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α-Amylase (Aspergillus oryzae)

Product code: E-ANAAM

20,000 Units

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Content: 20,000 Units
Shipping Temperature: Ambient
Storage Temperature: 2-8oC
Formulation: In 3.2 M ammonium sulphate
Physical Form: Suspension
Stability: > 1 year under recommended storage conditions
Enzyme Activity: α-Amylase
EC Number:
CAZy Family: GH13
CAS Number: 9000-90-2
Synonyms: alpha-amylase; 4-alpha-D-glucan glucanohydrolase
Source: Aspergillus oryzae
Molecular Weight: 54,000
Concentration: Supplied at ~ 1,000 CU/mL
Expression: From Aspergillus oryzae
Specificity: endo-hydrolysis of α-1,4-D-glucosidic linkages in starch.
Specific Activity: ~ 120 U/mg (40oC, pH 5.4 on Ceralpha Reagent)
Unit Definition: One Unit of α-amylase is the amount of enzyme required to release one µmole of p-nitrophenol from blocked p-nitrophenyl-maltoheptaoside per minute (in the presence of excess α-glucosidase), pH 5.4 at 40oC, and is termed a Ceralpha Unit.
Temperature Optima: 50oC
pH Optima: 5
Application examples: For use in Megazyme Starch Damage method.

High purity α-Amylase (Aspergillus oryzae) for use in research, biochemical enzyme assays and in vitro diagnostic analysis.

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Megazyme publication

Measurement of α-amylase activity in white wheat flour, milled malt, and microbial enzyme preparations, using the ceralpha assay: Collaborative study.

McCleary, B. V., McNally, M., Monaghan, D. & Mugford, D. C. (2002). Journal of AOAC International, 85(5), 1096-1102.

This study was conducted to evaluate the method performance of a rapid procedure for the measurement of α-amylase activity in flours and microbial enzyme preparations. Samples were milled (if necessary) to pass a 0.5 mm sieve and then extracted with a buffer/salt solution, and the extracts were clarified and diluted. Aliquots of diluted extract (containing α-amylase) were incubated with substrate mixture under defined conditions of pH, temperature, and time. The substrate used was nonreducing end-blocked p-nitrophenyl maltoheptaoside (BPNPG7) in the presence of excess quantities of thermostable α-glucosidase. The blocking group in BPNPG7 prevents hydrolysis of this substrate by exo-acting enzymes such as amyloglucosidase, α-glucosidase, and β-amylase. When the substrate is cleaved by endo-acting α-amylase, the nitrophenyl oligosaccharide is immediately and completely hydrolyzed to p-nitrophenol and free glucose by the excess quantities of α-glucosidase present in the substrate mixture. The reaction is terminated, and the phenolate color developed by the addition of an alkaline solution is measured at 400 nm. Amylase activity is expressed in terms of Ceralpha units; 1 unit is defined as the amount of enzyme required to release 1 µmol p-nitrophenyl (in the presence of excess quantities of α-glucosidase) in 1 min at 40°C. In the present study, 15 laboratories analyzed 16 samples as blind duplicates. The analyzed samples were white wheat flour, white wheat flour to which fungal α-amylase had been added, milled malt, and fungal and bacterial enzyme preparations. Repeatability relative standard deviations ranged from 1.4 to 14.4%, and reproducibility relative standard deviations ranged from 5.0 to 16.7%.

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Megazyme publication

New developments in the measurement of α-amylase, endo-protease, β-glucanase and β-xylanase.

McCleary, B. V. & Monaghan, D. (2000). “Proceedings of the Second European Symposium on Enzymes in Grain Processing”, (M. Tenkanen, Ed.), VTT Information Service, pp. 31-38.

Over the past 8 years, we have been actively involved in the development of simple and reliable assay procedures, for the measurement of enzymes of interest to the cereals and related industries. In some instances, different procedures have been developed for the measurement of the same enzyme activity (e.g. α-amylase) in a range of different materials (e.g. malt, cereal grains and fungal preparations). The reasons for different procedures may depend on several factors, such as the need for sensitivity, ease of use, robustness of the substrate mixture, or the possibility for automation. In this presentation, we will present information on our most up-to-date procedures for the measurement of α-amylase, endo-protease, β-glucanase and β-xylanase, with special reference to the use of particular assay formats in particular applications.

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Megazyme publication
An improved enzymic method for the measurement of starch damage in wheat flour.

Gibson, T. S., Al Qalla, H. & McCleary, B. V. (1992). Journal of Cereal Science, 15(1), 15-27.

An improved enzymic method for the determination of starch damage in wheat flour has been developed and characterized. The proposed method is simple and reliable, and enables up to 20 samples to be measured in duplicate in 2 h. A single assay takes approximately 40 min. The assay protocol is in two phases. In the first, the flour sample is incubated with purified fungal alpha-amylase to liberate damaged starch granules as soluble oligosaccharides. After centrifugation, the oligosaccharides in the supernatant are hydrolysed by amyloglucosidase to glucose in phase 2. The glucose is then quantified with a glucose oxidase/peroxidase reagent. The proposed method therefore avoids potential errors associated with existing standard assays, which employ unpurified amylase preparations and non-specific reducing group methods to quantify the hydrolytic products. Despite the use of purified assay components, the proposed starch damage method did not exhibit an absolute end-point to the action of alpha-amylase in phase 1. This was due to a low rate of hydrolysis of undamaged granules, and is a feature of enzymic methods for starch damage determination. Other amylolytic enzymes, including beta-amylase, isoamylase and pullulanase, and combinations of these enzymes, were evaluated as alternatives to alpha-amylase in the proposed method. These enzymes, when used alone, gave no benefits over the use of alpha-amylase. When used in combination with alpha-amylase, there was a synergistic action on undamaged granules. A test kit based on the assay format described in this paper is the subject of an international interlaboratory evaluation.

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Megazyme publication
A new procedure for the measurement of fungal and bacterial α-amylase.

Sheehan, H. & McCleary, B. V. (1988). Biotechnology Techniques, 2(4), 289-292.

A procedure for the measurement of fungal and bacterial α-amylase in crude culture filtrates and commercial enzyme preparations is described. The procedure employs end-blocked (non-reducing end) p-nitrophenyl maltoheptaoside in the presence of amyloglucosidase and α-glucosidase, and is absolutely specific for α-amylase. The assay procedure is simple, reliable and accurate.

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Megazyme publication

Measurement of cereal α-Amylase: A new assay procedure.

McCleary, B. V. & Sheehan, H. (1987). Journal of Cereal Science, 6(3), 237-251.

A new procedure for the assay of cereal α-amylase has been developed. The substrate is a defined maltosaccharide with an α-linked nitrophenyl group at the reducing end of the chain, and a chemical blocking group at the non-reducing end. The substrate is completely resistant to attack by β-amylase, glucoamylase and α-glucosidase and thus forms the basis of a highly specific assay for α-amylase. The reaction mixture is composed of the substrate plus excess quantities of α-glucosidase and glucoamylase. Nitrophenyl-maltosaccharides released on action of α-amylase are instantaneously cleaved to glucose plus free p-nitrophenol by the glucoamylase and α-glucosidase, such that the rate of release of p-nitrophenol directly correlates with α-amylase activity. The assay procedure shows an excellent correlation with the Farrand, the Falling Number and the Phadebas α-amylase assay procedures.

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Microbial liberation of N-methylserotonin from orange fiber in gnotobiotic mice and humans.

Han, N. D., Cheng, J., Delannoy-Bruno, O., Webber, D., Terrapon, N., Henrissat, B., et al. (2022). Cell, 185(14), 2495-2509.

Plant fibers in byproduct streams produced by non-harsh food processing methods represent biorepositories of diverse, naturally occurring, and physiologically active biomolecules. To demonstrate one approach for their characterization, mass spectrometry of intestinal contents from gnotobiotic mice, plus in vitro studies, revealed liberation of N-methylserotonin from orange fibers by human gut microbiota members including Bacteroides ovatus. Functional genomic analyses of B. ovatus strains grown under permissive and non-permissive N-methylserotonin “mining” conditions revealed polysaccharide utilization loci that target pectins whose expression correlate with strain-specific liberation of this compound. N-methylserotonin, orally administered to germ-free mice, reduced adiposity, altered liver glycogenesis, shortened gut transit time, and changed expression of genes that regulate circadian rhythm in the liver and colon. In human studies, dose-dependent, orange-fiber-specific fecal accumulation of N-methylserotonin positively correlated with levels of microbiome genes encoding enzymes that digest pectic glycans. Identifying this type of microbial mining activity has potential therapeutic implications.

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Biocatalytic quantification of α‐glucan in marine particulate organic matter.

Steinke, N., Vidal‐Melgosa, S., Schultz‐Johansen, M. & Hehemann, J. H. (2022). MicrobiologyOpen, 11(3), e1289.

α-Glucans can be quantified alongside laminarin in marine particulate organic matter samples using structure-specific hydrolytic enzymes in combination with glucose detection by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography and pulsed amperometric detection. This enzymatic method is a new tool for the characterization and quantification of specific algal glycans in the ocean, which is important to understanding microbial carbon cycling and carbon sequestration in the marine environment.

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Sink strength of citrus rootstocks under water deficit.

da Silva, S. F., Miranda, M. T., Costa, V. E., Machado, E. C. & Ribeiro, R. V. (2021). Tree Physiology, In Press.

Carbon allocation between source and sink organs determines plant growth and is influenced by environmental conditions. Under water deficit, plant growth is inhibited before photosynthesis and shoot growth tends to be more sensitive than root growth. However, the modulation of source-sink relationship by rootstocks remain unsolved in citrus trees under water deficit. Citrus plants grafted on Rangpur lime are drought tolerant, which may be related to a fine coordination of the source-sink relationship for maintaining root growth. Here, we followed 13C allocation and evaluated physiological responses and growth of Valencia orange trees grafted on three citrus rootstocks (Rangpur lime, Swingle citrumelo and Sunki mandarin) under water deficit. As compared to plants on Swingle and Sunki rootstocks, ones grafted on Rangpur lime showed higher stomatal sensitivity to the initial variation of water availability and less accumulation of non-structural carbohydrates in roots under water deficit. High 13C allocation found in Rangpur lime roots indicates this rootstock has high sink demand associated with high root growth under water deficit. Our data suggest that Rangpur lime rootstock used photoassimilates as sources of energy and carbon skeletons for growing under drought, which is likely related to increases in root respiration. Taken together, our data revealed that carbon supply by leaves and delivery to roots are critical for maintaining root growth and improving drought tolerance, with citrus rootstocks showing differential sink strength under water deficit.

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Reliability factor for identification of amylolytic enzyme activity in the optimized starch-iodine assay.

Gaenssle, A. L., van der Maarel, M. J. & Jurak, E. (2020). Analytical Biochemistry, 113696.

Amylolytic enzymes are a group of proteins degrading starch to its constitutional units. For high-throughput screening, simple yet accurate methods in addition to the reducing ends assays are required. In this article, the iodine assay, a photometric assay based on the intensely colored starch-iodine complex, was adapted to enable accurate and objective differentiation between enzyme and background activity using a newly introduced mathematical factor. The method was further improved by designing a simple setup for multiple time point detection and discussing the applicability of single wavelength measurements.

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Stem and leaf functional traits allow successional classification in six pioneer and non-pioneer tree species in Tropical Moist Broadleaved Forests.

Macieira, B. P. B., Locosselli, G. M., Buckeridge, M. S., Hartmann, H. & Cuzzuol, G. R. F. (2020). Ecological Indicators, 113, 106254.

More than half of the tropical forests are secondary forests that are undergoing a highly dynamic interplay of forest succession of uncertain outcome. Vegetation models can help predict forest trajectory but require simplifying the high biodiversity of these forests into a few distinct classes of functional or successional groups. The classification of tree species by successional groups has traditionally relied on qualitative criteria such as life span, or on parameters that are difficult to measure on mature trees in the field, like photosynthetic activity, in particular in tropical forests. Hence, quantitative traits that can be easily measured in a number of species may provide more accurate classification thresholds. The present study identifies quantitative anatomical and biochemical traits of leaf and stem of six species that are useful for classification of successional groups in the Tropical Moist Broadleaved Forest (TMBF) of south-eastern Brazil. Consistent with assumed fast growth and high light requirements of pioneers the investigated pioneer species presented higher stem glucose content (600%), larger vessel elements (162%), greater stomatal density (72%) and higher chloroplastic pigments concentrations (90%) than non-pioneer species. By contrast, non-pioneers were characterized by larger mesophyll cells (70%) and higher cell wall polymers concentrations (65–100%) in leaf and stem. The biggest differences between pioneer and non-pioneer species were observed in leaf blade thickness, followed by vessel lumen diameter, and stem lignin. We provide research laboratories a variety of different tools that they can use as a guideline to accurately assess the successional class of tree species in the TMBF of south-eastern Brazil.

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Dispersal mode constrains allocation of carbon and mineral nutrients in seeds of forest and savanna trees.

de Melo, R. B., Ferreira, C. S., Lopes, A., Vinson, C. C. & Franco, A. C. (2020). Plant Biology, 22(2), 203-211.

Species vary in seed size and content of stored reserves, which can be related to dispersal strategies and type of habitat in which they are found. We compare seed carbon and nutrient reserves of anemochorous and zoochorous trees from the Cerrado of central Brazil. We measured seed dry mass, lipids, non‐structural carbohydrates (starch and total soluble sugars), carbon and mineral nutrients in ten forest and 13 savanna species, each classified as having wind‐ or animal‐dispersed seeds. We used phylogenetically independent contrasts to test for correlations among these traits. Seeds of anemochorous species were lighter, with higher concentrations of C, N, P, Ca and Mg. Lipids were the dominant carbon reserve for most anemochorous species, underpinning the importance of allocation to compact carbon reserves. Starch, lipids or soluble sugars were the major carbon reserve in zoochorous seeds. Savanna and forest species did not differ in seed mass or in total carbon reserves. However, seeds of forest species had higher concentrations of starch than seeds of savanna species. Lipid and starch negatively correlated across species, suggesting a trade‐off between starch and lipids as major seed carbon reserves. Calcium was positively correlated with Mn and B, while Mg was positively correlated with C, N, P, K, S, Zn and B. Potassium, S and Cl were positively correlated, while P was positively correlated with Mg and Zn. Dispersal mode rather than vegetation type constrained seed mass and seed storage allocation patterns in forest and savanna trees. We provide evidence that similar mechanisms are involved in seed storage of carbon and mineral nutrients across species.

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Biochemical characterization of two GH70 family 4, 6-α-glucanotransferases with distinct product specificity from Lactobacillus aviarius subsp. aviarius DSM 20655.

Meng, X., Gangoiti, J., de Kok, N., van Leeuwen, S. S., Pijning, T. & Dijkhuizen, L. (2018). Food Chemistry, In Press.

Nine GtfB-like 4,6-α-glucanotransferases (4,6-α-GTs) (represented by GtfX of L. aviaries subsp. Aviaries DSM 20655) were identified to show distinct characteristics in conserved motifs I-IV. In particular, the “fingerprint” Tyr in motif III of these nine GtfB-type 4,6-α-GTs was found to be replaced by a Trp. In L. aviarius subsp. aviarius DSM20655, a second GtfB-like protein (GtfY), containing the canonical GtfB Tyr residue in motif III, was located directly upstream of GtfX. Biochemical characterization revealed that both GtfX and GtfY showed GtfB-like 4,6-α-GT activity, cleaving (α1→4) linkages and catalyzing the synthesis of (α1→6) linkages. Nonetheless, they differ in product specificity; GtfY only synthesizes consecutive (α1→6) linkages, yielding linear α-glucan products, but GtfX catalyzes the synthesis of (α1→6) linkages predominantly at branch points (22%) rather than in linear segments (10%). The highly branched α-glucan produced by GtfX from amylose V is resistant to digestion by α-amylase, offering great potential as dietary fibers.

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Enzymatic extraction of fucoxanthin from brown seaweeds.

Shannon, E. & Abu‐Ghannam, N. (2018). International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 53(9), 2195-2204.

Brown seaweeds contain a number of bioactive compounds. The xanthophyll, fucoxanthin, has in vivo efficacy against disorders such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. Organic solvents are traditionally employed to extract fucoxanthin, but carry a toxic chemical and environmental burden. The aim of this study was to optimise a fucoxanthin extraction method using enzymes, water, low‐temperature dehydration and mechanical blending, to produce yields comparable to those achieved with an organic solvent (acetone). Response surface methodology was applied, using Fucus vesiculosus as a model species. A fucoxanthin yield of 0.657 mg g-1. (dry mass) was obtained from F. vesiculosus blade using the enzymatic method, equivalent to 94% of the acetone‐extracted yield. Optimum extraction parameters were determined to be enzyme‐to‐water ratio 0.52%, seaweed‐to‐water ratio 5.37% and enzyme incubation time 3.05 h. These findings may be applied to the development of value‐added nutraceutical products from seaweed.

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Characterization of the Paenibacillus beijingensis DSM 24997 GtfD and its glucan polymer products representing a new glycoside hydrolase 70 subfamily of 4,6-α-glucanotransferase enzymes.

Gangoiti, J., Lamothe, L., van Leeuwen, S. S., Vafiadi, C. & Dijkhuizen, L. (2017). PloS One, 12(4), e0172622.

Previously we have reported that the Gram-negative bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum NCIMB 8003 uses the 4,6-α-glucanotransferase GtfD to convert maltodextrins and starch into a reuteran-like polymer consisting of (α1→4) glucan chains connected by alternating (α1→4)/(α1→6) linkages and (α1→4,6) branching points. This enzyme constituted the single evidence for this reaction and product specificity in the GH70 family, mostly containing glucansucrases encoded by lactic acid bacteria ( In this work, 4 additional GtfD-like proteins were identified in taxonomically diverse plant-associated bacteria forming a new GH70 subfamily with intermediate characteristics between the evolutionary related GH13 and GH70 families. The GtfD enzyme encoded by Paenibacillus beijingensis DSM 24997 was characterized providing the first example of a reuteran-like polymer synthesizing 4,6-α-glucanotransferase in a Gram-positive bacterium. Whereas the A. chroococcum GtfD activity on amylose resulted in the synthesis of a high molecular polymer, in addition to maltose and other small oligosaccharides, two reuteran-like polymer distributions are produced by P. beijingensis GtfD: a high-molecular mass polymer and a low-molecular mass polymer with an average Mw of 27 MDa and 19 kDa, respectively. Compared to the A. chroooccum GtfD product, both P. beijingensis GtfD polymers contain longer linear (α1→4) sequences in their structure reflecting a preference for transfer of even longer glucan chains by this enzyme. Overall, this study provides new insights into the evolutionary history of GH70 enzymes, and enlarges the diversity of natural enzymes that can be applied for modification of the starch present in food into less and/or more slowly digestible carbohydrate structures.

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Spatial division of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and nitrate reductase activity and its regulation by cytokinins in CAM-induced leaves of Guzmania monostachia (Bromeliaceae).

Pereira, P. N., Purgatto, E. & Mercier, H. (2013). Journal of Plant Physiology, 170(12), 1067-1074.

Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a physiological adaptation of plants that live in stress environment conditions. A good model of CAM modulation is the epiphytic bromeliad, Guzmania monostachia, which switches between two photosynthetic pathways (C3–CAM) in response to different environmental conditions, such as light stress and water availability. Along the leaf length a gradient of acidity can be observed when G. Monostachia plants are kept under water deficiency. Previous studies showed that the apical portions of the leaves present higher expression of CAM, while the basal regions exhibit lower expression of this photosynthetic pathway. The present study has demonstrated that it is possible to induce the CAM pathway in detached leaves of G. monostachia kept under water deficit for 7 d. Also, it was evaluated whether CAM expression can be modulated in detached leaves of Guzmania and whether some spatial separation between NO3- reduction and CO2 fixation occurs in basal and apical portions of the leaf. In addition, we analyzed the involvement of endogenous cytokinins (free and ribosylated forms) as possible signal modulating both NO3- reduction and CO2 fixation along the leaf blade of this bromeliad. Besides demonstrating a clear spatial and functional separation of carbon and nitrogen metabolism along G. monostachia leaves, the results obtained also indicated a probable negative correlation between endogenous free cytokinins – zeatin (Z) and isopentenyladenine (iP) – concentration and PEPC activity in the apical portions of G. monostachia leaves kept under water deficit. On the other hand, a possible positive correlation between endogenous Z and iP levels and NR activity in basal portions of drought-exposed and control leaves was verified. Together with the observations presented above, results obtained with exogenous cytokinins treatments, strongly suggest that free cytokinins might act as a stimulatory signal involved in NR activity regulation and as a negative regulator of PEPC activity in CAM-induced leaves of G. monostachia during a diel cycle.

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Engineering starch accumulation by manipulation of phosphate metabolism of starch.

Weise, S. E., Aung, K., Jarou, Z. J., Mehrshahi, P., Li, Z., Hardy, A. C., Carr, D. J. & Sharkey, T. D. (2012). Plant Biotechnology Journal, 10(5), 545-554.

A new understanding of leaf starch degradation has emerged in the last 10 years. It has been shown that starch phosphorylation and dephosphorylation are critical components of this process. Glucan, water dikinase (GWD) (and phosphoglucan, water dikinase) adds phosphate to starch, and phosphoglucan phosphatase (SEX4) removes these phosphates. To explore the use of this metabolism to manipulate starch accumulation, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants were engineered by introducing RNAi constructs designed to reduce expression of AtGWD and AtSEX4. The timing of starch build-up was altered with ethanol-inducible and senescence-induced gene promoters. Ethanol induction of RNAi lines reduced transcript for AtGWD and AtSEX4 by 50%. The transgenic lines had seven times more starch than wild type at the end of the dark period but similar growth rates and total biomass. Elevated leaf starch content in maize leaves was engineered by making an RNAi construct against a gene in maize that appeared to be homologous to AtGWD. The RNAi construct was expressed using the constitutive ubiquitin promoter. Leaf starch content at the end of a night period in engineered maize plants was 20-fold higher than in untransformed plants with no impact on total plant biomass. We conclude that plants can be engineered to accumulate starch in the leaves with little impact on vegetative biomass.

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Increasing the energy density of vegetative tissues by diverting carbon from starch to oil biosynthesis in transgenic Arabidopsis.

Sanjaya, Durrett, T. P., Weise, S. E. & Benning, C. (2011). Plant Biotechnology Journal, 9(8), 874-883.

Increasing the energy density of biomass by engineering the accumulation of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in vegetative tissues is synergistic with efforts to produce biofuels by conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. Typically, TAG accumulates in developing seeds, and little is known about the regulatory mechanisms and control factors preventing oil biosynthesis in vegetative tissues in most plants. Here, we engineered Arabidopsis thaliana to ectopically overproduce the transcription factor WRINKLED1 (WRI1) involved in the regulation of seed oil biosynthesis. Furthermore, we reduced the expression of APS1 encoding a major catalytic isoform of the small subunit of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase involved in starch biosynthesis using an RNAi approach. The resulting AGPRNAi-WRI1 lines accumulated less starch and more hexoses. In addition, these lines produced 5.8-fold more oil in vegetative tissues than plants with WRI1 or AGPRNAi alone. Abundant oil droplets were visible in vegetative tissues. TAG molecular species contained long-chain fatty acids, similar to those found in seed oils. In AGPRNAi-WRI1 lines, the relative expression level of sucrose synthase 2 was considerably elevated and correlated with the level of sugars. The relative expression of the genes encoding plastidic proteins involved in de novo fatty acid synthesis, biotin carboxyl carrier protein isoform 2 and acyl carrier protein 1, was also elevated. The relative contribution of TAG compared to starch to the overall energy density increased 9.5-fold in one AGPRNAi-WRI1 transgenic line consistent with altered carbon partitioning from starch to oil.

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Nitrogen metabolism in leaves of a tank epiphytic bromeliad: Characterization of a spatial and functional division.

Takahashi, C. A. & Mercier, H. (2011). Journal of Plant Physiology, 168(11), 1208-1216.

The leaf is considered the most important vegetative organ of tank epiphytic bromeliads due to its ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients. However, little is known about the physiological characteristics of nutrient uptake and assimilation. In order to better understand the mechanisms utilized by some tank epiphytic bromeliads to optimize the nitrogen acquisition and assimilation, a study was proposed to verify the existence of a differential capacity to assimilate nitrogen in different leaf portions. The experiments were conducted using young plants of Vriesea gigantea. A nutrient solution containing NO3-/NH4+ or urea as the sole nitrogen source was supplied to the tank of these plants and the activities of urease, nitrate reductase (NR), glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate dehydrogenase (NADH-GDH) were quantified in apical and basal leaf portions after 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 48 h. The endogenous ammonium and urea contents were also analyzed. Independent of the nitrogen sources utilized, NR and urease activities were higher in the basal portions of leaves in all the period analyzed. On the contrary, GS and GDH activities were higher in apical part. It was also observed that the endogenous ammonium and urea had the highest contents detected in the basal region. These results suggest that the basal portion was preferentially involved in nitrate reduction and urea hydrolysis, while the apical region could be the main area responsible for ammonium assimilation through the action of GS and GDH activities. Moreover, it was possible to infer that ammonium may be transported from the base, to the apex of the leaves. In conclusion, it was suggested that a spatial and functional division in nitrogen absorption and NH4+ assimilation between basal and apical leaf areas exists, ensuring that the majority of nitrogen available inside the tank is quickly used by bromeliad's leaves.

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Hydrolysis of amylopectin by amylolytic enzymes: level of inner chain attack as an important analytical differentiation criterion.

Goesaert, H., Bijttebier, A. & Delcour, J. A. (2010). Carbohydrate Research, 345(3), 397-401.

Differences in amylase action pattern on amylopectin were demonstrated by the relation between the decrease in potassium iodide–iodine binding of waxy maize starch and the increase in reducing value during hydrolysis, as expressed by the RV80 value (i.e., the reducing value for a potassium iodide–iodine binding value of 80% of that of the starting material). In the initial stages of the hydrolysis, the ratio of the increase in the level of reducing polysaccharides to the increase in the total level of reducing sugars formed during amylolysis of amylopectin can be considered as a measure of the level of inner chain attack (LICA) in the overall hydrolysis of the amylopectin structure and correlated with the respective RV80 value. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens α-amylase and Aspergillus oryzae α-amylase, with the lowest RV80 and the highest LICA values, hydrolysed the inner chains of amylopectin to a greater extent than did porcine pancreatic α-amylase. In the initial stages of hydrolysis, Bacillus stearothermophilus maltogenic amylase, like the Bacillus cereus β-amylase, did not display any significant degree of internal hydrolysis of amylopectin, in line with the high RV80 and very low LICA values for these enzymes. However, at the later stages of hydrolysis, the maltogenic amylase probably exhibited a significant degree of internal hydrolysis of amylopectin, which itself seems to depend on temperature. The temperature dependence of the hydrolysis pattern of this enzyme is relevant for interpretation of its action as antifirming enzyme in bread-making applications.

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