Publications

NIBIOs employees contribute to several hundred scientific articles and research reports every year. You can browse or search in our collection which contains references and links to these publications as well as other research and dissemination activities. The collection is continously updated with new and historical material.

2022

Abstract

A significant challenge in medical diagnostics is the development of simple but efficient tools for the detection/quantification of several biomarkers simultaneously using non-invasive sampling techniques. In this regard, the analysis of proteins (proteomics) is essential for understanding cellular processes and biomarker discovery. However, proteins vary greatly in terms of concentration levels and chemical properties in biological materials. Further, low sample sizes of modern biological models (e.g., patient-derived cell cultures, exosomes, and organoids) remain a big analytical challenge. The present work has focused on the brain cancer glioblastoma, which is in great need of increased knowledge and non-invasive sampling techniques. In addition, human organoids, which could act as a future in vitro model for disease modeling and personalized medicine, have been investigated. We have used high-resolution mass spectrometry for protein identification, exploring a selection of miniaturized liquid chromatography formats (for separation) and sample preparation techniques. By implementing these techniques, we have been able to study exosomes, 2D/3D cell cultures, and organoids, identifying over 6300 proteins in a single run using less than 5 µg of protein. The work has provided important insight into the possibilities and challenges of several novel models. It represents a development toward deeper proteomic profiling focusing on maintaining a high protein yield and time efficiency.

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Abstract

Atrazine is a widely used triazine herbicide, which poses a serious threat to human health and aquatic ecosystem. A montmorillonite–biochar composite (MMT/BC) was prepared for atrazine remediation. Biochar samples were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS). Structural and morphological analysis of raw biochar (BC) and MMT/BC showed that MMT particles have been successfully coated on the surface of biochar. Sorption experiments in aqueous solution indicated that the MMT/BC has higher removal capacity of atrazine compared to BC (about 3.2 times). The sorption of atrazine on the MMT/BC was primarily controlled by both physisorption and chemisorption mechanisms. The amendment of MMT/BC increased the sorption capacity of soils and delayed the degradation of atrazine. Findings from this work indicate that the MMT/BC composite can effectively improve the sorption capacity of atrazine in aquatic environment and farmland soil and reduce the environmental risk.

To document

Abstract

Microalgal biomass is widely studied for its possible application in food and human nutrition due to its multiple potential health benefits, and to address raising sustainability concerns. An interesting field whereby to further explore the application of microalgae is that of beer brewing, due to the capacity of some species to accumulate large amounts of starch under specific growth conditions. The marine species Tetraselmis chui is a well-known starch producer, and was selected in this study for the production of biomass to be explored as an active ingredient in beer brewing. Cultivation was performed under nitrogen deprivation in 250 L tubular photobioreactors, producing a biomass containing 50% starch. The properties of high-starch microalgal biomass in a traditional mashing process were then assessed to identify critical steps and challenges, test the efficiency of fermentable sugar release, and develop a protocol for small-scale brewing trials. Finally, T. chui was successfully integrated at a small scale into the brewing process as an active ingredient, producing microalgae-enriched beer containing up to 20% algal biomass. The addition of microalgae had a noticeable effect on the beer properties, resulting in a product with distinct sensory properties. Regulation of pH proved to be a key parameter in the process.

Abstract

Plants and fungi emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are either constitutively produced or are produced in response to changes in their physico-chemical status. We hypothesized that these chemical signals could be utilized as diagnostic tools for plant diseases. VOCs from several common wheat pathogens in pure culture (Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium avenaceum, Fusarium poae, and Parastagonospora nodorum) were collected and compared among isolates of the same fungus, between pathogens from different species, and between pathogens causing different disease groups [Fusarium head blight (FHB) and Septoria nodorum blotch (SNB)]. In addition, we inoculated two wheat varieties with either F. graminearum or P. nodorum, while one variety was also inoculated with Blumeria graminis f.sp. tritici (powdery mildew, PM). VOCs were collected 7, 14, and 21 days after inoculation. Each fungal species in pure culture emitted a different VOC blend, and each isolate could be classified into its respective disease group based on VOCs with an accuracy of 71.4 and 84.2% for FHB and SNB, respectively. When all collection times were combined, the classification of the tested diseases was correct in 84 and 86% of all cases evaluated. Germacrene D and sativene, which were associated with FHB infection, and mellein and heptadecanone, which were associated with SNB infection, were consistently emitted by both wheat varieties. Wheat plants infected with PM emitted significant amounts of 1-octen-3-ol and 3,5,5-trimethyl-2-hexene. Our study suggests that VOC blends could be used to classify wheat diseases. This is the first step toward a real-time disease detection in the field based on chemical signatures of wheat diseases.