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Belini U.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Filho M.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Louzada J.L.P.C.,Royal University | De Carvalho Rodrigues J.C.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical IICT | Astolphi J.R.S.,Duratex S.A. Panels Development
European Journal of Wood and Wood Products | Year: 2012

As an innovation in scientific research and development of a new product and with the objective of adding value to sugarcane bagasse, laboratory panels were made with 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% particles from Saccharum spp bagasse mixed with Eucalyptus grandis fibers, a raw material traditionally used for MDF panels in Brazil. The physical and mechanical properties of the panels were evaluated according to EN 622-5 (1997). The results indicated that panels with up to 75% bagasse showed average physical and mechanical property values that meet the current specification, thus opening up the prospect of using this abundant agricultural fiber resource. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

Ferreira A.M.,University of Evora | Ferreira A.M.,New University of Lisbon | Araujo S.S.,New University of Lisbon | Araujo S.S.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical IICT | And 2 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2013

Genetic studies on taste sensitivity, and bitter taste receptors (T2R) in particular, are an essential tool to understand ingestive behavior and its relation to variations of nutritional status occurring in ruminants. In the present study, we conducted a data-mining search to identify T2R candidates in sheep by comparison with the described T2R in cattle and using recently available ovine genome. In sheep, we identified eight orthologs of cattle genes: T2R16, T2R10B, T2R12, T2R3, T2R4, T2R67, T2R13 and T2R5. The in silico predicted genes were then confirmed by PCR and DNA sequencing. The sequencing results showed a 99% to 100% similarity with the in silico predicted sequence. Moreover, we address the chromosomal distribution and compare, in homology and phylogenetic terms, the obtained genes with the known T2R in human, mouse, dog, cattle, horse and pig. The eight novel genes identified map either to ovine chromosome 3 or 4. The phylogenetic data suggest a clustering by receptor type rather than by species for some of the receptors. From the species analyzed, we observed a clear proximity between the two ruminant species, sheep and cattle, in contrast with lower similarities obtained for the comparison of sheep with other mammals. Although further studies are needed to identify the complete T2R repertoire in domestic sheep, our data represent a first step for genetic studies on this field. Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2012.

Lara I.,University of Lleida | Belge B.,University of Lleida | Goulao L.F.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical IICT
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2015

Cuticles are plant structures, composed mostly by lipidic layers, synthesized by nonwoody aerial plant organs and deposited on the surface of outer epidermal cell walls. Although its significance has been often disregarded, cuticle deposition modifies organ chemistry, influences mechanical properties, and plays a central role in sensing and interacting with the surrounding environment. Even though some research has been undertaken addressing cuticle biosynthesis and composition in vegetative plant tissues, comparatively less information is available regarding cuticle composition in the epidermis of fruits. However, recent work points to a role for cuticles in the modulation of fruit quality and postharvest performance, indicating that current models for the investigation of fruit development, metabolism, and quality need to integrate a comprehensive knowledge of the cuticle layer. This paper provides an overview of recent findings and observations regarding cuticle biosynthesis and composition in fruits from species of agronomic and economic relevance. Important, but often neglected differences in cuticle composition and biosynthesis patterns among diverse fruit species are described herein to generate an atlas of what is currently known about fruit cuticles and to highlight what remains to be explored. Emphasis is placed on the need to investigate each genetic background considering its own specificities, to permit correlations with the particular physiology of each species considered. Both specific composition and changes during maturation and ripening are reviewed. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Castelo C.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical IICT
Historia, Ciencias, Saude - Manguinhos | Year: 2012

The development of a colonial scientific policy by the Portuguese state in the twentieth century is investigated by studying the Junta de Investigações do Ultramar. Directly subordinated to the Ministério das Colônias/do Ultramar and based in Lisbon, this entity's main attribute was to coordinate the scientific studies to be undertaken in colonial territories under Portuguese rule. The aim is to identify the institution's origins and objectives, to understand how its activities tied in with colonial policies, to detect what impacts the international scenario had on its trajectory and its strategic options. Special attention is given to the period that started after the Second World War, which was aligned with the mirage of development and reacted against the progress of the anti-colonial movement.

Goulao L.F.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical IICT
Stewart Postharvest Review | Year: 2010

Purpose of review: Pectin methylesterase (PME)-mediated de-esterification of pectins is considered a crucial event in fruit softening during ripening. However, PMEs act biochemically to produce different, and sometimes opposite, effects on the polysaccharide's structure, according to different regulation mechanisms. Therefore, the exact role of PMEs in fruit softening needs to be further elucidated. This article reviews recent and classical knowledge concerning PME's mode of action and pectin microstructure and provocatively discusses possible complementary pathways resulting from PME action or pectin de-esterification associated with fruit ripening. Findings: There is extensive literature associating enzymatic activity, mRNA transcription and protein accumulation of several cell wall-modifying enzyme families with fruit softening in a large number of fruit species. However, functional analysis and clear-cut demonstration of hypotheses are still needed to understand the exact role of each family in the process. Recent models concerning pectin microstructure and network superstructure, the use of mutants and genotypes with distinct softening behaviours belonging to the same species, the association of new players like PME inhibitors or pectin acetylesterases, and the occurrence of other events unrelated to enzymatic or cell wall modification have been reported in isolated research lines. A compilation of recent and classical findings regarding PME regulation and mode of action should be collectively considered to unravel the specific role of pectin de-esterification in the fruit softening event. Directions for future research: Specific aspects of PME action on the pectic network have been extensively discussed. The integration of the results obtained from different approaches and the testing of different hypotheses should be done and collectively reevaluated to provide knowledge aimed at planning novel directions and improved strategies for the postharvest management of fleshy fruits with the objective of increasing the shelf-life of produce and meeting consumer satisfaction. © 2010 Stewart Postharvest Solutions (UK) Ltd.

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