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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
eISSN: 1812-5735
pISSN: 1028-8880

Editor-in-Chief:  Hakan Ulukan
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Research Article
Inhibitory Effect of Aqueous and Ethanolic Extracts of Neem Parts on Fungal Rot Disease of Solanum tuberosum
Chukwuma Stephen Ezeonu, Verwiyeh Silas Tatah, Chinedu Imo, Emmanuel Mamma, Mida Habila Mayel, Ayobami Jahdahunsi Kukoyi and Ibrahim Adams Jeji
Background and Objective: The processing and preservation of Irish potato tubers like many other crops has been affected by various pathogens like fungi (particularly storage rot) which causes a major constraint to Irish potato production in Nigeria resulting to enormous post-harvest spoilage. The inhibitory effect of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of neem leaves, stem bark and seeds on fungal rot disease of Solanum tuberosum (Irish potato) as an alternative treatment for fungal storage disease on Irish potato tubers cultivated in Nigeria has been determined in this study. Materials and Methods: Neem parts were harvested from Wukari, Nigeria and were processed for the experiment. Isolation of fungi and sub-culturing of the isolates was carried out to obtain pure culture. Pathogenicity study was carried out and effect of the plant extracts on mycelia growth of the test fungi was studied using the food poisoning techniques. The qualitative and quantitative phytochemical studies of the neem parts were carried out using standard methods. Results: Qualitative phytochemical screening of the selected parts of neem plant showed the presence of alkaloids, glycoside, flavonoids, carbohydrates, reducing sugar, steroids, tannins and saponins. The quantitative test revealed that the percentage quantity of phytochemicals in these plant parts ranged from 10.17-23.88%. Effect of the extracts on the test organisms was significant (p<0.05). Ethanolic extract of the seed (ESE) exhibited the highest inhibitory effect on Aspergillus niger (88.37%) followed by aqueous extract of stem bark (ABE) (87.21%), while aqueous seed extract (ASE), ethanolic leaves extract (ELE), aqueous leaves extract (ALE) and ethanolic stem bark extract (EBE) exhibited inhibition of 81.78, 77.52, 72.87 and 39.53%, respectively. The inhibitory effect of EBE was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of other extracts, while there was no significant difference in the inhibitory effects of ESE, ASE and ABE compared to ketoconazole on Aspergillus niger. The ethanolic extracts of the seed and leaves had 100% inhibitory effect on Fusarium oxyporium with 87.60% inhibition by aqueous extract of the leaves. The seed and the leaves ethanolic extracts exhibited the highest inhibitory effects on Pythium spp. and Fusarium oxyporium, while the aqueous leaves extract showed the least inhibition on Fusarium oxyporium. Conclusion: The plant extracts in this study were found to be very effective in inhibiting fungal mycelia growth and hence can be potentially effective for preservation during storage of Irish potatoes to minimize post-harvest lost.
Research Article
Impact of Iron Deficiency Anemia on Functional Abilities and Muscle Strength in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Samah Attia El Shemy, Fatma Essam Amer and Hanan Ali Madani
Background and Objective: The most common nutritional deficiency is iron deficiency that leads to anemia. The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of iron deficiency anemia on functional abilities and muscle strength in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Materials and Methods: One hundred children with spastic CP from both gender ranging in age from 4-6 years participated in this study. They were selected from the Outpatient Clinic of Pediatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University. The selected children were assigned into 2 groups of equal number i.e., 5 children in each group. Group A included 50 anemic spastic CP children and Group B included 50 non-anemic spastic CP children. All children were evaluated for hemoglobin, serum iron, functional abilities, hand grip strength and knee extensor strength. Results: The results showed statistically significant differences in all measured variables between both groups in favor of group B (p<0.05). Additionally, there were strong positive significant correlations between hemoglobin and motor skills and muscle strength as well as serum iron and all measured variables. Conclusion: Iron deficiency anemia had a negative impact on functional abilities and strength. Anemic children had a lower motor function scores and strength compared to non-anemic children.
Research Article
Optimization of Graphene Oxide-based Quencher-free Molecular Beacon for Meat Product Authentication
Hari Widada, Abdul Rohman, Riris Istighfari Jenie and Sismindari
Background and Objective: Sensitivity is very important in DNA detection. Various attempts have been made to increase detection sensitivity, including increasing the detection capabilities of devices and using DNA probes. This study was aimed to develop a DNA detection method using a quencher-free molecular beacon (QFMB) probe with the help of graphene oxide (GO) as a quencher. Materials and Methods: The GO has the specific ability to adsorb DNA in the form of a single strand but not in a double strand. The optimum interaction between the MB probe and the target DNA (pig DNA) could produce a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) so that it is detached from the GO surface. The dsDNA that escapes from the surface of the GO can be detected using a spectrofluorometric technique at an excitation wavelength of 482 nm and an emission of 519 nm, with an intensity comparable to its concentration. Results: The optimum condition that can be used is a GO concentration of 5 μg mL1, a reaction temperature of 65°C, an incubation time of 6 min, a reaction pH of 7.5 and cation levels of 40 nM. Analysis of the target pork meatball DNA carried out at a concentration interval of 0-500 pg mL1. Conclusion: So it was concluded that the DNA detection system uses a combination of a quencher-free molecular beacon and graphene oxide, providing a good prospect to be developed into a new method in the halal authentication of meat products using the spectrofluorometric method.
Research Article
Impact of Khat (Catha edulis) Chewing on Carotid Intima-media Thickness
Moawia Gameraddin, Bushra Abdalmalik, Mohamed Ibrahim, Mustafa Mahmoud and Sultan A. Alshoabi
Background and Objective: Khat has severe adverse socio-economic consequences. It causes serious cardiovascular, neurological and psychiatric problems. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of chewing khat on intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid arteries. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive case-control cross-sectional study. A total of 50 participants of chronic regular khat chewers were investigated. B-mode ultrasound 7-10 MHz linear transducers used for assessment of common carotid arteries according to the standard carotid sonography protocol. The IMT was measured and the presence of plaques was assessed. Results: The carotid IMT was significantly increased in regular khat chewers more than the controls (p-value = 0.016). The common carotid IMT increased in smokers more than non-smokers among khat chewers (0.6710±0.20687 vs. 0.5789±0.16859 mm). Significant correlations existed between the duration of chewing khat and age with the presence of plaque (p-values = 0.013 and 0.002, respectively). Conclusion: There is a significant correlation between carotid plaque and longtime khat chewing. Khat is a contributory factor for increasing carotid intima-media thickness and formation of carotid plaques. A combination of khat and smoking produce more thickening of carotid intima-media.
Research Article
Functional Yoghurt Supplemented with Extract Orange Peel Encapsulated Using Coacervation Technique
Tamer Mohammed El-Messery, Marwa Mohamed El-Said, Nadia Mohamed Shahein, Hala Mohamed Fakhr El-Din and Atif Farrag
Background and Objective: Orange peels (OP) as a fruit waste is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds (PC). In this research, the different concentrations of orange peel were extracted to obtain the highest PC concentration. Materials and Methods: The aqueous orange peel extracts (OPE) were encapsulated using coacervation method. Different ratios between wall materials (whey protein concentrate (WPC) and gum arabic ((GA) 3:1, 3:2 and 3:3) were investigated. The ratios between OPE and wall materials were 1:10 and 1:20. Encapsulated OPE was supplemented in yoghurt. The encapsulation efficiency (EE) was evaluated for capsules while phenolics content (PC), physiochemical and texture properties of yoghurt samples were evaluated during cold storage (fresh, 7 and 15 days). Results: The higher EE (95.4%) was observed when used WPC: GA at ratio 3:1 and OPE: wall materials at ratio 1:10. There aren't any significant influences on the physiochemical and texture properties of yoghurt samples. The organoleptic properties of supplemented yoghurt had gained acceptable flavor and satisfied scores from judging persons. Conclusion: Application of microcapsules as a carrier of orange peel extract in yoghurt (WPC: GA at ratio 3:1 and OPE: wall material at ratio 1:10) had the best potential to be successfully applied.
Research Article
Substantial Virulence Genes among Brucella melitensis Field Strains Isolated from Cattle in Egypt
Eman S. Ramadan, Walid S. Mousa, Jehan A. Gafer, Hamed T. Elbaz, Eman Abdeen and Heba Hussien
Background and Objective: The economic losses due to brucellosis as well as its potential public health in human worldwide encourage more researches to find novel pathways for effective control methods of the disease. The objective of this study was to investigate the most prevalent Brucella strains obtained from cattle and their virulence genes. Materials and Methods: Three hundred small-holders cows in Menoufia governorate, Egypt, were screened for brucellosis using rose bengal test (RBT) and confirmed by complement fixation test (CFT). Milk samples and supra-mammary lymph nodes of serologically positive cows were collected for bacteriological isolation and identification. The obtained isolates were genotyped using PCR and their virulence genes (omp25, omp31, manA, manB, virB and znuA) were screened. Results: The prevalence rate of bovine brucellosis was 15 (5%), 11 (3.6%) and 7 (2.33%) by RBT, CFT and bacteriological examination, respectively. The seven isolates were identified and genotyped as Brucella melitensis biotype3. Furthermore, the molecular detection of substantial virulence genes revealed that manA, manB, omp25 and omp31 genes were detected in all tested B. melitensis strains. Meanwhile, the virB genes were detected in 4 strains and the znuA genes were detected in 3 strains among the isolated B. melitensis strains. Conclusion: It was concluded that B. melitensis biotype3 was the pre-dominant Brucella spp. as well as omp25, omp31, manA and manB were the most common related-virulence genes which assumed to play a worthy function in the pathogenesis of brucellosis.
Research Article
Production of Functional Processed Cheese Supplemented with Nanoliposomes of Mandarin Peel Extract
Tamer Mohammed El-Messery, Marwa Mohamed El-Said and Eman Sayed Abdelkader Farahat
Background and Objective: The Mandarin fruit is a wonderful source of essential dietary nutrients. The liposome is an encapsulation method to incorporate the phenolics in functional food. The objective of this study was production of functional processed cheese supplemented with nanoliposomes of mandarin peel extract. Materials and Methods: The encapsulation efficiency (EE) of mandarin peel extract powder (MPEP) was examined at five concentrations (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1% w/v) and inclusion the highest EE in processed cheese by replacing water with MPEP nanoliposomes at ratios 25, 50 and 100% v/v. The physicochemical properties and phenolics content for processed cheese were analyzed. Rustles: High EE (>80%) of MPEP nanoliposomes was achieved. The chemical composition of the resultant processed cheese was in accordance with the Egyptian standard for half fat processed cheese. Physical and organoleptic properties and color parameters of processed cheese supplemented with MPEP nanoliposomes inferior to the control. Conclusion: The characterizations of processed cheese samples supplemented with MPEP nanoliposomes remained unaffected during cold storage. The MPEP nanoliposomes were effectively retained within processed cheese, presented a simple and effective delivery vesicle for phenolic compounds.

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