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Pretoria, South Africa

Kullan A.R.K.,University of Pretoria | van Dyk M.M.,University of Pretoria | Jones N.,Sappi Forests Research | Kanzler A.,Sappi Forests Research | And 2 more authors.
Tree Genetics and Genomes | Year: 2012

Traits that differentiate cross-fertile plant species can be dissected by genetic linkage analysis in interspecific hybrids. Such studies have been greatly facilitated in Eucalyptus tree species by the recent development of Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers. DArT is an affordable, high-throughput marker technology for the construction of high-density genetic linkage maps. Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla are commonly used to produce fast-growing, disease tolerant hybrids for clonal eucalypt plantations in tropical and subtropical regions. We analysed 7,680 DArT markers in an F2 pseudo-backcross mapping pedigree based on an F1 hybrid clone of E. grandis and E. urophylla. A total of 2,440 markers (31. 7%) were polymorphic and could be placed in linkage maps of the F1 hybrid and two pure-species backcross parents. An integrated genetic linkage map was constructed for the pedigree resulting in 11 linkage groups (n = 11) with 2,290 high-confidence (LOD ≥ 3. 0) markers and a total map length of 1,107. 6 cM. DNA sequence analysis of the mapped DArT marker fragments revealed that 43% were located in protein coding regions and 90% could be placed in the recently completed draft genome assembly of E. grandis. Together with the anchored genomic sequence information, this linkage map will allow detailed genetic dissection of quantitative traits and hybrid fitness characters segregating in the F2 progeny and will facilitate the development of markers for molecular breeding in Eucalyptus. © 2011 The Author(s).

Kezia K.,University of Melbourne | Lee J.,University of Melbourne | Weeks M.,The Innovation Hub | Kentish S.,University of Melbourne
Water Research | Year: 2015

The ability of direct contact membrane distillation to concentrate the waste effluent from salty whey, a by-product from the cheese making industry has been investigated. The effect of trace protein in the feed, cross-flow velocity and feed acidity were the factors examined. Flat Sheet PTFE membranes of nominal pore sizes 0.05, 0.22 and 0.45 μm were utilised. A decline in feed flux in the presence of trace protein in the feed was observed, but liquid penetration through the membrane could still be prevented by utilization of a membrane of smaller pore size, to achieve a final total solids concentration of ±30% w/w with water recovery from 37 to 83 %. The pressure-drop across the channel length was also predicted accounting for the feed spacer. To increase the channel length up to 1 m will require operation using the smallest pore size of 0.05 μm, unless very low cross-flow velocities are used. The fouling of the membrane is primarily governed by precipitation of a calcium phosphate salt. However, operation at low pH does not improve the flux or the final salt concentration significantly. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Kuriakose B.,University of Pretoria | Du Toit E.S.,University of Pretoria | Jordaan A.,The Innovation Hub
South African Journal of Botany | Year: 2012

Rose tissues of different varieties were transformed using a Bio-Rad Helios® hand-held biolistic gun. Parameters for optimum transient expression were optimized and included rose variety, flower age, tissue, gold particle size and DNA Loading ratio. Smooth flowers without thick waxy layers and young unopened actively growing flowers were found to be better suited for the transient expression assays. The DNA amounts, gold particle amounts and size etc. were not found to influence the efficiency of the transient transformation in these tissues. These studies indicate that biolistic transformation using hand-held guns can be used for successful transient expression assays in rose flower tissues. This is especially useful for a quick and easy analysis of genes and their expression before attempting stable transformation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Ruppertsberg A.I.,The Innovation Hub | Ward V.,University of Leeds | Ridout A.,The Innovation Hub | Foy R.,University of Leeds
Implementation Science | Year: 2014

Background: Research funders expect evidence of end user engagement and impact plans in research proposals. Drawing upon existing frameworks, we developed audit criteria to help researchers and their institutions assess the knowledge exchange plans of health research proposals. Findings: Criteria clustered around five themes: problem definition; involvement of research users; public and patient engagement; dissemination and implementation; and planning, management and evaluation of knowledge exchange. We applied these to a sample of grant applications from one research institution in the United Kingdom to demonstrate feasibility. Conclusion: Our criteria may be useful as a tool for researcher self-assessment and for research institutions to assess the quality of knowledge exchange plans and identify areas for systematic improvement. © 2014 Ruppertsberg et al.

Bongiovanni M.N.,The Innovation Hub | Bongiovanni M.N.,University of Melbourne | Gras S.L.,The Innovation Hub | Gras S.L.,University of Melbourne
Biomaterials | Year: 2015

A growing number of protein-based fibrous biomaterials have been produced with a cross-β amyloid core yet the long-term effect of these materials on cell viability and the influence of core and non-core protein sequences on viability is not well understood. Here, synthetic bioactive TTR1-RGD and control TTR1-RAD or TTR1 fibrils were used to test the response of mammalian cells. At high fibril concentrations cell viability was reduced, as assessed by mitochondrial reduction assays, lactate dehydrogenase membrane integrity assays and apoptotic biomarkers. This reduction occurred despite the high density of RGD cell adhesion ligands and use of cells displaying integrin receptors. Cell viability was affected by fibril size, maturity and whether fibrils were added to the cell media or as a pre-coated surface layer. These findings show that while cells initially interact well with synthetic fibrils, cellular integrity can be compromised over longer periods of time, suggesting a better understanding of the role of core and non-core residues in determining cellular interactions is required before TTR1-based fibrils are used as biomaterials. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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