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PLoS One. 2016 Jul 19;11(7):e0159268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159268. eCollection 2016.

Genic and Intergenic SSR Database Generation, SNPs Determination and Pathway Annotations, in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Morad M. Mokhtar*(1), Sami S. Adawy(1), Salah El-Din S. El-Assal(2), Ebtissam H.A. Hussein(1)(2).

(1)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Lab., Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute, ARC, Giza, Egypt. (2)Genetics Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt. *morad.mokhtar@ageri.sci.eg

        The present investigation was carried out aiming to use the bioinformatics tools in order to identify and characterize, simple sequence repeats within the third Version of the date palm genome and develop a new SSR primers database. In addition single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are located within the SSR flanking regions were recognized. Moreover, the pathways for the sequences assigned by SSR primers, the biological functions and gene interaction were determined. A total of 172,075 SSR motifs was identified on date palm genome sequence with a frequency of 450.97 SSRs per Mb. Out of these, 130,014 SSRs (75.6%) were located within the intergenic regions with a frequency of 499 SSRs per Mb. While, only 42,061 SSRs (24.4%) were located within the genic regions with a frequency of 347.5 SSRs per Mb. A total of 111,403 of SSR primer pairs were designed, that represents 291.9 SSR primers per Mb. Out of the 111,403, only 31,380 SSR primers were in the genic regions, while 80,023 primers were in the intergenic regions. A number of 250,507 SNPs were recognized in 84,172 SSR flanking regions, which represents 75.55% of the total SSR flanking regions. Out of 12,274 genes only 463 genes comprising 896 SSR primers were mapped onto 111 pathways using KEGG data base. The most abundant enzymes were identified in the pathway related to the biosynthesis of antibiotics. We tested 1031 SSR primers using both publicly available date palm genome sequences as templates in the in silico PCR reactions. Concerning in vitro validation, 31 SSR primers among those used in the in silico PCR were synthesized and tested for their ability to detect polymorphism among six Egyptian date palm cultivars. All tested primers have successfully amplified products, but only 18 primers detected polymorphic amplicons among the studied date palm cultivars.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159268

PMID: 27434138 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Aug 10. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9878-4.

Adsorption studies on the removal of COD and BOD from treated sewage using activated carbon prepared from date palm waste.

Nayl AEA(1)(2), Elkhashab RA(3)(4), El Malah T(5), Yakout SM(6)(7), El-Khateeb MA(8), Ali MMS(6), Ali HM(3).

(1)Chemistry Department, College of Science, Al Jouf University, Sakakah, Saudi Arabia. aanayl@yahoo.com. (2)Hot Labs Centre, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, 13759, Egypt.aanayl@yahoo.com.(3)Chemistry Department, College of Science, Al Jouf University, Sakakah, Saudi Arabia.(4)National Center for Clinical and Environmental Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.(5)Photochemistry Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, 12622, Egypt.(6)Hot Labs Centre, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, 13759, Egypt.(7)Chemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (8)Water Pollution Control Department, Environmental Research Division, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo, 12622, Egypt.

        In this work, the adsorption of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD) from treated sewage with low-cost activated carbon prepared from date palm shell waste by chemical activation method was studied. Different parameters affecting the adsorption process such as carbon dose, pH, contact time, agitation rate, and temperature were studied. Adsorption equilibrium was attained after 150 min at pH 6.0 with agitation rate of 400 rpm at 25 °C. The results showed that COD removal percentage of 95.4 and 92.8% for BOD was obtained with carbon dosage of 0.1 g/100 ml of solution. The experimental batch equilibrium results follow linear, Langmuir, and Freundlich isotherm models. The experimental data was fitted to a pseudo-second-order kinetics model controlled by pore diffusion. Thermodynamic parameter values of ΔH (0), ΔG (0), and ΔS (0) were calculated. The obtained data indicated that the adsorption was spontaneous, endothermic nature and reflects an increased randomness and degree of disorderliness at the activated carbon/sewage interface during the adsorption process investigated in this study. Concentrations of different impurities were reduced to very small value by investigated adsorption process.

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-9878-4

PMID: 28799143

Genome Announc. 2017 Aug 10;5(32). pii: e00718-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00718-17.

Draft Genome Sequence of the Endophytic Bacillus aryabhattai Strain SQU-R12, Identified from Phoenix dactylifera L. Roots.

Yaish MW(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman myaish@squ.edu.om.

        Bacillus aryabhattai strain SQU-R12 was isolated from date palm seedlings, where it showed a growth-promoting capacity by being able to synthesize indole-3-acetic acid phytohormone and reduce ethylene biosynthesis by producing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase. The draft genome sequence of this strain is reported here.

DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00718-17

PMID: 28798173

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Aug 1;10(1):363. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2697-3.

Effects of date palm pollen on fertility: research proposal for a systematic review.

Abdi F(1), Roozbeh N(2), Mortazavian AM(3).

(1)Student Research Committee, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. (2)Mother and Child Welfare Research Center, Hormozgan Universiy of Medical Sciences, BandarAbbas, Iran. nasibe62@yahoo.com. (3)Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology/National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. mortazvn@sbmu.ac.ir.

        OBJECTIVE: Over 10-15% of couples in different countries are infertile. Male infertility is a contributing factor and the only cause of infertility in respectively 50% and 20-30% of all cases of infertility. According to previous research, micro-elements isolated from date palm pollen (DPP), e.g. estrogen and sterols, may enhance male and female fertility. DPP has also been reported to improve sperm parameters including sperm motility and viability, acrosome reaction, and lipid peroxidation. This article may justify the need for a future systematic review and meta-analysis about the effects of DPP on the reproductive system and DPP's ability to enhance fertility. It will then describe the methodology of such a study. MAIN TEXT: A comprehensive search of relevant randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials will be performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, ProQuest, and Google Scholar databases. Two authors will independently assess the eligibility of the studies and consult the third author in cases of disagreement. The risk of bias of the randomized controlled trials and animal studies will be evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) risk of bias tool, respectively. This study will raise no ethical issues as it will review the findings of previous research. The results are intended to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

DOI: 10.1186/s13104-017-2697-3

PMID: 28764804

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:333-346. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_27.

In Vitro Assessment of Abiotic Stress in Date Palm: Salinity and Drought.

Al-Khayri JM(1), Naik PM(2), Alwael HA(2).

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia. jkhayri@kfu.edu.sa. (2)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia.

        Date palm is one of the major crops growing in regions where abiotic stress conditions are extreme. Abiotic stress affects plant growth, development, physiology, and biochemical processes. This chapter describes a protocol to evaluate the response of date palm cultures to abiotic stresses. Tolerance to salinity stress is assessed using calcium chloride (CaCl2), potassium chloride (KCl), and sodium chloride (NaCl) at 11.96, 12.06, and 9.45 g/L, respectively (equivalent to 0.8 MPa osmotic potential), with different exposure durations (1-12 days). Polyethylene glycol (PEG 8000) is tested at 0-30% (w/v) to assess tolerance to drought stress. Techniques are described to define the effects of these stress agents on the growth of callus and cell suspension cultures, water content, proline accumulation, and Na(+) and K(+) content ratio, in addition to the technique used for determining the median lethal dose (LD50) for PEG (29.5%) and NaCl (11.54 g/L). This protocol will be useful for future studies of in vitro selection of tolerant cell lines.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_27

PMID: 28755357

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:319-332. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_26.

Extraction and Estimation of Secondary Metabolites from Date Palm Cell Suspension Cultures.

Naik PM(1), Al-Khayri JM(2).

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia. poornanandnaik@gmail.com. (2)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia.

        The health benefits of dates arise from their content of phytochemicals, known for having pharmacological properties, including flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, sterols, procyanidins, and anthocyanins. In vitro cell culture technology has become an attractive means for the production of biomass and bioactive compounds. This chapter describes step-by-step procedures for the induction and proliferation of callus from date palm offshoots on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with plant growth regulators. Subsequently cell suspension cultures are established for optimum biomass accumulation, based on the growth curve developed by packed cell volume as well as fresh and dry weights. The highest production of biomass occurs at the 11th week after culturing. Moreover, this chapter describes methodologies for the extraction and analysis of secondary metabolites of date palm cell suspension cultures using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The optimum level of catechin, caffeic acid, apigenin, and kaempferol from the cell suspension cultures establishes after the 11th and 12th weeks of culture. This protocol is useful for scale-up production of secondary metabolites from date palm cell suspension cultures.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_26

PMID:28755356

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:309-318. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_25.

Bioreactor Steroid Production and Analysis of Date Palm Embryogenic Callus.

El-Sharabasy S(1), El-Dawayati M(2).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. sharabasydates@yahoo.com. (2)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt.

        Several compounds and families of compounds of date palm secondary metabolites have been investigated. The analysis of date palm tissue has shown the abundance of secondary metabolites including phytosterols, e.g., steroids, an important group of pharmaceutical compounds. Biotechnology offers the opportunity to utilize cells, tissues, and organs grown in vitro and manipulated to obtain desired compounds. This chapter presents a protocol for the production, determination, and identification of steroids in date palm callus tissue. The addition of 0.01 mg/L pyruvic acid as a precursor to MS liquid culture medium enhances steroid production. In addition, the chapter describes the sterol analytical techniques based on gas-liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_25

PMID: 28755355

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:295-305. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_24.

Transient GUS Gene Expression in Date Palm Fruit Using Agroinjection Transformation Technique.

Solliman MEM(1)(2), Mohasseb HA(3), Al-Khateeb AA(4), Al-Khayri JM(4), Al-Khateeb SA(5).

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia. msolliman@kfu.edu.sa. (2)Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt. msolliman@kfu.edu.sa. (3)Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt. (4)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia. (5)Department of Environment and Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia.

        Transient expression of foreign genes in plant tissue is a valuable tool for testing the efficacy of transformation methods. In this work, we present, for the first time, the utilization of agroinjection as an efficient transformation system for gene delivery in date palm fruit. The research utilized Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 harboring the binary vector pRI201-AN-GUS carrying the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene, under the control of a CaMV 35S and kanamycin (NPTII) as an antibiotic gene under the control of a NOS promoter. Based on histochemical assay of agroinjected fruit for the GUS gene expressions, this protocol has proved to be an efficient and reliable tool for transgene expression in date palm. PCR for plasmid DNA, extracted from the transformed Agrobacterium, demonstrated the generation of the expected amplicon, corresponding to the GUS gene using GUS primers.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_24

PMID: 28755354

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:281-293. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_23.

Microprojectile Bombardment Transformation of Date Palm Using the Insecticidal Cholesterol Oxidase (ChoA) Gene.

Allam MA(1), Saker MM(2).

(1)Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Division, Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Center, 30 El Bohouth Street, P.O. 12366, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. (2)Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Division, Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Center, 30 El Bohouth Street, P.O. 12366, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. msakr@asrt.sci.eg.

        The overall objective of this work is to optimize the transformation system for date palm as a first step toward production of date palm clones resistant to noxious pests. A construct harboring the cholesterol oxidase (ChoA) gene, which renders plant resistance against insect attack, is introduced into embryogenic date palm callus using the PDS-1000/He particle bombardment system. The process involves the establishment of embryogenic callus cultures as well as immature embryo-derived microcalli that are used as target tissues for shooting and optimization of transformation conditions. This chapter in addition explains molecular and histochemical assays conducted to confirm gene integration and expression.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_23

PMID: 28755353

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:269-280. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_22.

Genetic Transformation of Date Palm Via Microprojectile Bombardment.

Mousavi M(1), Mousavi A(2), Habashi AA(3), Arzani K(4), Dehsara B(2), Brajeh M(5).

(1)Department of Horticulture Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz (Ahwaz), Iran. m.mousavi@scu.ac.ir. (2)National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB), Tehran, Iran. (3)Department of Tissue Culture and Gene Transformation, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Karaj, Iran. (4)Department of Horticulture Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. (5)Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz (Ahwaz), Iran.

        Efficient protocols for date palm embryogenic callus and somatic embryo transformation with uidA gene are described in this chapter. The embryogenic callus transformation procedure is 1.6 μm gold particle size coated with 2.5 μg DNA (pAct1-D plasmid), 1100 psi helium pressure, 9 cm target distance, 26 inHg vacuum pressure, 3 mm distance between the rupture disk and macrocarrier, and osmotic pretreatment with 0.4 M mannitol followed by 60 min air desiccation. The somatic embryo transformation procedure is 0.6 μm gold particle size coated with 2.5 μg DNA (pAct1-D plasmid), 1350 psi helium pressure, 6 cm target distance, 28 inHg vacuum pressure, 3 mm distance between the rupture disk and macrocarrier, and osmotic pretreatment with 0.4 M mannitol followed by 60 min air desiccation. Protocols for analysis of the transgenic plantlets have also been described.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_22

PMID: 28755352

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:251-265. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_21.

Plantform Bioreactor for Mass Micropropagation of Date Palm.

Almusawi AHA(1), Sayegh AJ(2), Alshanaw AMS(3), Griffis JL Jr(4).

(1)Cell and Biotechnology Research Unit, College of Science, Basra University, Basra, Iraq. (2)TC Propagation Ltd., Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland. ajsayegh@tcpropagation.com. (3)Date Palm Research Centre, Basra University, Basra, Iraq. (4)Marine and Ecological Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL, USA.

        A novel protocol for the commercial production of date palm through micropropagation is presented. This protocol includes the use of a semisolid medium alternation or in combination with a temporary immersion system (TIS, Plantform bioreactor) in date palm micropropagation. The use of the Plantform bioreactor for date palm results in an improved multiplication rate, reduced micropropagation time, and improved weaning success. It also reduces the cost of saleable units and thus improves economic return for commercial micropropagation. The use of the Plantform bioreactor successfully addresses other hindrances that can occur during the scale-up of date palm micropropagation, including asynchrony of somatic embryos, limited maturation of somatic embryos, and highly variable germination frequencies of embryos.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_21

PMID: 28755351

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:239-249. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_20.

Temporary Immersion System for Date Palm Micropropagation.

Othmani A(1), Bayoudh C(2), Sellemi A(3), Drira N(4).

(1)Laboratoire de Culture In Vitro, Centre Régional de Recherches en Agriculture Oasiennes, Degache, Tunisia. degletbey@yahoo.fr. (2)Centre Régional de Recherches en Horticulture et Agriculture Biologique, Chott Mariem, Tunisie. (3)Laboratoire de Culture In Vitro, Centre Régional de Recherches en Agriculture Oasiennes, Degache, Tunisia. (4)Laboratoire de Biotechnologie des Plantes, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisie.

        The temporary immersion system (TIS) is being used with tremendous success for automation of micropropagation of many plant species. TIS usually consists of a culture vessel comprising two compartments, an upper one with the plant material and a lower one with the liquid culture medium and an automated air pump. The latter enables contact between all parts of the explants and the liquid medium by setting overpressure to the lower part of the container. These systems are providing the most satisfactory conditions for date palm regeneration via shoot organogenesis and allow a significant increase of multiplication rate (5.5-fold in comparison with that regenerated on agar-solidified medium) and plant material quality, thereby reducing production cost.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_20

PMID: 28755350

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:227-237. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_19.

Microcalli Induction in Protoplasts Isolated from Embryogenic Callus of Date Palm.

Titouh K(1)(2), Boufis N(1)(3), Khelifi L(4).

(1)Laboratoire des Ressources Génétiques et Biotechnologies, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA, ES1603), Hassan Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (2)Division Agriculture de Montagne, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie, BP 200, Hassen Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (3)Division Biotechnologies et Amélioration des Plantes, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie, BP 200, Hassen Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (4)Laboratoire des Ressources Génétiques et Biotechnologies, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA, ES1603), Hassan Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. khelifi.lakhdar@gmail.com.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) production is severely hampered due to several pests and diseases. Biotechnological tools such as protoplast fusion appear as an alternative to ensure rapid genetic improvement and multiplication of this species. However, establishment of an effective system of plant regeneration from protoplasts culture is a prerequisite for date palm somatic hybridization. In this chapter, we describe an effective protocol to induce microcalli in protoplasts isolated from nodular callus of important Algerian date palm cultivars. In this protocol, the main factors influencing the isolation (i.e., enzymatic solution, mannitol concentration, duration, and mode of maceration) of protoplasts from the calli of Algerian date palm cultivars were optimized. Purified protoplasts were cultured on a semisolid medium supplemented with a hormonal balance of auxin and cytokinin to obtain microcalli formation.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_19

PMID: 28755349

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:215-226. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_18.

Synchronization of Somatic Embryogenesis in Date Palm Suspension Culture Using Abscisic Acid.

Alwael HA(1), Naik PM(2), Al-Khayri JM(2).

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia. h.alwael@yahoo.com. (2)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia.

        Somatic embryogenesis is considered the most effective method for commercial propagation of date palm. However, the limitation of obtaining synchronized development of somatic embryos remains an impediment. The synchronization of somatic embryo development is ideal for the applications to produce artificial seeds. Abscisic acid (ABA) is associated with stress response and influences in vitro growth and development. This chapter describes an effective method to achieve synchronized development of somatic embryos in date palm cell suspension culture. Among the ABA concentrations tested (0, 1, 10, 50, 100 μM), the best synchronized growth was obtained in response to 50-100 μM. Here we provide a comprehensive protocol for in vitro plant regeneration of date palm starting with shoot-tip explant, callus initiation and growth, cell suspension establishment, embryogenesis synchronization with ABA treatment, somatic embryo germination, and rooting as well as acclimatized plantlet establishment.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_18

PMID: 28755348

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:203-214. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_17.

Plant Regeneration from Somatic Embryogenic Suspension Cultures of Date Palm.

Abohatem MA(1)(2), Bakil Y(3), Baaziz M(4).

(1)Department of Biology, Faculty of Education and Languages, Amran University, Hajjh Street, P.O. Box 31082, Amran, Yemen. mabohatem@yahoo.com. (2)Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, Public Corporation for Agricultural Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Al Ziraah Street, Sana'a, Yemen. mabohatem@yahoo.com. (3)Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, Public Corporation for Agricultural Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Al Ziraah Street, Sana'a, Yemen. (4)Laboratoire de Biotechnologies-Biochimie, Valorisation et Protection des Plantes, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech, Morocco.

        Somatic embryogenesis is one of the most important technologies for plant regeneration of elite date palm cultivars. Recently, considerable progress has been made in the development and optimization of this technique from embryogenic cell suspension cultures. This chapter describes a procedure for the rapid development of a large number of somatic embryos from embryogenic cell suspension cultures. An efficient plant regeneration protocol via somatic embryogenesis from cell suspension cultures starting with shoot-tip explants to plantlet acclimatization also is fully described. Low concentrations of 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) to 0.3 mg/L and high rate of subcultures each 7 days lead to improve the establishment and multiplication of somatic embryos in suspension cultures by limiting oxidative browning, associated with high total phenols and peroxidase activities. The detailed morphological observations have revealed the cells destined to become somatic embryos. Activated charcoal (AC) at 0.15 g/L has a positive effect on growth rate of somatic embryos by reducing tissue and medium browning, phenolics, and peroxidase activity.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_17

PMID: 28755347

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:185-200. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_16.

Improvement of In Vitro Date Palm Plantlet Acclimatization Rate with Kinetin and Hoagland Solution.

Hassan MM(1).

(1)The Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. monabakr32@yahoo.com.

        In vitro propagation of date palm Phoenix dactylifera L. is an ideal method to produce large numbers of healthy plants with specific characteristics and has the ability to transfer plantlets to ex vitro conditions at low cost and with a high survival rate. This chapter describes optimized acclimatization procedures for in vitro date palm plantlets. Primarily, the protocol presents the use of kinetin and Hoagland solution to enhance the growth of Barhee cv. plantlets in the greenhouse at two stages of acclimatization and the appropriate planting medium under shade and sunlight in the nursery. Foliar application of kinetin (20 mg/L) is recommended at the first stage. A combination between soil and foliar application of 50% Hoagland solution is favorable to plant growth and developmental parameters including plant height, leaf width, stem base diameter, chlorophyll A and B, carotenoids, and indoles. The optimum values of vegetative growth parameters during the adaptation stage in a shaded nursery are achieved using planting medium containing peat moss/perlite 2:1 (v/v), while in a sunlight nursery, clay/perlite/compost at equal ratio is the best. This protocol is suitable for large-scale production of micropropagated date palm plantlets.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_16

PMID: 28755346

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:175-183. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_15.

Controlling Hyperhydricity in Date Palm In Vitro Culture by Reduced Concentration of Nitrate Nutrients.

El-Dawayati MM(1), Zayed ZE(2).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. maiada_dw@hotmail.com. (2)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt.

        Hyperhydricity (or vitrification) is a fundamental physiological disorder in date palm micropropagation. Several factors have been ascribed as being responsible for hyperhydricity, which are related to the explant, medium, culture vessel, and environment. The optimization of inorganic nutrients in the culture medium improves in vitro growth and morphogenesis, in addition to controlling hyperhydricity. This chapter describes a protocol for controlling hyperhydricity during the embryogenic callus stage by optimizing the ratio of nitrogen salts of the Murashige and Skoog (MS) nutrient culture medium. The best results of differentiation from cured hyperhydric callus are obtained using modification at a ratio of NH(4+)/NO(3-) at 10:15 (825:1425 mg/L) of the MS culture medium to remedy hyperhydric date palm callus and achieve the recovery of normal embryogenic callus and subsequent regeneration of plantlets. Based on the results of this study, nutrient medium composition has an important role in avoiding hyperhydricity problems during date palm micropropagation.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_15

PMID: 28755345

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:165-174. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_14.

Identifying and Controlling Contamination of Date Palm Tissue Cultures.

Abdel-Karim AHI(1).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. drabeerjo@yahoo.com.

        Fungal and bacterial contaminations are major problems facing in vitro date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) proliferation. To overcome this problem, we must first identify the fungal (e.g., Alternaria sp., Aspergillus niger, Penicillium sp.) and bacterial (e.g., Pseudomonas sp.) spread in date palm in vitro cultures. Incorporating fungicides (e.g., copper oxychloride, Vitavax T, and Topsin M) or antibiotics (e.g., streptomycin, Banocin, and Bencid D) at 500 mg/L in medium significantly reduces the contamination rate during various stages of in vitro date palm culture. Streptomyces chloramphenicol (pharmacy) is highly effective in reducing the bacterial contamination of date palm cultures to below 10%, as well as enhancing growth vigor.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_14

PMID: 28755344

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:145-162. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_13.

Histological Analysis of the Developmental Stages of Direct Somatic Embryogenesis Induced from In Vitro Leaf Explants of Date Palm.

Abdelbar OH(1).

(1)Department of Agricultural Botany, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, 68 Hadayek Shoubra, 11241, Cairo, Egypt. olhussein@yahoo.com.

        Somatic embryogenesis is an ideal technique for the micropropagation of date palm using different explant tissue; however, histological studies describing the ontogenesis of plant regeneration are limited. This chapter provides a simple protocol for the histological analysis of the successive developmental stages of direct somatic embryogenesis induced from in vitro leaf explants. Direct somatic embryos are obtained from Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 2 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine. In order to observe the different developmental stages, histological analysis is carried out on samples at 15-day intervals for 60 days. Samples are fixed in formalin acetic alcohol and embedded in paraffin wax. Stain serial transverse and longitudinal sections, 8 μm thick, are stained with safranin-Fast Green. After 15 days on the induction medium, somatic embryos exhibit multicellular origin directly from the procambium cells, whereas the mesophyll and the epidermal cells are not involved in this process. After 2 months, several developmental stages (pre-globular, globular, early bipolar, bipolar, and cotyledonary-shaped) are observed. These embryos germinate after transferring to MS medium without plant growth regulators and rooting on 2 mg/L NAA-containing medium resulting in complete plantlets.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_13

PMID: 28755343

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:129-144. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_12.

Histological Evidence of Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis from Immature Female Date Palm Inflorescences.

Zayed EMM(1), Abdelbar OH(2).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. im_zi@yahoo.com. (2)Department of Agricultural Botany, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

        Rapid production of somatic embryogenesis and date palm regeneration is achieved by culturing immature female inflorescence explants. Inflorescence explants are soft, creamy in color, average 6-7 cm in length, and cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 1 mg/L thidiazuron (TDZ). Callus induction occurs after 4-5 weeks of culture on the callus induction medium. Subsequently, callus develops embryogenic calli on MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). Histological samples were collected successively at the culturing time and during morphogenetic changes throughout the developmental stages of somatic embryos. Initiation of callus and different successive developmental stages for somatic embryos including two-celled, four-celled, globular, bipolar, and fully developed cotyledonary somatic embryos were observed. Mature somatic embryos develop within 10-12 weeks after culture establishment.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_12

PMID: 28755342

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:119-128. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_11.

Desiccation and Cold Hardening of Date Palm Somatic Embryos Improve Germination.

Shareef HJ(1).

(1)Department of Date Palm Tissue Culture, Date Palm Research Center, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq. husseinshareef@live.com.

        Embryogenic suspension cultures of date palm are ideal for mass propagation of somatic embryos; however, the low percentage of germination of somatic embryos (SE) remains an impediment. This chapter focuses on two important physical factors to improve germination of date palm somatic embryos: the use of partial desiccation (3 h) of somatic embryos and the exposure to low temperature (4 °C for 24 h). High germination percentage (41%) is achieved by desiccation for 3 h. Moreover, adding 0.3 g/L activated charcoal (AC) to the liquid medium further improves somatic embryo number and weight as well as the percentage of germination. Moreover, partial desiccation and low temperature exposure tend to increase proline content. This improved protocol for somatic embryo germination is potentially applicable for commercial micropropagation of date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_11

PMID: 28755341

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:107-117. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_10.

Desiccation-Enhanced Maturation and Germination of Date Palm Somatic Embryos Derived from Cell Suspension Culture.

Boufis N(1)(2), Titouh K(1)(3), Khelifi L(4).

(1)Laboratoire des Ressources Génétiques et Biotechnologies, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA, ES1603), Hassan Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (2)Division Biotechnologies et Amélioration des Plantes, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie, BP 200, Hassen Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (3)Division Agriculture de Montagne, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie, BP 200, Hassen Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (4)Laboratoire des Ressources Génétiques et Biotechnologies, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA, ES1603), Hassan Badi Avenue, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. khelifi.lakhdar@gmail.com.

        In vitro plant regeneration via somatic embryogenesis is a powerful tool for rapid, large-scale production of healthy true-to-type plants. This approach is suitable to preserve existing natural genetic variability and propagation of variability generated from genetic improvement programs, including crossing, somaclonal variation, mutagenesis, and somatic hybridization. This chapter outlines a simplified protocol for date palm regeneration via somatic embryogenesis induced in cell suspension cultures. In this protocol, culture medium composition is manipulated, including plant growth regulators and solid (addition of agar) and liquid media to achieve reduction of production cycle of somatic embryogenesis, which increases the multiplication rate of embryogenic callus and improves the quantity and quality of somatic embryos.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_10

PMID: 28755340

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:99-106. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_9.

Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis of Date Palm Using Juvenile Leaf Explants and Low 2,4-D Concentration.

Fki L(1), Kriaa W(2), Nasri A(2), Baklouti E(2), Chkir O(2), Masmoudi RB(2), Rival A(3), Drira N(4).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route de Sokra, Sfax, Tunisia. lotfifki@yahoo.fr. (2)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route de Sokra, Sfax, Tunisia. (3)UMR DIADE, Cirad BioS, IRD, Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (4)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route Sokra, BP 1171, 3000, Sfax, Tunisia.

        This chapter describes an efficient protocol for large-scale micropropagation of date palm. Somatic embryo-derived plants are regenerated from highly proliferating suspension cultures. Friable embryogenic callus is initiated from juvenile leaves using slightly modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Suspension cultures consisting of proembryonic masses are established from highly competent callus for somatic embryogenesis using half-strength MS medium enriched with 0.1 mg/L 2,4-D and 300 mg/L activated charcoal. The productivity of cultures increased 20-fold when embryogenic cell suspensions were used instead of standard protocols on solidified media. The overall production of somatic embryos mostly exceeds 10,000 units per liter per month. Partial desiccation of mature somatic embryos, corresponding to a decrease in water content from 90 down to 75%, significantly improved germination rates.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_9

PMID: 28755339

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:89-97. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_8.

Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis from Mature Inflorescence Explants of Date Palm.

Al-Ali AM(1), Ko CY(2)(3), Al-Sulaiman SA(1), Al-Otaibi SO(1), Al-Khamees AUH(1), Ammar MH(4).

(1)Plant Tissue Culture and Genetic Engineering Laboratory, National Agriculture and Animal Resources Research Center, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (2)International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF), Taipei, 11157, Taiwan. a0955579973@yahoo.com.tw. (3)Taiwan Technical Mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 11484, Saudi Arabia. a0955579973@yahoo.com.tw. (4)Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        Due to the limitations associated with shoot tip explants in the micropropagation of date palm, inflorescence explants are an ideal alternative. This chapter focuses on the protocol for the induction of callus from inflorescence tissue, establishment for proliferation of somatic embryos, germination, elongation, rooting, and acclimatization. Female inflorescences, 30-40 cm in length, cv. Shaishee, were used for culture initiation. After disinfection, the outer inflorescence cover (spathe) is cut open, and the spikelet explants, 1 cm long, are cultured on modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 100 mg/L 2,4-D, 3 mg/L kinetin, and 3 mg/L 2ip and incubated at 25 ± 2 °C in the dark. Callus obtained after 6-8 months of culturing is transferred to the culture medium to induce somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration. Well-developed regenerated shoots are cultured on MS medium containing 0.2 mg/L NAA for root induction and plantlets acclimatized in the greenhouse before transfer to the field.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_8

PMID: 28755338

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:77-88. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_7.

Enhanced Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis from Shoot-Tip Explants of Date Palm by Gradual Reductions of 2,4-D Concentration.

Zayed ZE(1).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. zemmz2005@yahoo.com.

        Shoot-tip explants obtained from offshoots of adult date palms are an excellent source for callus induction and subsequent somatic embryogenesis. In this protocol, the shoot-tip explants are transferred sequentially to a series of media containing gradually reduced concentrations of plant growth hormones: (a) 10 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) and 3 mg/L 2-isopentenyl adenine (2iP), (b) 7 mg/L 2,4-D and 1 mg/L 2iP, (c) 5 mg/L 2,4-D and 1 mg/L 2iP, and (d) 3 mg/L 2,4-D and 1 mg/L 2iP. Embryogenic callus differentiates into somatic embryos upon transfer to MS medium containing 0.5 mg/L abscisic acid (ABA) and 0.1 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). Well-matured somatic embryos germinate on a medium containing 0.1 mg/L NAA. Repeated, multiple, and secondary somatic embryos are induced to produce normal well-developed somatic embryos upon transfer to MS medium containing 0.1 mg/L NAA and 0.05 mg/L benzyladenine (BA). This protocol is potentially applicable for commercial micropropagation of date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_7

PMID: 28755337

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:63-75. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_6.

Enhanced Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis of Date Palm Using Low Levels of Seawater.

Taha RA(1).

(1)Biotechnology and Micropropagation Lab, Pomology Department, Agricultural and Biological Division, National Research Centre, 33 El Bohouth St. (Formal El Tahrir St.), P.O.12622, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. rania_abdelghaffar@yahoo.com.

        Date palm tolerates salinity, drought, and high temperatures. Arid and semiarid zones, especially the Middle East region, need a huge number of date palms for cultivation. To meet this demand, tissue culture techniques have great potential for mass production of plantlets, especially using the indirect embryogenesis technique; any improvement of these techniques is a worthy objective. Low levels of salinity can enhance growth and development of tolerant plants. A low level of seawater, a natural source of salinity, reduces the time required for micropropagation processes of date palm cv. Malkaby when added to MS medium. Medium containing seawater at 500 ppm total dissolved solid (TDS) (12.2 mL/L) improves callus proliferation, whereas 1500 ppm (36.59 mL/L) enhances plant regeneration including multiplication of secondary embryos, embryo germination, and rooting.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_6

PMID: 28755336

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:47-59. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_5.

Direct Organogenesis and Indirect Somatic Embryogenesis by In Vitro Reversion of Mature Female Floral Buds to a Vegetative State.

Zayed EMM(1).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12619, Egypt. im_zi@yahoo.com.

        This protocol describes in vitro plant regeneration from mature female inflorescence explants of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) by reversion of floral state (reproductive phase) to the vegetative state. The mature female inflorescence (fully developed) is cultured on MS induction medium containing 10 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 3 mg/L 2-isopentenyladenine (2iP), and 2 mg/L paclobutrazol (PBZ) or 2 mg/L abscisic acid (ABA). The basal part of the petals has meristematic cells, which can be induced to initiate callus or direct shoot formation depending on the plant growth regulator amendments. Callus forms on the induction medium supplemented with PBZ after 12 weeks, whereas it differentiates into somatic embryos on a medium containing 0.1 mg/L naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Direct shoots are regenerated on the induction medium amended with ABA after 24 weeks. Procedures for plant regeneration from mature female inflorescence explants are described, and histological changes which occur during the reversion process are presented.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_5

PMID: 28755335

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:37-45. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_4.

Optimized Direct Organogenesis from Shoot Tip Explants of Date Palm.

Sidky R(1).

(1)Agriculture Researshe Department, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Doha, 200022, Qatar. sidky1234rehab@hotmail.com.

        In vitro propagation is an available alternative to produce uniform and good-quality planting material to establish large-scale date palm cultivation in a short time. This study was carried out to achieve organogenesis and multiplication directly from shoot tips without callus formation, thus avoiding any possibility of undesirable genetic variability among the regenerated plants. The shoot tips explants are cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 1 mg/L naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), 1 mg/L naphthoxyacetic acid (NOA), 2.5 mg/L benzyladenine (BA), and 2.5 mg/L isopentenyladenine (2iP). Numerous adventitious buds appeared from the shoot tip explants in darkness after six subcultures at 4-week intervals. Vegetative buds pass through three stages: initiation bud formation, vegetative bud differentiation, and shoot bud proliferation. Shoots are transferred onto medium containing low concentrations of growth regulators for shoot multiplication. The organogenesis protocol described herein consists of six steps: initiation of meristematic buds, multiplication, elongation, rooting, pre-acclimatization, and finally plant acclimatization.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_4

PMID: 28755334

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:27-35. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_3.

Direct Organogenesis from Immature Female Inflorescence of Date Palm by Gradual Reduction of 2,4-D Concentration.

Gadalla EEG(1).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Center, 9 Gamma Street, Giza, 12622, Egypt. gadezz@yahoo.com.

        Inflorescences represent an alternative explant source for superior date palm trees, especially those that do not produce offshoots. They provide large numbers of explants free of fungal and bacterial contamination for successful tissue culture initiation. Furthermore, they are characterized by the capacity of plant regeneration within a short time as compared to other explant types. This chapter focuses on the procedures employed for plant regeneration by direct organogenesis using immature female inflorescence explants, including initiation of adventitious buds, differentiation, multiplication, shoot elongation, rooting, and acclimatization. Adding 5 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) into the initiation medium and gradually reducing it to 1 and then to 0.5 mg/L in the subsequent 2 subcultures, respectively, are determining factors in direct adventitious bud formation from the inflorescence. Bud differentiation is obtained on MS medium containing 0.25 mg/L kinetin (Kin), 0.25 mg/L benzyladenine (BA), 0.25 mg/L abscisic acid (ABA), 0.1 mg/L naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), and 0.2 g/L activated charcoal (AC). Regenerated shoots exhibit sufficient root formation on MS medium supplemented with 2 mg/L indole butyric acid (IBA) and 1 mg/L NAA and subsequent survival in the greenhouse.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_3

PMID: 28755333

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:17-25. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_2.

NAA-Induced Direct Organogenesis from Female Immature Inflorescence Explants of Date Palm.

Khierallah HSM(1), Bader SM(2), Al-Khafaji MA(3).

(1)Date Palm Research Unit, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq. khierallah70@yahoo.com. (2)State Board of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Baghdad, Iraq. (3)Department of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

        Micropropagation has great potential for the multiplication of female and male date palms of commercially grown cultivars by using inflorescences. This approach is simple, convenient, and much faster than the conventional method of using shoot-tip explants. We describe here a stepwise micropropagation procedure using inflorescence explants of Iraqi date palm cultivar Maktoom. Cultured explants were derived from 0.5-cm-long spike segments excised from 8 to 10-cm-long spathes. About 70% formed adventitious buds on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 2 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), 4 mg/L benzylaminopurine (BAP), and 40 g/L sucrose and maintained in the dark for 16 weeks before transferring to normal light conditions. The best multiplication rate was achieved with 3 mg/L 2ip and 2 mg/L; for shoot elongation, the best medium is MS containing 0.5 mg/L BAP, 0.5 mg/L 2ip, and 1 mg/L GA3. Well-developed shoots were cultured for rooting in half MS medium amended with 1 mg/L NAA and 45 g/L sucrose. Plantlets with well-developed roots were successfully hardened in the greenhouse. Inflorescence explants proved to be a promising alternative explant source for micropropagation of date palm cultivars.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_2

PMID: 28755332

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1637:3-15. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_1.

Cultivar-Dependent Direct Organogenesis of Date Palm from Shoot Tip Explants.

Abahmane L(1).

(1)Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, INRA, Marrakech Regional Center of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box 533, Marrakech, 40 000, Morocco. abahmanel@yahoo.fr.

        A number of public and private laboratories are working on date palm micropropagation to meet the increasing worldwide demand for date palm planting material. A standardized direct organogenesis protocol exists for the production of date palm plantlets to maintain the genetic fidelity of regenerated plants. Organogenesis has the advantage of using low concentrations of plant growth regulators and avoiding the callus phase. In addition, direct regeneration of vegetative buds minimizes the risk of somaclonal variation among plant regenerants. However, in vitro multiplication cycles should be limited in duration by frequent renewal of plant material. This chapter describes a simple and routine organogenesis protocol for date palm multiplication using shoot tip explants.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7156-5_1

PMID: 28755331

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:381-398. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_28.

Date Fruit Proteomics During Development and Ripening Stages.

Marondedze C(1).

(1)Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge Center for Proteomics, Cambridge Systems Biology Center, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QR, UK. cm833@cam.ac.uk.

        Gel-based comparative proteomics approach is a valuable technique for studying the changes in abundance of proteins in any given system. The combination of this technique with mass spectrometry has provided immense insight into protein dynamics during fruit development and ripening. This chapter describes, informatively, the procedures for carrying out comparative proteomics analysis of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits at different developmental stages using a combination of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry. A comparative proteomics approach provides an overview of protein abundances during fruit maturation and insights into proteins that play key roles during fruit maturation. Moreover, 2-DE technique enables the visualization of total protein distribution and abundance in addition to providing a comparative platform following separation of complex proteins based on their molecular weight and isoelectric point. Overall, this chapter describes methodologies for extraction of proteins from a high carbohydrate-containing fruit, protein quality assessment using one-dimensional gel electrophoresis (1-DE), separation using 2-DE, comparative analysis using Delta2D v4.6, processing of spots of interest, and protein identification using mass spectrometry. This protocol is important for studies aiming at comparative proteomics to gain insights into changes of protein abundances in tissues and organs in general and date palm fruits, in particular.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_28

PMID: 28755236

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:365-380. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_27.

Electrophoresis-Based Proteomics to Study Development and Germination of Date Palm Zygotic Embryos.

Sghaier-Hammami B(1)(2)(3), Drira N(4), Bahloul M(5), Jorrín-Novo JV(6).

(1)Laboratory of Extremophile Plants, Biotechnology Center of Borj Cedria, P.O. Box 901, 2050, Hammam-Lif, Tunisia. sghaierbesma@yahoo.fr. (2)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia. sghaierbesma@yahoo.fr. (3)Agroforestry and Plant Biochemistry and Proteomics Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Cordoba-CeiA3, Cordoba, Spain. sghaierbesma@yahoo.fr. (4)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, 1171, Route de Sokra, Sfax, 3000, Tunisia. (5)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia. (6)Agroforestry and Plant Biochemistry and Proteomics Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Cordoba-CeiA3, Cordoba, Spain.

        Proteomics has become an important and powerful tool in plant biology research. To establish a proteomic reference map of date palm zygotic embryos (ZE), we separated and identified proteins from zygotic embryos during different developmental and germination phases using one, two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Proteins are extracted with trichloroacetic acid (TCA)/acetone-phenol and resolved by gel electrophoresis. Gel images are captured and analyzed by appropriate software and statistical packages. Quantitative or qualitative variable bands or spots are subjected to MS analysis in order to identify them and correlate differences in the protein profiles with the different stages of date palm zygotic embryo development, maturation, and germination.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_27

PMID: 28755235

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:355-363. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_26.

Proteome of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Date Palm.

El Rabey HA(1).

(1)Bioinformatics Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute, Sadat City University, Sadat City, Minufiya, Egypt. elrabey@hotmail.com.

        This protocol describes the analysis of date palm proteome under salinity and drought stress conditions to possibly identify proteins involved in stress tolerance. Three-month-old date palm seedlings are subjected to drought (27.5 g/L polyethylene glycol 6000) and salinity stress conditions (16 g/L NaCl) for 1 month prior to leaf sample analysis. Differential in gel electrophoresis (DIGE) analysis of protein extracts identifies the sensitive proteins that respond to abiotic stress. Mass spectrometric analysis identifies the significantly changed proteins under both salt and drought stress. This chapter provides techniques for analyzing the proteome of date palm under salinity and drought stress.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_26

PMID: 28755234

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:339-351. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_25.

MicroRNA Expression in Multistage Date Fruit Development.

Liu W(1)(2), Xin C(1), Yu J(1)(2), Aljohi HA(3)(4).

(1)Joint Center of Excellence for Genomics, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (2)CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. (3)Joint Center of Excellence for Genomics, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. haljohi@kacst.edu.sa. (4)National Center for Genome, Life Science & Environmental Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia. haljohi@kacst.edu.sa.

        MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous noncoding RNAs. Plant miRNAs are known to play important regulatory roles in homeostasis, stress response, and diverse developmental processes. Here, we describe the identification of conserved miRNAs in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) based on transcriptomic data acquired across multistage fruit development and genome sequences, which include 238 plant conserved miRNAs and 276 novel P. dactylifera-specific miRNAs.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_25

PMID: 28755233

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:315-337. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_24.

Development of Genomic Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) by Enrichment Libraries in Date Palm.

Al-Faifi SA(1), Migdadi HM(2), Algamdi SS(1), Khan MA(1), Al-Obeed RS(1), Ammar MH(1), Jakse J(3).

(1)Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. (2)Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. hmigdadi@ksu.edu.sa. (3)Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

        Development of highly informative markers such as simple sequence repeats (SSR) for cultivar identification and germplasm characterization and management is essential for date palms genetic studies. The present study documents the development of SSR markers and assesses genetic relationships of commonly grown date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars in different geographical regions of Saudi Arabia. A total of 93 novel simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were screened for their ability to detect polymorphism in date palm. Around 71% of genomic SSRs are dinucleotide, 25% trinucleotide, 3% tetranucleotide, and 1% pentanucleotide motives and show 100% polymorphism. The Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA) cluster analysis illustrates that cultivars trend to group according to their class of maturity, region of cultivation, and fruit color. Analysis of molecular variations (AMOVA) reveals genetic variation among and within cultivars of 27% and 73%, respectively, according to the geographical distribution of the cultivars. Developed microsatellite markers are of additional value to date palm characterization, tools which can be used by researchers in population genetics, cultivar identification, as well as genetic resource exploration and management. The cultivars tested exhibited a significant amount of genetic diversity and could be suitable for successful breeding programs. Genomic sequences generated from this study are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Sequence Read Archive (Accession numbers. LIBGSS_039019).

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_24

PMID: 28755232

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:283-313. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_23.

Analysis of Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) in Date Palm.

Al-Faifi SA(1), Migdadi HM(2), Algamdi SS(1), Khan MA(1), Al-Obeed RS(1), Ammar MH(1), Jakse J(3).

(1)Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. (2)Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. hmigdadi@ksu.edu.sa. (3)Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

        Expressed sequence tags (EST) were generated from a normalized cDNA library of the date palm Sukkari cv. to understand the high-quality and better field performance of this well-known commercial cultivar. A total of 6943 high-quality ESTs were generated, out of them 6671 are submitted to the GenBank dbEST (LIBEST_028537). The generated ESTs were assembled into 6362 unigenes, consisting of 494 (14.4%) contigs and 5868 (84.53%) singletons. The functional annotation shows that the majority of the ESTs are associated with binding (44%), catalytic (40%), transporter (5%), and structural molecular (5%) activities. The blastx results show that 73% of unigenes are significantly similar to known plant genes and 27% are novel. The latter could be of particular interest in date palm genetic studies. Further analysis shows that some ESTs are categorized as stress/defense- and fruit development-related genes. These newly generated ESTs could significantly enhance date palm EST databases in the public domain and are available to scientists and researchers across the globe. This knowledge will facilitate the discovery of candidate genes that govern important developmental and agronomical traits in date palm. It will provide important resources for developing genetic tools, comparative genomics, and genome evolution among date palm cultivars.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_23

PMID: 28755231

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:273-282. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_22.

Mitochondrial Molecular Markers for Resistance to Bayoud Disease in Date Palm.

Saleh AA(1), Sharafaddin AH(2), El-Komy MH(3), Ibrahim YE(3), Hamad YK(4), Molan YY(4).

(1)Faculty of Food and Agriculture Sciences, Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. amgsaleh@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Faculty of Food and Agriculture Sciences, Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. (3)Plant Pathology Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt. (4)Faculty of Agriculture, Plant Pathology Department, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.

        Bayoud disease, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis, is a very serious and destructive disease to date palm. Screening of date palm germplasm for resistance to bayoud disease is a crucial step to avoid or alleviate the disease consequences. Fortunately, it was discovered that there are two mitochondrial plasmid-like DNA molecules associated with susceptibility or resistance to bayoud disease. In this chapter, we present a fast, simple, and reliable technique to screen date palm germplasm for the presence of these mitochondrial molecular markers associated with susceptibility or resistance to bayoud.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_22

PMID: 28755230

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:259-271. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_21.

Characterization and Amplification of Gene-Based Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) Markers in Date Palm.

Zhao Y(1), Keremane M(2), Prakash CS(3), He G(4).

(1)Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University, 1200 W. Montgomery Rd, Tuskegee, AL, 36088, USA. (2)National Clonal Germplasm Repository, USDA ARS, Riverside, CA, USA. (3)College of Art and Science, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, USA. (4)Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University, 1200 W. Montgomery Rd, Tuskegee, AL, 36088, USA. hguohao@mytu.tuskegee.edu.

        The paucity of molecular markers limits the application of genetic and genomic research in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.). Availability of expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences in date palm may provide a good resource for developing gene-based markers. This study characterizes a substantial fraction of transcriptome sequences containing simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from the EST sequences in date palm. The EST sequences studied are mainly homologous to those of Elaeis guineensis and Musa acuminata. A total of 911 gene-based SSR markers, characterized with functional annotations, have provided a useful basis not only for discovering candidate genes and understanding genetic basis of traits of interest but also for developing genetic and genomic tools for molecular research in date palm, such as diversity study, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, and molecular breeding. The procedures of DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of these gene-based SSR markers, and gel electrophoresis of PCR products are described in this chapter.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_21

PMID: 28755229

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:245-256. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_20.

Date Palm Sex Differentiation Based on Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH).

Atia MAM(1), Adawy SS(2), El-Itriby HA(3).

(1)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, Giza, 12619, Egypt. matia@ageri.sci.eg. (2)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, Giza, 12619, Egypt. (3)National Gene Bank, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt.

        In situ hybridization (ISH) is used to visualize defined DNA sequences in cellular preparations by hybridization of complementary probe sequences. Recently, the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique has become a powerful and useful tool for the direct detection of specific DNA fragments in the genome. Ribosomal DNA genes (45S and 5S rDNA) are commonly used as markers for the physical mapping of plant chromosomes to analyze genomic organization. Here we describe cytological-based markers to differentiate date palm gender through localization of 45S and 5S rDNA markers on date palm chromosomes using FISH.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_20

PMID: 28755228

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:227-244. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_19.

Development of Sex-Specific PCR-Based Markers in Date Palm.

Atia MAM(1), Sakr MM(2), Mokhtar MM(3), Adawy SS(3).

(1)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, P.O. Box 12619, Giza, Egypt. matia@ageri.sci.eg. (2)Plant Biotechnology Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. (3)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, P.O. Box 12619, Giza, Egypt.

        Molecular markers are used efficiently in the development and identification of gender-specific PCR-based markers in date palm. There is mounting evidence that different marker systems vary in their mechanisms of detecting polymorphism and genome coverage. Therefore, they could complement each other to generate accurate sex-specific markers in date palm. This chapter describes the uses of PCR-based molecular markers to develop and identify the gender in different date palm genotypes; these are amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), start codon targeted polymorphism (SCoT), conserved DNA-derived polymorphism (CDDP), intron-targeted amplified polymorphism (ITAP), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Also described is how to characterize the identified markers by Sanger sequencing and to explore their functions through alignment of their sequences with the Genbank databases.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_19

PMID: 28755227

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:209-225. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_18.

Gender Identification in Date Palm Using Molecular Markers.

Awan FS(1), Maryam(2), Jaskani MJ(2), Sadia B(3).

(1)Center of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 3804, Pakistan. faisal.saeed@uaf.edu.pk. (2)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040, Pakistan. (3)U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security (USPCAS-AFS), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

        Breeding of date palm is complicated because of its long life cycle and heterozygous nature. Sexual propagation of date palm does not produce true-to-type plants. Sex of date palms cannot be identified until the first flowering stage. Molecular markers such as random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), sequence-characterized amplified regions (SCAR), and simple sequence repeats (SSR) have successfully been used to identify the sex-linked loci in the plant genome and to isolate the corresponding genes. This chapter highlights the use of three molecular markers including RAPD, SCAR, and SSR to identify the gender of date palm seedlings.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_18

PMID: 28755226

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:199-207. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_17.

Early Sex Identification in Date Palm by Male-Specific Sequence-Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) Markers.

Kharb P(1), Mitra C(2).

(1)Department of Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, India. pkharbhau@gmail.com. (2)Department of Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, India.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a dioecious plant, and sex of the seedlings can be determined only at the time of first flowering which takes 4-5 years. Female date palm plants are of economic importance as they bear the fruit. Therefore, sex identification at an early stage is highly desirable. DNA-based markers are useful for early sex detection. In this chapter, we describe male-specific sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers to identify sex in date palm at the seedling stage. Genomic DNA is isolated separately from both male and female date palm genotypes. Amplification of this genomic DNA isolated from male and female plants using the SCAR primers results in an amplicon of 406 bp in both female and male samples and a unique amplicon of 354 bp only in male samples. Based on this amplification pattern, the sex of date palm seedlings can be predicted.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_17

PMID: 28755225

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:185-196. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_16.

Molecular Identification of Date Palm Cultivars Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) Markers.

Al-Khalifah NS(1), Shanavaskhan AE(2).

(1)National Center for Agricultural Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia. abujawad@kacst.edu.sa. (2)National Center for Agricultural Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia.

        Ambiguity in the total number of date palm cultivars across the world is pointing toward the necessity for an enumerative study using standard morphological and molecular markers. Among molecular markers, DNA markers are more suitable and ubiquitous to most applications. They are highly polymorphic in nature, frequently occurring in genomes, easy to access, and highly reproducible. Various molecular markers such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), simple sequence repeats (SSR), inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers have been successfully used as efficient tools for analysis of genetic variation in date palm. This chapter explains a stepwise protocol for extracting total genomic DNA from date palm leaves. A user-friendly protocol for RAPD analysis and a table showing the primers used in different molecular techniques that produce polymorphisms in date palm are also provided.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_16

PMID: 28755224

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:173-183. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_15.

Genotyping and Molecular Identification of Date Palm Cultivars Using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Markers.

Ayesh BM(1).

(1)Department of Laboratory Medical Sciences, Alaqsa University, Gaza, PB 4051, Palestine. bm.ayesh@alaqsa.edu.ps.

        Molecular markers are credible for the discrimination of genotypes and estimation of the extent of genetic diversity and relatedness in a set of genotypes. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers rapidly reveal high polymorphic fingerprints and have been used frequently to determine the genetic diversity among date palm cultivars. This chapter describes the application of ISSR markers for genotyping of date palm cultivars. The application involves extraction of genomic DNA from the target cultivars with reliable quality and quantity. Subsequently the extracted DNA serves as a template for amplification of genomic regions flanked by inverted simple sequence repeats using a single primer. The similarity of each pair of samples is measured by calculating the number of mono- and polymorphic bands revealed by gel electrophoresis. Matrices constructed for similarity and genetic distance are used to build a phylogenetic tree and cluster analysis, to determine the molecular relatedness of cultivars. The protocol describes 3 out of 9 tested primers consistently amplified 31 loci in 6 date palm cultivars, with 28 polymorphic loci.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_15

PMID: 28755223

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:153-172. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_14.

Determining Phylogenetic Relationships Among Date Palm Cultivars Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Markers.

Haider N(1).

(1)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, AECS, Damascus, Syria. ascientific@aec.org.sy.

        Investigation of genetic variation and phylogenetic relationships among date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars is useful for their conservation and genetic improvement. Various molecular markers such as restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), simple sequence repeat (SSR), representational difference analysis (RDA), and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) have been developed to molecularly characterize date palm cultivars. PCR-based markers random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) are powerful tools to determine the relatedness of date palm cultivars that are difficult to distinguish morphologically. In this chapter, the principles, materials, and methods of RAPD and ISSR techniques are presented. Analysis of data generated from these two techniques and the use of these data to reveal phylogenetic relationships among date palm cultivars are also discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_14

PMID: 28755222

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:143-152. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_13.

Molecular Analysis of Date Palm Genetic Diversity Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSRs).

El Sharabasy SF(1), Soliman KA(2).

(1)Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, 12619, Egypt. sharabasydates@yahoo.com. (2)Department of Genetics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

        The date palm is an ancient domesticated plant with great diversity and has been cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa for at last 5000 years. Date palm cultivars are classified based on the fruit moisture content, as dry, semidry, and soft dates. There are a number of biochemical and molecular techniques available for characterization of the date palm variation. This chapter focuses on the DNA-based markers random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) techniques, in addition to biochemical markers based on isozyme analysis. These techniques coupled with appropriate statistical tools proved useful for determining phylogenetic relationships among date palm cultivars and provide information resources for date palm gene banks.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_13

PMID: 28755221

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:125-142. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_12.

Assessing Date Palm Genetic Diversity Using Different Molecular Markers.

Atia MAM(1), Sakr MM(2), Adawy SS(3).

(1)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, Giza, P.O. Box 12619, Egypt. matia@ageri.sci.eg. (2)Plant Biotechnology Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. (3)Molecular Genetics and Genome Mapping Laboratory (MGGM), Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), ARC, Giza, P.O. Box 12619, Egypt.

        Molecular marker technologies which rely on DNA analysis provide powerful tools to assess biodiversity at different levels, i.e., among and within species. A range of different molecular marker techniques have been developed and extensively applied for detecting variability in date palm at the DNA level. Recently, the employment of gene-targeting molecular marker approaches to study biodiversity and genetic variations in many plant species has increased the attention of researchers interested in date palm to carry out phylogenetic studies using these novel marker systems. Molecular markers are good indicators of genetic distances among accessions, because DNA-based markers are neutral in the face of selection. Here we describe the employment of multidisciplinary molecular marker approaches: amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism, conserved DNA-derived polymorphism (CDDP), intron-targeted amplified polymorphism (ITAP), simple sequence repeats (SSR), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to assess genetic diversity in date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_12

PMID: 28755220

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:113-124. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_11.

Date Palm Genetic Diversity Analysis Using Microsatellite Polymorphism.

Khierallah HSM(1), Bader SM(2), Hamwieh A(3), Baum M(3).

(1)Date Palm Research Unit, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, P.O. Box 47054, Baghdad, Iraq. khierallah70@yahoo.com. (2)State Board of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Baghdad, Iraq. (3)International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Cairo, Egypt.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is considered one of the great socioeconomic resources in the Middle East and the Arab regions. The tree has been and still is at the center of the comprehensive agricultural development. The number of known date palm cultivars, distributed worldwide, is approximately 3000. The success of genetic diversity conservation or any breeding program depends on an understanding of the amount and distribution of the genetic variation already in existence in the genetic pool. Development of suitable DNA molecular markers for this tree may allow researchers to estimate genetic diversity, which will ultimately lead to the genetic conservation of date palm. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are DNA strands, consisting of tandemly repeated mono-, di-, tri-, tetra-, or penta-nucleotide units that are arranged throughout the genomes of most eukaryotic species. Microsatellite markers, developed from genomic libraries, belong to either the transcribed region or the non-transcribed region of the genome, and there is rarely available information on their functions. Microsatellite sequences are especially suited to distinguish closely related genotypes due to a high degree of variability making them ideally suitable in population studies and the identification of closely related cultivars. This chapter focuses on the methods employed to characterize date palm genotypes using SSR markers.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_11

PMID: 28755219

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:105-112. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_10.

Genetic Diversity Analysis of Date Palm Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR).

Mahatma MK(1), Srivashtav VS(2), Jha S(3).

(1)ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, Junagadh, Gujarat, India. maheshmahatma@gmail.com. (2)Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat, India. (3)ASPEE Shakilam Agricultural Biotech Institute, Navsari Agricultural University, Surat, Gujarat, India.

        Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) are PCR-based molecular techniques used for evaluation and characterization of date palm to find the best genotype and male/female identification at an early stage. Genetic fingerprinting using molecular markers is an important tool for the analysis of genetic diversity and cultivar identification. Here, we present an improved DNA extraction protocol using leaf tissue, based on the standard cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) protocol, which yields large amounts of high-quality amplifiable DNA. RAPD and ISSR markers reveal sufficient genetic diversity as well as give some unique markers in some genotypes with a maximum number of bands.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_10

PMID: 28755218

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:91-101. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_9.

Molecular Identification of Fungal Contamination in Date Palm Tissue Cultures.

Abass MH(1).

(1)Date Palm Research Center, Basra University, Basra, 61001, Iraq. dr.mha24@yahoo.co.uk.

        Fungal contamination of in vitro cultures of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is the major constraint to their initiation and maintenance. Different molecular approaches have been applied successfully to analyze both inter- and intraspecific variation among fungal species as well as determine their identity. This chapter describes step-by-step procedures of molecular identification of fungal contaminants by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) products of the most common fungal contaminants of date palm tissue culture. To begin with, samples of genera Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Epicoccum, and Penicillium were collected to isolate each fungal genus and extraction of genomic DNA. Polymerase chain reactions were accomplished by ITS primers (ITS1 and ITS4) for each fungal contaminant as well as for sequencing. Subsequently, they are analyzed by Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) search of ITS sequence to reveal the identity of each individual fungal contaminant species. The molecular identification herein is a rapid and reliable procedure to identify date palm fungal contaminants which is very important in their control and treatment.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_9

PMID: 28755217

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:81-89. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_8.

Evaluation of Clonal Fidelity of Micropropagated Date Palm by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD).

Modi A(1), Gajera B(1), Subhash N(1), Kumar N(2).

(1)Center for Advanced Research in Plant Tissue Culture, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat, India. (2)Center of Biological Sciences (Biotechnology), School of Earth, Biological and Environmental Science, Central University of South Bihar, Patna, 800014, India.

        Date palm is a fruit-bearing tree commonly found in arid and semiarid regions. It is a dioecious plant, producing fruit on female plants and a limited number of basal offshoots for propagation. To produce large numbers of uniform plantlets, tissue culture techniques are required. It is highly advisable to detect genetic variation that may occur through micropropagation techniques as it may lead to phenotypic alterations. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a simple and PCR-based molecular marker technique which can be employed to check the somaclonal variation. Screening of markers requires repeated confirmation of the pattern obtained in individual samples.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_8

PMID: 28755216

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:71-78. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_7.

Encapsulation of Date Palm Somatic Embryos: Synthetic Seeds.

Bekheet SA(1).

(1)Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Center, 33 El-Bohouth Street, 12622, Giza, Dokki, Egypt. shawky005@yahoo.com.

        Synthetic seed or encapsulated somatic embryos may be used for propagation, storage, and exchange of plant germplasm and have many diverse applications in date palm cultivation. They have advantages over conventional use of offshoot material for germplasm propagation, maintenance, exchange, and transportation. This chapter describes a protocol for date palm synthetic seed production by encapsulation of somatic embryos with sodium alginate. Among three concentrations used, 3% sodium alginate followed by dropping into 2.5% calcium chloride (CaCl2) solution shows the best concentration of gel matrix for both maintenance and recovery. In addition, storage of the encapsulated date palm somatic embryos at 5 °C improves the survival and conversion into plantlets; otherwise, 20 g/L sucrose in the culture medium enhances conversion of the recovered somatic embryos to plantlets. This protocol is promising for in vitro conservation and international exchange of date palm germplasm.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_7

PMID: 28755215

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:61-70. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_6.

In Vitro Conservation of Date Palm Somatic Embryos Using Growth-Retardant Conditions.

Hassan MM(1).

(1)The Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt. monabakr32@yahoo.com.

        In vitro conservation is carried out to maintain disease-free genetic materials, in a small area, protected against pests, insects, soil problems (alkaline, acidic, excess salinity, lack of organic matter, too dry, or too wet), climatic changes, and high-multiplication potential. A requirement of successful in vitro conservation is that the plants can be regenerated into complete plants rapidly when desired. The current work describes in vitro propagation and conservation techniques employing slow-growth conditions of date palm somatic embryo cultures. Clusters of somatic embryos resulting from an indirect micropropagation protocol are conserved in MS culture medium supplemented with an osmotic agent (sucrose at 90 g/L) combined with a growth-retardant hormone (abscisic acid) at 2 mg/L incubated at low temperature (18 °C) and low light intensity (10 μmol/m(2)/s). The survival and plant recovery rates are recorded after 10 months. Date palm somatic embryo clusters can be conserved for up to 10 months without subculture with high survival rates. Successfully conserved somatic embryos multiply and germinate to regenerate plants with well-developed shoots and roots, which survive acclimatization and field transfer.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_6

PMID: 28755214

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:49-59. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_5.

In Vitro Conservation of Date Palm Shoot-Tip Explants and Callus Cultures Under Minimal Growth Conditions.

El-Dawayati MM(1).

(1)Central Laboratory of Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt. maiada_dw@hotmail.com.

        Date palm fruit production has great economic significance for many countries. There is a fundamental necessity to conserve valuable date palm germplasm, but there are various problems with in vivo and ex situ conservation. In vitro storage has several advantages over conventional germplasm conservation methods. The in vitro technique offers a developed method of slow-growth storage, which is considered as an alternate solution for short- and medium-term storage of date palm germplasm under controlled conditions. Minimal growth conditions for germplasm conservation are generally achieved by reducing growth rate through modification of environmental growing conditions and culture, by using low temperatures, and the addition of growth retardants and osmotic agents. This chapter describes a protocol for short-term in vitro conservation of date palm shoot-tip and callus cultures under slow-growth storage conditions, using sucrose as an osmotic agent and abscisic acid (ABA) as a growth retardant at 15 °C for 12 months.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_5

PMID: 28755213

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:39-48. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_4.

In Vitro Cryopreservation of Date Palm Caulogenic Meristems.

Fki L(1), Chkir O(2), Kriaa W(2), Nasri A(2), Baklouti E(2), Masmoudi RB(2), Rival A(3), Drira N(2), Panis B(4).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, 1171, Route de Sokra, Sfax, 3000, Tunisia. lotfifki@yahoo.fr. (2)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, 1171, Route de Sokra, Sfax, 3000, Tunisia. (3)UMR DIADE, CiradBioS, IRD, Montpellier, Cedex 5, France. (4)Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven), Leuven, Belgium.

        Cryopreservation is the technology of choice not only for plant genetic resource preservation but also for virus eradication and for the efficient management of large-scale micropropagation. In this chapter, we describe three cryopreservation protocols (standard vitrification, droplet vitrification, and encapsulation vitrification) for date palm highly proliferating meristems that are initiated from vitro-cultures using plant growth regulator-free MS medium. The positive impact of sucrose preculture and cold hardening treatments on survival rates is significant. Regeneration rates obtained with standard vitrification, encapsulation-vitrification, and droplet-vitrification protocols can reach 30, 40, and 70%, respectively. All regenerated plants from non-cryopreserved or cryopreserved explants don't show morphological variation by maintaining genetic integrity without adverse effect of cryogenic treatment. Cryopreservation of date palm vitro-cultures enables commercial tissue culture laboratories to move to large-scale propagation from cryopreserved cell lines producing true-to-type plants after clonal field-testing trials. When comparing the cost of cryostorage and in-field conservation of date palm cultivars, tissue cryopreservation is the most cost-effective. Moreover, many of the risks linked to field conservation like erosion due to climatic, edaphic, and phytopathologic constraints are circumvented.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_4

PMID: 28755212

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:25-37. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_3.

Cryopreservation of Date Palm Pro-Embryonic Masses Using the D Cryo-plate Technique.

Salma M(1), Engelmann F(2).

(1)IRD, UMR DIADE, 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394, Montpellier, Cedex 5, France. (2)IRD, UMR DIADE, 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394, Montpellier, Cedex 5, France. florent.engelmann@ird.fr.

        In this chapter, we describe a cryopreservation (liquid nitrogen, -196 °C) protocol developed for long-term storage of date palm pro-embryonic masses (PEMs), which uses the recently established D cryo-plate technique. Clumps of PEMs (3-5 mm in size) were dissected from PEM cultures and placed on pretreatment medium containing 171 g/L sucrose for 3 days. Clumps were placed in the wells of aluminum cryo-plates in which they were made to adhere using droplets of 3% calcium alginate. PEMs were treated for 20 min with a loading solution containing 184 g/L glycerol and 136.8 g/L sucrose. They were then dehydrated for 90-120 min in the air current of a laminar airflow cabinet and immersed directly in liquid nitrogen. For rewarming, the cryo-plates holding the PEMs were immersed for 15 min in an unloading solution containing 410.4 g/L sucrose. The PEMs were then detached from the cryo-plates, placed for 3 days in the dark on posttreatment medium containing 102.6 g/L sucrose, and transferred on recovery medium under light conditions. Using this protocol, 74.6 and 95.8% recovery were achieved with the PEMs of the two cultivars tested, Sukkari and Sultany.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_3

PMID: 28755211

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:15-24. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_2.

In Vitro Conservation of Date Palm Tissue Cultures.

Bekheet SA(1).

(1)Department of Plant Biotechnology, National Research Center, 33 El- Bohouth Street, Dokki, 12622, Giza, Egypt. shawky005@yahoo.com.

        In vitro technology offers a potential solution for the conservation of date palm germplasm. Slow growth induced by low temperature allows storage from several months up to few years. Otherwise, cryopreservation is suitable for long-term in vitro conservation, at between -79 and -196 °C. This chapter describes a protocol for cold storage at 5 °C and cryopreservation of date palm tissue cultures. For cold storage, 70% of shoot buds remain healthy after storing for 12 months at 5 °C, and callus cultures remain fully viable after 12 months of storage. For cryopreservation of embryogenic cultures using dehydration by air, apparently, 20 min air drying is the best for cryopreservation. Among different types of sugars used as osmotic agents in pre-culture medium, 1 M sucrose is the best for the survival of cryopreserved cultures. However, exposure of embryogenic cultures to vitrification solution for 60 min at 0 °C gives the highest percentage of survival and conversion to plantlets.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_2

PMID: 28755210

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1638:3-13. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_1.

Storage and Viability Assessment of Date Palm Pollen.

Maryam(1), Jaskani MJ(2), Naqvi SA(1).

(1)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040, Pakistan. (2)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040, Pakistan. jjaskani@uaf.edu.pk.

        Pollen storage and viability are very important for pollination, breeding, biodiversity, biotechnology, conservation, and other biological and non-biological studies of the date palm. Optimizing procedures and duration of storage are important for effective and long-term date palm pollen storage and viability. Here we describe pollen storage methods, such as room temperature (25-30 °C), refrigeration (4 °C), storage at 4 °C in desiccators, deep freezer (-20 °C), and cryopreservation (-196 °C). Based on pollen viability by staining and in vitro germination methods, cryopreservation is the best method for long-term storage without any significant effect on pollen viability (75-84%); however, the percentage of pollen viability depends on the storage period.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7159-6_1

PMID: 28755209

Curr Biol. 2017 Jul 24;27(14):R702-R704. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.070.

Plant Domestication: Wild Date Palms Illuminate a Crop's Sticky Origins.

Wales N(1), Blackman BK(2).

(1)Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: nathan.wales@berkeley.edu. (2)Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

        In a new study, previously unknown populations of wild date palm have been identified in remote areas of Oman. Genomic analyses indicate date palm domestication occurred in the eastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula and reveal substantial subsequent gene flow with African palm populations.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.070

PMID: 28743015

Curr Biol. 2017 Jul 24;27(14):2211-2218.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.045. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

The Discovery of Wild Date Palms in Oman Reveals a Complex Domestication History Involving Centers in the Middle East and Africa.

Gros-Balthazard M(1), Galimberti M(2), Kousathanas A(3), Newton C(4), Ivorra S(5), Paradis L(5), Vigouroux Y(6), Carter R(7), Tengberg M(8), Battesti V(9), Santoni S(10), Falquet L(2), Pintaud JC(6), Terral JF(5), Wegmann D(11).

(1)Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université de Montpellier, UMR 5554 CNRS / Université de Montpellier / IRD / EPHE, CC065, Equipe Dynamique de la Biodiversité, Anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de Montpellier, UMR DIADE, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland. Electronic address: muriel.grosb@gmail.com. (2)Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland. (3)Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics, Institut Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France. (4)Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université de Montpellier, UMR 5554 CNRS / Université de Montpellier / IRD / EPHE, CC065, Equipe Dynamique de la Biodiversité, Anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; Laboratoire d'Archéologie et de Patrimoine, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, QC G5L 3AI, Canada. (5)Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université de Montpellier, UMR 5554 CNRS / Université de Montpellier / IRD / EPHE, CC065, Equipe Dynamique de la Biodiversité, Anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (6)Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de Montpellier, UMR DIADE, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (7)UCL Qatar, University College London, Doha, Qatar. (8)UMR 7209 Archéozoologie et Archéobotanique, CNRS and Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 75005 Paris, France. (9)UMR 7206 Éco-anthropologie et Ethnobiologie, CNRS and Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Musée de l'Homme), 75016 Paris, France. (10)UMR Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants, INRA Montpellier, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (11)Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland. Electronic address: daniel.wegmann@unif.ch.

        For many crops, wild relatives constitute an extraordinary resource for cultivar improvement [1, 2] and also help to better understand the history of their domestication [3]. However, the wild ancestor species of several perennial crops have not yet been identified. Perennial crops generally present a weak domestication syndrome allowing cultivated individuals to establish feral populations difficult to distinguish from truly wild populations, and there is frequently ongoing gene flow between wild relatives and the crop that might erode most genetic differences [4]. Here we report the discovery of populations of the wild ancestor species of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), one of the oldest and most important cultivated fruit plants in hot and arid regions of the Old World. We discovered these wild individuals in remote and isolated mountainous locations of Oman. They are genetically more diverse than and distinct from a representative sample of Middle Eastern cultivated date palms and exhibit rounded seed shapes resembling those of a close sister species and archeological samples, but not modern cultivars. Whole-genome sequencing of several wild and cultivated individuals revealed a complex domestication history involving the contribution of at least two wild sources to African cultivated date palms. The discovery of wild date palms offers a unique chance to further elucidate the history of this iconic crop that has constituted the cornerstone of traditional oasis polyculture systems for several thousand years [5].

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.045

PMID: 28712568

Int J Genomics. 2017;2017:1537538. doi: 10.1155/2017/1537538.

Antioxidant System Response and cDNA-SCoT Marker Profiling in Phoenix dactylifera L. Plant under Salinity Stress.

Al-Qurainy F(1), Khan S(1), Nadeem M(1), Tarroum M(1), Gaafar AZ(1).

(1)Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        Many Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) cultivars are grown in the arid and semiarid regions of the world, including Saudi Arabia. P. dactylifera is highly tolerant to salinity stress. To investigate the response of Khalas cultivar of P. dactylifera, two-month-old plants were treated with sodium chloride (50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl) for three months. Our result showed that proline content was higher in all treated plants compared to control plants. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were increased at 100 and 150 mM NaCl treatments; however, the result was found nonsignificant between control and plants treated at 50 mM NaCl. Similarly, enzyme activities of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were 0.805 and 0.722 U/mg protein/min, respectively, and were greater at 100 and 150 mM NaCl treatments compared to the control plants. Total chlorophyll content and fresh weight of shoots and roots decreased substantially with the increase of salinity. A cDNA start codon-targeted (cDNA-SCoT) marker showed a variation in different gene expressions profiling between treated and untreated plants under various NaCl concentrations.

DOI: 10.1155/2017/1537538

PMID: 28702461

New Phytol. 2017 Jul 3. doi: 10.1111/nph.14672.

The desert plant Phoenix dactylifera closes stomata via nitrate-regulated SLAC1 anion channel.

Müller HM(1), Schäfer N(1), Bauer H(1), Geiger D(1), Lautner S(2), Fromm J(2), Riederer M(3), Bueno A(3), Nussbaumer T(4), Mayer K(4), Alquraishi SA(5), Alfarhan AH(5), Neher E(6), Al-Rasheid KAS(1)(5), Ache P(1), Hedrich R(1).

(1)Biocenter, Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics, Julius-von-Sachs-Institute, University of Wuerzburg, 97082, Wuerzburg, Germany. (2)Department of Wood Science, University Hamburg, 21031, Hamburg, Germany. (3)Biocenter, Institute for Ecophysiology and Vegetation Ecology, Julius-von-Sachs-Institute, University of Wuerzburg, 97082, Wuerzburg, Germany. (4)Plant Genome and Systems Biology, Helmholtz Center Munich, D-85764, Neuherberg, Germany. (5)College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. (6)Department for Membrane Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, D-37077, Goettingen, Germany.

        Date palm Phoenix dactylifera is a desert crop well adapted to survive and produce fruits under extreme drought and heat. How are palms under such harsh environmental conditions able to limit transpirational water loss? Here, we analysed the cuticular waxes, stomata structure and function, and molecular biology of guard cells from P. dactylifera. To understand the stomatal response to the water stress phytohormone of the desert plant, we cloned the major elements necessary for guard cell fast abscisic acid (ABA) signalling and reconstituted this ABA signalosome in Xenopus oocytes. The PhoenixSLAC1-type anion channel is regulated by ABA kinase PdOST1. Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) demonstrated that date palm guard cells release chloride during stomatal closure. However, in Cl(-) medium, PdOST1 did not activate the desert plant anion channel PdSLAC1 per se. Only when nitrate was present at the extracellular face of the anion channel did the OST1-gated PdSLAC1 open, thus enabling chloride release. In the presence of nitrate, ABA enhanced and accelerated stomatal closure. Our findings indicate that, in date palm, the guard cell osmotic motor driving stomatal closure uses nitrate as the signal to open the major anion channel SLAC1. This initiates guard cell depolarization and the release of anions together with potassium.

DOI: 10.1111/nph.14672

PMID: 28670699

J Chem Ecol. 2017 Jun 30. doi: 10.1007/s10886-017-0862-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Synthetic Co-Attractants of the Aggregation Pheromone of the Date Palm Root Borer Oryctes agamemnon.

Hasni N(1), Pinier C(2), Imed C(3), Ouhichi M(4), Couzi P(2), Chermiti B(5), Frérot B(2), Saïd I(1), Rochat D(6).

(1)Unité de Recherche Biochimie Macromoléculaire et Génétique, Faculté des Sciences de Gafsa, Université de Gafsa, Campus Zarroug, 2112, Gafsa, Tunisia. (2)UMR 1392 iEES Paris, INRA, UPMC, CNRS, IRD, Paris Diderot, UPEC, Route de Saint- Cyr, F-78026, Versailles, France. (3)Laboratory of Biochemistry, UR03/ES-08 'Human Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders' Faculty of Medicine, 5019, Monastir, Tunisia. (4)Office of Development of Rjim Maâtoug, Avenue Salah Ben Youssef, 4200, Kebili, Tunisia. (5)Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-Mariem, 4042, Sousse, Tunisia. (6)UMR 1392 iEES Paris, INRA, UPMC, CNRS, IRD, Paris Diderot, UPEC, Route de Saint- Cyr, F-78026, Versailles, France. didier.rochat@inra.fr.

        Laboratory and field investigations to identify and evaluate plant co-attractants of the aggregation pheromone of the date palm pest Oryctes agamemnon are reported. Volatiles emitted by freshly cut palm core and palm core with feeding males, were collected, analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and evaluated in olfactometers alone or combined with synthetic pheromone. A collection of palm odor without male effluvia was attractive alone and enhanced attraction to synthetic pheromone in an olfactometer similar to that to a collection of palm odor emitted with feeding males and containing natural pheromone. Behavioral responses to collections of palm volatiles were correlated to the amount of volatiles material in them. Enhancement of the attractiveness of the pheromone was not correlated to chemicals specific to beetle feeding. The chemicals common to the active collections extracts were benzoate esters, mostly ethyl benzoate, anisole derivatives and sesquiterpenes. Blends of the most abundant components of the extracts were evaluated for enhancement of the attractiveness of pheromone (1 μg) in olfactometers at 1 or 10 μg doses. The mixtures were further evaluated by field trapping in Tunisia at 3-10 mg/day using reference (6 mg/day) or experimental pheromone formulations. A mixture of ethyl benzoate, 4-methylanisole and farnesol (1:1:1 w/w at 6.5 mg/day) enhanced captures in pheromone baited traps in 2014 and 2015 and this mixture was as active as the natural palm bait. The practical prospect of the result for the management for O. agamemnon, and other palm beetles is discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/s10886-017-0862-8

PMID: 28667548

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Jun 26;10(1):225. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2549-1.

A large-scale behavior change intervention to prevent Nipah transmission in Bangladesh: components and costs.

Nahar N(1)(2)(3), Asaduzzaman M(4), Sultana R(4), Garcia F(5), Paul RC(4), Abedin J(4), Sazzad HMS(4), Rahman M(6), Gurley ES(4), Luby SP(7).

(1)icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com. (2)Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com. (3)University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com. (4)icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (5)FHI360, Washington, D.C., USA. (6)Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dhaka, Bangladesh. (7)Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

        BACKGROUND: Nipah virus infection (NiV) is a bat-borne zoonosis transmitted to humans through consumption of NiV-contaminated raw date palm sap in Bangladesh. The objective of this analysis was to measure the cost of an NiV prevention intervention and estimate the cost of scaling it up to districts where spillover had been identified. METHODS: We implemented a behavior change communication intervention in two districts, testing different approaches to reduce the risk of NiV transmission using community mobilization, interpersonal communication, posters and TV public service announcements on local television during the 2012-2014 sap harvesting seasons. In one district, we implemented a "no raw sap" approach recommending to stop drinking raw date palm sap. In another district, we implemented an "only safe sap" approach, recommending to stop drinking raw date palm sap but offering the option of drinking safe sap. This is sap covered with a barrier, locally called bana, to interrupt bats' access during collection. We conducted surveys among randomly selected respondents two months after the intervention to measure the proportion of people reached. We used an activity-based costing method to calculate the cost of the intervention. RESULTS: The implementation cost of the "no raw sap" intervention was $30,000 and the "only safe sap" intervention was $55,000. The highest cost was conducting meetings and interpersonal communication efforts. The lowest cost was broadcasting the public service announcements on local TV channels. To scale up a similar intervention in 30 districts where NiV spillover has occurred, would cost between $2.6 and $3.5 million for one season. Placing the posters would cost $96,000 and only broadcasting the public service announcement through local channels in 30 districts would cost $26,000. CONCLUSIONS: Broadcasting a TV public service announcement is a potential low cost option to advance NiV prevention. It could be supplemented with posters and targeted interpersonal communication, in districts with a high risk of NiV spillover.

DOI: 10.1186/s13104-017-2549-1

PMID: 28651646

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Jun 20. pii: S0940-2993(16)30356-6. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2017.06.004.

Cardiopreventive effect of ethanolic extract of Date Palm Pollen against isoproterenol induced myocardial infarction in rats through the inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme.

Daoud A(1), Ben Mefteh F(1), Mnafgui K(2), Turki M(3), Jmal S(4), Ben Amar R(4), Ayadi F(3), ElFeki A(5), Abid L(6), Rateb ME(7), Belbahri L(8), Kadri A(9), Gharsallah N(1).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, B.P.1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. (2)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, B.P.1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, P.O. Box 95, Sfax 3052, Tunisia. (3)Clinial Biochemistry Laboratory, Habib Bourguiba Teaching Hospital, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. (4)Clinical Anapath Laboratory, Habib Bourguiba Teaching Hospital, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. (5)Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, P.O. Box 95, Sfax 3052, Tunisia. (6)Cardiology Department, Hedi Chaker Teaching Hospital, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. (7)University of West of Scotland, School of Science & Sport, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK. (8)Laboratory of Soil Biology, University of Neuchatel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Electronic address: lassaad.belbahri@unine.ch. (9)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, B.P.1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia; College of Science and Arts in Baljurashi, Al Baha University, Al Baha, Saudi Arabia.

        The present study aimed to examine the putative preventive effect of the ethanolic extract Date Palm Pollen (DPP, Phoenix dactylifera L., family Arecaceae) on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. Twenty four rats were randomly divided into four groups including control. They were treated with DPP extract (400mg/kg) and clopidogrel (0.2mg/kg) for 7days followed by myocardial injury induction using subcutaneous isoproterenol (100mg/kg) with an interval of 24h for two days (6th and 7th day). Administration of isoproterenol exhibited indicative changes in the ECG pattern evidenced by significant elevation of ST-segment and cardiac injury markers viz.; troponin-T, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) by 315%, 71%, 64% and 170%, respectively as compared to control. Additionally, the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity in plasma was increased by 33% associated to histological myocardial necrosis. However, pre-co-treatment with DPP extract improved the cardiac biomarkers injury, normalized cardiac function indices and prevented the ventricular remodeling process through inhibition of ACE activity by 34% and the inhibition of the generation of radical oxygen species. Extensive characterization of this DPP extract using LC-HRMS revealed numerous flavonoids and phenols compounds which could be endowed with cardiopreventive actions. Overall, these results proved that DPP extract has preventive effects on cardiac remodeling process.

DOI: 10.1016/j.etp.2017.06.004

PMID: 28645882

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan 1:2156587217714145. doi: 10.1177/2156587217714145. [Epub ahead of print]

A Survey on Chemical Constituents and Indications of Aromatic Waters Soft Drinks (Hydrosols) Used in Persian Nutrition Culture and Folk Medicine for Neurological Disorders and Mental Health.

Hamedi A(1), Pasdaran A(1), Zebarjad Z(1), Moein M(1).

(1)1 Medicinal Plants Processing Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

        In Persian nutrition culture, drinking aromatic waters (hydrosols, distillate) has a long history as functional beverages or therapeutic remedies. The co-distilled water with essential oils, which contains partial amounts of more water-soluble volatile compounds are diluted and used as beverages. Since the solubility of volatile components is different in water, the overall composition, and thus the biological activities of aromatic waters seem to be different from the essential oils they were co-distilled with. Despite the essential oils, chemical constituents of many aromatic waters have not been evaluated scientifically. This research investigated hydrosols used for mental and neurological health maintenance in Persian nutrition culture and their chemical constituents. Constitutions of these hydrosols were extracted by liquid/liquid extraction method and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, cluster analysis was used to evaluate the relevance of these hydrosols chemical constituents. About 93 compounds were identified from 20 aromatic waters. the major or second major constituents were thymol (azarol howthorn, frankincense, lemon balm, valerian, shadab), phenethyl alcohol (damask rose, dog-rose, starflower), carvacrol (basil, creeping buttercup, lemon balm); eugenol (shadab, dog-rose, starflower, basil), camphor (yarrow and wormwood), carvone (oriental plane), caryophyllene (cuminum), cinnamaldehyde (Chinese cinnamon), p-cymen-7-ol (musk willow), limonene (lemon verbena), linalool and α-terpineol (bitter orange), menthol (date palm) and methyl 5-vinylnicotinate (olive). Although, these hydrosols prepared from plants belong to different genus and families, but cluster analysis showed obvious similarities between their chemical constituents. Results of this investigation showed in many cases that the constituents of aromatic waters are different from the pure essential oil.

DOI: 10.1177/2156587217714145

PMID: 28633539

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2017 Aug;49(6):1217-1226. doi: 10.1007/s11250-017-1319-3.

Apparent metabolizable energy value of whole date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and its possible use as a feedstuff for aged laying hens.

Salajegheh MH(1), Yousef Elahi M(1), Salarmoini M(2), Yaghobfar A(3).

(1)Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran. (2)Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, P. O. Box 7616914111, Kerman, Iran. salarmoini@uk.ac.ir. (3)Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj, Islamic Republic of Iran.

        This study was conducted to evaluate the feeding value of whole date palm (WDP) with and without enzyme supplementation on aged laying hen's performance. Apparent metabolizable energy value of WDP was determined by the total collection method using ten adult leghorn cockerels. WDP was substituted with a corn-soybean meal basal diet at 40% level, and then the metabolizable energy of this experimental diet and basal diet was determined. After that, a total number of 256 Bovanz 95-week-old hens were randomly allocated into eight groups consisting of four replicates of eight birds each, based on a 4 × 2 factorial arrangement of the treatments. Eight iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous experimental diets including one corn-soybean meal-based control diet and two, three, and four corn-soybean meal-based diets included 70, 140, and 210 g/kg ground WDP, respectively. Each of the diets supplemented with two levels of an enzyme (0.0 and 0.07 g/kg Natozim Plus). There was no significant difference in feed intake, feed conversion ratio, egg production, egg mass, eggshell thickness, and Haugh unit among the treatments (P > 0.05). However, yolk color score significantly decreased as dietary WDP level increased. The serum biochemical metabolites were not significantly affected by WDP and enzyme supplementation (P > 0.05). There were no significant differences in the relative weight of different organs except for abdominal fat. Our findings show that using WDP up to 21% of the diet was more economic and had no adverse effect on productive performance and serum metabolites of laying hens. However, WDP had an adverse effect on yolk color which can be ameliorated by carotenoid supplementation.

DOI: 10.1007/s11250-017-1319-3

PMID: 28597141

Front Plant Sci. 2017 May 23;8:845. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00845. eCollection 2017.

Date Palm Tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.): Natural Products and Therapeutic Options.

Al-Alawi RA(1), Al-Mashiqri JH(1), Al-Nadabi JSM(1), Al-Shihi BI(1), Baqi Y(1).

(1)Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Sultan Qaboos UniversityMuscat, Oman.

        Many plants, including some of the commonly consumed herbs and spices in our daily food, can be safely and effectively used to prevent and/or treat some health concerns. For example, caffeine the active ingredient found in coffee beans (Coffea), shows biological activity in the treatment of the central nervous system (CNS) disorders, indole-3-carbinol, and 3,3'-diindolylmethane are both broccoli (Brassica oleracea) derived phytochemicals with potential anti-cancer activity, and resveratrol, isolated from grape (Vitis vinifera), is reported to extend lifespan and provide cardio-neuro-protective, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer effects. Date palm fruits possess high nutritional and therapeutic value with significant antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-proliferative properties. This review focuses on the date fruit extracts and their benefits in individual health promoting conditions and highlights their applications as useful to the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries in the development of natural compound-based industrial products.

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00845

PMID: 28588600

PLoS One. 2017 Jun 1;12(6):e0177883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177883. eCollection 2017.

Detecting early signs of heat and drought stress in Phoenix dactylifera (date palm).

Safronov O(1), Kreuzwieser J(2), Haberer G(3), Alyousif MS(4), Schulze W(5), Al-Harbi N(4), Arab L(2), Ache P(6), Stempfl T(7), Kruse J(2), Mayer KX(3)(4), Hedrich R(6)(4), Rennenberg H(2)(4), Salojärvi J(1), Kangasjärvi J(1)(4).

(1)Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. (2)Institute of Forest Sciences, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. (3)Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Plant Genome and Systems Biology, Neuherberg, Germany. (4)College of Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (5)Institute for Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants, Plant Systems Biology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. (6)Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany. (7)Center of Excellence for Fluorescent Bioanalytics (KFB), University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

        Plants adapt to the environment by either long-term genome evolution or by acclimatization processes where the cellular processes and metabolism of the plant are adjusted within the existing potential in the genome. Here we studied the adaptation strategies in date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, under mild heat, drought and combined heat and drought by transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. In transcriptomics data, combined heat and drought resembled heat response, whereas in metabolomics data it was more similar to drought. In both conditions, soluble carbohydrates, such as fucose, and glucose derivatives, were increased, suggesting a switch to carbohydrate metabolism and cell wall biogenesis. This result is consistent with the evidence from transcriptomics and cis-motif analysis. In addition, transcriptomics data showed transcriptional activation of genes related to reactive oxygen species in all three conditions (drought, heat, and combined heat and drought), suggesting increased activity of enzymatic antioxidant systems in cytosol, chloroplast and peroxisome. Finally, the genes that were differentially expressed in heat and combined heat and drought stresses were significantly enriched for circadian and diurnal rhythm motifs, suggesting new stress avoidance strategies.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177883

PMID: 28570677

PLoS One. 2017 May 30;12(5):e0178109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178109. eCollection 2017.

Impact of environmental variables on Dubas bug infestation rate: A case study from the Sultanate of Oman.

Al-Kindi KM(1), Kwan P(1), Andrew N(2), Welch M(1).

(1)School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. (2)Centre for Behavioural and Physiological Ecology, School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

        Date palm cultivation is economically important in the Sultanate of Oman, with significant financial investment coming from both the government and from private individuals. However, a global infestation of Dubas bug (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) has impacted the Middle East region, and infestations of date palms have been widespread. In this study, spatial analysis and geostatistical techniques were used to model the spatial distribution of Dubas bug infestations to (a) identify correlations between Dubas bug densities and different environmental variables, and (b) predict the locations of future Dubas bug infestations in Oman. Firstly, we considered individual environmental variables and their correlations with infestation locations. Then, we applied more complex predictive models and regression analysis techniques to investigate the combinations of environmental factors most conducive to the survival and spread of the Dubas bug. Environmental variables including elevation, geology, and distance to drainage pathways were found to significantly affect Dubas bug infestations. In contrast, aspect and hillshade did not significantly impact on Dubas bug infestations. Understanding their distribution and therefore applying targeted controls on their spread is important for effective mapping, control and management (e.g., resource allocation) of Dubas bug infestations.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178109

PMID: 28558069

Insect Mol Biol. 2017 Aug;26(4):469-484. doi: 10.1111/imb.12314.

Identification and expression profiling of novel plant cell wall degrading enzymes from a destructive pest of palm trees, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Antony B(1), Johny J(1), Aldosari SA(1), Abdelazim MM(1).

(1)Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        Plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) from insects were recently identified as a multigene family of proteins that consist primarily of glycoside hydrolases (GHs) and carbohydrate esterases (CEs) and play essential roles in the degradation of the cellulose/hemicellulose/pectin network in the invaded host plant. Here we applied transcriptomic and degenerate PCR approaches to identify the PCWDEs from a destructive pest of palm trees, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, followed by a gut-specific and stage-specific differential expression analysis. We identified a total of 27 transcripts encoding GH family members and three transcripts of the CE family with cellulase, hemicellulase and pectinase activities. We also identified two GH9 candidates, which have not previously been reported from Curculionidae. The gut-specific quantitative expression analysis identified key cellulases, hemicellulases and pectinases from R. ferrugineus. The expression analysis revealed a pectin methylesterase, RferCE8u02, and a cellulase, GH45c34485, which showed the highest gut enriched expression. Comparison of PCWDE expression patterns revealed that cellulases and pectinases are significantly upregulated in the adult stages, and we observed specific high expression of the hemicellulase RferGH16c4170. Overall, our study revealed the potential of PCWDEs from R. ferrugineus, which may be useful in biotechnological applications and may represent new tools in R. ferrugineus pest management strategies.

DOI: 10.1111/imb.12314

PMID: 28556365

J Proteomics. 2017 Aug 8;165:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2017.05.021.

Charting novel allergens from date palm pollen (Phoenix sylvestris) using homology driven proteomics.

Saha B(1), Bhattacharya SG(2).

(1)Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, 93/1 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700009, India. (2)Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, 93/1 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700009, India. Electronic address: swati@jcbose.ac.in.

        Pollen grains from Phoenix sylvestris (date palm), a commonly cultivated tree in India has been found to cause severe allergic diseases in an increasing percentage of hypersensitive individuals. To unearth its allergenic components, pollen protein were profiled by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by immunoblotting with date palm pollen sensitive patient sera. Allergens were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF employing a layered proteomic approach combining conventional database dependent search and manual de novo sequencing followed by homology-based search as Phoenix sylvestris is unsequenced. Derivatization of tryptic peptides by acetylation has been demonstrated to differentiate the 'b' from the 'y' ions facilitating efficient de novo sequencing. Ten allergenic proteins were identified, out of which six showed homology with known allergens while others were reported for the first time. Amongst these, isoflavone reductase, beta-conglycinin, S-adenosyl methionine synthase, 1, 4 glucan synthase and beta-galactosidase were commonly reported as allergens from coconut pollen and presumably responsible for cross-reactivity. One of the allergens had IgE binding epitope recognized by its glycan moiety. The allergenic potency of date palm pollen has been demonstrated using in vitro tests. The identified allergens can be used to develop vaccines for immunotherapy against date palm pollen allergy.THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: Identification of allergenic proteins from sources harboring them is essential in developing therapeutic interventions. This is the first comprehensive study on the identification of allergens from Phoenix sylvestris (date palm) pollen, one of the major aeroallergens in India using a proteomic approach. Proteomic methods are being increasingly used to identify allergens. However, since many of these proteins arise from species which are un-sequenced, it becomes difficult to interpret those using conventional proteomics. Date palm being an unsequenced species, the IgE-reactive proteins have been identified using a stratified proteomic workflow incorporating manual de novo sequencing and homology-based proteomics. This study also gives an insight into the presence of glycan nature of the IgE binding epitopes. Five proteins have been found to be common with coconut pollen allergens and presumably responsible for cross-reactivity. These can be used in diagnostics to differentiate patient cohorts allergic to both coconut and date palm pollen from true date palm pollen allergic subjects. This would also determine better specific immunotherapy regimes between the two cohorts. The allergens identified herein have potential towards vaccine development in date palm pollen allergy as well as in enriching the existing catalogue of allergenic proteins.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2017.05.021

PMID: 28535932

Int Microbiol. 2016 Sep;19(3):143-155. doi: 10.2436/20.1501.01.272.

The use of high throughput DNA sequence analysis to assess the endophytic microbiome of date palm roots grown under different levels of salt stress.

Yaish MW(1), Al-Harrasi I(1), Alansari AS(1), Al-Yahyai R(2), Glick BR(3).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (2)Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (3)Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

        Date palms are able to grow under diverse abiotic stress conditions including in saline soils, where microbial communities may be help in the plant's salinity tolerance. These communities able to produce specific growth promoting substances can enhance date palm growth in a saline environment. However, these communities are poorly defined. In the work reported here, the date palm endophytic bacterial and fungal communities were identified using the pyrosequencing method, and the microbial differential abundance in the root upon exposure to salinity stress was estimated. Approximately 150,061 reads were produced from the analysis of six ribosomal DNA libraries, which were prepared from endophytic microorganisms colonizing date palm root tissues. DNA sequence analysis of these libraries predicted the presence of a variety of bacterial and fungal endophytic species, some known and others unknown. The microbial community compositions of 30% and 8% of the bacterial and fungal species, respectively, were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) altered in response to salinity stress. Differential enrichment analysis showed that microbe diversity indicated by the Chao, Shannon and Simpson indices were slightly reduced, however, the overall microbial community structures were not significantly affected as a consequence of salinity. This may reflect a buffering effect by the host plant on the internal environments that these communities are colonizing. Some of the endophytes identified in this study were strains that were previously isolated from saline and marine environments. This suggests possible interactions with the plant that are favorable to salinity tolerance in date palm. [Int Microbiol 19(3):143-155 (2016)].

DOI: 10.2436/20.1501.01.272

PMID: 28494084

Bull Entomol Res. 2017 May 11:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S0007485317000487.

Monitoring and mass-trapping methodologies using pheromones: the lesser date moth Batrachedra amydraula.

Levi-Zada A(1), Sadowsky A(2), Dobrinin S(3), Ticuchinski T(2), David M(1), Fefer D(1), Dunkelblum E(1), Byers JA(4).

(1)Institute of Plant Protection,Agricultural Research Organization,Volcani Center,Rishon LeZion 7505101,Israel. (2)Southern Arava Research and Development,Eilot 88820,Israel. (3)Ministry of Agriculture,Extension Service,Bet Dagan 50250,Israel. (4)Faculty of Agriculture,Hebrew University of Jerusalem,Rehovot 76100,Israel.

        The lesser date moth (LDM) Batrachedra amydraula is a significant pest of date palm fruits. Previously, detection and monitoring of the pest was inaccurate due to high costs of sampling with lifting machines. We report a practical system for detection and monitoring of LDM based on pheromone traps and relevant models. Dose-response experiments with LDM pheromone traps indicated a 1 mg lure is optimal for monitoring. Delta traps with adhesive covering their entire inner surface gave the highest captures while trap colour was unimportant. Sampling pheromone traps throughout the night indicated male flight began at 1:00-2:00 and reached a peak 2 h before sunrise. Monitoring traps exposed all year long in Israel revealed three generations with different abundance. Trapping transects in a date plantation indicated interference from a monitoring trap became minimal at distances >27 m away. Inter-trap distances closer than this may lower efficiency of monitoring and mass trapping in control programs. Our estimate of the circular effective attraction radius (EARc) of a 1 mg delta trap for LDM (3.43 m) shows this bait is among the most attractive compared with baits for other insects. We developed encounter-rate equations with the pheromone trap EARc to model the interplay between population levels, trap density and captures that are useful for detection of invasive LDM and its control by mass trapping. The integrated methodologies are applicable to many pest species.

DOI: 10.1017/S0007485317000487

PMID: 28490389

Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 1;14(3):242-256. doi: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i3.26. eCollection 2017.

Studies on chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of bioactive molecules from date palm (phoenixdactylifera l.) pollens and seeds.

Bentrad N(1), Gaceb-Terrak R(1), Benmalek Y(2), Rahmania F(1).

(1)Laboratory Research on Arid Zones. (2)Laboratory of Cell Biology and Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), BP 32, 16111 El-Alia, Bab Ezzouar, Algiers (Algeria).

        BACKGROUND: Natural resources have been the crucial origin of chemical elements. They have been used in many traditions as alternative medicines. The chemical profiling of some plant extracts and essential oils related to different plants were followed to unveil their most active components. In this paper, Phoenix dactilyfera L was selected as a host plant to investigate the composition of different organs with different cultivars. MATERIALS AND METHOD: The antibacterial and antifungal activities of the extracts have been tested using different techniques, including optical density and GC/MS analyses of the natural extracts. RESULTS: GC/MS analysis revealed the presence of abundant oleic (36.69%) and lauric (20.49%) acids in date seeds. However, the pollen contains a high amount of palmitic (22.27 %), linoleic (33.4%) and linolenic (17.055%) acids. Moreover, the largest inhibition zone is obtained with the organic extract of Deglet Nour which showed a strong antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and pollen extract showed also a strong inhibition against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, S. aureus MRSA and Enterococcus faecalis. Aqueous extracts of date palm seeds of and pollen seem to have a fongitoxique activity from a concentration of 6 mg.mL(-1) and 12mg.mL(-1) of cyanidine; as well as the organic extracts of pollen with a concentration of 90 μg.mL"(1) induce an inhibition to the growth of five special forms of Fusarium oxysporum. CONCLUSION: The bioactive compounds of date palm can be used for drug development and in the food industry.

DOI: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i3.26

PMID: 28480436

Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 1;14(3):175-186. doi: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i3.19. eCollection 2017.

Ethnobotanical survey of Phoenix dactylifera l. pollen used for the treatment of infertility problems in algerian oases.

Selmani C(1), Chabane D(1), Bouguedoura N(1).

(1)Research Laboratory of Arid Areas (LRZA). Faculty of Biological Sciences. University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB). PO Box, 32 El Alia Bab-Ezzouar, 16111, Algiers, Algeria.

        BACKGROUND: The Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm) is known for its traditional medicinal properties across the history of native population in Algerian Sahara. There is a large trend of consumption of date palm pollen preparations in many human infertility cases in our country. However, the validity has not been scientifically tested. There has been no direct scientific research on this application. This study was undertaken to identify cultivars with greater potential in the traditional medicine uses. To evaluate the effects of date palm pollen on some sexual behavioural parameters of male adult rats, we tested the role of pollen powder from Deglet Nour cultivar on some male reproductive parameters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An Ethnobotanical survey was conducted in 17 oases in southern Algeria to identify all cultivars with medicinal interest. Local people were interviewed with open questions. A questionnaire and personal interviews for data collection were designed to record important cultivars, parts used and preparations. To determine the active constituents of date palm pollen used in traditional medicine, a phytochemical screening was performed. The effects of oral administration of date palm pollen suspension on male adult rats were investigated on body and testicle weights, serum testosterone level. RESULTS: 131 prominent cultivars were found within 12 cultivars containing various parts with medicinal effects. Some primary and secondary metabolites were detected by phytochemical screening. The pollen increased the weight of the body, testicles and enhanced the serum testosterone level of male rats treated. CONCLUSION: The present survey has provided the identification and recognition of date palm cultivars used in traditional Saharan medicine. Date palm pollen could improve sexual activities in male infertility cases and may be attempted to derive drugs.

DOI: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i3.19

PMID: 28480429

Bioinform Biol Insights. 2017 Apr 18;11:1177932217702388. doi: 10.1177/1177932217702388. eCollection 2017.

In Silico Approach for Characterization and Comparison of Repeats in the Genomes of Oil and Date Palms.

Filho JAF(1)(2)(3), de Brito LS(2), Leão AP(2), Alves AA(2), Formighieri EF(2), Júnior MTS(1)(2).

(1)Graduate Program in Plant Biotechnology, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, Brazil. (2)Embrapa Agroenergia, Parque Estação Biológica (PqEB), Brasília, Brazil. (3)Center of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering (CBMEG), University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil.

        Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements present in almost all eukaryotic genomes. Due to their typical patterns of repetition, discovery, and characterization, they demand analysis by various bioinformatics software. Probably, as a result of the need for a complex analysis, many genomes publicly available do not have these elements annotated yet. In this study, a de novo and homology-based identification of TEs and microsatellites was performed using genomic data from 3 palm species: Elaeis oleifera (American oil palm, v.1, Embrapa, unpublished; v.8, Malaysian Palm Oil Board [MPOB], public), Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm, v.5, MPOB, public), and Phoenix dactylifera (date palm). The estimated total coverage of TEs was 50.96% (523 572 kb) and 42.31% (593 463 kb), 39.41% (605 015 kb), and 33.67% (187 361 kb), respectively. A total of 155 726 microsatellite loci were identified in the genomes of oil and date palms. This is the first detailed description of repeats in the genomes of oil and date palms. A relatively high diversity and abundance of TEs were found in the genomes, opening a range of further opportunities for applied research in these genera. The development of molecular markers (mainly simple sequence repeat), which may be immediately applied in breeding programs of those species to support the selection of superior genotypes and to enhance knowledge of the genetic structure of the breeding and natural populations, is the most notable opportunity.

DOI: 10.1177/1177932217702388

PMID: 28469420

Bioresour Technol. 2017 Aug;238:369-378. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.04.065.

Hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of mixed green and woody lignocellulosics from arid regions.

Ashraf MT(1), Thomsen MH(2), Schmidt JE(3).

(1)Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (2)Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Niels Bohrsvej 8, DK-6700 Esbjerg, Denmark. (3)Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address: jschmidt@masdar.ac.ae.

        Utilization of multi-specie feedstocks is imperative for application of lignocellulosic biorefineries in arid regions. Different lignocellulosic residues vary in composition and anatomical features. Pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis are two processes at the front end of any lignocellulosics biorefinery applying biochemical pathway, and have to efficiently deal with the variance in the feedstock composition and properties. However, there is limited knowledge about effect of mixing different lignocellulosics on pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis yields. In this study effect of mixing on the yields from hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis was analyzed by mixing three different lignocellulosic residues - Bermuda grass, Jasmine hedges, and date palm fronds. Results showed that the individual and the mixed lignocellulosics gave same yields when treated under similar conditions of hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. It indicates that this mixture can be a suitable feedstock for lignocellulosic biorefinery.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.04.065

PMID: 28456045

3 Biotech. 2017 May;7(1):58. doi: 10.1007/s13205-017-0676-y.

Somatic embryogenesis from bud and leaf explants of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cv. Najda.

Mazri MA(1), Belkoura I(2), Meziani R(3), Mokhless B(2), Nour S(4).

(1)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Marrakech, UR Agro-Biotechnologie, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Avenue Mohammed 6, BP 533, Marrakech, Morocco. m.a.mazri@gmail.com. (2)Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture, Laboratoire de Culture In Vitro, Département des Sciences de Base, BP S/40, Meknes, Morocco. (3)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Errachidia, UR Systèmes Oasiens, Laboratoire National de Culture des Tissus du Palmier Dattier, Avenue Moulay Ali Cherif, B.P. 2, Errachidia, Morocco. (4)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Marrakech, UR Protection des Plantes, Avenue Mohammed 6, BP 533, Marrakech, Morocco.

        An efficient regeneration system through somatic embryogenesis was developed for date palm cv. Najda. Adventitious bud and proximal leaf segments cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with various combinations of auxins and cytokinins induced embryogenesis after at least 6 months of culture. Somatic embryogenesis induction seemed correlated with the type of the explant, the induction period and the auxin used. The highest rate of somatic embryogenesis (86.0%) was obtained on bud explants cultured on MS medium supplemented with 45.0 µM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and 4.5 µM kinetin or 4.5 µM 6-(dimethylallylamino) purine (2iP). Whereas, low levels of embryogenesis were obtained on media supplemented with 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) or 2-naphthoxyacetic acid (NOA). Proximal leaf segments showed somatic embryogenesis only when cultured on media supplemented with 2,4-D or picloram. Statistical analysis revealed significant effects of explant type and plant growth regulators (PGRs) combination on somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos were germinated successfully on PGR-free MS medium with or without activated charcoal (50.0-60.0 and 26.6-36.6%, respectively), and 80.0% of plantlets survived after transferring to a glasshouse for 6 months. Our results will be useful for large-scale propagation of date palm cv. Najda, characterized by high fruit quality and bayoud disease resistance.

DOI: 10.1007/s13205-017-0676-y

PMID: 28444601

Environ Geochem Health. 2017 Apr 19. doi: 10.1007/s10653-017-9955-0.

Date palm waste biochars alter a soil respiration, microbial biomass carbon, and heavy metal mobility in contaminated mined soil.

Al-Wabel MI(1), Usman ARA(2)(3), Al-Farraj AS(2), Ok YS(4), Abduljabbar A(5), Al-Faraj AI(6), Sallam AS(2).

(1)Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. malwabel@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. (3)Department of Soils and Water, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University, Assiut, 71526, Egypt. (4)Korea Biochar Research Center, School of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Korea. (5)Industrial Psychology, College of Education, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (6)Agriculture Engineering Department, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        A 30-day incubation experiment was conducted using a heavy metal-contaminated mined soil amended with date palm feedstock (FS) and its derivative biochars (BCs) at three pyrolysis temperatures of 300 (BC-300), 500 (BC-500), and 700 °C (BC-700) with different application rates (0.0, 5, 15, and 30 g kg(-1)) to investigate their short-term effects on soil respiration (CO2-C efflux), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil organic carbon (SOC), mobile fraction of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, and Fe), pH, and electrical conductivity (EC). The results showed that FS and BC-300 with increasing addition rate significantly reduced soil pH, whereas SOC, CO2-C efflux, and soil MBC were increased compared to the control. On the contrary, BC-500 and BC-700 increased soil pH at early stage of incubation and have small or no effects on SOC, CO2-C efflux, and MBC. Based on the results, the date palm biochars exhibited much lower cumulative CO2-C efflux than feedstock, even with low-temperature biochar, indicating that BCs have C sequestration potential. Applying BC-700 at 15 and 30 g kg(-1) significantly reduced cumulative CO2-C efflux by 21.8 and 45.4% compared to the control, respectively. The incorporation of FS into contaminated soil significantly increased the mobile content of Cd and Mn, but decreased the mobile content of Cu. However, BC-300 significantly reduced the mobile content of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. It could be concluded that low-temperature biochar could be used as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal mobility in mining contaminated soil in addition to minimize soil CO2-C efflux.

DOI: 10.1007/s10653-017-9955-0

PMID: 28424945

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 14;12(4):e0175232. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175232. eCollection 2017.

Diversity of Algerian oases date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., Arecaceae): Heterozygote excess and cryptic structure suggest farmer management had a major impact on diversity.

Moussouni S(1), Pintaud JC(2), Vigouroux Y(2), Bouguedoura N(1).

(1)Université des Science et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Faculté des Sciences Biologiques, Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones Arides (LRZA), Alger, Algeria. (2)Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMR DIADE, DYNADIV, Montpellier, France.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) is the mainstay of oasis agriculture in the Saharan region. It is cultivated in a large part of the Mediterranean coastal area of the Sahara and in most isolated oases in the Algerian desert. We sampled 10 oases in Algeria to understand the structure of date palm diversity from the coastal area to a very isolated desert location. We used 18 microsatellite markers and a chloroplast minisatellite to characterize 414 individual palm trees corresponding to 114 named varieties. We found a significant negative inbreeding coefficient, suggesting active farmer selection for heterozygous individuals. Three distinct genetic clusters were identified, a ubiquitous set of varieties found across the different oases, and two clusters, one of which was specific to the northern area, and the other to the drier southern area of the Algerian Sahara. The ubiquitous cluster presented very striking chloroplast diversity, signing the frequency of haplotypes found in Saudi Arabia, the most eastern part of the date palm range. Exchanges of Middle Eastern and Algerian date palms are known to have occurred and could have led to the introduction of this particular chlorotype. However, Algerian nuclear diversity was not of eastern origin. Our study strongly suggests that the peculiar chloroplastic diversity of date palm is maintained by farmers and could originate from date palms introduced from the Middle East a long time ago, which since then, hasbeen strongly introgressed. This study illustrates the complex structure of date palm diversity in Algerian oases and the role of farmers in shaping such cryptic diversity.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175232

PMID: 28410422 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2017 Sep 1;230:241-249. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.03.039. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

The effects of postharvest application of lecithin to improve storage potential and quality of fresh goji (Lycium barbarum L.) berries.

Jatoi MA(1), Jurić S(2), Vidrih R(3), Vinceković M(2), Vuković M(4), Jemrić T(4).

(1)Department of Pomology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb 10000, Croatia; Date Palm Research Institute, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur 66020, Sindh, Pakistan. Electronic address: mushtaqjatoi@gmail.com. (2)Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb 10000, Croatia. (3)Department of Food Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. (4)Department of Pomology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.

        To enhance storage life and post-storage quality of fresh goji berries, three treatments with lecithin (1, 5, 10g·L(-1)) and two storage times (8, 16days) were evaluated. The significant effects on the physiological and biochemical parameters were varied. 1g·L(-1) lecithin showed its main effects after 8days of storage by reduction in total weight loss and decay, SSC/TA ratio (also at 16days), and chlorophyll content and with highest scores of sensory attributes (also at 16days). 5g·L(-1) lecithin showed its main effects after 16days of storage: highest SSC, highest TA (also at 8days), highest TPC, only significant reduction in DPPH antioxidant activity, and highest total flavonoid content. 10g·L(-1) lecithin showed its main effects after 8days of storage with highest SSC, chlorophyll content, total flavonoid, DPPH, and ABTS antioxidant activity (also at 16days), but with least scores of sensory attributes.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.03.039

PMID: 28407907

Acta Chim Slov. 2017 Mac;64(1):129-143.

Green Biosynthesis of Spherical Silver Nanoparticles by Using Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera) Fruit Extract and Study of Their Antibacterial and Catalytic Activities.

Farhadi S, Ajerloo B, Mohammadi A.

        In this work, we have synthesized spherical silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) by a low-cost, rapid, simple and ecofriendly approach using Date palm fruit extract as a novel natural reducing and stabilizing agent. The product was characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and Zeta potential measurements. The reaction conditions including time, content of reducing agent and silver nitrate, temperature and pH were investigated. The optimum yield of Ag NPs was obtained when 10 mM of silver nitrate was reacted with Date fruit extract at pH 11 and heated it to 55 °C within 10 minutes. The elemental and crystalline nature of Ag NPs were confirmed from EDX and XRD analysis. SEM and TEM images showed that the Ag NPs were spherical and with sizes in the range of 25-60 nm. On the base of FT-IR analysis, it can be stated that the functional groups present in bio-molecules of Date fruits are responsible for the reduction and stabilization of Ag NPs, respectively. The Ag NPs showed good antibacterial activity against a few human pathogenic bacteria. The catalytic activity of the Ag NPs for rapid and efficient reduction of toxic nitro compounds into less toxic corresponding amines by using NaBH4 was also investigated.

PMID: 28380222

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2016 Nov;29(6):1945-1950.

Anti hyperlipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of native date fruit variety "Aseel" (Phoenix dactylifera).

Ahmed S(1), Khan RA(1), Jamil S(1).

(1)Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.

        Diet rich in saturated fats and sugars have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and fatty liver disease. Especially high serum lipid levels are directly connected to the progression of cardiovascular disorders, which are the leading cause of death all over the world. Date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera) is known for numerous health benefits however little information is available about in vivo clinical and preclinical benefits, hence antihyperlipidemic and hepatoprotective potential of native date variety Aseel has been assessed in hyperlipidemia induced albino rats. Forty adult male albino rats were divided into five groups with 8 animals in each group. One group was kept as normal control while remaining four groups were fed high fat high sugar diet for 8 weeks; from this one group was reserved as disease control while two groups as treated which received 300 and 600mg/kg of date fruit suspension. The fourth group served as positive control and received standard drug atorvastatin in the dose of 2.1mg/kg. After 14 days serum lipid profile, hepatic profile and fasting blood sugar were determined for all groups. Fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL along with cholesterol- HDL and LDL-HDL ratio were significantly decreased at 300 mg/kg without any increase in liver enzymes as observed in positive control group. Animals received 600 mg/kg also revealed significant decline in fasting blood sugar, triglyceride, VLDL and alkaline phosphatase. Hence present results demonstrate ameliorative role of date fruit in hyperlipidemia and fatty liver however more studies are required to gain insight into the possible mechanism of action and confirmation of these effects on human subjects.

PMID: 28375109

BMC Microbiol. 2017 Mar 27;17(1):72. doi: 10.1186/s12866-017-0985-7.

Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis of fungal diversity in stored dates.

Al-Bulushi IM(1), Bani-Uraba MS(1), Guizani NS(1), Al-Khusaibi MK(1), Al-Sadi AM(2).

(1)Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box-34, Al-Khod, 123, Oman. (2)Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box-34, Al-Khod, 123, Oman. alsadi@squ.edu.om.

        BACKGROUND: Date palm has been a major fruit tree in the Middle East over thousands of years, especially in the Arabian Peninsula. Dates are consumed fresh (Rutab) or after partial drying and storage (Tamar) during off-season. The aim of the study was to provide in-depth analysis of fungal communities associated with the skin (outer part) and mesocarp (inner fleshy part) of stored dates (Tamar) of two cultivars (Khenizi and Burny) through the use of Illumina MiSeq sequencing. RESULTS: The study revealed the dominance of Ascomycota (94%) in both cultivars, followed by Chytridiomycota (4%) and Zygomycota (2%). Among the classes recovered, Eurotiomycetes, Dothideomycetes, Saccharomycetes and Sordariomycetes were the most dominant. A total of 54 fungal species were detected, with species belonging to Penicillium, Alternaria, Cladosporium and Aspergillus comprising more than 60% of the fungal reads. Some potentially mycotoxin-producing fungi were detected in stored dates, including Aspergillus flavus, A. versicolor and Penicillium citrinum, but their relative abundance was very limited (<0.5%). PerMANOVA analysis revealed the presence of insignificant differences in fungal communities between date parts or date cultivars, indicating that fungal species associated with the skin may also be detected in the mesocarp. It also indicates the possible contamination of dates from different cultivars with similar fungal species, even though if they are obtained from different areas. CONCLUSION: The analysis shows the presence of different fungal species in dates. This appears to be the first study to report 25 new fungal species in Oman and 28 new fungal species from date fruits. The study discusses the sources of fungi on dates and the presence of potentially mycotoxin producing fungi on date skin and mesocarp.

DOI: 10.1186/s12866-017-0985-7

PMID: 28347268

Vet World. 2017 Feb;10(2):227-232. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2017.227-232.

Effect of various levels of date palm kernel on growth performance of broilers.

Tareen MH(1), Wagan R(1), Siyal FA(1), Babazadeh D(2), Bhutto ZA(3), Arain MA(3), Saeed M(4).

(1)Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan. (2)Young Researchers and Elite Club, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran. (3)Department of Animal Husbandary, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, Uthal 3800, Pakistan. (4)Instititute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan.

        AIM: The aim of this study was the assessment of various levels of date palm kernel (DPK) on the growth performance of broilers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 250-day-old broiler chicks were randomly selected and categorized into five groups (50 chicks/group) contained A (control), B, C, D and E fed with 0%, 1%, 2%, 3% and 4% levels of DPK in balanced ration, respectively, for 6 weeks. Feed and water intake were recorded daily in the morning and evening. The data for feed intake, water intake, live body weight, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were recorded from all birds regularly. The carcass weight and percentage obtained via six slaughtered birds were randomly selected from each group. Finally, economic aspects of the rations evaluated. RESULTS: The most feed intakes of broilers were recorded in Group A (3915.1 g) that was significantly higher than Groups D and E. The highest water intake was in Group E (9067.78 ml) that was significantly higher than Group A and control group. Live body weight was highest in Group E (979.85 g) than Groups B, C, and control group. The best growth weights were determined significantly in Groups D (1921.96 g) and E (1935.95 g). The lowest FCRs were indicated significantly in Groups D (1.97 g/g) and E (1.92 g/g) than Groups B and A. The highest carcass weights were recorded in Groups D (1214.01 g) and E (1230.88 g) that were significantly more than other groups. Dressing percentages in Groups D (61.76%) and E (62.17%) were higher than other groups (p<0.05). The net profits (Rs.) in Groups A, B, C, D and E were indicated 27.01, 32.77, 36.78, 43.47 and 44.51 per broiler, respectively. CONCLUSION: It was concluded that the high levels of DPK (3-4%) significantly decreased broiler feed intake and increased water intake, live body weight, growth weight, carcass weight, dressing percentage, net profit per bird and also had positive effects on growth of broilers.

DOI: 10.14202/vetworld.2017.227-232

PMID: 28344407

Environ Geochem Health. 2017 Mar 23. doi: 10.1007/s10653-017-9947-0.

Date palm waste-derived biochar composites with silica and zeolite: synthesis, characterization and implication for carbon stability and recalcitrant potential.

Ahmad M(1), Ahmad M(1)(2), Usman AR(1)(3), Al-Faraj AS(1), Abduljabbar A(4), Ok YS(5), Al-Wabel MI(6).

(1)Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan. (3)Department of Soils and Water, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University, Assiut, 71526, Egypt. (4)Industrial Psychology, College of Education, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (5)Korea Biochar Research Center and Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 200-701, Republic of Korea. (6)Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. malwabel@ksu.edu.sa.

        Engineered organo-mineral composites were synthesized from date palm waste biochar and silica or zeolite via mechanochemical treatments. Date palm tree rachis (leaves) waste biomass was pre-treated with silica or zeolite minerals via ball milling and sonication prior to pyrolysis at 600 °C. The resultant organo-mineral composites and pristine materials were characterized using X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric-differential thermal (TG-DTA), Fourier transform infrared, scanning electron microscope analyses and surface area and porosity analyzer to investigate the variations in physiochemical and structural characteristics. Compared to the resultant composites derived from non-milled date palm biomass, ball milling increased surface area, while decreased crystallinity index and effective particle size of the biochar composites. Silica composited biochars were located near origin in the van Krevelen diagram indicating lowest H/C and O/C molar ratios, thus suggesting higher aromaticity and lower polarity compared to other biochars. TGA thermograms indicated highest thermal stability of silica composited biochars. Ash and moisture corrected TGA thermograms were used to calculate recalcitrance index (R 50) of the materials, which speculated high degradability of biomass (R 50 < 0.4), minimal degradability of biochars and zeolite composited biochars (0.5 < R 50 < 0.7) and high recalcitrant nature of silica composited biochars (R 50 > 0.7). Silica composited biochars exhibited highest carbon sequestration potential (64.17-95.59%) compared to other biochars. Highest recalcitrance and carbon sequestration potential of silica composited biochars may be attributed to changes in structural arrangements in the silica-biochar complex. Encapsulations of biochar particles with amorphous silica via Si-C bonding may have prevented thermal degradation, subsequently increasing recalcitrance potential of silica composited biochars.

DOI: 10.1007/s10653-017-9947-0

PMID: 28337620

BMC Genomics. 2017 Mar 22;18(1):246. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3633-6.

Genome-wide expression profiling in leaves and roots of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) exposed to salinity.

Yaish MW(1), Patankar HV(2), Assaha DVM(2), Zheng Y(3), Al-Yahyai R(4), Sunkar R(5).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. myaish@squ.edu.om. (2)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (3)Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, Yunnan, 650500, China. (4)Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (5)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA.

        BACKGROUND: Date palm, as one of the most important fruit crops in North African and West Asian countries including Oman, is facing serious growth problems due to salinity, arising from persistent use of saline water for irrigation. Although date palm is a relatively salt-tolerant plant species, its adaptive mechanisms to salt stress are largely unknown. RESULTS: In order to get an insight into molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance, RNA was profiled in leaves and roots of date palm seedlings subjected to NaCl for 10 days. Under salt stress, photosynthetic parameters were differentially affected; all gas exchange parameters were decreased but the quantum yield of PSII was unaffected while non-photochemical quenching was increased. Analyses of gene expression profiles revealed 2630 and 4687 genes were differentially expressed in leaves and roots, respectively, under salt stress. Of these, 194 genes were identified as commonly responding in both the tissue sources. Gene ontology (GO) analysis in leaves revealed enrichment of transcripts involved in metabolic pathways including photosynthesis, sucrose and starch metabolism, and oxidative phosphorylation, while in roots genes involved in membrane transport, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, purine, thiamine, and tryptophan metabolism, and casparian strip development were enriched. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) common to both tissues included the auxin responsive gene, GH3, a putative potassium transporter 8 and vacuolar membrane proton pump. CONCLUSIONS: Leaf and root tissues respond differentially to salinity stress and this study has revealed genes and pathways that are associated with responses to elevated NaCl levels and thus may play important roles in salt tolerance providing a foundation for functional characterization of salt stress-responsive genes in the date palm.

DOI: 10.1186/s12864-017-3633-6

PMID: 28330456

Neotrop Entomol. 2017 Mar 21. doi: 10.1007/s13744-017-0501-7.

Toxicity and Detoxification Mechanism of Black Pepper and Its Major Constituent in Controlling Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Curculionidae: Coleoptera).

Hussain A(1), Rizwan-Ul-Haq M(1), Al-Ayedh H(2), Aljabr AM(3).

(1)Lab, of Bio-control and Molecular Biology, Dept, of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal Univ, Hofuf, 31982, Al-Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2)Life science and Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, 11442, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (3)Lab, of Bio-control and Molecular Biology, Dept, of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal Univ, Hofuf, 31982, Al-Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. aljabr@kfu.edu.sa.

        The survival, feeding response, and detoxification mechanism of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, a key pest responsible for destruction of date palm, was examined with different extracts of Piper nigrum and its major constituent (piperine) identified by GC-MS. In the present study, toxicity of different extracts of black pepper was evaluated by incorporating diffferent doses of extracts into the artificial diet of red palm weevil larvae. All extracts showed dose-dependent insecticidal activity to the tested eighth-instar red palm weevil larvae. Among all the extracts, maximum larvicidal activity was exhibited by chloroform (LD50 = 342.62 mg/l), followed by dichloromethane (LD50 = 357.78 mg/l), acetone (LD50 = 372.57 mg/l), and ethanol (LD50 = 408.88 mg/l). However, piperine, a major constituent of all black pepper extracts identified by GC-MS in the present work, was found to be the most potent treatment exhibiting the least LD50 (219.88 mg/l). In addition, nutritional indices evaluated by calculating the efficiency of the conversion of ingested food (ECI) and digested food (ECD) at the same dose (219.88 mg/l) showed that there was maximum reduction in the ECI (49.90%) and ECD (62.21%) index of larvae fed diets incorporated with piperine. Larvae that were fed diets incorporated with different black pepper extracts experienced increases in the expression of detoxification genes (glutathione S-transferase and cytochrome P450), and this upregulation in detoxification genes (glutathione S-transferase, cytochrome P450 and esterase) was tremendously high in larvae fed diets incorporated with piperine. Results suggest that piperine is a promising bio-pesticide agent for the control of R. ferrugineus Olivier.

DOI: 10.1007/s13744-017-0501-7

PMID: 28326461

Front Microbiol. 2017 Feb 28;8:307. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00307. eCollection 2017.

Fungal Root Microbiome from Healthy and Brittle Leaf Diseased Date Palm Trees (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Reveals a Hidden Untapped Arsenal of Antibacterial and Broad Spectrum Antifungal Secondary Metabolites.

Mefteh FB(1), Daoud A(1), Chenari Bouket A(2), Alenezi FN(3), Luptakova L(4), Rateb ME(5), Kadri A(6), Gharsallah N(1), Belbahri L(7).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, University of Sfax Sfax, Tunisia. (2)Biotechnology, NextBiotechAgareb, Tunisia; Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture UniversitySakai, Japan. (3)Biotechnology, NextBiotech Agareb, Tunisia. (4)Biotechnology, NextBiotechAgareb, Tunisia; Department of Biology and Genetics, Institute of Biology, Zoology and Radiobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine and PharmacyKosice, Slovakia. (5)School of Science and Sport, University of the West of Scotland Paisley, UK. (6)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, University of SfaxSfax, Tunisia; College of Science and Arts in Baljurashi, Al Baha UniversityAl Bahah, Saudi Arabia. (7)Biotechnology, NextBiotechAgareb, Tunisia; Laboratory of Soil Biology, University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtel, Switzerland.

        In this study, we aimed to explore and compare the composition, metabolic diversity and antimicrobial potential of endophytic fungi colonizing internal tissues of healthy and brittle leaf diseased (BLD) date palm trees (Phoenix dactylifera L.) widely cultivated in arid zones of Tunisia. A total of 52 endophytic fungi were isolated from healthy and BLD roots of date palm trees, identified based on internal transcribed spacer-rDNA sequence analysis and shown to represent 13 species belonging to five genera. About 36.8% of isolates were shared between healthy and diseased root fungal microbiomes, whereas 18.4 and 44.7% of isolates were specific to healthy and BLD root fungal microbiomes, respectively. All isolates were able to produce at least two of the screened enzymes including amylase, cellulase, chitinase, pectinase, protease, laccase and lipase. A preliminary screening of the isolates using disk diffusion method for antibacterial activity against four Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria and antifungal activities against three phytopathogenic fungi indicated that healthy and BLD root fungal microbiomes displayed interesting bioactivities against examined bacteria and broad spectrum bioactivity against fungal pathogens. Some of these endophytic fungi (17 isolates) were fermented and their extracts were evaluated for antimicrobial potential against bacterial and fungal isolates. Results revealed that fungal extracts exhibited antibacterial activities and were responsible for approximately half of antifungal activities against living fungi. These results suggest a strong link between fungal bioactivities and their secondary metabolite arsenal. EtOAc extracts of Geotrichum candidum and Thielaviopsis punctulata originating from BLD microbiome gave best results against Micrococcus luteus and Bacillus subtilis with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC, 0.78 mg/mL) and minimum bactericidal concentration (6.25 mg/mL). G. candidum gave the best result against Rhizoctonia solani with MIC 0.78 mg/mL and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC, 6.25 mg/mL). In conclusion, using plant microbiomes subjected to biotic stresses offers new endophytes with different bioactivities than those of healthy plants. Therefore, date palm endophytic fungi represent a hidden untapped arsenal of antibacterial and broad spectrum antifungal secondary metabolites and could be considered promising source of bioactive compounds with industrial and pharmaceutical applications.

DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00307

PMID: 28293229

J Allergy (Cairo). 2017;2017:6425869. doi: 10.1155/2017/6425869.

Prevalence of Skin Sensitization to Pollen of Date Palm in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Serhane H(1), Amro L(1), Sajiai H(1), Alaoui Yazidi A(1).

(1)Department of Pulmonology-Allergology, Arrazy Hospital and Mohammed VI University Hospital, PCIM Laboratory, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco.

        Background. Date palm's pollen has been identified as a source of allergy; the rate of sensitization of this pollen is between 6 and 29%. Objective. To determine the prevalence of sensitization to date palm in Marrakesh and to identify the clinical profile. Patients and Methods. This study is based on a questionnaire and the prick test on 7 allergens, in population aged 5 years and above with clinical symptoms suggesting allergic diseases, from November 2012 to February 2013 in Marrakech. Results. We included 468 patients (women: 79.5%). The prick tests were considered interpretable in 467 cases. The prevalence of skin sensitization to pollen of date palm was 6.6%. The 31 cases of sensitization to date palm involved 7 men and 24 women with an average age of 37.5 years. Cutaneous monosensitization to date palm's pollen was observed in 2 cases. Asthma, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis were recorded, respectively, in 48.4%, 93.5%, and 67.7%. Conclusion. Skin sensitization to pollen of date palm does not seem unusual among allergic patients in Marrakech and is comparable to that found in Casablanca (7%), Barcelona (6.6%), and Cartagena (6.1%).

DOI: 10.1155/2017/6425869

PMID: 28270850

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Mar 2;18(3). pii: E512. doi: 10.3390/ijms18030512.

Tentative Characterization of Polyphenolic Compounds in the Male Flowers of Phoenix dactylifera by Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Mass Spectrometry and DFT.

Ben Said R(1)(2), Hamed AI(3)(4)(5), Mahalel UA(6), Al-Ayed AS(7), Kowalczyk M(8), Moldoch J(9), Oleszek W(10), Stochmal A(11).

(1)Department of Chemistry, College of Science & Arts at Al-Rass, Qassim University, P.O. 53, 51921 Al-Rass, Saudi Arabia. ben-said.ridha@laposte.net. (2)Physico-Chimie des Matériaux à l'état condensé, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia. ben-said.ridha@laposte.net. (3)Department of Chemistry, College of Science & Arts at Al-Rass, Qassim University, P.O. 53, 51921 Al-Rass, Saudi Arabia. arafahamed75@yahoo.com. (4)Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State of Research Institute, ul. CzatRoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland. arafahamed75@yahoo.com. (5)Phytochemistry Laboratory, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Aswan University, 81528 Aswan, Egypt. arafahamed75@yahoo.com. (6)Phytochemistry Laboratory, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Aswan University, 81528 Aswan, Egypt. mahalel71@yahoo.com. (7)Department of Chemistry, College of Science & Arts at Al-Rass, Qassim University, P.O. 53, 51921 Al-Rass, Saudi Arabia. asaaied@qu.edu.sa. (8)Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State of Research Institute, ul. CzatRoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland. mkowalczyk@iung.pulawy.pl. (9)Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State of Research Institute, ul. CzatRoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland. jmoldoch@iung.pulawy.pl. (10)Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State of Research Institute, ul. CzatRoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland. wo@iung.pulawy.pl. (11)Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State of Research Institute, ul. CzatRoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland. asf@iung.pulawy.pl.

        Phoenix dacylifera is an ancient palm species rich in (poly)phenols. These phenolic compounds were tentatively identified by using liquid chromatography coupled with ion spray mass spectrometry in tandem mode (LC/MS/MS) with negative ion detection. Negative identification of the compounds was based on their retention times and mass spectra in full scan mode (MS), and in different MS/MS modes. For the first time, complete hypothesis, and routs for both p-coumaroylshikimic acids (CoSA) and caffeoylshikimic acids (CSA) were suggested and confirmed by Density Fonctional Theory (DFT) study. Notably, of the 53 compounds characterized, 19 hydroxycinnamates derivatives were tentativelycharacterized in male flowers of date palm and 15 of them were recorded for the first time. In addition, five organic acids, six B-type proanthocyanidins, two anthocyanidin and 21 flavonoid derivatives have been tentatively characterized. Identification of B-type proanthocyanidins were based on the diagnostic ions resulting from heterocyclic ring fission (HRF) and retro-Diels-Alder (RDA) reaction of flavan-3-ol provided information on the hydroxylation pattern and the type of inter-flavan bond proanthocyanidins. The sequence of proanthocyanidins was detected through ions extracted from quinone methide (QM) cleavage of the inter-flavan bond.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms18030512

PMID: 28257091 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Rev Iberoam Micol. 2017 Apr - Jun;34(2):116-120. doi: 10.1016/j.riam.2016.06.007.

Endophytic fungi associated with roots of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in coastal dunes.

Mohamed Mahmoud F(1), Krimi Z(2), Maciá-Vicente JG(3), Brahim Errahmani M(4), Lopez-Llorca LV(5).

(1)Department of Botany, National Superior School of Agronomy, Algiers, Algeria; Department of Biology and Cell Physiology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Blida 1 University, BP 270, Blida, Algeria; Laboratory of Protection and Enhancement of Agrobiological Resources, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Blida 1 University, Blida, Algeria. Electronic address: m-fadhela@netcourrier.com. (2)Laboratory of Protection and Enhancement of Agrobiological Resources, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Blida 1 University, Blida, Algeria; Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Blida 1 University, Algeria. (3)Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Str. 13, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (4)Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Blida 1 University, Algeria. (5)Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain; Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies (MIES) Ramon Margalef, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

        BACKGROUND: Symbiotic interactions with fungal endophytes are argued to be responsible for the tolerance of plants to some stresses and for their adaptation to natural conditions. AIMS: In this study we aimed to examine the endophytic fungal diversity associated with roots of date palms growing in coastal dune systems, and to screen this collection of endophytes for potential use as biocontrol agents, for antagonistic activity and mycoparasitism, and as producers of antifungal compounds with potential efficacy against root diseases of date palm. METHODS: Roots of nine individual date palms growing in three coastal locations in the South-East of Spain (Guardamar, El Carabassí, and San Juan) were selected to isolate endophytic fungi. Isolates were identified on the basis of morphological and/or molecular characters. RESULTS: Five hundred and fifty two endophytic fungi were isolated and assigned to thirty morphological taxa or molecular operational taxonomic units. Most isolates belonged to Ascomycota, and the dominant order was Hypocreales. Fusarium and Clonostachys were the most frequently isolated genera and were present at all sampling sites. Comparisons of the endophytic diversity with previous studies, and their importance in the management of the date palm crops are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study on the diversity of endophytic fungi associated with roots of date palm. The isolates obtained might constitute a source of biological control agents and biofertilizers for use in crops of this plant.

DOI: 10.1016/j.riam.2016.06.007

PMID: 28254367

Pharmacognosy Res. 2017 Jan-Mar;9(1):69-73. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.199769.

Short-term Effects of Date Palm Extract (Phoenix dactylifera) on Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury Induced by Testicular Torsion/Detorsion in Rats.

Jahromi AR(1), Rasooli R(2), Kamali Y(2), Ahmadi N(3), Sattari E(2).

(1)Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. (2)Department of Basic Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. (3)Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

        BACKGROUND: Antioxidants are potent scavengers of free radicals and have beneficial effects on human health. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the potential protective antioxidant activity of the edible portion of date fruit extract in an experimental testicular torsion/detorsion (T/D) model in rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To investigate the potential protective effects of date palm (DP), 30 male Spraque-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: sham-operated, T/D, and T/D + DP-treated (500 mg/kg, PO) groups. Testicular ischemia was induced via keeping the left testis under 720° clockwise torsion for 2 h (h), afterward, detorsion was performed. All rats were sacrificed 4 h after detorsion. Serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, total oxidative status (TOS), total antioxidant status (TAS), oxidative stress index (OSI), and histopathological damage score were evaluated. RESULTS: Serum MDA, TOS, and OSI levels rose significantly in the T/D group. These values were lower in the T/D + DP group. TAS values decreased significantly in T/D group and rose in T/D + DP group. Severe injury was seen in the twisted testes of T/D group. In contrast, ipsilateral-twisted testicular tissue in the DP-treated group showed moderate-to-mild changes. Contralateral testicular tissue in the T/D group had a mild-to-moderate tissue injury; meanwhile, treated group revealed normal-to-mild changes. Spermatogenesis was significantly improved in DP-treated group when compared with the T/D group. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest a possible protective effect of DP against testicular oxidative damage induced by T/D; however, more detailed studies are warranted. SUMMARY: Given the presence of several phenolic compounds possessing high antioxidant activity in DP, it could potentially be used to reduce testis ischemia/reperfusion-induced damage. Abbreviations Used: TAS: Total antioxidant status,TOS: Total oxidative status; OSI: Oxidative stress index; MDA: Malondialdehyde; C: Congestion; H: Hemorrhage, E: Edema; SG: Sloughed germinal cells; SA: Spermatogenesis arrest; STD: Seminiferous tubules disorganization; STA: Seminiferous tubules atrophy; G: Giant cells; T/D: Torsion/detorsion; DP: Date palm.

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.199769

PMID: 28250657

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Jun;140:7-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.02.020.

The phytochelatin synthase gene in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.): Phylogeny, evolution and expression.

Zayneb C(1), Imen RH(2), Walid K(2), Grubb CD(3), Bassem K(2), Franck V(4), Hafedh M(2), Amine E(5).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, BP 1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratoire de Génie Civil et géo-Environnement, Université de Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. (2)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, BP 1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. (3)Biorecycling Operations Research Laboratory, Des Moines, IA, USA. (4)Laboratoire de Génie Civil et géo-Environnement, Université de Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. (5)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, BP 1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. Electronic address: amineelleuch@hotmail.com.

        We studied date palm phytochelatin synthase type I (PdPCS1), which catalyzes the cytosolic synthesis of phytochelatins (PCs), a heavy metal binding protein, in plant cells. The gene encoding PdPCS1 (Pdpcs) consists of 8 exons and 7 introns and encodes a protein of 528 amino acids. PCs gene history was studied using Notung phylogeny. During evolution, gene loss from several lineages was predicted including Proteobacteria, Bilateria and Brassicaceae. In addition, eleven gene duplication events appeared toward interior nodes of the reconciled tree and four gene duplication events appeared toward the external nodes. These latter sequences belong to species with a second copy of PCs suggesting that this gene evolved through subfunctionalization. Pdpcs1 gene expression was measured in seedling hypocotyls exposed to Cd, Cu and Cr using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). A Pdpcs1 overexpression was evidenced in P. dactylifera seedlings exposed to metals suggesting that 1-the Pdpcs1 gene is functional, 2-there is an implication of the enzyme in metal detoxification mechanisms. Additionally, the structure of PdPCS1 was predicted using its homologue from Nostoc (cyanobacterium, NsPCS) as a template in Discovery studio and PyMol software. These analyses allowed us to identify the phytochelatin synthase type I enzyme in date palm (PdPCS1) via recognition of key consensus amino acids involved in the catalytic mechanism, and to propose a hypothetical binding and catalytic site for an additional substrate binding cavity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.02.020

PMID: 28231507

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 6;12(2):e0171103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171103. eCollection 2017.

Impacts of human-related practices on Ommatissus lybicus infestations of date palm in Oman.

Al-Kindi KM(1), Kwan P(1), Andrew NR(2), Welch M(1).

(1)School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. (2)Centre for Behavioural and Physiological Ecology, Zoology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

        Date palm cultivation is economically important in the Sultanate of Oman, with significant financial investments coming from both the government and private individuals. However, a widespread Dubas bug (DB) (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) infestation has impacted regions including the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Russia, and Spain, resulting in widespread damages to date palms. In this study, techniques in spatial statistics including ordinary least squares (OLS), geographically weighted regression (GRW), and exploratory regression (ER) were applied to (a) model the correlation between DB infestations and human-related practices that include irrigation methods, row spacing, palm tree density, and management of undercover and intercropped vegetation, and (b) predict the locations of future DB infestations in northern Oman. Firstly, we extracted row spacing and palm tree density information from remote sensed satellite images. Secondly, we collected data on irrigation practices and management by using a simple questionnaire, augmented with spatial data. Thirdly, we conducted our statistical analyses using all possible combinations of values over a given set of candidate variables using the chosen predictive modelling and regression techniques. Lastly, we identified the combination of human-related practices that are most conducive to the survival and spread of DB. Our results show that there was a strong correlation between DB infestations and several human-related practices parameters (R2 = 0.70). Variables including palm tree density, spacing between trees (less than 5 x 5 m), insecticide application, date palm and farm service (pruning, dethroning, remove weeds, and thinning), irrigation systems, offshoots removal, fertilisation and labour (non-educated) issues, were all found to significantly influence the degree of DB infestations. This study is expected to help reduce the extent and cost of aerial and ground sprayings, while facilitating the allocation of date palm plantations. An integrated pest management (IPM) system monitoring DB infestations, driven by GIS and remote sensed data collections and spatial statistical models, will allow for an effective DB management program in Oman. This will in turn ensure the competitiveness of Oman in the global date fruits market and help preserve national yields.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171103

PMID: 28166300

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:5454963. doi: 10.1155/2016/5454963.

Dietary Supplementation of Phoenix dactylifera Seeds Enhances Performance, Immune Response, and Antioxidant Status in Broilers.

El-Far AH(1), Ahmed HA(2), Shaheen HM(3).

(1)Department of Biochemistry, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt. (2)Department of Nutrition and Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt. (3)Department of Pharmacology, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt.

        The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) seeds were utilized in some traditional medical remedies and have been investigated for their possible health benefits. This proposed study wanted to assess the effect of date palm seeds (DPS) dietary supplementation in comparison to mannan-oligosaccharides (Bio-Mos®) and β-glucan over antioxidant and immunity events that have effect on growth and carcass performances of broilers. An aggregate of 180, one-day-old, chicks were raised in the wire-floored cages and allotted into control, Bio-Mos (0.1%  Bio-Mos), β-glucan (0.1%  β-glucan), DPS2 (2% date crushed seeds), DPS4 (4% date crushed seeds), and DPS6 (6% date crushed seeds) groups. Broilers in DPS2 and DPS4 groups showed significant variations (P < 0.05) in relative growth rate (RGR), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and efficiency of energy utilization in comparison to control group. Moreover, all DPS fed groups showed significant increases (P < 0.05) in serum reduced glutathione (GSH) values. Meanwhile, both serum interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) levels were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in DPS2. Consequently, obtained data revealed a substantial enhancement of performance, immunity, and antioxidant status by DPS supplementation in broiler that might be related to the antioxidant and immune-stimulant constituents of P. dactylifera seeds.

DOI: 10.1155/2016/5454963

PMID: 28127417

Front Plant Sci. 2017 Jan 6;7:2025. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.02025. eCollection 2016.

Specific Caleosin/Peroxygenase and Lipoxygenase Activities Are Tissue-Differentially Expressed in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Seedlings and Are Further Induced Following Exposure to the Toxin 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

Hanano A(1), Almousally I(1), Shaban M(1), Rahman F(2), Hassan M(2), Murphy DJ(2).

(1)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria Damascus, Syria. (2)Genomics and Computational Biology Group, University of South Wales Wales, UK.

        Two caleosin/peroxygenase isoforms from date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L., PdCLO2 and PdCLO4, were characterized with respect to their tissue expression, subcellular localization, and oxylipin pathway substrate specificities in developing seedlings. Both PdCLO2 and PdCLO4 had peroxygenase activities that peaked at the mid-stage (radicle length of 2.5 cm) of seedling growth and were associated with the lipid droplet (LD) and microsomal fractions. Recombinant PdCLO2 and PdCLO4 proteins heterologously expressed in yeast cells were localized in both LD and microsomal fractions. Each of the purified recombinant proteins exhibited peroxygenase activity but they were catalytically distinct with respect to their specificity and product formation from fatty acid epoxide and hydroxide substrates. We recently showed that date palm CLO genes were upregulated following exposure to the potent toxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (Hanano et al., 2016), and we show here that transcripts of 9- and 13-lipoxygenase (LOX) genes were also induced by TCDD exposure. At the enzyme level, 9-LOX and 13-LOX activities were present in a range of seedling tissues and responded differently to TCDD exposure, as did the 9- and 13-fatty acid hydroperoxide reductase activities. This demonstrates that at least two branches of the oxylipin pathway are involved in responses to the environmental organic toxin, TCDD in date palm.

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.02025

PMID: 28111588

Pest Manag Sci. 2017 Aug;73(8):1737-1742. doi: 10.1002/ps.4527.

Evaluation of the efficacy of insecticidal coatings based on teflutrin and chlorpyrifos against Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Pugliese M(1), Rettori AA(1)(2), Martinis R(1)(2), Al-Rohily K(3), Velate S(4), Moideen MA(4), Al-Maashi A(3).

(1)AgriNewTech srl and University of Torino, Turin, Italy. (2)Studio Associato Planta, Rosta, Torino, Italy. (3)Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (4)Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Chikkadunnasandra Village, Bangalore, India.

        BACKGROUND: The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), an important economic resource for many nations worldwide, has recently been threatened by the presence of different insect pests, like the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. RESULTS: Two products, a glue (polyvinyl acetate) and an oil (raw linseed oil) were used as coatings and applied together with a repellent and two insecticides (teflutrin and chlorpyrifos) at different dosages on two species of palm (P. dactylifera and P. canariensis). Phytotoxic effects of the treatments were evaluated in a greenhouse on 260 potted palms (130 P. dactylifera and 130 P. canariensis) and no negative effects were observed. Afterwards, a trial lasting 400 days was carried out in a nursery located in Sicily (south Italy), treating 572 potted palm trees (286 P. dactylifera and 286 P. canariensis) with an average diameter at the base of 18-20 cm. After 400 days, 48% of the untreated palms were infested, while only 3% of date palms and 7% of Canary palms treated with insecticide at lower dosages were infested. CONCLUSIONS: The application of an insecticide-based coating is a good strategy to control and prevent the red palm weevil infestation, in particular on date palms. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

DOI: 10.1002/ps.4527

PMID: 28094903

Nat Prod Res. 2017 Sep;31(17):2024-2031. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2016.1274887.

Fingerprinting of strong spermatogenesis steroidal saponins in male flowers of Phoenix dactylifera (Date Palm) by LC-ESI-MS.

Hamed AI(1)(2)(3), Ben Said R(2)(4), Al-Ayed AS(2), Moldoch J(3), Mahalel UA(1)(5), Mahmoud AM(6), Elgebaly HA(5), Perez AJ(3)(7), Stochmal A(3).

(1)a Phytochemistry Laboratory, Department of Botany , Faculty of Science , Aswan University , Aswan , Egypt. (2)b Department of Chemistry , College of Science & Arts at Al-Rass, Qassim University , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (3)f Department of Biochemistry and Crop Quality , Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State Research Institute , Pulawy , Poland. (4)c Research Unity of Physical Condensed Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences , University Tunis El Manar , Tunis , Tunisia. (5)e Biology Department , College of Science, Al-Jouf University , Al-Jouf , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (6)d Physiology Division, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science , Beni-Suef University , Egypt. (7)g Área Productos Químicos, Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico (UDT) , Universidad de Concepción , Bío Bío , Chile.

        A fingerprint of steroid saponins, the major constituent in 80% methanolic fraction from the male flowers of Phoenix dactylifera has been established. Under ESI-MS/MS conditions, the fragmentation patterns of [M - H](-) ions exclusively displayed signals corresponding to the cleavage of the glycosidic bonds, thus allowing a rapid identification of 21 steroidal saponins. Moreover, two unique among them conjugated with histidine were detected by LC-ESI (-)-MS and DFT and were given tentative names of 3-o-histidine-26-o-hexosyl-dioscin and 3-o-histidine-26-o-dihexosyl-hydroxydioscin. Their steroidal saponins exhibited a significant improvement of the sperm cells count, motility and viability in male rats. These effects could be attributed to enhancing the levels of sex hormones.

DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2016.1274887

PMID: 28049352

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2017 Jan 3. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12609.

The Effect of increasing levels of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seed on the performance, ruminal fermentation, antioxidant status and milk fatty acid profile of Saanen dairy goats.

Sharifi M(1), Bashtani M(1), Naserian AA(2), Farhangfar H(1).

(1)Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran. (2)Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

        This study was conducted to examine the effect of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seed (DPS) on the performance, ruminal fermentation, antioxidant status and milk fatty acid (FA) profile of dairy goats. Eight multiparous Saanen dairy goats, averaging 97 ± 7 days in milk (DIM) and 2150 ± 130 g of milk production, were used in a 4 × 4 replicated Latin square design. Experimental diets contained 0% (control), 6% (DPS6), 12% (DPS12) and 18% (DPS18) of DPS. Dry matter intake (DMI), milk production, and the composition and digestibility of the dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and crude protein (CP) were not affected by the diets. Adding DPS to the diet increased linearly total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in milk and blood (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found in the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in milk and blood. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in the blood, ruminal pH, NH3 -N, ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA), acetate, butyrate, isovalerate and valeric acid concentration had no significant effect among the diets. The propionate acid concentration decreased linearly as DPS was added to the diet, and DPS18 had minimum propionate acid concentration (p < 0.05). The inclusion of DPS18 to diets increased linearly the proportion of C18:0 (compared to control) as well as cis-18:1, trans-18:1 (compared to control and DPS6) and decreased C14:1 (compared to control) in milk fat (p < 0.05). The concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in DPS18 was higher than other diets (p = 0.04). The results of this study implied that replacing DPS with a part of dairy goats' ration had no negative effects on the performance of the animals and could also improve the antioxidant activity and increase the concentration of CLA in their milk.

DOI: 10.1111/jpn.12609

PMID: 28045194

PLoS One. 2016 Dec 19;11(12):e0168609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168609. eCollection 2016.

Chemical Characterization of Lipophilic Constituents in the Skin of Migratory Adult Sea Lamprey from the Great Lakes Region.

Dissanayake AA(1), Wagner CM(2), Nair MG(1)(3).

(1)Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States of America. (2)Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States of America. (3)College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        The sea lamprey (Petromzons marinus) is an invasive ectoparasite of large-bodied fishes that adversely affects the fishing industry and ecology of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Lipid content in the whole sea lamprey and muscles, liver and kidney of metamorphosing larval stages has been reported. Similarly, the fatty acid profile of the rope tissues of sexually-mature male sea lampreys has also been reported. The average body weight of a sub-adult migratory sea lamprey is 250 g, which includes 14.4% skin (36 g). Our preliminary extraction data of an adult sea lamprey skin revealed that it contained approximately 8.5% of lipophilic compounds. Lamprey skin is home to a naturally aversive compound (an alarm cue) that is being developed into a repellent for use in pest management. As part of an ongoing investigation to identify the chemical structure of the sea lamprey alarm cue, we extracted the skin with water and methanol, respectively. The methanolic extract (1.55%) contained exclusively lipophilic compounds and did not include the alarm cue. We chemically characterized all compounds present in the methanolic extract as cholesterol esters (CE), tri- and di-glycerides (TG and DG), cholesterol, free fatty acids (FFA) and minor amounts of plasticizers. The free fatty acids fraction was composed of saturated (41.8%), monounsaturated (40.7%) and polyunsaturated (17.4%) fatty acids, respectively. The plasticizers characterized were phthalate and benzoate and found to be 0.95 mg and 2.54 mg, respectively, per adult sea lamprey skin. This is the first report of the chemical characterization of all the lipophilic constituents in the skin of sub-adult migratory sea lamprey. The CEs isolated and characterized from sea lamprey skin are also for the first time.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168609

PMID: 27992570

J Environ Radioact. 2017 Feb;167:75-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.11.014.

Transfer factors for natural radioactivity into date palm pits.

Shayeb MA(1), Alharbi T(2), Baloch MA(3), Rahman Alsamhan OA(4).

(1)Al-majmaah University, Al-Zulfi, Saudi Arabia; Al-Hussien Bin Talal University, Ma'an, Jordan. Electronic address: m.abushayeb@mu.edu.sa. (2)Al-majmaah University, Al-Zulfi, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: t.alharbi@mu.edu.sa. (3)Al-majmaah University, Al-Zulfi, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: m.baloch@mu.edu.sa. (4)Al-majmaah University, Al-Zulfi, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: abu--a@hotmail.com.

        Palm pits are used in various human and animal feed products. In this study, the natural radioactivity levels from soil and date palm pits of 9 samples collected from major date palm farms in three different regions (Buraidah, Al-Zulfi and Al-Majmaah) of Saudi Arabia were determined by using the high purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer. The mean activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th, (137)Cs and (40)K in soil samples were 12.8 ± 2.2, 10.2 ± 2.1, 0.28 ± 0.10 and 329 ± 87 Bg kg(-1), respectively. Similarly the mean activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K in date palm pits were 5.6 ± 1.2, 2.8 ± 0.4 and 181 ± 17 Bq kg(-1), respectively, whereas (137)Cs could not be detected. The geometric mean of TF values (geometric standard deviation in parentheses) of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K were 0.33 (2.1), 0.22 (1.8) and 0.51 (2.0), respectively.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.11.014

PMID: 27894743 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Genomics. 2016;2016:7840759.

Proteome Analysis of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) under Severe Drought and Salt Stress.

El Rabey HA(1), Al-Malki AL(2), Abulnaja KO(2).

(1)Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Bioinformatics Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute, Sadat City University, Sadat City, Minufiya, Egypt. (2)Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

        Date palm cultivars differently tolerate salinity and drought stress. This study was carried out to study the response of date palm to severe salinity and drought based on leaf proteome analysis. Eighteen-month-old date palm plants were subjected to severe salt (48 g/L NaCl) and drought (82.5 g/L PEG or no irrigation) conditions for one month. Using a protein 2D electrophoresis method, 55 protein spots were analyzed using mass spectrometry. ATP synthase CF1 alpha chains were significantly upregulated under all three stress conditions. Changes in the abundance of RubisCO activase and one of the RubisCO fragments were significant in the same spots only for salt stress and drought stress with no irrigation, and oxygen-evolving enhancer protein 2 was changed in different spots. Transketolase was significantly changed only in drought stress with PEG. The expression of salt and drought stress genes of the chosen protein spots was either overexpressed or downexpressed as revealed by the high or low protein abundance, respectively. In addition, all drought tolerance genes due to no irrigation were downregulated. In conclusion, the proteome analysis of date palm under salinity and drought conditions indicated that both salinity and drought tolerance genes were differentially expressed resulting in high or low protein abundance of the chosen protein spots as a result of exposure to drought and salinity stress condition.

DOI: 10.1155/2016/7840759

PMID: 27840818

PLoS One. 2016 Nov 8;11(11):e0166216. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166216. eCollection 2016.

Identification of Reference Genes for Quantitative Real-Time PCR in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Subjected to Drought and Salinity.

V Patankar H(1), M Assaha DV(1), Al-Yahyai R(2), Sunkar R(3), Yaish MW(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (2)Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (3)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States of America.

        Date palm is an important crop plant in the arid and semi-arid regions supporting human population in the Middle East and North Africa. These areas have been largely affected by drought and salinity due to insufficient rainfall and improper irrigation practices. Date palm is a relatively salt- and drought-tolerant plant and more recently efforts have been directed to identifying genes and pathways that confer stress tolerance in this species. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is a promising technique for the analysis of stress-induced differential gene expression, which involves the use of stable reference genes for normalizing gene expression. In an attempt to find the best reference genes for date palm's drought and salinity research, we evaluated the stability of 12 most commonly used reference genes using the geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper statistical algorithms and the comparative ΔCT method. The comprehensive results revealed that HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN (HSP), UBIQUITIN (UBQ) and YTH domain-containing family protein (YT521) were stable in drought-stressed leaves whereas GLYCERALDEHYDE-3-PHOSPHATE DEHYDROGENASE (GAPDH), ACTIN and TUBULIN were stable in drought-stressed roots. On the other hand, SMALL SUBUNIT RIBOSOMAL RNA (25S), YT521 and 18S ribosomal RNA (18S); and UBQ, ACTIN and ELONGATION FACTOR 1-ALPHA (eEF1a) were stable in leaves and roots, respectively, under salt stress. The stability of these reference genes was verified by using the abiotic stress-responsive CYTOSOLIC Cu/Zn SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE (Cyt-Cu/Zn SOD), an ABA RECEPTOR, and a PROLINE TRANSPORTER 2 (PRO) genes. A combination of top 2 or 3 stable reference genes were found to be suitable for normalization of the target gene expression and will facilitate gene expression analysis studies aimed at identifying functional genes associated with drought and salinity tolerance in date palm.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166216

PMID: 27824922

J Hazard Mater. 2017 Feb 15;324(Pt B):298-305. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.10.063.

Zinc oxide nanoparticles affect carbon and nitrogen mineralization of Phoenix dactylifera leaf litter in a sandy soil.

Rashid MI(1), Shahzad T(2), Shahid M(3), Ismail IM(4), Shah GM(3), Almeelbi T(5).

(1)Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia; Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, 61100, Vehari, Pakistan. Electronic address: mimurad@kau.edu.sa. (2)Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Government College University, 38000, Faisalabad, Pakistan. (3)Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, 61100, Vehari, Pakistan. (4)Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia; Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. (5)Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia; Department of Environmental Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 2158, Saudi Arabia.

        We investigated the impact of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs; 1000mgkg(-1) soil) on soil microbes and their associated soil functions such as date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) leaf litter (5gkg(-1) soil) carbon and nitrogen mineralization in mesocosms containing sandy soil. Nanoparticles application in litter-amended soil significantly decreased the cultivable heterotrophic bacterial and fungal colony forming units (cfu) compared to only litter-amended soil. The decrease in cfu could be related to lower microbial biomass carbon in nanoparticles-litter amended soil. Likewise, ZnO NPs also reduced CO2 emission by 10% in aforementioned treatment but this was higher than control (soil only). Labile Zn was only detected in the microbial biomass of nanoparticles-litter applied soil indicating that microorganisms consumed this element from freely available nutrients in the soil. In this treatment, dissolved organic carbon and mineral nitrogen were 25 and 34% lower respectively compared to litter-amended soil. Such toxic effects of nanoparticles on litter decomposition resulted in 130 and 122% lower carbon and nitrogen mineralization efficiency respectively. Hence, our results entail that ZnO NPs are toxic to soil microbes and affect their function i.e., carbon and nitrogen mineralization of applied litter thus confirming their toxicity to microbial associated soil functions.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.10.063

PMID: 27810328

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2017 Feb;181(2):725-734. doi: 10.1007/s12010-016-2244-z.

Date Fruits-Assisted Synthesis and Biocompatibility Assessment of Nickel Oxide Nanoparticles Anchored onto Graphene Sheets for Biomedical Applications.

Alshatwi AA(1), Athinarayanan J(2), Periasamy VS(2), Alatiah KA(2).

(1)Nanobiotechnology and Molecular Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food Science and Agriculture, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. alshatwi@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Nanobiotechnology and Molecular Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food Science and Agriculture, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Nanographene- and graphene-based nanohybrids have garnered attention in the biomedical community owing to their biocompatibility, excellent aqueous processability, ease of cellular uptake, facile surface functionalization, and thermal and electrical conductivities. NiO nanoparticle-graphene nanohybrid (G-NiO) was synthesized by first depositing Ni(OH)2 onto the surface of graphene oxide (GO) sheets. The Ni(OH)2-GO hybrids were then reduced to G-NiO using date palm syrup at 85 °C. The prepared G-NiO nanohybrids were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The NiO nanoparticles, with a diameter of approximately 20-30 nm, were uniformly dispersed over the surface of the graphene sheets. The G-NiO hybrids exhibit biocompatibility in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) up to 100 μg/mL. The nanohybrids do not cause any significant changes in cellular and nuclear morphologies in hMSCs. The as-synthesized nanohybrids show excellent biocompatibility and could be a promising material for biomedical applications.

DOI: 10.1007/s12010-016-2244-z

PMID: 27778152

Orient Pharm Exp Med. 2016;16(3):175-183.

Comparative study of neuropharmacological, analgesic properties and phenolic profile of Ajwah, Safawy and Sukkari cultivars of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).

Sheikh BY(1), Zihad SM(2), Sifat N(2), Uddin SJ(2), Shilpi JA(2), Hamdi OA(3), Hossain H(4), Rouf R(2), Jahan IA(4).

(1)College of Medicine, Taibah University, PO Box 456, Almadinah Almunawarah, 41411 Saudi Arabia. (2)Pharmacy Discipline, Life Science School, Khulna University, Khulna, 9208 Bangladesh. (3)Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Alneelain University, 11121 Khartoum, Sudan. (4)BCSIR Laboratories, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Dhaka, 1205 Bangladesh.

        In addition to the rich nutritional value, date palm is also used in various ethnobotanical practices for the treatment of various disease conditions. Present investigation was undertaken to examine the neuropharmacological and antinociceptive effect of the ethanol extract of three date cultivars growing in Saudi Arabia, namely Ajwah, Safawy and Sukkari. Neuropharmacological effect was observed by pentobarbitone induced sleeping time, open field, and hole board test. Antinociceptive activity was tested by acetic acid induced writhing and hot plate test. The date extracts were also subjected to HPLC analysis to detect the presence of common bioactive polyphenols. All the three date extracts extended the pentobarbitone induced sleeping time, reduced locomotor activity in open field test and reduced exploratory behaviour in hole board test in mice. The extracts also reduced acetic acid induced writhing and delayed response time in hot plate test. The activities were stronger for Ajwah than the other two date cultivars. HPLC analysis indicated the presence of trans-ferulic acid in all three cultivars, while (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin only in Ajwah and Safawy. The observed neuropharmacological and analgesic activity could be partly due to the presence of (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin and trans-ferulic acid, three important plant polyphenols well known for their neuroprotective activity and their ability to exert antioxidant activity on brain cells. Present investigation also supports the ethnobotanical use of date palm to provide ameliorating effects in pain and CNS disorders.

DOI: 10.1007/s13596-016-0239-5

PMID: 27746708

Ecohealth. 2016 Dec;13(4):720-728.

Investigating Rare Risk Factors for Nipah Virus in Bangladesh: 2001-2012.

Hegde ST(1)(2), Sazzad HM(3), Hossain MJ(3)(4), Alam MU(3), Kenah E(5), Daszak P(6), Rollin P(1), Rahman M(7), Luby SP(1)(8), Gurley ES(9).

(1)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. (2)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. (3)icddr,b (formerly, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh), Centre for Communicable Diseases icddr,b, 68, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh. (4)Medical Research Council Unit, Banjul, The Gambia. (5)University of Florida, Florida, USA. (6)EcoHealth Alliance, New York, USA. (7)Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (8)Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA. (9)icddr,b (formerly, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh), Centre for Communicable Diseases icddr,b, 68, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh. egurley@icddrb.org.

        Human Nipah encephalitis outbreaks have been identified almost yearly in Bangladesh since 2001. Though raw date palm sap consumption and person-to-person contact are recognized as major transmission pathways, alternative pathways of transmission are plausible and may not have been identified due to limited statistical power in each outbreak. We conducted a risk factor analysis using all 157 cases and 632 controls surveyed in previous investigations during 2004-2012 to identify exposures independently associated with Nipah, since date palm sap was first asked about as an exposure in 2004. To further explore possible rare exposures, we also conducted in-depth interviews with all cases, or proxies, since 2001 that reported no exposure to date palm sap or contact with another case. Cases were 4.9 (95% 3.2-7.7) times more likely to consume raw date palm sap and 7.3 (95% 4.0-13.4) times more likely to have contact with a Nipah case than controls. In-depth interviews revealed that 39/182 (21%) of Nipah cases reporting neither date palm sap consumption nor contact with another case were misclassified. Prevention efforts should be focused on interventions to interrupt transmission through date palm sap consumption and person-to-person contact. Furthermore, pooling outbreak investigation data is a good method for assessing rare exposures.

DOI: 10.1007/s10393-016-1166-0

PMID: 27738775

Health Phys. 2016 Nov;111(5):465-70. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000565.

Analysis of Natural and Anthropogenic Radionuclide Content in Palm Date Fruit of the United Arab Emirates: A Baseline Study.

Rahman R(1), Solodov A.

(1)*Department of Physics, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.

        The purpose of this study is to contribute to a wider effort of establishing an environmental radiation baseline for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the startup of the country's first nuclear reactor in 2017. An investigation of gamma-emitting radionuclide concentrations in palm dates grown in the UAE was performed. Palm date samples of 10 varieties originating from several local commercial date palm farms of the UAE were collected and analyzed. The study targeted the naturally occurring radionuclides, such as U, Th, and K, in addition to any potential anthropogenic radionuclides, such as Cs and others. Gamma spectrometry revealed measured activity concentrations for U (Ra), Th (Ra), and K that ranged from 0.61 to 0.80 Bq kg, 0.10 to 0.23 Bq kg, and 191 to 362 Bq kg, respectively, on a dry-weight basis, and calculated activity concentrations on a wet basis ranged from 0.52 to 0.69 Bq kg, 0.09 to 0.22 Bq kg, and 168 to 297 Bq kg, respectively. No Cs or other anthropogenic radionuclides could be detected in this study. All measurements were performed using a coaxial HPGe detector with 40% relative efficiency quoted by the manufacturer. Efficiency calibration correction factors were calculated using Angle software.

DOI: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000565

PMID: 27682905 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2017 Feb 15;217:171-81. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.08.089.

Metabolome based volatiles profiling in 13 date palm fruit varieties from Egypt via SPME GC-MS and chemometrics.

Khalil MN(1), Fekry MI(1), Farag MA(2).

(1)Pharmacognosy Department, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr el Aini st., Cairo P.B. 11562, Egypt. (2)Pharmacognosy Department, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr el Aini st., Cairo P.B. 11562, Egypt. Electronic address: mohamed.farag@pharma.cu.edu.eg.

        Dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) are distributed worldwide as major food complement providing a source of sugars and dietary fiber as well as macro- and micronutrients. Although phytochemical analyses of date fruit non-volatile metabolites have been reported, much less is known about the aroma given off by the fruit, which is critical for dissecting sensory properties and quality traits. Volatile constituents from 13 date varieties grown in Egypt were profiled using SPME-GCMS coupled to multivariate data analysis to explore date fruit aroma composition and investigate potential future uses by food industry. A total of 89 volatiles were identified where lipid-derived volatiles and phenylpropanoid derivatives were the major components of date fruit aroma. Multivariate data analyses revealed that 2,3-butanediol, hexanal, hexanol and cinnamaldehyde contributed the most to classification of different varieties. This study provides the most complete map of volatiles in Egyptian date fruit, with Siwi and Sheshi varieties exhibiting the most distinct aroma among studied date varieties.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.08.089

PMID: 27664623

Springerplus. 2016 Sep 13;5(1):1542. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3198-x. eCollection 2016.

Identification and tissue expression profiling of odorant binding protein genes in the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Yan W(1), Liu L(2), Qin W(2), Luo Y(3), Ma X(4), Haider N(4), Inayeh M(4).

(1)Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083 China ; Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Hainan, 571339 China. (2)Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Hainan, 571339 China. (3)Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083 China. (4)China-Arab Date Palm Research Center, Ningxia, 750001 China.

        BACKGROUND: The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, is a lethal pest of the palms. The identification of odorant binding protein (OBP) genes will be helpful for clarifing the mechanism of odorant detection of this pest. By sequencing the full length cDNA library of its antenne, 11 OBP genes (RferOBP1-11) were identified. FINDINGS: The result showed RferOBP1-7 and RferOBP8-11 belonged to the minus-C and classic family, respectively qPCR revealed that RferOBP1-10 highly transcribed in the antennae, of which RferOBP1, RferOBP4, RferOBP8 and RferOBP10 were obviously male-biased expression. RferOBP7 and RferOBP11 exhibited highly expression in female head and male thorax. RferOBP2, RferOBP5 and RferOBP6 were highly expressed in the female thorax, leg and abdomen respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results paved the way towards a future understanding of the olfaction in this species.

DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-3198-x

PMID: 27652115

J Insect Sci. 2016 Sep 20;16(1). pii: 100. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/iew065.

Mitochondrial DNA Variation Among Populations of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) From Pakistan.

Yasin M(1), Rugman-Jones PF(2), Wakil W(3), Stouthamer R(2).

(1)Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (yasin_1876@yahoo.com; waqaswakeel@hotmail.com; arid1972@yahoo.com) Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA (yasin_1876@yahoo.com; paul.rugman-jones@ucr.edu; richard.stouthamer@ucr.edu). (2)Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA (yasin_1876@yahoo.com; paul.rugman-jones@ucr.edu; richard.stouthamer@ucr.edu). (3)Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (yasin_1876@yahoo.com; waqaswakeel@hotmail.com; arid1972@yahoo.com) waqaswakeel@hotmail.com arid1972@yahoo.com.

        The Red Palm Weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) is a voracious pest of palm species. In recent decades its range has expanded greatly, particularly impacting the date palm industry in the Middle East. This has led to conjecture regarding the origins of invasive RPW populations. For example, in parts of the Middle East, RPW is commonly referred to as the "Pakistani weevil" in the belief that it originated there. We sought evidence to support or refute this belief. First reports of RPW in Pakistan were from the Punjab region in 1918, but it is unknown whether it is native or invasive there. We estimated genetic variation across five populations of RPW from two provinces of Pakistan, using sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene. Four haplotypes were detected; two (H1 and H5) were abundant, accounting for 88% of specimens across the sampled populations, and were previously known from the Middle East. The remaining haplotypes (H51 and H52) were newly detected (in global terms) and there was no geographic overlap in their distribution within Pakistan. Levels of haplotype diversity were much lower than those previously recorded in accepted parts of the native range of RPW, suggesting that the weevil may be invasive in Pakistan. The affinity of Pakistani haplotypes to those reported from India (and the geographical proximity of the two countries), make the latter a likely "native" source. With regards the validity of the name "Pakistani weevil", we found little genetic evidence to justify it.

DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/iew065

PMID: 27651423 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jul;11(7):1071-2. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.187032.

Beneficial effects of date palm fruits on neurodegenerative diseases.

Essa MM(1), Akbar M(2), Khan MA(3).

(1)Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman; Ageing and Dementia Research Group, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (2)Section of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology, Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. (3)Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Shriners Hospitals for Children , Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

        DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.187032

PMID: 27630684

PLoS One. 2016 Sep 8;11(9):e0162203. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162203. eCollection 2016.

Silencing the Olfactory Co-Receptor RferOrco Reduces the Response to Pheromones in the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Soffan A(1), Antony B(1), Abdelazim M(1), Shukla P(1), Witjaksono W(2), Aldosari SA(1), Aldawood AS(3).

(1)King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, Plant Protection Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (2)Gadjah Mada University, Plant Protection Department, College of Agriculture, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia. (3)King Saud University, Plant Protection Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        The red palm weevil (RPW, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), one of the most widespread of all invasive insect pest species, is a major cause of severe damage to economically important palm trees. RPW exhibits behaviors very similar to those of its sympatric species, the Asian palm weevil (R. vulneratus), which is restricted geographically to the southern part of Southeast Asia. Although efficient and sustainable control of these pests remains challenging, olfactory-system disruption has been proposed as a promising approach for controlling palm weevils. Here, we report the cloning and sequencing of an olfactory co-receptor (Orco) from R. ferrugineus (RferOrco) and R. vulneratus (RvulOrco) and examine the effects of RferOrco silencing (RNAi) on odorant detection. RferOrco and RvulOrco encoding 482 amino acids showing 99.58% identity. The injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) from RferOrco into R. ferrugineus pupae significantly reduced RferOrco gene expression and led to the failure of odor-stimulus detection, as confirmed through olfactometer and electroantennography (EAG) assays. These results suggest that olfactory-system disruption leading to reduced pheromone detection holds great potential for RPW pest-control strategies.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162203

PMID: 27606688 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci Technol. 2016 Mar;53(3):1663-9. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-2080-0. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Table wine from tropical fruits utilizing natural yeast isolates.

Baidya D(1), Chakraborty I(2), Saha J(3).

(1)Department of Agriculture, Government of Tripura, Agartala, Tripura India. (2)Department of Post Harvest Technology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur 741 252, Nadia, West Bengal India. (3)Department of Plant Pathology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur 741 252, Nadia, West Bengal India.

        An attempt was made to utilize few widely available tropical fruits to develop wine with the objective of comparing the fermentation efficiency (along with progress in fermentation) of two efficient yeast isolates with commercially available strain. Fruit wine from juices of fully ripe mango, jackfruit and pineapple alone and in blended combinations of all three fruit juice (2: 1: 2) was prepared using two different yeasts (Y4 and Y7) isolated from natural plain date palm juice and one standard Saccharomyces cerevisiae (MTCC-170) collected from IMTECH, Chandigar. Juices were extracted by using pectinase enzyme at 0.15-0.20 % of pulp. Changes in °Brix, titratable acid content, pH, total viable yeast count were recorded and rate of fermentation, sugar use efficiency were determined at every 24-hour interval up to the completion (6 days after inoculation) of fermentation. Considering all the quality parameter as well as fermentation efficiency, yeast isolate Y7 was found superior followed by Y4 as fermenting agent and pineapple juice as sole substrate found to be the most suitable medium for production of wine followed by fruit juice blending. In interpreting the efficacy of fruit and yeast in combination, pineapple juice inoculated with Y7 found to be the best in reducing the degree Brix to its lowest from initial 24 degree.

DOI: 10.1007/s13197-015-2080-0

PMID: 27570291

World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Oct;32(10):160. doi: 10.1007/s11274-016-2120-6.

Effect of red and blue light emitting diodes "CRB-LED" on in vitro organogenesis of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cv. Alshakr.

Al-Mayahi AM(1).

(1)Department of Plant Tissue Culture, Date Palm Research Centre, University of Basra, Basra, Iraq. hng_1988@yahoo.com.

        The objective of the present study is to determine the effect of light source on enhancement of shoot multiplication, phytochemicals, as well as, antioxidant enzyme activities of in vitro cultures of date palm cv. Alshakr. In vitro-grown buds were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium and incubated under a conventional white fluorescent light (control), and combinations of red + blue light emitting diode (18:2) (CRB-LED). Results revealed that the treatment of CRB-LED showed a significant increase in the number of shoots compared with the white florescent light. Total soluble carbohydrate "TSCH" (7.10 mg g(-1) DW.), starch (1.63 mg g(-1) DW.) and free amino acids (2.90 mg g(-1) DW.) were significantly higher in CRB-LED (p < 0.05). Additionally, CRB-LED induced a higher peroxidase activity (25.50 U ml(-1)) compared with the white fluorescent light treatment (19.74 U ml(-1)) as control treatment. Potassium, magnesium and sodium contents in (3.62, 13.99 and 2.76 mg g(-1) DW.) were increased in in vitro shoots under CRB-LED treatment in comparison with fluorescent light (p < 0.05). Protein profile showed the appearance of newly bands with the molecular weight of 38 and 60 kDa at the treatment CRB-LED compared with control treatment. Our results demonstrate the positive effects of CRB-LED light during the course of date palm tissue cultures.

DOI: 10.1007/s11274-016-2120-6

PMID: 27562594 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genome Announc. 2016 Aug 18;4(4). pii: e00848-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00848-16.

Draft Genome Sequence of Endophytic Bacterium Enterobacter asburiae PDA134, Isolated from Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Roots.

Yaish MW(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman myaish@squ.edu.om.

        In this report, a draft of the Enterobacter asburiae strain PDA134 genome was sequenced. This bacterial strain was isolated from the root tissue of a date palm, where it has the ability to produce 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) under salinity stress.

DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00848-16

PMID: 27540071

Springerplus. 2016 Aug 2;5(1):1222. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2855-4. eCollection 2016.

Socio-economic characterisation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) growers and date value chains in Pakistan.

Fatima G(1), Khan IA(2), Buerkert A(1).

(1)Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany. (2)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040 Pakistan.

        Increasing food production to feed its rapidly growing population is a major policy goal of Pakistan. The production of traditional staples such as rice (Oryza sativa L.) and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has been intensified in many regions, but not in remote, drought-ridden areas. In these arid, marginal environments dates and their by-products are an option to complement staples given their high nutritive value and storability. To fill knowledge gaps about the role of date palm in the household (HH) income of rural communities and the structure of date value chains, this project studied date palm production across six districts in four provinces of Pakistan. During 2012-2013 a total of 170 HHs were interviewed with a structured questionnaire using a snowball sampling approach. The results showed that most of the HH were headed by males (99 %) who were married (74 %) and often illiterate (40 %). Agriculture was the main occupation of date palm growers (56 %), while a few coupled agricultural activities with business (17 %) or extra-farm employment opportunities (government 9 %; private sector 8 %). Date sales contributed >50 % to the total income of 39 % of HH and 90-100 % to 24 % of HH. Overall farmers grew a total of 39 date palm cultivars and cultivated an average of 409 ± 559 mature date palms. The majority of the respondents sold dates to commission agents (35 %), contractors (22 %) and wholesalers (21 %), while 28 % of HH cultivated date palms only for self-consumption. Date palm growers had only limited knowledge about high quality date cultivars, optimized farm management and about effective post-harvest conservation. Changes in extension and marketing efforts are needed to allow farmers to better exploit value chains in date thereby reaping higher benefits from improved market access to secure their often marginal income.

DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-2855-4

PMID: 27536506

Genet Mol Res. 2016 Aug 5;15(3). doi: 10.4238/gmr.15038470.

Cultivar-level phylogeny using chloroplast DNA barcode psbK-psbI spacers for identification of Emirati date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties.

Enan MR(1)(2), Ahmed A(3).

(1)Biology Department, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates mohamed.enan@uaeu.ac.ae. (2)Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute, Giza, Egypt mohamed.enan@uaeu.ac.ae. (3)Biology Department, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates.

        The efficacy of genetic material for use as DNA barcodes is under constant evaluation and improvement as new barcodes offering better resolution and efficiency of amplification for specific species groups are identified. In this study, the chloroplast intergenic spacer psbK-psbI was evaluated for the first time as a DNA barcode for distinguishing date palm cultivars. Nucleotide sequences were aligned using MEGA 6.0 to calculate pairwise divergence among the cultivars. The analyzed data illustrated a considerable level of variability in the genetic pool of the selected cultivars (0.009). In fact, five haplotypes were detected among 30 cultivars examined, yielding a haplotype diversity of 0.685. An unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean phylogenetic tree was constructed and shows a well-defined relationship among date palm cultivar varieties. On the other hand, selective neutrality investigations using Tajima test and Fu and Li tests were negative, providing evidence that date palm has been undergoing rapid expansion and recent population growth. Thus, we suggest that the psbK-psbI spacer can be successfully used to construct reliable phylogenetic trees for P. dactylifera.

DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038470

PMID: 27525916 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

BMC Public Health. 2016 Aug 5;16:726. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3416-z.

It's not only what you say, it's also how you say it: communicating nipah virus prevention messages during an outbreak in Bangladesh.

Parveen S(1)(2), Islam MS(3), Begum M(3), Alam MU(3), Sazzad HM(3), Sultana R(3), Rahman M(4), Gurley ES(3), Hossain MJ(3)(5), Luby SP(3)(6)(7).

(1)Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. shahana@icddrb.org. (2)Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b, 68, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh. shahana@icddrb.org. (3)Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (4)Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dhaka, Bangladesh. (5)Medical Research Council Unit (UK), Banjul, The Gambia. (6)Global Health Protection Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA. (7)Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

        BACKGROUND: During a fatal Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Bangladesh, residents rejected biomedical explanations of NiV transmission and treatment and lost trust in the public healthcare system. Field anthropologists developed and communicated a prevention strategy to bridge the gap between the biomedical and local explanation of the outbreak. METHODS: We explored residents' beliefs and perceptions about the illness and care-seeking practices and explained prevention messages following an interactive strategy with the aid of photos showed the types of contact that can lead to NiV transmission from bats to humans by drinking raw date palm sap and from person-to-person. RESULTS: The residents initially believed that the outbreak was caused by supernatural forces and continued drinking raw date palm sap despite messages from local health authorities to stop. Participants in community meetings stated that the initial messages did not explain that bats were the source of this virus. After our intervention, participants responded that they now understood how NiV could be transmitted and would abstain from raw sap consumption and maintain safer behaviours while caring for patients. CONCLUSIONS: During outbreaks, one-way behaviour change communication without meaningful causal explanations is unlikely to be effective. Based on the cultural context, interactive communication strategies in lay language with supporting evidence can make biomedical prevention messages credible in affected communities, even among those who initially invoke supernatural causal explanations.

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3416-z

PMID: 27495927 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Monit Assess. 2016 Aug;188(8):497. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5488-8.

Soil salinisation and irrigation management of date palms in a Saharan environment.

Haj-Amor Z(1), Ibrahimi MK(2), Feki N(3), Lhomme JP(4), Bouri S(5).

(1)Water, Energy and Environment Laboratory, National Engineering School of Sfax, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia. ziedhadj@yahoo.com. (2)Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan. (3)Environmental, Geotechnical and Civil Materials Research Unit, National Engineering School of Sfax, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia. (4)IRD (UMR LISAH), Montpellier SupAgro, 2 place Viala, 34060, Montpellier, France. (5)Water, Energy and Environment Laboratory, National Engineering School of Sfax, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia.

        The continuance of agricultural production in regions of the world with chronic water shortages depends upon understanding how soil salinity is impacted by irrigation practises such as water salinity, irrigation frequency and amount of irrigation. A two-year field study was conducted in a Saharan oasis of Tunisia (Lazala Oasis) to determine how the soil electrical conductivity was affected by irrigation of date palms with high saline water. The study area lacked a saline shallow water table. Field results indicate that, under current irrigation practises, soil electrical conductivity can build up to levels which exceed the salt tolerance of date palm trees. The effects of irrigation practises on the soil electrical conductivity were also evaluated using model simulations (HYDRUS-1D) of various irrigation regimes with different frequencies, different amounts of added water and different water salinities. The comparison between the simulated and observed results demonstrated that the model gave an acceptable estimation of water and salt dynamics in the soil profile, as indicated by the small values of root mean square error (RMSE) and the high values of the Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (NSE). The simulations demonstrated that, under field conditions without saline shallow groundwater, saline irrigation water can be used to maintain soil electrical conductivity and soil water content at safe levels (soil electrical conductivity <4 dS m(-1) and soil water content >0.04 cm(3) cm(-3)) if frequent irrigations with small amounts of water (90 % of the evapotranspiration requirements) were applied throughout the year.

DOI: 10.1007/s10661-016-5488-8

PMID: 27476071 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2016 Jul 21;11(7):e0158963. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158963. eCollection 2016.

Ajwa Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Extract Inhibits Human Breast Adenocarcinoma (MCF7) Cells In Vitro by Inducing Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest.

Khan F(1)(2)(3), Ahmed F(2), Pushparaj PN(2), Abuzenadah A(3), Kumosani T(1)(4), Barbour E(1)(5), AlQahtani M(2), Gauthaman K(2).

(1)Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (2)Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (3)Center of Innovation in Personalized Medicine, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (4)Biochemistry Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (5)Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut, Lebanon.

        INTRODUCTION: Phoenix dactylifera L (Date palm) is a native plant of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and other Middle Eastern countries. Ajwa date has been described in the traditional and alternative medicine to provide several health benefits including anticholesteremic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anticancer effects, but most remains to be scientifically validated. Herein, we evaluated the anticancer effects of the Methanolic Extract of Ajwa Date (MEAD) on human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) cells in vitro. METHODS: MCF7 cells were treated with various concentrations (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 mg/ml) of MEAD for 24, 48 and 72 h and changes in cell morphology, cell cycle, apoptosis related protein and gene expression were studied. RESULTS: Phase contrast microscopy showed various morphological changes such as cell shrinkage, vacuolation, blebbing and fragmentation. MTT (2-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay demonstrated statistically significant dose-dependent inhibitions of MCF7 cell proliferation from 35% to 95%. Annexin V-FITC and TUNEL assays showed positive staining for apoptosis of MCF7 cells treated with MEAD (15 mg and 25 mg for 48 h). Flow cytometric analyses of MCF7 cells with MEAD (15 mg/ml and 20 mg/ml) for 24 h demonstrated cell cycle arrest at 'S' phase; increased p53, Bax protein expression; caspase 3activation and decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed up-regulation of p53, Bax, Fas, and FasL and down-regulation of Bcl-2. CONCLUSIONS: MEAD inhibited MCF7 cells in vitro by the inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Our results indicate the anticancer effects of Ajwa dates, which therefore may be used as an adjunct therapy with conventional chemotherapeutics to achieve a synergistic effect against breast cancer.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158963

PMID: 27441372 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Chem Ecol. 2016 Jul;42(7):617-30. doi: 10.1007/s10886-016-0720-0.

Palm Weevil Pheromones - Discovery and Use.

Oehlschlager AC(1).

(1)ChemTica Internacional, Apdo. 640-3100, Sto. Domingo, Heredia, 40603, Costa Rica. cam@chemtica.com.

        Male-produced aggregation pheromones of seven major pest species of weevils in the subfamily Rhynchophorinae have been identified as a closely related set of methyl-branched secondary alcohols. Although the weevils produce only one stereoisomer of these alcohols, no instances of isomeric inhibition have been observed, enabling stereoisomeric mixtures to be used in traps. Addition of fermenting plant material to traps synergizes attraction of weevils to the pheromones. The weevils are large, have long life cycles, and are strong fliers. These characteristics make mass trapping a suitable tactic to add to existing management strategies. When coupled with good phytosanitary practices, mass trapping of Rhynchophorus palmarum at 1 trap/5-ha significantly lowered the incidence of red ring nematode infection vectored by the weevil in commercial oil palm plantations in the Americas. Similarly, trap densities of 1-10 traps/ha have significantly lowered R. ferrugineus infestation of date palm throughout the Middle East. Although management of R. ferrugineus in urban areas is more problematic, trapping is an integral part of most programs aimed at protection of ornamental Canary palms in Europe. Overall, semiochemically-based management of these large weevils is now a mature and usually economically feasible control technology.

DOI: 10.1007/s10886-016-0720-0

PMID: 27430563 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 18;6:29927. doi: 10.1038/srep29927.

Two fatty acyl reductases involved in moth pheromone biosynthesis.

Antony B(1), Ding BJ(2), Moto K(3), Aldosari SA(1), Aldawood AS(1).

(1)King Saud University, Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (2)Lund University, Department of Biology, Lund 22362, Sweden. (3)RIKEN, Lipid Biology Laboratory, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.

        Fatty acyl reductases (FARs) constitute an evolutionarily conserved gene family found in all kingdoms of life. Members of the FAR gene family play diverse roles, including seed oil synthesis, insect pheromone biosynthesis, and mammalian wax biosynthesis. In insects, FAR genes dedicated to sex pheromone biosynthesis (pheromone-gland-specific fatty acyl reductase, pgFAR) form a unique clade that exhibits substantial modifications in gene structure and possesses unique specificity and selectivity for fatty acyl substrates. Highly selective and semi-selective 'single pgFARs' produce single and multicomponent pheromone signals in bombycid, pyralid, yponomeutid and noctuid moths. An intriguing question is how a 'single reductase' can direct the synthesis of several fatty alcohols of various chain lengths and isomeric forms. Here, we report two active pgFARs in the pheromone gland of Spodoptera, namely a semi-selective, C14:acyl-specific pgFAR and a highly selective, C16:acyl-specific pgFAR, and demonstrate that these pgFARs play a pivotal role in the formation of species-specific signals, a finding that is strongly supported by functional gene expression data. The study envisages a new area of research for disclosing evolutionary changes associated with C14- and C16-specific FARs in moth pheromone biosynthesis.

DOI: 10.1038/srep29927

PMID: 27427355

Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:4530846. doi: 10.1155/2016/4530846.

Molecular Identification of Sex in Phoenix dactylifera Using Inter Simple Sequence Repeat Markers.

Al-Ameri AA(1), Al-Qurainy F(1), Gaafar AR(1), Khan S(1), Nadeem M(1).

(1)Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        Early sex identification of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) at seedling stage is an economically desirable objective, which will significantly increase the profits of seed based cultivation. The utilization of molecular markers at this stage for early and rapid identification of sex is important due to the lack of morphological markers. In this study, a total of two hundred Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) primers were screened among male and female Date palm plants to identify putative sex-specific marker, out of which only two primers (IS_A02 and IS_A71) were found to be associated with sex. The primer IS_A02 produced a unique band of size 390 bp and was found clearly in all female plants, while it was absent in all male plants. Contrary to this, the primer IS_A71 produced a unique band of size 380 bp and was clearly found in all male plants, whereas it was absent in all the female plants. Subsequently, these specific fragments were excised, purified, and sequenced for the development of sequence specific markers further in future for the implementation on dioecious Date Palm for sex determination. These markers are efficient, highly reliable, and reproducible for sex identification at the early stage of seedling.

DOI: 10.1155/2016/4530846

PMID: 27419132 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Zookeys. 2016 Jun 9;(597):39-56. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.597.6876. eCollection 2016.

Natural history of Javeta pallida Baly, 1858 on Phoenix palms in India (Chrysomelidae, Cassidinae, Coelaenomenoderini).

Shameem KM(1), Prathapan KD(2), Nasser M(1), Chaboo CS(3).

(1)Department of Zoology, University of Calicut, Malappuram 673 635, Kerala, India. (2)Department of Entomology, Kerala Agricultural University,Vellayani P.O., Trivandrum 695 522, Kerala, India. (3)Division of Entomology, Natural History Museum, and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1501 Crestline Dr., Suite 140, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 66049-2811, USA.

        Members of the Old World hispine tribe, Coelaenomenoderini, are documented on host plants of Arecaceae, Cyperaceae, and Zingiberales. A few species are renowned pests of oil palm, especially in Africa. The host plants and natural history of Javeta pallida Baly, 1858, the only Indian species of the tribe, is reported for the first time. These beetles can densely infest indigenous wild date palms, Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb. (Arecaceae), and also use the introduced date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L., which is an expanding crop in India. Javeta females lay single eggs and cover each with an ootheca. All larval stages mine the leaves and pupation occurs within the larval mine. Adults are exophagous, leaving linear feeding trenches. Natural and induced infestations of Javeta pallida on these two palms were observed and the potential of Javeta pallida as a pest of date palm in India is discussed. Javeta pallida completed development on Phoenix palms in 52-88 days (mean 66.38 days) with egg period 11-15 days (mean 12.8 days), larval period 21-54 days (mean 33.02 days) and pupal period 17-23 days (mean 20.52 days). Elasmus longiventris Verma and Hayat and Pediobius imbreus Walker (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitize the larva and pupa of Javeta pallida.

DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.597.6876

PMID: 27408585

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2016 Jul;29(4):1209-15.

Execution of strands thinning improves the phytochemicals and sugars profiling in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit.

Hussain I(1), Ahmad S(1), Amjad M(1), Ahmed R(2).

(1)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. (2)Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

        Date fruit is a rich and quick source of phytochemicals and sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose) which playing a vital role to nourish the human beings worldwide. The present study therefore, was conducted to explore the role of strands thinning on phytochemicals and sugars profiling in date palm (Cvs. Hillawi and Khadrawi). The experiment was comprised of different strand thinning treatments viz. @ 20% RCS (removal of central strands), 30% RCS, 20% STT (shortening of terminal tips), 30% STT, 20% RCS + 20% STT and 30% RCS+30% STT) including control. The results obtained from the current study showed that strand thinning significantly improves the level of phytochemicals and sugars in date fruit harvested at rutab stage as compared to un-thinned fruit clusters. Higher level of phytochemicals and sugars were found in fruit clusters thinned @ 30% RCS alone and in combination of 30% RCS+30%STT than other fruit thinning intensities. In conclusion; Strand thinning should be employed as an imperative managerial approach to improve the nutritional and phytochemical value of date palm fruit and to fulfill the quick energy requirement of the human body.

PMID: 27393433 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Front Plant Sci. 2016 Jun 8;7:836. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00836. eCollection 2016.

Biochemical, Transcriptional, and Bioinformatic Analysis of Lipid Droplets from Seeds of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and Their Use as Potent Sequestration Agents against the Toxic Pollutant, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxin.

Hanano A(1), Almousally I(1), Shaban M(1), Rahman F(2), Blee E(3), Murphy DJ(2).

(1)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria Damascus, Syria. (2)Genomics and Computational Biology Group, University of South Wales Pontypridd, UK. (3)Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes Strasbourg, France.

        Contamination of aquatic environments with dioxins, the most toxic group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is a major ecological issue. Dioxins are highly lipophilic and bioaccumulate in fatty tissues of marine organisms used for seafood where they constitute a potential risk for human health. Lipid droplets (LDs) purified from date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, seeds were characterized and their capacity to extract dioxins from aquatic systems was assessed. The bioaffinity of date palm LDs toward 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic congener of dioxins was determined. Fractioned LDs were spheroidal with mean diameters of 2.5 µm, enclosing an oil-rich core of 392.5 mg mL(-1). Isolated LDs did not aggregate and/or coalesce unless placed in acidic media and were strongly associated with three major groups of polypeptides of relative mass 32-37, 20-24, and 16-18 kDa. These masses correspond to the LD-associated proteins, oleosins, caleosins, and steroleosins, respectively. Efficient partitioning of TCDD into LDs occurred with a coefficient of log K LB/w,TCDD = 7.528 ± 0.024; it was optimal at neutral pH and was dependent on the presence of the oil-rich core, but was independent of the presence of LD-associated proteins. Bioinformatic analysis of the date palm genome revealed nine oleosin-like, five caleosin-like, and five steroleosin-like sequences, with predicted structures having putative lipid-binding domains that match their LD stabilizing roles and use as bio-based encapsulation systems. Transcriptomic analysis of date palm seedlings exposed to TCDD showed strong up-regulation of several caleosin and steroleosin genes, consistent with increased LD formation. The results suggest that the plant LDs could be used in ecological remediation strategies to remove POPs from aquatic environments. Recent reports suggest that several fungal and algal species also use LDs to sequester both external and internally derived hydrophobic toxins, which indicates that our approach could be used as a broader biomimetic strategy for toxin removal.

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00836

PMID: 27375673

Nutr Res. 2016 Jul;36(7):636-47. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.02.010.

Date syrup-derived polyphenols attenuate angiogenic responses and exhibits anti-inflammatory activity mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor and cyclooxygenase-2 expression in endothelial cells.

Taleb H(1), Morris RK(2), Withycombe CE(2), Maddocks SE(3), Kanekanian AD(1).

(1)Department of Healthcare and Food, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Ave, CF5 2YB, Wales, UK. (2)Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Ave, CF5 2YB, Wales, UK. (3)Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Ave, CF5 2YB, Wales, UK. Electronic address: smaddocks@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

        Bioactive components such as polyphenols, present in many plants, are purported to have anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties. Date syrup, produced from date fruit of the date palm tree, has traditionally been used to treat a wide range of diseases with etiologies involving angiogenesis and inflammation. It was hypothesized that polyphenols in date syrup reduce angiogenic responses such as cell migration, tube formation, and matrix metalloproteinase activity in an inflammatory model by exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the prostaglandin enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in endothelial cells. Date syrup polyphenols at 60 and 600μg/mL reduced inflammation and suppressed several stages of angiogenesis, including endothelial cell migration, invasion, matrix metalloproteinase activity, and tube formation, without evidence of cytotoxicity. VEGF and COX-2 expression induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha at both gene expression and protein level was significantly reduced by date syrup polyphenols in comparison to untreated cells. In conclusion, polyphenols in date syrup attenuated angiogenic responses and exhibited anti-inflammatory activity mediated by VEGF and COX-2 expression in endothelial cells.

DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.02.010

PMID: 27333954

Talanta. 2016 Aug 1;155:124-32. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.04.036.

Qualitative and quantitative spectro-chemical analysis of dates using UV-pulsed laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Mehder AO(1), Habibullah YB(2), Gondal MA(3), Baig U(2).

(1)College of Applied Medical Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. (2)Laser Research Group, Physics Department and Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. (3)Laser Research Group, Physics Department and Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: magondal@kfupm.edu.sa.

        Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is demonstrated for the spectral analysis of nutritional and toxic elements present in several varieties of date fruit samples available in the Saudi Arabia market. The method analyzes the optical emission of a test sample when subjected to pulsed laser ablation. In this demonstration, our primary focus is on calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), as nutritional elements, and on chromium (Cr), as a toxic element. The local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) condition was confirmed prior to the elemental characterization of date samples to ensure accuracy of the LIBS analysis. This was achieved by measuring parameters associated with the plasma, such as the electron temperature and the electron number density. These plasma parameters aid interpretation of processes such as ionization, dissociation, and excitation occurring in the plasma plume formed by ablating the date palm sample. The minimum detection limit was established from calibration curves that involved plotting the LIBS signal intensity as a function of standard date samples with known concentrations. The concentration of Ca and Mg detected in different varieties of date samples was between 187 and 515 and 35-196mgL(-1) respectively, while Cr concentration measured between 1.72 and 7.76mgL(-1). In order to optimize our LIBS system, we have studied how the LIBS signal intensity depends on the incident laser energy and the delay time. In order to validate our LIBS analysis results, standard techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were also applied on an identical (duplicate) date samples as those used for the LIBS analysis. The LIBS results exhibit remarkable agreement with those obtained from the ICP-MS analysis. In addition, the finger print wavelengths of other elements present in date samples were also identified and are reported here, which has not been previously reported, to the best of our knowledge.

DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.04.036

PMID: 27216665

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Aug;23(16):16857-64. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6670-9.

Identification and biotransformation of aliphatic hydrocarbons during co-composting of sewage sludge-Date Palm waste using Pyrolysis-GC/MS technique.

El Fels L(1), Lemee L(2), Ambles A(2), Hafidi M(3).

(1)Laboratoire Ecologie et Environnement (Unité associée au CNRST, URAC 32, Unité associée au CNERS), Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, BP: 2390, Morocco. loubna.elfels@gmail.com. (2)Université de Poitiers - CNRS, UMR 7285 (IC2MP), 4 rue Michel Brunet, Poitiers, 86073 Cedex 9, France. (3)Laboratoire Ecologie et Environnement (Unité associée au CNRST, URAC 32, Unité associée au CNERS), Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, BP: 2390, Morocco.

        The behavior of aliphatic hydrocarbons during co-composting of sewage sludge activated with palm tree waste was studied for 6 months using Py-GC/MS. The main aliphatic compounds represented as doublet alkenes/alkanes can be classified into three groups. The first group consists of 11 alkenes (undecene, tridecene, pentadecene, hexadecene, heptadecene, octadecene, nonadecene, eicosene, uncosene, docosene, tricosene) and 15 alkanes (heptane, octane, nonane, decane, undecane, dodecane, tetradecane, pentadecane, heptadecane, octadecane, nonadecane, eicosane, uncosane, docosane, and tricosane), which remain stable during the co-composting process. The stability of these compounds is related to their recalcitrance behavior. The second group consists of five alkenes (heptene, octene, nonene, decene, dodecene) and tridecane as a single alkane that decreases during co-composting. The decrease in these compounds is the combined result of their metabolism and their conversion into other compounds. The third group is constituted with tetradecene and hexadecane that increase during composting, which could be explained by accumulation of these compounds, which are released by the partial breakdown of the substrate. As a result, these molecules are incorporated or adsorbed in the structure of humic substances.

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-6670-9

PMID: 27197656 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Apr;24(12):11066-11077. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6785-z.

Removal of Zn(2+) and SO4(2-) from aqueous solutions on acidic and chelating dehydrated carbon.

El-Shafey EI(1), Al-Lawati HA(2), Al-Busafi S(2), Al-Shiraiqi B(2).

(1)Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 36, Al-Khoudh, 123, Oman. dr_el_shafey2004@yahoo.co.uk. (2)Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 36, Al-Khoudh, 123, Oman.

        The agricultural waste, date palm leaflets, was carbonized chemically using sulfuric acid treatment. Produced dehydrated carbon (DC) was subjected to surface functionalization using ethylene diamine producing chelating dehydrated carbon (CDC). In the process, ∼80 % of the carboxylic content on DC was converted to amide successfully. DC acts as a cation exchanger because of the high content of carboxylic groups on its surface showing acidic nature. However, CDC possesses amine and amide groups showing basic nature. Both amine and amide groups are capable of chelating Zn(2+) at high pH; however, at low pH, the amine group becomes protonated acting as anion exchanger. Sorption of Zn(2+) and SO4(2-) was investigated in terms of contact time, initial pH, concentration, and carbon reuse. Zn(2+) shows maximum sorption at initial pH 5; however, maximum sorption of SO4(2-) takes place at initial pH 2. Kinetic and equilibrium studies were carried out at initial 5 and 2 for Zn(2+)and SO4(2-), respectively. Sorption kinetics data follow well the pseudo second-order model. The equilibrium sorption data follow the Langmuir isotherm more than the Freundlich isotherm. CDC shows better sorption performance for Zn(2+) and SO4(2-) than DC. DC and CDC show combined equimolar removal of both Zn(2+) and SO4(2-) at initial pH 2.3 and 2.6, respectively, with efficient recycle properties. Combined removal of Zn(2+) and SO4(2-) from spiked municipal wastewater shows less uptake on both carbons than from deionized water.

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-6785-z

PMID: 27155837 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Mar;10(3):FF06-12. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/16879.7419.

In Vivo Evaluation of Anti Diabetic, Hypolipidemic, Antioxidative Activities of Saudi Date Seed Extract on Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats.

Hasan M(1), Mohieldein A(2).

(1)Lecturer, Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . (2)Associate Professor, Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia .

        INTRODUCTION: Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) is major fruit of gulf region. In folk medicine; dates have been traditionally use. The date seed is used as hypoglycaemic, expectorant, tonic, aphrodisiac, antidiarrheic and mouth hygiene. AIM: This study intended to evaluate the anti-diabetic, hypolipidaemic and antioxidative activities of date seed extract in diabetes-induced rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total of seven groups of rats, consisting of control rats and streptozotocin induced diabetic rats treated with aqueous seed extract in concentration of 100g/L in dosage of 10ml/day/rat. To evaluate the anti-diabetic property, glucose and weight was analysed weekly and at the end of eight week all rats were sacrificed. To evaluate the hypolipidaemic and antioxidative activities, serum cholesterol, triglyceride, malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine were estimated. Liver enzymes and kidney function tests were performed. Moreover to verify the glycaemic effect; glycated haemoglobin and serum insulin was performed. RESULTS: Aqueous seed extract in concentration of 100 gm/L in dosage of 10ml/day/rat brings a significant reduction of blood glucose levels in diabetic rats in comparison of control rats. There were significant differences in the investigated clinical chemistry and oxidative stress parameters between control and diabetic rats with both seed extract of Ajwa and Sukkari dates. CONCLUSION: Present study verifies the antidiabetic property, of aqueous seed extracts of two different varieties of dates namely Ajwa and Sukkari of Kingdom of Saudi on streptozotocin induced Diabetic rats. Prolong treatments with the extract restores the function of liver and kidney and balance the oxidative stress condition in diabetic treated rats.

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/16879.7419

PMID: 27134893

J Evol Biol. 2016 Aug;29(8):1513-22. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12887.

Evolution of sex chromosomes prior to speciation in the dioecious Phoenix species.

Cherif E(1)(2), Zehdi-Azouzi S(2), Crabos A(1), Castillo K(1), Chabrillange N(1), Pintaud JC(3), Salhi-Hannachi A(2), Glémin S(4)(5), Aberlenc-Bertossi F(1).

(1)IRD/CIRAD F2F-palm group, UMR DIADE, Centre IRD, Montpellier, France. (2)Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Faculté des sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, El Manar, Tunisia. (3)Dynadiv, UMR DIADE, Centre IRD, Montpellier, France. (4)Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5554 (Université de Montpellier-CNRS-IRD-EPHE), Montpellier, France. (5)Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

        Understanding the driving forces and molecular processes underlying dioecy and sex chromosome evolution, leading from hermaphroditism to the occurrence of male and female individuals, is of considerable interest in fundamental and applied research. The genus Phoenix, belonging to the Arecaceae family, consists uniquely of dioecious species. Phylogenetic data suggest that the genus Phoenix has diverged from a hermaphroditic ancestor which is also shared with its closest relatives. We have investigated the cessation of recombination in the sex-determination region within the genus Phoenix as a whole by extending the analysis of P. dactylifera SSR sex-related loci to eight other species within the genus. Phylogenetic analysis of a date palm sex-linked PdMYB1 gene in these species has revealed that sex-linked alleles have not clustered in a species-dependent way but rather in X and Y-allele clusters. Our data show that sex chromosomes evolved from a common autosomal origin before the diversification of the extant dioecious species.

DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12887

PMID: 27118680

Pest Manag Sci. 2017 Feb;73(2):452-461. doi: 10.1002/ps.4305.

Linking pollen quality and performance of Neoseiulus californicus (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in two-spotted spider mite management programmes.

Khanamani M(1), Fathipour Y(1), Talebi AA(1), Mehrabadi M(1).

(1)Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

        BACKGROUND: It has been shown that pollen as a dietary supplement may increase the establishment of generalist predatory mites, and therefore pest control by these mites can be provided. Life table studies were performed to evaluate the nutritional value of seven different pollens (almond, castor-bean, date-palm, maize, bitter-orange, sunflower and mixed bee pollen) as a supplementary food source for the spider mite predator Neoseiulus californicus McGregor. In addition, the nutritional quality of each pollen species was assessed through morphological and chemical analysis. RESULTS: Preadult duration was longer when the predator fed on castor-bean pollen (10.01 days) and bee pollen (9.94 days) compared with the others (5.58-7.27 days). The cohort reared on almond pollen had the highest intrinsic rate of increase (r) (0.231 day(-1) ), and those on mixed bee pollen had the lowest r (0.005 day(-1) ). The levels of nutritional content (sugar, lipid and protein) were significantly different among tested pollens. CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of N. californicus life table parameters on different diets revealed that the almond pollen (and after that the maize pollen) was a more suitable diet than the others. These findings will be useful in developing appropriate strategies for conservation of N. californicus to control spider mites. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

DOI: 10.1002/ps.4305

PMID: 27117203 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1391:357-66. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3332-7_25.

Somatic Embryogenesis of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Through Cell Suspension Culture.

Naik PM(1), Al-Khayri JM(2).

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Hassa, 31982, Saudi Arabia. jkhayri@kfu.edu.sa.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is the oldest and most economically important plant species distributed in the hot arid regions of the world. Propagation of date palm by seeds produces heterogeneous offspring with inferior field performance and poor fruit quality. Traditionally, date palm is propagated by offshoots, but this method is inefficient for mass propagation because of limited availability of offshoots. Plant regeneration through tissue culture is able to provide technologies for the large-scale propagation of healthy true-to-type plants. The most commonly used technology approach is somatic embryogenesis which presents a great potential for the rapid propagation and genetic resource preservation of this species. Significant progress has been made in the development and optimization of this regeneration pathway through the establishment of embryogenic suspension cultures. This chapter focuses on the methods employed for the induction of callus from shoot tip explants, establishment of cell suspension culture, and subsequent somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3332-7_25

PMID: 27108330

J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jun 20;186:362-368. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.04.013.

In vitro effects of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen on colonization of neonate mouse spermatogonial stem cells.

Mahaldashtian M(1), Naghdi M(2), Ghorbanian MT(3), Makoolati Z(4), Movahedin M(5), Mohamadi SM(5).

(1)Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biology, Damghan University, Semnan, Iran. Electronic address: mahaldashtian.m@gmail.com. (2)Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran. Electronic address: majidnaghdi@yahoo.com. (3)Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biology, Damghan University, Semnan, Iran. Electronic address: mt.ghorbanian000@gmail.com. (4)Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran. Electronic address: zohreh1438@yahoo.com. (5)Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

        ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen (DPP) is widely used as a folk remedy for male infertility treatment, and has well known medicinal effects. AIM OF THE STUDY: This study aimed to determine the in vitro effects of DPP on the efficiency of neonate mouse spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) proliferation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sertoli and SSCs were isolated from 6 to 10-days-old mouse testes, and their identity was confirmed using immunocytochemistry against cytokeratin for sertoli cells and PLZF, Oct-4 and CDH-1 for SSCs. Isolated testicular cells were cultured in the absence or presence of 0.06, 0.25 and 0.62mg/ml concentrations of DPP aqueous extract for 2 weeks. The number and diameter of SSC colonies were assessed during third, 7th, 9th and 14th day of culture, and the expression of the Mvh, GFRα-1 and Oct-4 was evaluated using quantitative PCR at the end of the culture period. The significance of the data was analyzed using ANOVA and paired samples t-test and Tukey and Bonferroni test as post hoc tests at the level of p≤0.05. RESULTS: Pattern assay of colony formation showed that SSCs numbers increased in the present of 0.62mg/ml concentration of DPP extract with higher slop relative to other groups (P <0.05). Colony diameters had no significant difference between groups in 3th, 7th, 9th and 14th days after culture. The Mvh and Oct-4 genes expression had no significant difference between groups, while GFRα1 expression was increased significantly in cells treated with 0.06mg/ml concentration relative to other groups (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: It seems that co-culture of SSCs with sertoli sells in the presence of low doses of DPP can increase SSCs proliferation and keep their stemness state, while higher concentrations can differentiate the treated cells.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.04.013

PMID: 27084457 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Jul;88:443-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.04.015.

Phoenix dactylifera L. sap enhances wound healing in Wistar rats: Phytochemical and histological assessment.

Abdennabi R(1), Bardaa S(2), Mehdi M(3), Rateb ME(4), Raab A(5), Alenezi FN(6), Sahnoun Z(2), Gharsallah N(1), Belbahri L(7).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, B.P. 1171, 3000, University of Sfax, 3029 Sfax, Tunisia. (2)Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia. (3)Laboratory of Cytogenetic and Reproductive Biology, Maternity and Neonatology Center of Monastir, Tunisia. (4)University of West of Scotland, School of Science & Sport, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK. (5)University of Aberdeen, Department of Chemistry, Meston Building, Meston Walk, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, Scotland, UK. (6)NextBiotech, 98 Rue Ali Belhouane, 3030 Agareb, Tunisia. (7)NextBiotech, 98 Rue Ali Belhouane, 3030 Agareb, Tunisia; Laboratory of Soil Biology, University of Neuchatel, 11 Rue Emile Argand, CH-2000 Neuchatel, Switzerland. Electronic address: lassaad.belbahri@unine.ch.

        The sap of the date palm "Lagmi" is a clear liquid, rich in sugars and minerals, with a pleasant flavour. Folk remedies based on the use of "Lagmi" for wound healing are still practiced. However, no studies investigated the relevance of "Lagmi" for wound healing. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the in vivo healing properties of "lagmi" on mechanically wounded wistar rats. Injured rats were divided into three groups: a first group treated by "lagmi", a second reference group processed by CICAFLORA(®) and a third untreated control group. On the 12th day of the experiment, total healing in the first group was reached, while healing was incomplete in the other groups. The sap seems to accelerate cell proliferation and contribute to faster healing with a gain of more than 30% as compared to CICAFLORA(®). Chemical Analysis of "Lagmi" showed important radical scavenging activity and high total antioxidant capacity. Features reported to help healing process and/or provides a favourable environment for tissue healing in wound sites. Extensive characterization of "Lagmi" phenolic and flavonoid compounds by High Resolution LC-MS (LC-HRESIMS) analysis indicates "Lagmi" is an important source of known anti-inflammatory compounds as well as promising wound healing candidates.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.04.015

PMID: 27064088 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

EXCLI J. 2016 Feb 5;15:85-94. doi: 10.17179/excli2015-689. eCollection 2016.

Phytochemical evaluation, antioxidant assay, antibacterial activity and determination of cell viability (J774 and THP1 alpha cell lines) of P. sylvestris leaf crude and methanol purified fractions. Sharma DC(1), Shukla R(1), Ali J(1), Sharma S(1), Bajpai P(1), Pathak N(1).

(1)Department of Biosciences, Integral University Lucknow, India-226026.

        Phoenix sylvestris (Arecaceae family) known as Indian Date Palm has been identified as a component of traditional medicine against various ailments. The present study was focused on phytochemical screening of crude hexane, dichloromethane and methanol leaf extracts. The crude extracts showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenols in the plant leaves. In the study methanol extract was found most potent, so this extract was further fractionated by column chromatography and 9 methanol purified fractions (MPFs) were isolated. Most potential MPF8 (20:80 chloroform: methanol ratio fraction) significantly enhanced free radicals and antibacterial activity. The best MIC (Minimum inhibitory concentration) of MPF8 was investigated against M. luteus and E. coli at 1 mg/ml concentration. However, against other bacteria the MIC ranged from 1 mg/ml to 3 mg/ml. The GC-MS analysis showed the presence of many biologically active compounds such as alcohols, flavonoids, aromatic compounds, aldehydes, terpenoids fatty acid methyl esters, and phenolics. Pentadecanoic acid occupied maximum (52 %) area in GC-MS profiling. MPF8 was assayed for in-vitro cytotoxicity by MTT assay which confirms its less cytotoxicity at lower concentration and also significant ROS determination against J774 and THP1 cell lines after 2 and 4 hours.

DOI: 10.17179/excli2015-689

PMID: 27047320

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2017 Feb;101(1):53-60. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12504.

Effect of increasing levels of wasted date palm on digestion, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis in sheep.

Khezri A(1), Dayani O(1), Tahmasbi R(1).

(1)Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

        This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of increasing levels of wasted date (WD) in sheep (initial body weight 50 ± 2.3 kg) diets on apparent diet digestibility, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis. The experimental diets contained 0 (0 WD), 9% (9 WD), 18% (18 WD) or 27% (27 WD) of wasted dates. These diets were evaluated through a 4 × 4 Latin square design with four 28-day periods. Sheep were individually housed in metabolic cages and were fed diets ad libitum. To keep the diets isoenergetic and isonitrogenous, increasing partial replacement of WD for barley grain was used with increasing levels of soya bean meal. Increasing the amount of WD in diets of sheep did not influence (p > 0.05) diet intake and digestibility of nutrients. Inclusion of WD in diets of sheep did not affect (p > 0.05) ruminal pH but decreased (p < 0.05) NH3 -N concentration and blood urea nitrogen. Also there was no effect (p > 0.05) of the WD provision on N intake and faecal N loss of experimental animals, but urinary nitrogen excretion and retained nitrogen were affected (p < 0.05) by dietary treatments. Purine derivatives and microbial protein synthesis increased (p < 0.05) linearly with the level of WD in the diet. In conclusion, the increase in microbial protein synthesis and concomitant reduction in ruminal NH3 -N concentration and blood urea nitrogen in response to wasted date supply suggest improved efficiency of ruminal nitrogen metabolism without adverse effects on fermentation characteristics and animal performance.

DOI: 10.1111/jpn.12504

PMID: 27039841 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2016 May;52:298-308. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2016.03.152.

Impact of date palm fruits extracts and probiotic enriched diet on antioxidant status, innate immune response and immune-related gene expression of European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

Guardiola FA(1), Porcino C(2), Cerezuela R(1), Cuesta A(1), Faggio C(2), Esteban MA(3).

(1)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain. (2)Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, Viale F. Stagnod'Alcontres, 31, 98166, Messina, Italy. (3)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain. Electronic address: aesteban@um.es.

        The application of additives in the diet as plants or extracts of plants as natural and innocuous compounds has potential in aquaculture as an alternative to antibiotics and immunoprophylactics. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the potential effects of dietary supplementation of date palm fruit extracts alone or in combination with Pdp11 probiotic on serum antioxidant status, on the humoral and cellular innate immune status, as well as, on the expression levels of some immune-related genes in head-kidney and gut of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) after 2 and 4 weeks of administration. This study showed for the first time in European sea bass an immunostimulation in several of the parameters evaluated in fish fed with date palm fruits extracts enriched diet or fed with this substance in combination with Pdp 11 probiotic, mainly after 4 weeks of treatment. In the same way, dietary supplementation of mixture diet has positive effects on the expression levels of immune-related genes, chiefly in head-kidney of Dicentrarchus labrax. Therefore, the combination of both could be considered of great interest as potential additives for farmed fish.

DOI: 10.1016/j.fsi.2016.03.152

PMID: 27033470 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Molecules. 2016 Mar 26;21(4):419. doi: 10.3390/molecules21040419.

Antibacterial Properties and Effects of Fruit Chilling and Extract Storage on Antioxidant Activity, Total Phenolic and Anthocyanin Content of Four Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) Cultivars.

Samad MA(1), Hashim SH(2), Simarani K(3), Yaacob JS(4)(5).

(1)Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. azizan_12@siswa.um.edu.my. (2)Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. hajarhashim93@gmail.com. (3)Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. hanom_ss@um.edu.my. (4)Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. jamilahsyafawati@um.edu.my. (5)Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture (CEBAR), Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. jamilahsyafawati@um.edu.my.

        Phoenix dactylifera or date palm fruits are reported to contain natural compounds that exhibit antioxidant and antibacterial properties. This research aimed to study the effect of fruit chilling at 4 °C for 8 weeks, extract storage at -20 °C for 5 weeks, and extraction solvents (methanol or acetone) on total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity and antibacterial properties of Saudi Arabian P. dactylifera cv Mabroom, Safawi and Ajwa, as well as Iranian P. dactylifera cv Mariami. The storage stability of total anthocyanin content (TAC) was also evaluated, before and after storing the extracts at -20 °C and 4 °C respectively, for 5 weeks. Mariami had the highest TAC (3.18 ± 1.40 mg cyd 3-glu/100 g DW) while Mabroom had the lowest TAC (0.54 ± 0.15 mg cyd 3-glu/100 g DW). The TAC of all extracts increased after storage. The chilling of date palm fruits for 8 weeks prior to solvent extraction elevated the TPC of all date fruit extracts, except for methanolic extracts of Mabroom and Mariami. All IC50 values of all cultivars decreased after the fruit chilling treatment. Methanol was a better solvent compared to acetone for the extraction of phenolic compounds in dates. The TPC of all cultivars extracts decreased after 5 weeks of extract storage. IC50 values of all cultivars extracts increased after extract storage except for the methanolic extracts of Safawi and Ajwa. Different cultivars exhibited different antibacterial properties. Only the methanolic extract of Ajwa exhibited antibacterial activity against all four bacteria tested: Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Serratia marcescens and Escherichia coli. These results could be useful to the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries in the development of natural compound-based products.

DOI: 10.3390/molecules21040419

PMID: 27023514 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 24;11(3):e0152394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152394. eCollection 2016.

The Domestication Syndrome in Phoenix dactylifera Seeds: Toward the Identification of Wild Date Palm Populations.

Gros-Balthazard M(1)(2), Newton C(1)(3), Ivorra S(1), Pierre MH(1), Pintaud JC(2), Terral JF(1).

(1)Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université - Montpellier, UMR 5554 CNRS / Université de Montpellier / IRD / EPHE, CC065, Equipe Dynamique de la Biodiversité, Anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095, Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (2)UMR DIADE, équipe DYNADIV, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 911 avenue Agropolis, 34394, Montpellier cedex 5, France. (3)Laboratoire d'Archéologie et de Patrimoine, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski (Qc), G5L 3AI, Canada.

        Investigating crop origins is a priority to understand the evolution of plants under domestication, develop strategies for conservation and valorization of agrobiodiversity and acquire fundamental knowledge for cultivar improvement. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) belongs to the genus Phoenix, which comprises 14 species morphologically very close, sometimes hardly distinguishable. It has been cultivated for millennia in the Middle East and in North Africa and constitutes the keystone of oasis agriculture. Yet, its origins remain poorly understood as no wild populations are identified. Uncultivated populations have been described but they might represent feral, i.e. formerly cultivated, abandoned forms rather than truly wild populations. In this context, this study based on morphometrics applied to 1625 Phoenix seeds aims to (1) differentiate Phoenix species and (2) depict the domestication syndrome observed in cultivated date palm seeds using other Phoenix species as a "wild" reference. This will help discriminate truly wild from feral forms, thus providing new insights into the evolutionary history of this species. Seed size was evaluated using four parameters: length, width, thickness and dorsal view surface. Seed shape was quantified using outline analyses based on the Elliptic Fourier Transform method. The size and shape of seeds allowed an accurate differentiation of Phoenix species. The cultivated date palm shows distinctive size and shape features, compared to other Phoenix species: seeds are longer and elongated. This morphological shift may be interpreted as a domestication syndrome, resulting from the long-term history of cultivation, selection and human-mediated dispersion. Based on seed attributes, some uncultivated date palms from Oman may be identified as wild. This opens new prospects regarding the possible existence and characterization of relict wild populations and consequently for the understanding of the date palm origins. Finally, we here describe a pipeline for the identification of the domestication syndrome in seeds that could be used in other crops.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152394

PMID: 27010707 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Apr;22(4):664-70. doi: 10.3201/eid2204.151747.

Nipah Virus Transmission from Bats to Humans Associated with Drinking Traditional Liquor Made from Date Palm Sap, Bangladesh, 2011-2014.

Islam MS, Sazzad HM, Satter SM, Sultana S, Hossain MJ, Hasan M, Rahman M, Campbell S, Cannon DL, Ströher U, Daszak P, Luby SP, Gurley ES.

        Nipah virus (NiV) is a paramyxovirus, and Pteropus spp. bats are the natural reservoir. From December 2010 through March 2014, hospital-based encephalitis surveillance in Bangladesh identified 18 clusters of NiV infection. The source of infection for case-patients in 3 clusters in 2 districts was unknown. A team of epidemiologists and anthropologists investigated these 3 clusters comprising 14 case-patients, 8 of whom died. Among the 14 case-patients, 8 drank fermented date palm sap (tari) regularly before their illness, and 6 provided care to a person infected with NiV. The process of preparing date palm trees for tari production was similar to the process of collecting date palm sap for fresh consumption. Bat excreta was reportedly found inside pots used to make tari. These findings suggest that drinking tari is a potential pathway of NiV transmission. Interventions that prevent bat access to date palm sap might prevent tari-associated NiV infection.

DOI: 10.3201/eid2204.151747

PMID: 26981928 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2016 Jul 15;203:175-82. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.02.055.

Effect of ultrafiltration process on physico-chemical, rheological, microstructure and thermal properties of syrups from male and female date palm saps.

Makhlouf-Gafsi I(1), Baklouti S(2), Mokni A(1), Danthine S(3), Attia H(1), Blecker C(3), Besbes S(4), Masmoudi M(1).

(1)University of Sfax/National School of Engineers of Sfax, Dept. of Biology, Laboratory of Analysis Valorisation and Food Safety, Soukra Road, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia. (2)University of Sfax/National School of Engineers of Sfax, Research Unit of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, Soukra Road, 3038, Tunisia. (3)University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Biotech, Lab. of Food Science and Formulation, Passage des Déportés, 2, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium. (4)University of Sfax/National School of Engineers of Sfax, Dept. of Biology, Laboratory of Analysis Valorisation and Food Safety, Soukra Road, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia; University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Biotech, Lab. of Food Science and Formulation, Passage des Déportés, 2, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium. Electronic address: besbes_souhail@yahoo.fr.

        This study investigates the effect of the ultrafiltration process on physicochemical, rheological, microstructure and thermal properties of syrups from male and female date palm sap. All the studied syrups switched from pseudoplastic rheological behaviour (n=0.783) to Newtonian behaviour (n∼1) from 10 to 50 °C respectively and present similar thermal profiles. Results revealed that the ultrafiltration process significantly affects the rheological behaviour of the male and female syrups. These differences on rheological properties are attributed to the variation of chemical composition between sap and sap permeate syrups. Furthermore, the effect of temperature on viscosity of the syrups was investigated during heating and cooling processes at the same shear rate (50s(-1)). This study provides idea of the stability of the syrup by evaluating the area between heating and cooling curves. Actually, the syrup prepared from male sap permeate is the most stable between the four studied syrups.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.02.055

PMID: 26948603 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Pharm. 2016 May 17;504(1-2):39-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.02.049.

Macroporous natural capsules extracted from Phoenix dactylifera L. spore and their application in oral drugs delivery.

Alshehri SM(1), Al-Lohedan HA(2), Al-Farraj E(1), Alhokbany N(1), Chaudhary AA(3), Ahamad T(4).

(1)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia; Surfactant Research Chair, Department of Chemistry, King Saud University, P.O. Box-2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (3)College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh 11432, Saudi Arabia. (4)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: tahamed@ksu.edu.sa.

        Macroporous natural sporopollenin exine capsules (SEC) were extracted from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and coated by natural polymer composite (carboxymethyl cellulose with epichlorohydrin). The polymer coated exine capsules (PCEC) were used in in-vitro investigations for controlled delivery of paracetamol. SEC, PCEC, and drugs loaded capsules (PCEC-PAR) were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), surface area (BET), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The length of SEC was found to be 20-20.5 μm, and the pore sized was 50-135 nm, as measured using SEM. The studies revealed that maximum loading of the drug was at pH 6.0 (97.2%, with 50 mg mL(-1)). The results indicate that by increasing the pH from 1.4 to 7.4, the cumulative release rates of paracetamol in physiological buffer solution (PBS) is more than two times as in simulated gastric fluid (SGF). In addition, the in-vitro toxicity of PCEC against Caco-2 cells was tested by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and the results revealed that PCEC are biocompatible materials. The overall results encourage further studies on the clinical use of PCEC as drug carriers.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.02.049

PMID: 26945735 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Biol. 2016 Jan;37(1):141-7.

Evaluation of pollen germination of some palm males and pollination impact on bunch weight and fruit quality in Kadary date palm cultivar (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Soliman SS, Al-Saif AM, Al-Obeed RS.

        The present study was carried out during two successive seasons (2013-2014) at the Research and Agriculture Experiment Station, Dirab, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh. Pollen grains, used in this trial, were collected from eleven male, namely Succary, Menify, Sallag, Dikhiny, Nabout Zamel, Serry, Khalas, Shagra, Safry, Maktumi and Kadary in order to pollinate female Kadary date palm cultivar. Results indicated that pollens of Safry male followed by Succary, Menify and Serry males increased the physical and biochemical characteristics of fruits during both seasons. Also, all the studied characters were significantly affected with different pollen males used in this trial. Pollens of Safry male gave highest fruit retention and bunch weight and best fruit quality like fruit and flesh weight, fruit size and fruit length and fruit biochemical properties as compared with other male. In vitro pollen germination of eleven males was studied using various concentration of sucrose (4, 6, 8 and 10%). The results showed that best germination was achieved with 8% sucrose concentration; however, 10% sucrose resulted in reduced percentage of pollen germination. In addition, pollen tube growth of five males (Succary, Sallag, Nabout-Zamel, Khalas and Safry) at 8% sucrose was alsostudied at 2, 4, 6 and 24 hr time interval. Elongation rate of pollen tube increased significantly after 24 hrs and it was found that pollens of Safry male gave highest pollen tube growth after 24 hrs than pollens of other male.

PMID: 26930872 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Pak J Biol Sci. 2016 Jan;19(1):11-25.

Mold-Ripened Soft Cheeses Fortified with Date Palm Fruit Product as Functional Dairy Products.

Al-Otaibi MM, Haddadin JS, Haddadin MS.

        Date fruit based products are gaining popularity among the consumers in almost all date growing countries due to its added nutritional value. Therefore, novel products were developed by combining two types of foods i.e., soft ripened cheeses and date fruit syrups or date powder. This study is the first to report the surface mold-ripened cheese production with date syrup and date powder. Model cheeses were prepared from pasteurized milk inoculated with Streptococcus thermophilus, Penicillium camemberti and Geotrichum candidum. Date syrup-1, date syrup-2, date powder or the date mixture were added at the stage of curdling. Based on the kinetic growth of the microbial groups in all the treatments, there was no change in the growth of these in various date palm product. On the contrary It may be said that addition of the date fruit product supports their growth. After 35 days, the amounts of total poly phenols were 128.3 ± 1.01, 81.8 ± 1.11, 33.5 ± 2.19, 156.23 ± 1.27 mg GAE/100 g in the cheeses support with date syrup-1, date syrup-2, date powder or the date mixture, respectively. Antioxidant activity of date fruits ranged from 80.13 IC50 (date syrup-2) to 82.23 IC50 (date syrup-1). Based on the chemical characteristics and sensory analysis, the study results showed the potential for innovative application of date products for developing new functional dairy products as an ideal medium for the delivery of biological active compounds with beneficial health effects over.

PMID: 26930796 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Jun;128:100-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2016.02.015.

Exogenous proline mediates alleviation of cadmium stress by promoting photosynthetic activity, water status and antioxidative enzymes activities of young date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Zouari M(1), Ben Ahmed Ch(2), Zorrig W(3), Elloumi N(4), Rabhi M(3), Delmail D(5), Ben Rouina B(6), Labrousse P(7), Ben Abdallah F(4).

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Dynamics of Ecosystems in Arid Area, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratory of Improvement of Olive Productivity and Fruit Trees, Olive Tree Institute of Sfax, Tunisia; University of Limoges, Faculty of Pharmacy, FR 3503 GEIST, GRESE EA 4330 - Laboratory of Botany and Cryptogamy, 87025 Limoges Cedex, France. Electronic address: mohamedzouari2@gmail.com. (2)Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Dynamics of Ecosystems in Arid Area, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratory of Improvement of Olive Productivity and Fruit Trees, Olive Tree Institute of Sfax, Tunisia. (3)Laboratory of Extremophile Plants, Centre of Biotechnology of Borj-Cedria, Hammam-Lif, Tunisia. (4)Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and Dynamics of Ecosystems in Arid Area, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia. (5)Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes, CNRS UMR 6226, University of Rennes 1, 2 Avenue of Professor Léon Bernard, F-35043 Rennes, France. (6)Laboratory of Improvement of Olive Productivity and Fruit Trees, Olive Tree Institute of Sfax, Tunisia. (7)University of Limoges, Faculty of Pharmacy, FR 3503 GEIST, GRESE EA 4330 - Laboratory of Botany and Cryptogamy, 87025 Limoges Cedex, France. Electronic address: pascal.labrousse@unilim.fr.

        The ability of exogenous compatible solutes, such as proline, to counteract cadmium (Cd) inhibitory effects in young date palm plants (Phoenix dactylifera L. cv Deglet Nour) was investigated. Two-year-old date palm plants were subjected for five months at different Cd stress levels (0, 10 and 30 mg CdCl2 kg(-1) soil) whether supplied or not with exogenous proline (20mM) added through the irrigation water. Different levels of Cd stress altered plant growth, gas exchanges and chlorophyll content as well as water status, but at different extent among them. In contrast, an increase of antioxidant enzymes activities of Cd-treated plants in association with high amounts of proline content, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and electrolyte leakage (EL) were observed. Interestingly, exogenous proline mitigated the adverse effects of Cd on young date palm. Indeed, it alleviated the oxidative damage induced by Cd accumulation and established better levels of plant growth, water status and photosynthetic activity. Moreover, proline-treated plants showed high antioxidant enzymes activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxydase) in roots and leaves as compared to Cd-treated plants.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2016.02.015

PMID: 26901506 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genetica. 2016 Apr;144(2):181-90. doi: 10.1007/s10709-016-9888-z.

Endemic insular and coastal Tunisian date palm genetic diversity.

Zehdi-Azouzi S(1), Cherif E(2)(3), Guenni K(2), Abdelkrim AB(2), Bermil A(2), Rhouma S(2), Salah MB(4), Santoni S(5), Pintaud JC(3), Aberlenc-Bertossi F(3), Hannachi AS(2).

(1)Laboratoire de génétique moléculaire immunologie et biotechnologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire, 2092, El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. szehdi@gmail.com. (2)Laboratoire de génétique moléculaire immunologie et biotechnologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire, 2092, El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. (3)IRD, UMR DIADE F2F and DYNADIV Teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394, Montpellier Cedex 5, France. (4)Centre Régional de Recherche en Agriculture Oasienne, 2260, Degueche, Tunisia. (5)INRA, UMR 1097 Diversité et Adaptation des Plantes Cultivées, 2 Place Viala, 34060, Montpellier Cedex 1, France.

        The breeding of crop species relies on the valorisation of ancestral or wild varieties to enrich the cultivated germplasm. The Tunisian date palm genetic patrimony is being threatened by diversity loss and global climate change. We have conducted a genetic study to evaluate the potential of spontaneous coastal resources to improve the currently exploited Tunisian date palm genetic pool. Eighteen microsatellite loci of Phoenix dactylifera L. were used to compare the genetic diversity of coastal accessions from Kerkennah, Djerba, Gabès and continental date palm accessions from Tozeur. A collection of 105 date palms from the four regions was analysed. This study has provided us with an extensive understanding of the local genetic diversity and its distribution. The coastal date palm genotypes exhibit a high and specific genetic diversity. These genotypes are certainly an untapped reservoir of agronomically important genes to improve cultivated germplasm in continental date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/s10709-016-9888-z

PMID: 26895027 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Microb Pathog. 2016 Apr;93:158-65. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.02.006.

Molecular identification of potential denitrifying bacteria and use of D-optimal mixture experimental design for the optimization of denitrification process.

Ben Taheur F(1), Fdhila K(1), Elabed H(1), Bouguerra A(1), Kouidhi B(2), Bakhrouf A(1), Chaieb K(3).

(1)Laboratory of Analysis, Treatment and Valorization of Environmental Pollutants and Products, Faculty of Pharmacy, Monastir University, Tunisia. (2)College of Applied Medical Sciences, Medical Laboratory Department, Yanbu el Bahr, Taibah University, Al Madinah Al Monawarah, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: bochrak@yahoo.fr. (3)College of Sciences, Biology Department, Yanbu el Bahr, Taibah University, Al Madinah Al Monawarah, Saudi Arabia.

        Three bacterial strains (TE1, TD3 and FB2) were isolated from date palm (degla), pistachio and barley. The presence of nitrate reductase (narG) and nitrite reductase (nirS and nirK) genes in the selected strains was detected by PCR technique. Molecular identification based on 16S rDNA sequencing method was applied to identify positive strains. In addition, the D-optimal mixture experimental design was used to optimize the optimal formulation of probiotic bacteria for denitrification process. Strains harboring denitrification genes were identified as: TE1, Agrococcus sp LN828197; TD3, Cronobacter sakazakii LN828198 and FB2, Pedicoccus pentosaceus LN828199. PCR results revealed that all strains carried the nirS gene. However only C. sakazakii LN828198 and Agrococcus sp LN828197 harbored the nirK and the narG genes respectively. Moreover, the studied bacteria were able to form biofilm on abiotic surfaces with different degree. Process optimization showed that the most significant reduction of nitrate was 100% with 14.98% of COD consumption and 5.57 mg/l nitrite accumulation. Meanwhile, the response values were optimized and showed that the most optimal combination was 78.79% of C. sakazakii LN828198 (curve value), 21.21% of P. pentosaceus LN828199 (curve value) and absence (0%) of Agrococcus sp LN828197 (curve value).

DOI: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.02.006

PMID: 26893037 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Braz J Microbiol. 2016 Jan-Mar;47(1):110-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bjm.2015.11.015.

Enzymatic saccharification and fermentation of cellulosic date palm wastes to glucose and lactic acid.

Alrumman SA(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, King Khalid University, P.O. Box 3100, Abha 61417, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: salrumman@kku.edu.sa.

        The bioconversion of cellulosic wastes into high-value bio-products by saccharification and fermentation processes is an important step that can reduce the environmental pollution caused by agricultural wastes. In this study, enzymatic saccharification of treated and untreated date palm cellulosic wastes by the cellulases from Geobacillus stearothermophilus was optimized. The alkaline pre-treatment of the date palm wastes was found to be effective in increasing the saccharification percentage. The maximum rate of saccharification was found at a substrate concentration of 4% and enzyme concentration of 30 FPU/g of substrate. The optimum pH and temperature for the bioconversions were 5.0 and 50°C, respectively, after 24h of incubation, with a yield of 31.56mg/mL of glucose at a saccharification degree of 71.03%. The saccharification was increased to 94.88% by removal of the hydrolysate after 24h by using a two-step hydrolysis. Significant lactic acid production (27.8mg/mL) was obtained by separate saccharification and fermentation after 72h of incubation. The results indicate that production of fermentable sugar and lactic acid is feasible and may reduce environmental pollution by using date palm wastes as a cheap substrate.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bjm.2015.11.015

PMID: 26887233 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Eur J Pharm Sci. 2016 Jun 10;88:158-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2016.02.004.

Delivery of ibuprofen by natural macroporous sporopollenin exine capsules extracted from Phoenix dactylifera L.

Alshehri SM(1), Al-Lohedan HA(2), Chaudhary AA(3), Al-Farraj E(4), Alhokbany N(4), Issa Z(4), Alhousine S(3), Ahamad T(5).

(1)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: alshehri@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia; Surfactant Research Chair, Department of Chemistry, King Saud University, P.O. Box-2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (3)College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh 11432, Saudi Arabia. (4)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. (5)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: tahamed@ksu.edu.sa.

        Sporopollenin macroporous capsules (SMCs) were extracted from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) spores and coated by a natural polymer composite (chitosan with glutaraldehyde). The polymer coated macroporous capsules SMC@poly were used in the in vitro-controlled delivery of ibuprofen. The materials obtained were characterized through spectral, thermal, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms. The IBU loading and releasing was studied by investigating the changes in various factors such as pH, temperature, and initial concentration. The results revealed that the loading of IBU increased when the concentration of IBU was decreased, following the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. The maximum loading of the IBU was observed at pH6.0 (97.2%, with 50mg/mL). The releasing results indicate that IBU was released faster when the pH was changed from 1.4 to 7.4. In addition, the cytotoxicity of the SMC, SMC@poly, and SMC@poly-IBU were tested against human intestinal Caco-2 cell line using MTT assay, and the results revea'led that all the materials in this study were biocompatible.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2016.02.004

PMID: 26872877 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Waste Manag. 2016 Apr;50:194-200. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.02.002.

Artemia salina as a new index for assessment of acute cytotoxicity during co-composting of sewage sludge and lignocellulose waste.

El Fels L(1), Hafidi M(2), Ouhdouch Y(3).

(1)Laboratory of Ecology and Environment (L2E) (Unit Associated with the CNRST, URAC32), Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, BP: 2390 Marrakech, Morocco. Electronic address: loubna.elfels@gmail.com. (2)Laboratory of Ecology and Environment (L2E) (Unit Associated with the CNRST, URAC32), Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, BP: 2390 Marrakech, Morocco. (3)Laboratory of Biology and Biotechnology of Microorganisms, School of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, BP: 2390 Marrakech, Morocco.

        Considering the necessity to constantly monitor the safety of use of sewage sludge, we have focused on evaluating the toxicity of raw sludge and sludge treated by co-composting with date palm waste using an in vitro assessment of cytotoxicity based on Artemia salina larvae as a simple new sensitive and reliable routine test. The efficiency of co-composting in decreasing sludge toxicity was evaluated in terms of cytotoxicity abatement reaching 100% by the second month of composting for mixture A (1/3 sludge+2/3 date palm waste) and the third month for mixture B (1/2 sludge+1/2 date palm waste). Cytotoxicity abatement was confirmed by the increase of germination index, which reached over 100% with positive correlation for lettuce (R(2)=0.81 and 0.86) and for turnip (R(2)=0.87 and 0.74) for mixtures A and B respectively. A strong correlation between the proposed cytotoxicity test and the evolution of regulatory physical-chemical approaches was found, (R(2)=0.88 and 0.89) for NH4(+)/NO3(-) and (R(2)=0.80 and 0.88) for C/N respectively for mixture A and B. These findings allow the inexpensive bioassay reported to be used as a highly sensitive test to determine the cytotoxicity and maturity of composts.

DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.02.002

PMID: 26868843 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Pest Manag Sci. 2016 Nov;72(11):2118-2127. doi: 10.1002/ps.4242.

Insecticidal potency of RNAi-based catalase knockdown in Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliver) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Al-Ayedh H(1), Rizwan-Ul-Haq M(2), Hussain A(2), Aljabr AM(3).

(1)Life Science and Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Food Science, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia. (3)Department of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Food Science, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia. aljabr@kfu.edu.sa.

        BACKGROUND: Palm trees around the world are prone to notorious Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, which causes heavy losses of palm plantations. In Middle Eastern countries, this pest is a major threat to date palm orchards. Conventional pest control measures with the major share of synthetic insecticides have resulted in insect resistance and environmental issues. Therefore, in order to explore better alternatives, the RNAi approach was employed to knock down the catalase gene in fifth and tenth larval instars with different dsRNA application methods, and their insecticidal potency was studied. RESULTS: dsRNA of 444 bp was prepared to knock down catalase in R. ferrugineus. Out of the three dsRNA application methods, dsRNA injection into larvae was the most effective, followed by dsRNA application by artificial feeding. Both methods resulted in significant catalase knockdown in various tissues, especially the midgut. As a result, the highest growth inhibition of 123.49 and 103.47% and larval mortality of 80 and 40% were observed in fifth-instar larvae, whereas larval growth inhibition remained at 86.83 and 69.08% with larval mortality at 30 and 10% in tenth-instar larvae after dsRNA injection and artificial diet treatment. The topical application method was the least efficient, with the lowest larval growth inhibition of 57.23 and 45.61% and 0% mortality in fifth- and tenth-instar larvae. Generally, better results were noted at the high dsRNA dose of 5 µL. CONCLUSION: Catalase enzyme is found in most insect body tissues, and thus its dsRNA can cause broad-scale gene knockdown within the insect body, depending upon the application method. Significant larval mortality and growth inhibition after catalase knockdown in R. ferrugineus confirms its insecticidal potency and suggests a bright future for RNAi-based bioinsecticides in pest control. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

DOI: 10.1002/ps.4242

PMID: 26822903 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Electron Physician. 2015 Dec 20;7(8):1590-6. doi: 10.19082/1590. eCollection 2015 Dec.

Would Phoenix Dactyflera Pollen (palm seed) be considered as a treatment agent against Males' infertility? A systematic review.

Fallahi S(1), Rajaei M(2), Malekzadeh K(1), Kalantar SM(3).

(1)Molecular Medicine Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran. (2)Fertility and Infertility Research Center, Sharyati Hospital; Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences (HUMS), Bandar Abbas, Iran. (3)Unit of Reproductive and Genetic Research, Clinical Centre for Infertility, Yazd Medical Sciences University, Yazd, Iran.

        INTRODUCTION: Oxidative stress is a key factor involved in male infertility, which is due to an unnatural increase in environmental free radicals. In the majority of cases, this has a negative effect on a male's ability to impregnate a female. Currently, it is believed that spermatozoa can be protected against the damages induced by oxidative stress by saturating sperm with antioxidants. The antioxidant role of phoenix dactylifera pollen is capable of collecting the reactive oxygen and neutralizing it in and out of body cells. The present research provides a review of the antioxidant roles of phoenix dactylifera pollen on male infertility. METHODS: This research is based on English-Language studies and articles found by comprehensively reviewing electronic databases, websites, books, and academic articles over the last 10 years. RESULTS: The phenolic compounds of phoenix dactylifera pollen, due to the existing polyphenols, are strong chelators of heavy metals. Therefore, they are effective in eliminating environmental hydroxyl radicals. Moreover, these plants have high capacities of eliminating hydroxyl free radicals, picrylhydrazyl, diphenyl and phoenix dactylifera pollen and also inhibiting glutathione-S-transferase (GST). CONCLUSION: Currently, the use of herbal antioxidants to neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress on body cells and tissues has attracted researchers' attention. Various substances, such as flavonoids and catechins, perform their antioxidant role by increasing the concentration of glutathione peroxidase. The final product of this process is an increase in the number of motile sperm, which can have significant effects on fertility.

DOI: 10.19082/1590

PMID: 26816585

BMC Genomics. 2016 Jan 22;17:69. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2362-6.

Identification of the genes involved in odorant reception and detection in the palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, an important quarantine pest, by antennal transcriptome analysis.

Antony B(1), Soffan A(2), Jakše J(3), Abdelazim MM(4), Aldosari SA(5), Aldawood AS(6), Pain A(7).

(1)Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, 11451, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. bantony@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, 11451, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. alsoffan@ksu.edu.sa. (3)Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Jernej.Jakse@bf.uni-lj.si. (4)Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, 11451, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. mmabdelazim@gmail.com. (5)Department of Plant Protection, Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, 11451, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. aldosari95@hotmail.com. (6)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, EERU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. aldawood88@yahoo.com. (7)BASE Division, KAUST, Thuwal, Jeddah, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. arnab.pain@kaust.edu.sa.

        BACKGROUND: The Red Palm Weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliver) is one of the most damaging invasive insect species in the world. This weevil is highly specialized to thrive in adverse desert climates, and it causes major economic losses due to its effects on palm trees around the world. RPWs locate palm trees by means of plant volatile cues and use an aggregation pheromone to coordinate a mass-attack. Here we report on the high throughput sequencing of the RPW antennal transcriptome and present a description of the highly expressed chemosensory gene families. RESULTS: Deep sequencing and assembly of the RPW antennal transcriptome yielded 35,667 transcripts with an average length of 857 bp and identified a large number of highly expressed transcripts of odorant binding proteins (OBPs), chemosensory proteins (CSPs), odorant receptors/co-receptors (ORs/Orcos), sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs), gustatory receptors (GRs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs). In total, 38 OBPs, 12 CSPs, 76 ORs, 1 Orco, 6 SNMPs, 15 GRs and 10 IRs were annotated in the R. ferrugineus antennal transcriptome. A comparative transcriptome analysis with the bark beetle showed that 25% of the blast hits were unique to R. ferrugineus, indicating a higher, more complete transcript coverage for R. ferrugineus. We categorized the RPW ORs into seven subfamilies of coleopteran ORs and predicted two new subfamilies of ORs. The OR protein sequences were compared with those of the flour beetle, the cerambycid beetle and the bark beetle, and we identified coleopteran-specific, highly conserved ORs as well as unique ORs that are putatively involved in RPW aggregation pheromone detection. We identified 26 Minus-C OBPs and 8 Plus-C OBPs and grouped R. ferrugineus OBPs into different OBP-subfamilies according to phylogeny, which indicated significant species-specific expansion and divergence in R. ferrugineus. We also identified a diverse family of CSP proteins, as well as a coleopteran-specific CSP lineage that diverged from Diptera and Lepidoptera. We identified several extremely diverged IR orthologues as well as highly conserved insect IR co-receptor orthologous transcripts in R. ferrugineus. Notably, GR orthologous transcripts for CO2-sensing and sweet tastants were identified in R. ferrugineus, and we found a great diversity of GRs within the coleopteran family. With respect to SNMP-1 and SNMP-2 orthologous transcripts, one SNMP-1 orthologue was found to be strikingly highly expressed in the R. ferrugineus antennal transcriptome. CONCLUSION: Our study presents the first comprehensive catalogue of olfactory gene families involved in pheromone and general odorant detection in R. ferrugineus, which are potential novel targets for pest control strategies.

DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2362-6

PMID: 26800671 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2016 Apr;109(2):629-36.

How Far Can the Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus vulneratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), Fly?

Hoddle MS, Hoddle CD.

        The palm weevil, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, is native to Southeast Asia and was recovered from an infested Canary Islands date palm in Laguna Beach, California, USA, in 2010. The detection of this potentially destructive palm pest initiated a detection, containment, and eradication program that was reliant, in part, on the deployment of bucket traps loaded with aggregation pheromone and baited with fermenting fruit. A key question that pertained to the deployment of traps was “how far can R. vulneratus fly?” This question could not be answered and in response to this knowledge deficit, computerized flight mill studies were conducted with field-captured R. vulneratus in an outdoor screen house in Sumatra, Indonesia. Of the 63 weevils tethered to flight mills, ∼27% failed to fly >1 km in 24 h and were excluded from analyses. In total, 46 weevils (35 females and 11 males) flew >1 km on flight mills and of these adults, the average total distance flown in 24 h was significantly greater for females (∼32 km) when compared with males (∼15 km). A small proportion of females (∼16%) flew 50-80 km, and one female flew 100.1 km in 24 h. Flying weevils exhibited an average weight loss of ∼13–17% and non-flying control weevils (n=27) lost 10–13% body weight in 24 h. The distribution of flight distances for female and male weevils combined was leptokurtic, which suggests that faster than expected spread by R. vulneratus may be possible in invaded areas.

DOI: 10.1093/jee/tov402

PMID: 26791820 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Funct. 2016 Feb;7(2):1077-86. doi: 10.1039/c5fo01570g.

Metabolite profiling in 18 Saudi date palm fruit cultivars and their antioxidant potential via UPLC-qTOF-MS and multivariate data analyses.

Farag MA(1), Handoussa H(2), Fekry MI(1), Wessjohann LA(3).

(1)Pharmacognosy Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. mohamed.farag@pharma.cu.edu.eg mfarag73@yahoo.com. (2)German University in Cairo, The 5th District, 11432, Cairo, Egypt. (3)Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Dept. Bioorganic Chemistry, Weinberg 3, D 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

        Date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera) is not only one of the most economically significant plants in the Middle East, but also valued for its nutritional impact, and for which development of analytical methods is ongoing to help distinguish its many cultivars. This study attempts to characterize the primary and secondary metabolite profiles of 18 date cultivars from Saudi Arabia. A total of 44 metabolites extracted from the fruit peel were evaluated in a UPLC-qTOF-MS based metabolomics analysis including flavonoids, phenolic acids and fatty acids. The predominant flavones were glycosides of luteolin and chrysoeriol, as well as quercetin conjugates, whereas caffeoyl shikimic acid was the main hydroxycinnamic acid conjugate. GC-MS was further utilized to identify the primary metabolites in fruits (i.e. sugars) with glucose and fructose accounting for up to 95% of TIC among most cultivars. PCA and OPLS analyses revealed that flavone versus flavonol distribution in fruit were the main contributors for cultivar segregation. The antioxidant activity of date fruit samples was correlated with their total phenolics as determined by DPPH and CUPRAC assays. Dkheni Saudi and Shalabi Madina cultivars, appearing as the most distant in clustering analyses exhibited the strongest antioxidant effect suggesting that multivariate data analysis could help determine which date cultivars ought to be prioritized for future agricultural development.

DOI: 10.1039/c5fo01570g

PMID: 26781334 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Plant Physiol. 2016 Feb 1;191:111-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2015.12.009.

A Pseudomonas strain isolated from date-palm rhizospheres improves root growth and promotes root formation in maize exposed to salt and aluminum stress.

Zerrouk IZ(1), Benchabane M(2), Khelifi L(1), Yokawa K(3), Ludwig-Müller J(4), Baluska F(5).

(1)Laboratoire des Ressources Génétiques et Biotechnologies, ENSA, Avenue Hassan Badi-El Harrach, Algiers 16000, Algeria. (2)Univesité de Blida, Faculté des sciences Agrovétérinaires, Département d'Agronomie, Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales, Blida 09000, Algeria. (3)IZMB, University of Bonn, Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany; Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan. (4)Department of Biology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany. (5)IZMB, University of Bonn, Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany. Electronic address: baluska@uni-bonn.de.

        The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Pseudomonas fluorescens 002 (P.f.002.), isolated from the rhizosphere of date palms from the Ghardaia region in the Algerian Sahara, to promote root growth of two varieties of maize under conditions of salt and aluminum stress. Primary roots of 5-day-old seedlings were inoculated with P.f.002., and seedlings were then grown under both control and stressed conditions. Primary, lateral, and seminal root lengths and numbers, as well as root dry mass, were evaluated. P.f.002 increased all parameters measured under both salt and aluminum stress. Hence, the use of P.f.002 may represent an important biotechnological approach to decrease the impact of salinity and acidity in crops.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2015.12.009

PMID: 26759938 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2016 Apr;97:32-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.12.015.

Nuclear phylogenomics of the palm subfamily Arecoideae (Arecaceae).

Comer JR(1), Zomlefer WB(2), Barrett CF(3), Stevenson DW(4), Heyduk K(5), Leebens-Mack JH(6).

(1)University of Georgia, Department of Plant Biology, Athens, GA 30602-7271, USA. Electronic address: jcomer@uga.edu. (2)University of Georgia, Department of Plant Biology, Athens, GA 30602-7271, USA. Electronic address: wendyz@uga.edu. (3)California State University, Los Angeles, Department of Biological Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90032-8201, USA. Electronic address: craigbarrett.barrett@mail.wvu.edu. (4)New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126, USA. Electronic address: dws@nybg.org. (5)University of Georgia, Department of Plant Biology, Athens, GA 30602-7271, USA. Electronic address: heyduk@uga.edu. (6)University of Georgia, Department of Plant Biology, Athens, GA 30602-7271, USA. Electronic address: jleebensmack@uga.edu.

        Palms (Arecaceae) include economically important species such as coconut, date palm, and oil palm. Resolution of the palm phylogeny has been problematic due to rapid diversification and slow rates of molecular evolution. The focus of this study is on relationships of the 14 tribes of subfamily Arecoideae and their inferred ancestral areas. A targeted sequencing approach was used to generate a data set of 168 single/low copy nuclear genes for 34 species representing the Arecoideae tribes and the other palm subfamilies. Species trees from the concatenated and coalescent based analyses recovered largely congruent topologies. Three major tribal clades were recovered: the POS clade (Podococceae, Oranieae, Sclerospermeae), the RRC clade (Roystoneeae, Reinhardtieae, Cocoseae), and the core arecoid clade (Areceae, Euterpeae, Geonomateae, Leopoldinieae, Manicarieae, Pelagodoxeae). Leopoldinieae was sister to the rest of the core arecoids (Geonomateae, Manicarieae+Pelagodoxeae, and Areceae+Euterpeae). The nuclear phylogeny supported a North American origin for subfamily Arecoideae, with most tribal progenitors diversifying within the Americas. The POS clade may have dispersed from the Americas into Africa, with tribe Oranieae subsequently spreading into the Indo-Pacific. Two independent dispersals into the Indo-Pacific were inferred for two tribes within the core arecoids (tribes Areceae and Pelagodoxeae).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.12.015

PMID: 26748268 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2016 Apr;109(2):622-8.

Acoustic Detection of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae) and Oryctes elegans (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Phoenix dactylifera (Arecales: Arecacae) Trees and Offshoots in Saudi Arabian Orchards.

Mankin RW, Al-Ayedh HY, Aldryhim Y, Rohde B.

        Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae) larvae are cryptic, internal tissue-feeding pests of palm trees that are difficult to detect; consequently, infestations may remain hidden until they are widespread in an orchard. Infested trees and propagable offshoots that develop from axillary buds on the trunk frequently are transported inadvertently to previously uninfested areas. Acoustic methods can be used for scouting and early detection of R. ferrugineus, but until now have not been tested on multiple trees and offshoots in commercial date palm orchard environments. For this report, the acoustic detectability of R. ferrugineus was assessed in Saudi Arabian date palm orchards in the presence of commonly occurring wind, bird noise, machinery noise, and nontarget insects. Signal analyses were developed to detect R. ferrugineus and another insect pest, Oryctes elegans Prell (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), frequently co-occurring in the orchards, and discriminate both from background noise. In addition, it was possible to distinguish R. ferrugineus from O. elegans in offshoots by differences in the temporal patterns of their sound impulses. As has been observed often with other insect pests, populations of the two species appeared clumped rather than uniform or random. The results are discussed in relation to development of automated methods that could assist orchard managers in quickly identifying infested trees and offshoots so that R. ferrugineus infestations can be targeted and the likelihood of transferring infested offshoots to uninfested areas can be reduced.

DOI: 10.1093/jee/tov398

PMID: 26743218 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

3 Biotech. 2016 Jun;6(1):111. doi: 10.1007/s13205-016-0430-x.

Optimization of medium composition for in vitro shoot proliferation and growth of date palm cv. Mejhoul.

Mazri MA(1), Meziani R(2), El Fadile J(2), Ezzinbi AE(3).

(1)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Marrakech, UR Agro-Biotechnologie, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Avenue Mohammed 6, B.P. 533, Marrakech, Morocco. m.a.mazri@gmail.com. (2)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Errachidia, UR Systèmes Oasiens, Laboratoire National de Culture des Tissus du Palmier Dattier, Avenue Moulay Ali Cherif, B.P. 2, Errachidia, Morocco. (3)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRRA-Marrakech, UR Agro-Biotechnologie, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Avenue Mohammed 6, B.P. 533, Marrakech, Morocco.

        The effects of major mineral salts, L-glutamine, myo-inositol and carbon source on shoot bud proliferation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cv. Mejhoul were evaluated. Different concentrations of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3; 550, 825 or 1650 mg/L), potassium nitrate (KNO3; 633.3, 950 or 1900 mg/L), calcium chloride dehydrate (CaCl2·2H2O; 147, 220 or 440 mg/L), potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4; 57, 85 or 170 mg/L), magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4·7H2O; 123, 185 or 370 mg/L), L-glutamine and myo-inositol (0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 g/L), sucrose, sorbitol, mannitol or commercial granulated sugar (10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 g/L) were tested. The highest number of shoot buds per explant (18.7) occurred on the medium containing 825 mg/L NH4NO3, 1900 mg/L KNO3, 220 mg/L CaCl2·2H2O, 170 mg/L KH2PO4, 370 mg/L MgSO4·7H2O as well as 1 g/L L-glutamine, 2 g/L myo-inositol and 30 g/L sucrose. The results showed that the frequency of hyperhydricity significantly increased in media containing 1650 mg/L NH4NO3. The concentrations of L-glutamine, myo-inositol and carbon source significantly affected the number of shoot buds per explant. However, they had no effect on hyperhydricity, tissue browning and precocious rooting. Shoots of 4.5-6.0 cm in length were isolated and transferred onto hormone-free media for elongation and rooting. After 3 months, the developed plantlets were successfully transplanted in a glasshouse and over 90 % survived acclimatization.

DOI: 10.1007/s13205-016-0430-x

PMID: 28330181

3 Biotech. 2016 Jun;6(1):22. doi: 10.1007/s13205-015-0321-6.

Development of molecular method for sex identification in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) plantlets using novel sex-linked microsatellite markers.

Maryam(1), Jaskani MJ(2), Awan FS(3), Ahmad S(1), Khan IA(1).

(1)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan. (2)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan. jjaskani@uaf.edu.pk. (3)Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan.

        Microsatellite markers containing simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are a valuable tool for genetic analysis. Date palm is a dioecious and slow flowering and is very difficult to identify the gender of the trees until it reaches the reproductive age (5-10 years). A total of 12 microsatellite primers were used with 30 date palm samples, 14 parents (8 male + 6 females) and 16 progeny (developed from parents breeding) which showed that microsatellites were highly polymorphic, having a great number of alleles. A total of 124 alleles were characterized in 12 SSR loci. On average, there are 9.08 alleles per locus, with a range from 5 to 16 alleles, for primers mpdCIR15 and mpdCIR57, respectively. These primers produced 15 polymorphic loci specifically in male date palm samples and the seedlings harboring the unique fragments were further characterized as male plants. Increasingly, 38.46 % of these loci were scored as homozygous alleles while 61.53 % heterozygous allelic loci were determined. Primer mpdCIR48 produced a specific locus (250/250) in all male samples whereas the same locus was absent in female samples. Similarly, a locus of 300/310 bp reoccurred in 5 date palm male samples using marker DP-168 which indicated that these are the promising candidate marker to detect the sex in date palm seedlings at early stage. The data resulted from combination of 12 primers enabled the 16 seedling samples progeny (developed from parents breeding) of date palm cultivars to divide into two groups i.e., male and female regarding their sex expression comparative to the parents (male + female) using the principle coordinate analysis.

DOI: 10.1007/s13205-015-0321-6

PMID: 28330092

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2016 Feb;49:100-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2015.12.028.

Enrichment of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) diet with palm fruit extracts and probiotics: Effects on skin mucosal immunity.

Cerezuela R(1), Guardiola FA(1), Cuesta A(1), Esteban MÁ(2).

(1)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain. (2)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain. Electronic address: aesteban@um.es.

        Fish skin mucus contains numerous immune substances still poorly studied. To date, there are no studies regarding the possible influence of dietary supplements on such important substances. In the present work, a commercial diet used as control diet was enriched with: 1) probiotic Shewanella putrefaciens (Pdp11 diet, 10(9) cfu g(-1)); 2) probiotic Bacillus sp. (Bacillus diet, 10(9) ufc g(-1)); 3) aqueous date palm fruits extracts (DPE diet, 4%), and 4) a combination of Pdp11 + Bacillus sp + aqueous DPE (Mix diet). After 2 and 4 weeks of the feeding trial, enzymatic activities (proteases, antiproteases and peroxidases), IgM levels and terminal carbohydrates abundance were determined in skin mucus. In addition, the expression of certain immune related genes was evaluated in the skin. Our results demonstrated the significant alteration of the terminal carbohydrate abundance in skin mucus. Carbohydrates more affected by experimental diets were N-acetyl-galactosamine, N-acetyl-glucosamine, galactose, mannose, glucose and fucose. IgM, peroxidase activity and protease were also significantly higher in fish fed enriched diets. For last, an important up-regulation on the immune related gene studied on the skin was also detected. Present findings provide robust evidence that fish skin mucosal immunity can be improved by the diet.

DOI: 10.1016/j.fsi.2015.12.028

PMID: 26712151 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Dec 17;16(12):30075-90. doi: 10.3390/ijms161226210.

Date (Phoenix dactylifera) Polyphenolics and Other Bioactive Compounds: A Traditional Islamic Remedy's Potential in Prevention of Cell Damage, Cancer Therapeutics and Beyond.

Yasin BR(1), El-Fawal HA(2), Mousa SA(3).

(1)The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA. bibi.yasin@alumni.acphs.edu. (2)Neurotoxicology Laboratory, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, NY 12208, USA. hassan.el-fawal@acphs.edu. (3)The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA. shaker.mousa@acphs.edu.

        This review analyzes current studies of the therapeutic effects of Phoenix dactylifera, or date palm fruit, on the physiologic system. Specifically, we sought to summarize the effects of its application in preventing cell damage, improving cancer therapeutics and reducing damage caused by conventional chemotherapy. Phoenix dactylifera exhibits potent anti-oxidative properties both in vitro and in vivo. This allows the fruit to prevent depletion of intrinsic protection from oxidative cell damage and assist these defense systems in reducing cell damage. Macroscopically, this mechanism may be relevant to the prevention of various adverse drug events common to chemotherapy including hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, gastrotoxicity, and peripheral neuropathy. While such effects have only been studied in small animal systems, research suggests a potential application to more complex mammalian systems and perhaps a solution to some problems of chemotherapy in hepato-compromised and nephro-compromised patients.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms161226210

PMID: 26694370 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2016 Apr 15;197(Pt A):799-806. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.11.046.

The major proteins of the seed of the fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.): Characterisation and emulsifying properties.

Akasha I(1), Campbell L(1), Lonchamp J(1), Euston SR(2).

(1)Department of Food & Beverage Science, School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom. (2)Department of Food & Beverage Science, School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom. Electronic address: S.R.Euston@hw.ac.uk.

        Proteins were extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the date palm. Proteomic analysis and SDS-PAGE electrophoresis of the extracted proteome suggested it is composed predominantly of the storage proteins glycinin and β-conglycinin, although over 300 proteins were detected, 91 of which were identified with confidence. In terms of protein type, the largest numbers of proteins were associated, not unexpectedly, with metabolism and energy functions, which reflected the requirements of the germinating and growing embryonic plant. The emulsifying properties of the extracted proteins were determined. Date seed protein exhibited a lower emulsifying activity than either whey protein concentrate or soy protein isolate, at each of the pH values tested. However, the stability of the emulsions produced with all three proteins was very similar at the different pH values. This combination of large emulsion droplet size and high emulsion stability properties suggested that the date proteins may adsorb as large protein oligomers.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.11.046

PMID: 26617019 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Front Plant Sci. 2015 Nov 5;6:946. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00946. eCollection 2015.

A genome-wide identification of the miRNAome in response to salinity stress in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Yaish MW(1), Sunkar R(2), Zheng Y(3), Ji B(3), Al-Yahyai R(4), Farooq SA(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University Muscat, Oman. (2)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK, USA. (3)Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology Kunming, China. (4)Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, Sultan Qaboos University Muscat, Oman.

        Although date palm is relatively salt-tolerant, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms that contribute to its salt tolerance. Only recently, investigators have uncovered microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation, which is critical for typical plant development and adaptation to stress conditions such as salinity. To identify conserved and novel miRNAs in date palm and to characterize miRNAs that could play a role in salt tolerance, we have generated sRNA libraries from the leaves and roots of NaCl-treated and untreated seedlings of date palm. Deep sequencing of these four sRNA libraries yielded approximately 251 million reads. The bioinformatics analysis has identified 153 homologs of conserved miRNAs, 89 miRNA variants, and 180 putative novel miRNAs in date palm. Expression profiles under salinity revealed differential regulation of some miRNAs in date palm. In leaves, 54 of the identified miRNAs were significantly affected and the majority (70%) of them were upregulated, whereas in roots, 25 of the identified miRNAs were significantly affected and 76% of them were upregulated by the salinity stress. The salt-responsiveness of some of these miRNAs was further validated using semi-quantitative PCR (qPCR). Some of the predicted targets for the identified miRNA include genes with known functions in plant salt tolerance, such as potassium channel AKT2-like proteins, vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein, calcium-dependent and mitogen-activated proteins. As one of the first cultivated trees in the world that can tolerate a wide range of abiotic stresses, date palm contains a large population of conserved and non-conserved miRNAs that function at the post-transcriptional level. This study provided insights into miRNA-mediated gene expression that are important for adaptation to salinity in date palms.

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00946

PMID: 26594218

Biol Res. 2015 Nov 11;48:63. doi: 10.1186/s40659-015-0055-2.

In vitro response of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) to K/Na ratio under saline conditions.

Alkhateeb SA(1), Alkhateeb AA(2), Solliman Mel-D(3)(4).

(1)Environment and Natural Resources Department, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 400, Hofuf, Alhassa, 31982, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. skhateeb@kfu.edu.sa. (2)Agriculture Biotechnology Department, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 400, Hofuf, Alhassa, 31982, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. aalkhateeb@kfu.edu.sa. (3)Agriculture Biotechnology Department, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 400, Hofuf, Alhassa, 31982, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. solliman@yahoo.com. (4)Plant Biotechnology Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, 12622, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. solliman@yahoo.com.

        BACKGROUND: Salinity is a serious factor limiting the productivity of agricultural plants. One of the potential problems for plants growing under saline conditions is the inability to up take enough K(+). The addition of K(+) may considerably improve the salt tolerance of plants grown under salinity. It is assumed that increasing the K(+) supply at the root zone can ameliorate the reduction in growth imposed by high salinity. The present study aims to determine whether an increase in the K/Na ratio in the external media would enhance the growth of date palm seedlings under in vitro saline conditions. METHODS: Date palm plants were grown at four concentrations of Na + K/Cl (mol/m(3)) with three different K/Na ratios. The 12 salt treatments were added to modified MS medium. The modified MS medium was further supplemented with sucrose at 30 g/l. RESULTS: Growth decreased substantially with increasing salinity. Growth expressed as shoot and root weight, enhanced significantly with certain K/Na ratios, and higher weight was maintained in the presence of equal K and Na. It is the leaf length, leaf thickness and root thickness that had significant contribution on total dry weight. Na(+) contents in leaf and root increased significantly increased with increasing salinity but substantial decreases in Na(+) contents were observed in the leaf and root with certain K/Na ratios. This could be attributed to the presence of a high K(+) concentration in the media. The internal Na(+) concentration was higher in the roots in all treatments, which might indicate a mechanism excluding Na(+) from the leaves and its retention in the roots. K/Na ratios up to one significantly increased the leaf and root K(+) concentration, and it was most pronounced in leaves. The K(+) contents in leaf and root was not proportional to the K(+) increase in the media, showing a high affinity for K(+) uptake at lower external K(+) concentrations, but this mechanism continues to operate even with high external Na(+) concentrations. CONCLUSION: Increasing K/Na ratios in the growing media of date plam significantly reduced the absorption of Na(+) less than 200 mM and also balance ions compartmentalization.

DOI: 10.1186/s40659-015-0055-2

PMID: 26558511 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 9;10(11):e0142292. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142292. eCollection 2015.

Raw Sap Consumption Habits and Its Association with Knowledge of Nipah Virus in Two Endemic Districts in Bangladesh.

Nahar N(1)(2), Paul RC(1), Sultana R(1), Gurley ES(1), Garcia F(3), Abedin J(1), Sumon SA(1), Banik KC(1), Asaduzzaman M(1), Rimi NA(1), Rahman M(4), Luby SP(5).

(1)ICDDRB, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (2)Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. (3)FHI360, Washington DC Office, Washington, D.C., United States of America. (4)Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dhaka, Bangladesh. (5)Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.

        Human Nipah virus (NiV) infection in Bangladesh is a fatal disease that can be transmitted from bats to humans who drink contaminated raw date palm sap collected overnight during the cold season. Our study aimed to understand date palm sap consumption habits of rural residents and factors associated with consumption. In November-December 2012 the field team interviewed adult respondents from randomly selected villages from Rajbari and Kushtia Districts in Bangladesh. We calculated the proportion of people who consumed raw sap and had heard about a disease from raw sap consumption. We assessed the factors associated with raw sap consumption by calculating prevalence ratios (PR) adjusted for village level clustering effects. Among the 1,777 respondents interviewed, half (50%) reported drinking raw sap during the previous sap collection season and 37% consumed raw sap at least once per month. Few respondents (5%) heard about NiV. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported hearing about a disease transmitted through raw sap consumption, inclusive of a 10% who related it with milder illness like diarrhea, vomiting or indigestion rather than NiV. Respondents who harvested date palm trees in their household were more likely to drink sap than those who did not own date palm trees (79% vs. 65% PR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3, p<0.001). When sap was available, respondents who heard about a disease from raw sap consumption were just as likely to drink it as those who did not hear about a disease (69% vs. 67%, PR 1.0, 95% CI 0.9-1.1, p = 0.512). Respondents' knowledge of NiV was low. They might not have properly understood the risk of NiV, and were likely to drink sap when it was available. Implementing strategies to increase awareness about the risks of NiV and protect sap from bats might reduce the risk of NiV transmission.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142292

PMID: 26551202 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 9;6:8824. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9824.

Whole genome re-sequencing of date palms yields insights into diversification of a fruit tree crop.

Hazzouri KM(1), Flowers JM(1)(2), Visser HJ(3), Khierallah HS(4), Rosas U(2), Pham GM(2), Meyer RS(1)(2), Johansen CK(2), Fresquez ZA(2), Masmoudi K(5), Haider N(6), El Kadri N(7), Idaghdour Y(8), Malek JA(9), Thirkhill D(10), Markhand GS(11), Krueger RR(12), Zaid A(3), Purugganan MD(1)(2).

(1)Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, PO Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (2)Department of Biology, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, 12 Waverly Place, New York University, New York, New York 10003, USA. (3)Date Palm Research and Development Unit, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, PO Box 15551, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (4)Date Palm Research Unit, College of Agriculture, PO Box 47054, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq. (5)International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Academic City, Al Ruwayyah 2, PO Box 14660, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (6)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, PO Box 6091, Damascus, Syria. (7)Technical Center of Dates, Ministry of Agriculture, Kebili, Tunisia. (8)Division of Science and Mathematics, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, PO Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (9)Genomics Core Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Doha 24144, Qatar. (10)Arizona State University Date Palm Collection, Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona, Arizona 85281, USA. (11)Date Palm Research Institute (DPRI), Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan. (12)United States Department of Agriculture, Riverside, California 92507, USA.

        Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) are the most significant perennial crop in arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Here, we present a comprehensive catalogue of approximately seven million single nucleotide polymorphisms in date palms based on whole genome re-sequencing of a collection of 62 cultivars. Population structure analysis indicates a major genetic divide between North Africa and the Middle East/South Asian date palms, with evidence of admixture in cultivars from Egypt and Sudan. Genome-wide scans for selection suggest at least 56 genomic regions associated with selective sweeps that may underlie geographic adaptation. We report candidate mutations for trait variation, including nonsense polymorphisms and presence/absence variation in gene content in pathways for key agronomic traits. We also identify a copia-like retrotransposon insertion polymorphism in the R2R3 myb-like orthologue of the oil palm virescens gene associated with fruit colour variation. This analysis documents patterns of post-domestication diversification and provides a genomic resource for this economically important perennial tree crop.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9824

PMID: 26549859 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2015;168(1):25-31. doi: 10.1159/000441222.

Prevalence and Clinical Relevance of IgE Sensitization to Profilin in Childhood: A Multicenter Study.

Asero R(1), Tripodi S, Dondi A, Di Rienzo Businco A, Sfika I, Bianchi A, Candelotti P, Caffarelli C, Povesi Dascola C, Ricci G, Calamelli E, Maiello N, Miraglia Del Giudice M, Frediani T, Frediani S, Macrì F, Moretti M, Dello Iacono I, Patria MF, Varin E, Peroni D, Comberiati P, Chini L, Moschese V, Lucarelli S, Bernardini R, Pingitore G, Pelosi U, Tosca M, Cirisano A, Faggian D, Plebani M, Verga C, Matricardi PM; Italian Pediatric Allergy Network (I-PAN).

(1)Allergology Service, San Carlo Clinic, Paderno Dugnano, Italy.

        Comment in Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2015;168(1):1-2. BACKGROUND: Little is known about the prevalence and clinical relevance of hypersensitivity to the plant panallergen profilin in children. OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to investigate prevalence, risk factors and clinical relevance of profilin sensitization in a large cohort of Italian children of different ages living in different geographic areas. METHODS: Children with pollen allergy enrolled by 16 pediatric outpatient clinics sited in three main geographic areas of Italy were studied. SPT were carried out with commercial pollen extracts and a commercial purified date palm pollen profilin. IgE specific for allergenic pollen molecules, Phl p 12 (grass profilin) and Pru p 3 (peach lipid transfer protein) were tested by ImmunoCAP FEIA. RESULTS: IgE to Phl p 12 (≥0.35 kU/l) was observed in 296 of the 1,271 participants (23%), including 17 of the 108 (16%) preschool children. Profilin SPT was positive (≥3 mm) in 320/1,271 (25%) participants. The two diagnostic methods were concordant in 1,151 (91%, p < 0.0001) cases. Phl p 12 IgE prevalence declined from northern to southern Italy and was directly associated with IgE to Phl p 1 and/or Phl p 5 and Ole e 1. Among children with IgE to Phl p 12, OAS was provoked by kiwi, melon, watermelon, banana, apricot and cucumber. CONCLUSIONS: Profilin sensitization is very frequent among pollen-allergic children, occurs at a very young age and contributes to the development of childhood OAS with a typical pattern of offending foods. Pediatricians should always consider IgE sensitization to profilin while examining pollen-allergic children, even if they are at preschool age.

DOI: 10.1159/000441222

PMID: 26528861 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Pak J Biol Sci. 2015 Apr;18(4):196-9.

Effect of Palm Pollen on Sperm Parameters of Infertile Man.

Rasekh A, Jashni HK, Rahmanian K, Jahromi AS.

There is a rapidly growing trend in the consumption of herbal remedies in the developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of orally administered Date Palm Pollen (DPP) on the results of semen analysis in adult infertile men. Forty infertile men participated in our study. They were treated by Pollen powder 120 mg kg(-1) in gelatinous capsules every other day, for two months. Before and at the end of therapy, the semen was collected after masturbation and sperm numbers, motility and morphology were determined. Our findings revealed that consumption of DPP improved the sperm count. The treatment was significantly increased sperm motility, morphology and forward progressive motility. Date palm pollen seems to cure male infertility by improving the quality of sperm parameters.

        PMID: 26506651 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

ChemSusChem. 2015 Nov;8(22):3823-31. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201501116.

Seawater as Alternative to Freshwater in Pretreatment of Date Palm Residues for Bioethanol Production in Coastal and/or Arid Areas.

Fang C(1), Thomsen MH(1), Brudecki GP(1), Cybulska I(1), Frankaer CG(2), Bastidas-Oyanedel JR(1), Schmidt JE(3).

(1)Institute Center for Energy (iEnergy), Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (2)Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. (3)Institute Center for Energy (iEnergy), Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. jschmidt@masdar.ac.ae.

        The large water consumption (1.9-5.9 m(3) water per m(3) of biofuel) required by biomass processing plants has become an emerging concern, which is particularly critical in arid/semiarid regions. Seawater, as a widely available water source, could be an interesting option. This work was to study the technical feasibility of using seawater to replace freshwater in the pretreatment of date palm leaflets, a lignocellulosic biomass from arid regions, for bioethanol production. It was shown that leaflets pretreated with seawater exhibited lower cellulose crystallinity than those pretreated with freshwater. Pretreatment with seawater produced comparably digestible and fermentable solids to those obtained with freshwater. Moreover, no significant difference of inhibition to Saccharomyces cerevisiae was observed between liquids from pretreatment with seawater and freshwater. The results showed that seawater could be a promising alternative to freshwater for lignocellulose biorefineries in coastal and/or arid/semiarid areas.

DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201501116

PMID: 26487350 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2015 Dec;108(6):2599-609. doi: 10.1093/jee/tov240.

How Far Can the Red Palm Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Fly?: Computerized Flight Mill Studies With Field-Captured Weevils.

Hoddle MS(1), Hoddle CD(2), Faleiro JR(3), El-Shafie HA(4), Jeske DR(5), Sallam AA(4).

(1)Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521. Center for Invasive Species Research, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521. mark.hoddle@ucr.edu. (2)Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521. (3)Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Date Palm Research Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, PO Box 43, Al-Hassa 31982, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (4)Date Palm Research Center of Excellence, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 400, Al Ahsaa-31982, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (5)Department of Statistics, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521.

        Adult Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) captured in pheromone-baited traps in commercial date palm orchards in the Al Ahsaa Directorate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were used in computerized flight mill studies to determine the flight characteristics of this highly invasive and destructive palm pest. Flight mill studies were run at three different time periods, winter (December), spring (March), and summer (May). Of the 192 weevils tethered to flight mills ∼30% failed to fly > 1 km. Of those weevils flying > 1 km (n = 139), 55% flew > 10 km, and of these flyers 5% flew > 50 km in 24 h. Flying weevils exhibited an average weight loss of 20-30% and nonflying control weevils lost ∼9-13% body weight in 24 h. Male and female weevils flying in summer (average laboratory temperature was ∼27°C) flew the longest average distances (∼25-35 km), exhibited highest weight reductions (∼30%), and greatest mortality rates (∼80%). Consequently, time of year not weevil sex or color morph had a consistent and significant effect on flight activity, weight loss, and survivorship rates. Flight activity was predominantly diurnal commencing around 5:00 a.m. and peaking between 9-11:00 a.m. before tapering off. The distribution of flight distances combined across season and sex was mesokurtic (i.e., normally distributed).

DOI: 10.1093/jee/tov240

PMID: 26470385 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci. 2015 Nov;80(11):H2603-11. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13084.

Influence of Different Drying Treatments and Extraction Solvents on the Metabolite Profile and Nitric Oxide Inhibitory Activity of Ajwa Dates.

Abdul-Hamid NA(1), Abas F(1)(2), Ismail IS(1)(3), Shaari K(1)(3), Lajis NH(1).

(1)Laboratory of Natural Products, Inst. of Bioscience, Univ. Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Malaysia. (2)Dept. of Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Univ. Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Malaysia. (3)Dept. of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Univ. Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

        This study aimed to examine the variation in the metabolite profiles and nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity of Ajwa dates that were subjected to 2 drying treatments and different extraction solvents. (1)H NMR coupled with multivariate data analysis was employed. A Griess assay was used to determine the inhibition of the production of NO in RAW 264.7 cells treated with LPS and interferon-γ. The oven dried (OD) samples demonstrated the absence of asparagine and ascorbic acid as compared to the freeze dried (FD) dates. The principal component analysis showed distinct clusters between the OD and FD dates by the second principal component. In respect of extraction solvents, chloroform extracts can be distinguished by the absence of arginine, glycine and asparagine compared to the methanol and 50% methanol extracts. The chloroform extracts can be clearly distinguished from the methanol and 50% methanol extracts by first principal component. Meanwhile, the loading score plot of partial least squares analysis suggested that beta glucose, alpha glucose, choline, ascorbic acid and glycine were among the metabolites that were contributing to higher biological activity displayed by FD and methanol extracts of Ajwa. The results highlight an alternative method of metabolomics approach for determination of the metabolites that contribute to NO inhibitory activity.PRACTICAL APPLICATION: The association between metabolite profiles and nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity of the various extracts of Ajwa dates was evaluated by utilizing partial least squares (PLS) model. The validated PLS model can be employed to predict the NO inhibitory activity of new samples of date fruits based on their NMR spectra which was important for assessing fruit quality. The information gained might be used as guidance for quality control, nutritional values and as a basis for the preparation of any food supplements for human health that employs date palm fruit as the raw material.

DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.13084

PMID: 26457883 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2015 Dec;47(2):706-11. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2015.09.046.

Effects of date palm fruit extracts on skin mucosal immunity, immune related genes expression and growth performance of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fry.

Hoseinifar SH(1), Khalili M(2), Rufchaei R(3), Raeisi M(4), Attar M(2), Cordero H(5), Esteban MÁ(5).

(1)Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran. Electronic address: hoseinifar@gau.ac.ir. (2)Medical Cellular & Molecular Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran. (3)Inland Water Aquaculture Institute, Specialized Research Station of Aquatics Nutrition and Live Food, BandareAnzali, Iran. (4)Cereal Health Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran; Department of Public Health, School of Health, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran. (5)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain.

        The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of date palm fruit extracts (DPFE) on skin mucosal immunity, immune related genes expression and growth performance of fry common carp (Cyprinus carpio). One hundred and twenty specimens (4.06 ± 0.13 g) were supplied and allocated into six aquaria; specimens in three aquaria were fed non-supplemented diet (control) while the fish in the other 3 aquaria were fed with DPFE at 200 ml kg(-1). At the end of feeding trial (8 weeks) skin mucus immune parameters (total immunoglobulins, lysozyme, protease and alkaline phosphatase activity) and immune related gene expression (tumor necrosis factor α [tnfa], lysozyme [ly] and interleukin-1-beta, [il1b]) in the head-kidney were studied. The results revealed that feeding carp fry with 200 ml kg(-1) DPFE remarkably elevated the three skin mucus immune parameters tested (P < 0.05). However, evaluation of immune related gene expression demonstrated that the expression of tnfa and il1b was considerably decreased (P < 0.05) in fish fed DPFE diet, while the expression of ly remained similar (P > 0.05) compared to control fish (fed control diet). Furthermore, growth performance parameters were significantly improved in fry fed DPFE (P < 0.05). More studies are needed to understand different aspects of DPFE administration in fry mucosal immunity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.fsi.2015.09.046

PMID: 26439417 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Oct;21(4):320-4. doi: 10.1177/2156587215609851.

The Role of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) Pollen in Fertility: A Comprehensive Review of Current Evidence.

Tahvilzadeh M(1), Hajimahmoodi M(2), Rahimi R(3).

(1)Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. (2)Department of Drug and Food Control, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. (3)Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran rojarahimi@gmail.com.

        Date palm pollen (DPP) is the male reproductive dust of palm flowers used as dietary supplement especially as aphrodisiac and fertility enhancer in both women and men from ancient times. Although there are few clinical trials evaluating the beneficial effects of DPP in humans, various experimental studies have been conducted on the reproductive effects of DPP. Among the compounds isolated from DPP are amino acids, fatty acids, flavonoids, saponins, and estroles. The present review summarizes comprehensive information concerning the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of DPP and its application in fertility disorders.

DOI: 10.1177/2156587215609851

PMID: 26438718 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1226-36. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002780.

Impact of palm date consumption on microbiota growth and large intestinal health: a randomised, controlled, cross-over, human intervention study.

Eid N(1), Osmanova H(1), Natchez C(1), Walton G(2), Costabile A(2), Gibson G(2), Rowland I(1), Spencer JP(1).

(1)1Human Nutrition Group,Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences,School of Chemistry,Food and Pharmacy,University of Reading,Reading RG6 6AP,UK. (2)2Food Microbial Sciences Group,Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences,School of Chemistry,Food and Pharmacy,University of Reading,Reading RG6 6AP,UK.

        The reported inverse association between the intake of plant-based foods and a reduction in the prevalence of colorectal cancer may be partly mediated by interactions between insoluble fibre and (poly)phenols and the intestinal microbiota. In the present study, we assessed the impact of palm date consumption, rich in both polyphenols and fibre, on the growth of colonic microbiota and markers of colon cancer risk in a randomised, controlled, cross-over human intervention study. A total of twenty-two healthy human volunteers were randomly assigned to either a control group (maltodextrin-dextrose, 37·1 g) or an intervention group (seven dates, approximately 50 g). Each arm was of 21 d duration and was separated by a 14-d washout period in a cross-over manner. Changes in the growth of microbiota were assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridisation analysis, whereas SCFA levels were assessed using HPLC. Further, ammonia concentrations, faecal water genotoxicity and anti-proliferation ability were also assessed using different assays, which included cell work and the Comet assay. Accordingly, dietary intakes, anthropometric measurements and bowel movement assessment were also carried out. Although the consumption of dates did not induce significant changes in the growth of select bacterial groups or SCFA, there were significant increases in bowel movements and stool frequency (P<0·01; n 21) and significant reductions in stool ammonia concentration (P<0·05; n 21) after consumption of dates, relative to baseline. Furthermore, date fruit intake significantly reduced genotoxicity in human faecal water relative to control (P<0·01; n 21). Our data indicate that consumption of date fruit may reduce colon cancer risk without inducing changes in the microbiota.

DOI: 10.1017/S0007114515002780

PMID: 26428278 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Res Microbiol. 2016 Jan;167(1):46-57. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2015.09.003.

The Tunisian oasis ecosystem is a source of antagonistic Bacillus spp. producing diverse antifungal lipopeptides.

El Arbi A(1), Rochex A(2), Chataigné G(3), Béchet M(4), Lecouturier D(5), Arnauld S(6), Gharsallah N(7), Jacques P(8).

(1)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France; Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Microbienne affilié au Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures in vitro, B.P. 802, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia. Electronic address: amel_elarbi@yahoo.fr. (2)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: alice.rochex@polytech-lille.fr. (3)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: gabrielle.chataigne@polytech-lille.fr. (4)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: max.bechet@univ-lille1.fr. (5)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: didier.lecouturier@univ-lille1.fr. (6)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: segolone.arnauld@polytech-lille.fr. (7)Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Microbienne affilié au Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures in vitro, B.P. 802, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia. Electronic address: Neji.Gharsallah@fss.rnu.tn. (8)Université Lille, Institut Charles Viollette, EA 7394, Avenue Paul Langevin, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Electronic address: philippe.jacques@polytech-lille.fr.

        The use of microbial products has become a promising alternative approach to controlling plant diseases caused by phytopathogenic fungi. Bacteria isolated from the date palm tree rhizosphere of the Tunisian oasis ecosystem could provide new biocontrol microorganisms adapted to extreme conditions, such as drought, salinity and high temperature. The aim of this study was to screen bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of the date palm tree for their ability to inhibit phytopathogenic fungi, and to identify molecules responsible for their antifungal activity. Screening for antifungal activity was performed on twenty-eight isolates. Five antagonistic isolates were selected and identified as different species of Bacillus using phenotypical methods and a molecular approach. The five antagonistic Bacillus isolated showed tolerance to abiotic stresses (high temperature, salinity, drought). Their ability to produce lipopeptides was investigated using a combination of two techniques: PCR amplification and MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry. Analyses revealed that the antagonistic isolates produced a high diversity of lipopeptides that belonged to surfactin, fengycin, iturin and kurstakin families. Their antagonistic activity, related to their capacity for producing diverse antifungal lipopeptides and their tolerance to abiotic stresses, highlighted Bacillus strains isolated from the rhizosphere of the date palm tree as potential biocontrol agents for combatting plant diseases in extreme environments.

DOI: 10.1016/j.resmic.2015.09.003

PMID: 26428248 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 1;10(10):e0139493. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139493. eCollection 2015.

Therapeutic Potential of Date Palm Pollen for Testicular Dysfunction Induced by Thyroid Disorders in Male Rats.

El-Kashlan AM(1), Nooh MM(2), Hassan WA(1), Rizk SM(2).

(1)Hormone Evaluation Department, National Organization for Drug Control and Research, Giza, Egypt. (2)Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

        Hyper- or hypothyroidism can impair testicular function leading to infertility. The present study was designed to examine the protective effect of date palm pollen (DPP) extract on thyroid disorder-induced testicular dysfunction. Rats were divided into six groups. Group I was normal control. Group II received oral DPP extract (150 mg kg(-1)), group III (hyperthyroid group) received intraperitoneal injection of L-thyroxine (L-T4, 300 μg kg(-1); i.p.), group IV received L-T4 plus DPP extract, group V (hypothyroid group) received propylthiouracil (PTU, 10 mg kg(-1); i.p.) and group VI received PTU plus DPP extract. All treatments were given every day for 56 days. L-T4 or PTU lowered genital sex organs weight, sperm count and motility, serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone (T), testicular function markers and activities of testicular 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD). Moreover, L-T4 or PTU increased estradiol (E2) serum level, testicular oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptotic markers. Morphometric and histopathologic studies backed these observations. Treatment with DPP extract prevented LT4- or PTU induced changes. In addition, supplementation of DPP extract to normal rats augmented sperm count and motility, serum levels of LH, T and E2 paralleled with increased activities of 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD as well as testicular antioxidant status. These results provide evidence that DPP extract may have potential protective effects on testicular dysfunction induced by altered thyroid hormones.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139493

PMID: 26425844 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Insect Sci. 2015 Sep 17;15. pii: 126. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/iev108. Print 2015.

Comparative efficacy of CO2 and ozone gases against Ephestia cautella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae under different temperature regimes.

Husain M(1), Rasool KG(2), Tufail M(2), Alhamdan AM(3), Mehmood K(2), Aldawood AS(2).

(1)Economic Entomology Research Unit, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451 turkjee576@gmail.com. (2)Economic Entomology Research Unit, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451. (3)Director of Chair of Dates Industry & Technology, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451.

        Comparative efficacy of three different modified atmospheres: 100% CO2, 75% CO2 + 25% N2, and 22 ppm ozone were examined against larval mortality of the almond moth, Ephestia cautella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) at temperature regimes of 25°C and 35 ± 2°C and 60 ± 5% relative humidity, and 9:15 dark and light. Wandering young larval instars, which are fast growing, large enough in size and considered as more tolerant to modified atmosphere, were collected directly from the rearing culture, placed inside pitted date fruits of vars.: "Khudri," "Ruziz," and "Saqie," were treated with aforementioned gases for 24, 48, and 72 h. The immediate and delayed larval mortality was recorded after each exposure timing. Ozone possessed the strongest fumigant toxicity causing 100% mortality with all varieties, at 25 and 35°C after 24 h exposure and was more effective than 75% CO2 that caused 83 and 100% immediate mortality with variety ruziz at 25 and 35°C, respectively. Extending the treatments exposure time to 72 h, 100% mortality was recorded by exposing larvae to any of the studied gases at 25 and 35°C. These results suggest that gases and temperature used in this study can be effectively used to control E. cautella in dates and stored grains.

DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/iev108

PMID: 26382044 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Bot. 2015 Oct;116(5):847. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcv132.

Genetic structure of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Old World reveals a strong differentiation between eastern and western populations.

Zehdi-Azouzi S, Cherif E, Moussouni S, Gros-Balthazard M, Abbas Naqvi S, Ludeña B, Castillo K, Chabrillange N, Bouguedoura N, Bennaceur M, Si-Dehbi F, Abdoulkader S, Daher A, Terral JF, Santoni S, Ballardini M, Mercuri A, Ben Salah M, Kadri K, Othmani A, Littardi C, Salhi-Hannachi A, Pintaud JC, Aberlenc-Bertoss F.

Erratum for Ann Bot. 2015 Jul;116(1):101-12. Since the publication of this paper, it has become apparent that an error was made in the legend to Fig. 3 and the colours referring to occidental and oriental are the wrong way round. The authors apologise for this error, and a correct version of the legend to Fig. 3 is given below.

        DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcv132

PMID: 26378059

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:216454. doi: 10.1155/2015/216454.

Hydrothermal Pretreatment of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Leaflets and Rachis to Enhance Enzymatic Digestibility and Bioethanol Potential.

Fang C(1), Schmidt JE(1), Cybulska I(1), Brudecki GP(1), Frankær CG(2), Thomsen MH(1).

(1)Institute Center for Energy (iEnergy), Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, UAE. (2)Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.

        Date palm residues are one of the most promising lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production in the Middle East. In this study, leaflets and rachis were subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment to overcome the recalcitrance of the biomass for enzymatic conversion. Evident morphological, structural, and chemical changes were observed by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy after pretreatment. High glucan (>90% for both leaflets and rachis) and xylan (>75% for leaflets and >79% for rachis) recovery were achieved. Under the optimal condition of hydrothermal pretreatment (210°C/10 min) highly digestible (glucan convertibility, 100% to leaflets, 78% to rachis) and fermentable (ethanol yield, 96% to leaflets, 80% to rachis) solid fractions were obtained. Fermentability test of the liquid fractions proved that no considerable inhibitors to Saccharomyces cerevisiae were produced in hydrothermal pretreatment. Given the high sugar recovery, enzymatic digestibility, and ethanol yield, production of bioethanol by hydrothermal pretreatment could be a promising way of valorization of date palm residues in this region.

DOI: 10.1155/2015/216454

PMID: 26347878 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genet Mol Res. 2015 Aug 19;14(3):9943-50. doi: 10.4238/2015.August.19.30.

Proline accumulation is a general response to abiotic stress in the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Yaish MW(1).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman.

        Plants exposed to certain abiotic stress conditions tend to produce the amino acid proline, which acts as an active osmolyte, a metal chelator, an antioxidant, and a signaling molecule. There is increasing evidence that proline accumulates in plants due to a wide range of abiotic stress, in particular high soil salinity and drought. Therefore, proline content is often used as a marker-assisted breeding tool aimed at improving drought and salinity tolerance. In this study, it was investigated whether proline accumulation in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seedlings occurs solely due to high salinity and drought stresses or due to other unspecified abiotic stresses, including salinity and salinity shock, drought, extreme temperatures, and abscisic acid. The free proline assays revealed that this amino acid over-accumulated in the roots and leaves of each stress-treated plant, and was remarkably high when leaves were exposed to suboptimum temperatures and salinity stress. These results indicate that the production of proline is a common response to various abiotic stresses and its differential accumulation cannot be used as a molecular marker in date palm breeding programs aimed at improving drought or salinity tolerance traits in date palms. This conclusion is consistent with the theory that the molecular outcomes of abiotic stresses are often non-specific.

DOI: 10.4238/2015.August.19.30

PMID: 26345930 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2015;25(4):283-7.

Do Skin Prick Test and In Vitro Techniques Diagnose Sensitization to Peach Lipid Transfer Protein and Profilin Equally Well in Allergy to Plant Food and Pollen?

Goikoetxea MJ, Berroa F, Cabrera-Freitag P, Ferrer M, Núñez-Córdoba JM, Sanz ML, Gastaminza G.

        OBJECTIVE: To compare the skin prick test (SPT) with in vitro techniques (single and multiplex fluorescence enzyme-immunoassay [FEIA]) for detecting sensitization to profilin and lipid transfer protein (LTP). METHODS: We retrospectively studied 181 patients with pollen and/or plant food allergy and 61 controls. SPT was performed with date palm profilin (Pho d 2) and peach LTP (Pru p 3), and specific IgE (sIgE) to Phl p 12 and Pru p 3 was analyzed using single FEIA and microarray. RESULTS: Fifteen of 201 patients with negative results for LTP in the SPT were sensitized to this allergen in the in vitro tests, and 18 of 41 patients with positive results for LTP in the SPT were not sensitized according to the in vitro tests. Seventeen of 186 patients with negative results for profilin in the SPT were sensitized to Phl p 12 by serum sIgE, and 30 out of 56 patients with positive results for profilin in SPT were not sensitized to Phl p 12 according to the other tests. Moderate agreement was observed between the 3 techniques studied. CONCLUSIONS: SPT is a sensitive technique for detecting sensitization to LTP and profilin. Its results are similar to those of in vitro techniques, especially in patients with negative SPT results for peach LTP and palm tree profilin.

PMID: 26310043 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Aug 17;16(8):19326-46. doi: 10.3390/ijms160819326.

Identification of Proteins Modulated in the Date Palm Stem Infested with Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv.) Using Two Dimensional Differential Gel Electrophoresis and Mass Spectrometry.

Rasool KG(1)(2), Khan MA(3), Aldawood AS(4), Tufail M(5)(6), Mukhtar M(7), Takeda M(8).

(1)Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. krasool@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. krasool@ksu.edu.sa. (3)Department of Plant Production, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. altafksu@gmail.com. (4)Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. aldawood@ksu.edu.sa. (5)Department of Plant Protection, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. mtufail@ksu.edu.sa. (6)Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. mtufail@ksu.edu.sa. (7)Department of Biotechnology, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah 10021, United Arab Emirates. muhammad.mukhtar@aurak.ac.ae. (8)Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. mtakeda@kobe-u.ac.jp.

        A state of the art proteomic methodology using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time of Flight (MALDI TOF) has been employed to characterize peptides modulated in the date palm stem subsequent to infestation with red palm weevil (RPW). Our analyses revealed 32 differentially expressed peptides associated with RPW infestation in date palm stem. To identify RPW infestation associated peptides (I), artificially wounded plants (W) were used as additional control beside uninfested plants, a conventional control (C). A constant unique pattern of differential expression in infested (I), wounded (W) stem samples compared to control (C) was observed. The upregulated proteins showed relative fold intensity in order of I > W and downregulated spots trend as W > I, a quite interesting pattern. This study also reveals that artificially wounding of date palm stem affects almost the same proteins as infestation; however, relative intensity is quite lower than in infested samples both in up and downregulated spots. All 32 differentially expressed spots were subjected to MALDI-TOF analysis for their identification and we were able to match 21 proteins in the already existing databases. Relatively significant modulated expression pattern of a number of peptides in infested plants predicts the possibility of developing a quick and reliable molecular methodology for detecting plants infested with date palm.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms160819326

PMID: 26287180 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Molecules. 2015 Jul 27;20(8):13620-41. doi: 10.3390/molecules200813620.

Metabolic Analysis of Various Date Palm Fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Cultivars from Saudi Arabia to Assess Their Nutritional Quality.

Hamad I(1)(2), AbdElgawad H(3)(4), Al Jaouni S(5), Zinta G(6), Asard H(7), Hassan S(8)(4), Hegab M(4), Hagagy N(9), Selim S(10)(11).

(1)Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Aljouf University, Sakaka 2014, Saudi Arabia. ismailhamad@yahoo.com. (2)Biochemistry Department, Bahri University, Khartoum 1660, Sudan. ismailhamad@yahoo.com. (3)Laboratory for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020, Antwerp 2020, Belgium. momtazyehya@hotmail.com. (4)Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Beni-Suef, Beni-Suef 62511, Egypt. momtazyehya@hotmail.com. (5)YAJ Prophatic Medicine Application, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80215, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. saljaouni@kau.edu.sa. (6)Laboratory for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020, Antwerp 2020, Belgium. gaurav.zinta@uantwerpen.be. (7)Laboratory for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020, Antwerp 2020, Belgium. hamada.abdelgawad@uantwerpen.be. (8)Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Aljouf University, Sakaka 2014, Saudi Arabia. momtazyehya@hotmail.com. (9)Microbiology and Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt. nashwa_hagag@hotmail.com. (10)Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Aljouf University, Sakaka 2014, Saudi Arabia. sabdulsalam@ju.edu.sa. (11)Microbiology and Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt. sabdulsalam@ju.edu.sa.

        Date palm is an important crop, especially in the hot-arid regions of the world. Date palm fruits have high nutritional and therapeutic value and possess significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. In this study, we performed bioactivity analyses and metabolic profiling of date fruits of 12 cultivars from Saudi Arabia to assess their nutritional value. Our results showed that the date extracts from different cultivars have different free radical scavenging and anti-lipid peroxidation activities. Moreover, the cultivars showed significant differences in their chemical composition, e.g., the phenolic content (10.4-22.1 mg/100 g DW), amino acids (37-108 μmol·g-1 FW) and minerals (237-969 mg/100 g DW). Principal component analysis (PCA) showed a clear separation of the cultivars into four different groups. The first group consisted of the Sokary, Nabtit Ali cultivars, the second group of Khlas Al Kharj, Khla Al Qassim, Mabroom, Khlas Al Ahsa, the third group of Khals Elshiokh, Nabot Saif, Khodry, and the fourth group consisted of Ajwa Al Madinah, Saffawy, Rashodia, cultivars. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) revealed clustering of date cultivars into two groups. The first cluster consisted of the Sokary, Rashodia and Nabtit Ali cultivars, and the second cluster contained all the other tested cultivars. These results indicate that date fruits have high nutritive value, and different cultivars have different chemical composition.

DOI: 10.3390/molecules200813620

PMID: 26225946 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

IET Nanobiotechnol. 2015 Aug;9(4):184-90. doi: 10.1049/iet-nbt.2014.0052.

Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) pit aqueous extract mediated novel route for synthesis high stable silver nanoparticles with high antifungal and antibacterial activity.

Khatami M(1), Pourseyedi S(2).

(1)Department of Biotechnology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran. mehrdad7khatami@gmail.com. (2)Department of Biotechnology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran.

        The biological synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was conducted using date palm pit aqueous extract. The first visible sign of the synthesis of AgNPs was the change in colour of reaction mixtures from yellowish to reddish brown. The resulting synthesised AgNPs were characterised using UV-visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The UV-visible spectra gave surface plasmon resonance at 428 nm. XRD confirmed that the silver particles formed in our experiments were in the form of nanocrystals. TEM images revealed the formation of AgNPs with spherical shape and sizes in the range between 1-40 nm. DLS showed nanoparticles with an average size of 27 nm. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated the role of different possible functional groups (carboxyl, amine, aromatic and hydroxyl) in the formation of AgNPs. AgNPs were stable at 28°C in vitro for over a year without any precipitation or decreased production of antimicrobial effect. Then, the antifungal and antibacterial activities of synthesised AgNPs were investigated. The synthesised AgNPs showed significant inhibitory effects on Rhizoctonia solani (AG2_2) cultures, so that the concentration of 25 µg/ml prevented approximately 83% of the mycelium growth of the fungus. Then, the broth macro-dilution method was used for examining antibacterial effect of AgNPs. The minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericide concentration against Klebsiella pneumonia (PCI 602) and Acinetobacter baumannii (ATCC 19606) were recorded as 1.56 and 3.12 µg/ml AgNPs, respectively.

DOI: 10.1049/iet-nbt.2014.0052

PMID: 26224347 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

BMC Genomics. 2015 Jul 18;16:532. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1710-2.

Genes involved in sex pheromone biosynthesis of Ephestia cautella, an important food storage pest, are determined by transcriptome sequencing.

Antony B(1), Soffan A(2)(3), Jakše J(4), Alfaifi S(5), Sutanto KD(6), Aldosari SA(7), Aldawood AS(8), Pain A(9).

(1)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. bantony@ksu.edu.sa. (2)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. alsoffan@ksu.edu.sa. (3)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, EERU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. alsoffan@ksu.edu.sa. (4)Agronomy Department, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Jernej.Jakse@bf.uni-lj.si. (5)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. sulaiman21mf@yahoo.com. (6)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. kokodwisutanto@yahoo.com. (7)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, Chair of Date Palm Research, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia. aldosari95@hotmail.com. (8)Department of Plant Protection, King Saud University, EERU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. aldawood88@yahoo.com. (9)BASE Division, KAUST, Thuwal, Jeddah, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. arnab.pain@kaust.edu.sa.

        BACKGROUND: Insects use pheromones, chemical signals that underlie all animal behaviors, for communication and for attracting mates. Synthetic pheromones are widely used in pest control strategies because they are environmentally safe. The production of insect pheromones in transgenic plants, which could be more economical and effective in producing isomerically pure compounds, has recently been successfully demonstrated. This research requires information regarding the pheromone biosynthetic pathways and the characterization of pheromone biosynthetic enzymes (PBEs). We used Illumina sequencing to characterize the pheromone gland (PG) transcriptome of the Pyralid moth, Ephestia cautella, a destructive storage pest, to reveal putative candidate genes involved in pheromone biosynthesis, release, transport and degradation. RESULTS: We isolated the E. cautella pheromone compound as (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate, and the major pheromone precursors 16:acyl, 14:acyl, E14-16:acyl, E12-14:acyl and Z9,E12-14:acyl. Based on the abundance of precursors, two possible pheromone biosynthetic pathways are proposed. Both pathways initiate from C16:acyl-CoA, with one involving ∆14 and ∆9 desaturation to generate Z9,E12-14:acyl, and the other involving the chain shortening of C16:acyl-CoA to C14:acyl-CoA, followed by ∆12 and ∆9 desaturation to generate Z9,E12-14:acyl-CoA. Then, a final reduction and acetylation generates Z9,E12-14:OAc. Illumina sequencing yielded 83,792 transcripts, and we obtained a PG transcriptome of ~49.5 Mb. A total of 191 PBE transcripts, which included pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptides, fatty acid transport proteins, acetyl-CoA carboxylases, fatty acid synthases, desaturases, β-oxidation enzymes, fatty acyl-CoA reductases (FARs) and fatty acetyltransferases (FATs), were selected from the dataset. A comparison of the E. cautella transcriptome data with three other Lepidoptera PG datasets revealed that 45% of the sequences were shared. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for desaturases, FARs and FATs, and transcripts that clustered with the ∆14, ∆12 and ∆9 desaturases, PG-specific FARs and potential candidate FATs, respectively, were identified. Transcripts encoding putative pheromone degrading enzymes, and candidate pheromone carrier and receptor proteins expressed in the E. cautella PG, were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides important background information on the enzymes involved in pheromone biosynthesis. This information will be useful for the in vitro production of E. cautella sex pheromones and may provide potential targets for disrupting the pheromone-based communication system of E. cautella to prevent infestations.

DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1710-2

PMID: 26187652 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

ScientificWorldJournal. 2015;2015:846104. doi: 10.1155/2015/846104.

Variations in Hormones and Antioxidant Status in Relation to Flowering in Early, Mid, and Late Varieties of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) of United Arab Emirates.

Cheruth AJ(1), Kurup SS(1), Subramaniam S(2).

(1)Department of Aridland Agriculture, College of Food and Agriculture, P.O. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE. (2)School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Minden Heights, 11800 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

        The present study was carried out to assess the status of various hormones responsible for the flower induction of Nagal, Lulu, and Khalas date palm varieties in UAE. The nonenzymatic antioxidant compounds and the antioxidant enzymatic activities at preflowering, flowering, and postflowering stages of the date palm varieties were quantified. The ABA and zeatin concentrations were found to be significantly higher during the preflowering stage but gradually decreased during the flowering period and then increased after the flowering stage. Gibberellic acid (GA) concentrations were significantly higher in the early flowering varieties and higher levels of ABA may contribute to the delayed flowering in mid and late varieties. The results on hormone profiling displayed a significant variation between seasons (preflowering, flowering, and postflowering) and also between the three date palms (early, mid, and late flowering varieties). Ascorbic acid (AA) concentration was low at the preflowering stage in the early flowering Nagal (0.694 mg/g dw), which is similar with the late flowering Lulu variety (0.862 mg/g dw). However, Khalas variety showed significantly higher amount of AA content (7.494 mg/g dw) at the preflowering stage when compared to other varieties. In flowering stage, Nagal (0.814 mg/g dw) and Lulu (0.963 mg/g dw) were similar with respect to the production of AA, while the mid flowering variety showed significantly higher amount of AA (9.358 mg/g dw). The Khalas variety produced the highest tocopherol at 4.78 mg/g dw compared to Nagal and Lulu, at 1.997 and 1.908 mg/g dw, respectively, during the preflowering stage. In Nagal variety, the content of reduced glutathione (GSH) at the preflowering stage was 0.507 mg/g dw, which was not significantly different from the flowering and postflowering stages at 0.4 and 0.45 mg/g dw, respectively. The GSH was significantly higher in Khalas compared to Nagal and Lulu varieties, at 1.321 mg/g w in the preflowering phase followed by 3.347 mg/g dw and 2.349 mg/g dw at the flowering and postflowering phases, respectively. Catalase activity increased with different stages of growth. The lowest catalase activity was observed at the preflowering stage in Khalas (0.116), with similar observations noted during flowering (0.110) and postflowering stage. This study provides an insight into the possible roles of endogenous hormones and antioxidants and in the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the regulation of flower development in date palm varieties.

DOI: 10.1155/2015/846104

PMID: 26167536 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Genomics. 2015;2015:407165. doi: 10.1155/2015/407165.

Proteome Analysis for Understanding Abiotic Stress (Salinity and Drought) Tolerance in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

El Rabey HA(1), Al-Malki AL(2), Abulnaja KO(2), Rohde W(3).

(1)Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia ; Bioinformatics Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute, Sadat City University, Sadat City, Minufiya, Egypt. (2)Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (3)Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ), 50829 Cologne, Germany.

        This study was carried out to study the proteome of date palm under salinity and drought stress conditions to possibly identify proteins involved in stress tolerance. For this purpose, three-month-old seedlings of date palm cultivar "Sagie" were subjected to drought (27.5 g/L polyethylene glycol 6000) and salinity stress conditions (16 g/L NaCl) for one month. DIGE analysis of protein extracts identified 47 differentially expressed proteins in leaves of salt- and drought-treated palm seedlings. Mass spectrometric analysis identified 12 proteins; three out of them were significantly changed under both salt and drought stress, while the other nine were significantly changed only in salt-stressed plants. The levels of ATP synthase alpha and beta subunits, an unknown protein and some of RubisCO fragments were significantly changed under both salt and drought stress conditions. Changes in abundance of superoxide dismutase, chlorophyll A-B binding protein, light-harvesting complex1 protein Lhca1, RubisCO activase, phosphoglycerate kinase, chloroplast light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein, phosphoribulokinase, transketolase, RubisCO, and some of RubisCO fragments were significant only for salt stress.

DOI: 10.1155/2015/407165

PMID: 26167472

J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2015 Apr-Jun;6(2):111-20. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.159073.

Diet rich in date palm fruits improves memory, learning and reduces beta amyloid in transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Subash S(1), Essa MM(1), Braidy N(2), Awlad-Thani K(1), Vaishnav R(3), Al-Adawi S(3), Al-Asmi A(4), Guillemin GJ(5).

(1)Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Muscat, Oman ; Ageing and Dementia Research Group, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. (2)Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. (3)Ageing and Dementia Research Group, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman ; Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, Oman. (4)Ageing and Dementia Research Group, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman ; Neurology Unit - Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. (5)Neuropharmacology Group, MND and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Centre, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia.

        BACKGROUND: At present, the treatment options available to delay the onset or slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are not effective. Recent studies have suggested that diet and lifestyle factors may represent protective strategies to minimize the risk of developing AD. Date palm fruits are a good source of dietary fiber and are rich in total phenolics and natural antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid and caffeic acid. These polyphenolic compounds have been shown to be neuroprotective in different model systems. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether dietary supplementation with 2% and 4% date palm fruits (grown in Oman) could reduce cognitive and behavioral deficits in a transgenic mouse model for AD (amyloid precursor protein [APPsw]/Tg2576). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The experimental groups of APP-transgenic mice from the age of 4 months were fed custom-mix diets (pellets) containing 2% and 4% date fruits. We assessed spatial memory and learning ability, psychomotor coordination, and anxiety-related behavior in all the animals at the age of 4 months and after 14 months of treatment using the Morris water maze test, rota-rod test, elevated plus maze test, and open-field test. We have also analyzed the levels of amyloid beta (Aβ) protein (1-40 and 1-42) in plasma of control and experimental animals. RESULTS: Standard diet-fed Tg mice showed significant memory deficits, increased anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability and motor coordination when compared to wild-type on the same diet and Tg mice fed 2% and 4% date supplementation at the age of 18 months. The levels of both Aβ proteins were significantly lowered in date fruits supplemented groups than the Tg mice without the diet supplement. The neuroprotective effect offered by 4% date fruits diet to AD mice is higher than 2% date fruits diet. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that date fruits dietary supplementation may have beneficial effects in lowering the risk, delaying the onset or slowing down the progression of AD.

DOI: 10.4103/0975-9476.159073

PMID: 26167001

Materials (Basel). 2015 Jul 8;8(7):4162-4175. doi: 10.3390/ma8074162.

Correlation between Mechanical Properties with Specific Wear Rate and the Coefficient of Friction of Graphite/Epoxy Composites.

Alajmi M(1), Shalwan A(2).

(1)Manufacturing Engineering Technology Department, College of Technological Studies, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait City 13092, Kuwait. Mahdisaud123@gmail.com. (2)Manufacturing Engineering Technology Department, College of Technological Studies, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait City 13092, Kuwait. ms.alajmi@paaet.edu.kw.

        The correlation between the mechanical properties of Fillers/Epoxy composites and their tribological behavior was investigated. Tensile, hardness, wear, and friction tests were conducted for Neat Epoxy (NE), Graphite/Epoxy composites (GE), and Data Palm Fiber/Epoxy with or without Graphite composites (GFE and FE). The correlation was made between the tensile strength, the modulus of elasticity, elongation at the break, and the hardness, as an individual or a combined factor, with the specific wear rate (SWR) and coefficient of friction (COF) of composites. In general, graphite as an additive to polymeric composite has had an eclectic effect on mechanical properties, whereas it has led to a positive effect on tribological properties, whilst date palm fibers (DPFs), as reinforcement for polymeric composite, promoted a mechanical performance with a slight improvement to the tribological performance. Statistically, this study reveals that there is no strong confirmation of any marked correlation between the mechanical and the specific wear rate of filler/Epoxy composites. There is, however, a remarkable correlation between the mechanical properties and the friction coefficient of filler/Epoxy composites.

DOI: 10.3390/ma8074162

PMID: 28793431

Epidemiol Infect. 2016 Jan;144(2):371-80. doi: 10.1017/S0950268815001314.

Evolving epidemiology of Nipah virus infection in Bangladesh: evidence from outbreaks during 2010-2011.

Chakraborty A(1), Sazzad HM(1), Hossain MJ(1), Islam MS(1), Parveen S(1), Husain M(2), Banu SS(2), Podder G(1), Afroj S(1), Rollin PE(3), Daszak P(4), Luby SP(1), Rahman M(2), Gurley ES(1).

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research,Bangladesh (icddr,b),Dhaka,Bangladesh. (2)Institute of Epidemiology,Disease Control and Research (IEDCR),Dhaka,Bangladesh. (3)Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology,National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Atlanta,GA,USA. (4)EcoHealth Alliance,New York,NY,USA.

        Drinking raw date palm sap is the primary route of Nipah virus (NiV) transmission from bats to people in Bangladesh; subsequent person-to-person transmission is common. During December 2010 to March 2011, we investigated NiV epidemiology by interviewing cases using structured questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and group discussions to collect clinical and exposure histories. We conducted a case-control study to identify risk factors for transmission. We identified 43 cases; 23 were laboratory-confirmed and 20 probable. Thirty-eight (88%) cases died. Drinking raw date palm sap and contact with an infected person were major risk factors; one healthcare worker was infected and for another case transmission apparently occurred through contact with a corpse. In absence of these risk factors, apparent routes of transmission included drinking fermented date palm sap. For the first time, a case was detected in eastern Bangladesh. Identification of new epidemiological characteristics emphasizes the importance of continued NiV surveillance and case investigation.

DOI: 10.1017/S0950268815001314

PMID: 26122675 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Bot. 2015 Jul;116(1):101-12. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcv068.

Genetic structure of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Old World reveals a strong differentiation between eastern and western populations.

Zehdi-Azouzi S(1), Cherif E(2), Moussouni S(3), Gros-Balthazard M(2), Abbas Naqvi S(3), Ludeña B(2), Castillo K(3), Chabrillange N(3), Bouguedoura N(3), Bennaceur M(3), Si-Dehbi F(3), Abdoulkader S(3), Daher A(3), Terral JF(3), Santoni S(3), Ballardini M(3), Mercuri A(3), Ben Salah M(3), Kadri K(3), Othmani A(3), Littardi C(3), Salhi-Hannachi A(3), Pintaud JC(3), Aberlenc-Bertossi F(3).

(1)Université Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Campus universitaire El Manar, 2092, Tunisia, IRD, UMR DIADE-F2F, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France, Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones Arides (LRZA), BP 32 Bab Ezzouar-El Alia, 16111, Alger, Algeria, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, UMR 5554, équipe Dynamique de la biodiversité, anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 065, 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France, Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, 38040 Faisalabad, Pakistan, School of Biology, Yachay-Tech, Yachay City of Knowledge, 100119 Urcuqui, Ecuador, Université Oran1-Ahmed Ben Bella, Faculté des sciences de la nature et de la vie, Département de Biologie, BP 1524 El Mnaouar, 31000 Oran, Algérie, ISV/CERD, route de l'Aéroport, BP 486, Djibouti, INRA, UMR AGAP, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France, Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura-Unità di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le Specie Ornamentali (CRA-FSO), Corso degli Inglesi 508, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy, Centre Régional de Recherche en Agriculture Oasienne, 2260 Degueche, Tunisia and Centro Studi e Ricerche per le Palme, Corso F. Cavallotti 113, 18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy salwa.zehdi@fst.rnu.tn szehdi@gmail.com. (2)Université Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Campus universitaire El Manar, 2092, Tunisia, IRD, UMR DIADE-F2F, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France, Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones Arides (LRZA), BP 32 Bab Ezzouar-El Alia, 16111, Alger, Algeria, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, UMR 5554, équipe Dynamique de la biodiversité, anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 065, 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France, Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, 38040 Faisalabad, Pakistan, School of Biology, Yachay-Tech, Yachay City of Knowledge, 100119 Urcuqui, Ecuador, Université Oran1-Ahmed Ben Bella, Faculté des sciences de la nature et de la vie, Département de Biologie, BP 1524 El Mnaouar, 31000 Oran, Algérie, ISV/CERD, route de l'Aéroport, BP 486, Djibouti, INRA, UMR AGAP, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France, Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura-Unità di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le Specie Ornamentali (CRA-FSO), Corso degli Inglesi 508, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy, Centre Régional de Recherche en Agriculture Oasienne, 2260 Degueche, Tunisia and Centro Studi e Ricerche per le Palme, Corso F. Cavallotti 113, 18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy Université Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Campus universitaire El Manar, 2092, Tunisia, IRD, UMR DIADE-F2F, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France, Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones Arides (LRZA), BP 32 Bab Ezzouar-El Alia, 16111, Alger, Algeria, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, UMR 5554, équipe D (3)Université Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Campus universitaire El Manar, 2092, Tunisia, IRD, UMR DIADE-F2F, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France, Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Zones Arides (LRZA), BP 32 Bab Ezzouar-El Alia, 16111, Alger, Algeria, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, UMR 5554, équipe Dynamique de la biodiversité, anthropo-écologie, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 065, 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France, Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, 38040 Faisalabad, Pakistan, School of Biology, Yachay-Tech, Yachay City of Knowledge, 100119 Urcuqui, Ecuador, Université Oran1-Ahmed Ben Bella, Faculté des sciences de la nature et de la vie, Département de Biologie, BP 1524 El Mnaouar, 31000 Oran, Algérie, ISV/CERD, route de l'Aéroport, BP 486, Djibouti, INRA, UMR AGAP, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France, Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura-Unità di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le Specie Ornamentali (CRA-FSO), Corso degli Inglesi 508, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy, Centre Régional de Recherche en Agriculture Oasienne, 2260 Degueche, Tunisia and Centro Studi e Ricerche per le Palme, Corso F. Cavallotti 113, 18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy.

        Erratum in Ann Bot. 2015 Oct;116(5):847. BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera, Arecaceae) are of great economic and ecological value to the oasis agriculture of arid and semi-arid areas. However, despite the availability of a large date palm germplasm spreading from the Atlantic shores to Southern Asia, improvement of the species is being hampered by a lack of information on global genetic diversity and population structure. In order to contribute to the varietal improvement of date palms and to provide new insights on the influence of geographic origins and human activity on the genetic structure of the date palm, this study analysed the diversity of the species. METHODS: Genetic diversity levels and population genetic structure were investigated through the genotyping of a collection of 295 date palm accessions ranging from Mauritania to Pakistan using a set of 18 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and a plastid minisatellite. KEY RESULTS: Using a Bayesian clustering approach, the date palm genotypes can be structured into two different gene pools: the first, termed the Eastern pool, consists of accessions from Asia and Djibouti, whilst the second, termed the Western pool, consists of accessions from Africa. These results confirm the existence of two ancient gene pools that have contributed to the current date palm diversity. The presence of admixed genotypes is also noted, which points at gene flows between eastern and western origins, mostly from east to west, following a human-mediated diffusion of the species. CONCLUSIONS: This study assesses the distribution and level of genetic diversity of accessible date palm resources, provides new insights on the geographic origins and genetic history of the cultivated component of this species, and confirms the existence of at least two domestication origins. Furthermore, the strong genetic structure clearly established here is a prerequisite for any breeding programme exploiting the effective polymorphism related to each gene pool.

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcv068

PMID: 26113618 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Technol. 2016;37(1):129-35. doi: 10.1080/09593330.2015.1064171.

Date palm and the activated sludge co-composting actinobacteria sanitization potential.

El Fels L(1), Hafidi M(1), Ouhdouch Y(2).

(1)a Laboratory of Ecology and Environment (L2E) (Unit Associated with the CNRST, URAC32) , Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University , 2390 Marrakech , Morocco. (2)b Laboratoire de Biologie et Biotechnologie des Microorganismes, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia , Université Cadi Ayyad (UCAM) , Marrakech , Morocco.

        The objective of this study was to find a connection between the development of the compost actinobacteria and the potential involvement of antagonistic thermophilic actinomycetes in compost sanitization as high temperature additional role. An abundance of actinobacteria and coliforms during the activated sludge and date palm co-composting is determined. Hundred actinomycete isolates were isolated from the sample collected at different composting times. To evaluate the antagonistic effects of the different recovered actinomycete isolates, several wastewater-linked microorganisms known as human and plant potential pathogens were used. The results showed that 12 isolates have an in vitro inhibitory effect on at least 9 of the indicator microorganisms while only 4 active strains inhibit all these pathogens. The antimicrobial activities of sterilized composting time extracts are also investigated.

DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2015.1064171

PMID: 26102058 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Front Plant Sci. 2015 May 18;6:348. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00348. eCollection 2015.

Salt tolerance research in date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.), past, present, and future perspectives.

Yaish MW(1), Kumar PP(2).

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University , Muscat, Oman. (2)Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore , Singapore, Singapore.

        The date palm can adapt to extreme drought, to heat, and to relatively high levels of soil salinity. However, excessive amounts of salt due to irrigation with brackish water lead to a significant reduction in the productivity of the fruits as well as marked decrease in the viable numbers of the date palm trees. It is imperative that the nature of the existing salt-adaptation mechanism be understood in order to develop future date palm varieties that can tolerate excessive soil salinity. In this perspective article, several research strategies, obstacles, and precautions are discussed in light of recent advancements accomplished in this field and the properties of this species. In addition to a physiological characterization, we propose the use of a full range of OMICS technologies, coupled with reverse genetics approaches, aimed toward understanding the salt-adaption mechanism in the date palm. Information generated by these analyses should highlight transcriptional and posttranscriptional modifications controlling the salt-adaptation mechanisms. As an extremophile with a natural tolerance for a wide range of abiotic stresses, the date palm may represent a treasure trove of novel genetic resources for salinity tolerance.

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00348

PMID: 26042137

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2015 Aug;7(4):668-78. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12304.

Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought.

Cherif H(1), Marasco R(2), Rolli E(3), Ferjani R(1), Fusi M(2), Soussi A(2), Mapelli F(3), Blilou I(4), Borin S(3), Boudabous A(1), Cherif A(5), Daffonchio D(2)(3), Ouzari H(1).

(1)Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Biomolécules Actives, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, Tunis, 2092, Tunisia. (2)Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (3)Department of Food Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, 20133, Italy. (4)Plant Developmental Biology, Wageningen UR, Wageningen, The Netherlands. (5)Laboratory BVBGR, ISBST, University of Manouba, La Manouba, 2010, Tunisia.

        Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem.

DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.12304

PMID: 26033617 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Jun;52(6):3322-35. doi: 10.1007/s13197-014-1398-3.

Production of date palm fruits free of acaricides residues by ozone technology as post-harvest treatment.

Osman KA(1).

(1)Department of Pesticide Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, El-Shatby Alexandria, P.O. Box 21545, Egypt.

        Distilled water and ozonated water as postharvest wash treatments for 15-60 min as dipping times were tested to remove two acaricides namely, dicofol and amitraz from different varieties of date fruits. Recovered amount of the acaricides was extracted using solid phase extraction (SPE) and then analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Dicofol removal percentages in the presence of ozone increased in the order of Nabtet Aly > Nabout Seif > Khalas > Sakay, while amitraz removal increased in the order of Nabtet Aly > Nabout Seif > Sakay > Khalas, respectively, and the percentages of residues on date fruits depended on the dipping time. Kinetic studies revealed that dicofol and amitraz were easily removable from date fruits treated with ozonated water. Ozone-treated date palm fruits were not associated with significant changes in antioxidant capacity, and phenolic and sugar contents. Due to the large amount of dates consumed by Saudi residents, a higher risk of exposure to pesticides, especially in children and other vulnerable individuals may occur and the search for safety methods to remove pesticides with negligible residual deposits has always been preferred. Therefore, the present study validated that ozone technology as wash treatments is safe and promising processes for the removal of acaricides from date fruits surface under domestic conditions to reduce the impact over consumer's health.

DOI: 10.1007/s13197-014-1398-3

PMID: 26028713

Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Dec;17(12):1209-18.

Effect of potassium nitrate on antioxidants production of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in vitro.

Aldaej MI, Alturki SM, Shehata WF, Ghazzawy HS.

        Antioxidants present in dates are necessary for all physiological processes of humans and animals. In Saudi Arabia date palm is a national fruit tree, produces millions of tons of dates for consumption and is considered a major source of antioxidants. The main aim of this study was to determine the role of potassium nitrate (KNO3) in the formation of antioxidants from explants collected from date palm cultivars in Al-Ahsa Oasis, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to monitor the extent of its effect on growth and development of cells during callus formation stage via somatic embryogenesis. The results showed that full concentration of KNO3 was the best for callus formation in general. While, the half concentration of KNO3 played an important role for stimulating the explants to form phenolic compounds and the browning emergence for all the cultivars under investigation. On the other hand, the chemical analysis for measuring the phenolic compounds in the explants showed that all the explants formed antioxidants but with varying degrees. The highest mean of phenolic contents was found in those explants cultured with the half concentration of KNO3 for Shishi cv 2.053 ± 0.010a mg g(-1) and antioxidant activity by ABTS Inhibition and UM Trolox was 80.694 ± 0.439 and 801.575 ± 2.391, respectively.

PMID: 26027167 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Biotechnol Biotechnol Equip. 2014 May 4;28(3):559-566.

Production of a new non-specific nuclease from Yersinia enterocolitica subsp. palearctica: optimization of induction conditions using response surface methodology.

Fang XJ(1), Tang ZX(2), Li ZH(1), Zhang ZL(1), Shi LE(1).

(1)College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University , Hangzhou , Zhejiang , P.R. China. (2)College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University , Hangzhou , Zhejiang , P.R. China ; Date Palm Research Center, King Faisal University , Al-hasa , Saudi Arabia ; Department of Food Science, Anqing Vocational & Technical College , Anqing , Anhui , P.R. China.

        A new non-specific nuclease from Yersinia enterocolitica subsp. palearctica (Y. NSN) was expressed in Escherichia coli (E. coli) BL 21 Star(TM) (DE3)plysS. Induction conditions, including isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG) concentration, cell density (OD600), induction time and induction temperature, were optimized using response surface methodology. Statistical analysis of the results revealed that induction temperature and all the quadratic terms of variables had significant effects on enzyme activity of Y. NSN. The optimal induction conditions were as follows: 1.5 mmol/L IPTG, OD600 of 0.80, induction time of 20.5 h, and induction temperature of 32 °C. Under the optimized conditions, the highest enzyme activity could be obtained.

DOI: 10.1080/13102818.2014.915612

PMID: 26019543

G3 (Bethesda). 2015 May 8;5(7):1429-38. doi: 10.1534/g3.115.018341.

A Genome-Wide Survey of Date Palm Cultivars Supports Two Major Subpopulations in Phoenix dactylifera.

Mathew LS(1), Seidel MA(2), George B(1), Mathew S(1), Spannagl M(2), Haberer G(2), Torres MF(3), Al-Dous EK(1), Al-Azwani EK(1), Diboun I(4), Krueger RR(5), Mayer KF(2), Mohamoud YA(1), Suhre K(6), Malek JA(7).

(1)Genomics Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar. (2)MIPS/IBIS, Helmholtz Zentrum München, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany. (3)Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar. (4)Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar. (5)USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates, University of California, Riverside, California 92507. (6)MIPS/IBIS, Helmholtz Zentrum München, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar. (7)Genomics Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, 24144 Doha, Qatar jom2042@qatar-med.cornell.edu.

        The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is one of the oldest cultivated trees and is intimately tied to the history of human civilization. There are hundreds of commercial cultivars with distinct fruit shapes, colors, and sizes growing mainly in arid lands from the west of North Africa to India. The origin of date palm domestication is still uncertain, and few studies have attempted to document genetic diversity across multiple regions. We conducted genotyping-by-sequencing on 70 female cultivar samples from across the date palm-growing regions, including four Phoenix species as the outgroup. Here, for the first time, we generate genome-wide genotyping data for 13,000-65,000 SNPs in a diverse set of date palm fruit and leaf samples. Our analysis provides the first genome-wide evidence confirming recent findings that the date palm cultivars segregate into two main regions of shared genetic background from North Africa and the Arabian Gulf. We identify genomic regions with high densities of geographically segregating SNPs and also observe higher levels of allele fixation on the recently described X-chromosome than on the autosomes. Our results fit a model with two centers of earliest cultivation including date palms autochthonous to North Africa. These results adjust our understanding of human agriculture history and will provide the foundation for more directed functional studies and a better understanding of genetic diversity in date palm.

DOI: 10.1534/g3.115.018341

PMID: 25957276 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2015 May 5;16(3):034602. eCollection 2015 Jun.

Physico-chemical properties of biodiesel manufactured from waste frying oil using domestic adsorbents.

Ismail SA(1), Ali RF(1).

(1)Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, 12613, Giza, Egypt.

        We have evaluated the efficiency of sugar cane bagasse ash (SCBA), date palm seed carbon (DPSC), and rice husk ash (RHA) as natural adsorbents and compared them with the synthetic adsorbent Magnesol XL for improving the quality of waste frying oil (WFO) and for the impact on the physicochemical properties of the obtained biodiesel. We measured moisture content, refractive index (RI), density, acid value (AV), iodine value (IV), peroxide value (PV), and saponification value (SV), as well as fatty acid profile. Purification treatments with various levels of adsorbents caused significant (P ≤ 0.05) decreases in free fatty acids (FFAs), PVs, and IVs. The highest yields (86.45 and 87.80%) were observed for biodiesel samples produced from WFO treated with 2% Magnesol and 3% of RHA, respectively, followed by samples treated with 2 and 3% of DPSC or RHA. Pre-treatments caused a significant decrease in the content of C 18:2 linoleic acids, consistent with a significant increase in the content of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the treated samples. The highest oxidation value (COX) (1.30) was observed for biodiesel samples produced from WFO without purification treatments. However, the lowest values (0.44-0.73) were observed for biodiesel samples produced from WFO treated with different levels of adsorbents. Our results indicate that pre-treatments with different levels of adsorbents regenerated the quality of WFO and improved the quality of the obtained biodiesel.

DOI: 10.1088/1468-6996/16/3/034602

PMID: 27877789

J Public Health Policy. 2015 Aug;36(3):270-82. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2015.13.

Controlling Nipah virus encephalitis in Bangladesh: Policy options.

Dhillon J(1), Banerjee A(2).

(1)Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, s7n5b4. (2)Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, S7N5B4.

        Comment in J Public Health Policy. 2015 Aug;36(3):283-6. Nipah virus (NiV) encephalitis is endemic in Bangladesh, with yearly seasonal outbreaks occurring since 2003. NiV has a notable case fatality rate, 75-100 per cent depending on the strain. In Bangladesh, primary transmission to humans is believed to be because of consumption of bat-contaminated date palm sap (DPS). Both the disease and the virus have been investigated extensively, however efforts to implement preventive strategies have met social and cultural challenges. Here we present a variety of community approaches to control the spread of Nipah encephalitis, along with advantages and disadvantages of each. This information may be useful to health workers and policymakers in potential NiV outbreak areas in Southeast Asia.

DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2015.13

PMID: 25925087 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Chem Ecol. 2015 May;41(5):446-57. doi: 10.1007/s10886-015-0577-7.

Identification of the Aggregation Pheromone of the Date Palm Root Borer Oryctes agamemnon.

Saïd I(1), Hasni N, Abdallah Z, Couzi P, Ouhichi M, Renou M, Rochat D.

(1)Faculté des Sciences de Gafsa, Université de Gafsa, Campus Zarroug, 2112, Gafsa, Tunisia, imensaid@gmx.fr.

        Laboratory and field investigations aimed to characterize the chemical communication system of the date palm pest Oryctes agamemnon. Live males or extracts of male effluvia attracted conspecifics in an olfactometer, whereas female effluvia attracted only males. Volatile emissions from adults feeding on sugarcane were sampled and analysed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Males emitted a blend of 1) ethyl 4-methyloctanoate, 2) 4-methyloctanoic acid, 3) 4-methyloctanyl acetate, and 4) 4-methyloctanol in variable ratio. Single sensillum recordings demonstrated that compounds 1, 2, and 3 are detected by specific olfactory receptor neurons. Olfactometric experiments showed that compounds 1 and 3 attract both sexes of O. agamemnon, but females are more attracted by compound 1 and males by compound 3. Compound 2 was more attractive for females, especially virgin ones. Field experiments confirmed that compound 1 and compound 2 attracted O. agamemnon of both sexes and showed synergy with palm odors. No clear activity of compound 3 was observed. A mix of compounds 1 and 2 with date palm core odor was significantly the most attractive, and captured more females than males. The male aggregation pheromone of O. agamemnon appears therefore to be based on a mixture in contrast to previously identified Oryctes pheromones. Our results provide the basis for developing mass trapping to control this pest.

DOI: 10.1007/s10886-015-0577-7

PMID: 25900246 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

BMC Microbiol. 2015 Apr 22;15:88. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0422-8.

Diversity and phylogenetic analysis of endosymbiotic bacteria of the date palm root borer Oryctes agamemnon (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

El-Sayed WS(1)(2), Ibrahim RA(3)(4).

(1)Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawarah, 344, Saudi Arabia. waelsme@yahoo.com. (2)Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 11566, Egypt. waelsme@yahoo.com. (3)Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawarah, 344, Saudi Arabia. reda_ibrahim18@yahoo.com. (4)Department of Economic Entomology, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Sheikh, 33516, Egypt. reda_ibrahim18@yahoo.com.

        BACKGROUND: The date palm root borer Oryctes agamemnon (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is one of the major pests of palms. In Saudi Arabia, both larvae and adults of Oryctes are particularly troublesome, especially during the establishment of young date palm orchards. Endosymbiotic bacteria are known to have a key role in food digestion and insecticide resistance mechanisms, and therefore are essential to their host insect. Identification of these bacteria in their insect host can lead to development of new insect pest control strategies. RESULTS: Metagenomic DNA from larval midgut of the date palm root borer, O. agamemnon, was analyzed for endosymbiotic bacterial communities using denatured gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) utilizing 16S rRNA genes. The DGGE fingerprints with metagenomic DNA showed predominance of eleven major operational taxonomic units (OTUs) identified as members of Photobacterium, Vibrio, Allomonas, Shewanella, Cellulomonas, and Citrobacter, as well as uncultured bacteria, including some uncultured Vibrio members. DGGE profiles also showed shifts in the dominant bacterial populations of the original soil compared with those that existed in the larval midguts. The endosymbiotic bacterial community was dominated by members of the family Vibrionaceae (54.5%), followed by uncultured bacteria (18.2%), Enterobacteriaceae (9.1%), Shewanellaceae (9.1%), and Cellulomonadaceae (9.1%). Phylogenetic studies confirmed the affiliation of the dominant OTUs into specified families revealed by clustering of each phylotype to its corresponding clade. Relative frequency of each phylotype in larval midguts revealed predominance of Vibrio furnisii and Vibrio navarrensis, followed by uncultured bacterial spp., then Cellulomonas hominis, Shewanella algae, and Citrobacter freundii. CONCLUSION: Analysis of metagenomic DNA for endosymbiotic bacterial communities from the midgut of Oryctes larvae showed strong selection of specific bacterial populations that may have a key role in digestion, as well as other benefits to the larvae of O. agamemnon. Determination of the distinct endosymbiotic community structure and its possible biological functions within the insect could provide us with basic information for future pest control research.

DOI: 10.1186/s12866-015-0422-8

PMID: 25899000 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Biol. 2015 Mar;36(2):455-9.

Physico-chemical characteristics of oil produced from seeds of some date palm cultivars (Phoenix dactylifera L.) .

Soliman SS, Al-Obeed RS, Ahmed TA.

        The oil content of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids with some physico-chemical properties and nutrients were investigated in oil produced from seeds of six important date palm cultivars and one seed strain present in Saudi Arabia. The results indicated that the oil extracted from six seed cultivars of date palm ranged from 6.73-10.89% w/w oil. The refractive index of date seeds oil was found to be between 1.4574 to 1.4615. The iodine values, acid values and saponification values were in the range of 74.2-86.6 g iodine 100 g(-1); 2.50-2.58 mg KOH g(-1) and 0.206-0.217 mg KOH g(-1), respectively. Lauric acid, Myristic acid, Palmitic acid C15, Palmitic acid C16 Stearic acid, Arachidic acid and Behenic acid of date seeds oil contents were found between 8.67-49.27; 7.01-15.43; 0-0.57; 4.82-18.09; 1.02-7.86; 0-0.08; and 0-0.15% w/w, in that order. Omega-6 and Omega-9 of date seeds oil were found between 7.31-17.87 and 52.12-58.78%, respectively. Khalas, Barhy cvs. and seed strain gave highest K and Ca, Na and Fe, Mg as compared with other studied cultivars.

PMID: 25895270 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genet Mol Res. 2015 Mar 6;14(1):1624-35. doi: 10.4238/2015.March.6.9.

Genetic diversity of Qatari date palm using SSR markers.

Elmeer K(1), Mattat I(2).

(1)Horticulture Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Omar Almukhtar University, Al Bayda, Libya elmeer@gmail.com. (2)Genetic Engineering Department, Biotechnology Centre, Doha, Qatar.

        The genetic diversity in the date palm germplasm of 59 female accessions representing 12 cultivars from different locations in Qatar was investigated using 14 loci of simple-sequence repeat (SSR) primers. A total of 94 alleles, with a mean of 6.7 alleles per locus, were scored. The number of alleles per locus varied from 3 (primer mPdCIR090) to 11 (primers mPdCIR010 and mPdCIR015). The amplified SSR band sizes ranged from 104 to 330 bp. The mean gene diversity was 0.66 and ranged from 0.39 (locus mPdCIRO93) to 0.86 (locus mPdCIR015), indicating that the Qatari date palm collection has a high degree of genetic diversity. The heterozygosity ranged from 0 (marker mPdCIR090) to 98% (marker mPdCIR010). Forty-four percent of the variability is explained at the inter-population level, while 56% of the variability is maintained within individuals. However, the loci mPdCIR044, mPdCIR057, mPdCIR090, and mPdCIR093 revealed that the total gene diversity is explained at the inter-population level. The Qatari populations Khalas, Shishi, Barhi, Hillali, Khnaizi, Gar, and Jabri showed significant differentiation compared to all other populations. The average fixation index was 0.24814, showing that about 24.81% of the genetic variation was present among populations, which correlated with analysis of molecular variance.

DOI: 10.4238/2015.March.6.9

PMID: 25867305 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:153851. doi: 10.1155/2015/153851.

The date palm tree rhizosphere is a niche for plant growth promoting bacteria in the oasis ecosystem.

Ferjani R(1), Marasco R(2), Rolli E(3), Cherif H(1), Cherif A(4), Gtari M(1), Boudabous A(1), Daffonchio D(5), Ouzari HI(1).

(1)LR03ES03 Laboratoire Microorganismes et Biomolécules Actives, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia. (2)Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. (3)Department of Food, Environment, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy. (4)Université de La Manouba, Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Sidi Thabet, LR11ES31 LR Biotechnologie & Valorisation des Bio-Géo Ressources, BiotechPole Sidi Thabet, 2020 Ariana, Tunisia. (5)Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia ; Department of Food, Environment, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy.

        In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

DOI: 10.1155/2015/153851

PMID: 25866759 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2015 Jun;107(6):1519-32. doi: 10.1007/s10482-015-0445-z.

Isolation and characterization of endophytic plant growth-promoting bacteria from date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and their potential role in salinity tolerance.

Yaish MW(1), Antony I, Glick BR.

(1)Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, myaish@squ.edu.om.

        Endophytic bacteria were isolated from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seedling roots, characterized and tested for their ability to help plants grow under saline conditions. Molecular characterization showed that the majority of these strains belonged to the genera Bacillus and Enterobacter and had different degrees of resistance to various antibiotics. Some of these strains were able to produce the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase and the plant growth regulatory hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Some strains were also able to chelate ferric iron (Fe(3+)) and solubilize potassium (K(+)), phosphorus (PO 4 (3-) ) and zinc (Zn(2+)), and produce ammonia. The results also showed that ACC deaminase activity and IAA production was slightly increased in some strains in response to an increase in NaCl concentration in the growth media. Consistent with these results, selected strains such as PD-R6 (Paenibacillus xylanexedens) and PD-P6 (Enterobacter cloacae) were able to enhance canola root elongation when grown under normal and saline conditions as demonstrated by a gnotobiotic root elongation assay. These results suggest that the isolated and characterized endophytic bacteria can alter ethylene and IAA levels and also facilitate nutrient uptake in roots and therefore have the potential role to promote the growth and development of date palm trees growing under salinity stress.

DOI: 10.1007/s10482-015-0445-z

PMID: 25860542 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Mar 15;96(4):1132-40. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7195.

Projected future distribution of date palm and its potential use in alleviating micronutrient deficiency.

Shabani F(1), Kumar L(1), Nojoumian AH(2), Esmaeili A(3), Toghyani M(4)(5).

(1)Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia. (2)Faculty of the Professions, School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia. (3)Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. (4)Department of Animal Science, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia. (5)Young Researchers and Elite Club, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, 81595-158, Iran.

        BACKGROUND: Micronutrient deficiency develops when nutrient intake does not match nutritional requirements for maintaining healthy tissue and organ functions which may have long-ranging effects on health, learning ability and productivity. Inadequacy of iron, zinc and vitamin A are the most important micronutrient deficiencies. Consumption of a 100 g portion of date flesh from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) has been reported to meet approximately half the daily dietary recommended intake of these micronutrients. This study investigated the potential distribution of P. dactylifera under future climates to address its potential long-term use as a food commodity to tackle micronutrient deficiencies in some developing countries. RESULTS: Modelling outputs indicated large shifts in areas conducive to date palm cultivation, based on global-scale alteration over the next 60 years. Most of the regions suffering from micronutrient deficiencies were projected to become highly conducive for date palm cultivation. CONCLUSIONS: These results could inform strategic planning by government and agricultural organizations by identifying areas to cultivate this nutritionally important crop in the future to support the alleviation of micronutrient deficiencies.

DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.7195

PMID: 25847224 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nutrition. 2015 May;31(5):621-30. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.10.017.

Cholesterol overload impairing cerebellar function: the promise of natural products.

El-Sayyad HI(1).

(1)Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt. Electronic address: elsayyad@mans.edu.eg.

        The cerebellum is the part of the brain most involved in controlling motor and cognitive function. The surface becomes convoluted, forming folia that have a characteristic internal structure of three layers including molecular, Purkinje cell, and granular layer. This complex neural network gives rise to a massive signal-processing capability. Cholesterol is a major constituent, derived by de novo synthesis and the blood-brain barrier. Cholesterol is tightly regulated between neurons and glia-that is, astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes-and is essential for normal brain development. The axon is wrapped by myelin (cholesterol, phospholipids, and glycosphingolipids) and made up of membranes of oligodendrocytes, separated by periodic gaps in the myelin sheath, called nodes of Ranvier. Hypercholesterolemia is associated with increased oxidative stress and the development of neurotoxicity and Alzheimer's disease. Treatment with natural products has been found to support improved brain function and reduce low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol level. Fish oil is one such product; among the many plant products are: Morus alba leaves, fruit, and bark; pomegranate fruit and peel; Barley β - glucans; date palm; and Allium sativum. The therapeutic potential was discussed in relation with the antilipidemic drugs, statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors).

DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.10.017

PMID: 25837204 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Pak Med Assoc. 2015 Jan;65(1):43-8.

Effect of phoenix dactyliferia (date palm) pit powder on nicotine induced spermatotoxicty in adult albino mice.

Saeed K, Tahir M, Lone KP.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of Phoenix Dactyliferia pit powder on nicotine-induced spermatotoxicty in adult albino mice. METHODS: The study was conducted at the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, from February to November 2012, and comprised adult male albino mice aged 6-8 weeks. The animals were divided into five equal groups. Group A consisted of controls who were treated with 1.5ml/kg of normal saline for 15 days, while nicotine 0.5mg/kg was administered intraperitoneally daily to experimental groups B, C and D for the first 15 days. Group B was sacrificed on the 15th day to confirm toxicity, whereas nicotine treatment was stopped in groups C and D. Group C was given normal saline (1.5ml/kg) whereas group D was given date palm pit powder 500mg/kg for the next 30 days. However, Group E was given nicotine 0.5mg/kg for 45 days and date palm pit powder was added orally from the 16th day and it continued daily till the end of the experiment. SPSS 18 was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The mean weight of each of the 40 animals in the study was 30±5gm, and all the five groups hacL8(20%) mice each. Group B exhibited features of toxicity evident by statistically significant decrease in Johnsen score (p<0.001) and diameter of seminiferous tubule (p<0.001). Group C showed partial reversal of toxic effects but these positive effects were less compared to group D which showed complete reversal of toxicity evident by statistically significant increase in Johnsen score (p<0.001) and diameter of seminiferous tubule (p<0.001). However, reversal of toxic effect was not evident in group E. CONCLUSION: Partial recovery from nicotine-induced spermatotoxicity occurred after withdrawal of nicotine treatment whereas near normal restoration of structure was seen with administration of date palm pit powder after the stoppage of nicotine.

        PMID: 25831673 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Carbohydr Polym. 2015 May 20;122:202-11. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.12.081. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Bio-based polyurethane reinforced with cellulose nanofibers: a comprehensive investigation on the effect of interface.

Benhamou K(1), Kaddami H(2), Magnin A(3), Dufresne A(4), Ahmad A(5).

(1)Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Laboratory of Organometallic and Macromolecular Chemistry-Composite Materials, Cadi Ayyad University, Avenue Abdelkrim Elkhattabi, B.P. 549, Marrakech 40000, Morocco; Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGP2, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, LGP2, F-38000 Grenoble, France. (2)Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Laboratory of Organometallic and Macromolecular Chemistry-Composite Materials, Cadi Ayyad University, Avenue Abdelkrim Elkhattabi, B.P. 549, Marrakech 40000, Morocco. Electronic address: h.kaddami@uca.ma. (3)Laboratoire Rhéologie et Procédés, Grenoble-INP, UJF Grenoble 1, UMR CNRS 5520, B.P. 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France. (4)Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGP2, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, LGP2, F-38000 Grenoble, France. Electronic address: alain.dufresne@pagora.grenoble-inp.fr. (5)School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

        Novel bio-based polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites composed of cellulose nanofiller extracted from the rachis of date palm tree and polycaprolactone (PCL) diol based PU were prepared by casting/evaporation. Two types of nanofiber were used: cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). The mechanical and thermal properties of the nanocomposite films were studied by DMA, DSC, and tensile tests and the morphology was investigated by SEM. Bionanocomposites presented good mechanical properties in comparison to neat PU. While comparing both nanofillers, the improvement in mechanical and thermal properties was more pronounced for the nanocomposites based on CNF which could be explained, not only by the higher aspect ratio of CNF, but also by their better dispersion in the PU matrix. Calculation of the solubility parameters of the nanofiller surface polymers and of the PU segments portend a better interfacial adhesion for CNF based nanocomposites compared to CNC.

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.12.081

PMID: 25817660 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Mar;52(3):1814-9. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-1177-6. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Study of phenolic compound and antioxidant activity of date fruit as a function of ripening stages and drying process.

Shahdadi F(1), Mirzaei HO(2), Daraei Garmakhany A(2).

(1)Department of Food Science & Technology, Jiroft university, Jiroft, Iran. (2)Department of Food Science & Technology, Azadshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Azadshahr, Golestan Iran.

        Edible parts of two varieties of date palm (Mazfati and Kalute varieties) (Phoenix dactylifera) fruits (DPF) from Iran were analyzed to determine their phenolic compound and antioxidant activities (AA). Antioxidant activity evaluated using typical methods such as 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power and total antioxidant method. The total phenolic content (TPC) of the DPF was measured using Folin-Ciocalteau method. The samples used in this study included samples were gathered at three stages of khalaal, rutab, tamr and dried date from Bam and Jiroft date. The TPC ranged from 2.89 to 4.82, 1074 to 856.4 and 782.8 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE/100 gdw sample) for khalal, rutab and tamr stage of Mozafati variety, respectively. This work demonstrates the potential of Iranian dates as good sources of antioxidant which can be used as functional food ingredients. The influence of sun drying process and oven drying at temperature ranged 50-80 °C on phenolic compounds and AA of date palm fruits were investigated. Result of drying process showed that TPC and AA varied with temperature and decreased by increase of drying temperature (from 667.3 to 610.5 mg galic acid in sun dried dates of Mozafati and Kaluteh respectively to 314.2 and 210.4 in dried dates (80 °C) of Mozafati and Kaluteh respectively).

DOI: 10.1007/s13197-013-1177-6

PMID: 25745262

Genomics. 2015 Apr;105(4):242-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2015.01.004. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Profiling microRNA expression during multi-staged date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit development.

Xin C(1), Liu W(2), Lin Q(2), Zhang X(2), Cui P(3), Li F(2), Zhang G(2), Pan L(2), Al-Amer A(4), Mei H(1), Al-Mssallem IS(5), Hu S(6), Al-Johi HA(7), Yu J(8).

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia; CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yuquan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, China. (2)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia; CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. (3)Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Sciences and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. (4)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia. (5)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia; Department of Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: imssallem@gmail.com. (6)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia; CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: husn@big.ac.cn. (7)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: haljohi@kacst.edu.sa. (8)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia; CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: junyu@big.ac.cn.

        MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial roles in multiple stages of plant development and regulate gene expression at posttranscriptional and translational levels. In this study, we first identified 238 conserved miRNAs in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) based on a high-quality genome assembly and defined 78 fruit-development-associated (FDA) miRNAs, whose expression profiles are variable at different fruit development stages. Using experimental data, we subsequently detected 276 novel P. dactylifera-specific FDA miRNAs and predicted their targets. We also revealed that FDA miRNAs function mainly in regulating genes involved in starch/sucrose metabolisms and other carbon metabolic pathways; among them, 221 FDA miRNAs exhibit negative correlation with their corresponding targets, which suggests their direct regulatory roles on mRNA targets. Our data define a comprehensive set of conserved and novel FDA miRNAs along with their expression profiles, which provide a basis for further experimentation in assigning discrete functions of these miRNAs in P. dactylifera fruit development.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2015.01.004

PMID: 25638647 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Dec;9(12):1777-80.

Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of seed oil of two Algerian date palm cultivars (Phoenix dactylifera).

Boukouada M, Ghiaba Z, Gourine N, Bombarda I, Saidi M, Yousfi M.

        The fatty acid composition of date seed oil from two different date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars, locally known as Degla-Baïdha and Tafezouine, were investigated. GC analysis revealed the presence of five dominant fatty acids: oleic C18:1 (46.51; 39.15%), lauric C12:0 (22.1; 28.5%), myristic C14:0 (10.7; 11.4%), palmitic C16:0 (9.6; 8.7%) and linoleic C18:2 (6.9; 6.1%). The oils was characterised by a low content of tocopherols (0.53; 1.41 μg/g). The antioxidant activity of the oils was investigated using the DPPH*(1,1-di-phenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl) scavenging assay. The oils had a weak bleaching effect on DPPH* free radicals. This study showed that the qualities of the tested oils are highly comparable with those of some commercial seed oils of other plants. Furthermore, a statistical analysis using the hierarchy ascendant classification method was conducted in order to highlight the similarities and/or the differences regarding the contents of the main fatty acids found in some common plants and in the five most famous cultivars of Phoenix dactylifera of south eastern Algeria (Tafezouine, Degla-Baïdha, Deglet-Nour, Ghars, Tamdjouhert).

PMID: 25632483 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Biometeorol. 2015 Oct;59(10):1425-36. doi: 10.1007/s00484-014-0952-z. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Modeling the effects of climate on date palm scale (Parlatoria blanchardi) population dynamics during different phenological stages of life history under hot arid conditions.

Idder-Ighili H(1), Idder MA(1), Doumandji-Mitiche B(2), Chenchouni H(3).

(1)Faculte des sciences de la nature et de la vie, Laboratoire de Recherche sur la Phœniciculture, Université de Ouargla, 30000, Ouargla, Algeria. (2)Département de Zoologie Agricole et Forestière, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie, 16200, El-Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. (3)Department of Natural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Exact Sciences and Natural and Life Sciences, University of Tebessa, 12002, Tebessa, Algeria. chenchouni@gmail.com.

        The date palm scale (DPS) Parlatoria blanchardi is a serious pest due to the damage it inflicts on its host tree (Phoenix dactylifera). To develop an effective control against DPS in arid regions, it is essential to know its bio-ecology including population dynamics and climatic factors influencing the duration and timing of life history and also the densities of different phenological stages (crawlers, first and second instars nymphs, adult males, and adult females). Monitoring of biological cycle and population dynamics of the pest were achieved through weekly counts of DPS densities on leaflets sampled at different position of date palm trees in an oasis of Ouargla region (Algerian Sahara Desert). Within this hyper-arid region, DPS established four generations per year, the most important was the spring generation. Two overlapping generations occurred in spring-early summer and two in autumn-early winter; these two pairs of generations were interspersed by two phases of high-mortality rates, the first corresponds to winter cold and the second refers to the extreme heat of summer. Statistical analysis of the effects of the studied climatic conditions (minimum, maximum and mean temperatures, precipitation, humidity, wind, rain days, and climatic indices) on the DPS densities at different phenological stages showed great variability from one stage to another. Among these, adult females were the most affected by climate factors. For the total DPS population, high values of minimum temperatures negatively affected population density, while high maximum temperatures, hygrometry, and De Martonne aridity index showed a positive influence.

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-014-0952-z

PMID: 25601782 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Sci Food Agric. 2015 Dec;95(15):3204-10. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7060. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Inhibitory effect of double atmospheric pressure argon cold plasma on spores and mycotoxin production of Aspergillus niger contaminating date palm fruits.

Ouf SA(1)(2), Basher AH(3), Mohamed AA(3)(4).

(1)Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, 41477, Saudi Arabia. (2)Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, 12613, Egypt. (3)Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, 41477, Saudi Arabia. (4)Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, 62511, Egypt.

        BACKGROUND: Aspergillus niger has been reported as a potentially dangerous pathogen of date-palm fruits in Saudi Arabia due to the production of fumonisin B2 (FB2 ) and ochratoxin A (OTA). In a trial to disinfect this product, a double atmospheric pressure argon cold plasma (DAPACP) jet system was set up and evaluated against spore germination and mycotoxin production of the pathogen. RESULTS: The plasma jets were characterised photographically, electrically and spectroscopically. DAPACP jet length increases with the increase of argon flow rate, with optimum rate at 3.5 L min(-1) . The viability of A. niger spores, inoculated onto sterilised date palm fruit discs, progressively decreases with extension of the exposure time of DAPACP due to the more quantitative amount of OH and O radicals interacting with the examined samples. There was a progressive reduction of the amount of FB2 and OTA detected in date palm discs on extension of the exposure time of the plasma-treated inoculums at flow rate of 3.5 L min(-1) . FB2 was not detected in the discs inoculated with 6-min plasma-treated A. niger, while OTA was completely absent when the fungus was treated for 7.5 min. CONCLUSION: DAPACP showed promising results in dry fruit decontamination and in inhibition of mycotoxin release by A. niger contaminating the fruits. The progress in the commercial application of cold plasma needs further investigation concerning the ideal width of the plasma output to enable it to cover wider surfaces of the sample and consequently inducing greater plasma performance.

DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.7060

PMID: 25557283 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Insect Sci. 2014 Jan 1;14. pii: 256. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu118. Print 2014.

Seasonal and nocturnal activities of the rhinoceros borer (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the north Saharan oases ecosystems.

Ehsine M(1), Belkadhi MS(2), Chaieb M(3).

(1)Institute of Arid Regions-Kebili, BP 32, 4200 Kebili, Tunisia ehsine_mhammed@yahoo.fr. (2)Institute of Arid Regions-Kebili, BP 32, 4200 Kebili, Tunisia. (3)Faculty of Science, University of Sfax, BP 802, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia.

        The rhinoceros borer Oryctes agamemnon Burmeister (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a date palm insect pest that causes damage to trunk and roots of palm trees in several countries, including Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to monitor the seasonal and nocturnal activities of this beetle. Experiments were performed on a date palm of Rjim Maatoug during a 6-yr period (2004-2007, 2009-2010). Field survey using light traps shows that O. agamemnon is a univoltine, with a single population peak. Adults appear in the field around late May-early June and the population continued to build until maximum numbers are reached between the end of July and the beginning of August in the same year. No adults were found after first 10 d of November. This peak was characterized by female dominance in number. The monitoring of nocturnal activity showed that it starts its activities roughly 40 min after the sundown and continues until approximately 1 h before sunrise. The highest number of trapped beetles was remarked in the two first hours of flight activity, with a dominance of female in the first hour and a dominance of male in the second hour. We remarked that the sex ratio (female:male) of the cumulated number of trapped adults in the different years and nights of survey was in favor of females.

DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu118

PMID: 25527574 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genet Mol Res. 2014 Dec 4;13(4):10341-8. doi: 10.4238/2014.December.4.29.

DNA barcoding for species identification in the Palmae family. Naeem A(1), Khan AA(2), Cheema HM(1), Khan IA(1), Buerkert A(3).

(1)Plant Genetic Resources Lab, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. (2)Plant Genetic Resources Lab, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan asifpbg@uaf.edu.pk. (3)Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany.

        DNA barcoding is a promising tool for species identification at the molecular level. The barcoding system is well established for species differentiation in animals, while it is less common in plants. We evaluated 2 barcoding regions, maturase K (matK) and ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL), to compare species of Palmae according to amplification success, discrimination power, and inter- and intra-specific divergence. Both regions appear to have potential to discriminate most species of Palmae, but 2 species, Phoenix dactylifera and Phoenix sylvestris, did not show variation in the nucleotides of the barcode genes. P. sylvestris is said to be the sister species of P. dactilyfera according to its morphological and genetic proximity to the cultivated date palm. Thus, the status of these 2 species needs to be re-evaluated considering more genes as barcodes. Furthermore, rbcL has a higher discrimination power (90%) than matK (66.6%) and can thus be potentially used as a standard barcode to discriminate the species of Palmae.

DOI: 10.4238/2014.December.4.29

PMID: 25501246 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Nov;2(6):700-5. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.167.

Antioxidant activity of various Mauritanian date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits at two edible ripening stages.

Mohamed Lemine FM(1), Mohamed Ahmed MV(2), Ben Mohamed Maoulainine L(3), Bouna Zel A(2), Samb A(4), O Boukhary AO(2).

(1)UR-Génomes et milieux, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université des sciences, de technologie et de médecine BP 5026, Nouakchott, Mauritania ; Laboratoire des produits naturels, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar, Senegal. (2)UR-Génomes et milieux, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université des sciences, de technologie et de médecine BP 5026, Nouakchott, Mauritania. (3)UR-Génomes et milieux, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université des sciences, de technologie et de médecine BP 5026, Nouakchott, Mauritania ; Département de production et protection végétale, Institut Supérieur de l'Enseignement Technologique Rosso, Mauritania. (4)Laboratoire des produits naturels, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar, Senegal.

        The increasing interest in plant phenolics and flavonoids outlined the necessity of determining their contents and biological activity in Mauritanian date palm fruits. Methanolic extracts of fruit of six date palm cultivars commonly grown in Mauritania were screened for their antioxidant activity, total phenolics, and flavonoid content at two edible ripening stages. Polyphenols and flavonoids were higher in theBlah stage, corresponding toKhalal in the standard Iraqi Arabic nomenclature, compared to the fully matureTamr stage regardless the cultivar. The average of total phenolics atBlah andTamr stages were 728.5 and 558.9 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE) per 100 g dry matter (DM), whereas the average flavonoid content was 119.6 and 67.3 mg quercetin equivalents (QE) per 100 g DM, respectively. TheBlah stage also exhibited the highest total antioxidant activity with a Trolox equivalents antioxidant capacity (TEAC) value of 129.3 μmol/100 g DM founded in Bou seker's Blah date, followed by Tijib cultivar with TEAC value of 114.3 μmol/100 g DM and an average TEAC value of 107.5 μmol/100 g DM. Furthermore, a high positive correlation was found between total phenolics inTamr (r = 0.92) andBlah (r = 0.87) stages and TEAC of fruit methanolic extracts compared to the flavonoids, suggesting that phenolics were the major contributor to the antioxidant activity.

DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.167

PMID: 25493188

Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Sep;2(5):478-89. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.123.

Chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and mineral extractability of Sudanese date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits.

Mohamed RM(1), Fageer AS(1), Eltayeb MM(1), Mohamed Ahmed IA(1).

(1)Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum Shambat, 13314, Sudan.

        The aim of the present work was to investigate the chemical composition, mineral extractability, and antioxidant capacity of six date palm varieties grown in Sudan. The results showed that Sudanese date varieties contained significantly different (P < 0.05) amounts of moisture, ash, fiber, oil, and carbohydrates, but have almost similar amounts of protein. Moreover, results revealed that date varieties contained significantly varied (P < 0.05) amounts of total polyphenols and total flavonoids, which ranged between 35.82 and 99.34 mg gallic acid equivalent/100 g and 1.74-3.39 mg catechin equivalent/100 g, respectively. The antioxidant activities of the studied date varieties were as follows: ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) was within the range of 2.82-27.5 mmol/100 g, chelation of Fe(2+) ion ranged from 54.31% to 94.98%, and scavenging of H2O2 ranged from 38.48% to 49.13%. There were many correlations (positive, negative, and weak) between antioxidant and mineral extractability of Sudanese date fruits.

DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.123

PMID: 25473506

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2014 Dec;21(6):616-25. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Cultivation of oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus on date-palm leaves mixed with other agro-wastes in Saudi Arabia.

Alananbeh KM(1), Bouqellah NA(1), Al Kaff NS(1).

(1)Biology Department, Science College, Taibah University, Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia.

        Promoting the use of agricultural waste is one of the newly prepared water and environment friendly agriculture strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The objective of this research was to study the efficiency of cultivating oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) on date palm wastes mixed with other agricultural wastes available in KSA. Four agricultural wastes were mixed with date palm leaves at different ratios, with two supplements and three spawn rates were used. Wheat straw mixed with date palm at ratio of 25 (date palm): 75 (agro-waste) showed the best results in most of the parameters measured. Corn meal was superior over wheat bran as a supplement in all treatments. Parameter values increased with the increase of the spawn rate of P. ostreatus. Treatments with date palm leave wastes contained higher carbohydrates and fibers. No significant differences were found among the fruiting bodies produced on the different agro-wastes studied for the different proximates analyzed. Analyses of metal concentration showed that potassium was the highest in all the treatments tested followed by Na, Mg, Ca, and Zn. This is the first study that reported the success of growing oyster mushroom on date palm leaf wastes mixed with other agro-wastes obtainable in KSA.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.08.001

PMID: 25473372

Iran J Reprod Med. 2014 Oct;12(10):705-12.

Effects of date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and Astragalus ovinus on sperm parameters and sex hormones in adult male rats.

Mehraban F(1), Jafari M(2), Akbartabar Toori M(3), Sadeghi H(4), Joodi B(5), Mostafazade M(5), Sadeghi H(2).

(1)Medicinal Plant Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran ; Student Research Committee, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran. (2)Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran. (3)Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran. (4)Medicinal Plant Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran ; Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran. (5)Student Research Committee, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.

        BACKGROUND: Date Palm Pollen (DPP) and Astragalus genus are used in some countries for the treatment of infertility. OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to investigate effects of DPP and Astragalus ovinus (A.Ovinus) on fertility in healthy adult male rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-six rats were divided into six groups (n=6) including control and five treatment groups. DPP (120, 240 and 360 mg/kg) and A.ovinus (100, 500 mg/ kg) were orally given to the treatment groups. After thirty-five days, blood samples were taken to determine serum levels of FSH, LH, testosterone and estradiol. Weight of testis and epididymis, sperm count, sperm motility, seminiferous tubules diameter (STD), germinal cell layer thickness (GCLT), sertoli, leydig and spermatogonia cells were also evaluated. RESULTS: DPP at the of 120 and 240 mg/kg doses significantly raised the ratio of testis or epididymis to body weight, sperm count, sperm motility , and estradiol level compared to the control group (p<0.05). LH and testosterone levels only noticeably increased at 120 mg/kg of DPP (p<0.01 and p<0.001 respectively). STD increased in the three applied doses (p=0.001). A. ovinus extract at the indicated doses produced a significant reduction in the ratio of testis or epididymis to body weight and sperm motility (p<0.05). Sperm count, spermatogonia, leydig cells and FSH level decreased at dose of 500 mg/kg. Furthermore, GCLT, spermatogonia cells, and serum estradiol level increased at 100 mg/kg dose of A. ovinus. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that DPP could improve fertility factors, while A.ovinus can exhibit deleterious effects on gonad and sperm parameters in rats.

PMCID: PMC4248157

PMID: 25469129

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2015 Feb;175(4):2075-86. doi: 10.1007/s12010-014-1409-x.

Enzymatic activities in different strains isolated from healthy and brittle leaf disease affected date palm leaves: study of amylase production conditions.

Mouna J(1), Imen F, Choba Ines B, Nourredine D, Adel K, Néji G.

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology Applied to Crop Improvement, Faculty of Science of Sfax, University of Sfax, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia, jradmouna@yahoo.com.

        The present study aimed to investigate and compare the enzymatic production of endophytic bacteria isolated from healthy and brittle leaf disease affected date palm leaves (pectinase, cellulase, lipase, and amylase). The findings revealed that the enzymatic products from the bacterial isolates of healthy date palm leaves were primarily 33% amylolytic enzyme, 33 % cellulase, 25 % pectinase, and 25 % lipase. The isolates from brittle leaf disease date palm leaves, on the other hand, were noted to produce 16 % amylolytic enzyme, 20 % cellulose, 50 % pectinase, and 50 % lipase. The effects of temperature and pH on amylase, pectinase, and cellulose activities were investigated. The Bacillus subtilis JN934392 strain isolated from healthy date palm leaves produced higher levels of amylase activity at pH 7. A Box Behnken Design (BBD) was employed to optimize amylase extraction. Maximal activity was observed at pH and temperature ranges of pH 6-6.5 and 37-39 °C, respectively. Under those conditions, amylase activity was noted to be attained 9.37 U/ml. The results showed that the enzyme was able to maintain more than 50 % of its activity over a temperature range of 50-80 °C, with an optimum at 70 °C. This bacterial amylase showed high activity compared to other bacteria, which provides support for its promising candidacy for future industrial application.

DOI: 10.1007/s12010-014-1409-x

PMID: 25432343 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Water Sci Technol. 2014;70(10):1633-40. doi: 10.2166/wst.2014.419.

KOH-based porous carbon from date palm seed: preparation, characterization, and application to phenol adsorption.

Suresh Kumar Reddy K(1), Kannan P(1), Al Shoaibi A(1), Srinivasakannan C(1).

(1)Chemical Engineering Department, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE E-mail: skuppireddy@pi.ac.ae.

        The date palm seed being one of the major forms of biomass produced from the date industry in UAE, its potential to be an appropriate precursor for the preparation of porous carbon utilizing KOH as an activating agent is assessed in the present work. The porous carbon is prepared at an activation temperature of 600 °C, impregnation ratio of 2, and activation duration of 1 hour, in an inert atmosphere using a conventional horizontal furnace. The resultant porous carbon has a Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area of 892 m(2)/g, pore volume of 0.45 cm(3)/g, and an average pore diameter of 1.97 nm. This porous carbon was used for adsorption studies at different initial concentrations (100-400 mg/l) and temperatures (30-50 °C). The adsorption isotherm parameters for the Langmuir and Freundlich models were determined using experimental adsorption data and it was found that both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms described well the adsorption behavior of phenol on porous carbon. The mono layer adsorption capacity was observed to be 333 mg/g, which is highest for the reported date pam seed biomass-based porous carbon. From the data obtained, it was concluded that the removal of phenol from aqueous solution by porous carbon prepared from data palm seed is a low-cost process with an extremely high performance.

DOI: 10.2166/wst.2014.419

PMID: 25429451 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014 Nov 15;12(1):132. doi: 10.1186/s40201-014-0132-4. eCollection 2014.

Two culture approaches used to determine the co-composting stages by assess of the total microflora changes during sewage sludge and date palm waste co-composting.

El Fels L(1), El Ouaqoudi FZ(1), Barje F(1), Hafidi M(1), Ouhdouch Y(2).

(1)Laboratory of Ecology and Environment (L2E) (Unit Associated with the CNRST, URAC32), Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, BP: 2390 Marrakech, Morocco. (2)Laboratory of Biology and Biotechnology of Microorganisms, Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, BP: 2390 Marrakech, Morocco.

        Indigenous microflora community changes during six months of co-composting of activated sewage sludge and date palm waste was investigated using two different culture approaches. In order to evaluate the co-composting process evolution for mixture A and B, growth standard media (GSM) and Compost Time Extract Agar (CTEA) are used. Enumeration for indigenous flora abundance on GSM medium shows that the colony-forming unit (CFU) total number was 100 fold higher than on CTEA. The thermophilic phase is determined at 30 day for both mixtures A and B. Nevertheless this stage is limited only at 22 and 30 days, respectively for mixture A and B on CTEA medium, which indicate a similar temperature profile at versus time of co-composting. The results suggest that the GSM medium approach can be used for monitoring the microbial cultivable presence. However, CTEA act as a natural selective medium to enumerate the indigenous functional microflora. This technique was successful in assessing the process evolution and determination of a real succession thermophilic and maturation co-composting stages.

DOI: 10.1186/s40201-014-0132-4

PMID: 25419463

J Insect Sci. 2014 Jan 1;14:177. doi: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu039. Print 2014.

Biology, predation, and life table of Cydnoseius negevi and Neoseiulus barkeri (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on the old world date mite, Oligonychus afrasiaticus (Acari: Tetranychidae).

Negm MW(1), Alatawi FJ(2), Aldryhim YN(3).

(1)Acarology Laboratory, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food & Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, 11451, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Acarology Laboratory, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food & Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, 11451, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia waleednegm@yahoo.com. (2)Acarology Laboratory, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food & Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, 11451, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (3)Economic Entomology Research Unit, Department of Plant Protection, College of Food & Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, 11451, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        The old world date mite, Oligonychus afrasiaticus (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae) is a severe spider mite pest of date palm in most of the Middle East and North Africa. Considering that nothing is known about the performance of phytoseiid predators against O. afrasiaticus, biology, predation, and life table parameters of Cydnoseius negevi (Swirski and Amitai) and Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae), collected from date palm orchards, were studied under laboratory conditions (25, 35°C and 35 ± 10% RH) as a first step to understand their effectiveness against all mobile life stages of O. afrasiaticus. For both predators, oviposition period was significantly shorter at 35°C than at 25°C. The following parameters were obtained for C. negevi and N. barkeri at 25 and 35°C, respectively: female longevity, 31.8, 20.1, 35.7, 27.4 d; fecundity, 21.6, 38.0, 18.8, 34.8 eggs per female; oviposition period, 23.9, 13.7, 25.9, 18.1 d. Total predation of C. negevi and N. barkeri female was 246.0, 270.0, 227.6, 205.3 prey at 25 and 35°C, respectively. Rectal plugs were observed attached to the opisthosoma of some adult females of N. barkeri, which often cause the mite to stick to the surface. Life table parameters were estimated as net reproductive rate (R0) 10.44, 17.35, 10.19, 13.84, intrinsic rate of increase (rm) 0.14, 0.19, 0.13, 0.16 d(-1), finite rate of increase (λ) 1.15, 1.21, 1.12, 1.17 d(-1), generation time (T) 17.03, 15.17, 17.83, 16.61 d, doubling time (DT) 04.95, 03.64, 05.33, 04.33 d for C. negevi and N. barkeri at 25 and 35°C, respectively. The values of intrinsic rate of increase and net reproductive rate were higher in C. negevi than N. barkeri at both temperature regimes. Therefore, it could be concluded that C. negevi performance was better than N. barkeri against O. afrasiaticus and can be considered as a valuable addition to the existing methods for spider mites control.

DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu039

PMID: 25368087 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci. 2014 Nov;79(11):M2301-7. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12678. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Effect of date palm coproducts and annatto extract on lipid oxidation and microbial quality in a pork liver pâté.

Martín-Sánchez AM(1), Ciro-Gómez GL, Zapata-Montoya JE, Vilella-Esplá J, Pérez-Álvarez JA, Sayas-Barberá E.

(1)Authors Martín-Sánchez and Vilella-Esplá are with IPOA Research Group (Grupo 1-UMH, Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana), AgroFood Technology Dept, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández Univ, Ctra, Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312, Orihuela (Alicante), Spain.

        Dates are an interesting source of bioactive compounds, and coproducts from the date industry are of potential use in the manufacturing of meat products. In the present research, spreadable pork liver pâtés were made using fresh date coproducts (2.5% and 7.5%) as a potential functional ingredient and an ethanolic annatto extract (128 mg/kg) as colorant. The effect of these 2 ingredients on the lipid oxidation and microbial quality of the pâtés was assessed during 21 d of storage. The pâtés containing 7.5% date paste were seen to have the highest content of phenolic compounds during storage. The combination of 2.5% date paste and annatto protected pâtés against lipid oxidation throughout the 21 d of storage, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances values being 0.47 mg MDA/kg at the end of this period, while other combinations increased oxidation compared to the control pâté. The control and those made with 2.5% date paste alone showed the highest counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria, while the addition of annatto and/or 7.5% date paste reduced this count. The results suggest that a combination of both ingredients is necessary to reduce oxidation and microbial growth, but whereas the concentration of 2.5% is more appropriate to reduce oxidation, the combination with 7.5% date paste reduces the microbial counts. Both ingredients could have an opportunity of valorization in the meat industry for improving the quality.

DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12678

PMID: 25349917 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Exp Bot. 2015 Jan;66(1):333-8. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru421.

Direct in vivo evidence of immense stem water exploitation in irrigated date palms.

Sperling O(1), Shapira O(2), Schwartz A(3), Lazarovitch N(4).

(1)The Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, J. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel orsperling@gmail.com. (2)Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel Northern R&D, Migal, Israel. (3)Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel. (4)The Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, J. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

        During the summer, evaporative demand at midday often exceeds the transport capacity of most desert plants. However, date palms maintain their ecological dominance with sustained and uniquely high rates of transpiration. This high rate of flow cannot be attributed to soil water supply alone. In order to quantify intra-plant water allocation in irrigated date palms, three water-sensing techniques have been incorporated: heat dissipation, gravimetric sampling, and time domain reflectrometry. Each of these methods has known limitations but their integration resulted in a quantitative in vivo accounting of the date palm diurnal and seasonal water mass balance. By incorporating these methods it was possible to determine that date palms substantially rely on the exploitation and recharge of the stem reservoir in their water budget. The stem of mature date palms can hold up to 1 m(3) of water and supply 25% of daily transpiration (i.e. 5000 l of water in 100 d of summer). The internal stem water reservoir is consistently recharged by over 50 l per night which allows for successive daytime reuse throughout the entire growing season. More broadly, these findings suggest that internal water allocation and night-time soil-water availability could provide useful information for improving date palm irrigation practices.

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru421

PMID: 25336690 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2014 Sep;7S1:S591-8. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(14)60294-7.

Nutritional assessment and antioxidant analysis of 22 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) varieties growing in Sultanate of Oman.

Al-Harrasi A(1), Rehman NU(2), Hussain J(2), Khan AL(2), Al-Rawahi A(2), Gilani SA(2), Al-Broumi M(2), Ali L(2).

(1)Chair of Oman's Medicinal Plants and Marine Natural Products, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman. Electronic address: aharrasi@unizwa.edu.om. (2)Chair of Oman's Medicinal Plants and Marine Natural Products, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman.

        OBJECTIVE: To assess the nutritional values and antioxidant analysis of 22 varieties of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruit collected from various regions of the Sultanate of Oman. METHODS: Nutritional parameters including moisture, fats, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates, and energy value were determined using standard methods of Association of Official Analytical Chemists. The antioxidant activity was screened for their free radical scavenging properties using ascorbic acid as a standard antioxidant. Free radical scavenging activity was evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical. RESULTS: The results of the date fruits (dried/tamar stage) revealed significantly higher moisture (15%-21%), dry matter (78%-86%), ash content (1.0%-2.0%), fiber (1.0%-2.5%), fat (0.1%-0.7%), protein (1.8%-3.8%), nitrogen (0.25%-0.55%), carbohydrates (74.5%-82.4%), and energy values (307-345.5 kcal/100 g). The antioxidant activity ranged between 40% and 86% depending upon the type of date and location. Overall, Khalas, Fardh and Khasab have significantly higher nutritional attributes; however, other varieties such as Barshi, Qush LuLu, Handal, and Khunaizi also have comparable nutritional values. The cluster analysis further evidenced the correlation of proximate parameters in different locations. Moreover, the nutritional and antioxidant attributes of similar date varieties collected from different locations were slightly varied. CONCLUSIONS: The present finding helps in understanding the nutritional significance of different date varieties in Oman while the lesser known varieties can be improved through sustainable horticultural practices as a valuable product. The study further reveals that the consumption of these dates' fruits would exert several beneficial effects by virtue of their antioxidant activity.

DOI: 10.1016/S1995-7645(14)60294-7

PMID: 25312188

Appl Plant Sci. 2014 Jan 7;2(1). pii: apps.1300058. doi: 10.3732/apps.1300058. eCollection 2014 Jan.

In silico mining of microsatellites in coding sequences of the date palm (Arecaceae) genome, characterization, and transferability.

Aberlenc-Bertossi F(1), Castillo K(1), Tranchant-Dubreuil C(1), Chérif E(2), Ballardini M(3), Abdoulkader S(4), Gros-Balthazard M(5), Chabrillange N(1), Santoni S(6), Mercuri A(3), Pintaud JC(1).

(1)IRD, UMR DIADE-BDP, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France. (2)IRD, UMR DIADE-BDP, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France ; Laboratoire de génétique moléculaire, immunologie et biotechnologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, 2092 El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia. (3)Consiglio per la ricerca e la sperimentazione in agricoltura-Unità di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le Specie Ornamentali (CRA-FSO), Corso degli Inglesi 508, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy. (4)IRD, UMR DIADE-BDP, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France ; ISV/CERD, route de l'Aéroport, BP 468, Djibouti. (5)IRD, UMR DIADE-BDP, DYNADIV, and EVODYN teams, 911 Av. Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France ; Centre de Bio-Archéologie et d'Ecologie (UMR 5059 CNRS/Université Montpellier 2/EPHE/INRAP), Institut de Botanique, 163 Rue Auguste Broussonet, 34090 Montpellier, France. (6)INRA, UMR AGAP, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France.

        PREMISE OF THE STUDY: To complement existing sets of primarily dinucleotide microsatellite loci from noncoding sequences of date palm, we developed primers for tri- and hexanucleotide microsatellite loci identified within genes. Due to their conserved genomic locations, the primers should be useful in other palm taxa, and their utility was tested in seven other Phoenix species and in Chamaerops, Livistona, and Hyphaene. • METHODS AND RESULTS: Tandem repeat motifs of 3-6 bp were searched using a simple sequence repeat (SSR)-pipeline package in coding portions of the date palm draft genome sequence. Fifteen loci produced highly consistent amplification, intraspecific polymorphisms, and stepwise mutation patterns. • CONCLUSIONS: These microsatellite loci showed sufficient levels of variability and transferability to make them useful for population genetic, selection signature, and interspecific gene flow studies in Phoenix and other Coryphoideae genera.

DOI: 10.3732/apps.1300058

PMID: 25202594

Mol Biol Rep. 2014 Dec;41(12):8185-94. doi: 10.1007/s11033-014-3720-6. Epub 2014 Sep 9.

Genetic transformation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. cv. 'Estamaran') via particle bombardment.

Mousavi M(1), Mousavi A, Habashi AA, Dehsara B.

(1)National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 14155-6343, Tehran, Iran, mousa_mousawi@yahoo.com.

        In this study, an efficient transformation system for gene delivery in date palm was established. The effects of different physical and biological parameters were optimized for transient transformation of uidA gene in somatic embryos of Estamaran cultivar. The tissues were bombarded with constructs harboring the uidA gene driven by CaMV 35S or rice Act1 promoter. Efficiency of expression was estimated by comparison of the number of blue spots resulted from GUS assay. Optimal transient expression was observed when explants were precultured on a media containing 0.4 M mannitol with air desiccation and bombarded at acceleration pressure of 1,350 psi, target distance of 6 cm with gold particles size of 0.6 µm which coated with 2.5 µg of DNA and at chamber vacuum pressure of 28 inHg. Significantly higher expression levels were obtained in tissues when the construct having the Act1 promoter was employed. After bombardment, somatic embryos were transferred to the regeneration media containing MS basal salts supplements with 3 mg/l 2ip, 40 mg/l adenine, 1 mg/l 2,4-D, 30 g/l sucrose and 3 g/l activated charcoal. Regenerated plantlets were checked by PCR using gene-specific primers. About 16 % of the plantlets were reported to be stably transformed. Southern analysis of genomic DNA from transformed plants showed that 1-2 gene (uidA) copies were integrated and GUS-negative plants did not contain any transgene. Achievement of these data considered as the first report of its kind is believed to facilitate transfer of desirable traits in date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/s11033-014-3720-6

PMID: 25200434 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2014 Aug;107(4):1486-95.

Study on life parameters of the invasive species Octodonta nipae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on different palm species, under laboratory conditions.

Hou Y, Miao Y, Zhang Z.

        In southeastern China, the invasion of the nipa palm hispid Octodonta nipae (Maulik) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) results in devastating damage to palms. Host plants play an important role in the population increases and outbreaks of O. nipae. O. nipae could not complete its development on the Majestic palm (Ravenea rivularis Jumelle & Perrier), and females did not lay eggs on Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis R. Brown). However, this insect species both completed development and laid eggs on Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei (Hooker) H. Wendland), Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis Chabaud), and pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii O' Brien). The demographic characteristics of O. nipae reared on Chinese windmill palm, Canary Island date palm, and pygmy date palm were compared with an age-stage, two-sex life table. In this study, the developmental periods from egg to adult varied from 42.1 d on Chinese windmill palm to 49.8 d on pygmy date palm. The survivorship from egg to adult on Chinese windmill palm, Canary Island date palm, and pygmy date palm was 77.5, 79.4, and 66.7%, respectively. Although the adult longevity and the mean fecundity for individuals reared on Chinese windmill palm, Canary Island date palm, and pygmy date palm were not significantly different, there were significant differences in the intrinsic rate of increase, the finite rate, and the mean generation time among palm species, and the values of intrinsic rate of increase and finite rate were higher for populations reared on Chinese windmill palm and Canary Island date palm (0.0313 and 1.0318 d(-1) and 0.0278 and 1.0282 d(-1), respectively) and lower for populations reared on pygmy date palm (0.0192 and 1.0194 d(-1)). However, mean generation time was shorter on Chinese windmill palm (124.11 d) and Canary Island date palm (129.62 d) and longer on pygmy date palm (166.03 d). Our study indicated that different hosts affected life parameters of O. nipae, with the most preferred hosts being the Chinese windmill palm and Canary Island date palm. These results may be useful for the design of culture management strategies for O. nipae.

PMID: 25195440 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2014 Aug;107(4):1339-47.

Comparative susceptibilities of different life stages of the red palm weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) treated by entomopathogenic nematodes.

Atwa AA, Hegazi EM.

        The red palm weevil, Rhynocophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) has become the most important pest of the date palm trees in the world. It has been reported in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1987 and in Egypt since 1992. Studies were conducted to compare preferences among red palm weevil life stages for infection by 12 entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), under no choice and five stage choice experiments, and curative trials by some of EPNs isolates. All EPN isolates proved to be pathogenic for the first instars of red palm weevil larvae. Some of the test EPNs exhibited a preference for larvae over pupae, and a lesser degree of preference for adults. In contrast some strains showed no preference for any stage. The local Egyptian isolates of EPNs were most efficient nematodes against red palm weevil than foreign strains. Field assessments using trunk injection resulted in a substantial decline in the population of red palm weevil after two successive applications within 3 wk. Efficacies ranging 48-88% were achieved in the curative assay resulting in a significant increase in palm survival compared with the untreated control. In conclusion, there is a great potential for the use of EPNs, in particular the Steinernema sp. (EGG4), against the red palm weevil when injected in the date palm.

PMID: 25195420 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Prod Res. 2015;29(6):578-81. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2014.954115. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

In vitro cytotoxicity effects of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen on neonate mouse spermatogonial stem cells.

Mahaldashtian M(1), Makoolati Z, Ghorbanian MT, Naghdi M, Kouhpayeh SA.

(1)a Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biology , Damghan University , Semnan , Iran.

        There is a fast growing tendency in the use of herbal remedies in developing countries. One of the traditional medicines used for male infertility treatment is date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) pollen (DPP). Isolated spermatogonial stem cells and sertoli cells using enzymatic digestion were grown in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with 4% foetal bovine serum in the absence or presence of 0.06, 0.25 and 0.62 mg/mL concentrations of aqueous extract of DPP for 2 weeks. The assessment of mean number of the whole cells and the living cells showed that there were no significant differences between the mean viability percentage and proliferation rate between control and experimental groups (P>0.05). As there are no cytotoxicity effects of DPP in our cultural system, this system can be utilised for the enrichment or differentiation of these cells in clinical applications, cell replacement therapy, tissue regeneration and tissue engineering applications.

DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2014.954115

PMID: 25189835 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Nov;13(6):468-72. doi: 10.1177/1534735414547110. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Date palm pollen as a preventative intervention in radiation- and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: a pilot study.

Elkerm Y(1), Tawashi R(2).

(1)Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt. (2)University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada tawashi@videotron.ca.

        OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore the effectiveness of date palm pollen (DPP) in the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis induced by radiation and chemotherapy. METHODS: Twenty subjects with varying head and neck cancers were enrolled. Ten subjects were treated with DPP administered orally (2 g daily for 42 days) as a swish and swallow suspension, and 10 control subjects received the facility standard of care. Objective oral assessments using the Oral Mucositis Assessment Scale (OMAS) were conducted at baseline and while the subjects were on treatment. Study subjects also evaluated the treatment impact by visual analog scales for severity of mouth pain and ability to swallow. RESULTS: The results obtained demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the mean OMAS score in the DPP treatment group and the control group. Symptoms such as impairment of solid food intake observed with the control group were not observed in the DPP-treated group following the treatment. Reduction of mucositis severity of pain and ability to swallow were statistically significant in the DPP-treated group. CONCLUSION: DPP treatment reduced the incidence of mouth pain and oral ulcers that often require modifications to soft/liquid diet. The complex mixture of bioactive constituents contained in DPP may have protected the oral mucosa by blocking oxidative free radicals, preventing DNA damage, and neutralizing inflammatory reactions. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to validate DPP efficacy in the broader management of chemotherapy- and radiation-induced mucositis.

DOI: 10.1177/1534735414547110

PMID: 25148841 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Bioinformation. 2014 May 20;10(5):316-9. doi: 10.6026/97320630010316. eCollection 2014.

A report on biocompounds from palm fossil of India.

Sharma DC(1), Khan MS(1), Khan MS(1), Srivastava R(2), Srivastava AK(1), Shukla R(1).

(1)Department of Biosciences, Integral University, Lucknow-226026, India. (2)Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow-226007, India.

        The occurrence of a large number of fossil woods having resemblance in anatomical features with the modern palm genus, Phoenix L in Deccan Intertrappean fossil flora of Maastrichtian-Danian age (i. e. Late Cretaceous and Earliest Tertiary (65-67 my)) indicates the most primitive record of date palm. Present discovery of biocompounds from fossil wood of Phoenix collected from Deccan Intertrappean having affinity with the biocompounds known from modern plant further exemplify the earliest documentation of Phoenix in Indian peninsula.

DOI: 10.6026/97320630010316

PMID: 24966541

Nutr Neurosci. 2015 Aug;18(6):281-8. doi: 10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000134. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Effect of dietary supplementation of dates in Alzheimer's disease APPsw/2576 transgenic mice on oxidative stress and antioxidant status.

Subash S, Essa MM, Al-Asmi A, Al-Adawi S, Vaishnav R, Guillemin GJ.

        Oxidative stress may play a key role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology. Changes in the oxidative stress, antioxidants, and membrane-bound enzymes were investigated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of AD transgenic mice model after long-term dietary supplementation of date palm fruits from Oman. The 4-month-old mice with double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576) were purchased from Taconic Farm, NY, USA; mice were fed two different doses of dates (such as 4 and 2%) or control diet for 15 months and then assessed for the influence of diet on oxidative stress. Significant increase in oxidative stress in terms of enhanced levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and protein carbonyls and parallel decrease in the activity of antioxidant enzymes were observed in control diet-treated Tg2576 AD mice. Dates (4 and 2%) treated APPsw/Tg2576 AD mice exhibited significantly attenuated oxidative damage, evidenced by decreased LPO and protein carbonyl levels and restoration in the activities of the antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione, and glutathione reductase). The activities of membrane-bound enzymes (Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and acetyl cholinesterase) were altered in control diet-treated APPsw/Tg2576 AD mice brain regions. Meanwhile, both the percentages of date supplementation were able to restore the activity of enzymes to comparable values observed in controls. In summary, we have shown that chronic dietary supplementation of date palm fruits grown in Oman showed possible beneficial effects concomitant with oxidative stress reduction and increased antioxidant enzymes in AD transgenic mice model. These results warrant further exploration of how anti-reactive oxygen species properties of dates offer such beneficial effects on the AD-like brain.

DOI: 10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000134

PMID: 24954036 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2014 Aug;39(2):532-40. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2014.06.012.

Effect of dietary supplementation of probiotics and palm fruits extracts on the antioxidant enzyme gene expression in the mucosae of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.).

Esteban MA(1), Cordero H(2), Martínez-Tomé M(3), Jiménez-Monreal AM(3), Bakhrouf A(4), Mahdhi A(4).

(1)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain. Electronic address: aesteban@um.es. (2)Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain. (3)Department of Food Science, Veterinary Faculty, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain; CIBERobn (Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición CB12/03/30038) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain. (4)Laboratory of Analysis, Treatment and Valorization of Pollutants of the Environment and Products (LATVPEP), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, 5000, Tunisia.

        Antioxidant activity is particularly important, since oxidation is an unavoidable reaction in all living bodies. At present, natural antioxidants to be used on food as an alternative to synthetic ones are being sought. Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) specimens were fed for 4 weeks with diets enriched with bacterial probiotics (Shewanella putrefaciens Pdp11 and Bacillus sp), single or in combination with Tunisian dates palm fruit extracts. The expression of the main antioxidant enzyme genes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione reductase) in the mucosae (gut, skin and gill) was evaluated after 2 and 4 weeks. Previously, free radical scavenging and several antioxidant assays were developed to know the antioxidant properties present on the palm fruits extracts. The results demonstrated that experimental diets alter the expression of the studied antioxidant genes, primarily in the gill and skin. Furthermore, the tested probiotics and mainly, the aqueous date palm fruits extracts had significant antioxidant properties based on their protective effect against the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species, especially when administering during 4 weeks. For this reason, probiotics and date palm fruit extracts may serve as good natural antioxidants and could potentially be considered as a functional food ingredient for fish in farms.

DOI: 10.1016/j.fsi.2014.06.012

PMID: 24952087 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Aug 8;155(1):736-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.026. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

The protective effect of Phoenix dactylifera L. seeds against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

Abdelaziz DH(1), Ali SA(2).

(1)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address: dalia_abdelaziz@pharm.helwan.edu.eg. (2)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address: ganah_nour@yahoo.com.

        ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: In traditional Egyptian medicine, Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm) seeds are listed in folk remedies for the management of diabetes, liver diseases and gastrointestinal disorders. The present study was conducted to investigate the protective effect of Phoenix dactylifera L. seeds aqueous suspension against the chemically-induced hepatic injury in rats. METHODS: Liver injury was achieved by exposing Wistar rats to CCl4 (10% in olive oil; 0.5 mL/rat; IP) twice a week for 4 weeks. Along with CCl4, aqueous suspensions of raw or roasted Phoenix dactylifera seeds (1.0 g/kg) were administered orally in a daily manner. RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that Phoenix dactylifera seeds significantly improved the CCl4-induced alterations in liver function parameters (AST, ALT, ALP and albumin). Moreover, the CCl4-induced oxidative stress, represented by elevated thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), nitric oxide and oxidative DNA damage, was ameliorated by Phoenix dactylifera seeds treatment. In addition, Phoenix dactylifera seeds restored the activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase) that were declined after CCl4 treatment. Examination of liver histopathology revealed that Phoenix dactylifera seeds attenuate the incidence of liver lesions (including vacuolization and fibroblast proliferation) triggered by CCl4 intoxication. CONCLUSION: The Phoenix dactylifera seeds could be a promising candidate for protection against the CCl4-induced liver intoxication, and this hepatoprotective effect might be attributed to the antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.026

PMID: 24945397 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Amino Acids. 2014 Sep;46(9):2241-57. doi: 10.1007/s00726-014-1770-7. Epub 2014 Jun 18.

Determination and stereochemistry of proteinogenic and non-proteinogenic amino acids in Saudi Arabian date fruits.

Ali HS(1), Alhaj OA, Al-Khalifa AS, Brückner H.

(1)Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food Science and Agriculture, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Whereas an abundance of literature is available on the occurrence of common proteinogenic amino acids (AAs) in edible fruits of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), recent reports on non-proteinogenic (non-coded) AAs and amino components are scarce. With emphasis on these components we have analyzed total hydrolysates of twelve cultivars of date fruits using automated ion-exchange chromatography, HPLC employing a fluorescent aminoquinolyl label, and GC-MS of total hydrolysates using the chiral stationary phases Chirasil(®)-L-Val and Lipodex(®) E. Besides common proteinogenic AAs, relatively large amounts of the following non-proteinogenic amino acids were detected: (2S,5R)-5-hydroxypipecolic acid (1.4-4.0 g/kg dry matter, DM), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (1.3-2.6 g/kg DM), γ-amino-n-butyric acid (0.5-1.2 g/kg DM), (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline (130-230 mg/kg DM), L-pipecolic acid (40-140 mg/kg DM), and 2-aminoethanol (40-160 mg/kg DM) as well as low or trace amounts (<70 mg/kg DM) of L-ornithine, 5-hydroxylysine, β-alanine, and in some samples (<20 mg/kg DM) of (S)-β-aminoisobutyric acid and (<10 mg/kg DM) L-allo-isoleucine. In one date fruit, traces of α-aminoadipic acid could be determined. Enantiomeric analysis of 6 M DCl/D2O hydrolysates of AAs using chiral capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed the presence of very low amounts of D-Ala, D-Asp, D-Glu, D-Ser and D-Phe (1.2-0.4%, relative to the corresponding L-enantiomers), besides traces (0.2-1%) of other D-AAs. The possible relevance of non-proteinogenic amino acids in date fruits is briefly addressed.

DOI: 10.1007/s00726-014-1770-7

PMID: 24938763 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 2;62(26):6053-64. doi: 10.1021/jf502663y. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Identification of pheromone synergists for Rhynchophorus ferrugineus trapping systems from Phoenix canariensis palm volatiles.

Vacas S(1), Abad-Payá M, Primo J, Navarro-Llopis V.

(1)Centro de Ecología Quı́mica Agrícola, Instituto Agroforestal del Mediterráneo, Universitat Politècnica de València, edificio 6C, 5a planta, Cmno. de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.

        Trapping systems for the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, rely on the use of natural plant odor sources to boost the attractiveness of the aggregation pheromone. The identification of the key odorants involved in attraction is essential in the development of a synthetic pheromone synergist to replace the nonstandardized use of plant material in traps. Canary Islands date palms (Phoenix canariensis) have become preferred hosts for R. ferrugineus in Europe; thus, the volatile profile of different P. canariensis plant materials, including healthy and infested tissues, is investigated in the present work by means of solid phase microextraction (SPME-GC-MS), aimed to identify pheromone synergists. The electroantennography (EAG) response of the compounds identified was recorded, as well as the preliminary field response of several EAG-active compounds. The so-called "palm esters" (ethyl acetate, ethyl propionate, ethyl butyrate, and propyl butyrate) elicit the strongest EAG responses but performed poorly in the field. Mixtures of esters and alcohols give evidence of better performance, but release rates need further optimization.

DOI: 10.1021/jf502663y

PMID: 24930773 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Mycologia. 2014 Mar-Apr;106(2):243-59. doi: 10.3852/106.2.243.

Three new species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi discovered at one location in a desert of Oman: Diversispora omaniana, Septoglomus nakheelum and Rhizophagus arabicus.

Symanczik S(1), Błaszkowski J, Chwat G, Boller T, Wiemken A, Al-Yahya'ei MN.

(1)Zurich Basel Plant Science Center, Institute of Botany, University of Basel, Hebelstrasse 1, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

        Three new species of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomeromycota) were isolated from soil samples collected from a hyperarid sandy plain of South Arabia. Morphological characteristics of the spores clearly differentiated them from closely related AM species. Molecular analyses were performed on rDNA sequences obtained from single spores including a ~1700 bp region comprising partial SSU, ITS, partial LSU and the ~600 bp ITS region only. The phylogenetic trees based on these regions showed that the three species belong to well described genera but are clearly distinct from known species. Consequently, we describe them here as Diversispora omaniana, Septoglomus nakheelum and Rhizophagus arabicus spp. nov. D. omaniana and R. arabicus were isolated from the native, arid habitat, while S. nakheelum was isolated from a nearby irrigated date palm plantation. The discovery of three new species of AM fungi from this location suggests that a number of additional undescribed AM taxa may be present in such desert ecosystems. Further work to understand the diversity and functional significance of these new AM taxa may offer new opportunities for conservation, re-vegetation, and sustainable agriculture in extremely arid environments.

DOI: 10.3852/106.2.243

PMID: 24782493 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2014;13(2):144-9.

R848, a Toll-like receptors 7 and 8 agonist, a potential therapy for allergic rhinitis patients.

Boghdadi G, Hammad N, Amer A, Sammour S, Sorour S(1).

(1)Immunology Research Lab, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt. gsboghdadi@zu.edu.eg.

        BACKGROUND/PURPOSE(S): There is a growing interest in the targeting of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) for the treatment of allergic diseases. TLRs7/8 ligands are future candidates of therapeutic value in allergic rhinitis (AR). This study focus on TLRs7/8 ligand; resiquimod (R848) as an adjuvant to immunotherapy (IT) in AR patient. METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained from atopic donors and non atopic donors. PBMCs were cultured in the absence and presence of date palm pollen allergen (Phoenix dactylifera; Pho d) and/or R848. Interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-10, IL-13 and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) were measured in the culture supernatants. RESULTS: R848 was able to significantly increase the anti-inflammatory response in atopic donors more than non atopic donors. Nevertheless, the combination of both; R848 and Pho d provides inferior stimulus as compared to R848 alone in both atopic and non atopic donors. CONCLUSION: Invitro treatment of PBMCs with R484 hijacks the pro inflammatory immune process triggered by TLRs7/8 to mediate anti-inflammatory response. This may provide a conception about the activity and efficacy of TLRs7/8 ligands in AR and open the gate for them to be applied in clinically in humans.

PMID: 24773332 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Glob Health Promot. 2014 Dec;21(4):7-15. doi: 10.1177/1757975914528249. Epub 2014 Apr 22.

Piloting the promotion of bamboo skirt barriers to prevent Nipah virus transmission through date palm sap in Bangladesh.

Nahar N(1), Mondal UK(2), Hossain MJ(2), Khan MS(2), Sultana R(2), Gurley ES(2), Luby SP(3).

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com. (2)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh. (3)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA.

        Drinking raw date palm sap contaminated with infected fruit bat saliva or urine is an important mode of Nipah virus transmission to humans in Bangladesh. Bamboo skirts are an effective way to interrupt bat access to the sap. We conducted a study from November 2008 to March 2009 to explore the effectiveness of higher- and lower-intensity interventions by promoting bamboo skirt preparation and use among sap harvesters (gachhis). We spent 280 person-hours in two villages for the higher-intensity intervention and half that amount of time in two other villages for the lower-intensity intervention. To evaluate the interventions we followed up all gachhis once a month for three months. A high percentage of gachhis (83% in higher-, 65% in lower-intensity interventions) prepared and used a skirt of bamboo or other materials - jute stalk, dhoincha (Sesbania aculeata), or polythene - at least once after intervention. In general, 15% of gachhis consistently used skirts throughout the sap collection season. The intensive nature of this intervention is very expensive for a large-scale programme. Future efforts should focus on developing a low-cost behaviour change intervention and evaluate if it reduces the human exposure to potentially contaminated fresh date palm sap.

DOI: 10.1177/1757975914528249

PMID: 24755262 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

BMC Genomics. 2014 Apr 15;15:285. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-285.

A first genetic map of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) reveals long-range genome structure conservation in the palms.

Mathew LS, Spannagl M, Al-Malki A, George B, Torres MF, Al-Dous EK, Al-Azwani EK, Hussein E, Mathew S, Mayer KF, Mohamoud YA, Suhre K, Malek JA(1).

(1)Genomics Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. jom2042@qatar-med.cornell.edu.

        BACKGROUND: The date palm is one of the oldest cultivated fruit trees. It is critical in many ways to cultures in arid lands by providing highly nutritious fruit while surviving extreme heat and environmental conditions. Despite its importance from antiquity, few genetic resources are available for improving the productivity and development of the dioecious date palm. To date there has been no genetic map and no sex chromosome has been identified. RESULTS: Here we present the first genetic map for date palm and identify the putative date palm sex chromosome. We placed ~4000 markers on the map using nearly 1200 framework markers spanning a total of 1293 cM. We have integrated the genetic map, derived from the Khalas cultivar, with the draft genome and placed up to 19% of the draft genome sequence scaffolds onto linkage groups for the first time. This analysis revealed approximately ~1.9 cM/Mb on the map. Comparison of the date palm linkage groups revealed significant long-range synteny to oil palm. Analysis of the date palm sex-determination region suggests it is telomeric on linkage group 12 and recombination is not suppressed in the full chromosome. CONCLUSIONS: Based on a modified genotyping-by-sequencing approach we have overcome challenges due to lack of genetic resources and provide the first genetic map for date palm. Combined with the recent draft genome sequence of the same cultivar, this resource offers a critical new tool for date palm biotechnology, palm comparative genomics and a better understanding of sex chromosome development in the palms.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-285

PMID: 24735434 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2014 Sep 1;158:513-20. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.02.172. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Phytochemicals in date co-products and their antioxidant activity.

Martín-Sánchez AM(1), Cherif S(2), Ben-Abda J(3), Barber-Vallés X(4), Pérez-Álvarez JÁ(5), Sayas-Barberá E(6).

(1)IPOA Research Group (Grupo 1-UMH, Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana), AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, Orihuela, Alicante E-03312, Spain. (2)IPOA Research Group (Grupo 1-UMH, Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana), AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, Orihuela, Alicante E-03312, Spain; Agronomic Superior Research and Teaching Institute, Tunisia. (3)Agronomic Superior Research and Teaching Institute, Tunisia. (4)Centro de Investigación Operativa, Miguel Hernández University, Spain. (5)IPOA Research Group (Grupo 1-UMH, Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana), AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, Orihuela, Alicante E-03312, Spain; Cátedra Palmeral de Elche. Miguel Hernández University, Spain. Electronic address: ja.perez@umh.es. (6)IPOA Research Group (Grupo 1-UMH, Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana), AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, Orihuela, Alicante E-03312, Spain; Cátedra Palmeral de Elche. Miguel Hernández University, Spain.

        The date agro-industry needs to find appropriate techniques to give value to their co-products. This study analyzes twelve intermediate food products (IFPs) from date co-products, Medjool and Confitera cv. at several ripening stages, blanched and unblanched, for their content in bioactive compounds (phenols, tannins, flavonoids, carotenoids and anthocyanins) and the antioxidant activity (AA). IFPs from the more unripe stages had the highest AA and phytochemicals content, mainly phenols, up to 1.4 g GAE/100 g, with high proportions of tannins. Flavonoids were found in high amounts, up to 874 mg RE/100 g. Among the AA are significant the antiradical efficiency (4.62 mM TE/100 g) and chelating activity (252 μM EDTA/100 g). Blanching was beneficial for Confitera IFPs. A positive correlation was found between phenols, tannins and flavonoids and the AA; and their content could be used as indicator of the AA. Date IFPs have potential use as an antioxidant functional ingredient.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.02.172

PMID: 24731377 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 10;9(4):e94867. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094867. eCollection 2014.

Sensitivity analysis of CLIMEX parameters in modeling potential distribution of Phoenix dactylifera L.

Shabani F(1), Kumar L(1).

(1)Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

        Using CLIMEX and the Taguchi Method, a process-based niche model was developed to estimate potential distributions of Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm), an economically important crop in many counties. Development of the model was based on both its native and invasive distribution and validation was carried out in terms of its extensive distribution in Iran. To identify model parameters having greatest influence on distribution of date palm, a sensitivity analysis was carried out. Changes in suitability were established by mapping of regions where the estimated distribution changed with parameter alterations. This facilitated the assessment of certain areas in Iran where parameter modifications impacted the most, particularly in relation to suitable and highly suitable locations. Parameter sensitivities were also evaluated by the calculation of area changes within the suitable and highly suitable categories. The low temperature limit (DV2), high temperature limit (DV3), upper optimal temperature (SM2) and high soil moisture limit (SM3) had the greatest impact on sensitivity, while other parameters showed relatively less sensitivity or were insensitive to change. For an accurate fit in species distribution models, highly sensitive parameters require more extensive research and data collection methods. Results of this study demonstrate a more cost effective method for developing date palm distribution models, an integral element in species management, and may prove useful for streamlining requirements for data collection in potential distribution modeling for other species as well.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094867

PMID: 24722140 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 9;9(4):e94158. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094158. eCollection 2014.

Whole mitochondrial and plastid genome SNP analysis of nine date palm cultivars reveals plastid heteroplasmy and close phylogenetic relationships among cultivars.

Sabir JS(1), Arasappan D(2), Bahieldin A(3), Abo-Aba S(4), Bafeel S(1), Zari TA(1), Edris S(3), Shokry AM(5), Gadalla NO(6), Ramadan AM(5), Atef A(1), Al-Kordy MA(6), El-Domyati FM(3), Jansen RK(7).

(1)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, United States of America. (3)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Genetics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. (4)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Microbial Genetics, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt. (5)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Agriculture Research Center, Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute, Giza, Egypt. (6)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Genetics and Cytology, National Research Centre, Dokki, Egypt. (7)Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, United States of America.

        Date palm is a very important crop in western Asia and northern Africa, and it is the oldest domesticated fruit tree with archaeological records dating back 5000 years. The huge economic value of this crop has generated considerable interest in breeding programs to enhance production of dates. One of the major limitations of these efforts is the uncertainty regarding the number of date palm cultivars, which are currently based on fruit shape, size, color, and taste. Whole mitochondrial and plastid genome sequences were utilized to examine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of date palms to evaluate the efficacy of this approach for molecular characterization of cultivars. Mitochondrial and plastid genomes of nine Saudi Arabian cultivars were sequenced. For each species about 60 million 100 bp paired-end reads were generated from total genomic DNA using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. For each cultivar, sequences were aligned separately to the published date palm plastid and mitochondrial reference genomes, and SNPs were identified. The results identified cultivar-specific SNPs for eight of the nine cultivars. Two previous SNP analyses of mitochondrial and plastid genomes identified substantial intra-cultivar ( = intra-varietal) polymorphisms in organellar genomes but these studies did not properly take into account the fact that nearly half of the plastid genome has been integrated into the mitochondrial genome. Filtering all sequencing reads that mapped to both organellar genomes nearly eliminated mitochondrial heteroplasmy but all plastid SNPs remained heteroplasmic. This investigation provides valuable insights into how to deal with interorganellar DNA transfer in performing SNP analyses from total genomic DNA. The results confirm recent suggestions that plastid heteroplasmy is much more common than previously thought. Finally, low levels of sequence variation in plastid and mitochondrial genomes argue for using nuclear SNPs for molecular characterization of date palm cultivars.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094158

PMID: 24718264 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Food Sci. 2014 Apr;79(4):C534-9. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12420. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Chamaerops humilis L. var. argentea André date palm seed oil: a potential dietetic plant product.

Nehdi IA(1), Mokbli S, Sbihi H, Tan CP, Al-Resayes SI.

(1)King Saud Univ., College of Science, Chemistry Dept., Riyadh 1145, Saudi Arabia.

        Chamaerops humilis L. var. argentea André (C. humilis) date palm seeds are an underutilized source of vegetable oil, and no studies describing their physicochemical characteristics to indicate the potential uses of this seed or seed oil have been reported. The oil content of the seeds is about 10%, mainly composed of oleic acid (38.71%), lauric acid (21.27%), linoleic acid (15.15%), palmitic acid (9.96%), and stearic acid (7.17%). The tocol (tocopherols and tocotrienols) content is 74 mg/100 g, with δ-tocotrienol as the major contributor (31.91%), followed by α-tocotrienol (29.37%), γ-tocopherol (20.16%), and γ-tocotrienol (11.86%). Furthermore, this oil shows high thermal stability. The differential scanning calorimetery curves revealed that the melting and crystallization points are 9.33 °C and -15.23 °C, respectively.

DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12420

PMID: 24666023 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS Pathog. 2014 Mar 13;10(3):e1004001. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004001. eCollection 2014 Mar.

Foodborne transmission of nipah virus in Syrian hamsters.

de Wit E(1), Prescott J(1), Falzarano D(1), Bushmaker T(1), Scott D(2), Feldmann H(3), Munster VJ(1).

(1)Laboratory of Virology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, United States of America. (2)Rocky Mountain Veterinary Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, United States of America. (3)Laboratory of Virology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, United States of America; Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

        Since 2001, outbreaks of Nipah virus have occurred almost every year in Bangladesh with high case-fatality rates. Epidemiological data suggest that in Bangladesh, Nipah virus is transmitted from the natural reservoir, fruit bats, to humans via consumption of date palm sap contaminated by bats, with subsequent human-to-human transmission. To experimentally investigate this epidemiological association between drinking of date palm sap and human cases of Nipah virus infection, we determined the viability of Nipah virus (strain Bangladesh/200401066) in artificial palm sap. At 22°C virus titers remained stable for at least 7 days, thus potentially allowing food-borne transmission. Next, we modeled food-borne Nipah virus infection by supplying Syrian hamsters with artificial palm sap containing Nipah virus. Drinking of 5×10⁸ TCID₅₀ of Nipah virus resulted in neurological disease in 5 out of 8 hamsters, indicating that food-borne transmission of Nipah virus can indeed occur. In comparison, intranasal (i.n.) inoculation with the same dose of Nipah virus resulted in lethal respiratory disease in all animals. In animals infected with Nipah virus via drinking, virus was detected in respiratory tissues rather than in the intestinal tract. Using fluorescently labeled Nipah virus particles, we showed that during drinking, a substantial amount of virus is deposited in the lungs, explaining the replication of Nipah virus in the respiratory tract of these hamsters. Besides the ability of Nipah virus to infect hamsters via the drinking route, Syrian hamsters infected via that route transmitted the virus through direct contact with naïve hamsters in 2 out of 24 transmission pairs. Although these findings do not directly prove that date palm sap contaminated with Nipah virus by bats is the origin of Nipah virus outbreaks in Bangladesh, they provide the first experimental support for this hypothesis. Understanding the Nipah virus transmission cycle is essential for preventing and mitigating future outbreaks.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004001

PMID: 24626480 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genet Mol Res. 2014 Feb 14;13(2):3527-36. doi: 10.4238/2014.February.14.2.

DNA barcoding based on plastid matK and RNA polymerase for assessing the genetic identity of date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars.

Enan MR(1), Ahamed A(2).

(1)Biology Department, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates mohamed.enan@uaeu.ac.ae. (2)Biology Department, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates.

        The cultivated date palm is the most agriculturally important species of the Arecaceae family. The standard chloroplast DNA barcode for land plants recommended by the Consortium for the Barcode of Life plant working group needs to be evaluated for a wide range of plant species. Therefore, we assessed the potential of the matK and rpoC1 markers for the authentication of date cultivars. There is not one universal method to authenticate date cultivars. In this study, 11 different date cultivars were sequenced and analyzed for matK and rpoC1 genes by using bioinformatic tools to establish a cultivar-specific molecular monogram. The chloroplast matK marker was more informative than the rpoC1 chloroplast DNA markers. Phylogenetic trees were constructed on the basis of the matK and rpoC1 sequences, and the results suggested that matK alone or in combination with rpoC1 can be used for determining the levels of genetic variation and for barcoding.

DOI: 10.4238/2014.February.14.2

PMID: 24615105 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Meat Sci. 2014 Jun;97(2):130-6. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.12.005. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Influence of fresh date palm co-products on the ripening of a paprika added dry-cured sausage model system.

Martín-Sánchez AM(1), Ciro-Gómez G(1), Vilella-Esplá J(2), Ben-Abda J(3), Pérez-Álvarez JÁ(4), Sayas-Barberá E(1).

(1)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV. Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Orihuela Polytechnical High School, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain. (2)Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Departamento de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Alimentos, San Cayetano Alto, Loja, Ecuador. (3)Agronomic Superior Research and Teaching Institute, Tunisia. (4)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV. Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Orihuela Polytechnical High School, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: ja.perez@umh.es.

        Date palm co-products are a source of bioactive compounds that could be used as a new ingredient for the meat industry. An intermediate food product (IFP) from date palm co-products (5%) was incorporated into a paprika added dry-cured sausage (PADS) model system and was analysed for physicochemical parameters, lipid oxidation and sensory attributes during ripening. Addition of 5% IFP yielded a product with physicochemical properties similar to the traditional one. Instrumental colour differences were found, but were not detected visually by panellists, who also evaluated positively the sensory properties of the PADS with IFP. Therefore, the IFP from date palm co-products could be used as a natural ingredient in the formulation of PADS.

DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.12.005

PMID: 24576770 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Physiol Biochem. 2014 Jun;70(2):451-64. doi: 10.1007/s13105-014-0323-6. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

Aqueous date fruit extract protects against lipid peroxidation and improves antioxidant status in the liver of rats subchronically exposed to trichloroacetic acid.

El Arem A(1), Saafi EB, Ghrairi F, Thouri A, Zekri M, Ayed A, Zakhama A, Achour L.

(1)Laboratory of Bioressources, Biology Integrative and Valorization, Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, University of Monastir, Avenue Tahar Hadded, BP 74, 5000, Monastir, Tunisia, amira.arem@yahoo.fr.

        Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a prominent by-product of the chlorination of drinking water. It induces cell damage by producing free radicals and reactive oxygen species. The present study was carried out to evaluate the potential hepatoprotective role of the aqueous date extract (ADE) against TCA-induced liver injury. Forty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups of eight: group I served as the control; group II was given ADE by gavage; groups III and IV received TCA as drinking water at 0.5 and 2 g/L, respectively; and groups V and VI were treated with ADE by gavage and then received TCA at 0.5 and 2 g/L, respectively, as drinking water. The experiment was performed for 2 months. The hepatotoxicity of TCA administration was revealed by an increase in the levels of hepatic marker enzymes (transaminases, gamma-glutamyl transferase, and lactate dehydrogenase) and conjugated bilirubin and a decrease in albumin level. The TCA administration induced also significant elevation of the malondialdehyde (MDA) level and the antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) paralleled with a significant decline in catalase (CAT) activity. These biochemical alterations were accompanied by histological changes marked by the appearance of vacuolization, necrosis, congestion, inflammation, and enlargement of sinusoids in the liver section. Treatment with date palm fruit extract restored the liver damage induced by TCA, as demonstrated by inhibition of hepatic lipid peroxidation; amelioration of SOD, GPx, and CAT activities; and improvement of histopathology changes. These results suggest that ADE has a protective effect over TCA-induced oxidative damage in rat liver.

DOI: 10.1007/s13105-014-0323-6

PMID: 24573459 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Chem Ecol. 2014 Mar;40(3):236-43. doi: 10.1007/s10886-014-0391-7. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

Circadian release of male-specific components of the greater date moth, Aphomia (Arenipses) sabella, using sequential SPME/GC/MS analysis.

Levi-Zada A(1), David M, Fefer D, Seplyarsky V, Sadowsky A, Dobrinin S, Ticuchinski T, Harari D, Blumberg D, Dunkelblum E.

(1)Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, 50250, Israel, anatzada@volcani.agri.gov.il.

        The greater date moth (GDM), Aphomia sabella Hampson (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Galleriinae), is a serious pest of date palms, Phoenix dactylifera. The release of volatiles from both males and females was investigated using sequential SPME/GC/MS analysis. Males release a complex mixture of compounds in a circadian rhythm during the night between 03:00 and 05:00 hr. Six compounds were identified: benzaldehyde, sulcatol (6-methyl-5-hepten-2-ol), geranyl acetone [(E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-one], phenylacetaldehyde, 2-phenylpropenal, and (R)-fuscumol [(R)-(E)-6, 10-dimethyl-5, 9-undecadien-2-ol]. Benzaldehyde, sulcatol, and geranyl acetone were found only in trace amounts. These compounds were in glands located in the forewing of males only. Small amounts of acetoin and 2,3-butanediol were found sporadically in the SPME/GC/MS analyses of volatiles from females, and these compounds probably originate from microorganisms. This is the first finding of a circadian release of male-specific compounds in moths. GC/EAD analyses with synthetic standards of compounds released by males showed that the female antenna is stimulated by all six compounds, while the male antenna responded only to phenylacetaldehyde. A possible pheromonal role for the male-specific compounds is suggested by the circadian rhythm of their release and the EAD response of females to them. However, trapping tests with the main male-specific compounds in screen cages in the laboratory or in the field did not reveal any significant behavioral responses from females or males. Copulation in the laboratory was observed only in the presence of date palm tissue, thus suggesting that sexual communication and mating of GDM moths probably occurs in the crown of date palms.

DOI: 10.1007/s10886-014-0391-7

PMID: 24567046 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

BMC Bioinformatics. 2014 Feb 24;15:55. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-15-55.

Phenotyping date palm varieties via leaflet cross-sectional imaging and artificial neural network application. Arinkin V(1), Digel I, Porst D, Artmann AT, Artmann GM.

(1)Institute for Bioengineering (IFB), Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Heinrich-Mussmann-Str, 1, 52428 Juelich, Germany. arinkin.vladimir@yahoo.com.

        BACKGROUND: True date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) are impressive trees and have served as an indispensable source of food for mankind in tropical and subtropical countries for centuries. The aim of this study is to differentiate date palm tree varieties by analysing leaflet cross sections with technical/optical methods and artificial neural networks (ANN). RESULTS: Fluorescence microscopy images of leaflet cross sections have been taken from a set of five date palm tree cultivars (Hewlat al Jouf, Khlas, Nabot Soltan, Shishi, Um Raheem). After features extraction from images, the obtained data have been fed in a multilayer perceptron ANN with backpropagation learning algorithm. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, an accurate result in prediction and differentiation of date palm tree cultivars was achieved with average prediction in tenfold cross-validation is 89.1% and reached 100% in one of the best ANN.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-15-55

PMID: 24564551 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2014 Jul 1;154:269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.12.042. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

Characterization of novel intermediate food products from Spanish date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., cv. Confitera) co-products for industrial use.

Martín-Sánchez AM(1), Cherif S(2), Vilella-Esplá J(3), Ben-Abda J(4), Kuri V(5), Pérez-Álvarez JÁ(6), Sayas-Barberá E(3).

(1)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra, Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain; School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Plymouth University, United Kingdom. (2)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra, Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain; Agronomic Superior Research and Teaching Institute, Tunisia. (3)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra, Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain. (4)Agronomic Superior Research and Teaching Institute, Tunisia. (5)School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Plymouth University, United Kingdom. (6)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV-Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra, Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: ja.perez@umh.es.

        The nutritive, physicochemical and technological characteristics of several intermediate food products (IFPs) from Spanish Confitera fresh date co-products were investigated. Three IFPs were obtained, two from unblanched dates in different ripening stages (Khalal and Rutab), and a third one from blanched Khalal fruits. The IFPs were rich in dietary fibre (13-16%, dry matter), phenolics (0.56-4.26g GAE/100g dry matter) and sugars (55-82%, dry matter), with glucose and fructose as the predominant sugars. Malic acid was the major organic acid, and potassium was the main mineral. Blanching Khalal dates aided to prevent browning in the IFP, but also the thermal treatment modified the sugars profile. The results indicated that both maturity stages yield IFPs with potential in the food industry; and according to their sugar and phenolic content they could be suitable for the elaboration of new ingredients with different industrial applications. In addition, it would be recommendable blanching unripe fruits.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.12.042

PMID: 24518342 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Dec 29;2013:618495. doi: 10.1155/2013/618495. eCollection 2013.

Integrated electrokinetics-adsorption remediation of saline-sodic soils: effects of voltage gradient and contaminant concentration on soil electrical conductivity.

Essa MH(1), Mu'azu ND(2), Lukman S(1), Bukhari A(1).

(1)Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Dammam, Dammam 31451, Saudi Arabia.

        In this study, an integrated in situ remediation technique which couples electrokinetics with adsorption, using locally produced granular activated carbon from date palm pits in the treatment zones that are installed directly to bracket the contaminated soils at bench-scale, is investigated. Natural saline-sodic clay soil, spiked with contaminant mixture (kerosene, phenol, Cr, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Hg), was used in this study to investigate the effects of voltage gradient, initial contaminant concentration, and polarity reversal rate on the soil electrical conductivity. Box-Behnken Design (BBD) was used for the experimental design and response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to model, optimize, and interpret the results obtained using Design-Expert version 8 platform. The total number of experiments conducted was 15 with voltage gradient, polarity reversal rate, and initial contaminant concentration as variables. The main target response discussed in this paper is the soil electrical conductivity due to its importance in electrokinetic remediation process. Responses obtained were fitted to quadratic models whose R (2) ranges from 84.66% to 99.19% with insignificant lack of fit in each case. Among the investigated factors, voltage gradient and initial contaminant concentration were found to be the most significant influential factors.

DOI: 10.1155/2013/618495

PMID: 24459439 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Zookeys. 2013 Dec 30;(365):71-82. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.365.5725. eCollection 2013 Dec 30.

The chloroplast DNA locus psbZ-trnfM as a potential barcode marker in Phoenix L. (Arecaceae).

Ballardini M(1), Mercuri A(2), Littardi C(1), Abbas S(3), Couderc M(4), Ludeña B(4), Pintaud JC(4).

(1)Centro Studi e Ricerche per le Palme - Sanremo (CSRP), Corso F. Cavallotti 113, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy. (2)Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura - Unità di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le Specie Ornamentali (CRA-FSO), Corso degli Inglesi 508, I-18038 Sanremo (IM), Italy. (3)Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, 38040 Faisalabad, Pakistan. (4)UMR DIADE/DYNADIV, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), 911 Av. Agropolis, F-34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

        The genus Phoenix (Arecaceae) comprises 14 species distributed from Cape Verde Islands to SE Asia. It includes the economically important species Phoenix dactylifera. The paucity of differential morphological and anatomical useful characters, and interspecific hybridization, make identification of Phoenix species difficult. In this context, the development of reliable DNA markers for species and hybrid identification would be of great utility. Previous studies identified a 12 bp polymorphic chloroplast minisatellite in the trnG (GCC)-trnfM (CAU) spacer, and showed its potential for species identification in Phoenix. In this work, in order to develop an efficient DNA barcode marker for Phoenix, a longer cpDNA region (700 bp) comprising the mentioned minisatellite, and located between the psbZ and trnfM (CAU) genes, was sequenced. One hundred and thirty-six individuals, representing all Phoenix species except P. andamanensis,were analysed. The minisatellite showed 2-7 repetitions of the 12 bp motif, with 1-3 out of seven haplotypes per species. Phoenix reclinata and P. canariensis had species-specific haplotypes. Additional polymorphisms were found in the flanking regions of the minisatellite, including substitutions, indels and homopolymers. All this information allowed us to identify unambiguously eight out of the 13 species, and overall 80% of the individuals sampled. Phoenix rupicola and P. theophrasti had the same haplotype, and so had P. atlantica, P. dactylifera, and P. sylvestris (the "date palm complex" sensu Pintaud et al. 2013). For these species, additional molecular markers will be required for their unambiguous identification. The psbZ-trnfM (CAU) region therefore could be considered as a good basis for the establishment of a DNA barcoding system in Phoenix, and is potentially useful for the identification of the female parent in Phoenix hybrids.

DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.365.5725

PMID: 24453552

Occup Med Health Aff. 2013;1. doi: 10.4172/2329-6879.1000117.

Occupational Lung Diseases among Soldiers Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Szema AM(1).

(1)New York State Center for Biotechnology Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA ; Chief, Allergy Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY, 11768, USA.

        Military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, from 2004 to the present, has served in a setting of unique environmental conditions. Among these are exposures to burning trash in open air "burn pits" lit on fire with jet fuel JP-8. Depending on trash burned--water bottles, styrofoam trays, medical waste, unexploded munitions, and computers--toxins may be released such as dioxins and n-hexane and benzene. Particulate matter air pollution culminates from these fires and fumes. Additional environmental exposures entail sandstorms (Haboob, Shamal, and Sharqi) which differ in direction and relationship to rain. These wars saw the first use of improvised explosive devices (roadside phosphate bombs),as well as vehicle improvised explosive devices (car bombs), which not only potentially aerosolize metals, but also create shock waves to induce lung injury via blast overpressure. Conventional mortar rounds are also used by Al Qaeda in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Outdoor aeroallergens from date palm trees are prevalent in southern Iraq by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, while indoor aeroallergen aspergillus predominates during the rainy season. High altitude lung disease may also compound the problem, particularly in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Clinically, soldiers may present with new-onset asthma or fixed airway obstruction. Some have constrictive bronchiolitis and vascular remodeling on open lung biopsy - despite having normal spirometry and chest xrays and CT scans of the chest. Others have been found to have titanium and other metals in the lung (rare in nature). Still others have fulminant biopsy-proven sarcoidiosis. We found DNA probe-positive Mycobacterium Avium Complex in lung from a soldier who had pneumonia, while serving near stagnant water and camels and goats outside Abu Gharib. This review highlights potential exposures, clinical syndromes, and the Denver Working Group recommendations on post-deployment health.

DOI: 10.4172/2329-6879.1000117

PMID: 24443711

C R Biol. 2014 Jan;337(1):6-18. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Dec 16.

Characterization of ten date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars from Saudi Arabia using AFLP and ISSR markers.

Sabir JS(1), Abo-Aba S(2), Bafeel S(1), Zari TA(1), Edris S(3), Shokry AM(4), Atef A(1), Gadalla NO(5), Ramadan AM(4), Al-Kordy MA(5), El-Domyati FM(3), Jansen RK(6), Bahieldin A(7).

(1)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (2)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Microbial Genetics Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Division, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt. (3)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. (4)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI), Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Giza, Egypt. (5)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Genetics and Cytology Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Division, National Research Center, Dokki, Egypt. (6)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. (7)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), P.O. Box 80141, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Department of Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address: bahieldin55@gmail.com.

        Date palm is the most economically important plant in the Middle East due to its nutritionally valuable fruit. The development of accurate DNA fingerprints to characterize cultivars and the detection of genetic diversity are of great value for breeding programs. The present study explores the usefulness of ISSR and AFLP molecular markers to detect relationships among 10 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars from Saudi Arabia. Thirteen ISSR primers and six AFLP primer combinations were examined. The level of polymorphism among cultivars for ISSRs ranged from 20% to 100% with an average of 85%. Polymorphism levels for AFLPs ranged from 63% to 84% with an average of 76%. The total number of cultivar-specific markers was 241, 208 of which were generated from AFLP analysis. AJWA cultivar had the highest number of cultivar-specific ISSR markers, whereas DEK, PER, SUK-Q, SHA and MOS-H cultivars had the lowest. RAB and SHA cultivars had the most and least AFLP cultivar-specific markers, respectively. The highest pairwise similarity indices for ISSRs, AFLPs and combined markers were 84% between DEK (female) and PER (female), 81% between SUK-Q (male) and RAB (male), and 80% between SUK-Q (male) and RAB (male), respectively. The lowest similarity indices were 65% between TAB (female) and SUK-Q (male), 67% between SUK-A (female) and SUK-Q (male), and 67% between SUK-A (female) and SUK-Q (male). Cultivars of the same sex had higher pairwise similarities than those between cultivars of different sex. The Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree generated from the ISSR dataset was not well resolved and bootstrap support for resolved nodes in the tree was low. AFLP and combined data generated completely resolved trees with high levels of bootstrap support. In conclusion, AFLP and ISSR approaches enabled discrimination among 10 date palm cultivars of from Saudi Arabia, which will provide valuable information for future improvement of this important crop.

DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2013.11.003

PMID: 24439547 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Virol. 2013 Dec;24(3):398-408. doi: 10.1007/s13337-013-0171-y. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Nipah virus infection: current scenario.

Kulkarni DD(1), Tosh C(1), Venkatesh G(1), Senthil Kumar D(1).

(1)High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, OIE Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bhopal, India.

        The emergence of Nipah virus (NiV) infection into the pig population and subsequently into the human population is believed to be due to changes in ecological conditions. In Malaysia, A major NiV outbreak occurred in pigs and humans from September 1998 to April 1999 that resulted in infection of 265 and death of 105 persons. About 1.1 million pigs had to be destroyed to control the outbreak. The disease was recorded in the form of a major outbreak in India in 2001 and then a small incidence in 2007, both the outbreaks in West Bengal only in humans without any involvement of pigs. There were series of human Nipah incidences in Bangladesh from 2001 till 2013 almost every year with mortality exceeding 70 %. The disease transmission from pigs acting as an intermediate host during Malaysian and Singapore outbreaks has changed in NIV outbreaks in India and Bangladesh, transmitting the disease directly from bats to human followed by human to human. The drinking of raw date palm sap contaminated with fruit bat urine or saliva containing NiV is the only known cause of outbreak of the disease in Bangladesh outbreaks. The virus is now known to exist in various fruit bats of Pteropus as well as bats of other genera in a wider belt from Asia to Africa.

DOI: 10.1007/s13337-013-0171-y

PMID: 24426305

3 Biotech. 2014 Feb;4(1):21-32. doi: 10.1007/s13205-013-0116-6.

Genetic characterization of Libyan date palm resources by microsatellite markers.

Racchi ML(1), Bove A(2), Turchi A(2), Bashir G(3), Battaglia M(4), Camussi A(2).

(1)Genetics Section, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, University of Florence, Via Maragliano 77, 50144, Florence, Italy. milvia.racchi@unifi.it. (2)Genetics Section, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, University of Florence, Via Maragliano 77, 50144, Florence, Italy. (3)Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, El Fatah University, Tripoli, Libya. (4)IAO-MAE, Via Cocchi 4, 50131, Florence, Italy.

        Molecular typing of 377 female date palm trees belonging to 18 Libyan cultivars and representing common genotypes in the central Libyan oasis of Al Jufrah was performed using 16 highly polymorphic microsatellite or SSR loci. A total of 110 alleles with an average of 6.88 alleles per locus were scored indicating the high level of polymorphism existing among the cultivars thus allowing their genetic fingerprinting. Moreover 28 alleles out of 110 were fixed. All the cultivars were characterized by negative values of the Fixation Index (F) due to an excess of heterozygotes with respect to HW equilibrium. The pattern of genetic diversity among cultivars was estimated by codominant genetic distances and presented by principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). The observed pattern evidences the genetic diversity existing among cultivars that allow distinguishing them easily. The average dissimilarity internal to each cultivar ranged from 0 to 21. Seven cultivars showed value zero indicating no genetic difference within cultivar in agreement with their Fixation Index (F = 1). A varietal identification key was also built using multiloci genotyping with only three microsatellite loci that identified 23 alleles in total. The possibility to attribute the unknown male plant to a cultivar was also considered and male parentage analysis was performed. Fifty-five male plants out of 63 were assigned to a definite cultivar with high confidence level. The positive result obtained in identifying males confirmed the suitability of SSR for clone fingerprinting and cultivar identification, thus opening new prospects for date palm breeding.

DOI: 10.1007/s13205-013-0116-6

PMID: 28324455

Hortic Res. 2014 Aug 6;1:14039. doi: 10.1038/hortres.2014.39. eCollection 2014.

Dynamic changes in the date palm fruit proteome during development and ripening.

Marondedze C(1), Gehring C(1), Thomas L(2).

(1)Biological and Environmental Sciences & Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology , Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. (2)Bioscience and Bioengineering Core Facility, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology , Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is an economically important fruit tree in the Middle East and North Africa and is characterized by large cultivar diversity, making it a good model for studies on fruit development and other important traits. Here in gel comparative proteomics combined with tandem mass spectrometry were used to study date fruit development and ripening. Total proteins were extracted using a phenol-based protocol. A total of 189 protein spots were differentially regulated (p≤0.05). The identified proteins were classified into 14 functional categories. The categories with the most proteins were 'disease and defense' (16.5%) and 'metabolism' (15.4%). Twenty-nine proteins have not previously been identified in other fleshy fruits and 64 showed contrasting expression patterns in other fruits. Abundance of most proteins with a role in abiotic stress responses increased during ripening with the exception of heat shock proteins. Proteins with a role in anthocyanin biosynthesis, glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle and cell wall degradation were upregulated particularly from the onset of ripening and during ripening. In contrast, expression of pentose phosphate- and photosynthesis-related proteins decreased during fruit maturation. Although date palm is considered a climacteric species, the analysis revealed downregulation of two enzymes involved in ethylene biosynthesis, suggesting an ethylene-independent ripening of 'Barhi' fruits. In summary, this proteomics study provides insights into physiological processes during date fruit development and ripening at the systems level and offers a reference proteome for the study of regulatory mechanisms that can inform molecular and biotechnological approaches to further improvements of horticultural traits including fruit quality and yield.

DOI: 10.1038/hortres.2014.39

PMID: 26504545

J Nutr Sci. 2014 Oct 8;3:e46. doi: 10.1017/jns.2014.16. eCollection 2014.

The impact of date palm fruits and their component polyphenols, on gut microbial ecology, bacterial metabolites and colon cancer cell proliferation.

Eid N(1), Enani S(1), Walton G(1), Corona G(1), Costabile A(1), Gibson G(1), Rowland I(1), Spencer JP(1).

(1)Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences , School of Chemistry , Food and Pharmacy , University of Reading , Reading RG6 6AP , UK.

        The fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a rich source of dietary fibre and polyphenols. We have investigated gut bacterial changes induced by the whole date fruit extract (digested date extract; DDE) and its polyphenol-rich extract (date polyphenol extract; DPE) using faecal, pH-controlled, mixed batch cultures mimicking the distal part of the human large intestine, and utilising an array of microbial group-specific 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes. Fluorescence microscopic enumeration indicated that there was a significant increase in the growth of bifidobacteria in response to both treatments, whilst whole dates also increased bacteroides at 24 h and the total bacterial counts at later fermentation time points when compared with DPE alone. Bacterial metabolism of whole date fruit led to the production of SCFA, with acetate significantly increasing following bacterial incubation with DDE. In addition, the production of flavonoid aglycones (myricetin, luteolin, quercetin and apigenin) and the anthocyanidin petunidin in less than 1 h was also observed. Lastly, the potential of DDE, DPE and metabolites to inhibit Caco-2 cell growth was investigated, indicating that both were capable of potentially acting as antiproliferative agents in vitro, following a 48 h exposure. This potential to inhibit growth was reduced following fermentation. Together these data suggest that consumption of date fruits may enhance colon health by increasing beneficial bacterial growth and inhibiting the proliferation of colon cancer cells. This is an early suggestion that date intake by humans may aid in the maintenance of bowel health and even the reduction of colorectal cancer development.

DOI: 10.1017/jns.2014.16

PMID: 26101614

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 10;8(12):e83404. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083404. eCollection 2013.

Risk levels of invasive Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. in areas suitable for date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) cultivation under various climate change projections.

Shabani F(1), Kumar L.

(1)Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

        Global climate model outputs involve uncertainties in prediction, which could be reduced by identifying agreements between the output results of different models, covering all assumptions included in each. Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. is an invasive pathogen that poses risk to date palm cultivation, among other crops. Therefore, in this study, the future distribution of invasive Fusarium oxysporum f.sp., confirmed by CSIRO-Mk3.0 (CS) and MIROC-H (MR) GCMs, was modeled and combined with the future distribution of date palm predicted by the same GCMs, to identify areas suitable for date palm cultivation with different risk levels of invasive Fusarium oxysporum f.sp., for 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2100. Results showed that 40%, 37%, 33% and 28% areas projected to become highly conducive to date palm are under high risk of its lethal fungus, compared with 37%, 39%, 43% and 42% under low risk, for the chosen years respectively. Our study also indicates that areas with marginal risk will be limited to 231, 212, 186 and 172 million hectares by 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2100. The study further demonstrates that CLIMEX outputs refined by a combination of different GCMs results of different species that have symbiosis or parasite relationship, ensure that the predictions become robust, rather than producing hypothetical findings, limited purely to publication.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083404

PMID: 24340100 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Physiol Biochem. 2014 Jun;70(2):297-309. doi: 10.1007/s13105-013-0302-3. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Oxidative damage and alterations in antioxidant enzyme activities in the kidneys of rat exposed to trichloroacetic acid: protective role of date palm fruit.

El Arem A(1), Zekri M, Thouri A, Saafi EB, Ghrairi F, Ayed A, Zakhama A, Achour L.

(1)Research Unit "Genome, Immune Diagnosis and Recovery", Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, University of Monastir, Avenue Tahar Hadded, BP 74, 5000, Monastir, Tunisia, amira.arem@yahoo.fr.

        In this study, we investigated the antioxidant and protective properties of date fruit aqueous extract (DFAE) on trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-induced nephrotoxicity in rat. Oral administration of TCA as drinking water (0.5 and 2 g/L) daily for 2 months caused nephrotoxicity as evident by elevated levels of plasma creatinine, urea, and uric acid. Activity of antioxidant enzymes, catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), was decreased, whereas superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level were increased along with histopathological injuries. The oral administration of DFAE (4 mL/kg/day) to TCA-treated groups proved some significant correction by increasing the antioxidant activity of the CAT and GPx enzymes and normalizing the SOD activity and the MDA level (p < 0.05). It also protected kidney's histology and normalized the functions of this organ. It could be concluded that DFAE has a protective role against TCA-induced oxidative stress in rat, thereby protecting the renal tissue from TCA-induced damage.

DOI: 10.1007/s13105-013-0302-3

PMID: 24338383 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2013 Dec;14(12):1084-99. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1200300.

Fungal diversity in adult date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) revealed by culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches.

Ben Chobba I(1), Elleuch A, Ayadi I, Khannous L, Namsi A, Cerqueira F, Drira N, Gharsallah N, Vallaeys T.

(1)Laboratoire de Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures LBVAAC, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, B.P. 1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratoire de Microorganismes et de Biomolécules, Centre de Biotechnologie de Sfax, Université de Sfax, Route Sidi Mansour, B.P. 1177, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia; Laboratoire de Phytopathologie Oasienne, Centre Régional de Recherches en Agriculture Oasienne à Degache, Degache 2260, Tunisia; Plateforme Séquençage-Génotypage SFR "Montpellier Environnement Biodiversité", ISEM, Université de Montpellier 2, 34095 Montpellier, France; UMR 5119, Université de Montpellier 2, Sciences et Techniques, pl E. Bataillon, CC093, 34095 Montpellier, France.

        Endophytic flora plays a vital role in the colonization and survival of host plants, especially in harsh environments, such as arid regions. This flora may, however, contain pathogenic species responsible for various troublesome host diseases. The present study is aimed at investigating the diversity of both cultivable and non-cultivable endophytic fungal floras in the internal tissues (roots and leaves) of Tunisian date palm trees (Phoenix dactylifera). Accordingly, 13 isolates from both root and leaf samples, exhibiting distinct colony morphology, were selected from potato dextrose agar (PDA) medium and identified by a sequence match search wherein their 18S-28S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences were compared to those available in public databases. These findings revealed that the cultivable root and leaf isolates fell into two groups, namely Nectriaceae and Pleosporaceae. Additionally, total DNA from palm roots and leaves was further extracted and ITS fragments were amplified. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the ITS from 200 fungal clones (leaves: 100; roots: 100) using HaeIII restriction enzyme revealed 13 distinct patterns that were further sequenced and led to the identification of Alternaria, Cladosporium, Davidiella (Cladosporium teleomorph), Pythium, Curvularia, and uncharacterized fungal endophytes. Both approaches confirmed that while the roots were predominantly colonized by Fusaria (members of the Nectriaceae family), the leaves were essentially colonized by Alternaria (members of the Pleosporaceae family). Overall, the findings of the present study constitute, to the authors' knowledge, the first extensive report on the diversity of endophytic fungal flora associated with date palm trees (P. dactylifera).

DOI: 10.1631/jzus.B1200300

PMID: 24302709 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Jan 30;101:11-9. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.08.051. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Characteristics of starch-based biodegradable composites reinforced with date palm and flax fibers.

Ibrahim H(1), Farag M, Megahed H, Mehanny S.

(1)Department of Mechanical Design and Production, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Giza 12613, Egypt. Electronic address: Hamdy.m.elsayed@gmail.com.

        The aim of this work is to study the behavior of completely biodegradable starch-based composites containing date palm fibers in the range from 20 to 80 wt%. Hybrid composites containing date palm and flax fibers, 25 wt% each, were also examined. The composites were preheated and then hot pressed at 5 MPa and 160°C for 30 min. SEM investigation showed strong adhesion between fibers and matrix. Density measurements showed very small void fraction (less than 0.142%) for composites containing up to 50 wt% fiber content. Increasing fiber weight fraction up to 50 wt% increased the composite static tensile and flexural mechanical properties (stiffness and strength). Composite thermal stability, water uptake and biodegradation improved with increasing fiber content. The present work shows that starch-based composites with 50 wt% fibers content have the optimum mechanical properties. The hybrid composite of flax and date palm fibers, 25 wt% each, has good properties and provides a competitive eco-friendly candidate for various applications.

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.08.051

PMID: 24299743 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Prod Res. 2014;28(3):205-7. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2013.861833. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Comparison of the essential oil content and composition of the spathe, buds and pollen of Phoenix dactylifera.

Mohamadi M(1), Shamspur T, Mostafavi A.

(1)a Department of Chemistry , Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman , Kerman , Iran.

        Several medicinal applications have been reported for different components of date palm. The inflorescence of the male date tree is composed of spathe that surrounds many buds containing pollen. In this study, a comparison between the content and composition of the essential oils obtained from these three components of an inflorescence was made. After obtaining each oil using hydro-distillation method, the oil yield was measured as the weight ratio of the oil to the distilled sample (w/w %) and the chemical composition of the oil was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. It was observed that the pollen possessed the most oil content (1.47%) composed of 68.04% oleic acid, whereas the content of this fatty acid in the spathe and bud oils was found to be less than 0.05% and 5.65%, respectively. Spathe oil was dominated by 3,4-dimethoxytoluene (52.90%) while the main constituent of the bud oil was trans-caryophyllene (44.20%).

DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2013.861833

PMID: 24279318 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Jan;99:74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.08.032. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Control of size and viscoelastic properties of nanofibrillated cellulose from palm tree by varying the TEMPO-mediated oxidation time.

Benhamou K(1), Dufresne A, Magnin A, Mortha G, Kaddami H.

(1)Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Laboratory of Organometallic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Avenue Abdelkrim Elkhattabi, B.P. 549, Marrakech, Morocco; The International School of Paper, Print Media and Biomaterials (Pagora), Grenoble Institute of Technology, CS10065, 38402 Saint Martin d'Héres, France.

        The main objective of the present study was to control and optimize the preparation of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) from the date palm tree by monitoring the oxidation time (degree of oxidation) of the pristine cellulose and the number of cycles through the homogenizer. The oxidation was monitored by TEMPO (1-oxo-2,2,6,6-tétraméthylpipyridine 1-oxyle) mediated oxidation. Evidence of the successful isolation of NFC was given by FE-SEM observation revealing fibrils with a width in the range 20-30nm, depending of the oxidation time. The evolution of the transparency of the aqueous NFC suspension and carboxylic content according to the degree of oxidation and number of cycles were also analyzed by UV-vis transmittance, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), conductimetry, and X-ray diffraction analysis. A significant NFC length reduction occurred during the TEMPO-mediated oxidation. The rheological properties of NFC suspensions were characterized as function of the oxidation time. Dynamic rheology showed that the aqueous suspension behavior changed from liquid to gel depending on the concentration. The highest concentration studied was 1wt% and the modulus reached 1MPa which was higher than for non-oxidized NFC. An explanation of the gel structure evolution with the oxidation time applied to the NFC (NFC length) was proposed. The gel structure evolves from an entanglement-governed gel structure to an immobilized water molecule-governed one.

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.08.032

PMID: 24274481 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Oct 22;2013:346910. doi: 10.1155/2013/346910. eCollection 2013.

Coupled electrokinetics-adsorption technique for simultaneous removal of heavy metals and organics from saline-sodic soil.

Lukman S(1), Essa MH, Mu'azu ND, Bukhari A.

(1)Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, P.O. Box 8632, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia.

        In situ remediation technologies for contaminated soils are faced with significant technical challenges when the contaminated soil has low permeability. Popular traditional technologies are rendered ineffective due to the difficulty encountered in accessing the contaminants as well as when employed in settings where the soil contains mixed contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and polar organics. In this study, an integrated in situ remediation technique that couples electrokinetics with adsorption, using locally produced granular activated carbon from date palm pits in the treatment zones that are installed directly to bracket the contaminated soils at bench-scale, is investigated. Natural saline-sodic soil, spiked with contaminant mixture (kerosene, phenol, Cr, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Hg), was used in this study to investigate the efficiency of contaminant removal. For the 21-day period of continuous electrokinetics-adsorption experimental run, efficiency for the removal of Zn, Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr, Hg, phenol, and kerosene was found to reach 26.8, 55.8, 41.0, 34.4, 75.9, 92.49, 100.0, and 49.8%, respectively. The results obtained suggest that integrating adsorption into electrokinetic technology is a promising solution for removal of contaminant mixture from saline-sodic soils.

DOI: 10.1155/2013/346910

PMID: 24235885 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Mol Immunol. 2014 Feb;57(2):220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

Cloning, expression in E. coli and immunological characterization of Par j 3.0201, a Parietaria pollen profilin variant.

Bonura A(1), Trapani A, Gulino L, Longo V, Valenta R, Asero R, Colombo P.

(1)Istituto di Biomedicina ed Immunologia Molecolare,"Alberto Monroy" del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Palermo, Italy.

        Parietaria judaica pollen is one of the main sources of allergens in the Mediterranean area. Its allergenic composition has been studied in detail showing the presence of two major allergens (Par j 1 and Par j 2) and two minor allergens belonging to the profilin and calcium binding protein families of allergens (Par j 3 and Par j 4, respectively). Clinical reports support the hypothesis of a limited cross-reactivity between profilin from Parietaria and unrelated sources. We screened a P. judaica cDNA library to identify novel forms of profilins with allergenic activity. This strategy allowed us to isolate a 767 bp cDNA containing the information for a 131 amino acids protein with homology to profilins from unrelated sources greater than that observed with the already published Parietaria profilins. This profilin was expressed in Escherichia coli as a recombinant protein and its immunological prevalence was studied in a population of Parietaria allergic patients from Southern Europe. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the Parietaria profilin was recognized by IgE from 6.5% of the allergic population. Finally, a selected population of profilin allergic patients was enrolled to demonstrate the cross-reactivity of this novel variant with other profilins from grass and date palm. In conclusion, molecular cloning and immunological studies have allowed the isolation, expression and immunological characterization of a novel cross-reactive profilin allergen from P. judaica pollen named Par j 3.0201.

DOI: 10.1016/j.molimm.2013.09.004

PMID: 24172226 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J AAPOS. 2013 Oct;17(5):545-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2013.05.016.

Retained subretinal date palm tree thorn in a child.

Modi Y(1), John V, Warman R, Hess D, Murray TG, Berrocal AM.

(1)Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida. Electronic address: ymodi@med.miami.edu.

        A 3-year-old boy presented with severe eye pain and nausea after colliding with a date palm tree branch. Examination under anesthesia revealed a self-sealed corneal laceration and traumatic cataract in his left eye. Cultures were taken and the patient received prophylactic subconjunctival, intravitreal, and systemic antibiotics because of the high risk of endophthalmitis. A thorn from the same tree grew Bacillus cereus. Examination after 2 weeks of the injury revealed a subretinal foreign body (a palm tree thorn), although there were no signs of endophthalmitis or retinal detachment. The patient underwent cataract extraction and laser demarcation of the subretinal foreign body, which was not removed. He was fitted for an aphakic contact lens. With alternate patching, his best-corrected visual acuity improved to 20/30.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2013.05.016

PMID: 24160979 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Microbiol. 2013 Nov;15(11):3020-9. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12262. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Seasonally variable intestinal metagenomes of the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus).

Jia S(1)(2)(3), Zhang X(4)(2), Zhang G(4)(2), Yin A(4)(2)(3), Zhang S(4)(2), Li F(4)(2), Wang L(4)(2), Zhao D(4)(2), Yun Q(4)(2), Tala(4)(2), Wang J(4)(2), Sun G(4)(2), Baabdullah M(4), Yu X(4)(2), Hu S(4)(2), Al-Mssallem IS(4)(5), Yu J(4)(2).

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2)CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Key Laboratory of Genome and Precision Medicine Technologies, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. (3)Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. (4)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (5)Department of Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        The intestinal microbes residing in the red palm weevil (RPW, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) larva consume tender interior fibrous tissues of date palm trunks. The understanding of such microbiota at molecular level provides vital clues for the biological control of this devastating pest. Using pyrosequencing and shotgun strategy, we first study taxonomic profiles of the microbiota sampled at different months (March, July and November), and then confirm the impact of high-temperature stress on the microbial populations based on data from 16S rRNA amplicons using both field and laboratory samples. We further identify Klebsiella pneumoniae in November and Lactococcus lactis in July as the dominant species of the microbiota. We find that the RPW gut microbiota degrades polysaccharides and sucrose with hydrolases and that different active bacterial species in November and July are responsible for the symbiotic relationship between the microbiota and the host. Our results provide vital information for pest control and cellulolytic bacterial species characterization.

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12262

PMID: 24102776 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Dec;79(23):7203-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02466-13. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Influence of habitat and climate variables on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus community distribution, as revealed by a case study of facultative plant epiphytism under semiarid conditions.

Torrecillas E(1), Torres P, Alguacil MM, Querejeta JI, Roldán A.

(1)CSIC-Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Murcia, Spain.

        In semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems, epiphytic plant species are practically absent, and only some species of palm trees can support epiphytes growing in their lower crown area, such as Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm). In this study, we focused on Sonchus tenerrimus L. plants growing as facultative epiphytes in P. dactylifera and its terrestrial forms growing in adjacent soils. Our aim was to determine the possible presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in these peculiar habitats and to relate AMF communities with climatic variations. We investigated the AMF community composition of epiphytic and terrestrial S. tenerrimus plants along a temperature and precipitation gradient across 12 localities. Epiphytic roots were colonized by AMF, as determined by microscopic observation; all of the epiphytic and terrestrial samples analyzed showed AMF sequences from taxa belonging to the phylum Glomeromycota, which were grouped in 30 AMF operational taxonomic units. The AMF community composition was clearly different between epiphytic and terrestrial root samples, and this could be attributable to dispersal constraints and/or the contrasting environmental and ecophysiological conditions prevailing in each habitat. Across sites, the richness and diversity of terrestrial AMF communities was positively correlated with rainfall amount during the most recent growing season. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between climate variables and AMF richness and diversity for epiphytic AMF communities, which suggests that the composition of AMF communities in epiphytic habitats appears to be largely determined by the availability and dispersion of fungal propagules from adjacent terrestrial habitats.

DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02466-13

PMID: 24038687 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant Sci. 2013 Oct;211:8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Alterations in lignin content and phenylpropanoids pathway in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) tissues affected by brittle leaf disease.

Saidi MN(1), Bouaziz D, Hammami I, Namsi A, Drira N, Gargouri-Bouzid R.

(1)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra Km 4, Sfax, Tunisia. saiidimn@gmail.com

        Brittle leaf disease or Maladie de la Feuille Cassante (MFC) is a lethal disorder of date palm that has assumed epidemic proportions in the oases of Tunisia and Algeria. No pathogen could ever be associated with the disease, while leaflets of affected palms have been previously shown to be deficient in manganese. The work reported here aims to understand the biochemical basis of the date palm response to this disorder. Since the typical disease symptom is the leaf fragility, we have investigated lignin content in leaves and roots. Strong decrease in total lignin content was observed in affected leaves, while lignin content increased in affected roots. Histochemical analyses showed hyperlignification thicker suberin layer in roots cortical cells. The phenylpropanoids pathway was also disrupted in leaves and roots, cinnamoyl-CoA reductase and cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase gene expression was affected by the disease which severely affects the cell wall integrity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2013.06.008

PMID: 23987806 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2013 Apr;20(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.12.001. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Effect of GA3 and 2,4-D foliar application on the anatomy of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seedling leaf.

Doaigey AR(1), Al-Whaibi MH, Siddiqui MH, Al Sahli AA, El-Zaidy ME.

(1)Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        Two concentrations (10-5M and 10-3M) of both GA3 and 2,4-D were used as foliar spray to evaluate the response of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cv. Khedri seedlings. They affected some of the anatomical characteristics of the first leaf emerging after the beginning of the spray. The high concentration of GA3 increased the size of the midrib and its vascular bundle numbers. Both low and high concentrations of 2,4-D inhibited the formation of the midrib. 2,4-D in both low and high concentrations decreased the number of vessels in both protoxylem and metaxylem and also decreased their diameters, where as GA3 in low and high concentrations have less effect on the number of vessels and its diameters. GA3 in high concentration increased the number of vascular bundles in 1mm long of the leaf blade, while 2,4-D in low and high concentrations decreased their numbers. 10-3M of 2,4-D increased the size and layers of special hypodermal cells.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.12.001

PMID: 23961229

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2013 Apr;20(2):105-20. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.12.004. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Valorization of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruit processing by-products and wastes using bioprocess technology - Review.

Chandrasekaran M(1), Bahkali AH.

(1)Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, P.O. Box 2455, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        The date palm Phoenix dactylifera has played an important role in the day-to-day life of the people for the last 7000 years. Today worldwide production, utilization and industrialization of dates are continuously increasing since date fruits have earned great importance in human nutrition owing to their rich content of essential nutrients. Tons of date palm fruit wastes are discarded daily by the date processing industries leading to environmental problems. Wastes such as date pits represent an average of 10% of the date fruits. Thus, there is an urgent need to find suitable applications for this waste. In spite of several studies on date palm cultivation, their utilization and scope for utilizing date fruit in therapeutic applications, very few reviews are available and they are limited to the chemistry and pharmacology of the date fruits and phytochemical composition, nutritional significance and potential health benefits of date fruit consumption. In this context, in the present review the prospects of valorization of these date fruit processing by-products and wastes' employing fermentation and enzyme processing technologies towards total utilization of this valuable commodity for the production of biofuels, biopolymers, biosurfactants, organic acids, antibiotics, industrial enzymes and other possible industrial chemicals are discussed.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.12.004

PMID: 23961227

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2012 Jul;19(3):369-76. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 May 14.

Composition and diversity of weed communities in Al-Jouf province, northern Saudi Arabia.

Gomaa NH(1).

(1)Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.

        The aim of this study was to identify the main weed communities in Al-Jouf province in northern Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the composition and diversity of these communities were studied in relation to soil variables and crop type. Some 54 stands representing olive orchards, date palm orchards, wheat crop and watermelon crop were studied, using ten quadrats (1 × 1 m) per stand. A total of 71 species belonging to 22 families and 61 genera were observed. The classification of vegetation using the Two Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) resulted in the recognition of four vegetation groups representing wheat crop, orchards in winter season, orchards in summer season and watermelon crop. These results suggested the importance of both crop and season for the formation of weed community. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) showed that these groups are clearly distinguished by the first two DCA axes. The species richness was higher in both olive and date palm orchards than in wheat and watermelon crops. This pattern of species richness could be related to farm management practices and habitat micro-heterogeneity. Soil electrical conductivity, organic carbon and soil texture showed significant correlations with species richness and the cover values of some dominant species, suggesting the significant role of soil characteristics in weed community structure and diversity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.05.002

PMID: 23961198

PLoS One. 2013 Aug 8;8(8):e71435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071435. eCollection 2013.

Characterization and evolution of conserved MicroRNA through duplication events in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).

Xiao Y(1), Xia W, Yang Y, Mason AS, Lei X, Ma Z.

(1)Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Oil Crops Biology/Coconuts Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wenchang, Hainan, China.

        MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in a wide range of species. Highly conserved miRNAs regulate ancestral transcription factors common to all plants, and control important basic processes such as cell division and meristem function. We selected 21 conserved miRNA families to analyze the distribution and maintenance of miRNAs. Recently, the first genome sequence in Palmaceae was released: date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). We conducted a systematic miRNA analysis in date palm, computationally identifying and characterizing the distribution and duplication of conserved miRNAs in this species compared to other published plant genomes. A total of 81 miRNAs belonging to 18 miRNA families were identified in date palm. The majority of miRNAs in date palm and seven other well-studied plant species were located in intergenic regions and located 4 to 5 kb away from the nearest protein-coding genes. Sequence comparison showed that 67% of date palm miRNA members were present in duplicated segments, and that 135 pairs of miRNA-containing segments were duplicated in Arabidopsis, tomato, orange, rice, apple, poplar and soybean with a high similarity of non coding sequences between duplicated segments, indicating genomic duplication was a major force for expansion of conserved miRNAs. Duplicated miRNA pairs in date palm showed divergence in pre-miRNA sequence and in number of promoters, implying that these duplicated pairs may have undergone divergent evolution. Comparisons between date palm and the seven other plant species for the gain/loss of miR167 loci in an ancient segment shared between monocots and dicots suggested that these conserved miRNAs were highly influenced by and diverged as a result of genomic duplication events.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071435

PMID: 23951162 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Acta Trop. 2013 Dec;128(3):557-60. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Phoenix dactylifera L. spathe essential oil: chemical composition and repellent activity against the yellow fever mosquito.

Demirci B(1), Tsikolia M, Bernier UR, Agramonte NM, Alqasoumi SI, Al-Yahya MA, Al-Rehaily AJ, Yusufoglu HS, Demirci F, Başer KH, Khan IA, Tabanca N.

(1)Department of Pharmacognosy, Anadolu University, Faculty of Pharmacy, 26470 Eskisehir, Turkey.

        Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L. (Arecaceae), grows commonly in the Arabian Peninsula and is traditionally used to treat various diseases. The aim of the present study was to identify chemical composition of the essential oil and to investigate the repellent activity. The essential oil of P. dactylifera was obtained by hydrodistillation from the spathe, a specialized leaf structure that surrounds the pollinating organs of the palm. The oil was subsequently analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The oil showed promising repellent activity against yellow fever mosquito - Aedes aegypti. Sixteen components were characterized, constituting 99% of the oil. The main components were 3,4-dimethoxytoluene (73.5%), 2,4-dimethoxytoluene (9.5%), β-caryophyllene (5.5%), p-cresyl methyl ether (3.8%), and caryophyllene oxide (2.4%). The minimum effective dosage (MED) for repellency for the P. dactylifera oil was 0.051mg/cm(2), which had moderately lower potency compared to reference standard N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, DEET (0.018mg/cm(2)) in the "cloth patch assay". The five major compounds were individually assayed for repellency to determine to what extent each is responsible for repellency from the oil. 3,4-Dimethoxytoluene and 2,4-dimethoxytoluene showed the best repellent activity with the same MED value of 0.063mg/cm(2), respectively. The results indicate that these two constituents which comprise a large proportion of the P. dactylifera oil (83%) are likely responsible for the observed repellent activity. In this aspect, the P. dactylifera spathe oil is a sustainable, promising new source of natural repellents.

DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.08.003

PMID: 23948523 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Commun. 2013;4:2274. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3274.

Genome sequence of the date palm Phoenix dactylifera L.

Al-Mssallem IS(1), Hu S, Zhang X, Lin Q, Liu W, Tan J, Yu X, Liu J, Pan L, Zhang T, Yin Y, Xin C, Wu H, Zhang G, Ba Abdullah MM, Huang D, Fang Y, Alnakhli YO, Jia S, Yin A, Alhuzimi EM, Alsaihati BA, Al-Owayyed SA, Zhao D, Zhang S, Al-Otaibi NA, Sun G, Majrashi MA, Li F, Tala, Wang J, Yun Q, Alnassar NA, Wang L, Yang M, Al-Jelaify RF, Liu K, Gao S, Chen K, Alkhaldi SR, Liu G, Zhang M, Guo H, Yu J.

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prince Turki Road, Riyadh 11442, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. imssallem@kacst.edu.sa

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a cultivated woody plant species with agricultural and economic importance. Here we report a genome assembly for an elite variety (Khalas), which is 605.4 Mb in size and covers >90% of the genome (~671 Mb) and >96% of its genes (~41,660 genes). Genomic sequence analysis demonstrates that P. dactylifera experienced a clear genome-wide duplication after either ancient whole genome duplications or massive segmental duplications. Genetic diversity analysis indicates that its stress resistance and sugar metabolism-related genes tend to be enriched in the chromosomal regions where the density of single-nucleotide polymorphisms is relatively low. Using transcriptomic data, we also illustrate the date palm's unique sugar metabolism that underlies fruit development and ripening. Our large-scale genomic and transcriptomic data pave the way for further genomic studies not only on P. dactylifera but also other Arecaceae plants.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3274

PMID: 23917264 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Sci Total Environ. 2014 Jan 1;466-467:185-94. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.07.024.

A field study on solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and pigment parameters along a vertical canopy gradient of four tree species in an urban environment.

Van Wittenberghe S(1), Alonso L, Verrelst J, Hermans I, Valcke R, Veroustraete F, Moreno J, Samson R.

(1)Department of Bioscience Engineering, Faculty of Sciences, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address: Shari.VanWittenberghe@ua.ac.be.

        To better understand the potential uses of vegetation indices based on the sun-induced upward and downward chlorophyll fluorescence at leaf and at canopy scales, a field study was carried out in the city of Valencia (Spain). Fluorescence yield (FY) indices were derived for trees at different traffic intensity locations and at three canopy heights. This allowed investigating within-tree and between-tree variations of FY indices for four tree species. Several FY indices showed a significant (p < 0.05) and important effect of tree location for the species Morus alba (white mulberry) and Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island date palm). The upward FY parameters of M. alba, and the upward to downward ratios at 687 and 741 nm for both species, were significantly related to tree location. It was found that not the total chlorophyll (Chl) content, but rather the Chl a/b ratio showed the strongest correlations with several of the indices applied. Chl a/b was lowest at the bottom level of the highest traffic intensity location for both species due to an increased Chl b, indicating a larger light harvesting complex related to Photosystem II (LHCII) as a response to limiting light. The leaf deposits from traffic observed at this sampling location possibly led to a shading effect, resulting further in an adaptive response of the photosynthetic system and subsequent difference of FY indices. This study therefore indicated the importance of the size of LHCII on the fluorescence emission, observed under different traffic generated pollution conditions.

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.07.024

PMID: 23895782 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Dec;93(15):3850-5. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6323. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Use of mixture design to construct a consortium of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit extract and potentially probiotic Bacillus strain to confer protection against vibriosis in Artemia culture.

Mahdhi A(1), Bahi A, Mzah D, Bakhrouf A.

(1)Laboratory of Analysis, Treatment and Valorization of Pollutants of the Environment and Products (LATVPEP), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, Monastir, 5000, Tunisia.

        BACKGROUND: To find a biological control treatment applicable to shrimp hatcheries, the influence of the dietary administration of a consortium of two date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit extracts and potentially probiotic Bacillus strain on Artemia culture was studied. Challenge tests were performed with virulent Vibrio alginolyticus to assess the protective effects of Deglet Nour and Degla fruit extracts alone or in conjunction with potentially probiotic Bacillus strain. RESULTS: Under the conducted bioassays, where Deglet Nour and Degla fruit extracts were used singly or in association with potentially probiotic Bacillus strain, the survival and growth rates of Artemia nauplii were improved. Nauplii protection against virulent Vibrio strain was highest using a feed comprising 2.7% Deglet Nour/97.3% Deglat extract and no Bacillus bacteria. CONCLUSION: The present findings provide evidence that the use of palm fruit extracts singly or in conjunction with potentially probiotic Bacillus strain has tremendous potential as a biocontrol treatment for Artemia culture, particularly with regard to improving culture conditions and the ability to inhibit bacterial pathogens under in vivo conditions.

DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.6323

PMID: 23893402 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Biol Macromol. 2013 Oct;61:340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.06.020. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Characterization and determination of lignin in different types of Iraqi phoenix date palm pruning woods.

Abdullah HM(1), Abdul Latif MH, Attiya HG.

(1)Department of Chemistry, Ibn Al Haitham College of Education, University of Baghdad, Adhamiya, Al- Dilal Square, Baghdad, Iraq. Electronic address: Abunoor1950@yahoo.com.

        This study aimed to find analytical data base for Iraqi phoenix date palm pruning woods, which produced by pruning process at the season of date palm production. Lignin has been extracted and purified for five types of Iraqi date palm using Klason lignin method. The weight of the extracted lignin ranged from 0.410 g to 0.720 g, and the lignin % ranged from 17.6 to 36. The other ingredients (waxes, oils, resin, and proteins of wood gums) % ranged from 20 to 29.5. FT-IR characterization showed that the (-OH) phenolic group appear in Ashrasi lignin structure only and disappear in other lignin samples, and the (4-O-5 inter monomeric lignin linkage) showed strong to moderate intensity peaks for all studied samples except the Austa omran sample has a weak intensity peaks. Also (DODO inter monomeric lignin linkage) showed strong intensity peaks for all studied samples except the Barban sample showed moderate intensity peaks. UV-vis characterization showed that the lowest absorption maximum (266 nm) corresponds to Barban lignin sample, while the highest absorption maximum (271 nm) corresponds to Sultani lignin sample.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.06.020

PMID: 23811162 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jun 19;61(24):5834-40. doi: 10.1021/jf401371v. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays confirm bioactive compounds in Ajwa date fruit.

Zhang CR(1), Aldosari SA, Vidyasagar PS, Nair KM, Nair MG.

(1)Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals Laboratory, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, United States.

        Ajwa, a variety of date palm Phoenix dactylifera L., produces the most expensive date fruits. Percentages of seed, moisture, fructose, glucose, soluble protein, and fiber in Ajwa dates were 13.24, 6.21, 39.06, 26.35, 1.33, and 11.01, respectively. The ethyl acetate, methanolic, and water extracts of Ajwa dates, active at 250 μg/mL in the MTT assay, inhibited lipid peroxidation (LPO) by 88, 70, and 91% at 250 μg/mL and cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 by 30, 31, and 32% and COX-2 by 59, 48, and 45% at 100 μg/mL, respectively. Bioactivity-guided purifications afforded compounds 1-7, in addition to phthalates and fatty acids. Compounds 1-3 showed activity at 100 μg/mL in the MTT assay; inhibited COX-1 enzyme by 59, 48, amd 50% and COX-2 enzyme by 60, 40, amd 39% at 50 μg/mL; and inhibited LPO by 95, 58, amd 66% at 100 μg/mL, respectively. The soluble protein fraction was also very active in both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays.

DOI: 10.1021/jf401371v

PMID: 23713661 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Technol. 2013 Jan-Feb;34(1-4):395-406.

Removal of Cu2+ and Ag+ from aqueous solution on a chemically-carbonized sorbent from date palm leaflets.

El-Shafey el-SI(1), Al-Kindy SM.

(1)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, PO. Box 36, Muscat, Oman. dr_el_shafey2004@yahoo.co.uk

        A chemically-carbonized sorbent was prepared from date palm leaflets by sulphuric acid treatment at 170 degrees C. Carbonization took place via the dehydration effect of the hot sulphuric acid producing a carbon with reduction property. Sorption of Cu2+ and Ag+ from aqueous solution was investigated in terms of pH, contact time, metal concentration and temperature. A peculiar behaviour was found for the sorption of the two metals on the produced carbon. Sorption of Cu2+ was fast, reaching equilibrium within -2 h, whilst Ag+ sorption was slow and required -60 h to reach equilibrium. Activation energy (E(a)) for Cu2+ sorption was -16.1 kJ/mol indicating a diffusion-controlled ion exchange process; however, E(a) for Ag+ sorption was -44.3 kJ/mol indicating a chemically controlled process. Equilibrium sorption data were tested for the Langmuir and Freundlich equations. Sorption capacity appears to be much higher for Ag+ than for Cu2+ with increased uptake, for both metals, when increasing the temperature (25-45 degrees C). Ag+ was reduced to elemental silver on the sorbent surface and this was confirmed using scanning electron microscopy and x-ray powder diffraction; however, no reduction processes were involved in Cu2+ sorption. This paper discusses the sorption mechanism.

DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2012.698647

PMID: 23530353 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Insect Sci. 2012;12:120. doi: 10.1673/031.012.12002.

Effect of bait quantity and trap color on the trapping efficacy of the pheromone trap for the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Abuagla AM(1), Al-Deeb MA.

(1)1 Research and Development Division, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, PO Box: 52150, Abu Dhabi, UAE. abdullahi.abuagla@adfca.ae

        The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Curculionidae: Coleoptera), is not native to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since its arrival in 1985, it has been causing major damage to date palm trees. A primary control strategy has been the use of pheromone baited traps. The objectives of this study were to determine the quantity of bait, and the best trap color, to obtain the maximum catch of R. ferrugineus under field conditions in the UAE. Traps with 100, 300, or 500 g of dates as bait collected the same number of R. ferrugineus adults. Captures in black traps were significantly higher than captures in red, yellow, or white traps. Thus, using a black pheromone trap containing 100 g of dates can significantly enhance R. ferrugineus control efforts, and can help considerably in reducing the red palm weevil's deleterious impact on date palm production in UAE.

DOI: 10.1673/031.012.12002

PMID: 23451836 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Insect Sci. 2012;12:128. doi: 10.1673/031.012.12801.

Interactions between phoretic mites and the Arabian rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes agamemnon arabicus.

Al-Deeb MA(1), Muzaffar SB, Sharif EM.

(1)Biology Department, Faculty of Science, UAE University, PO Box 17551, Al-Ain, UAE. m_aldeeb@uaeu.ac.ae

        Oryctes agamemnon arabicus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is one of the main pests on date palm trees in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Two mite species were found associated with this beetle: Sancassania sp. (Acari: Astigmata: Acaridae) and Hypoaspis rhinocerotis Oudemans (Acari: Mesostigmata: Laelapidae). Sancassania deutonymphs (hypopi) were phoretic on O. a. arabicus adults and larvae. However, they were also necromenic, because once the host dies they feed on its carcass. The highest deutonymph load was found in the subelytral space of O. a. arabicus adult. The phoretic and necromenic interactions between Sancassania sp. and O. a. arabicus need to be investigated in more detail. H. rhinocerotis was recorded for the first time in UAE. Its role has not yet been studied in the date palm agricultural ecosystem.

DOI: 10.1673/031.012.12801

PMID: 23448160 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Mar 13;61(10):2453-60. doi: 10.1021/jf303951e. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Effect of cultivar type and ripening on the polyphenol content of date palm fruit.

Eid NM(1), Al-Awadi B, Vauzour D, Oruna-Concha MJ, Spencer JP.

(1)Molecular Nutrition Group, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, University of Reading , Reading RG6 6AP, United Kingdom.

        Date palm (Pheonix dactylifera) fruit contains an array of polyphenols, although how these levels alter with cultivar type and fruit ripening is unclear. Utilizing HPLC and LC-ESI-MS/MS, this study define and quantify an array of hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, and flavonoids in three common cultivars of dates (Ajwa, Barni, and Khalas) at the main ripening stages (kimri, khalal, rutab, and tamr). Polyphenols were at highest concentration at earlier stages of ripening, with concentrations reducing with ripening. The khalal stage of the Ajwa cultivar contained significantly higher (P < 0.001) levels of polyphenols than measured in the Barni and Khalas dates at the same degree of ripening. Furthermore, the Ajwa cultivar was the only one to contain significant quantities of anthocyanidins, in particular at the khalal stage. These data suggest dates are a significant source of polyphenols, especially if the earlier edible ripening stages are consumed or utilized as food ingredients.

DOI: 10.1021/jf303951e

PMID: 23406291 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Econ Entomol. 2012 Dec;105(6):2062-7.

Use of light traps and differing light color to investigate seasonal abundance of the date palm pest, Oryctes agamemnon arabicus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

Al-Deeb MA(1), Mahmoud ST, Sharif EM.

(1)Biology Department, Faculty of Science, UAE University Al-Ain, UAE, P.O. Box 17551, Al-Ain, UAE. m_aldeeb@uaeu.ac.ae

        Oryctes agamemnon arabicus (Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a date palm insect pest that causes damage to trunk and roots and can damage grass lawns in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries such as Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. The goal of this study was to monitor population dynamics and to evaluate six light colors (white, green, red, yellow, blue, and infrared) and two lamp types (mercury and energy-saving) in light traps. Experiments were performed on a date palm farm during a 2 yr period (2010 and 2011). It was found that this insect is a univoltine pest with a single population peak. Adults appeared in the field around middle of April and early May and the population continued to build until maximum numbers were reached in mid June. No adults were found after the end of September. Photoperiod showed a significant correlation with the changes in adult population size. White light emitted from mercury lamps attracted significantly more O. agamemnon arabicus adults compared with the other tested light colors. Increasing the wattage of mercury lamps from 160 to 250 watt did not significantly increase the number of collected insects. The results demonstrated that light traps equipped with 160-watt mercury lamps emitting white light collected significantly the highest number of this insect among the other tested lamps.

PMID: 23356071 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Bioresour Technol. 2013 Mar;131:94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.120. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

Experimental investigation on gaseous emissions from the combustion of date palm residues in laboratory scale furnace.

El may Y(1), Jeguirim M, Dorge S, Trouvé G, Said R.

(1)Laboratoire Gestion des Risques et Environnement, Université de Haute Alsace, 3 bis rue Alfred Werner, 68093 Mulhouse, France.

        Emissions characteristics from the combustion of five date palm residues, DPR, (Date Palm Leaflets, Date Palm Rachis, Date Palm Trunk, Date Stones and fruitstalk prunings) in a laboratory scale furnace were investigated. Release of gaseous products such as CO2, CO, VOC, NOx and SO2 were measured at 600-800°C. The main goal was to analyze thermal behaviors and gaseous emissions in order to select the most convenient biofuel for an application in domestic boiler installations. Regards to biofuel characteristics, date stone have the highest energy density (11.4GJ/m(3)) and the lowest ash content (close to 1.2%). Combustion tests show that among the tested date palm residues, date stone may be the promising biofuel for the design of combustion processing system. However, a special attention to the design of the secondary air supply should be given to prevent high emissions of CO and volatile matters.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.120

PMID: 23347919 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Feb;19(2):210-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1902.120971.

Nipah virus infection outbreak with nosocomial and corpse-to-human transmission, Bangladesh.

Sazzad HM(1), Hossain MJ, Gurley ES, Ameen KM, Parveen S, Islam MS, Faruque LI, Podder G, Banu SS, Lo MK, Rollin PE, Rota PA, Daszak P, Rahman M, Luby SP.

(1)icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. sazzad@icddrb.org

        Active Nipah virus encephalitis surveillance identified an encephalitis cluster and sporadic cases in Faridpur, Bangladesh, in January 2010. We identified 16 case-patients; 14 of these patients died. For 1 case-patient, the only known exposure was hugging a deceased patient with a probable case, while another case-patient's exposure involved preparing the same corpse for burial by removing oral secretions and anogenital excreta with a cloth and bare hands. Among 7 persons with confirmed sporadic cases, 6 died, including a physician who had physically examined encephalitis patients without gloves or a mask. Nipah virus-infected patients were more likely than community-based controls to report drinking raw date palm sap and to have had physical contact with an encephalitis patient (29% vs. 4%, matched odds ratio undefined). Efforts to prevent transmission should focus on reducing caregivers' exposure to infected patients' bodily secretions during care and traditional burial practices.

DOI: 10.3201/eid1902.120971

PMID: 23347678 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Meat Sci. 2013 Apr;93(4):880-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.11.049. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Date palm by-products as a new ingredient for the meat industry: application to pork liver pâté.

Martín-Sánchez AM(1), Ciro-Gómez G, Sayas E, Vilella-Esplá J, Ben-Abda J, Pérez-Álvarez JÁ.

(1)IPOA Research Group, Grupo 1-UMH Grupo REVIV, Generalitat Valenciana, AgroFood TechnologyDepartment, Orihuela Polytechnical High School, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel, Km 3.2, E-03312 Orihuela (Alicante), Spain.

        Date palm is an interesting source of bioactive compounds that could be used as ingredient in meat products; thus a campagne type pork liver pâté was elaborated using fresh date by-products (0, 5, 10 and 15%). Physicochemical properties, pigment and lipid oxidation, residual nitrite level, texture and sensory analysis during 4 days after the elaboration process were evaluated. Date paste mostly incorporated moisture, fibre and phenolic compounds. Physicochemical parameters, myoglobin content and heme iron stability were not severely affected. Addition of 10% of date was enough to avoid lipid oxidation through all storage times. Colour was the most affected parameter; however, in terms of overall acceptability, panellists preferred samples with added date.

DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.11.049

PMID: 23314613 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxicol Int. 2012 Sep;19(3):279-86. doi: 10.4103/0971-6580.103669.

In vivo Comparative Studies on Antigenotoxicity of Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.) Pits Extract Against DNA Damage Induced by N-Nitroso-N-methylurea in Mice.

Diab KA(1), Aboul-Ela EI.

(1)Genetics and Cytology Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.

        Aqueous extract of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pits was prepared and its antigenotoxic activity was evaluated against N-Nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU) induced mutagenic effect in mice, using chromosome aberration (CA), micronuclei (MN) and DNA fragmentation assays as experimental end points in male mice. Date pits extract (DPE) was given orally to mice at the dose 25 mg/25 g mouse for successive five days in a week up to four consecutive weeks. NMU was used as mutagen and was given intraperitoneal (i.p) injection at single dose 80 mg/kg b.w., 24 hr after last dose of DPE in pre-treatment regimen and 24 hr before the first dose of DPE in the post-treatment regimen. Mice were scarified after one, two and seven days after the end of treatment. The results have shown that pre-and post-treatment regimens of DPE were significantly restored the DNA damage induced by NMU, as revealed by lowering of the occurrence of CAs and MN in bone marrow cells and inhibition of hepatic DNA fragmentation. These findings suggested that DPE produced their inhibitory activity either by desmutagenic or bioantimutagenic manner in pre-and post-treatment regimens respectively.

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6580.103669

PMID: 23293467

BMC Plant Biol. 2012 Dec 15;12:237. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-12-237.

Identification and characterization of gene-based SSR markers in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Zhao Y(1), Williams R, Prakash CS, He G.

(1)Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, USA.

        BACKGROUND: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is an important tree in the Middle East and North Africa due to the nutritional value of its fruit. Molecular Breeding would accelerate genetic improvement of fruit tree through marker assisted selection. However, the lack of molecular markers in date palm restricts the application of molecular breeding. RESULTS: In this study, we analyzed 28,889 EST sequences from the date palm genome database to identify simple-sequence repeats (SSRs) and to develop gene-based markers, i.e. expressed sequence tag-SSRs (EST-SSRs). We identified 4,609 ESTs as containing SSRs, among which, trinucleotide motifs (69.7%) were the most common, followed by tetranucleotide (10.4%) and dinucleotide motifs (9.6%). The motif AG (85.7%) was most abundant in dinucleotides, while motifs AGG (26.8%), AAG (19.3%), and AGC (16.1%) were most common among trinucleotides. A total of 4,967 primer pairs were designed for EST-SSR markers from the computational data. In a follow up laboratory study, we tested a sample of 20 random selected primer pairs for amplification and polymorphism detection using genomic DNA from date palm cultivars. Nearly one-third of these primer pairs detected DNA polymorphism to differentiate the twelve date palm cultivars used. Functional categorization of EST sequences containing SSRs revealed that 3,108 (67.4%) of such ESTs had homology with known proteins. CONCLUSION: Date palm EST sequences exhibits a good resource for developing gene-based markers. These genic markers identified in our study may provide a valuable genetic and genomic tool for further genetic research and varietal development in date palm, such as diversity study, QTL mapping, and molecular breeding.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-12-237

PMID: 23241238 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Jun;93(8):2061-70. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5963. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Short-term oxidative lime pretreatment of palm pruning waste for use as animal feedstuff.

Ahmadi F(1), Rad AR, Holtzapple MT, Zamiri MJ.

(1)Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. Farhadahmadi88@gmail.com

        Erratum in J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Jun;93(8):2071. BACKGROUND: Oxidative lime pretreatment (OLP) is an effective pretreatment for highly recalcitrant lignocellulosic materials. This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of short-term OLP on fermentative gas production kinetics of date palm prunings. Rachis and petiole were pretreated with excess lime (0.5 g Ca(OH)2 g(-1) dry matter) in a reactor charged with 10 bar pure oxygen pressure at different times and temperatures. RESULTS: Lignin removal was greatly affected by OLP, whereas cellulose was well preserved even after severe pretreatment. After 72 h fermentation, the cumulative gas production was 321.2 mL gas g(-1) organic matter (OM) for the most severe pretreatment, compared to 73.6 mL g(-1) OM for the untreated rachis. For the petiole pretreated at 120 °C for 280 min, 268 mL gas was produced compared to 59 mL gas g(-1) OM for the untreated petiole. Scanning electron microscope images showed the formation of pores (average diameter of 10-12 µm) and carbonate calcium deposits on the surface of treated biomass. An increase in biomass crystallinity was observed in pretreated samples resulting from cellulose enrichment. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that OLP improves the ruminal digestibility of date palm prunings, which may have potential for inclusion in the ruminant diet at low cost.

DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.5963

PMID: 23239410 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

New Phytol. 2013 Jan;197(2):409-15. doi: 10.1111/nph.12069.

Male-specific DNA markers provide genetic evidence of an XY chromosome system, a recombination arrest and allow the tracing of paternal lineages in date palm.

Cherif E(1), Zehdi S, Castillo K, Chabrillange N, Abdoulkader S, Pintaud JC, Santoni S, Salhi-Hannachi A, Glémin S, Aberlenc-Bertossi F.

(1)IRD/CIRAD Palm Developmental Biology Group, UMR DIADE, Centre IRD, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier, France.

        Whether sex chromosomes are differentiated is an important aspect of our knowledge of dioecious plants, such as date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). In this crop plant, the female individuals produce dates, and are thus the more valuable sex. However, there is no way to identify the sex of date palm plants before reproductive age, and the sex-determining mechanism is still unclear. To identify sex-linked microsatellite markers, we surveyed a set of 52 male and 55 female genotypes representing the geographical diversity of the species. We found three genetically linked loci that are heterozygous only in males. Male-specific alleles allowed us to identify the gender in 100% of individuals. These results confirm the existence of an XY chromosomal system with a nonrecombining XY-like region in the date palm genome. The distribution of Y haplotypes in western and eastern haplogroups allowed us to trace two male ancestral paternal lineages that account for all known Y diversity in date palm. The very low diversity associated with Y haplotypes is consistent with clonal paternal transmission of a nonrecombining male-determining region. Our results establish the date palm as a biological model with one of the most ancient sex chromosomes in flowering plants.

DOI: 10.1111/nph.12069

PMID: 23231423 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant Cell Environ. 2013 May;36(5):1056-70. doi: 10.1111/pce.12042. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Effect of water deficit on the cell wall of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera 'Deglet nour', Arecales) fruit during development.

Gribaa A(1), Dardelle F, Lehner A, Rihouey C, Burel C, Ferchichi A, Driouich A, Mollet JC.

(1)Laboratoire de Glycobiologie et Matrice Extracellulaire Végétale, UPRES EA 4358, IRIB, Normandy University, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont Saint-Aignan Cedex, France. jeanclaude.mollet@univ-rouen.fr

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is an important crop providing a valuable nutrition source for people in many countries including the Middle East and North Africa. In recent years, the amount of rain in North Africa and especially in the Tunisian palm grove areas has dropped significantly. We investigated the growth and cell wall remodelling of fruits harvested at three key development stages from trees grown with or without water supply. During development, cell wall solubilization and remodelling was characterized by a decrease of the degree of methylesterification of pectin, an important loss of galactose content and a reduction of the branching of xylan by arabinose in irrigated condition. Water deficit had a profound effect on fruit size, pulp content, cell wall composition and remodelling. Loss of galactose content was not as important, arabinose content was significantly higher in the pectin-enriched extracts from non-irrigated condition, and the levels of methylesterification of pectin and O-acetylation of xyloglucan were lower than in irrigated condition. The lower levels of hydrophobic groups (methylester and O-acetyl) and the less intensive degradation of the hydrophilic galactan, arabinan and arabinogalactan in the cell wall may be implicated in maintaining the hydration status of the cells under water deficit.

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12042

PMID: 23176574 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jan-Feb;52(1):84-7. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2012.10.015. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Osteitis of the fourth metatarsal caused by a date palm thorn in a child: why the dorsum of the foot is the most commonly injured site.

Madhar M(1), Sammous Y, Bouslous J, Messaoudi T, Chafik R, Elhaoury H, Saidi H, Fikry T.

(1)Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Mohammed VI, Marrakech, Morocco.

        The palms are frequent in the region of eastern Morocco. An insidious onset of a lytic lesion in the base of the fourth metatarsal caused by a date palm thorn in a 20-year-old patient is presented. An untreated embedded thorn can cause late complications, including periostitis or osteomyelitis. In most cases, removal of the foreign body is easy, and no surgical care is needed. If detected, these injuries can be treated without complications. In children, however, the diagnosis can be very easily missed, especially if the child has aphasia and deafness, which was present in our patient. These can influence communication between the child and family, such that the patient is unable to inform the family about what object pricked him (e.g., date palm thorn, toothpick, insect) and is unable to tell the family that the foreign object remains embedded. This major communication issue between the child and family can result in potentially avoidable complications such as osteitis. No other issues were present in our patient that could have caused a delay in diagnosis, such as fear of punishment or fear of medical treatment. We present a case of date palm thorn-induced periostitis of the base of the fourth metatarsal. Surgical exploration revealed a 2.5-cm palm tree thorn embedded in granulation tissue, forming an abscess. The lesion was successfully treated by curettage of the lesion and removal of the thorn embedded in the periosteum of the metatarsal base. The purpose of the present report was to explain the mechanism of this rare entity and the frequency of this lesion on the dorsal aspect of the foot rather than on the plantar. Despite the absence of a definite history of trauma, organic foreign material should be in the differential diagnosis of a lytic lesion of the bone, especially in patients who have a problem with deafness or aphasia.

DOI: 10.1053/j.jfas.2012.10.015

PMID: 23158504 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48018. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048018.

Phylogenetic analysis of microbial communities in different regions of the gastrointestinal tract in Panaque nigrolineatus, a wood-eating fish.

McDonald R(1), Schreier HJ, Watts JE.

(1)Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, Towson, Maryland, United States of America.

        The Neotropical detritivorous catfish Panaque nigrolineatus imbibes large quantities of wood as part of its diet. Due to the interest in cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin degradation pathways, this organism provides an interesting model system for the detection of novel microbial catabolism. In this study, we characterize the microbial community present in different regions of the alimentary tract of P. nigrolineatus fed a mixed diet of date palm and palm wood in laboratory aquaria. Analysis was performed on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from anterior and posterior regions of the alimentary tract and the auxiliary lobe (AL), an uncharacterized organ that is vascularly attached to the midgut. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction revealed distinct microbial communities in each tissue region. The foregut community shared many phylotypes in common with aquarium tank water and included Legionella and Hyphomicrobium spp. As the analysis moved further into the gastrointestinal tract, phylotypes with high levels of 16S rRNA sequence similarity to nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium and Agrobacterium spp. and Clostridium xylanovorans and Clostridium saccharolyticum, dominated midgut and AL communities. However, the hindgut was dominated almost exclusively by phylotypes with the highest 16S rRNA sequence similarity to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides phylum. Species richness was highest in the foregut (Chao(1) = 26.72), decreased distally through the midgut (Chao(1) = 25.38) and hindgut (Chao(1) = 20.60), with the lowest diversity detected in the AL (Chao(1) = 18.04), indicating the presence of a specialized microbial community. Using 16S rRNA gene phylogeny, we report that the P. nigrolineatus gastrointestinal tract possesses a microbial community closely related to microorganisms capable of cellulose degradation and nitrogen fixation. Further studies are underway to determine the role of this resident microbial community in Panaque nigrolineatus.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048018

PMID: 23133540 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2012;58(4):272-7.

Anti-allergic properties of a matured fruit extract of the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in mite-sensitized mice.

Karasawa K(1), Otani H.

(1)Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan.

        The effects of oral ingestion of a hot water extract of matured fruit of the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on allergic responses were investigated in mite-sensitized mice. Sneezing and nose rubbing events in mice given a date extract-added diet were significantly lower than in those given an extract-free (control) diet. The serum total and mite antigen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels, and the number of spleen interleukin-4(+)CD4(+), IgE(+)B220(+) and FcεRIα(+)CD117(+) cells was significantly lower in mice given the date extract-added diet than in those given the control diet. Chlorogenic acid, pelargonin and ferulic acid significantly reduced the number of IgE(+)B220(+) cells, while chlorogenic acid and pelargonin significantly decreased the number of FcεRIα(+)CD117(+) cells in mouse spleen cell cultures. These results suggest that some polyphenols in the date may reduce mite-induced allergic symptoms in mice via a decrease in the number of IgE-producing plasma cells and high-affinity IgE receptor-expressing mast cells.

PMID: 23132311 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048021.

Climate change impacts on the future distribution of date palms: a modeling exercise using CLIMEX.

Shabani F(1), Kumar L, Taylor S.

(1)Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, Australia. Fshabani@une.edu.au

        Climate is changing and, as a consequence, some areas that are climatically suitable for date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivation at the present time will become unsuitable in the future. In contrast, some areas that are unsuitable under the current climate will become suitable in the future. Consequently, countries that are dependent on date fruit export will experience economic decline, while other countries' economies could improve. Knowledge of the likely potential distribution of this economically important crop under current and future climate scenarios will be useful in planning better strategies to manage such issues. This study used CLIMEX to estimate potential date palm distribution under current and future climate models by using one emission scenario (A2) with two different global climate models (GCMs), CSIRO-Mk3.0 (CS) and MIROC-H (MR). The results indicate that in North Africa, many areas with a suitable climate for this species are projected to become climatically unsuitable by 2100. In North and South America, locations such as south-eastern Bolivia and northern Venezuela will become climatically more suitable. By 2070, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and western Iran are projected to have a reduction in climate suitability. The results indicate that cold and dry stresses will play an important role in date palm distribution in the future. These results can inform strategic planning by government and agricultural organizations by identifying new areas in which to cultivate this economically important crop in the future and those areas that will need greater attention due to becoming marginal regions for continued date palm cultivation.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048021

PMID: 23110162 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 7;60(44):10896-902. doi: 10.1021/jf302602v. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Effects of the ripening stage on phenolic profile, phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity of date palm fruit.

Amira el A(1), Behija SE, Beligh M, Lamia L, Manel I, Mohamed H, Lotfi A.

(1)Research Unit Genome, Immune Diagnosis and Recovery, Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, Monastir University, Avenue Tahar Hadded, BP 74, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia.

        Four cultivars (Gondi, Gasbi, Khalt Dhahbi, and Rtob Ahmar) of Tunisian date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits at 3 maturation stages, besser, rutab and tamr, were analyzed for their antioxidant activities (AA) using 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals cation, and reducing power (RP) methods. The total phenolic (TPC), total flavonoid (TFC), and condensed tannins (CTC) contents were measured. Results showed that all samples have the highest TPC, TFC, CTC, and AA at besser stage. A significant correlation (p < 0.05) was found between TPC, TFC, CTC and AA during ripening. Sixteen phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by HPLC. The major ones were caffeic, ferulic, protocatechuic, and catechin for the majority of cultivars. Our data indicate that common date fruits are rich in natural antioxidants that might be more widely used by both the general population and the food industry as a source of bioactive human health promoter phytochemicals.

DOI: 10.1021/jf302602v

PMID: 23072597 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Manage. 2012 Dec 30;113:213-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.07.034.

A sustainable approach to controlling oil spills.

Al-Majed AA(1), Adebayo AR, Hossain ME.

(1)Department of Petroleum Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia.

        As a result of the huge economic and environmental destruction from oil spills, studies have been directed at improving and deploying natural sorbents which are not only the least expensive but also the safest means of spill control. This research reviews the limitations and environmental impact of existing cleanup methods. It also justifies the need for concerted research effort on oil spill control using natural and sustainable technology concepts. The article proposes future guidelines for the development of a sustainable cleanup technology. Finally, guidelines for the development of a new technology for the Middle East are proposed, which is the use of an abundant resource--date palm fibers--for such techniques.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.07.034

PMID: 23037316 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Food Chem. 2012 Oct 1;134(3):1279-86. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.02.208. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Enzyme activity and biochemical changes of three date palm cultivars with different softening pattern during ripening.

Rastegar S(1), Rahemi M(1), Baghizadeh A(2), Gholami M(1).

(1)Department of Horticultural Science, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. (2)International Center for Science and High Technology and Environmental Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

        The physicochemical composition changes during palm ripening were studied. The activities of invertase and cell wall-modifying enzymes, namely pectin methylesterase (PME), β-galactosidase (β-Gal), endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase (EGase), and cellulase were monitored during growth and ripening of Shahani, Piarom and Deiry cultivars with different textures. Also, we estimated the concentrations of six organic acids by HPLC. Reducing sugars, most of organic acid, pH and TSS increased up to the full-ripe stage of all date types. On the contrary, moisture, macro and microelements and proteins decreased during the same period. Despite a considerable rise in invertase activity (200 units) during ripening of Shahani, no significant trend could be discerned in Deiry cultivar (8 units) at different stages. Our results also showed that cell wall enzymes were increased in activity during ripening and these increases were coincident with fruit softening. Furthermore, our results showed that the composition and the variation of the chemical compositions mainly depended on the cultivar and maturity stage.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.02.208

PMID: 25005944 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Andrologia. 2013 Dec;45(6):369-78. doi: 10.1111/and.12025.

Therapeutic effects of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen extract on cadmium-induced testicular toxicity.

El-Neweshy MS(1), El-Maddawy ZK, El-Sayed YS.

(1)Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University, Al-Buhiyra Governorate, Egypt.

        Cadmium (Cd) is a well-known testicular toxicant. This study was designed to explore the long-term effects of a single low dose of Cd on spermatogenesis, and testicular dysfunction and oxidative stress, and the therapeutic potential of date palm pollen extract (DPP) in averting such reproductive damage. Adult male Wistar rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of CdCl2 (0 or 1 mg kg(-1) ). Twenty-four hours later, they started receiving DPP (0 or 40 mg kg(-1) ) orally, once daily for 56 consecutive days. Cd exposure caused significant reproductive damage via reduced weight of the reproductive organs, which includes spermatological damage (decreased sperm count and motility and increased rates of sperm abnormalities), increased oxidative stress (increased malondialdehyde and decreased reduced glutathione levels), histological alterations (necrosis, inefficient to completely arrest spermatogenesis and a reduced Johnsen's score) and decreased serum testosterone level. DPP restored spermatogenesis and attenuated the toxic effects of Cd on the reproductive system to the levels observed in the control animals. These findings support the hypothesis that the testis is particularly sensitive to Cd, which can cause testicular damage and infertility. Treatment with DPP can ameliorate the deleterious effects of Cd, probably by activating testicular endocrine and antioxidant systems.

DOI: 10.1111/and.12025

PMID: 22998418 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42689. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042689.

A randomized controlled trial of interventions to impede date palm sap contamination by bats to prevent nipah virus transmission in Bangladesh.

Khan SU(1), Gurley ES, Hossain MJ, Nahar N, Sharker MA, Luby SP.

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. khansu@icddrb.org

        BACKGROUND: Drinking raw date palm sap is a risk factor for human Nipah virus (NiV) infection. Fruit bats, the natural reservoir of NiV, commonly contaminate raw sap with saliva by licking date palm's sap producing surface. We evaluated four types of physical barriers that may prevent bats from contacting sap. METHODS: During 2009, we used a crossover design and randomly selected 20 date palm sap producing trees and observed each tree for 2 nights: one night with a bamboo skirt intervention applied and one night without the intervention. During 2010, we selected 120 trees and randomly assigned four types of interventions to 15 trees each: bamboo, dhoincha (local plant), jute stick and polythene skirts covering the shaved part, sap stream, tap and collection pot. We enrolled the remaining 60 trees as controls. We used motion sensor activated infrared cameras to examine bat contact with sap. RESULTS: During 2009 bats contacted date palm sap in 85% of observation nights when no intervention was used compared with 35% of nights when the intervention was used [p<0.001]. Bats were able to contact the sap when the skirt did not entirely cover the sap producing surface. Therefore, in 2010 we requested the sap harvesters to use larger skirts. During 2010 bats contacted date palm sap [2% vs. 83%, p<0.001] less frequently in trees protected with skirts compared to control trees. No bats contacted sap in trees with bamboo (p<0.001 compared to control), dhoincha skirt (p<0.001) or polythene covering (p<0.001), but bats did contact sap during one night (7%) with the jute stick skirt (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Bamboo, dhoincha, jute stick and polythene skirts covering the sap producing areas of a tree effectively prevented bat-sap contact. Community interventions should promote applying these skirts to prevent occasional Nipah spillovers to human.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042689

PMID: 22905160 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Tree Physiol. 2012 Sep;32(9):1171-8. doi: 10.1093/treephys/tps070. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Estimating sap flux densities in date palm trees using the heat dissipation method and weighing lysimeters.

Sperling O(1), Shapira O, Cohen S, Tripler E, Schwartz A, Lazarovitch N.

(1)The Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, J Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus 84990, Israel.

        In a world of diminishing water reservoirs and a rising demand for food, the practice and development of water stress indicators and sensors are in rapid progress. The heat dissipation method, originally established by Granier, is herein applied and modified to enable sap flow measurements in date palm trees in the southern Arava desert of Israel. A long and tough sensor was constructed to withstand insertion into the date palm's hard exterior stem. This stem is wide and fibrous, surrounded by an even tougher external non-conducting layer of dead leaf bases. Furthermore, being a monocot species, water flow does not necessarily occur through the outer part of the palm's stem, as in most trees. Therefore, it is highly important to investigate the variations of the sap flux densities and determine the preferable location for sap flow sensing within the stem. Once installed into fully grown date palm trees stationed on weighing lysimeters, sap flow as measured by the modified sensors was compared with the actual transpiration. Sap flow was found to be well correlated with transpiration, especially when using a recent calibration equation rather than the original Granier equation. Furthermore, inducing the axial variability of the sap flux densities was found to be highly important for accurate assessments of transpiration by sap flow measurements. The sensors indicated no transpiration at night, a high increase of transpiration from 06:00 to 09:00, maximum transpiration at 12:00, followed by a moderate reduction until 08:00; when transpiration ceased. These results were reinforced by the lysimeters' output. Reduced sap flux densities were detected at the stem's mantle when compared with its center. These results were reinforced by mechanistic measurements of the stem's specific hydraulic conductivity. Variance on the vertical axis was also observed, indicating an accelerated flow towards the upper parts of the tree and raising a hypothesis concerning dehydrating mechanisms of the date palm tree. Finally, the sensors indicated reduction in flow almost immediately after irrigation of field-grown trees was withheld, at a time when no climatic or phenological conditions could have led to reduction in transpiration.

DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tps070

PMID: 22887479 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42460. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042460.

Testing the effects of an introduced palm on a riparian invertebrate community in southern California.

Talley TS(1), Nguyen KC, Nguyen A.

(1)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America. tstalley@ucsd.edu

        Despite the iconic association of palms with semi-arid regions, most are introduced and can invade natural areas. Along the San Diego River (San Diego, California, USA), the introduced Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) forms dense patches among native riparian shrubs like arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis). The structural differences between the palm and native shrubs are visually obvious, but little is known about palm's effects on the ecosystem. We tested for the effects of the palm on a riparian invertebrate community in June 2011 by comparing the faunal and environmental variables associated with palm and willow canopies, trunks and ground beneath each species. The palm invertebrate community had lower abundance and diversity, fewer taxa feeding on the host (e.g., specialized hemipterans), and more taxa likely using only the plant's physical structure (e.g., web-builders, oak moths, willow hemipterans). There were no observed effects on the ground-dwelling fauna. Faunal differences were due to the physical and trophic changes associated with palm presence, namely increased canopy density, unpalatable leaves, trunk rugosity, and litter accumulations. Palm presence and resulting community shifts may have further ecosystem-level effects through alteration of physical properties, food, and structural resources. These results were consistent with a recent study of invasive palm effects on desert spring arthropods, illustrating that effects may be relatively generalizable. Since spread of the palm is largely localized, but effects are dramatic where it does occur, we recommend combining our results with several further investigations in order to prioritize management decisions.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042460

PMID: 22879991 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Planta. 2012 Nov;236(5):1599-613. doi: 10.1007/s00425-012-1713-z. Epub 2012 Jul 29.

Proteomics analysis of date palm leaves affected at three characteristic stages of brittle leaf disease.

Sghaier-Hammami B(1), Saidi MN, Castillejo MA, Jorrín-Novo JV, Namsi A, Drira N, Gargouri-Bouzid R.

(1)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Route de Soukra km 4, B.P. 1171, 3018, Sfax, Tunisia. sghaierbesma@yahoo.fr

        Proteomics analysis has been performed in leaf tissue from field date palm trees showing the brittle leaf disease (BLD) or maladie des feuilles cassantes, the main causal agent of the date palm decline in south Tunisia. To study the evolution of the disease, proteins from healthy and affected leaves taken at three disease stages (S1, S2 and S3) were trichloroacetic acid acetone extracted and subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (5-8 pH range). Statistical analysis showed that the protein abundance profile is different enough to differentiate the affected leaves from the healthy ones. Fifty-eight variable spots were successfully identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight, 60 % of which corresponded to chloroplastic ones being involved in the photosynthesis electronic chain and ATP synthesis, metabolic pathways implicated in the balance of the energy, and proteases. Changes in the proteome start at early disease stage (S1), and are greatest at S2. In addition to the degradation of the ribulose-1.5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase in affected leaflets, proteins belonging to the photosynthesis electronic chain and ATP synthesis decreased following the disease, reinforcing the relationship between BLD and manganese deficiency. The manganese-stabilizing proteins 33 kDa, identified in the present work, can be considered as protein biomarkers of the disease, especially at early disease step.

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-012-1713-z

PMID: 22843243 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Apr;44(2):42-7.

Allergy to kiwi: is component-resolved diagnosis in routine clinical practice really impossible?

Asero R(1).

(1)Ambulatorio di Allergologia, Clinica San Carlo, Paderno Dugnano (MI), Italy. r.asero@libero.it

        BACKGROUND: Kiwi allergy is frequent and can be the result of sensitization to a number of allergens showing different physicochemical characteristics. Component-resolved diagnosis of kiwi allergy is still unavailable in routine clinical practice. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether component resolved-diagnosis of kiwi allergy can be, at least in part, carried out by a proper combination of routinely available diagnostic tools. METHODS: 63 adults with plant food allergy were studied 36 were kiwi-allergic while 27 were kiwi-tolerant and served as controls. Patients and controls underwent SPT with commercial peach and kiwi extracts, and with aprofilin-enriched date palm pollen extract (all by ALK-Abellò), and the measurement of IgE to birch, kiwi, and natural rubber latex. RESULTS: The in-vitro test showed poor sensitivity and specificity, as it scored positive in about 50% of patients and controls irrespective of clinical allergy to kiwi. The kiwi SPT showed overall poor sensitivity; however, it scored negative in all subjects with pollen food-allergy syndrome, was weakly positive in some lipid transfer protein-hypersensitive/kiwi tolerant subjects and in one latex-sensitized subject, and strongly positive in all subjects with primary kiwi sensitization. CONCLUSION: SPT with this commercial kiwi extract sensitively and specifically detects patients reacting to specific kiwi allergens. This can be useful to detect patients that are at risk of potentially severe reactions, particularly in case of co-sensitization to labile allergens, while we wait that the whole spectrum of kiwi allergens becomes available for routine in-vitro testing.

PMID: 22768722 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;359:25-40. doi: 10.1007/82_2012_207.

Epidemiology of henipavirus disease in humans.

Luby SP(1), Gurley ES.

(1)Department of Medicine, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA. sluby@stanford.edu

        All seven recognized human cases of Hendra virus (HeV) infection have occurred in Queensland, Australia. Recognized human infections have all resulted from a HeV infected horse that was unusually efficient in transmitting the virus and a person with a high exposure to infectious secretions. In the large outbreak in Malaysia where Nipah virus (NiV) was first identified, most human infections resulted from close contact with NiV infected pigs. Outbreak investigations in Bangladesh have identified drinking raw date palm sap as the most common pathway of NiV transmission from Pteropus bats to people, but person-to-person transmission of NiV has been repeatedly identified in Bangladesh and India. Although henipaviruses are not easily transmitted to people, these newly recognized, high mortality agents warrant continued scientific attention.

DOI: 10.1007/82_2012_207

PMID: 22752412 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant Mol Biol. 2012 Aug;79(6):521-36. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9924-z. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Large-scale collection and annotation of gene models for date palm (Phoenix dactylifera, L.).

Zhang G(1), Pan L, Yin Y, Liu W, Huang D, Zhang T, Wang L, Xin C, Lin Q, Sun G, Ba Abdullah MM, Zhang X, Hu S, Al-Mssallem IS, Yu J.

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), famed for its sugar-rich fruits (dates) and cultivated by humans since 4,000 B.C., is an economically important crop in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and increasingly other places where climates are suitable. Despite a long history of human cultivation, the understanding of P. dactylifera genetics and molecular biology are rather limited, hindered by lack of basic data in high quality from genomics and transcriptomics. Here we report a large-scale effort in generating gene models (assembled expressed sequence tags or ESTs and mapped to a genome assembly) for P. dactylifera, using the long-read pyrosequencing platform (Roche/454 GS FLX Titanium) in high coverage. We built fourteen cDNA libraries from different P. dactylifera tissues (cultivar Khalas) and acquired 15,778,993 raw sequencing reads-about one million sequencing reads per library-and the pooled sequences were assembled into 67,651 non-redundant contigs and 301,978 singletons. We annotated 52,725 contigs based on the plant databases and 45 contigs based on functional domains referencing to the Pfam database. From the annotated contigs, we assigned GO (Gene Ontology) terms to 36,086 contigs and KEGG pathways to 7,032 contigs. Our comparative analysis showed that 70.6 % (47,930), 69.4 % (47,089), 68.4 % (46,441), and 69.3 % (47,048) of the P. dactylifera gene models are shared with rice, sorghum, Arabidopsis, and grapevine, respectively. We also assigned our gene models into house-keeping and tissue-specific genes based on their tissue specificity.

DOI: 10.1007/s11103-012-9924-z

PMID: 22736259 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

World J Emerg Surg. 2012 Jun 21;7(1):19. doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-7-19.

A rare cause of gastrointestinal phytobezoars: diospyros lotus.

Ertuğrul G(1), Coşkun M, Sevinç M, Yelimlieş B, Ertuğrul F, Toydemir T.

(1)Department of General Surgery, Düzce Atatürk State Hospital, Muncurlu, Düzce, Turkey. mdgertugrul@gmail.com.

        AIM: Diospyros Lotus ("Wild Date Palm of Trabzon or Persimmon"), which has been proven to cause phytobezoars, is a widely consumed fruit in the Black Sea and Northeast Anatolia regions of Turkey. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Diospyros Lotus together with other predisposing factors, on the development of gastrointestinal phytobezoars and to discuss the treatment results in comparison to the literature. MATERIAL AND METHOD: The records of 13 patients, who had been admitted to the General Surgery Clinic of Düzce Atatürk State Hospital between August 2008 and August 2011, were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic characteristics, predisposing factors, clinical and radiological findings, diagnostic and therapeutic methods, and the outcomes of the patients were recorded from the patient files. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient for publication of this research article and accompanying images. RESULTS: All the patients had a history of consuming Diospyros Lotus. Of the patients, 30,7% had a history of previous gastric surgery, 30,7% had diabetes mellitus and 23% had dental implants. None of the patients had hypothyroidism, which is another predisposing factor for phytobezoars.The phytobezoars were located in the stomach alone in 23% of the patients, whereas 15,3% was detected in the jejunum and stomach, 15,3% was detected in the jejunum alone, and 46,1% was detected in the ileum alone. All patients were treated with surgery, and there were no deaths. CONCLUSION: Gastric phytobezoars are rare. Preventive measures have particular importance in the management of this condition, which is difficult to treat. For this purpose, excessive consumption of herbal nutrients containing a high amount of indigestible fibers such as Diospyros Lotus should be avoided in patients with a history of gastrointestinal surgery or poor oral and dental health.

DOI: 10.1186/1749-7922-7-19

PMID: 22721161

Bioresour Technol. 2012 Aug;118:382-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.04.081.

Pyrolysis and combustion kinetics of date palm biomass using thermogravimetric analysis.

Sait HH(1), Hussain A, Salema AA, Ani FN.

(1)Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Abdulaziz University-Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. hhsait@kau.edu.sa

        The present research work is probably the first attempt to focus on the kinetics of pyrolysis and combustion process for date palm biomass wastes like seed, leaf and leaf stem by using Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) technique. The physical properties of biomass wastes were also examined. Proximate and ultimate analysis of the date palm biomass was investigated. FT-IR analysis was conducted to determine possible chemical functional groups in the biomass. Results showed that date palm seed and leaf can be characterized as high calorific values and high volatile content biomass materials as compared to the leaf stem. Kinetic analysis of this biomass was also given a particular attention. It is concluded that these biomasses can become useful source of energy, chemicals and bio-char.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.04.081

PMID: 22705960 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Health Promot Int. 2013 Sep;28(3):378-86. doi: 10.1093/heapro/das020. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Piloting the use of indigenous methods to prevent Nipah virus infection by interrupting bats' access to date palm sap in Bangladesh.

Nahar N(1), Mondal UK, Sultana R, Hossain MJ, Khan MS, Gurley ES, Oliveras E, Luby SP.

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Mohakhali, Post Box128, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com

        People in Bangladesh frequently drink fresh date palm sap. Fruit bats (Pteropus giganteus) also drink raw sap and may contaminate the sap by shedding Nipah virus through saliva and urine. In a previous study we identified two indigenous methods to prevent bats accessing the sap, bamboo skirts and lime (calcium carbonate). We conducted a pilot study to assess the acceptability of these two methods among sap harvesters. We used interactive community meetings and group discussions to encourage all the sap harvesters (n = 12) from a village to use either bamboo skirts or lime smear that some of them (n = 4) prepared and applied. We measured the preparation and application time and calculated the cost of bamboo skirts. We conducted interviews after the use of each method. The sap harvesters found skirts effective in preventing bats from accessing sap. They were sceptical that lime would be effective as the lime was washed away by the sap flow. Preparation of the skirt took ∼105 min. The application of each method took ∼1 min. The cost of the bamboo skirt is minimal because bamboo is widely available and they made the skirts with pieces of used bamboo. The bamboo skirt method appeared practical and affordable to the sap harvesters. Further studies should explore its ability to prevent bats from accessing date palm sap and assess if its use produces more or better quality sap, which would provide further incentives to make it more acceptable for its regular use.

DOI: 10.1093/heapro/das020

PMID: 22669914 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37164. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037164.

A complete sequence and transcriptomic analyses of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) mitochondrial genome.

Fang Y(1), Wu H, Zhang T, Yang M, Yin Y, Pan L, Yu X, Zhang X, Hu S, Al-Mssallem IS, Yu J.

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research (JCGR), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Based on next-generation sequencing data, we assembled the mitochondrial (mt) genome of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) into a circular molecule of 715,001 bp in length. The mt genome of P. dactylifera encodes 38 proteins, 30 tRNAs, and 3 ribosomal RNAs, which constitute a gene content of 6.5% (46,770 bp) over the full length. The rest, 93.5% of the genome sequence, is comprised of cp (chloroplast)-derived (10.3% with respect to the whole genome length) and non-coding sequences. In the non-coding regions, there are 0.33% tandem and 2.3% long repeats. Our transcriptomic data from eight tissues (root, seed, bud, fruit, green leaf, yellow leaf, female flower, and male flower) showed higher gene expression levels in male flower, root, bud, and female flower, as compared to four other tissues. We identified 120 potential SNPs among three date palm cultivars (Khalas, Fahal, and Sukry), and successfully found seven SNPs in the coding sequences. A phylogenetic analysis, based on 22 conserved genes of 15 representative plant mitochondria, showed that P. dactylifera positions at the root of all sequenced monocot mt genomes. In addition, consistent with previous discoveries, there are three co-transcribed gene clusters-18S-5S rRNA, rps3-rpl16 and nad3-rps12-in P. dactylifera, which are highly conserved among all known mitochondrial genomes of angiosperms.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037164

PMID: 22655034 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genet Mol Res. 2012 May 15;11(2):1341-8. doi: 10.4238/2012.May.15.4.

Identification and characterization of a novel Iraqi isolate of Fusarium pseudograminearum causing crown rot in wheat.

Hameed MA(1), Rana RM, Ali Z.

(1)Date Palm Research Center, University of Basra, Basra, Iraq.

        Crown rot is one of the main important fungal diseases affecting wheat in many areas of the world, including Australia, USA, and Iran. Until now, there had been no report of this pathogen in Iraq. Plants displaying crown rot symptoms were observed in Shaat Alarab (Basra, Iraq); we investigated the causal agent of the disease. Samples were surface-sterilized in bleach (1% available chlorine) and cultured on quarter-strength potato dextrose agar plates. DNA was extracted from fungal mycelia, using a modified CTAB protocol. The ITS/5.8S regions were amplified using primer pair ITS1 and ITS4. PCR products purified using a gel extraction kit were sequenced. The sequence that was detected was used to BLAST against NCBI data. The most similar sequence was the ITS/5.8S rDNA region of Fusarium pseudograminearum (strain NRRL28062), showing 97.95% identity. This species normally causes crown rot, resulting in severe damage under dry spring conditions. A pathogenicity test employed to assess the disease-causing ability of the strain showed significant disease symptoms up to 57% infected spikelets. The results confirmed the presence of F. pseudograminearum as a causal agent of wheat crown rot in Iraq. The presence of this pathogen demands further investigations to develop resistant cultivars and/or mechanical control.

DOI: 10.4238/2012.May.15.4

PMID: 22653580 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:837395. doi: 10.1100/2012/837395. Epub 2012 May 2.

Influence of growth regulators on callogenesis and somatic embryo development in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Sahelian cultivars.

Sané D(1), Aberlenc-Bertossi F, Diatta LI, Guèye B, Daher A, Sagna M, Duval Y, Borgel A.

(1)Département de Biologie Végétale, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, BP 5005 Dakar-Fann, Senegal. djisane@refer.sn

        This study provides a physiological analysis of somatic embryogenesis in four elite cultivars of date palms: Ahmar, Amsekhsi, Tijib, and Amaside, from the initial callogenesis to establishment and proliferation of embryogenic suspension cultures. Somatic embryos development and in vitro plants rooting were also studied. For each step, auxins and cytokinins concentrations were optimised. The primary callogenesis from leaf explants of seedlings appeared highly dependent on genotype. Ahmar (80%) and Amsekhsi (76%) appeared highly callogenic, whereas Tijib (10%) and Amaside (2%) produced low amounts of calluses. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid appeared favorable to the induction of primary callogenesis and its effect was enhanced by the addition of benzyl adenine or adenine sulfate. Secondary friable calli obtained from chopped granular calli were used to initiate embryogenic cell suspensions in media supplied with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Suspension cultures showed a growth rate of fourfold after four subcultures in presence of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid 2 mg/L. Our results showed that a seven-day transitory treatment with benzyl adenine 0,5 mg/L was necessary to optimize embryos development. Naphthalene acetic acid induced the development of primary orthogravitropic roots during embryos germination. The comparison with cytofluorometry of nuclear DNA amounts showed no significant difference in ploidy level between regenerated plants and seedlings.

DOI: 10.1100/2012/837395

PMID: 22629211 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

3 Biotech. 2011 Sep;1(2):91-97.

New microsatellite markers for assessment of genetic diversity in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Elmeer K, Sarwath H, Malek J, Baum M, Hamwieh A.

        New primer pairs of genomic DNA microsatellite markers were tested to assess the genetic diversity of eleven date palm genotypes. The results indicated that out of thirty, only seven primers (23.3%) failed to amplify the expected PCR fragments, while thirteen primers (43.3%) amplified monomorphic banding patterns and the remaining ten primers (33.4%) generated polymorphic banding patterns. A total of 77 alleles have been observed with a mean of 7.7 alleles per locus. The average of gene diversity was 0.80 ranging from 0.6 (in marker DP168) to 0.9 (in two markers DP157 and DP175). These new co-dominant markers will be a starting point for researchers making use of the markers for genetic mapping and diversity analysis of date palm.

DOI: 10.1007/s13205-011-0010-z

PMID: 22582150

Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2012 Jul;9(7):646-54. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2011.1077. Epub 2012 May 9.

In vitro study on influence of some Streptomyces strains isolated from date palm rhizosphere soil on some toxigenic fungi.

El-Naggar MA(1), Alkahtani MD, Thabit TM, Sarhan EA, Morsy KM.

(1)Research Central Laboratory, Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Medhat14@yahoo.com

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is considered the main crop in deserts and arid areas such as Saudi Arabia. Five Streptomyces species and other fungal species were isolated from date palm rhizosphere soil of several cultivars, such as Barhi, Khalas, Sullaj, and Sukkari, in the Ghat and El-Gouf regions. Streptomyces strains were isolated on Biolog universal growth agar medium and were identified following Biolog methods. The predominant Streptomyces isolated from this present survey was S. plicatus followed by S. rimosus, S. rutgersensus, and S. griseus. The number of soilborne fungi in the tested soil decreased with the increased number of isolated Streptomyces. There was a significant positive correlation between the date palm cultivar and the number of isolated Streptomyces. The in vitro effects of isolated Streptomyces species on some toxigenic fungi were also studied. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoaffinity column chromatography, and high-performance liquid chromatography were used to study the mycotoxins. The concentration of most of the tested mycotoxins was reduced significantly with the presence of the Streptomyces isolates. Results indicate that some Streptomyces isolates established in date palm rhizosphere have the ability to reduce production of mycotoxins of some toxigenic fungi; thus they have the potential of reducing the subsequent disease occurrence. Therefore they can be applied in wider range as biocontrol agents.

DOI: 10.1089/fpd.2011.1077

PMID: 22571643 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2012 Jun;9(6):561-7. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2011.1085. Epub 2012 May 8.

Mycobiota and mycotoxins (aflatoxins and ochratoxin) associated with some Saudi date palm fruits.

Gherbawy YA(1), Elhariry HM, Bahobial AA.

(1)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia. youssufgherbawy@yahoo.com

        This study aimed to determine the mycological profile of the retail date fruits distributed in different markets at Taif, Saudi Arabia. The presence of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A was also measured. Twenty-two fungal species belonging to 12 genera were isolated from 50 different date samples. Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Rhizopus stolonifer were the most prevalent species among isolated fungi. Eighty isolates of A. flavus and 36 of A. niger were detected for their aflatoxins and ochratoxin production potentials using thin layer chromatography. Toxicity test using Artimia larvae indicated that seven out of 18 A. flavus isolates had aflatoxins potentials, while nine out of 36 isolates of A. niger were ochratoxigenic. The quadruplex polymerase chain reaction using specific primers demonstrated the presence of four genes: nor A, ver 1, omt A, and avf A in seven A. flavus toxigenic isolates. Nine A. niger toxigenic isolates showed positive results for the presence of the PKS gene. In conclusion, the present study highlighted the potential hazards of mycotoxins on human health from consuming raw dates. Rapid molecular detection methods described here might help the food authorities to assure the safety of raw dates distributed in local markets.

DOI: 10.1089/fpd.2011.1085

PMID: 22568750 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Genetika. 2012 Feb;48(2):270-4.

Molecular characterization of Syrian date palm cultivars using plasmid-like DNA markers.

Haider N(1), Nabulsi I.

(1)Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, AECS, P.O. Box 6091, Damascus, Syria. ascientific@aec.org.sy

        Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is one of the most important domesticated fruit trees in the Near East and North African countries. This tree has been, for several decades, in serious threat of being completely destroyed by the "Bayoud" disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis. In this study, 18 Syrian date palm cultivars and four male trees were analyzed according to the identity of mitochondrial plasmid-like DNAs. A PCR strategy that employs plasmid-like DNAs-specific primer pair was used. These primers amplify a product of either 373-bp or 265-bp that corresponds to the S-(Bayoud-susceptible) or the R-plasmid (Bayoud-resistant), respectively. Generated data revealed that only six cultivars ('Medjool', 'Ashrasi', 'Gish Rabi', 'Khineze', and yellow- and red-'Kabkab') have the S-plasmid, suggesting their susceptibility to the fusariosis, while the remaining 12 cultivars and the four male trees contain the R-plasmid, suggesting their resistance to the fusariosis. The PCR process applied here has been proved efficient for the rapid screening for the presence of the S and R DNAs in Syrian date palm. PCR markers developed in this study could be useful for the screening of date palm lines growing in the field. The availability of such diagnostic tool for plasmid characterization in date palm would also be of great importance in establishing propagation and breeding programs of date palm in Syria.

PMID: 22568006 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2012 Jun;55:7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Use of two bacteria for biological control of bayoud disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) seedlings.

Dihazi A(1), Jaiti F, Wafataktak, Kilani-Feki O, Jaoua S, Driouich A, Baaziz M, Daayf F, Serghini MA.

(1)Laboratoire de Biotechnologie, Biochimies, Valorisation et Protection des Plantes, Université Cadi Ayyad, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, B.P. 2390, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco. dihazi_abdel@yahoo.fr

        The Bayoud, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis (Foa), is the most destructive disease of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) in Morocco and Algeria, with no effective control strategy yet available. In this work, two bacteria, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain Ag1 (Ag) and Burkholderia cepacia strain Cs5 (Cs), were examined for their potential to control this disease. Both bacterial strains inhibited both growth and sporulation of Foa. They released compounds into the culture medium, which resulted into cytological changes in Foa's mycelial structure. When Jihel-date palm plantlets, a susceptible cultivar, were induced with these bacteria, the size of the necrosis zone, which reflected the spreading of the pathogen, was reduced by more than 70%, as compared with uninduced controls. To further investigate the mechanisms of such disease reduction, phenolic compounds and peroxidase activity were assessed. One month after inoculation, date palm defense reactions against Foa were different depending on the bacterium used, B. cepacia led to higher accumulation of constitutive caffeoylshikimic acid isomers while B. amyloliquefaciens triggered the induction of new phenolic compounds identified as hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives. Peroxidase activity has also been stimulated significantly and varied with the bacterial strain used and with Foa inoculation. These results add to the promising field of investigation in controlling Bayoud disease.

DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2012.03.003

PMID: 22480991 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

C R Biol. 2012 Mar;335(3):194-204. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2012.01.005. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) micropropagation using completely mature female flowers.

Kriaa W(1), Sghaier-Hammami B, Masmoudi-Allouche F, Benjemaa-Masmoudi R, Drira N.

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Department of Biology, Route Soukra, Sfax, Tunisia. maswkri@yahoo.fr

        This study describes an efficient and reproducible protocol for in vitro date palm propagation using mature female flowers. It focuses on the promising proliferation capacity exhibited by a number of female flower tissues taken at the final developmental stage. This capacity resided in the ability to preserve minuscule zones in a juvenile state located at the floral organ armpits (sepals and petals). The originality of this method lies in the possibility of propagation of very rare varieties, particularly the genotypes that exist in only one copy without the excision of the plant mother, the source of the tissue collected to be cultivated, which was not the case for all previous methods. The findings revealed that 2,4-D at 1mg/l, most of the varieties tested showed reactivity. The success of this technique was also noted to depend on the concurrent control of various factors pertaining mainly to the hormonal composition of the culture medium and the appropriate time of tissue transfer, which depends on the proliferation state as well as the culture period. This study describes the nature of the proliferation from the mature female flowers and their outcome, particularly those at the origin of embryogenic and budding strains and discusses the advantages of this novel multiplication method as compared to the currently available ones.

DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2012.01.005

PMID: 22464427 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2012 Apr-Jun;1(2):208-212. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.206933.

Nipah virus outbreaks in Bangladesh: a deadly infectious disease.

Rahman M(1), Chakraborty A(1).

(1)Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh.

        During 2001-2011, multidisciplinary teams from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh(icddr,b) identified sporadic cases and 11 outbreaks of Nipah encephalitis. Three outbreaks were detected through sentinel surveillance; others were identified through event-based surveillance. A total of 196 cases of Nipah encephalitis, in outbreaks, clusters and as isolated cases were detected from 20 districts of Bangladesh; out of them 150 (77%) cases died. Drinking raw date palm sap and contact with a case were identified as the major risk factors for acquiring the disease. Combination of surveillance systems and multidisciplinary outbreak investigations can be an effective strategy not only for detection of emerging infectious diseases but also for identification of novel characteristics and risk factors for these diseases in resource-poor settings.

DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206933

PMID: 28612796

Inflamm Res. 2012 Jul;61(7):719-24. doi: 10.1007/s00011-012-0464-4. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Immunological markers in allergic rhinitis patients treated with date palm immunotherapy.

Boghdadi G(1), Marei A, Ali A, Lotfy G, Abdulfattah M, Sorour S.

(1)Immunology Research Lab, Faculty of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt. gsboghdadi@zu.edu.eg

        OBJECTIVE: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is regulated by the local production and release of several cytokines. Allergen specific immunotherapy (IT) has been widely used for many years as a specific treatment of allergic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the changes in clinical and immunological markers before and after Phoenix dactylifera IT in AR patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total symptom score and levels of total immunoglobulin E (IgE), albumin, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-10, IL-4, and IL-13 were measured in the serum and nasal samples of thirty non-atopic healthy controls and thirty patients with allergic rhinitis before and after 15 months of IT. RESULTS: We found significantly higher concentrations of serum TNF-α and nasal TNF-α and IL-13, and significantly lower concentration of nasal IL-10, in allergic patients than in non-allergic. Moreover, serum and nasal IL-10 increased significantly after IT. However, there was neither a significant reduction in total IgE nor a significant increase in IFN-γ at the end of IT. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show a clinical improvement associated with a decline in some inflammation parameters after IT. Moreover, date palm IT induced a significant increase in serum and nasal IL-10 levels.

DOI: 10.1007/s00011-012-0464-4

PMID: 22456954 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Animal. 2011 Mar;5(3):471-82. doi: 10.1017/S1751731110001783.

Adjusting homestead feeding to requirements and nutrient intake of grazing goats on semi-arid, subtropical highland pastures.

Dickhoefer U(1), Mahgoub O, Schlecht E.

(1)1Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Kassel and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Steinstr. 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany.

        Intensive livestock grazing can largely deplete the natural fodder resources in semi-arid, subtropical highlands and together with the low nutritional quality of the pasture vegetation limit the growth and production of grazing animals. To evaluate the contribution of homestead feeding of grazing goats to rangeland conservation and animal nutrition, two researcher-managed on-farm trials were conducted in a mountain oasis of Northern Oman. Goats' feed intake on pasture in response to four rations containing different levels of locally available green fodder and concentrate feeds was determined in six male goats each (35 ± 10.2 kg body weight (BW)). Total feed intake was estimated using titanium dioxide as external fecal marker as well as the diet organic matter (OM) digestibility derived from fecal crude protein concentration. The nutritional quality of selected fodder plants on pasture was analyzed to determine the animals' nutrient and energy intake during grazing. The pasture vegetation accounted for 0.46 to 0.65 of the goats' total OM intake (87 to 107 g/kg0.75 BW), underlining the importance of this fodder resource for the husbandry system. However, metabolizable energy (7.2 MJ/kg OM) and phosphorus concentrations (1.4 g/kg OM) in the consumed pasture plants were low. Homestead feeding of nutrient and energy-rich by-products of the national fishery and date palm cultivation to grazing goats increased their daily OM intake (R2 = 0.36; P = 0.005) and covered their requirements for growth and production. While the OM intake on pasture was highest in animals fed a concentrate-based diet (P = 0.003), the daily intake of 21 g OM/kg0.75 BW of cultivated green fodder reduced the animals' feed intake on pasture (R2 = 0.44; P = 0.001). Adjusting homestead supplementation with locally available feedstuffs to the requirements of individual goats and to the nutritional quality of the pasture vegetation improves animal performance and eases the grazing pressure exerted on the natural vegetation. This management strategy therefore appears to be a valuable alternative to intensive livestock feeding in zero-grazing systems and may contribute to sustainable livestock production in ecologically fragile, semi-arid mountain regions.

DOI: 10.1017/S1751731110001783

PMID: 22445414

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2012 Jun;54(6):530-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2012.03238.x.

The culturable bacterial community of frass produced by larvae of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Canary island date palm.

Butera G(1), Ferraro C, Colazza S, Alonzo G, Quatrini P.

(1)Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Molecolari e Biomolecolari-Viale delle Scienze, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

        AIMS: Larvae of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) feed inside palm stem tissues, making galleries and producing a wet fermenting frass. We characterized the culturable bacteria associated with frass produced by tunnelling larvae inside the Canary island date palms and investigated the role of frass and gut bacteria in plant polymers breakdown. METHODS AND RESULTS: A culture-dependent method was used to isolate bacteria from frass and noninfested palm tissues. Bacterial isolates were grouped into operational taxonomic units based on polymorphisms in the ITS-PCR profiles, and representative isolates were identified by partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Frass bacteria were dominated by 2,3-butanediol fermenter Enterobacteriaceae. None of the bacterial isolates was able to degrade cellulose; however, cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic bacteria were isolated from the larval gut enrichment cultures. CONCLUSIONS:   Frass bacteria are specifically associated with the RPW larvae and might play beneficial roles for RPW, other than nutritional, that deserve further investigations. Breakdown of plant polymers probably occurs inside the larvae digestive system. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Frass and gut micro-organisms of R. ferrugineus should be included in studies of the interactions between RPW, its plant hosts, and its enemies.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2012.03238.x

PMID: 22404299 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2012 Apr 1;4(1):78-86.

Processing and utilization of palm date fruits for edible applications.

Kamal-Eldin A(1), Hashim IB, Mohamed IO.

(1)Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University, P.O.Box 17551 Al-Ain, UAE. afaf.kamal@uaeu.ac.ae

        The date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifra L., family: Palmaceae) is perhaps the oldest and most important fruit crop in the Middle East and North Africa. From this region, the tree spread to other parts of the world and is cultivated in some parts of USA. About 6-7 Million tons of date fruits, belonging to a large variety of cultivars with different characteristics, are produced annually. The date fruit is mainly composed of sugars (invert sugars and/or sucrose) and fiber and, as such, can find a wide range of applications. However, processing applications of the date fruits are limited and new possibilities need to be exploited. This paper reviews the state-of-art knowledge on the compositional and technological aspects and patents pertinent to the processing and utilization of date fruits.

PMID: 22360635 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant Mol Biol. 2012 Apr;78(6):617-26. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9890-5. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

High-throughput sequencing-based gene profiling on multi-staged fruit development of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera, L.).

Yin Y(1), Zhang X, Fang Y, Pan L, Sun G, Xin C, Ba Abdullah MM, Yu X, Hu S, Al-Mssallem IS, Yu J.

(1)Joint Center for Genomics Research-JCGR, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology-KACST and Chinese Academy of Sciences-CAS, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Date palm provides both staple food and gardening for the Middle East and North African countries for thousands of years. Its fruits have diversified significantly, such as nutritional content, size, length, weight color, and ripping process. Dates palm represent an excellent model system for the study of fruit development and diversity of fruit-bearing palm species that produce the most versatile fruit types as compared to other plant families. Using Roche/454 GS FLX instrument, we acquired 7.6 million sequence tags from seven fruiting stages (F1-F7). Over 99% of the raw reads are assembled, and the numbers of isotigs (equivalent to transcription units or unigenes) range from 30,684 to 40,378 during different fruiting stages. We annotated isotigs using BLASTX and BLASTN, and mapped 74% of the isotigs to known functional sequences or genes. Based on gene ontology categorization and pathway analysis, we have identified 10 core cell division genes, 18 ripening related genes, and 7 starch metabolic enzymes, which are involved as nutrition storage and sugar/starch metabolisms. We noticed that many metabolic pathways vary significantly during fruit development, and carbohydrate metabolism (especially sugar synthesis) is particularly prominent during fruit ripening. Transcriptomics study on various fruiting stages of date palm shows complicated metabolic activities during fruit development, ripening, synthesis and accumulation of starch enzymes and other related sugars. Most Genes are highly expressed in early stages of development, while late developmental stages are critical for fruit ripening including most of the metabolism associated ones.

DOI: 10.1007/s11103-012-9890-5

PMID: 22351158 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2012;158(2):115-9. doi: 10.1159/000330822. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Profilin as an aeroallergen by means of conjunctival allergen challenge with purified date palm profilin.

Núñez R(1), Carballada F, Lombardero M, Jimeno L, Boquete M.

(1)Allergy Department, Xeral-Calde Hospital, Lugo, Spain. ramon.nuñez.orjales@sergas.es

        BACKGROUND: The role of profilin as a food allergen is well established, but little research has been done about its ability to elicit respiratory disease. Profilin is considered more of a confounding allergen on skin testing with whole pollen extracts than other airborne allergens. Our aim was to find out whether or not profilin can cause symptoms in sensitized individuals, which would be compatible with its role as an airborne allergen. METHODS: We performed conjunctival allergen challenges with date palm profilin in a series of consecutive pollen-allergic patients with rhino-conjunctivitis, divided in two groups: profilin sensitized (n = 17) and not sensitized (n = 14), who served as controls. We investigated the possible association between profilin sensitization and profilin allergy in these groups of patients. RESULTS: None of the patients from the not profilin-sensitized group had a positive result in conjunctival allergen challenges. In contrast, 65% of profilin sensitized patients had a positive conjunctival allergen challenge and were considered allergic to profilin. We found a significant statistical association between being profilin allergic and being profilin sensitized (χ(2) = 10.39, p < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Profilin seems to work as an aeroallergen in a significant proportion of profilin-sensitized patients. This might explain the uselessness of conjunctival challenges with whole pollen extracts to disclose genuine sensitization. In the future, the possibility of quantifying this allergen in pollen immunotherapy vaccines should be considered.

DOI: 10.1159/000330822

PMID: 22269607 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Insect Sci. 2011;11:136. doi: 10.1673/031.011.13601.

Comparative demography of the spider mite, Oligonychus afrasiaticus, on four date palm varieties in southwestern Tunisia.

Ben Chaaban S(1), Chermiti B, Kreiter S.

(1)Département de Protection des Plantes, Laboratoire de Zoologie Agricole, Institut Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques de Chott-Mariam, 4042 Sousse, Tunisia. samah_bchaaban@yahoo.fr

        The date palm mite, Oligonychus afrasiaticus (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae), is a serious pest of palm date fruits. Life cycle, fecundity, and longevity of this mite were studied on fruits of four date palms, Phoenix dactylifera L. (Arecales: Arecaceae)(varieties: Deglet Noor, Alig, Kentichi, and Besser), under laboratory conditions at 27 = 1 °C, 60 ± 10% RH. Total development time of immature female was shorter on Deglet Noor fruits than on the other cultivars. O. afrasiaticus on Deglet Noor had the highest total fecundity per female, while low fecundity values occurred on Besser. The comparison of intrinsic rates of natural increase (r(m)), net reproductive rates (R(o)), and the survival rates of immature stage of O. afrasiaticus on the host plants suggests that O. afrasiaticus performs better on Deglet Noor fruits. The mite feeding on Alig showed the lowest intrinsic rate of natural population increase (r(m) = 0.103 day (-1)). The estimation of difference in susceptibility of cultivars to O. afrasiaticus is crucial for developing efficient pest control programs. Indeed, less susceptible cultivars can either be left unsprayed or sprayed at low threshold.

DOI: 10.1673/031.011.13601

PMID: 22233420 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Cryo Letters. 2011 Nov-Dec;32(6):451-62.

Palm cryobanking.

Fki L(1), Bouaziz N, Sahnoun N, Swennen R, Drir N, Panis B.

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia. lotfifki@yahoo.fr

        We describe the development of an efficient cryopreservation protocol for proembryogenic masses (PEMs) of date palm variety 'Barhee'. Proembryos were induced by inoculating small pieces of juvenile leaves on MS medium supplemented with 0.3 mg per liter 2,4-D. Application of these in vitro conditions led to true-to-type plants as observed after plant fructification. When compared to the standard vitrification protocol, the ultra-rapid droplet-vitrification technique proved to be superior. Sucrose preculture considerably increased post-cryopreservation recovery. The highest regeneration after cryogenic exposure reached 63.3 percent when PEMs were treated with PVS2 for 30 min at 0 degree C and 56.7 percent when PVS2 treatment lasted for 15 min at 25 degree C. The first signs of regrowth of cryopreserved PEMs were observed after 2 to 3 weeks. Cryopreservation did not affect the morphogenetic capacities of the plant material. Moreover, highly proliferating suspension cultures could be established from the cryopreserved material. The overall production of somatic embryos from 500 mg cryopreserved PEMs reached 1030 +/- 50 units after 1 month. The morphological study of date palms regenerated from cryopreserved material confirmed the stability of clonal material following cryopreservation.

PMID: 22227705 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(3):249-71. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.499824.

Date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera Linn): an emerging medicinal food.

Vayalil PK(1).

(1)Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. praveen@uab.edu

        Date palm is one of the oldest trees cultivated by man. In the folk-lore, date fruits have been ascribed to have many medicinal properties when consumed either alone or in combination with other herbs. Although, fruit of the date palm served as the staple food for millions of people around the world for several centuries, studies on the health benefits are inadequate and hardly recognized as a healthy food by the health professionals and the public. In recent years, an explosion of interest in the numerous health benefits of dates had led to many in vitro and animal studies as well as the identification and quantification of various classes of phytochemicals. On the basis of available documentation in the literature on the nutritional and phytochemical composition, it is apparent that the date fruits are highly nutritious and may have several potential health benefits. Although dates are sugar-packed, many date varieties are low GI diet and refutes the dogma that dates are similar to candies and regular consumption would develop chronic diseases. More investigations in these areas would validate its beneficial effects, mechanisms of actions, and fully appreciate as a potential medicinal food for humans all around the world. Therefore, in this review we summarize the phytochemical composition, nutritional significance, and potential health benefits of date fruit consumption and discuss its great potential as a medicinal food for a number of diseases inflicting human beings.

DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2010.499824

PMID: 22214443 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Sci (China). 2012;24(9):1579-86.

Ciprofloxacin adsorption from aqueous solution onto chemically prepared carbon from date palm leaflets.

El-Shafey el-SI(1), Al-Lawati H, Al-Sumri AS.

(1)Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, P. O. Box 36-Al-Khodh 123, Muscat, Oman. dr_el_shafey2004@yahoo.co.uk

        A chemically prepared carbon was synthesized from date palm leaflets via sulphuric acid carbonization at 160 degrees C. Adsorption of ciprofloxacin (CIP) from aqueous solution was investigated in terms of time, pH, concentration, temperature and adsorbent status (wet and dry). The equilibrium time was found to be 48 hr. The adsorption rate was enhanced by raising the temperature for both adsorbents, with adsorption data fitting a pseudo second-order model well. The activation energy, Ea, was found to be 17 kJ/mol, indicating a diffusion-controlled, physical adsorption process. The maximum adsorption was found at initial pH 6. The wet adsorbent showed faster removal with higher uptake than the dry adsorbent, with increased performance as temperature increased (25-45 degrees C). The equilibrium data were found to fit the Langmuir model better than the Freundlich model. The thermodynamic parameters showed that the adsorption process is spontaneous and endothermic. The adsorption mechanism is mainly related to cation exchange and hydrogen bonding.

PMID: 23520864 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2012 Jun;19(5):1464-84. doi: 10.1007/s11356-011-0709-8.

The use of date palm as a potential adsorbent for wastewater treatment: a review.

Ahmad T(1), Danish M, Rafatullah M, Ghazali A, Sulaiman O, Hashim R, Ibrahim MN.

(1)School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. tanweerakhan@gmail.com

        BACKGROUND: In tropical countries, the palm tree is one of the most abundant and important trees. Date palm is a principal fruit grown in many regions of the world. It is abundant, locally available and effective material that could be used as an adsorbent for the removal of different pollutants from aqueous solution. REVIEW: This article presents a review on the role of date palm as adsorbents in the removal of unwanted materials such as acid and basic dyes, heavy metals, and phenolic compounds. Many studies on adsorption properties of various low cost adsorbent, such as agricultural waste and activated carbons based on agricultural waste have been reported in recent years. CONCLUSION: Studies have shown that date palm-based adsorbents are the most promising adsorbents for removing unwanted materials. No previous review is available where researchers can get an overview of the adsorption capacities of date palm-based adsorbent used for the adsorption of different pollutants. This review provides the recent literature demonstrating the usefulness of date palm biomass-based adsorbents in the adsorption of various pollutants.

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-011-0709-8

PMID: 22207239 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Am J Bot. 2012 Jan;99(1):e7-10. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1100425.

DNA-based assays to distinguish date palm (Arecaceae) gender.

Al-Mahmoud ME(1), Al-Dous EK, Al-Azwani EK, Malek JA.

(1)Genomics Core, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Doha, Qatar.

        PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is one of the oldest cultivated trees and is critical to the development of arid land. The date palm is a dioecious monocot with separate male and female trees. This presents a challenge in development as it is impossible to distinguish trees until they flower approximately five to eight years after planting. METHODS AND RESULTS: We have developed PCR-based assays capable of sex differentiation in multiple date palm cultivars. The primers are designed across gender-specific polymorphisms and demonstrated greater than 90% accuracy in distinguishing date palm gender across multiple varieties. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the primers should be helpful in rapidly distinguishing date palm gender from the earliest stages that DNA can safely be collected. This is a vast savings in time over present approaches.

DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1100425

PMID: 22203652 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Inflamm (Lond). 2011 Dec 23;8(1):40. doi: 10.1186/1476-9255-8-40.

Anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities of date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera) on experimentally-induced atypical prostatic hyperplasia in rats.

Elberry AA(1), Mufti ST, Al-Maghrabi JA, Abdel-Sattar EA, Ashour OM, Ghareib SA, Mosli HA.

(1)Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. berry_ahmed@yahoo.com.

        BACKGROUND: Atypical prostatic hyperplasia (APH) is a pseudoneoplastic lesion that can mimic prostate adenocarcinoma because of its cytologic and architectural features. Suspension of date palm pollen (DPP) is an herbal mixture that is widely used in folk medicine for male infertility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of DPP suspension and extract on APH-induced rats. METHODS: APH was induced in adult castrated Wistar rats by both s.c. injection of testosterone (0.5 mg/rat/day) and smearing citral on shaved skin once every 3 days for 30 days. Saw palmetto (100mg/kg), DPP suspension (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg), and lyophilized DPP extract (150,300 and 600 mg/kg) were given orally daily for 30 days. All medications were started 7 days after castration and along with testosterone and citral. RESULTS: The histopathological feature in APH-induced prostate rats showed evidence of hyperplasia and inflammation. Immunohistochemical examination revealed that the expressions of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, IGF-1 and clusterin were increased, while the expression of TGF-β1 was decreased that correlates with presence of inflammation. Moreover, histopathological examination revealed increased cellular proliferation and reduced apoptosis in ventral prostate. Both saw palmetto and DPP treatment has ameliorated these histopathological and immunohistochemical changes in APH-induced rats. These improvements were not associated with reduction in the prostatic weight that may be attributed to the persistence of edema. CONCLUSION: DPP may have a potential protective effect in APH-induced Wistar rats through modulation of cytokine expression and/or upregulation of their autocrine/paracrine receptors.

DOI: 10.1186/1476-9255-8-40

PMID: 22195697

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2012 Jan;50(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2011.09.016.

Brittle leaf disease induces an oxidative stress and decreases the expression of manganese-related genes in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Saidi MN(1), Jbir R, Ghorbel I, Namsi A, Drira N, Gargouri-Bouzid R.

(1)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra Km 4, B.P 1173, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia. saiidimn@gmail.com

        In Tunisia, date orchards are being decimated by a disease called brittle leaf disease of unknown origin. Previous studies reported that affected soils, roots and leaves were manganese deficient. In this study, we investigated the biochemical and molecular response of MFC-affected date palms to the oxidative stress generated by manganese deficiency. Both the malondialdehyde (MDA) content which is indicative of lipid peroxidation and the activities of antioxidant enzyme were measured in affected leaves and roots. The expression profiles of oxidative stress-related genes encoding superoxide dismutases and peroxidases were also investigated. The data show that the MDA concentration increased but not significantly in affected leaves. However, such MDA increase was significant in roots of MFC-affected plants. The total superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity increased in affected leaves and roots, while RT-PCR experiments showed that MnSOD RNA decreased in affected leaves and roots unlike FeSOD and Cu/Zn-SOD RNA expression increased in these organs. In addition ascorbate peroxidase (APx) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) RNA expression increased in diseased leaves and roots.

DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2011.09.016

PMID: 22099513 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(10):6871-80. doi: 10.3390/ijms12106871.

Assessing molecular signature for some potential date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars from Saudi Arabia, based on chloroplast DNA sequences rpoB and psbA-trnH.

Al-Qurainy F(1), Khan S, Al-Hemaid FM, Ali MA, Tarroum M, Ashraf M.

(1)Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh- 11451, Saudi Arabia; E-Mails: fahad_alqurainy@yahoo.com (F.A.-Q.); fhemaid@ksu.edu.sa (F.M.A.-H.); ajmalpdrc@gmail.com (M.A.A.); med_taroum@yahoo.fr (M.T.).

        Phoenix dactylifera L. (date palm), being economically very important, is widely cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa, having about 400 different cultivars. Assessment of date cultivars under trading and farming is a widely accepted problem owing to lack of a unique molecular signature for specific date cultivars. In the present study, eight different cultivars of dates viz., Khodry, Khalas, Ruthana, Sukkari, Sefri, Segae, Ajwa and Hilali were sequenced for rpoB and psbA-trnH genes and analyzed using bioinformatics tools to establish a cultivar-specific molecular signature. The combined aligned data matrix was of 1147 characters, of which invariable and variable sites were found to be 958 and 173, respectively. The analysis clearly reveals three major groups of these cultivars: (i) Khodary, Sefri, Ajwa, Ruthana and Hilali (58% BS); (ii) Sukkari and Khalas (64% BS); and (iii) Segae. The economically most important cultivar Ajwa showed similarity with Khodary and Sefri (67% BS).The sequences of the date cultivars generated in the present study showed bootstrap values between 38% and 70% so these sequences could be carefully used as molecular signature for potential date cultivars under trading and selection of genuine cultivars at the seedling stage for farming.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms12106871

PMID: 22072924 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Water Sci Technol. 2011;63(11):2700-6.

Nitrate removal using different carbon substrates in a laboratory model.

Hashemi SE(1), Heidarpour M, Mostafazadeh-Fard B.

(1)Water Engineering Department, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111.

        Agricultural fields have been frequently identified as major contributors of nitrate leaching into surface and ground waters. Tile drains can act as direct pathways, transferring leached nitrate to surface water. Bioreactor filters are useful for the removal of nitrate from drainage waters; however, these filters require an external carbon supply to sustain denitrification. In this study, four organic carbon sources including wood, barley straw, rice husks, and date palm leaf, were used to enhance denitrification and the effects of water velocity and influent nitrate concentration on the nitrate removal were evaluated. Cumulative nitrate removal was highest for the date palm leaf treatments and was lowest for the wood treatments. The effects were in decreasing order for date palm leaf, barley straw, rice husks, and wood, respectively. The performance of the biofilters improved with increasing influent nitrate concentration and decreasing water velocity, allowing for high nitrate removal rates to be achieved. The results showed that all of the treatments had reduced the effluent nitrate concentrations below the USEPA maximum contaminant level for drinking water of 45 mg L(-1) nitrate at the end of the study.

PMID: 22049767 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Physiol Biochem. 2012 Mar;68(1):47-58. doi: 10.1007/s13105-011-0118-y. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

Antioxidant-rich date palm fruit extract inhibits oxidative stress and nephrotoxicity induced by dimethoate in rat.

Saafi-Ben Salah EB(1), El Arem A, Louedi M, Saoudi M, Elfeki A, Zakhama A, Najjar MF, Hammami M, Achour L.

(1)Research Unit UR03/09-01 Genome, Immune Diagnosis and Recovery, Higher Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, Avenue Tahar Hadded, BP 74, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia. saafi_behija@yahoo.fr

        Recent investigations have proved the crucial role of nutritional antioxidants to prevent the damage caused by toxic compounds. In this study, the antioxidant effect of date palm fruit extract on dimethoate-induced oxidative stress and nephrotoxicity in rat is investigated and compared with the effect of the well-known antioxidant vitamin C. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups of ten each: a control group (C), a group that received dimethoate (20 mg/kg body weight) (D), a group given Deglet Nour extract (DNE), a group treated with DNE 30 min before the administration of dimethoate (DNE + D), a group which received VitC (100 mg/kg body weight) plus dimethoate (Vit C + D), and a group given dimethoate for the first month and DNE 30 min after administration of dimethoate, during the second month (D + DNE). These components were daily administered by gavage for 2 months. After completing the treatment period, blood samples from rats were collected under inhaled diethyl ether anesthesia for serum urea, uric acid, and creatinine levels, while the rat kidneys were obtained for enzyme assays and histology. Oral administration of dimethoate in rats induced a marked renal failure characterized by a significant increase in serum creatinine and urea levels (p < 0.01) in addition to a significant decrease in serum uric acid (p < 0.05). Interestingly, these drastic modifications were accompanied by a marked enhancement of lipid peroxidation in kidney, indicating a significant induction of oxidative damage (p < 0.01) and dysfunctions of enzymatic antioxidant defenses. These biochemical alterations were also accompanied by histological changes in kidney revealed by a narrowed Bowman's space, tubular degeneration, tubular cell desquamation, and tubular dilatation of proximal tubules. Treatment with date palm fruit extract (Deglet Nour) and also with vitamin C significantly (p < 0.05) reversed the serum renal markers to their near-normal levels when compared with dimethoate-treated rats. In addition, Deglet Nour extract and vitamin C significantly reduced lipid peroxidation, restored the antioxidant defense enzymes in the kidney, and improved the histopathology changes. The present findings indicate that in vivo date palm fruit may be useful for the prevention of oxidative stress-induced nephrotoxicity.

DOI: 10.1007/s13105-011-0118-y

PMID: 21983806 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Aug;43(4):122-4.

Rosaceae-associated exercise-induced anaphylaxis with positive SPT and negative IgE reactivity to Pru p 3.

Bianchi A(1), Di Rienzo Businco A, Bondanini F, Mistrello G, Carlucci A, Tripodi S.

(1)Mazzoni Hospital, Pediatric Department, Ascoli Piceno, Italy. annamaria.bianchi9@yahoo.it

        BACKGROUND: Food-dependent-exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) is characterized by anaphylactic symptoms after exercise following ingestion of food. We present a case of FDEIA induced by Rosacee fruits showing some diagnostic problems. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A 12 years-old boy with seasonal allergy to olive and cypressus pollens, experienced two distinct episodes of FDEIA, grade 4 and 3 of the Sampson Scale respectively, during intense exercise, about 30 minutes after eating a peach with peel or some cherries. SPT with commercial peach extract and fresh Rosacee fruits scored positive while SPT with a date palm profilin-enriched extract was negative. On in vitro tests total IgE were 44 kU/l and IgE for peach, cherry, Prup 3, Prup 1, Bet v 1, Bet v 2, Bet v 4 were negative. SPT with Prup 3 UniCAP device (cellulose polymer in a plastic reserve highly binding allergen protein) was negative. An oral food challenge, performed at rest using a commercial peach juice, scored negative. An immunoblot analysis performed with peach extract was negative. DISCUSSION: The main peculiarity of this case of FDEIA is the discrepancy between positive SPT and negative in-vitro findings. The positive SPT with the commercial peach extract suggested hypersensitivity to lipid transfer protein; however, no IgE reactivity to rPrup 3 was found in-vitro. The negative immunoblot analysis, possibly caused by the low levels of specific IgE, did not allow us to investigate the nature of the relevant allergen protein further. It is possible that this patient reacted to a different peach allergen or, alternatively, that he recognized an isoform of LTP that is different fr-om that in Uni-CAP. CONCLUSION: This case emphasizes once more the diagnostic relevance of SPT with extracts and fresh material to be performed before investigating IgE reactivity to single allergen components in-vitro.

PMID: 21980800 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2011 Oct;18(4):369-80. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Somatic embryogenesis, scanning electron microscopy, histology and biochemical analysis at different developing stages of embryogenesis in six date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars.

Aslam J(1), Khan SA, Cheruth AJ, Mujib A, Sharma MP, Srivastava PS.

(1)Dubai Pharmacy College, Al-Muhaisanah 1, Al Mizhar, P.O. Box 19099, Dubai, United Arab Emirates ; Department of Biotechnology, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), New Delhi 110062, India.

        An efficient somatic embryogenesis system has been established in six date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars (Barhee, Zardai, Khalasah, Muzati, Shishi and Zart). Somatic embryogenesis (SE) was growth regulators and cultivars dependent. Friable embryogenic callus was induced from excised shoot tips on MS medium supplemented with various auxins particularly 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D, 1.5 mg 1(-l)). Suspension culture increased embryogenesis potentiality. Only a-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA, 0.5 mg 1(-1)) produced somatic embryos in culture. Somatic embryos germinated and converted into plantlets in N(6)-benzyladenine (BAP, 0.75 mg 1(-l)) added medium following a treatment with thidiazuron (TDZ, 1.0 mg 1(-l)) for maturation. Scanning electron microscopy showed early stages of somatic embryo particularly, globular types, and was in masses. Different developing stages of embryogenesis (heart, torpedo and cotyledonary) were observed under histological preparation of embryogenic callus. Biochemical screening at various stages of somatic embryogenesis (embryogenic callus, somatic embryos, matured, germinated embryos and converted plantlets) of date palm cultivars has been conducted and discussed in detail. The result discussed in this paper indicates that somatic embryos were produced in numbers and converted plantlets can be used as a good source of alternative propagation. Genetic modification to the embryo precursor cell may improve the fruit quality and yield further.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.06.002

PMID: 23961149

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Oct 26;59(20):11287-93. doi: 10.1021/jf2029225. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

A matured fruit extract of date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.) stimulates the cellular immune system in mice.

Karasawa K(1), Uzuhashi Y, Hirota M, Otani H.

(1)Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Minamiminowa-mura 8304, Kamiina-gun, Nagano 399-4598, Japan.

        The immunomodulatory effects of a hot water extract from matured fruit of the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.) were investigated in comparison to those of prune and fig fruit in mice. The number of spleen IFN-γ(+)CD4(+), IFN-γ(+)CD49b(+) and IL-12(+)CD11b(+) cells was highest in mice given the date extract-added diet. Polyphenols identified in the date extract, such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, pelargonin and ferulic acid, stimulated IFN-γ mRNA expression significantly in mouse Peyer's patch cell cultures. Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid also increased the number of IFN-γ(+)CD4(+) cells significantly, while some polyphenols increased the number of IFN-γ(+)CD49b(+) and IL-12(+)CD11b(+) cells significantly. On the other hand, a 70% ethanol-insoluble date extract treated with trypsin increased the number of IFN-γ(+)CD49b(+) and IL-12(+)CD11b(+) cells significantly. These results indicate that some polyphenols and polysaccharides present in date fruit stimulate the cellular immune system in mice.

DOI: 10.1021/jf2029225

PMID: 21936496 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Jan;12(1):65-72. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0656. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Date palm sap linked to Nipah virus outbreak in Bangladesh, 2008.

Rahman MA(1), Hossain MJ, Sultana S, Homaira N, Khan SU, Rahman M, Gurley ES, Rollin PE, Lo MK, Comer JA, Lowe L, Rota PA, Ksiazek TG, Kenah E, Sharker Y, Luby SP.

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. aziz.rahman@adelaide.edu.au

        INTRODUCTION: We investigated a cluster of patients with encephalitis in the Manikgonj and Rajbari Districts of Bangladesh in February 2008 to determine the etiology and risk factors for disease. METHODS: We classified persons as confirmed Nipah cases by the presence of immunoglobulin M antibodies against Nipah virus (NiV), or by the presence of NiV RNA or by isolation of NiV from cerebrospinal fluid or throat swabs who had onset of symptoms between February 6 and March 10, 2008. We classified persons as probable cases if they reported fever with convulsions or altered mental status, who resided in the outbreak areas during that period, and who died before serum samples were collected. For the case-control study, we compared both confirmed and probable Nipah case-patients to controls, who were free from illness during the reference period. We used motion-sensor-infrared cameras to observe bat's contact of date palm sap. RESULTS: We identified four confirmed and six probable case-patients, nine (90%) of whom died. The median age of the cases was 10 years; eight were males. The outbreak occurred simultaneously in two communities that were 44 km apart and separated by a river. Drinking raw date palm sap 2-12 days before illness onset was the only risk factor most strongly associated with the illness (adjusted odds ratio 25, 95% confidence intervals 3.3-∞, p<0.001). Case-patients reported no history of physical contact with bats, though community members often reported seeing bats. Infrared camera photographs showed that Pteropus bats frequently visited date palm trees in those communities where sap was collected for human consumption. CONCLUSION: This is the second Nipah outbreak in Bangladesh where date palm sap has been implicated as the vehicle of transmission. Fresh date palm sap should not be drunk, unless effective steps have been taken to prevent bat access to the sap during collection.

DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0656

PMID: 21923274 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Aug;49(8):627-33.

Evaluation of antioxidant and neuroprotective effect of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) against bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in rats.

Pujari RR(1), Vyawahare NS, Kagathara VG.

(1)Department of Pharmacology, AISSMS College of Pharmacy, Kennedy Road, Near RTO, Pune-411 001, India. rohinipujari@yahoo.com

        The cerebral ischemia in rats was induced by occluding bilateral common carotid arteries (BCCAO) for 30 min., followed by 45 min reperfusion. BCCAO caused significant depletion in superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and significant increase in lipid peroxidation along with severe neuronal damage in the brain. All the alterations except depletion in glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase levels induced by cerebral ischemia were significantly attenuated by 15 days pretreatment with methanolic extract of P. dactylifera fruits (100, 300 mg/kg), whereas 30 mg/kg dose was insignificant in this regard. These results suggest the possible use P. dactylifera against bilateral common carotid artery occlusion induced oxidative stress and neuronal damage.

PMID: 21870431 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Prod Res. 2011 Dec;25(20):1999-2002. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.536765. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Antifungal activity and phytochemical screening of extracts from Phoenix dactylifera L. cultivars.

Boulenouar N(1), Marouf A, Cheriti A.

(1)Phytochemistry and Organic Synthesis Laboratory (POSL), Bechar University, Bechar 08000, Algeria. noureddine.boulenouar@gmail.com

        In this study, the rachis extracts of eight date palm Phoenix dactylifera L. cultivars were analysed by phytochemical screening and bioautography on Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis (Foa). The choice of cultivars was based on their reaction to Foa (resistant, tolerant and sensitive). Phytochemical screening was realised for flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and coumarins. Antifungal effects were mostly represented by dichloromethanic extracts (seven out of nine inhibition zones). The best results were represented by the dichloromethanic extract of the cultivar 'Bent-Cherk' rachis (6.50 ± 1.41 mm) and the ethyl acetate extract of the cultivar 'Rotbi' rachis (6.00 ± 1.41 mm). The date palm cultivars presented some similarities concerning phytochemical screening results related to their resistance or sensibility to Foa. From the correlation between phytochemical screening and bioautography, it was observed that the majority of bioactive compounds against Foa seem to be polyphenols. Thus, the natural defence mechanism in vivo against Foa is probably related to the action of polyphenols. The difference between resistant, tolerant and sensitive cultivars is related to their mechanism of action.

DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2010.536765

PMID: 21834627 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Appl Genet. 2011 Nov;52(4):487-96. doi: 10.1007/s13353-011-0059-8. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Genetic and phenotypic variation of Fusarium proliferatum isolates from different host species.

Stępień L(1), Koczyk G, Waśkiewicz A.

(1)Department of Metabolomics, Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań, Poland. lste@igr.poznan.pl

        Fusarium proliferatum (Matsushima) Nirenberg is a common pathogen infecting numerous crop plants and occurring in various climatic zones. It produces large amounts of fumonisins, a group of polyketide-derived mycotoxins. Fumonisin biosynthesis is determined by the presence and activity of the FUM cluster, several co-regulated genes with a common expression pattern. In the present work, we analyzed 38 F. proliferatum isolates from different host plant species, demonstrating host-specific polymorphisms in partial sequences of the key FUM1 gene (encoding polyketide synthase). We also studied growth rates across different temperatures and sample origin and tried to establish the relationships between DNA sequence polymorphism and toxigenic potential. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted based on FUM1 and tef-1α sequences for all isolates. The results indicated the greatest variations of both toxigenic potential and growth patterns found across the wide selection of isolates derived from maize. Fumonisin production for maize isolates ranged from 3.74 to 4,500 μg/g of fumonisin B(1). The most efficient producer isolates obtained from other host plants were only able to synthesize 1,820-2,419 μg/g of this metabolite. A weak negative rank correlation between fumonisin content and isolate growth rates was observed. All garlic-derived isolates formed a distinct group on a FUM1-based dendrogram. A second clade consisted of tropical and sub-tropical strains (isolated from pineapple and date palm). Interestingly, isolates with the fastest growth patterns were also grouped together and included both isolates originating from rice. The sequence of the FUM1 gene was found to be useful in revealing the intraspecific polymorphism, which is, to some extent, specifically correlated with the host plant.

DOI: 10.1007/s13353-011-0059-8

PMID: 21796391 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2011;21(4):278-82.

Prevalence of sensitization to lipid transfer proteins and profilins in a population of 430 patients in the south of Madrid.

González-Mancebo E(1), González-de-Olano D, Trujillo MJ, Santos S, Gandolfo-Cano M, Meléndez A, Juárez R, Morales P, Calso A, Mazuela O, Zapatero A.

(1)Unidad Alergia, Hospital de Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain. egonzalez.hflr@salud.madrid.org

        BACKGROUND: Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) and profilins are the most important panallergens in the management of patients who are allergic to pollen and plant food in our area. LTPs are highly stable proteins that can induce systemic symptoms after ingestion. Profilins are labile proteins that are present in pollens and vegetables. Considered markers of several types of pollen sensitization, they are responsible for cross-reactivity between pollens and vegetables. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of sensitization to LTP and profilin using skin prick tests (SPTs) in patients referred to our allergy unit for any complaint (not only pollen and plant food allergy). METHODS: The study sample comprised 430 consecutive patients who were evaluated using their medical history and SPTs with pollen, date palm profilin, and peach extract enriched in Pru p 3 (30 g/mL) as an LTP marker. RESULTS: We found that 52 (12.1%) patients were sensitized to profilin and 53 (12.3%) to LTP. Pollen allergy was diagnosed in 53% and plant food allergy in 11%. In the LTP-sensitized group and the profilin-sensitized group, 37.7% and 34.6% of the patients had plant food allergy, respectively. Thirty-three patients (62.3%) were sensitized to LTP but had no symptoms after eating vegetables. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the real rate of sensitization to profilin and LTP in a population sensitized to allergens other than pollens and plant foods. Twelve percent of patients were sensitized to both profilin and LTP. A large proportion of LTP-sensitized patients had no symptoms at the time of the study.

PMID: 21721373 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2011 Jul;18(3):293-8. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 May 6.

Purification and characterization of membrane-bound peroxidase from date palm leaves (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Al-Senaidy AM(1), Ismael MA.

(1)Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2454, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        Peroxidase from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) leaves was purified to homogeneity and characterized biochemically. The enzyme purification included homogenization, extraction of pigments followed by consecutive chromatographies on DEAE-Sepharose and Superdex 200. The purification factor for purified date palm peroxidase was 17 with 5.8% yield. The purity was checked by SDS and native PAGE, which showed a single prominent band. The molecular weight of the enzyme was approximately 55 kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE. The enzyme was characterized for thermal and pH stability, and kinetic parameters were determined using guaiacol as substrate. The optimum activity was between pH 5-6. The enzyme showed maximum activity at 55 °C and was fairly stable up to 75 °C, with 42% loss of activity. Date palm leaves peroxidase showed K m values of 0.77 and 0.045 mM for guaiacol and H2O2, respectively. These properties suggest that this enzyme could be a promising tool for applications in different analytical determinations as well as for treatment of industrial effluents at low cost.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.04.005

PMID: 23961138

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2011 Jul;18(3):227-37. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 May 6.

Effects of Riyadh cement industry pollutions on some physiological and morphological factors of Datura innoxia Mill. plant.

Salama HM(1), Al-Rumaih MM, Al-Dosary MA.

(1)King Saud University, Women Students-Medical Studies & Sciences Sections, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

        Cement factory emissions into air cause serious air pollution and affect the plant and animal life in the environment. Herein, we report the effects of cement industry emissions (O3, SO2 and NO2) in air, as pollutants, at Riyadh City on Datura innoxia Mill. plant. Morphological characters including plant height, leaves area and number, fresh and dry weight of shoot and root systems of D. innoxia showed a significant reduction from their normal control plants as a response to exposure to pollutant emissions. Chlorophyll and carotenoid contents recorded reductions in values compared to control plant, and the lowest values of chlorophyll A, B, total chlorophyll, carotenoids and total pigments were 0.431, 0.169, 0.60, 0.343 and 0.943 mg/g respectively at a distance of 1-5 m from the cement factory in fruiting stage. These changes in values may be attributed to a probable deceleration of the biosynthetic process rather than degradation of pigments. Further D. innoxia showed a significant (P < 0.01) reduction in non-reducing and total sugars, protein and total lipid contents compared with the control plant. The root system recorded the lowest values of reducing sugars (0.350 mg/g f. wt.), non-reducing sugars (0.116 mg/g f. wt.), total sugars (0.466 mg/g f. wt.), protein content (0.931 mg/g f. wt.) and total lipids content (0.669 mg/g f. wt.) in fruiting stage at a distance of 1-5 m from the cement factory. The peroxidase activity of shoot and root systems of the studied plant was also significantly higher than those of control plant. Thus a highest value of (29.616 units/g f. wt.) peroxidase activity was recorded in vegetative stage of shoot system at a distance 1-5 m from the cement factory. Results of the study indicated that cement industry emission strongly influence the physiology and morphology of date palm D. innoxia which contribute date fruits, a staple food in the Arab world.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.05.001

PMID: 23961129

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 26;108(30):12527-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1106502108.

Comparative transcriptome and metabolite analysis of oil palm and date palm mesocarp that differ dramatically in carbon partitioning.

Bourgis F(1), Kilaru A, Cao X, Ngando-Ebongue GF, Drira N, Ohlrogge JB, Arondel V.

(1)Université de Bordeaux Ségalen, Laboratoire de Biogenèse Membranaire, Bordeaux, France.

        Erratum in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 1;108(44):18186. Comment in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 26;108(30):12193-4. Oil palm can accumulate up to 90% oil in its mesocarp, the highest level observed in the plant kingdom. In contrast, the closely related date palm accumulates almost exclusively sugars. To gain insight into the mechanisms that lead to such an extreme difference in carbon partitioning, the transcriptome and metabolite content of oil palm and date palm were compared during mesocarp development. Compared with date palm, the high oil content in oil palm was associated with much higher transcript levels for all fatty acid synthesis enzymes, specific plastid transporters, and key enzymes of plastidial carbon metabolism, including phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and pyruvate dehydrogenase. Transcripts representing an ortholog of the WRI1 transcription factor were 57-fold higher in oil palm relative to date palm and displayed a temporal pattern similar to its target genes. Unexpectedly, despite more than a 100-fold difference in flux to lipids, most enzymes of triacylglycerol assembly were expressed at similar levels in oil palm and date palm. Similarly, transcript levels for all but one cytosolic enzyme of glycolysis were comparable in both species. Together, these data point to synthesis of fatty acids and supply of pyruvate in the plastid, rather than acyl assembly into triacylglycerol, as a major control over the storage of oil in the mesocarp of oil palm. In addition to greatly increasing molecular resources devoted to oil palm and date palm, the combination of temporal and comparative studies illustrates how deep sequencing can provide insights into gene expression patterns of two species that lack genome sequence information.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106502108

PMID: 21709233 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Plant Physiol. 2011 Sep 15;168(14):1694-700. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2011.03.013.

Multiple bud cultures of 'Barhee' date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and physiological status of regenerated plants.

Fki L(1), Bouaziz N, Kriaa W, Benjemaa-Masmoudi R, Gargouri-Bouzid R, Rival A, Drira N.

(1)Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route Sokra, BP 1171, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia. lotfi.fki@fss.rnu.tn

        Adventitious bud clusters of date palm 'Barhee' were successfully established from juvenile leaves (<1cm) using reduced amounts of 2,4-D (0.2mgL(-1)) to limit the risk of somaclonal variation. An average of 8.4 adventitious buds per explant were obtained. Histological examination showed that the superficial cell layers of leaves had the highest caulogenic capacity. High sucrose concentration (70gL(-1)) was used for the conversion of initial buds to multiple bud clusters. The promoting effect of temporary immersion on shoot proliferation was found to be significant when compared to cultivation on solid media. Elongation of shoots was also better using a thin film of PGR-free liquid medium instead of a solid medium. Anatomical observations indicated that roots from vitroplants were potentially functional at various developmental stages. However, only 12-month-old vitroplants were found to be physiologically able to control transpirational vapor loss. Additionally, the photochemical activity of photosystem II in these vitroplants was close to that measured in plants that were already acclimatized. As a result, 83.3% of regenerated plants were successfully acclimatized. No phenotypic variation was observed among more than 500 adventitious bud-derived plants. All regenerants survived after field transplantation. We found that the production of adventitious bud clusters in small bioreactors was able to provide an efficient micropropagation system for date palm cv. 'Barhee'. An in vitro hardening step was a prerequisite for the successful transfer of vitroplants in soil.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2011.03.013

PMID: 21641674 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Nat Biotechnol. 2011 May 29;29(6):521-7. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1860.

De novo genome sequencing and comparative genomics of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).

Al-Dous EK(1), George B, Al-Mahmoud ME, Al-Jaber MY, Wang H, Salameh YM, Al-Azwani EK, Chaluvadi S, Pontaroli AC, DeBarry J, Arondel V, Ohlrogge J, Saie IJ, Suliman-Elmeer KM, Bennetzen JL, Kruegger RR, Malek JA.

(1)Genomics Core, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Doha, Qatar.

        Comment in Nature. 2016;537(7618):S6-7. Date palm is one of the most economically important woody crops cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa and is a good candidate for improving agricultural yields in arid environments. Nonetheless, long generation times (5-8 years) and dioecy (separate male and female trees) have complicated its cultivation and genetic analysis. To address these issues, we assembled a draft genome for a Khalas variety female date palm, the first publicly available resource of its type for a member of the order Arecales. The ∼380 Mb sequence, spanning mainly gene-rich regions, includes >25,000 gene models and is predicted to cover ∼90% of genes and ∼60% of the genome. Sequencing of eight other cultivars, including females of the Deglet Noor and Medjool varieties and their backcrossed males, identified >3.5 million polymorphic sites, including >10,000 genic copy number variations. A small subset of these polymorphisms can distinguish multiple varieties. We identified a region of the genome linked to gender and found evidence that date palm employs an XY system of gender inheritance.

DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1860

PMID: 21623354 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Aug;62(5):544-51. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.558073.

Nutritional quality of 18 date fruit varieties.

Habib HM(1), Ibrahim WH.

(1)Department of Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. hosamh@uaeu.ac.ae

        The aim of the present study was to analyze and compare the chemical and physical properties of 18 varieties of the date fruits from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which are regarded as popular fruit commodities among the populace of the Middle Eastern peninsula. Dietary fiber, proximate analysis, micronutrients (micro-elements and macro-elements) and physical properties (weight, length, and density) of the selected 18 leading varieties of dates cultivated in the United Arab Emirates-namely Khalas, Barhe, Lulu, Shikat alkahlas, Sokkery, Bomaan, Sagay, Shishi, Maghool, Sultana, Fard, Maktoomi, Naptit saif, Jabri, Khodary, Dabbas, Raziz and Shabebe-were determined and compared. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in the measured parameters were observed among the different varieties. However, the results depict that date fruits, depending on the variety, contain significant but quite variable amounts of macro-elements and micro-elements. The macro-elements measured are calcium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium and magnesium, while the essential micro-elements and the possibly essential micro-elements are iron, zinc, copper, manganese, cobalt and molybdenum, and aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, lead, strontium and vanadium, respectively.

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2011 Apr;18(2):175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2010.12.001. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Determination of heavy metals in the fruit of date palm growing at different locations of Riyadh.

Aldjain IM(1), Al-Whaibi MH, Al-Showiman SS, Siddiqui MH.

(1)General Directorate of Gardens and Landscaping, Riyadh Municipality, P.O. Box 16444, Riyadh 11778, Saudi Arabia.

        Exposure of heavy metals to human beings has risen dramatically in the last 50 years. In today's urban and industrial society, there is no escaping from exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Humans are more likely to be exposed to heavy metal contamination from the dust that adheres to edible plants than from bioaccumulation. This is because it is very difficult to wash off all the dust particles from the plant material before ingesting them. The objectives of this experiment were to determine the concentrations of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in washing residues and in the tissues of fruits of date palm growing in 14 sites of Riyadh and also to assess whether the fruits were safe for human consumption. The washing residues and tissue of date palm fruits collected from different sites showed the presence of significant amounts of the Pb and Cd. The concentration of Pb in the dust and fruit tissue increased with increasing anthropogenic sources. Therefore, fruits of date palm might be used as a pollution indicator; it might be recommend that fruits of date palm could be safe for human consumption after washing. The mean concentration of Pb and Cd in all the samples collected from different sites is within the safe limits recommended by FAO/WHO.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2010.12.001

PMID: 23961121

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2011 Jul 1;85(2):207-13. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2011.02.030.

Synthesis of stable cadmium sulfide nanoparticles using surfactin produced by Bacillus amyloliquifaciens strain KSU-109.

Singh BR(1), Dwivedi S, Al-Khedhairy AA, Musarrat J.

(1)Al-Jeraisy Chair for DNA Research, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        In this study, a surfactin was extracted from a novel surfactant producing bacterial strain Bacillus amyloliquifaciens KSU-109, isolated from rhizosphere of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), and characterized based on 16Sr RNA and sfp genes using Blastn, Blastx and phylogenetic analyses. The study was performed to obtain a renewable bioresource for surfactin production, and its application in nanotechnology as a non-hazardous and environmentally compatible nanoparticle (NP) stabilizer. The strain KSU-109 produced the surfactin with an average yield of 160 mg/L with strong surfactant activity, reducing the surface tension of the medium from 72 mN/m to 29.3 mN/m. The surfactin preparation was used for synthesizing the cadmium sulfide nanoparticles (CdS-NPs) by mixing 0.005% surfactin with 1mM Cd(NO(3))(2) in 1:1 ratio (v/v) and 10mM Na(2)S solution at pH 7.2 and ambient temperature, which were stable up to 120 days. The surfactin stabilized CdS-NPs were characterized using XRD, TEM, and spectroscopic techniques. The data revealed a significant role of surfactin as a stabilizer and capping agent, which also causes phase transition to yield the cubic/hexagonal CdS-NPs of average size of 3-4 nm. The results elucidated the significance of biocompatible and biodegradable surfactin as an effective and inexpensive stabilizing agent for developing stable CdS nanoparticles.

DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2011.02.030

PMID: 21435848 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Environ Pollut. 2011 Jun;159(6):1635-40. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.02.045. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) leaves as biomonitors of atmospheric metal pollution in arid and semi-arid environments.

Al-Khashman OA(1), Al-Muhtaseb AH, Ibrahim KA.

(1)Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma'an-Jordan, Jordan. omarkhashman@yahoo.com

        The leaves of date palms were evaluated as a possible biomonitor of heavy metal contamination in Ma'an city, Jordan. Concentrations of (Fe), (Pb), (Zn), (Cu), (Ni), and (Cr) were determined in washed and unwashed leaves and soil samples collected from different sites with different degrees of metal contamination (urban, suburban, industrial, highway and rural sites); separate leaves were taken from outside the city to be used as a control sample. Samples collected from industrial sites were found to have high concentrations of all metals except those of Cu, Ni and Pb, which were found at high levels in the highway site samples which is associated with the road traffic. The difference between unwashed and washed samples showed that metal pollutants exist as contaminants, particularly Pb, Zn and Ni, which varied in concentration, depending on the source of the metal.

DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.02.045

PMID: 21421278 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Biol. 2010 Sep;31(5):705-7.

Level of organochlorine pesticide residues in dry fruit nuts.

Pandey P(1), Raizada RB, Srivastava LP.

(1)Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Post Box-80, M.G. Marg, Lucknow - 226 001, India.

        The use of pesticides on cash crops and exportable food commodities had always been a serious concern. Fruits form one of the important constituents of human diet, in that they give one third of the requirement of calories, vitamins, and minerals. This study has been carried out to determine the level of organochlorine pesticides namely HCH, DDT and Endosulfan in raw fruit nuts. Nuts have proteins and high level of fat content. These properties of nuts attract organochlorine pesticides to accumulate. The analysis of organochlorine pesticide residues in commonly used dry fruits like Cashewnut, Walnut, Coconut, Chilgoza, Chironji, Makhana, Resins, Apricot, Almonds, Date palm, Pistachio nut collected from local market of Lucknow India has indicated presence of very low level of HCH (0.007-1.328 mg kg(-1)), DDT(ND-0.140 mg kg(-1)) and Endosulfan (ND-0.091 mg kg(-1)). There are no MRL values established for nuts in the country. This finding is based on a smaller number of samples, which however suggest that the presence of low level of DDT, HCH and Endosulfan might be due to environmental rather than direct exposure.

PMID: 21387926 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2011 May-Jun;39(3):145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2010.06.007.

Clinical profile of a Mediterranean population sensitised to date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera). A retrospective study.

Huertas AJ(1), López-Sáez MP, Carnés J.

(1)Allergy Section, Hospital Santa María del Rosell, Cartagena, Spain.

        BACKGROUND: Date palm pollen allergy is frequently associated with polysensitisation. Observational studies have suggested that date-palm-sensitised individuals could be included in a distinct group of polysensitised patients. The objectives of the study were to analyse the clinical characteristics of a group of patients diagnosed of date-palm pollen allergy and to compare them with pollen allergic patients without date-palm sensitisation. METHODS: Forty-eight palm-pollen sensitised individuals were classified as Group A. A control group of 48 patients sensitised to pollens but without palm-pollen allergy were included as Group B. All individuals were skin prick tested with a common battery of aeroallergens. Information about age, sex, family history of atopy, respiratory symptoms, food allergy and sensitisation to other pollens were considered variables of the study. Specific IgE and the allergogram to date-palm pollen were determined in a subgroup of Group A. RESULTS: Significant differences in the family history of atopy and number of sensitisations were observed. Both parameters were significantly higher in Group A. Group A showed high prevalence of asthma and higher level of sensitisation to foods (p < 0.05). Significant differences were obtained for sensitisation to epithelia and pollens. Pho d 2 was the most commonly recognised allergen (83.3%) in the palm-pollen allergic group. CONCLUSIONS: Date-palm pollen allergic patients constitute a homogeneous group characterised for showing bronchial asthma, sensitisation to food allergens and polysensitisation. These results suggest that the reasons for sensitisation to date-palm pollen remain to be elucidated, but could relate to the existence of as yet non-identified pan-allergens.

DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2010.06.007

PMID: 21354689 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2011 Mar-Apr;50(2):227-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2010.12.020.

Periostitis of the metatarsal caused by a date palm thorn in a child: a case report.

Suresh SS(1).

(1)Head of Department of Orthopaedics, Ibri Regional Referral Hospital, Ibri, Sultanate of Oman. dr.s.s.suresh@gmail.com

        Date palm thorn injuries are common in Middle Eastern countries, where there are many date palm plantations. If detected, these injuries can be treated without subsequent complications. In children, however, the diagnosis can very easily be missed. An untreated embedded thorn may cause late complications, including periostitis or osteomyelitis. In this article, the author presents a case of date palm thorn-induced periostitis of the fourth metatarsal. The lesion was successfully treated in this 10-year-old male by curettage of the lesion and removal of the thorn embedded in the periosteum of the metatarsal. The presence of the date palm thorn was confirmed with ultrasound scan and computerized tomography.

DOI: 10.1053/j.jfas.2010.12.020

PMID: 21354009 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Pak J Biol Sci. 2010 Dec 1;13(23):1141-5.

Effect of flax seeds and date palm leaves extracts on serum concentrations of glucose and lipids in alloxan diabetic rats.

Abuelgassim AO(1).

(1)Department of Biochemistry, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

        The aim of the present investigation was to examine the effect of Flax Seeds (FS) and Date Palm Leaves (DPL) extracts on the concentration of serum glucose and lipids in alloxan diabetic rats. Rats were divided into six groups, normal control rats (without treatment with either FS or DPL), normal control rats treated with either FS or DPL extract for four weeks, diabetic control rats and diabetic rats treated with either FS or DPL extract for four weeks. The concentration of glucose in diabetic rats treated with FS (D+FS) for four weeks was significantly decreased from 17.20 +/- 2.33 to 8.14 +/- 0.54 mmol L(-1) (p < 0.001). Serum total cholesterol concentration (TC) of diabetic rats treated with either FS or DPL extract showed significant decrease by 40 and 31% respectively in the fourth week. Also, serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentration was significantly decreased after two weeks of treatment (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). However, no significant changes were obtained in serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration. Results of the present study showed that FS extract has a hypoglycaemic effect against alloxan diabetic rats. Present findings also showed that treatment of alloxan diabetic rats with either FS or DPL extract significantly decreased serum concentration of TC and LDL-C. Present findings suggest that both of FS and DPL extracts could have a protective effect against diabetes complications as well as against hyperlipidemia through improvement of lipid profile.

PMID: 21313891 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2011 Jan-Feb;32(1):64-7. doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3416.

The nature of melon allergy in ragweed-allergic subjects: A study of 1000 patients.

Asero R(1), Mistrello G, Amato S.

(1)Ambulatorio di Allergologia, Clinica San Carlo, Paderno Dugnano, MI, Italy. r.asero@libero.it

        Previous studies suggest cross-reactivity between specific ragweed pollen and melon allergens. This study was designed to clarify the origin of the cross-reactivity between ragweed pollen and the gourd family. One thousand ragweed-allergic subjects were interviewed about the presence of oral allergy syndrome (OAS) induced by melon or watermelon and were divided into reactive to ≤3 seasonal allergen sources or >3 seasonal allergen sources. Patients reporting melon and/or watermelon allergy underwent a skin-prick test (SPT) with fresh melon and, after 2006, also with profilin-enriched date palm pollen extract. Because no IgE reactivity to melon extract was detected in vitro, ELISA was performed using date palm pollen extract, and inhibition experiments were performed using grass pollen, date palm profilin, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) as inhibitors. Six hundred forty-six and 354 subjects reacted to ≤3 seasonal allergens or >3 seasonal allergens, respectively; 4/646 (1%) and 81/354 (23%) reported a history of melon/watermelon-induced OAS (p < 0.0001). Forty-three of 46 (93%) melon reactors scored positive on SPT with the profilin-enriched extract, which was positive in 0/2 (0%) versus 43/44 (98%) reactive to ≤3 or >3 seasonal allergen sources, respectively (p < 0.0001). in vitro, serum from melon-allergic subjects showed a strong IgE reactivity to the profilin-enriched date palm pollen extract, which was abolished by preabsorption with both grass pollen extract and date palm pollen extract, but not by BSA. In ragweed pollen-allergic subjects, melon allergy is most likely associated with cross-sensitization to the plant pan-allergen profilin and not to specific ragweed pollen allergens. This study confirms the association between profilin sensitization and melon allergy.

DOI: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3416

PMID: 21262100 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

J Environ Sci (China). 2010;22(10):1539-43.

Experimental evaluation of eco-friendly flocculants prepared from date palm rachis.

Khiari R(1), Dridi-Dhaouadi S, Aguir C, Mhenni MF.

(1)Research Unity of Applied Chemistry & Environment, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences of Monastir 5019, Tunisia. khiari_ramzi2000@yahoo.fr

        Sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMCNa) is an anionic water soluble polyelectrolyte widely used in many industrial sectors including food, textiles, papers, adhesives, paints, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and mineral processing. CMCNa was produced by chemical modification of cellulose, and represents many advantages: natural, renewable, non-toxic and biodegradable. In this study, different kinds of CMCNa, prepared from an agricultural waste date palm rachis, were tested as eco-friendly flocculants for drinking water treatment and their performances as flocculants in turbidity removal enhancement were assessed. The prepared materials were characterized by the degree of substitution (DS) and polymerisation (DP). The study of the effect of some experimental parameters on the coagulation-flocculation performance, using the prepared materials combined with aluminium sulphate (as coagulant), showed that the best conditions for turbidity treatment were given for pH 8, coagulant dose 20 mg/L, flocculant concentration of 100 mg/L and stirring velocity (during the flocculation step) of 30 r/min. Under the optimum conditions, the turbidity removal using CMCNa, prepared from raw material, was about 95%. A comparison study between the flocculation performance of a commercial anionic flocculant (A100PWG: polyacrylamide) and that of the prepared CMCNa showed that the performance of the waste-based flocculant with a DS of 1.17 and a DP of 480 was 10% better than that achieved by the commercial one.

PMID: 21235183 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ecohealth. 2010 Dec;7(4):517-25. doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0366-2.

Use of infrared camera to understand bats' access to date palm sap: implications for preventing Nipah virus transmission.

Khan MS(1), Hossain J, Gurley ES, Nahar N, Sultana R, Luby SP.

(1)PIDVS, HSID, ICDDR,B, 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, 1212 Dhaka, Bangladesh. khansu@icddrb.org

        Pteropus bats are commonly infected with Nipah virus, but show no signs of illness. Human Nipah outbreaks in Bangladesh coincide with the date palm sap harvesting season. In epidemiologic studies, drinking raw date palm sap is a risk factor for human Nipah infection. We conducted a study to evaluate bats' access to date palm sap. We mounted infrared cameras that silently captured images upon detection of motion on date palm trees from 5:00 pm to 6:00 am. Additionally, we placed two locally used preventative techniques, bamboo skirts and lime (CaCO₃) smeared on date palm trees to assess their effectiveness in preventing bats access to sap. Out of 20 camera-nights of observations, 14 identified 132 visits of bats around the tree, 91 to the shaved surface of the tree where the sap flow originates, 4 at the stream of sap moving toward the collection pot, and no bats at the tap or on the collection pots; the remaining 6 camera-nights recorded no visits. Of the preventative techniques, the bamboo skirt placed for four camera-nights prevented bats access to sap. This study confirmed that bats commonly visited date palm trees and physically contacted the sap collected for human consumption. This is further evidence that date palm sap is an important link between Nipah virus in bats and Nipah virus in humans. Efforts that prevent bat access to the shaved surface and the sap stream of the tree could reduce Nipah spillovers to the human population.

DOI: 10.1007/s10393-010-0366-2

PMID: 21207105 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2011 Jan;18(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

Performance evaluation of three different types of local evaporative cooling pads in greenhouses in Sudan.

Ahmed EM(1), Abaas O, Ahmed M, Ismail MR.

(1)Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Gezira University, Sudan.

        This study was conducted in Date Palm Technology Company Limited, Shambat, Khartoum State. To evaluate performance of three types of evaporative cooling pads for greenhouses (celdek pads, straw pads and sliced wood pads), as compared to the conditions outside the greenhouses (control), for pads. Performance evaluation includes environmental parameters (temperature and relative humidity at 8 am, 1 pm and 6 pm) and crop parameters (length and stem diameter, leaves number and width, fruit length and diameter, fruit weight and dry matter and yield). The results obtained for the temperature at 8 am showed that there was no significant difference (0.05) inside the greenhouses, while a high significant difference between the conditions inside and outside of the greenhouses was found. Significant differences were found at 1 pm and 6 pm between all treatments as compared to the conditions outside the greenhouses, and the results obtained for relative humidity showed high significant differences at 8 am and 1 pm inside the greenhouses and between inside and outside the greenhouse, respectively, while there was no significant difference at 6 pm inside the greenhouses and between inside and outside the greenhouses. On the other hand, the results obtained for crop parameters showed that there were significant differences between all parameters inside the greenhouses and outside the greenhouses; however, the greenhouses with sliced wood pads gave the highest yield and the greenhouses with straw pads gave the least and conditions outside gave the lowest. This study indicated that the sliced wood pads are better than the other evaporative cooling pads.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2010.09.005

PMID: 23961103

J Pathog. 2011;2011:280481. doi: 10.4061/2011/280481.

Structural and Biochemical Changes in Salicylic-Acid-Treated Date Palm Roots Challenged with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis.

Dihazi A(1), Serghini MA, Jaiti F, Daayf F, Driouich A, Dihazi H, El Hadrami I.

(1)Laboratoire de Biotechnologies, Protection et Valorisation des Ressources Végétales, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad, B.P. 2390, Marrakech 40 001, Morocco.

        Histochemical and ultrastructural analyses were carried out to assess structural and biochemical changes in date palm roots pretreated with salicylic acid (SA) then inoculated with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis (Foa). Flavonoids, induced proteins, and peroxidase activity were revealed in root tissues of SA-treated plants after challenge by Foa. These reactions were closely associated with plant resistance to Foa. Host reactions induced after inoculation of SA-treated plants with Foa included the plugging of intercellular spaces, the deposition of electron-dense materials at the sites of pathogen penetration, and several damages to fungal cells. On the other hand, untreated inoculated plants showed marked cell wall degradation and total cytoplasm disorganization, indicating the protective effects provided by salicylic acid in treated plants.

DOI: 10.4061/2011/280481

PMID: 22567327

C R Biol. 2010 Nov-Dec;333(11-12):808-13. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

[Identification of phenylacetic acid produced by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis, the causal agent of bayoud, using GC-MS]. [Article in French]

Ait Kettout T(1), Rahmania F.

(1)Laboratoire de recherche sur les zones arides, faculté des sciences biologiques, université des sciences et de la technologie Houari-Boumediene, BP n(o) 32, El Alia, Bab Ezzouar, Alger, Algérie. t_aitkettout@yahoo.fr

        These studies are concerned with the isolation and identification of secondary metabolites produced by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis (F. o. a.), the causal agent of bayoud, the wilt disease of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.). Fungal secondary metabolites are chemical compounds identified in a limited number of species. They consist of toxins, antibiotics and antifungal agents. Among the metabolites we could isolate from the pathogen grown in a liquid medium, and then identify by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), phenylacetic acid has been distinguished. This compound is widely described in the literature as having antimicrobial, antifungal, phytotoxic properties and also endowed with hormonal activity similar to that of indole acetic acid (IAA). To date, this metabolite has never been reported in F. o. a.

DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2010.10.001

PMID: 21146137 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Mol Biol Evol. 2011 Apr;28(4):1439-54. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msq328. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Divergent expression patterns of miR164 and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON genes in palms and other monocots: implication for the evolution of meristem function in angiosperms.

Adam H(1), Marguerettaz M, Qadri R, Adroher B, Richaud F, Collin M, Thuillet AC, Vigouroux Y, Laufs P, Tregear JW, Jouannic S.

(1)IRD, UMR DIAPC, IRD/CIRAD Palm Development Group, Montpellier Cedex, France.

        In order to understand how the morphology of plant species has diversified over time, it is necessary to decipher how the underlying developmental programs have evolved. The regulatory network controlling shoot meristem activity is likely to have played an important role in morphological diversification and useful insights can be gained by comparing monocots and eudicots. These two distinct monophyletic groups of angiosperms diverged 130 Ma and are characterized by important differences in their morphology. Several studies of eudicot species have revealed a conserved role for NAM and CUC3 genes in meristem functioning and pattern formation through the definition of morphogenetic boundaries during development. In this study, we show that NAM- and CUC3-related genes are conserved in palms and grasses, their diversification having predated the radiation of monocots and eudicots. Moreover, the NAM-miR164 posttranscriptional regulatory module is also conserved in palm species. However, in contrast to the CUC3-related genes, which share a similar expression pattern between the two angiosperm groups, the expression domain of the NAM-miR164 module differs between monocot and eudicot species. In our studies of spatial expression patterns, we compared existing eudicot data with novel results from our work using two palm species (date palm and oil palm) and two members of the Poaceae (rice and millet). In addition to contrasting results obtained at the gene expression level, major differences were also observed between eudicot and monocot NAM-related genes in the occurrence of putative cis-regulatory elements in their promoter sequences. Overall, our results suggest that although NAM- and CUC3-related proteins are functionally equivalent between monocots and eudicots, evolutionary radiation has resulted in heterotopy through alterations in the expression domain of the NAM-miR164 regulatory module.

DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msq328

PMID: 21135149 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Parasitol Res. 2011 Apr;108(4):1047-54. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-2168-4. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

The effects of different plant extracts on nematodes.

Klimpel S(1), Abdel-Ghaffar F, Al-Rasheid KA, Aksu G, Fischer K, Strassen B, Mehlhorn H.

(1)Biodiversity and Climate Change Center (BiK-F), Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, 60325, Germany.

        The anthelminthic efficacy of some differently obtained extracts of several plants was tested in vivo in laboratory animals and in vitro. The extracts were obtained by ethanolic, methanolic, aqueous, or chloroform, respectively, acetonitrile polyethylenglycol (PEG) and/or propylencarbonate (PC) elution at room temperature or at 37°C. The plants used were bulbs of onions, garlic, chives, coconut, birch tree, ananas, cistrose, banana, chicory, date palm fruit, fig, pumpkin, and neem tree seeds. The worm systems tested both in vivo and in vitro were Trichuris muris and Angiostrongylus cantonensis but only in vivo Toxocara cati. The tests clearly showed that the different extraction methods eluted different components and different mass amounts, which had different efficacies against the above-cited worms. In vitro effects against A. cantonensis and T.muris were best with aqueous extracts, followed by chloroform extracts. The other plant extracts showed only low or no effects on A. cantonensis in vitro. In the case of T. muris, best results were obtained in vivo and in vitro with PEG/PC extracts of the onion followed by the aqueous extract of coconut. The complete elimination of worms in the in vivo experiments with T. muris was obtained when infected mice were treated with a 1:1 mixture of extracts of coconut and onion being produced by elutions with a mixture of 1:1 PEG and PC and fed daily for 8 days. T. cati in a naturally infected cat was eliminated by daily oral application of 6 ml coco's fluid for 5 days. This study shows that a broad spectrum of plants has anti-nematodal activities, the intensity of which, however, depends on the mode of extraction. This implicates that, if results should be really comparable, the same extraction methods at the same temperatures have to be used. Furthermore, efficacy in in vitro systems does not guarantee as good--if at all--efficacy in vivo.

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-010-2168-4

PMID: 21110041 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PLoS One. 2010 Oct 21;5(10):e13570. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013570.

Cluster of Nipah virus infection, Kushtia District, Bangladesh, 2007.

Homaira N(1), Rahman M, Hossain MJ, Nahar N, Khan R, Rahman M, Podder G, Nahar K, Khan D, Gurley ES, Rollin PE, Comer JA, Ksiazek TG, Luby SP.

(1)International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. nhomaira@icddrb.org

        OBJECTIVE: In March 2007, we investigated a cluster of Nipah encephalitis to identify risk factors for Nipah infection in Bangladesh. METHODS: We defined confirmed Nipah cases by the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies against Nipah virus in serum. Case-patients, who resided in the same village during the outbreak period but died before serum could be collected, were classified as probable cases. RESULTS: We identified three confirmed and five probable Nipah cases. There was a single index case. Five of the secondary cases came in close physical contact to the index case when she was ill. Case-patients were more likely to have physical contact with the index case (71% cases versus 0% controls, p = <0.001). The index case, on her third day of illness, and all the subsequent cases attended the same religious gathering. For three probable cases including the index case, we could not identify any known risk factors for Nipah infection such as physical contact with Nipah case-patients, consumption of raw date palm juice, or contact with sick animals or fruit bats. CONCLUSION: Though person-to-person transmission remains an important mode of transmission for Nipah infection, we could not confirm the source of infection for three of the probable Nipah case-patients. Continued surveillance and outbreak investigations will help better understand the transmission of Nipah virus and develop preventive strategies.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013570

PMID: 21042407 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Sep 8;11(9):3149-57. doi: 10.3390/ijms11093149.

A simple method for DNA extraction from mature date palm leaves: impact of sand grinding and composition of lysis buffer.

Arif IA(1), Bakir MA, Khan HA, Ahamed A, Al Farhan AH, Al Homaidan AA, Al Sadoon M, Bahkali AH, Shobrak M.

(1)Molecular Fingerprinting and Biodiversity Unit, Prince Sultan Research Chair for Environment and Wildlife, College of Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; E-Mails: iaarif@hotmail.com ; (I.A.A.); mabakir@yahoo.com (M.A.B.); nanisahamed@rediffmail.com (A.A.); alfarhan@ksu.edu.sa (A.H.A.F.); homaidan@ksu.edu.sa (A.A.A.H.); msadoon@ksu.edu.sa (M.A.S.); abahkali@ksu.edu.sa (A.H.B.); mshobrak@gmail.com (M.S.).

        Molecular marker techniques have been widely used for cultivar identification of inbred date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.; Arecaceae) and biodiversity conservation. Isolation of highly pure DNA is the prerequisite for PCR amplification and subsequent use such as DNA fingerprinting and sequencing of genes that have recently been developed for barcoding. To avoid problems related to the preservation and use of liquid nitrogen, we examined sterile sand for grinding the date palm leaves. Individual and combined effects of sodium chloride (NaCl), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and lithium chloride (LiCl) with the cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method for a DNA yield of sufficient purity and PCR amplification were evaluated in this study. Presence of LiCl and PVP alone or together in the lysis buffer did not significantly improve the DNA yield and purity compared with the addition of NaCl. Our study suggested that grinding of date palm leaf with sterile sand and inclusion of NaCl (1.4 M) in the lysis buffer without the costly use of liquid nitrogen, PVP and LiCl, provides a DNA yield of sufficient purity, suitable for PCR amplification.

DOI: 10.3390/ijms11093149

PMID: 20957085 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2011 May;19(5):823-5. doi: 10.1007/s00167-010-1283-1.

Multidetector CT for thorn (wooden) foreign bodies of the knee.

Said HG(1), Masoud MA, Yousef HA, Imam HM.

(1)Arthroscopy Unit, Orthopedic Department, Assiut University Hospital, PO Box 110, Assiut, 71111, Egypt.

        PURPOSE: Thorn (wooden) foreign bodies of the knee present a challenge in their diagnosis. Partly because of inaccurate history and sometimes a long duration of symptoms, radiographs are negative and MRI may show synovitis without a specific pathology. METHODS: We report a case of a 16-year-old male patient with a date palm thorn foreign body, which caused septic arthritis. He underwent two open surgeries. Both failed to detect the loose body. An MRI of the knee showed a high signal in the posterolateral compartment; however, the pathology could not be confirmed except by 64 Multidetector CT (MDCT) that clearly identified the thorn and its location. RESULTS: Arthroscopic removal and synovectomy were done by a 4-portal technique. The patient went on to complete recovery. CONCLUSION: Multidetector CT has proven very useful in identifying wooden foreign bodies, their size and location.

PLoS One. 2010 Sep 15;5(9):e12762. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012762.

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).

Yang M(1), Zhang X, Liu G, Yin Y, Chen K, Yun Q, Zhao D, Al-Mssallem IS, Yu J.

(1)The Date Palm Genome Project, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        BACKGROUND: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), a member of Arecaceae family, is one of the three major economically important woody palms--the two other palms being oil palm and coconut tree--and its fruit is a staple food among Middle East and North African nations, as well as many other tropical and subtropical regions. Here we report a complete sequence of the data palm chloroplast (cp) genome based on pyrosequencing. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After extracting 369,022 cp sequencing reads from our whole-genome-shotgun data, we put together an assembly and validated it with intensive PCR-based verification, coupled with PCR product sequencing. The date palm cp genome is 158,462 bp in length and has a typical quadripartite structure of the large (LSC, 86,198 bp) and small single-copy (SSC, 17,712 bp) regions separated by a pair of inverted repeats (IRs, 27,276 bp). Similar to what has been found among most angiosperms, the date palm cp genome harbors 112 unique genes and 19 duplicated fragments in the IR regions. The junctions between LSC/IRs and SSC/IRs show different features of sequence expansion in evolution. We identified 78 SNPs as major intravarietal polymorphisms within the population of a specific cp genome, most of which were located in genes with vital functions. Based on RNA-sequencing data, we also found 18 polycistronic transcription units and three highly expression-biased genes--atpF, trnA-UGC, and rrn23. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike most monocots, date palm has a typical cp genome similar to that of tobacco--with little rearrangement and gene loss or gain. High-throughput sequencing technology facilitates the identification of intravarietal variations in cp genomes among different cultivars. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of cp genes provides clues for uncovering regulatory mechanisms of transcription and translation in chloroplasts.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012762

PMID: 20856810 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Bioresour Technol. 2010 Nov;101(22):8772-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.06.065.

Production of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles in water extracts of the fungus Amylomyces rouxii strain KSU-09.

Musarrat J(1), Dwivedi S, Singh BR, Al-Khedhairy AA, Azam A, Naqvi A.

(1)Al-Jeraisy Chair for DNA Research, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. musarratj1@yahoo.com

        A fungal strain, KSU-09, isolated from the roots of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), was identified as Amylomyces rouxii based on sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of its rRNA genes. Mycelia-free water extracts obtained from mycelium suspended in water for 72h facilitated the production of stable, predominantly monodispersed and spherical silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the size range of 5-27nm upon addition of 1mM silver nitrate, as determined by the XRD, AFM and TEM. The AgNPs exhibited antimicrobial activity against Shigella dysenteriae type I, Staphylococcus aureus, Citrobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Fusarium oxysporum. Thus, the strain KSU-09 could be used for simple, non-hazardous and efficient synthesis of antimicrobial AgNPs.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.06.065

PMID: 20619641 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ecohealth. 2010 Jun;7(2):196-203. doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0320-3. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Date palm sap collection: exploring opportunities to prevent Nipah transmission.

Nahar N(1), Sultana R, Gurley ES, Hossain MJ, Luby SP.

(1)Programme on Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Sciences (PIDVS), Health Systems and Infectious Diseases Division (HSID), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. nahar.nazmun@yahoo.com

        Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a seasonal disease in Bangladesh that coincides with the date palm sap collection season. Raw date palm sap is a delicacy to drink in Bengali culture. If fruit bats that are infected with NiV gain access to the sap for drinking, they might occasionally contaminate the sap through saliva and urine. In February 2007, we conducted a qualitative study in six villages, interviewing 27 date palm sap collectors (gachhis) within the geographical area where NiV outbreaks have occurred since 2001. Gachhis reported that bats pose a challenge to successful collection of quality sap, because bats drink and defecate into the sap which markedly reduces its value. They know some methods to prevent access by bats and other pests but do not use them consistently, because of lack of time and resources. Further studies to explore the effectiveness of these methods and to motivate gachhis to invest their time and money to use them could reduce the risk of human Nipah infection in Bangladesh.

DOI: 10.1007/s10393-010-0320-3

PMID: 20617362 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Phytochemistry. 2010 Aug;71(11-12):1223-36. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2010.05.005.

Abscisic acid and sucrose increase the protein content in date palm somatic embryos, causing changes in 2-DE profile.

Sghaier-Hammami B(1), Jorrín-Novo JV, Gargouri-Bouzid R, Drira N.

(1)Laboratoire des Biotechnologies Végétales Appliquées à l'Amélioration des Cultures, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia. sghaierbesma@yahoo.fr

        Various supplements (abscisic acid (ABA) or sucrose) were added to the initial embryo culture medium (M3) with the aim of improving the vigour of vitroplants deriving from date palm somatic embryogenesis. ABA (20 and 40 microM) and sucrose (90 g/l) applied for 4 and 2 weeks respectively increased embryo thickness, with no apparent difference in length. ABA (5-40 microM) increased embryo proliferation rate. Somatic embryos maintained in modified M3 (M3 supplemented with ABA and an increased sucrose concentration) contained a higher amount of protein than those maintained in initial M3 (no ABA, 30 g/l of sucrose), with a 1.5-1.7-fold increase depending on the compound and concentration assayed. The 1-D and 2-DE protein profiles showed qualitative and quantitative differences between the somatic embryos cultured in initial M3 (control) and in modified M3. Statistical analysis of spot intensity was performed by principal component analysis, yielding two accurate groups of samples and determining the most discriminating spots. Samples were also clustered using Euclidean distance with an average linkage algorithm. Thirty-four variable spots were identified using mass spectrometry analysis. Identified proteins were classified into the following functional categories: energy metabolism (five proteins); protein translation, folding and degradation (9); redox maintenance (5); cytoskeleton (3); storage protein (2); and with no assigned function as (10). While "up-regulation" of stress-related proteins and "down-regulation" of energy metabolism proteins were observed in somatic embryos matured in M3 supplemented with ABA, storage proteins (legumin) were "up-regulated" in somatic embryos matured in M3 supplemented with increased sucrose.

DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2010.05.005

PMID: 20605176 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Mycorrhiza. 2011 Apr;21(3):195-209. doi: 10.1007/s00572-010-0323-5. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Unique arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities uncovered in date palm plantations and surrounding desert habitats of Southern Arabia.

Al-Yahya'ei MN(1), Oehl F, Vallino M, Lumini E, Redecker D, Wiemken A, Bonfante P.

(1)Zurich Basel Plant Science Center, Institute of Botany, University of Basel, Hebelstrasse 1, 4056 Basel, Switzerland. m.al-yahyaei@unibas.ch

        The main objective of this study was to shed light on the previously unknown arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) communities in Southern Arabia. We explored AMF communities in two date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) plantations and the natural vegetation of their surrounding arid habitats. The plantations were managed traditionally in an oasis and according to conventional guidelines at an experimental station. Based on spore morphotyping, the AMF communities under the date palms appeared to be quite diverse at both plantations and more similar to each other than to the communities under the ruderal plant, Polygala erioptera, growing at the experimental station on the dry strip between the palm trees, and to the communities uncovered under the native vegetation (Zygophyllum hamiense, Salvadora persica, Prosopis cineraria, inter-plant area) of adjacent undisturbed arid habitat. AMF spore abundance and species richness were higher under date palms than under the ruderal and native plants. Sampling in a remote sand dune area under Heliotropium kotschyi yielded only two AMF morphospecies and only after trap culturing. Overall, 25 AMF morphospecies were detected encompassing all study habitats. Eighteen belonged to the genus Glomus including four undescribed species. Glomus sinuosum, a species typically found in undisturbed habitats, was the most frequently occurring morphospecies under the date palms. Using molecular tools, it was also found as a phylogenetic taxon associated with date palm roots. These roots were associated with nine phylogenetic taxa, among them eight from Glomus group A, but the majority could not be assigned to known morphospecies or to environmental sequences in public databases. Some phylogenetic taxa seemed to be site specific. Despite the use of group-specific primers and efficient trapping systems with a bait plant consortium, surprisingly, two of the globally most frequently found species, Glomus intraradices and Glomus mosseae, were not detected neither as phylogenetic taxa in the date palm roots nor as spores under the date palms, the intermediate ruderal plant, or the surrounding natural vegetation. The results highlight the uniqueness of AMF communities inhabiting these diverse habitats exposed to the harsh climatic conditions of Southern Arabia.

DOI: 10.1007/s00572-010-0323-5

PMID: 20571833 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Bot. 2010 Aug;106(2):255-66. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcq103.

Cell cycle arrest characterizes the transition from a bisexual floral bud to a unisexual flower in Phoenix dactylifera.

Daher A(1), Adam H, Chabrillange N, Collin M, Mohamed N, Tregear JW, Aberlenc-Bertossi F.

(1)ISV/CERD, BP, Djibouti.

        BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) is a dioecious species displaying strong dimorphism between pistillate and staminate flowers. The mechanisms involved in the development of unisexual flowers are as yet unknown. METHODS: This paper describes the results of inflorescence and flower development studies using different histological and molecular cytological approaches. Nuclear integrity and cell division patterns in reproductive organs were investigated through DAPI staining and in situ hybridization using a histone H4 gene probe. KEY RESULTS: The earliest sex-related difference in flower buds is observed at an otherwise 'bisexual' stage, at which the number of cells in the gynoecium of pistillate flowers is higher than in their staminate counterparts. In the pistillate flower, staminodes (sterile stamens) display precocious arrest of development followed by cell differentiation. In the staminate flower, pistillodes (sterile gynoecium) undergo some degree of differentiation and their development ceases shortly after the ovule has been initiated. Staminode and pistillode cells exhibit nuclear integrity although they did not show any accumulation of histone H4 gene transcripts. CONCLUSIONS: These results strongly suggest that the developmental arrest of sterile sex organs and the subsequent unisexuality of date palm flowers result from a cessation of cell division and precocious cell differentiation rather than from cell death.

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcq103

PMID: 20534596 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2011 Jul;63(5):433-41. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Protective effect of date palm fruit extract (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on dimethoate induced-oxidative stress in rat liver.

Saafi EB(1), Louedi M, Elfeki A, Zakhama A, Najjar MF, Hammami M, Achour L.

(1)Laboratoire de Biochimie, UR Nutrition Humaine et Désordres Métaboliques, Faculté de Médecine, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia.

        Nowadays, people's exposure to chemical compounds such as organophosphorus insecticides is continuously on the rise more and more. Theses compounds have induced an excessive production of free radicals which are responsible for several cell alterations in the organism. Recent investigations have proved the crucial role of nutritional antioxidants to prevent the damage caused by toxic compounds. In this study, we investigate the role of date palm fruit extract (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in protection against oxidative damage and hepatotoxicity induced by subchronic exposure to dimethoate (20mg/kg/day). Oral administration of dimethoate caused hepatotoxicity as monitored by the increase in the levels of hepatic markers enzymes (transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase and lactate dehydrogenase), as well as in hepatic malondialdehyde thus causing drastic alteration in antioxidant defence system. Particularly, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were found increased by dimethoate while catalase (CAT) activity was reduced significantly. These biochemical alterations were accompanied by histological changes marked by appearance of vacuolization, necrosis, congestion, inflammation, and enlargement of sinusoids in liver section. Pretreatment with date palm fruit extract restored the liver damage induced by dimethoate, as revealed by inhibition of hepatic lipid peroxidation, amelioration of SOD, GPx and CAT activities and improvement of histopathology changes. The present findings indicate that in vivo date palm fruit may be useful for the prevention of oxidative stress induced hepatotoxicity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.etp.2010.03.002

PMID: 20359872 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Iran J Pharm Res. 2010 Spring;9(2):141-6.

Comparison of Antioxidant Activity and Total Phenol Contents of some Date Seed Varieties from Iran.

Shams Ardekani MR(1), Khanavi M(1), Hajimahmoodi M(1), Jahangiri M, Hadjiakhoondi A(1).

        The genus Phoenix is one of the most widely cultivated groups of palms around the world. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant activity and total phenolic compounds of 14 different varieties of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., Arecaceae) seed extracts with 5 solvents [water, methanol, methanol (50%), DMSO, and water: methanol: acetone: formic acid (20:40:40:0.1)]. Ferric reducing antioxidant power assay and Folin-Ciocalteu reagent was used for determination of the antioxidant effect and phenolic content of date seeds. DMSO extract of the "Zahedi" variety had the highest antioxidant effect (37.42 mmol/100 g dry plant) and total phenolic content (3541 mg /100 g dry plant) among these 14 varieties and 5 solvents. There was a significant correlation between the total phenolic content and antioxidant activity (R(2) = 0.791, P < 0.001) of the "Zahedi" variety DMSO extract, which can indicates that polyphenols are the main antioxidants. Iranian date palm seed has a relatively high antioxidant activity due to contribution of phenolic compounds. The present study showed that the Iranian date seeds are strong radical scavengers and can be considered as a good source of natural antioxidants for medicinal and commercial uses.

PMCID: PMC3862061

PMID: 24363720

Physiol Mol Biol Plants. 2010 Apr;16(2):207-13. doi: 10.1007/s12298-010-0023-9.

Assessment of genetic fidelity of micropropagated date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) plants by RAPD and ISSR markers assay.

Kumar N(1), Modi AR, Singh AS, Gajera BB, Patel AR, Patel MP, Subhash N.

(1)Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, 388 110 Gujarat India.

        RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) and ISSR (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats) markers assay were employed to validate the genetic stability of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) plants multiplied through somatic embryogenesis with upto forty two in vitro subcultures. Out of the 160 RAPD and 21 ISSR primers screened, 30 RAPD and 12 ISSR primers produced a total of 347 (246 RAPDs + 101 ISSRs) clear, distinct and reproducible amplicons, which were monomorphic across all micropropagated plants (27) studied. Thus, a total 8592 bands (number of plants analysed x number of amplicons with all the primers) were generated which exhibited homogeneous banding patterns with both RAPD and ISSR markers. These results indicate that the micropropagation protocol developed by us for rapid in vitro multiplication is appropriate and suitable for clonal propagation of date palm and corroborated the fact that somatic embryogenesis can also be used as one o