Hierarchically structured flower leaves (petals) of many plants are superhydrophobic, but water droplets do not roll-off when the surfaces are tilted. On such surfaces water droplets are in the “Cassie impregnating wetting state”, which is also known as the “petal effect”. By analyzing the petal surfaces of different species, we discovered interesting new wetting characteristics of the surface of the flower of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor). This surface is superhydrophobic with a static contact angle of 169° and very low hysteresis, i.e., the petal effect does not exist and water droplets roll-off as from a lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf. However, the surface of the wild pansy petal does not possess the wax crystals of the lotus leaf. Its petals exhibit high cone-shaped cells (average size 40 µm) with a high aspect ratio (2.1) and a very fine cuticular folding (width 260 nm) on top. The applied water droplets are in the Cassie–Baxter wetting state and roll-off at inclination angles below 5°. Fabricated hydrophobic polymer replicas of the wild pansy were prepared in an easy two-step moulding process and possess the same wetting characteristics as the original flowers. In this work we present a technical surface with a new superhydrophobic, low adhesive surface design, which combines the hierarchical structuring of petals with a wetting behavior similar to that of the lotus leaf.
anti-adhesive; petal effect; petal structures; polymer replication; superhydrophobic
The emerging field of biomimetics allows one to mimic biology or nature to develop nanomaterials, nanodevices, and processes which provide desirable properties. Hierarchical structures with dimensions of features ranging from the macroscale to the nanoscale are extremely common in nature and possess properties of interest. There are a large number of objects including bacteria, plants, land and aquatic animals, and seashells with properties of commercial interest. Certain plant leaves, such as lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaves, are known to be superhydrophobic and self-cleaning due to the hierarchical surface roughness and presence of a wax layer. In addition to a self-cleaning effect, these surfaces with a high contact angle and low contact angle hysteresis also exhibit low adhesion and drag reduction for fluid flow. An aquatic animal, such as a shark, is another model from nature for the reduction of drag in fluid flow. The artificial surfaces inspired from the shark skin and lotus leaf have been created, and in this article the influence of structure on drag reduction efficiency is reviewed. Biomimetic-inspired oleophobic surfaces can be used to prevent contamination of the underwater parts of ships by biological and organic contaminants, including oil. The article also reviews the wetting behavior of oil droplets on various superoleophobic surfaces created in the lab.
aquatic animals; biomimetics; drag; lotus plants; shark skin; superhydrophobicity; superoleophobicity
The wetting properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have generated worldwide research interest. A water drop on these surfaces forms a nearly perfect spherical pearl. Superhydrophobic materials hold considerable promise for potential applications ranging from self cleaning surfaces, completely water impermeable textiles to low cost energy displacement of liquids in lab-on-chip devices. However, the dynamic modification of the liquid droplets behavior and in particular of their wetting properties on these surfaces is still a challenging issue. In this review, after a brief overview on superhydrophobic states definition, the techniques leading to the modification of wettability behavior on superhydrophobic surfaces under specific conditions: optical, magnetic, mechanical, chemical, thermal are discussed. Finally, a focus on electrowetting is made from historical phenomenon pointed out some decades ago on classical planar hydrophobic surfaces to recent breakthrough obtained on superhydrophobic surfaces.
Microfluidic; Superhydrophobic surfaces; Wettability switching; Electrowetting
Background and Aims
The waxy cuticle is the first point of contact for many herbivorous and pathogenic organisms on rose plants. Previous studies have reported the average composition of the combined wax extract from both sides of rose leaves. Recently, the compositions of the waxes on the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of Rosa canina leaves were determined separately. In this paper, a first report is made on the compositions of the epicuticular and intracuticular wax layers of Rosa canina leaves. The methods described enable the determination of which compounds are truly available at the surface for plant–organism interactions.
An adhesive was used to mechanically strip the epicuticular wax from the adaxial leaf surface and the removal was visually confirmed using scanning electron microscopy. After the epicuticular wax had been removed, the intracuticular wax was then isolated using standard chemical extraction. Gas chromatography, flame ionization detection and mass spectrometry were used to identify and quantify compounds in the separated wax mixtures.
The epicuticular wax contained higher concentrations of alkanes and alkyl esters but lower concentrations of primary alcohols and alkenols when compared to the intracuticular wax. In addition, the average chain lengths of these compound classes were higher in the epicuticular wax. Secondary alcohols were found only in the epicuticular layer while triterpenoids were restricted mainly to the intracuticular wax.
A gradient exists between the composition of the epi- and intracuticular wax layers of Rosa canina leaves. This gradient may result from polarity differences, in part caused by differences in chain lengths. The outer wax layer accessible to the phyllosphere showed a unique composition of wax compounds. The ecological consequences from such a gradient may now be probed.
Cuticular wax; Rosa canina leaves; surface composition; triterpenoids; alkanes; epicuticular; intracuticular
Structurally modified superhydrophobic surfaces have become particularly desirable as stable antibacterial surfaces. Because their self-cleaning and water resistant properties prohibit bacteria growth, structurally modified superhydrophobic surfaces obviate bacterial resistance common with chemical agents, and therefore a robust and stable means to prevent bacteria growth is possible. In this study, we present a rapid fabrication method for creating such superhydrophobic surfaces in consumer hard plastic materials with resulting antibacterial effects. To replace complex fabrication materials and techniques, the initial mold is made with commodity shrink-wrap film and is compatible with large plastic roll-to-roll manufacturing and scale-up techniques. This method involves a purely structural modification free of chemical additives leading to its inherent consistency over time and successive recasting from the same molds. Finally, antibacterial properties are demonstrated in polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), and polyethylene (PE) by demonstrating the prevention of gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria growth on our structured plastic surfaces.
We present here the first results on the self-assembly of tubules of natural wax from lotus leaves on a single crystal Au(111) surface. A comparison of the tubule growth on Au(111) to that on HOPG is discussed. Although the tubule formation on both Au(111) and HOPG takes place on an intermediate wax film which should mask the substrate properties, the tubule orientations differ. In contrast to a vertical tubule orientation on HOPG, the tubules lie flat on Au(111). Taking into account the physical properties of HOPG and Au(111), we put forward a hypothesis which can explain the different tubule orientations on both substrates.
AFM; Au(111); lotus wax
Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf has been used to treat obesity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects of lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Four week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups with 8 rats in each group for a period of 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract, HFL group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract + taurine, HFLT group). Lotus leaf hot water extract was orally administrated to HFL and HFLT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered (400 mg/kg/day) to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v).
The body weight gain and relative weights of epididymal and retroperitoneal adipose tissues were significantly lower in N, HFL and HFLT groups compared to HF group. HFL and HFLT groups showed lower concentrations of total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in serum. HFLT group showed higher the ratio of high density lipoprotein cholesterol/total cholesterol compared to HFL group. HFLT group showed better blood lipid profiles compared to HFL group.
Lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation showed antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats, which was more effective than lotus leaf hot water extract alone.
Superhydrophobic surfaces of plants and animals are of great interest for biomimetic applications. Whereas the self-cleaning properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have been extensively investigated, their ability to retain an air film while submerged under water has not, in the past, received much attention. Nevertheless, air retaining surfaces are of great economic and ecological interest because an air film can reduce friction of solid bodies sliding through the water. This opens perspectives for biomimetic applications such as low friction fluid transport or friction reduction on ship hulls. For such applications the durability of the air film is most important. While the air film on most superhydrophobic surfaces usually lasts no longer than a few days, a few semi-aquatic plants and insects are able to hold an air film over a longer time period. Currently, we found high air film persistence under hydrostatic conditions for the elytra of the backswimmer Notonecta glauca which we therefore have chosen for further investigations. In this study, we compare the micro- and nanostructure of selected body parts (sternites, upper side of elytra, underside of elytra) in reference to their air retaining properties. Our investigations demonstrate outstanding air film persistence of the upper side of the elytra of Notonecta glauca under hydrostatic and hydrodynamic conditions. This hierarchically structured surface was able to hold a complete air film under hydrostatic conditions for longer than 130 days while on other body parts with simple structures the air film showed gaps (underside of elytra) or even vanished completely after a few days (sternites). Moreover, the upper side of the elytra was able to keep an air film up to flow velocities of 5 m/s. Obviously the complex surface structure with tiny dense microtrichia and two types of larger specially shaped setae is relevant for this outstanding ability. Besides high air film persistence, the observation of a considerable fluid velocity directly at the air–water interface indicates the ability to reduce friction significantly. The combination of these two abilities makes these hierarchically structured surfaces extremely interesting as a biomimetic model for low friction fluid transport or drag reduction on ship hulls.
air film; aquatic insects; backswimmer; drag reduction; superhydrophobic surfaces
The mobility of drops on surfaces is important in many biological and industrial processes, but the phenomena governing their adhesion, which is dictated by the morphology of the three-phase contact line, remain unclear. Here we describe a technique for measuring the dynamic behaviour of the three-phase contact line at micron length scales using environmental scanning electron microscopy. We examine a superhydrophobic surface on which a drop’s adhesion is governed by capillary bridges at the receding contact line. We measure the microscale receding contact angle of each bridge and show that the Gibbs criterion is satisfied at the microscale. We reveal a hitherto unknown self-similar depinning mechanism that shows how some hierarchical textures such as lotus leaves lead to reduced pinning, and counter-intuitively, how some lead to increased pinning. We develop a model to predict adhesion force and experimentally verify the model’s broad applicability on both synthetic and natural textured surfaces.
The motion of liquid drops on surfaces is governed by adhesion forces, but the microscopic mechanism is unclear. Paxson et al. image the dynamic distortion of the edge of a droplet as it moves across a surface, allowing them to predict the wetting ability of different hierarchically textured surfaces.
We present a facile and inexpensive approach to superhydrophobic polymer coatings. The method involves the in-situ polymerization of common monomers in the presence of a porogenic solvent to afford superhydrophobic surfaces with the desired combination of micro- and nano-scale roughness. The method is applicable to a variety of substrates and is not limited to small areas or flat surfaces. The polymerized material can be ground into a superhydrophobic powder, which, once applied to a surface, renders it superhydrophobic. The morphology of the porous polymer structure can be efficiently controlled by composition of the polymerization mixture, while surface chemistry can be adjusted by photografting. Morphology control is used to reduce the globule size of the porous architecture from micro down to nanoscale thereby affording a transparent material. The influence of both surface chemistry as well as the length scale of surface roughness on the superhydrophobicity is discussed.
Porous Polymer; Superhydrophobic; Superhydrophilic; Transparency; Photografting; Surface Modification; Superhydrophobicity; Superhydrophobic surface; Polymer monolith; Porous polymer coating
Background and Aims
The morphology of the epicuticular leaf waxes of Wollemia nobilis (Araucariaceae) was studied with special emphasis on the relationship between the microstructure of epicuticular wax crystals and their chemical composition. Wollemia nobilis is a unique coniferous tree of the family Araucariaceae and is of very high scientific value as it is the sole living representative of an ancient genus, which until 1994 was known only from fossils.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), gas chromatography (GC) combined with mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) were used for characterizing the morphology and the chemical structure of the epicuticular wax layer of W. nobilis needles.
The main component of the leaf epicuticular wax of W. nobilis is nonacosan-10-ol. This secondary alcohol together with nonacosane diols is responsible for the tubular habit of the epicuticular wax crystals. Scanning electron micrographs revealed differences in the fine structure of adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces that could be explained by gas chromatographic studies after selective mechanical removal of the waxes.
SEM investigations established the tubular crystalline microstructure of the epicuticular wax of W. nobilis leaves. GC–MS and NMR experiments showed that nonacosan-10-ol is the major constituent of the epicuticular wax of W. nobilis leaves.
Wollemia nobilis; epicuticular wax; nonacosan-10-ol; nonacosane diols; SEM
A bio-inspired approach for superhydrophobic surface modification was investigated. Hydrophilic conversion of the superhydrophobic surface was easily achieved through this method, and the superhydrophobic-hydrophilic alternating surface was generated by the method combined with soft-lithography. The resulting patterned surface showed high water adhesion property in addition to superhydrophobic property.
Superhydrophobicity; Surface modification; Bio-inspired coating; Soft-lithography; High-water adhesion
This work reports an oriented growth process of two-dimensional (2D) ZnO nanoflakes on aluminum substrate through a low temperature hydrothermal technique and proposes the preliminary growth mechanism. A bionic superhydrophobic surface with excellent corrosion protection over a wide pH range in both acidic and alkaline solutions was constructed by a chemical coating treatment with stearic acid (SA) molecules on ZnO nanoflakes. It is found that the superhydrophobic surface of ZnO nanoflake arrays shows a maximum water contact angle (CA) of 157° and a low sliding angle of 8°, and it can be reversibly switched to its initial superhydrophilic state under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, which is due to the UV-induced decomposition of the coated SA molecules. This study is significant for simple and inexpensive building of large-scale 2D ZnO nanoflake arrays with special wettability which can extend the applications of ZnO films to many other important fields.
ZnO nanoflakes; Chemical coating; Superhydrophobic; Corrosion protection; UV irradiation
Superhydrophobic nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (alumina) surfaces were prepared using treatment with vapor-phase hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS). Nanoporous alumina substrates were first made using a two-step anodization process. Subsequently, a repeated modification procedure was employed for efficient incorporation of the terminal methyl groups of HMDS to the alumina surface. Morphology of the surfaces was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, showing hexagonally ordered circular nanopores with approximately 250 nm in diameter and 300 nm of interpore distances. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance analysis showed the presence of chemically bound methyl groups on the HMDS-modified nanoporous alumina surfaces. Wetting properties of these surfaces were characterized by measurements of the water contact angle which was found to reach 153.2 ± 2°. The contact angle values on HMDS-modified nanoporous alumina surfaces were found to be significantly larger than the average water contact angle of 82.9 ± 3° on smooth thin film alumina surfaces that underwent the same HMDS modification steps. The difference between the two cases was explained by the Cassie-Baxter theory of rough surface wetting.
superhydrophobic surfaces; surface modification; hexamethyldisilazane; nanoporous alumina
Fabrication of superhydrophobic surfaces has attracted much interest in the past decade. The fabrication methods that have been studied are chemical vapour deposition, the sol-gel method, etching technique, electrochemical deposition, the layer-by-layer deposition, and so on. Simple and inexpensive methods for manufacturing environmentally stable superhydrophobic surfaces have also been proposed lately. However, work referring to the influence of special structures on the wettability, such as hierarchical ZnO nanostructures, is rare.
This study presents a simple and reproducible method to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface with micro-scale roughness based on zinc oxide (ZnO) hierarchical structure, which is grown by the hydrothermal method with an alkaline aqueous solution. Coral-like structures of ZnO were fabricated on a glass substrate with a micro-scale roughness, while the antennas of the coral formed the nano-scale roughness. The fresh ZnO films exhibited excellent superhydrophilicity (the apparent contact angle for water droplet was about 0°), while the ability to be wet could be changed to superhydrophobicity after spin-coating Teflon (the apparent contact angle greater than 168°). The procedure reported here can be applied to substrates consisting of other materials and having various shapes.
The new process is convenient and environmentally friendly compared to conventional methods. Furthermore, the hierarchical structure generates the extraordinary solid/gas/liquid three-phase contact interface, which is the essential characteristic for a superhydrophobic surface.
Analytical protocol greatly influences measurement of human-serum albumin (HSA) adsorption to commercial expanded polytetrafluororethylene (ePTFE) exhibiting superhydrophobic wetting properties. Degassing of buffer solutions and evacuation of ePTFE adsorbent to remove trapped air immediately prior to contact with protein solutions are shown to be essential. Results obtained with ePTFE as a prototypical superhydrophobic test material suggest that vacuum degassing should be applied in the measurement of protein adsorption to any surface exhibiting superhydrophobicity. Solution depletion quantified using radiometry (I-125 labeled HSA) or electrophoresis yield different measures of adsorption, with nearly four-fold higher surface concentrations of unlabeled HSA measured by the electrophoresis method. This outcome is attributed to the influence of the radiolabel on HSA hydrophilicity which decreases radiolabeled-HSA affinity for a hydrophobic adsorbent in comparison to unlabeled HSA. These results indicate that radiometry underestimates the actual amount of protein adsorbed to a particular material. Removal of radiolabeled HSA adsorbed to ePTFE by 3X serial buffer rinses also shows that the remaining “bound fraction” was about 35% lower than the amount measured by radiometric depletion. This observation implies that measurement of protein bound after surface rinsing significantly underestimates the actual amount of protein concentrated by adsorption into the surface region of a protein-contacting material.
Protein adsorption; interphase; surface; radiometry; depletion
After comprehensive study of various superhydrophobic phenomena in nature, it is no longer a puzzle for researchers to realize such fetching surfaces. However, the different types of artificial surfaces may get wetted and lose its water repellence if there exist defects or the liquid is under pressure. With respect to the industry applications, in which the resistance of wetting transition is critical important, new nanostructure satisfied a certain geometric criterion should be designed to hold a stable gas film at the base area to avoid the wet transition.
A thermal deposition method was utilized to produce a thin ZnO seeds membrane on the aluminum foil. And then a chemical self-assemble technology was developed in present work to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical dune-like ZnO architecture based on the prepared seeds membrane.
Hierarchical ZnO with micro scale dune-like structure and core-sharing nanosheets was generated. The characterization results showed that there exist plenty of gaps and interfaces among the micro-dune and nanosheets, and thus the surface area was enlarged by such a unique morphology. Benefited from this unique 3D ZnO hierarchical nanostructure, the obtained surface exhibited stable water repellency after modification with Teflon, and furthermore, based on solid theory analysis, such 3D ZnO nanostructure would exhibit excellent sensing performance.
Zizyphus lotus L. (Desf.) also known as Jujube, is a deciduous shrub which belongs to Rhamnaceae family. This plant is used in Algerian traditional medicine for its anti-diabetic, sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and hypoglycaemic activities. In the present study, we determined the concentrations of different vitamins (vitamin A, C and E) and fatty acids in root, stem, leaves, fruit pulp and seed of Zizyphus lotus L. (Desf.) and assessed the effects of their aqueous extracts on antioxidant status and human T-cell proliferation.
Aqueous filtrates from different parts, i.e, root, leaf, stem, fruit pulp and seed, of Zizyphus lotus L. (Desf.) were prepared. Vitamin C levels were determined by precipitating with 10% trichloroacetic acid and vitamin A and E were assessed by HPLC. Lipid composition of these extracts was determined by gas-liquid chromatography. Anti-oxidant capacity was evaluated by using anti-radical resistance kit [Kit Radicaux Libres (KRL@; Kirial International SA, Couternon, France)]. T-cell blastogenesis was assessed by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine. IL-2 gene expression was evaluated by RT-qPCR.
Our results show that fruit pulp contained higher vitamin A and C contents than other parts of the plant. Furthermore, the fruit pulp was the richest source of linoleic acid (18:2n-6), a precursor of n-6 fatty acids. Fruit seeds possessed higher vitamin C levels than leaves, roots and stem. The leaves were the richest source of vitamin E and linolenic acid (18:3n-3), a precursor of n-3 fatty acids. The antioxidant capacity of the different extracts, measured by KRL@ test, was as follows: pulp < seed
Seed extracts exerted the most potent immunosuppressive effects on T cell proliferation and IL-2 mRNA expression. The results of the present study are discussed in the light of their use to modulate the immune-mediated diseases.
In the Equisetopsida, different wax distribution and composition patterns in the plant organs indicate a close relationship between wax structure and chemistry and the assimilatory function of these organs. Diverging wax compound classes show the two subgenera of Equisetum to be well separated.
Background and aims
Only few data on the epicuticular waxes (EWs) of horsetails are available. This contribution therefore focuses on the wax micromorphology and chemical composition of Equisetum species of the subgenera Equisetum and Hippochaete.
Distribution patterns and structural details of EW on the shoots were studied by scanning electron microscopy. After extraction with chloroform, the chemical composition of wax isolates was analysed by gas chromatography.
Epicuticular wax crystals were non-oriented platelets or membraneous platelets. They were usually located on subsidiary cells of stomata and adjacent cells. Other parts of the shoots were covered mainly with a smooth wax film or small granules only. The chemical constituents found were alkanes, esters, aldehydes, primary alcohols and free fatty acids in a range of C20–C36 (in esters C36–C56). All species of the subgenus Hippochaete showed a similar pattern of fractions with high percentages of alkanes and aldehydes, whereas the subgenus Equisetum species had distinctly different wax compositions. Extracts from the internodes—surfaces without well-developed EW crystals and only few stomata—showed the lowest contents of aldehydes.
The covering with EW crystals will provide unhindered gas exchange and, combined with intracuticular wax, may prevent excess water loss during winter in the evergreen shoots of the subgenus Hippochaete. The results indicate that the Equisetum wax micromorphology and biosynthesis are comparable to EW of other pteridophyte classes and mosses.
This work looks at the fundamental question of how the surface mobility of drops in the composite state is related to the size scale of the roughness features of the surface. To this end, relevant literature is first reviewed and the important terms are clarified. We then describe and discuss contact and roll-off angle measurements on a set of hydrophobicized silicon post surfaces for which all parameters except for the surface size scale were held constant. It was found that a critical transition from “sticky superhydrophobic” (composite state with large contact angle hysteresis) to “truly superhydrophobic” (composite state with low hysteresis) takes place as the size of the surface features reaches 1 μm.
contact angle; hysteresis; superhydrophobic; wetting
Nelumbo nucifera, known as sacred lotus, is a well-known medicinal plant and this lotus root is commonly used as food compared to different parts of this plant. This study was conducted to investigate the antioxidant and hepatic protective effects of lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats (4-week-old) were randomly divided into four groups (n=8) for 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract, HFR group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract + taurine, HFRT group). Lotus root hot water extract was orally administrated (400mg/kg/day) to HFR and HFRT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v).
The activities of glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and glutamate pyruvate transaminase in serum were lower in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance contents in all groups fed a high fat diet were higher compared to N group. The activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes were higher in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group.
These results suggest that lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation shows antioxidant and hepatic protective effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
The cuticle, a hydrophobic protective layer on the aerial parts of terrestrial plants, functions as a versatile defensive barrier to various biotic and abiotic stresses and also regulates water flow from the external environment.1 A biopolyester (cutin) and long-chain fatty acids (waxes) form the principal structural framework of the cuticle; the functional integrity of the cuticular layer depends on the outer 'epicuticular' layer as well as the blend consisting of the cutin biopolymer and 'intracuticular' waxes.2 Herein, we describe a comprehensive protocol to extract waxes exhaustively from commercial tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit cuticles or to remove epicuticular and intracuticular waxes sequentially and selectively from the cuticle composite. The method of Jetter and Schäffer (2001) was adapted for the stepwise extraction of epicuticular and intracuticular waxes from the fruit cuticle.3,4 To monitor the process of sequential wax removal, solid-state cross-polarization magic-angle-spinning (CPMAS) 13C NMR spectroscopy was used in parallel with atomic force microscopy (AFM), providing molecular-level structural profiles of the bulk materials complemented by information on the microscale topography and roughness of the cuticular surfaces. To evaluate the cross-linking capabilities of dewaxed cuticles from cultivated wild-type and single-gene mutant tomato fruits, MAS 13C NMR was used to compare the relative proportions of oxygenated aliphatic (CHO and CH2O) chemical moieties.
Exhaustive dewaxing by stepwise Soxhlet extraction with a panel of solvents of varying polarity provides an effective means to isolate wax moieties based on the hydrophobic characteristics of their aliphatic and aromatic constituents, while preserving the chemical structure of the cutin biopolyester. The mechanical extraction of epicuticular waxes and selective removal of intracuticular waxes, when monitored by complementary physical methodologies, provides an unprecedented means to investigate the cuticle assembly: this approach reveals the supramolecular organization and structural integration of various types of waxes, the architecture of the cutin-wax matrix, and the chemical composition of each constituent. In addition, solid-state 13C NMR reveals differences in the relative numbers of CHO and CH2O chemical moieties for wild-type and mutant red ripe tomato fruits. The NMR techniques offer exceptional tools to fingerprint the molecular structure of cuticular materials that are insoluble, amorphous, and chemically heterogeneous. As a noninvasive surface-selective imaging technique, AFM furnishes an effective and direct means to probe the structural organization of the cuticular assembly on the nm-μm length scale.
Biophysics; Issue 61; Plant Biology; Tomato; cuticle; dewaxing; cutin; solid-state NMR; contact mode AFM
• Background and Aims Lotus japonicus ‘Gifu’ develops multiple axillary shoots in the cotyledonary node region throughout the growth of the plant. The origin, initiation and development of these axillary meristems were investigated.
• Methods Morphological, histological and mRNA in situ analyses were done to characterize the ontogeny of cotyledonary axillary shoot meristems in Lotus. Morphological characterization of a putative Lotus shoot branching mutant (super-accessory branches) sac, is presented.
• Key Results By using expression of an L. japonicus STM-like gene as a marker for meristematic tissues, it was demonstrated that groups of cells maintained in the meristematic state at the cotyledonary axil region coincide with the sites where additional axillary meristems (accessory meristems) form. A Lotus shoot branching mutant, sac, is a putative Lotus branching mutant characterized by increased proliferation of accessory shoots in all leaf axils including the cotyledons.
• Conclusion. In Lotus, axillary shoot meristems continually develop at the cotyledonary node region throughout the growth of the plant. These cotyledonary primary and accessory axillaries arise from the position of a meristematic zone of tissue at the cotyledonary node axil region.
Axillary meristems; accessory meristems; shoot branching; Lotus japonicus; sac
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liver disease of industrialized countries. Thus, discovering food components that can ameliorate NAFLD is of interest. Lotus root, the edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera, contains high levels of polyphenolic compounds, and several health-promoting properties of lotus root have been reported. In this study, we tested whether feeding a polyphenolic extract of lotus root to db/db mice protects them from hepatic steatosis.
After 3 weeks of feeding, the hepatomegaly and hepatic triglyceride accumulation were markedly alleviated in the lotus polyphenol-diet-fed db/db mice relative to the control mice. Although the lipolytic enzyme activity was not changed, the activities of lipogenic enzymes, such as fatty acid synthase and malic enzyme, were significantly lower in the lotus polyphenol diet-fed db/db mice. Additionally, the ESI-IT/MS and MALDI-TOF MS spectra revealed the presence of B-type proanthocyanidin polymers with polymerization degree up to 9 in the polyphenolic lotus root extract.
We speculate that the condensed tannins contained in lotus root can alleviate hepatic steatosis by suppressing the lipogenic enzyme activity in the livers of db/db mice.
Bacteria often infect their hosts from environmental sources, but little is known about how environmental and host-infecting populations are related. Here, phylogenetic clustering and diversity were investigated in a natural community of rhizobial bacteria from the genus Bradyrhizobium. These bacteria live in the soil and also form beneficial root nodule symbioses with legumes, including those in the genus Lotus. Two hundred eighty pure cultures of Bradyrhizobium bacteria were isolated and genotyped from wild hosts, including Lotus angustissimus, Lotus heermannii, Lotus micranthus, and Lotus strigosus. Bacteria were cultured directly from symbiotic nodules and from two microenvironments on the soil-root interface: root tips and mature (old) root surfaces. Bayesian phylogenies of Bradyrhizobium isolates were reconstructed using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), and the structure of phylogenetic relatedness among bacteria was examined by host species and microenvironment. Inoculation assays were performed to confirm the nodulation status of a subset of isolates. Most recovered rhizobial genotypes were unique and found only in root surface communities, where little bacterial population genetic structure was detected among hosts. Conversely, most nodule isolates could be classified into several related, hyper-abundant genotypes that were phylogenetically clustered within host species. This pattern suggests that host infection provides ample rewards to symbiotic bacteria but that host specificity can strongly structure only a small subset of the rhizobial community.
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