studies of human evolutionary history. Although simple sequence repeats have been extensively used in studies encompassing varied areas of genetics, the mutation dynamics of these genome regions is still not well understood. The present review focuses on the mutational dynamics of microsatellite DNA with special reference to mutational mechanisms and their role in microsatellite evolution. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Nancucheo I.,Bangor University | Nancucheo I.,Arturo Prat University | Johnson D.B.,Bangor University
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

Two acidophilic algae, identified as strains of Chlorella protothecoides var. acidicola and Euglena mutabilis, were isolated in pure culture from abandoned copper mines in Spain and Wales and grown in pH- and temperature-controlled bioreactors. The Chlorella isolate grew optimally at pH 2.5 and 30°C, with a corresponding culture doubling time of 9 h. The isolates displayed similar tolerance (10-50 mM) to four transition metals tested. Growth of the algae in liquid media was paralleled with increasing concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Glycolic acid was identified as a significant component (12-14%) of total DOC. Protracted incubation resulted in concentrations of glycolic acid declining in both cases, and glycolic acid added to a culture of Chlorella incubated in the dark was taken up by the alga (̃100% within 3 days). Two monosaccharides were identified in cell-free liquors of each algal isolate: fructose and glucose (Chlorella), and mannitol and glucose (Euglena). These were rapidly metabolized by acidophilic heterotrophic bacteria (Acidiphilium and Acidobacterium spp.) though only fructose was utilized by the more fastidious heterotroph "Acidocella aromatica." The significance of algae in promoting the growth of iron- (and sulfate-) reducing heterotrophic acidophiles that are important in remediating mine-impacted waters (MIWs) is discussed. © 2012 Ňancucheo and Johnson.

In the present study the diet of burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) was analyzed in the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve and Los Verdes, in the Province of Iquique. These sites are characterized by rural and fishing activities, respectively. Through the analyses of 128 pellets of the burrowing owl, 422 total prey items were determined at the two sites. An analysis of prey selectivity was performed by comparing the abundance of prey in the field and the diet of the burrowing owl. The diet of the burrowing owl at both sites included mainly arthropods. Insects were the most important prey, followed by arachnids and small mammals. The comparison between the abundance of the arthropods in the field versus the pellets of the burrowing owl indicated statistical differences, showing a degree of prey selectivity. Athene cunicularia predated on a wide range of prey, including invertebrates, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Within the invertebrates, the burrowing owl predated mainly insects. These results are congruent with studies carried out at other latitudes and confirm the burrowing owl as a biological controller of deleterious species for the Tamarugo forest and zones with anthropic activities.

Nancucheo I.,Bangor University | Nancucheo I.,Arturo Prat University | Johnson D.B.,Bangor University
Microbial Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Two continuous-flow bench-scale bioreactor systems populated by mixed communities of acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria were constructed and tested for their abilities to promote the selective precipitation of transition metals (as sulfides) present in synthetic mine waters, using glycerol as electron donor. The objective with the first system (selective precipitation of copper from acidic mine water containing a variety of soluble metals) was achieved by maintaining a bioreactor pH of ~2.2-2.5. The second system was fed with acidic (pH2.5) synthetic mine water containing 3mM of both zinc and ferrous iron, and varying concentrations (0.5-30mM) of aluminium. Selective precipitation of zinc sulfide was possible by operating the bioreactor at pH4.0 and supplementing the synthetic mine water with 4mM glycerol. Analysis of the microbial populations in the bioreactors showed that they changed with varying operational parameters, and novel acidophilic bacteria (including one sulfidogen) were isolated from the bioreactors. The acidophilic sulfidogenic bioreactors provided 'proof of principle' that segregation of metals present in mine waters is possible using simple online systems within which controlled pH conditions are maintained. The modular units are versatile and robust, and involve minimum engineering complexity. © 2011 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Nancucheo I.,Arturo Prat University | Nancucheo I.,Bangor University | Johnson D.B.,Bangor University
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Glycolic acid was detected as an exudate in actively growing cultures of three chemolithotrophic acidophilus that are important in biomining operations, Leptospirittum ferriphilum, Acidithiobacillus (At.) ferrooxidans, and At. caldus. Although similar concentrations of glycolic acid were found in all cases, the concentrations corresponded to ca. 24% of the total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in cultures of L. ferriphilum but only ca. 5% of the total DOC in cultures of the two Acidithiobacillus spp. Rapid acidification (to pH 1.0) of the culture medium of At. caldus resulted in a large increase in the level of DOC, although the concentration of glycolic acid did not change in proportion. The archaeon Ferroplasma acidiphilum grew in the cell-free spent medium of At. caldus; glycolic acid was not metabolized, although other unidentified compounds in the DOC pool were metabolized. Glycolic acid exhibited levels of toxicity with 21 strains of acidophiles screened similar to those of acetic acid. The most sensitive species were chemolithotrophs (L. ferriphilum and At. ferrivorans), while the most tolerant species were chemoorganotrophs (Acidocella, Acidobacterium, and Ferroplasma species), and the ability to metabolize glycolic acid appeared to be restricted (among acidophiles) to Firmicutes (chiefly Sulfobaalius spp.). Results of this study help explain why Sulfobacillus spp. rather than other acidophiles are the main organic carbon-degrading bacteria in continuously fed stirred tanks used to bioprocess sulfide mineral concentrates and also why temporary cessation of pH control in these systems, resulting in rapid acidification, often results in a plume of the archaeon Ferroplasma. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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