Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are considered prebiotic compounds and are found in different vegetables and fruits but at low concentrations. FOS are produced by enzymatic transformation of sucrose using fructosyltransferase (FTase). Development of new production methods and search for FTase with high activity and stability for FOS production Is an actual research topic. In this article is discussed the most recent advances on FTase and its applications. Different microorganisms have been tested under various fermentation systems in order to identify and characterize new genes codifying for FTase. Some of these genes have been isolated from bacteria, fungi, and plants, with a wide range of percentages of identity but retaining the eight highly conserved motifs of the hydrolase family 32 glycoside. Therefore, this article presents an overview of the most recent advances on FTase and its applications.
Part of the book: Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health
The solid-state fermentation (SSF) is the best option to produce spores of biological control agents (BCA), because the spores have a long shelf life, compared with the obtained in liquid cultures. The spore production under SSF conditions using polyethylene bioreactors (bag-type) is a new topic. Only little information mainly about bioreactors design and adequate conditions to spore production is available. The main aim of this study was to use the corn cob as substrate in SSF and produce spores of the fungi BCA Trichoderma asperellum in a polyethylene bioreactor. In the process was added biomass of the phytopathogenic fungi Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Phytophthora capsici as inducers of hydrolase enzymes (endoglucanases, exoglucanases and chitinases). It is possible to obtain high levels of spores, cellulases and chitinases using a polyethylene bioreactor under SSF conditions by T. asperellum and corn cob as substrate. Under the SSF conditions evaluated, the biomass of C. gloeosporioides has an inducer effect just on the spore production. However, P. capsici have effect on all response variables evaluated. The spore production was twice when used P. capsici as inducer. The most influential factor under SSF was the moisture. Levels of 66 and 50% of this factor increase the yield in all response variables evaluated (sporulation, cellulases and chitinases), C. gloeosporioides and P. capsici, respectively.
Part of the book: Fermentation Processes
In Mexico, there is an area known as semiarid region that is located in northern Mexico, and this region is rich in biodiversity (endemic flora and fauna). In the semiarid region of Mexico are more than 3500 species of plants that have been identified and used as natural alternatives to treat different ailments (digestive ailments, kidney problems, skin conditions, etc.). The use of plants for medicinal purposes was a common practice in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century; although this knowledge was underestimated for a long time, now interest has reemerged in the use of plants as alternative remedies or traditional medicine. It is now known that the medicinal plant capacity is due to its biological properties, which are due to chemical compounds that are synthesized by the plant metabolisms, called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds that have important biological properties such as anticancer property, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antioxidant, and interest in the recovery of these compounds has grown in recent years, in order to find natural alternatives to synthetic drugs, which they are used for different chronic conditions such as cancer.
Part of the book: Aromatic and Medicinal Plants
Polyembryony (PE) is a rare phenomenon in cultivated plant species. Since nineteenth century, several reports have been published on PE in maize. Reports of multiple seedlings developing at embryonic level in laboratory and studies under greenhouse and field conditions have demonstrated the presence of PE in cultivated maize (Zea mays L.). Nevertheless, there is a lack of knowledge about this phenomenon; diverse genetic mechanisms controlling PE in maize have been proposed: Mendelian inheritance of a single gene, interaction between two genes and multiple genes are some of the proposed mechanisms. On the other hand, the presence of two or more embryos per seed confers higher nutrimental quality because these grains have more crude fat and lysine than normal maize kernels. As mentioned above, there is a necessity for more studies about PE maize in order to establish the genetic mechanism responsible for this phenomenon; on the other hand, previous studies showed that PE has potential to generate specialized maize varieties with yield potential and grain quality.
Part of the book: Maize Germplasm
Cancer has been a public health problem that has gained a lot of death. However, in spite of the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer, women follow the struggle versus this disease. Also, those patients suffer from limited efficacy and specificity, undesirable effects, drug resistance, and a high cost of treatments. Currently, several studies have demonstrated the efficiency of natural products, called bioactive compounds, against cervical cancer cell lines. Bioactive compounds, including polyphenols and phenolic acids or flavonoids, etc., have antioxidant and pro-oxidant properties. These compounds are efficacy and show high specificity because probably they act as anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant. The pro-oxidant activity obstructs growth factors related to different signalling pathways that trigger cancer. Although, usually this kind of compounds helps for dispatching the apoptosis in cervical cancer cell. The aim of this chapter is reviewing how bioactive compounds affect the signalling pathways.
Part of the book: Pharmacognosy