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Journal of Biological Sciences
eISSN: 1812-5719
pISSN: 1727-3048

Editor-in-Chief:  Mehmet Ozaslan
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Research Article
Morphology and Osteogenic Capability of MC3T3-E1 Cells on Granular Hydroxyapatite Scaffold
Farinawati Yazid, Amy Ng May Kay, Wong Yik Qin, Nur Atmaliya Luchman, Rohaya Megat Abdul Wahab and Shahrul Hisham Zainal Ariffin
Background and Objective: Effectiveness of bone tissue regeneration utilizing cells and scaffold mainly determined by initial seeding density. Initial seeding density controlled cell-cell interaction which greatly influenced cell osteoblast differentiation. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of different initial seeding densities on the morphology and osteoblast capability of MC3T3-E1 cells in hydroxyapatite granular scaffold. Materials and Methods: MC3T3-E1 cells at different seeding density, mainly 5×105 and 1×106 cells cm–2 were cultured in the 2-dimensional flask and 3-dimensional granular hydroxyapatite scaffold. Morphology of the cells in both cultures was analyzed using CellB software while biochemical activity was assessed via alkaline phosphatase (ALP) analysis. Results: At both culture conditions, MC3T3-E1 showed a mononucleated, fibroblast-like shape cell with extended cytoplasmic projection. Cells at higher seeding density reached confluency faster within 6 days of culture. Variations in cell seeding density significantly influenced the cell osteodifferentiation as lower initial seeding density resulted in higher ALP activity. This study has shown that the seeded cell population in the 3-dimensional scaffolds clearly affected the degree of osteoblast cell differentiation in which a higher seeding density was not necessarily better. Conclusion: The seeding density played an important role in influencing the corresponding cell differentiation. Therefore, it is preferable to seed cells onto scaffold at optimal lower seeding density as it influenced the corresponding cell osteoblast differentiation.
Research Article
Characterization of Fungi that Able to Degrade Phenol from Different Contaminated Areas in Saudi Arabia
Amany Gomaa Ibrahim and Lujin Saaed Yean Allah EL-Gamdi
Background and Objective: Aromatic compounds, such as phenols, occur in the wastewaters of a number of industrial sectors, petroleum refining, pesticide, chemicals and plastics production, pharmaceutical industries, steel industries and dye manufacturing products. Materials and Methods: Various fungal strains were isolated from different contaminated sites in Saudi Arabia and screened for phenol degradation. Results: Three fungal isolates demonstrated a high degradation for phenol. These isolates were microscopically and molecularly identified. Partial sequence of 18S rRNA identified these strains as Aspergillus niger (S1), Penicillium griseofulvum (S2) and Aspergillus terreus (S3). The factors that affected the degradation rate of phenol were studied in this work such as (pH, temperature, shaking and incubation time). The selected strains can degrade phenol at pH 5-7, they degrade (19-29% of phenol). However, the optimum temperature was at 20-30°C and optimum degradation occurs at static condition until 100 rpm. Different incubation periods were studied and it appeared that the degradation started after 3 days. Aspergillus niger, Penicillium griseofulvum and Aspergillus terreus degrade (13, 3 and 8% of phenol), respectively but the optimum degradation occur after 15 days, they degrade (86, 63 and 77% of phenol), respectively. Conclusion: This study revealed that Aspergillus niger, possessed greater potential to degrade phenol when compared with other fungal strains.
Research Article
Exploration of Indigenous Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Post Mining Soil as Rehabilitation Strategy
Chairul , Zozy Aneloi Noli, Suwirmen , Syamsuardi and Reini
Background and Objective: Activities at mining soil induced extreme complication for environmental, physics, chemical and biology. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) is mutualism symbiosis between fungi and roots of spermatophyta plants. The aim of this study was to assess indigenous AMF in mining contaminated sites Bukit Ngalau PT Semen Padang. The AMF Indigenous were assessed by direct field sampling and trap culture technique. Materials and Methods: The symbiosis may affect several other factors that influence the plants ecology, such as water availability, access to other nutrients, grazing resistance and tolerance to soil pathogens and pollutants. Results: Identification of indigenous AMF is a necessary step in a phytoremedial strategy in rehabilitation, especially in post mining soil. Conclusion: The AMF identified fell within Glomus, Gigaspora and Acaulospora taxa. Glomus was the dominant taxa with the highest spore abundance (38/50 g soil) compared to Gigaspora and Acaulospora.
Research Article
Neonatal Oral Curcumin: Effect on Telomere Lengths of Adolescent Rats Fed a High Fructose Diet Post-weaning
Kasimu Ghandi Ibrahim, Eliton Chivandi, Kennedy Honey Erlwanger and Richard Leslie Brooksbank
Background and Objective: Telomere lengths are affected epigenetically during stages of developmental plasticity. Whether curcumin and/or fructose administered to pups affects their leucocyte telomere lengths in adolescence following post-weaning a high fructose diet was investigated. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty eight suckling pups were gavaged with either a 0.5% DMSO, 500 mg kg–1 curcumin, fructose (20%, w/v) or a combination of curcumin and fructose for 15 days. On post-natal day 21, each of the initial groups was split into two subgroups: One had plain drinking water while the other was provided fructose (20%, w/v) as their drinking fluid for 6 weeks. The body masses of the rats were measured before termination with sodium pentobarbitone (150 mg kg–1, i.p.). Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood. Relative leucocyte telomere length was determined using real time polymerase chain reaction. Results: The administration of curcumin and or fructose during suckling in Sprague Dawley rat pups, did not have any significant effects (p>0.05, ANOVA) on the body masses and relative leucocyte telomere lengths in both male and female rats across the treatment groups. Conclusion: Curcumin and fructose, though previously shown to have epigenetic effects did not alter the relative leucocyte telomere lengths in the growing rats and may therefore not lead to increased telomere attrition.
Research Article
Impact of Kaki (Diospyros kaki) Juice on the Rheological, Sensory and Color Properties of Spreadable Processed Cheese Analogue
Hayam Mohamed Abbas, Wafaa Mohamed Zaky, Laila Khaled Hassan, Nadia Mohamed Shahein, Ashraf Gaber Mohamed, Nabil Mohamed Samy and Eman Sayed Abdelkader Farahat
Background and Objective: Kaki (Diospyros kaki) is a famous and delicious fruit which have a very high nutritive value where it contains ascorbic acid, iron, flavonoid and polyphenols as well as fibers. The main purpose of this article was to study the influence of kaki fruit on the properties of sweet or salted-processed cheese samples to produce a novel type of cheese with high nutritive value. Materials and Methods: Sweetened and salted Kaki processed cheese-spreads samples were prepared by using cheese base. Two types of Kaki cheese were prepared beside control sample; the first was prepared by emerging 20% kaki juice and 12% sugar (T1). The second one was prepared by adding 20% kaki juice and 5% table salt (T2) and control sample (C). Prepared processed cheese samples were stored at 5±1°C for 3 months. All fresh samples were chemically analyzed for their total solids, total protein, fat, salt and soluble nitrogen contents. The values of SN and pH, color parameters, texture profile and the sensory evaluation were conducted during storage period. Results: The obtained data showed that soluble nitrogen content was less in sweet sample rather than salted one. Data revealed also that adding Kaki juice decreased the pH values of samples either in fresh or stored ones. The color data indicated that (L) stimuli (which expressed the degree of whiteness and darkness) was increased in the control rather than kaki fortified samples where the later showed yellowish-red color. The organoleptic evaluation revealed that fresh cheese samples in T1 gained the highest scores for appearance, flavor and overall acceptability. However, it had low degrees in color, texture and spreading quality. Conclusion: It could be concluded that prepared processed-cheese-spreads samples using kaki fruit was available with acceptable properties.
Research Article
Community’s Knowledge on Euphorbia groenewaldii: Its Populations, Threats and Conservation in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Marula Triumph Rasethe and Sebua Silas Semenya
Background and Objective: Euphorbia groenewaldii R.A. Dyer is a Red Data Listed South African plant with a Critically Endangered status. It has a very limited natural distribution with only six known populations, one found on unprotected hills around Dalmada and the rest (n = 5) in Kalkfontein, Masele, Mokgotho, Ngwana-Laka and Ronsma areas of Ga-Mothiba village in the Limpopo Province (South Africa). The current study ascertained community’s knowledge on E. groenewaldii in this village focusing on the populations, threatening factors and community’s conservation ideas. Materials and Methods: Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and field observations. Results: It was found that all (100%, n = 50) probed participants recognize at least a single population, although none of them were aware of the species conservation status. Despite this, an overwhelming majority (78%, n = 39) of them showed interest in the conservation of the species. Respondents’ knowledge of threats varied slightly from one population to another, with no threats reported for Ronsma population. Overall, rainfall scarcity/drought and lack of knowledge regarding the conservation status of the species were common threats perceived by most participants as affecting the remaining four E. groenewaldii populations. Threatening factors observed by researchers across all the 5 explored populations were trampling (by both human-beings and livestock) and invasive alien plants. The most salient and pivotal conservation initiatives recommended by most participants for the survival of E. groenewaldii were awareness regarding the species’ conservation status (96%, n = 48) and remunerated field patrol by local community members (90%, n = 45). Conclusion: For successful conservation of explored E. groenewaldii populations, local nature conservators must take in to consideration all the conservation strategies recommended by participants during the drafting of the species management plan. Generally, to ensure long-term survival of the investigated plant populations, there is an urgent need to formally protect its habitat and secure all unoccupied areas to allow future expansion.
Research Article
Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs): A Viable Option for Livelihood Enhancement in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Zingisa Thinyane and Alfred Maroyi
Background and Objective: Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are renewable natural resources which are harvested by local communities from the surrounding homesteads, fields, grazing lands, woodlands, grasslands and natural habitats. The aim of this study was to examine the use of NTFPs in Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa, assessing their consumption patterns and contribution to the household well-being. Materials and Methods: Data on NTFPs identities and utilization in the study area were gathered through community focus group discussions and household surveys using both structured and semi-structured questionnaires between April, 2017 and May, 2018. A sample of 124 participants selected via snowball-sampling technique provided detailed accounts on diversity and utilization of NTFPs in the study area. Results: A total of 59 species and eight extractable NTFPs were utilized by the communities in Alfred Nzo District Municipality. The identified eight use categories were herbal medicines (39.0%), edible plants and mushroom (18.0%), firewood (11%), bushmeat (10.0%), forage (9.0%), construction materials (6.0%), ceremonial uses (2.0%) and others with miscellaneous uses (5.0%). Popular NTFPs with Relative Frequency Citation (RFC) values exceeding 0.50 included Agapanthus africanus, Aepyceros melampus, Bulbine frutescens, Bulbine latifolia, Centella asiatica, Clivia miniata, Datura stramonium, Dicerothamnus rhinocerotis, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Leonotis leonurus, Pavo cristatus, Struthio camelus and Xerus inauris. Conclusion: In this study, it was concluded that information on diversity, consumption patterns and contribution of NTFPs to livelihood needs of households may enable policymakers and government officers to draft policies required for sustainable utilization and management of NTFPs.
Mini Review
Utilizing Coagulant Plants in the Development of Functional Dairy Foods and Beverages: A Mini Review
Rupbansraaj Bathmanathan, Yasmin Amira Che Yahya, Mashitah Mohd Yusoff and Jaya Vejayan
Proteases are commonly available to the dairy industry and becoming saturated in their potential for further productivity among health-conscious people, which has driven positive attention towards plant-based coagulants. This review explored the possibility of coagulant plants as an ideal choice in the development of functional dairy foods and beverages and the benefits that come along to health. Dairy products like cheese require coagulation of milk by using enzymes such as rennet either in its original state, purified or genetically modified. Animal and microbe sourced coagulants have been facing many challenges due to increasing public awareness. Plant proteases are not new and have been identified previously to have the ability to coagulate milk but plants are less explored and understood in their potentials in being a milk coagulant and fortifying the curd with useful biological activities. Currently, people are looking for functional foods that provide various health benefits when consumed rather than calorie-rich food, which causes diseases. In recent times many plants are able to coagulate milk. These particular plants have been identified as an ideal choice in the development of functional dairy foods and beverages due to their dual ability of first coagulating the milk and then fortifying the curd with biologically useful compounds.

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