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Camillo J.,Laboratory of Genetics and Biotechnology | Camillo J.,University of Brasilia | Leao A.P.,Laboratory of Genetics and Biotechnology | Alves A.A.,Laboratory of Genetics and Biotechnology | And 7 more authors.
Genomics Insights | Year: 2014

Aiming at generating a comprehensive genomic database on Elaeis spp., our group is leading several R&D initiatives with Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm) and Elaeis oleifera (American oil palm), including the whole-genome sequencing of the last. Genome size estimates currently available for this genus are controversial, as they indicate that American oil palm genome is about half the size of the African oil palm genome and that the genome of the interspecific hybrid is bigger than both the parental species genomes. We estimated the genome size of three E. guineensis genotypes, five E. oleifera genotypes, and two interspecific hybrids genotypes. On average, the genome size of E. guineensis is 4.32 ± 0.173 pg, while that of E. oleifera is 4.43 ± 0.018 pg. This indicates that both genomes are similar in size, even though E. oleifera is in fact bigger. As expected, the hybrid genome size is around the average of the two genomes, 4.40 ± 0.016 pg. Additionally, we demonstrate that both species present around 38% of GC content. As our results contradict the currently available data on Elaeis spp. genome sizes, we propose that the actual genome size of the Elaeis species is around 4 pg and that American oil palm possesses a larger genome than African oil palm. © the authors, publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Limited.

Michalak M.,Technical University of Denmark | Larsen D.M.,Technical University of Denmark | Jers C.,Technical University of Denmark | Almeida J.R.M.,Technical University of Denmark | And 10 more authors.
Process Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Casein glycomacropeptide (cGMP) and lactose, which are purified (or semi-purified) components obtained from side streams from dairy industry operations, were used as substrates for enzyme catalyzed production of 3′-sialyllactose, a model case compound for human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). The enzyme employed was a mutated sialidase, Tr6, derived from Trypanosoma rangeli, and expressed in Pichia pastoris after codon-optimization. The Tr6 contained 6 point mutations and exhibited trans-sialidase activity. The Tr6 trans-sialidase reaction conditions were tuned for maximizing Tr6 catalyzed 3′-sialyllactose production by optimizing pH, temperature, acceptor, and donor concentrations using response surface designs. At the optimum reaction conditions, the Tr6 catalyzed the transfer of sialic acid from cGMP to lactose at high efficiency without substantial hydrolysis of the 3′-sialyllactose product. The robustness of the Tr6 catalyzed reaction was verified at 5 L-scale providing a yield of 3.6 g 3′-sialyllactose at an estimated molar trans-sialylation yield of 50% on the 3′-sialyl in cGMP. Lacto-N-tetraose and lacto-N-fucopentaoses also functioned as acceptor molecules demonstrating the versatility of the Tr6 trans-sialidase for catalyzing sialyl-transfer for generating different HMOs. The data signify the applicability of enzymatic trans-sialylation on dairy side-stream components for production of human milk oligosaccharides. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Molinari H.B.C.,Rothamsted Research | Molinari H.B.C.,Laboratory of Genetics and Biotechnology | Pellny T.K.,Rothamsted Research | Freeman J.,Rothamsted Research | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2013

The cell walls of grasses such as wheat, maize, rice, and sugar cane, contain large amounts of ferulate that is ester-linked to the cell wall polysaccharide glucuronoarabinoxylan (GAX). This ferulate is considered to limit the digestibility of polysaccharide in grass biomass as it forms covalent linkages between polysaccharide and lignin components. Candidate genes within a grass-specific clade of the BAHD acyl-coA transferase superfamily have been identified as being responsible for the ester linkage of ferulate to GAX. Manipulation of these BAHD genes may therefore be a biotechnological target for increasing efficiency of conversion of grass biomass into biofuel. Here, we describe the expression of these candidate genes and amounts of bound ferulate from various tissues and developmental stages of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon. BAHD candidate transcripts and significant amounts of bound ferulate were present in every tissue and developmental stage. We hypothesize that BAHD candidate genes similar to the recently described Oryza sativa p-coumarate monolignol transferase (OsPMT) gene (PMT sub-clade) are principally responsible for the bound para-coumaric acid (pCA), and that other BAHD candidates (non-PMT sub-clade) are responsible for bound ferulic acid (FA). There were some similarities with between the ratio of expression non-PMT/PMT genes and the ratio of bound FA/pCA between tissue types, compatible with this hypothesis. However, much further work to modify BAHD genes in grasses and to characterize the heterologously expressed proteins is required to demonstrate their function. © 2013 Molinari, Pellny, Freeman, Shewry and Mitchell.

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