Essential Oils: The Ultimate Solution to Antimicrobial Resistance in Escherichia coli?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is on the rise; the only solution for overcoming this is through accelerated drug discovery. At current, bacterial evolutionary rates is still clearly the undisputed winner in this war. To circumvent this, evolution of resistance need to be curbed and this can only be effective via novel approaches, one of which includes the use of a resistance modifying agent. The criterion to qualify as a resistance modifier necessitates the co-administration of the agent with an inhibitor that deactivates the bacterial resistance mechanism, restoring its original effectiveness. Natural products such as plant extracts and essential oils (EOs) have been viewed as a privileged group for investigation of their potential roles to combat antibiotic resistance, due to their compositions of active chemical compounds. The route for multidrug resistance development in Gram‐negative bacteria is primarily mediated by the sophisticated inner and outer membrane barriers, which function to protect the cell against external toxic compounds; hence, bypass of these bacterial membranes would successfully restore or improve efficacy of the antimicrobials. The aim of this chapter is to concisely describe some examples for recent strategies used in the screening of possible resistance modifiers from essential oils specifically against MDR Escherichia coli.
Part of the book: Escherichia coli
Iron Biofortification of Rice: Progress and Prospects
Biofortification is the process of improving the bioavailability of essential nutrients in food crops either through conventional breeding or modern biotechnology techniques. Rice is one of the most demanding staple foods worldwide. Most global population live on a diet based on rice as the main carbohydrate source that serve as suitable target for biofortification. In general, polished grain or white rice contains nutritionally insufficient concentration of iron (Fe) to meet the daily requirements in diets. Therefore, iron biofortification in rice offers an inexpensive and sustainable solution to mitigate iron deficiency. However, understanding on the mechanism and genes involved in iron uptake in rice is a prerequisite for successful iron biofortification. In this chapter, the overview of iron uptake strategies in plants and as well as different iron-biofortified approaches used in rice will be outlined. Then, the challenges and future prospects of rice iron biofortification to improve global human health will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Rice Crop
The CRISPR/Cas9 System for Crop Improvement: Progress and Prospects
The global demand for high-quality crops is continuously growing with time. Crop improvement techniques have a long history and they had been applied since the beginning of domestication of the first agricultural plants. Since then, various new techniques have and are being developed to further increase the commercial value and yield of crops. The latest crop improvement technique known as genome editing is a technique that enables precise modification of the plant genome via knocking out undesirable genes or enabling genes to gain new function. The variants generated from the genome editing are indistinguishable from naturally occurring variation. It is also less time-consuming and more readily accepted in the market commercially. The usage of genome editing has proven to be advantages and plays a promising role in future crop improvement efforts. Therefore, in this chapter, we aim to highlight the progress and application of genome editing techniques, in particular, the CRISPR/Cas9 system as a powerful genome editing tool for crop improvement. In addition, the challenges and future prospects of this technology for crop improvement will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Next Generation Plant Breeding
MicroRNAs in Bone Diseases: Progress and Prospects
With 19–25 nucleotides long, microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules which play crucial roles in major cellular functions such as cell cycle control, apoptosis, metabolism, cell proliferation, and cell differentiation. Changes in the expression of miRNAs can cause significant effects to normal and aberrant cells. The dysregulation of miRNAs has been implicated in various human diseases such as brain tumor, osteoarthritis, schizophrenia, and breast cancer. Generally, miRNAs negatively regulate gene expression by binding to their specific mRNAs, thereby blocking their translation of the mRNAs. However, a few studies have reported that miRNAs could also upregulate the translation of certain proteins. This shows the important roles of miRNAs in various cell functions. This chapter will focus on the role of miRNAs in normal osteoblast and osteosarcoma cells. In addition, the great potential of miRNA as a new therapeutic approach to treat human bone diseases will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Regulation
Transgenic Plants: Gene Constructs, Vector and Transformation Method
The human population has reached 7 billion by 2015 and is estimated to exceed 10 billion by the end of 2050. As such, crops which are the main food source must be produced at a higher pace in order to cater in tandem with the food demand. In the past, traditional plant breeders practice classical breeding techniques to propagate plants with desirable traits. However, traditional breeding technique lies in that only individuals of the same or closely related species can be crossbred. Moreover, traditional breeders will not be able to obtain traits which are not inherent within the gene pool of their target plants through classical breeding. With recent advancements in the field of genetic engineering, it is now possible to insert beneficial genes from a completely different species or even kingdom into a target plant, yielding transgenic plants with multiple ideal traits. To develop a transgenic plant, parameters such as vector constructions, transformation methods, transgene integration, and inheritance of transgene need to be carefully considered to ensure the success of the transformation event. Hence, this chapter aimed to provide an overview of transgenic plants’ development, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its application for the betterment of mankind.
Part of the book: New Visions in Plant Science
Antimicrobial Usage and Resistance in Dairy Cattle Production
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been a public health threat globally, with millions of lives lost due to AMR infections each year. The cases of AMR continue to escalate and cause devastating effect to both humans and animals. AMR contributes to high morbidity and mortality of the livestock, which results in staggering economic losses to the livestock producers. The main factor for AMR to arise in this industry is mainly due to the eagerness of livestock producers to meet high demand by using antimicrobials to promote animal growth and disease prevention. From a public health perspective, AMR in dairy cattle can also jeopardize human population due to the potential dissemination of AMR pathogens to humans via consumption of infected dairy products or direct contact with infected dairy cattle. At the current rate of unrestricted antimicrobial usage, AMR will be expedited and soon we will run out of effective treatment for even the simplest infection. World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a set of guidelines for the use of medically important antimicrobials on animals to mitigate the adverse consequences of AMR on human. Thus, this chapter will explain antimicrobial usage in dairy cattle production and the recent approaches and challenges on AMR.
Part of the book: Veterinary Medicine and Pharmaceuticals
Essential Oils: Partnering with Antibiotics
Essential oils (EO) are volatile, non-lipid-based oils produced as a plant defense mechanism. Studies from our group have validated the potential usefulness of EOs to synergistically and additively work with antibiotics. In this book chapter, we aim to outline some background on the EOs and their uses and applications, to discuss the different mechanisms of action in partnering with antibiotics, and, finally, to explore their potential use against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Applications of EO in therapy will enable the revival of previously sidelined antibiotics and enhance the development of new drug regimens to better mitigate what may be the biggest health challenge by year 2050.
Part of the book: Essential Oils
Fusarium Wilt in Banana: Epidemics and Management Strategies View all chapters
Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), is one of the most threatening fungal diseases affecting banana plantations across the globe. It was first discovered in Australia in 1874 and has now spread to numerous different regions in the world hinting at the persistency of the pathogen. Various management strategies have been devised aiming mainly on improving the plant’s tolerance or suppressing the infection. Fungicide is commonly used to control the disease spread, but it does not provide total protection to the plants besides displaying selective effectiveness on certain Foc strains. Alternatively, farmers apply crop rotation, rice hull burning, biological soil disinfestation, and compound-supplemented soil in their banana plantations. Studies have also shown that certain biocontrol agents manage to curb the disease threat. Selection of somaclonal variants and genetic manipulation via induced mutagenesis and transformation are also among the alternatives that have been implemented in producing Fusarium-tolerant and Fusarium-resistant banana plants. This chapter will describe Fusarium epidemics in banana, the effectiveness and challenges of different management approaches, as well as the future alternatives that can be adopted by taking advantages of the latest advances in omics technologies.
Part of the book: Horticultural Crops