Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology

Santiago, Chile

Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology

Santiago, Chile
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Tapia-Venegas E.,Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso | Cabrol L.,Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso | Cabrol L.,Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology | Brandhoff B.,Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso | And 4 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Hydrogen is a promising alternative as an energetic carrier and its production by dark fermentation from wastewater has been recently proposed, with special attention to crude glycerol as potential substrate. In this study, two different feeding strategies were evaluated for replacing the glucose substrate by glycerol substrate: a one-step strategy (glucose was replaced abruptly by glycerol) and a step-by-step strategy (progressive decrease of glucose concentration and increase of glycerol concentration from 0 to 5 g L−1), in a continuous stirred tank reactor (12 h of hydraulic retention time (HRT), pH 5.5, 35 °C). While the one-step strategy led to biomass washout and unsuccessful H2 production, the step-by-step strategy was efficient for biomass adaptation, reaching acceptable hydrogen yields (0.4 ± 0.1 molH2 mol−1 glycerol consumed) around 33 % of the theoretical yield independently of the glycerol concentration. Microbial community structure was investigated by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting techniques, targeting either the total community (16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene) or the functional Clostridium population involved in H2 production (hydA gene), as well as by 454 pyrosequencing of the total community. Multivariate analysis of fingerprinting and pyrosequencing results revealed the influence of the feeding strategy on the bacterial community structure and suggested the progressive structural adaptation of the community to increasing glycerol concentrations, through the emergence and selection of specific species, highly correlated to environmental parameters. Particularly, this work highlighted an interesting shift of dominant community members (putatively responsible of hydrogen production in the continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR)) according to the gradient of glycerol proportion in the feed, from the family Veillonellaceae to the genera Prevotella and Clostridium sp., putatively responsible of hydrogen production in the CSTR. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Castro R.I.,Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology | Castro R.I.,University of Chile | Forero-Doria O.,Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology | Forero-Doria O.,University of Chile | And 10 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2016

The phenolic compounds of wine contribute to color and astringency, also are responsible for the oxidation state and bitterness. Due the importance of these molecules, different techniques have been used to modulate their concentration such as natural or synthetic polymeric agents. Among the polymeric agents, PVPP is one of the most used, but lacks of selectivity and has a limited pH range. Therefore, the aim of this study was the synthesis of a new polymer, poly(N-(3-(N-isobutyrylisobutyramido)-3-oxopropyl)acrylamide) (P-NIOA), for removal of phenolic compounds, as a potential agent for the fining of wine. The new polymer affinity was studied using HPLC-DAD for different polyphenols using PVPP as a control. The results showed that the new polymer has a similar removal as PVPP, but with lower affinity to resveratrol. The interactions established between polymers and polyphenols were studied using computational chemistry methods demonstrating a direct correlation with the experimental affinity data. © 2016


PubMed | Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology and Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso
Type: | Journal: Journal of ethnopharmacology | Year: 2015

Dandelion (Taraxacum spec) is a wild plant that has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine in the relief and treatment of several diseases. This use is due to the presence of sesquiterpenes, saponins, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and sugars, among others, found in the organs of the plant.The aim of this work is to provide a current review of developments and trends in research on the Taraxacum genus, with a focus on traditional uses and pharmacological properties. This should shed light on the potential of this plant as an attractive commercial herbal medicine.Documents were collected, analyzed, and classified for information regarding medical, agronomic, genetic, and biological aspects of the Taraxacum species. This process was based on a thorough search of documents indexed by scientific search engines.Two important periods of research on Taraxacum have been identified: the first, between 1930 and 1950; and the second, from 1990 to today. During the former, agricultural and genetics research on this plant were, due to the shortage of natural rubber, the focus. In contrast, the main drive in Taraxacum research is now the recovery of bioactives and/or applications in medicine. Pharmacology is the main area in which these plants have been tested, thanks in part to its widely known traditional uses; however, there is less than enthusiastic interest in further human clinical trials. In other areas, Taraxacum sports an enormous list of compounds of industrial interest; and while it is true that only a small amount of these compounds is immediately available in Taraxacum organs and makes it relatively commercially unattractive, only scarce efforts have been made to improve yields. Compounding this issue, most studies of its growth and cultivation have been focused mainly on controlling it as a weed detrimental to certain industrial crops. To wit, in spite of all the research carried out, less than 1% of all the species identified so far (>2500) have been studied (including Taraxacum officinale, Taraxacum coreanum, Taraxacum mongolicum and Taraxacum platycarpum). This is a indication of the little knowledge that we have about this genus so far. Biotechnology (involving genetics, agriculture, and biology) is the most powerful means by which to take advantage of all the medicinal potential of Taraxacum. Great strides have been made in identifying metabolic pathways for synthesizing terpenes, one of the most important compound families in clinical applications. In order to improve yield and performance of the plant in the field, greenhouse cultivation is another aspect taken into account, deriving an increase in recovery of bioactives from Taraxacum organs. Even while considering that only a few species have been studied, their different biochemical and cultivation profiles indicate huge potential for qualitative improvements in composition through genetic engineering, thus directly impacting pharmacological properties.Taraxacum is has been traditionally considered a natural remedy, well-inserted into popular knowledge, but with low commercial applicability. Only once the recovery of pure and highly reactive compounds can be pursued at (a qualitatively and quantitatively attractive) economical scale, human clinical trials would be of interest in order to prove their efficacy and safety, positioning Taraxacum as an important commercial source of natural drugs.


Duran-Lara E.F.,Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology | Duran-Lara E.F.,University of Talca | Lopez-Cortes X.A.,Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation Center for Systems Biotechnology | Lopez-Cortes X.A.,University of Talca | And 9 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2015

Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) is a fining agent, widely used in winemaking and brewing, whose mode of action in removing phenolic compounds has not been fully characterised. The aim of this study was to evaluate the experimental and theoretical binding affinity of PVPP towards six phenolic compounds representing different types of phenolic species. The interaction between PVPP and phenolics was evaluated in model solutions, where hydroxyl groups, hydrophobic bonding and steric hindrance were characterised. The results of the study indicated that PVPP exhibits high affinity for quercetin and catechin, moderate affinity for epicatechin, gallic acid and lower affinity for 4-methylcatechol and caffeic acid. The affinity has a direct correlation with the hydroxylation degree of each compound. The results show that the affinity of PVPP towards phenols is related with frontier orbitals. This work demonstrates a direct correlation between the experimental affinity and the interaction energy calculations obtained through computational chemistry methods. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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