National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology

Madrid, Spain

National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology

Madrid, Spain
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News Article | April 19, 2017

A silver nanoparticle-based drug developed by Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) scientists and their Mexican partners has recently been tested in Mexico for the treatment of a lethal and contagious disease in shrimp — a white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). The study revealed that after administration of the drug, the survival rate of infected shrimp was 80 percent. Further, the drug might significantly help marine farmers in Mexico to fight the virus. “Shrimp form a substantial part of export in Mexico. They are supplied across the world and most of them are sent to the U.S.A. and Europe. White spot syndrome virus is a scourge for Mexican marine farmers. Its epidemic has already lasted for some years, killing millions of individuals. A visible manifestation of the virus is emerging white spots on a shrimp’s shell. An infected individual is [weakened] and dies. Humans are immune to this virus but it causes great losses in the aquaculture industry,” says Professor Alexey Pestryakov, head of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. Previously, several attempts were made to treat this disease. However, there was no effective cure. Then, one marine farm offered to test the TPU development. Argovit made of silver nanoparticles features a versatile destroying effect against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. A university partner, the Vektor-Vita company in Novosibirsk, uses the pharmaceutical to produce veterinary medications for animals and biologically active additives for humans. Scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA, Spain) are involved in the development of Argovit-based preparations as well. “Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are the most widely used nanomaterials in commercial products due to their beneficial antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In the aquaculture industry, nanotechnology has been poorly applied,” says Alexey Petryakov. At first, the drug was administrated to a few juvenile shrimp infected with WSSV. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimp after silver nanoparticle-based drug administration was over 90 percent. Then, the scientists tested a larger group of infected shrimp. They were divided into subgroups, some of which received the drug and others which did not. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimps after AgNP administration was 80 percent, whereas the survival rate of untreated organisms was only 10 percent after 96 hours of infection. The scientists published their outcomes in the Chemosphere. At present, Argovit has been tested for 25 diseases. According to the authors, it has already proven its effectiveness in veterinary applications and passed clinical tests in Russia and abroad. “Our medications have all the necessary certificates and are applied in veterinary. Veterinarians use it for the treatment of viral and bacterial diseases in cattle, fur animals and pets,” says Pestryakov. “Existing antiviral drugs affect viruses indirectly, mainly increasing the patient’s immunity, not killing them directly. Argovit is aimed at killing viruses. The immunity increases too. A competitive edge of the drug is its hypoallergenicity and low toxicity in therapeutic doses. In contrast to antibiotics, it does not cause allergic reactions, stomach disorders, and other unpleasant side effects, while it kills bacteria and fungi. Argovit is an aqueous solution, 20 percent of which is a complex of silver nanoparticles with polymer stabilizer in sizes varying from 1 to 70 nanometers. Such medications are much cheaper than antibiotics and have a longer shelf life (up to two years in the refrigerator) in comparison with their counterparts.

Ucles A.,University of Almeria | Ulaszewska M.M.,University of Alcalá | Hernando M.D.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Ramos M.J.,University of Alcalá | And 4 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

This work introduces a liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-hybrid quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS)-based method for qualitative and quantitative analysis of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers of generations 0 to 3 in an aqueous matrix. The multiple charging of PAMAM dendrimers generated by means of ESI has provided key advantages in dendrimer identification by assignation of charge state through high resolution of isotopic clusters. Isotopic distribution in function of abundance of isotopes 12C and 13C yielded valuable and complementarity data for confident characterization. A mass accuracy below 3.8 ppm for the most abundant isotopes (diagnostic ions) provided unambiguous identification of PAMAM dendrimers. Validation of the LC-ESI-QTOF-MS method and matrix effect evaluation enabled reliable and reproducible quantification. The validation parameters, limits of quantification in the range of 0.012 to 1.73 μM, depending on the generation, good linear range (R > 0.996), repeatability (RSD < 13.4 %), and reproducibility (RSD < 10.9 %) demonstrated the suitability of the method for the quantification of dendrimers in aqueous matrices (water and wastewater). The added selectivity, achieved by multicharge phenomena, represents a clear advantage in screening aqueous mixtures due to the fact that the matrix had no significant effect on ionization, with what is evidenced by an absence of sensitivity loss in most generations of PAMAM dendrimers.[Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Gonzalez-Doncel M.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Garcia-Maurino J.E.,Complutense University of Madrid | San Segundo L.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Beltran E.M.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2014

Here we proposed a battery of non-invasive biomarkers and a histological survey to examine physiological/anatomical features in embryos, eleutheroembryos (13 days post-fertilization, dpf), and larvae (28-42 dpf) of medaka to investigate the effects of embryonic exposure to propylparaben (PrP). Concentrations <1000 μg PrP/L didn't exert early or late toxic effects. However, survivorship was affected at 4000 μg/L in eleutheroembryos and at ≥1000 μg/L in larvae. Histological alterations were found in 37.5% of eleutheroembryos exposed to 4000 μg PrP/L. Morphometric analysis of the gallbladder revealed significant dilation at ≥400 μg/L throughout embryo development. Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD), as indicator of cytochrome P4501A activity, didn't reveal induction/inhibition although its combination with a P4501A agonist (i.e. β-naphthoflavone) resulted in a synergic EROD response. Results suggest a low toxicity of PrP for fish and support the use of fish embryos and eleutheroembryos as alternatives of in vivo biomarkers indicative of exposure/toxicity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Complutense University of Madrid and National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Type: | Journal: Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) | Year: 2016

In this research work, we addressed the effects of a diet fortified with BDE-47 (0, 10, 100, 1000ng/g) dosed to 4-7 day-old post-hatch medaka fish for 40 days, followed by an 80-day depuration period. BDE-47 accumulation and overall growth were evaluated throughout the dosing period, and its elimination was quantified over the following 60 days. The histological condition of the thyroid gland, liver and gonads from the 1000ng BDE-47-treated fish were assessed 5 and 70days after exposures finished. The phenotypic males to females ratio was also quantified 70days after treatments finished. Sixty days after the BDE-47 exposures, reproductive capacity (i.e. fecundity, fertility and hatchability) was evaluated in mating groups for a 20-day period. BDE-47 exposure via food from larval through juvenile life stages of medaka fish resulted in steady accumulation with time dose-dependently. This accumulation tendency rapidly decreased after dosing ended. The growth rates showed a significant increase only at the highest concentration 70days after exposures finished. The histological survey did not reveal BDE-47-related alterations in the condition of the potential target organs. However, a morphometrical approach suggested BDE-47-related differences in the thickness of the epithelium that lines thyroid follicles. The reproduction studies showed comparable values for the fecundity, fertility and hatching rates. Dietary BDE-47 dosed for 40days to growing medaka fish did not alter the phenotypic sex ratios at maturity. The dietary approach used herein could not provide conclusive evidence of effects on medaka development and thriving despite the fact that BDE-47 underwent rapid accumulation in whole fish during the 40-day treatment.

Guil N.,CSIC - Institute of Refrigeration | Sanchez-Moreno S.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Systematics and Biodiversity | Year: 2013

Studies on micrometazoan local distribution patterns are needed to understand microscopic organisms evolution in the light of the related influences of historical and ecological events. Tardigrades encompass a set of rare and unique characteristics to study evolutionary hypotheses. Particularly interesting are leaf litter tardigrades, due to their connection with soil dynamics: although tardigrades have been frequently considered occasional or accidental inhabitants coming from nearby habitats. In this study, leaf litter tardigrade diversity from a central Spain mountain system was determined using four diversity descriptors: species richness, abundance, and two diversity indexes (Shannon and Simpson), and a diversity trophic index (TD). In addition, community composition was analysed using Canonical and Discriminant Analyses. Fifteen types of leaf litter were explored in the present survey, many not previously studied, all of them containing tardigrades. We have found 39 species, 20 are being recorded for the first time in leaf litter, and increasing to 20% the global tardigrade diversity reported for leaf litter worldwide, with the total number of species now being 99. The same genera that were reported being present in high species diversity at global scale were found to be highly diverse at local scale in this study. Three eutardigrade families previously reported as beech litter inhabitants were not found in our survey, probably because beech litter was not included in the present survey, suggesting that further work studying a more diverse range of litter would increase reported tardigrade diversity worldwide. Tardigrade species abundances depended on high level plant categories (plant divisions and type of tree), while tardigrade diversity patterns were related with type of leaves. Broad leaves had higher diversity values (Shannon, Simpson, species richness, trophic groups) than any other leaf, probably due to their association to dense forests presenting humid conditions and high resources availability, associated with this leaf. Xerophilous leaves presented high diversity of species (heterotardigrades) well-adapted to xeric open space in our survey. Type of leaves also changed abundance dynamics of different tardigrade trophic groups. Different biotic and abiotic conditions in different types of leaves promoted varying abundances of carnivore, herbivore and microbivore tardigrades on those different micro-ecosystems. Implications and consequences of these findings in evolutionary hypotheses for microfauna are considered. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

PubMed | IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology, Technical University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Baja California and National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Association mapping was performed for 18 agromorphological and grain quality traits in a set of 183 Spanish landraces, including subspecies durum, turgidum and dicoccon, genotyped with 749 DArT (Diversity Array Technology) markers. Large genetic and phenotypic variability was detected, being the level of diversity among the chromosomes and genomes heterogeneous, and sometimes complementary, among subspecies. Overall, 356 were monomorphic in at least one subspecies, mainly in dicoccon, and some of them coincidental between subspecies, especially between turgidum and dicoccon. Several of those fixed markers were associated to plant responses to environmental stresses or linked to genes subjected to selection during tetraploid wheat domestication process. A total of 85 stable MTAs (marker-trait associations) have been identified for the agromorphological and quality parameters, some of them common among subspecies and others subspecies-specific. For all the traits, we have found MTAs explaining more than 10% of the phenotypic variation in any of the three subspecies. The number of MTAs on the B genome exceeded that on the A genome in subsp. durum, equalled in turgidum and was below in dicoccon. The validation of several adaptive and quality trait MTAs by combining the association mapping with an analysis of the signature of selection, identifying the putative gene function of the marker, or by coincidences with previous reports, showed that our approach was successful for the detection of MTAs and the high potential of the collection to identify marker-trait associations. Novel MTAs not previously reported, some of them subspecies specific, have been described and provide new information about the genetic control of complex traits.

Perez-Cerezales S.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Miranda A.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Gutierrez-Adan A.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Asian Journal of Andrology | Year: 2012

It is well known that transit through the epididymis involves an increase in the compaction of sperm chromatin, which acquires fully condensed status at the caput epididymidis. The purpose of this study was to compare the terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL) assay, the comet assay, the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test by analysing spermatozoa from the caput and cauda epididymidis in order to demonstrate the ability of each technique to discriminate between different degrees of sperm maturity related to chromatin compaction and DNA fragmentation. Our results suggest that some populations of DNA-fragmented spermatozoa associated with immature sperm can only be identified using the comet assay and the SCSA but not with the SCD test or the TUNEL assay. © 2012 AJA, SIMM & SJTU. All rights reserved.

Fernandez C.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Gonzalez-Doncel M.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Pro J.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Carbonell G.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Tarazona J.V.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

The Henares-Jarama-Tajo river system is the largest drainage basin in the Province of Madrid, Spain. This area is characterized by the presence of intensive urban and industrial activities influenced by a continental Mediterranean climate with rainfalls presenting substantial fluctuations along the different seasons. This research aimed to monitor seasonal variations in concentrations of 22 pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in this river system and to establish the potential risk of sublethal effects on aquatic organisms. A total of 10 sampling sites were selected along the river system with samples collected in each of the four seasons during a year-round schedule. Most of the PhACs detected were present in sampling sites downstream in the vicinity of the most populated cities (i.e. Madrid, Guadalajara and Alcalá de Henares). Only two PhACs, fluoxetine and paraxantine, were detected in all sites regardless of the season, and showed median (± interquartile range) concentrations of 21.4 (± 31.2) ng L- 1 and 8.5 (± 5.3) ng L- 1, respectively. Other PhACs were detected with a frequency > 80% and included, caffeine, diphenylhydantoin, hydrochlorotiazide, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, diclofenac, sulfamethoxazole, atenolol, naproxen, carbamazepine and propanolol. Seasonal variations were observed with the highest concentrations in December and the lowest in September. By combining measured environmental concentrations with toxicity data (either publicly available or obtained experimentally in our laboratory), and by calculating an Maximum Risk Index (MaxRI) that each combination of PhACs should have for non exceeding the risk threshold, a high potential for long-term risk (MaxRI < 10) was estimated for most of the sampling sites and sampling dates. This research allowed the characterization of the potential risk for each of the PhACs to exert sublethal effects on aquatic organisms using acute screening methods, justifying the need for chronic data in order to refine the risk of these compounds to aquatic organisms. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

San Segundo L.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Martini F.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Pablos M.V.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

In the present study, the authors investigated the effects of bisphenol A, chlorpyrifos, methylparaben, and 2 effluent samples from wastewater treatment plants located in the province of Madrid, Spain, on the messenger RNA expression of specific genes involved in early development (ESR1, pax6, bmp4, and myf5) and a gene involved in the general stress response (hsp70) during Xenopus laevis embryo development. Gene expression was analyzed after 4h, 24h, and 96h of exposure by semiquantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Concentration ranges of the compounds and dilutions for the samples were selected to cause morphological alterations in embryos after 96h of exposure. Transcript levels of ESR1, pax6, and hsp70 were differentially altered at early developmental stages with patterns specific to the contaminant and the exposure time. However, further studies are needed to establish transcript levels of specific genes as biomarkers of sublethal effects in an environmental risk-assessment framework. Besides, studies including more generic responses, such as genes encoding antioxidant enzymes, together with genes related to embryonic development have to be developed to look for a battery of mechanistic endpoints for the evaluation of chemical exposure at the molecular level in a first-tier assessment. © 2013 SETAC.

Gonzalez-Doncel M.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Segundo L.S.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Sastre S.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Tarazona J.V.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology | Torija C.F.,National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Aquatic Toxicology | Year: 2011

This study aimed to characterize quantitatively the temporal basal and induced ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity as indicator of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) function during embryonic development of medaka (Oryzias latipes). For this purpose, non-invasive methods over fluorescence images of the whole embryo (non-organ-specific [NOS] EROD activity) or specifically of the gallbladder (organ-specific [OS] EROD activity) were used. To induce this EROD activity, embryos were continuously exposed to β-naphthoflavone (BNF; 0.005, 0.05, 0.5, 5. μg/L). Analytical chemistry suggested no signs of BNF dissipation. Mean fluorescence intensity values for EROD induction increased with BNF concentration throughout embryonic development. Significant increments in the NOS activity were seen from exposures to ≥0.5. μg. BNF/L as early as 2 days post-fertilization (dpf), and in the OS EROD activity as soon as the gallbladder was conspicuous (i.e. 4 dpf). Morphometric in vivo analysis of the gallbladder during embryonic development did not indicate significant dilation after BNF treatment suggesting normal hepatic bile formation. The conditions optimized in this study using intact embryos should allow the quantitation of EROD activity induced by specific chemicals, mixtures and environmental samples in terms of BNF-equivalents, offering a proper estimation of their potency. These results demonstrate the utility of medaka in a fish embryo test for a non-invasive CYP1A analysis expressed as EROD activity, fitting in the three R principles for the minimization of animal use in ecotoxicology evaluations and that are among the objectives of the European Community regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH). © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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