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Sample records for cactus opuntia ficus-indicus

  1. Hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia cactus.

    PubMed

    Ibañez-Camacho, R; Roman-Ramos, R

    1979-01-01

    Nopal (Opuntia sp.) has been traditionally used by the Mexican population for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this work is to describe effects produced by directly liquified nopal and extracts from this plant in healthy and pancreatectomized rabbits. Preliminary results allow us to conclude that Opuntia streptacantha, Lemaire, has hypoglycemic properties when orally administered, in animals with experimentally induced diabetes as well as in healthy ones with physiologic hyperglycemia.

  2. Physicochemical characterization of cactus pads from Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia ficus indica.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Lorena Pérez; Flores, Fidel Tejera; Martín, Jacinto Darias; Rodríguez Rodríguez, Elena M; Díaz Romero, Carlos

    2015-12-01

    Physicochemical characteristics (weight, length, width, thickness, moisture, Brix degree, total fiber, protein, ash, pH, acidity, ascorbic acid, total phenolic compounds, P, Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn and Cr) were determined in cactus pads from Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia ficus indica. The physicochemical characteristics of both species were clearly different. There were important differences between the orange and green fruit pulp of O. ficus indica; the cactus pads of O. dillenii could be differentiated according to the region (North and South). Consumption of cactus pads contributes to the intake of dietary fiber, total phenolic compounds, K, Mg, Mn and Cr. Applying factor and/or discriminant analysis, the cactus pad samples were clearly differentiated according to the species, the fruit pulp color and production region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Nopal Cactus (Opuntia Ficus-Indica) as a Holographic Material

    PubMed Central

    Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Toxqui-López, Santa; Padilla-Velasco, Ana L.

    2012-01-01

    The nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) releases a substance through its mucilage, which comes from the degradation of pectic substances and chlorophyll. Combined in a polyvinyl alcohol matrix, this substance can be used as a recording medium. The resulting extract material has excellent photosensitizer properties, is easy to handle, has a low cost, and low toxicity. This material has the property of self-developing, and it can be used in holographic applications. The polyvinyl alcohol and extract from the nopal cactus was deposited by a gravity technique on a glass substrate, which dried to form a photosensitive emulsion. We show experimental results on a holographic grating using this material, written by a He-Cd laser (442 nm). We obtained diffraction gratings by transmission with a diffraction efficiency of approximately 32.3% to first order.

  4. Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts.

    PubMed

    du Toit, Alba; de Wit, Maryna; Hugo, Arno

    2018-04-16

    Mucilage extracted from cactus pear cladodes is a hydrocolloid gum. It is a novel, natural, low-kilojoule, cost-effective texture-modifying ingredient in functional food products. Yet, the cultivar with the most optimal nutrient content and the preferred harvest times are as yet unknown. For this reason, mucilage from three Opuntia ficus-indica (Algerian, Morado and Gymno-Carpo) and one Opuntia robusta (Robusta) cultivar were investigated to determine their nutrient content over six months. Nutrients that contribute energy (10.2 kJ/g) were low. The mineral content was high (ash 17.7/100 g), particularly calcium (3.0 g/100 g) and phosphorous (109.5 mg/kg). Low insoluble acid-detergent fibre (1.4 g/kg) and neutral-detergent fibre (2.1 g/kg) values indicated that mucilage was mostly soluble fibre. Calcium oxalate crystals were not detected in dried mucilage. Opuntia robusta powders had higher protein, extractable fat and potassium content, while Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage powders had higher polyunsaturated (Linoleic and α-Linolenic acid) fat content. O. robusta Robusta mucilage, harvested after the fruit harvest (February) had the lowest energy content and the highest mineral and protein content. Mucilage powders were highly soluble, low-kilojoule and mineral-rich. This is a functional ingredient that is produced from an easily cultivated crop, as cactus pears grow in areas with poor soil, extremely high daytime temperatures and limited water supplies.

  5. Effects of ultrasound treatment in purple cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) juice.

    PubMed

    Zafra-Rojas, Quinatzin Yadira; Cruz-Cansino, Nelly; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther; Delgado-Olivares, Luis; Villanueva-Sánchez, Javier; Alanís-García, Ernesto

    2013-09-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit is a berry with a tasty pulp full of seeds that constitutes about 10-15% of the edible pulp. In Mexico, cactus pear is mainly consumed fresh, but also has the potential to be processed in other products such as juice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different ultrasound conditions at amplitude levels ranging (40% and 60% for 10, 15, 25 min; 80% for 3, 5, 8, 10, 15 and 25 min) on the characteristics of purple cactus pear juice. The evaluated parameters were related with the quality (stability, °Brix, pH), microbial growth, total phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and antioxidant activity (ABTS, DPPH and % chelating activity) of purple cactus pear juices. The ultrasound treatment for time period of 15 and 25 min significantly reduced the microbial count in 15 and 25 min, without affecting the juice quality and its antioxidant properties. Juice treated at 80% of amplitude level showed an increased of antioxidant compounds. Our results demonstrated that sonication is a suitable technique for cactus pear processing. This technology allows the achievement of juice safety and quality standards without compromising the retention of antioxidant compounds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Opuntia ficus-indica f. inermis (cactus pear) flowers.

    PubMed

    Ennouri, Monia; Ammar, Imene; Khemakhem, Bassem; Attia, Hamadi

    2014-08-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica f. inermis (cactus pear) flowers have wide application in folk medicine. However, there are few reports focusing on their biological activity and were no reports on their chemical composition. The nutrient composition and hexane extracts of Opuntia flowers at 4 flowering stages and their antibacterial and antifungal activities were investigated. The chemical composition showed considerable amounts of fiber, protein, and minerals. Potassium (K) was the predominant mineral followed by calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn). The main compounds in the various hexane extracts were 9.12-octadecadienoic acid (29-44%) and hexadecanoic acid (8.6-32%). The antibacterial activity tests showed that O. inermis hexane extracts have high effectiveness against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, making this botanical source a potential contender as a food preservative or food control additive.

  7. Immunoprotective activity and antioxidant properties of cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) extract against chlorpyrifos toxicity in rats.

    PubMed

    Smida, Amani; Ncibi, Saida; Taleb, Jihen; Ben Saad, Anouar; Ncib, Sana; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-04-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is a typical Mediterranean plant, mainly used in food and traditional folk medicine. The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of Opuntia ficus indica extract against chlorpyrifos (CPF)-induced immunotoxicity in rats. The experimental animals consisted of four groups of Wistar rats (5-6 weeks old) of eight each: a control group, a group treated with CPF (10mg/kg), a group treated with Opuntia ficus indica extract (100mg/kg), and a group treated with cactus extract then treated with CPF. These components were daily administered by gavage for 30days. After treatment, immunotoxicity was estimated by a count of thymocytes, splenocytes, stem cells in the bone marrow, relative weights of thymus and spleen, DNA aspects, and oxidative stress status in these organs. Results showed that CPF could induce thymus atrophy, splenomegaly, and a decrease in the cell number in the bone marrow. It also increased the oxidative stress markers resulting in elevated levels of the lipid peroxidation with a concomitant decrease in the levels of enzymatic antioxidants (SOD, CAT, GPx) in both spleen and thymus, and also degradation of thymocyte and splenocyte DNA. Consistent histological changes were found in the spleen and thymus under CPF treatment. However, administration of Opuntia ficus indica extract was found to alleviate this CPF-induced damage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Phytochemicals, nutritionals and antioxidant properties of two prickly pear cactus cultivars (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) growing in Taif, KSA.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Hameed, El-Sayed S; Nagaty, Mohamed A; Salman, Mahmood S; Bazaid, Salih A

    2014-10-01

    The antioxidant properties, some phytochemicals and nutritionals were characterized in two prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) cultivars; red and yellow; growing in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The antioxidant properties of red cactus cultivar were higher than the yellow cactus cultivar. Linear correlation appeared between the antioxidant properties and total phenolics. All samples nearly have the same quantity of iron, copper, sodium and potassium. Some phenolic compounds were detected by HPLC-UV analysis. HPLC-RI analysis of all samples revealed the absence of sucrose and the presence of glucose and fructose. According to the above results, this study gave a good indication about the nutritional and pharmaceutical potential of the two cactus cultivars that must be widespread cultivated in arid and semiarid regions as KSA accompanying with establishment of industries beside the cactus farms that used all parts of plants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Impact of cooking process on nutritional composition and antioxidants of cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    De Santiago, Elsy; Domínguez-Fernández, Maite; Cid, Concepción; De Peña, María-Paz

    2018-02-01

    The impact of cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, griddling and frying in olive and soybean oils) on nutritional composition (protein, minerals, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, fatty acid profile and energy), antioxidant capacity and (poly)phenolic compounds of cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica) was evaluated. Culinary processes, except boiling, increased soluble and insoluble fibre up to 5.0g/100g becoming a good fibre source. Cactus cladodes fried in olive oil showed a healthier fatty acid profile and lower ω-6/ω-3 ratio than in soybean oil. Flavonoids accounted for 80% of total (poly)phenolic compounds, being isorhamnetin the most abundant. Heat treatment, particularly griddling and microwaving, increased every flavonoid and phenolic acid up to 3.2-fold higher than in raw samples, and consequently their antioxidant capacity. Even boiling induced losses in total (poly)phenols and antioxidant capacity by leaching into water, the main compounds were maintained. Principal Component Analysis distributed heat treated cactus cladodes according to their distinctive polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) as a source of bioactive compounds for nutrition, health and disease.

    PubMed

    El-Mostafa, Karym; El Kharrassi, Youssef; Badreddine, Asmaa; Andreoletti, Pierre; Vamecq, Joseph; El Kebbaj, M'Hammed Saïd; Latruffe, Norbert; Lizard, Gérard; Nasser, Boubker; Cherkaoui-Malki, Mustapha

    2014-09-17

    Opuntia ficus-indica, commonly referred to as prickly pear or nopal cactus, is a dicotyledonous angiosperm plant. It belongs to the Cactaceae family and is characterized by its remarkable adaptation to arid and semi-arid climates in tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. In the last decade, compelling evidence for the nutritional and health benefit potential of this cactus has been provided by academic scientists and private companies. Notably, its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids has been highlighted through the use of a large panel of extraction methods. The identified natural cactus compounds and derivatives were shown to be endowed with biologically relevant activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial and neuroprotective properties. The present review is aimed at stressing the major classes of cactus components and their medical interest through emphasis on some of their biological effects, particularly those having the most promising expected health benefit and therapeutic impacts.

  11. Cactus cladodes (Opuntia humifusa) extract minimizes the effects of UV irradiation on keratinocytes and hairless mice.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyungmi; Choi, Hyeon-Son; Hong, Yang Hee; Jung, Eun Young; Suh, Hyung Joo

    2017-12-01

    Cactus cladodes [Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf. (Cactaceae)] is one of the cactus genera, which has long been used as a folk medicine for skin disorders. This study investigated the skincare potential of cactus cladodes extract (OHE), including its ability to regulate ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced hyaluronic acid (HA) production. Gene expression levels of hyaluronic acid synthases (HASs) and hyaluronidase (HYAL) were measured in UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells with OHE treatment (10, 25, 50, 100 μg/mL) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The HA content was analyzed in hairless mice (SKH-1, male, 6 weeks old) treated with OHE for 10 weeks by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistological staining were performed to examine epidermal thickness and levels of CD44 and hyaluronic acid-binding protein (HABP). HA synthases (HAS,1 HAS2, HAS3) mRNA levels were increased by 1.9-, 2.2- and 1.6-fold, respectively, with OHE treatment (100 μg/mL), while UVB-induced increase of hyaluronidase mRNA significantly decreased by 35%. HA content in animal was decreased from 42.9 to 27.1 ng/mL by OHE treatment. HAS mRNA levels were decreased by 39%, but HYAL mRNA was increased by 50% in OHE group. CD44 and HABP levels, which were greatly increased by UVB-irradiation, were reduced by 64 and 60%, respectively. Epidermal thickness, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and erythema formation was also decreased by 45 (45.7 to 24.2 μm), 48 (48.8 to 25 g/h/m 2 ) and 33%, respectively. OHE protects skin from UVB-induced skin degeneration in HaCaT cells and hairless mice.

  12. Micromorphology of cactus-pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill) cladodes based on scanning microscopies.

    PubMed

    Ben Salem-Fnayou, Asma; Zemni, Hassène; Nefzaoui, Ali; Ghorbel, Abdelwahed

    2014-01-01

    Cladode ultrastructural features of two prickly and two spineless Opuntia ficus-indica cultivars were examined using environmental scanning electron and atomic force microscopies. Observations focused on cladode as well as spine and glochid surface micromorphologies. Prickly cultivars were characterized by abundant cracked epicuticular wax deposits covering the cladode surface, with an amorphous structure as observed by AFM, while less abundant waxy plates were observed by ESEM on spineless cultivar cladodes. Further AFM observations allowed a rough granular and crystalloid epicuticular wax structure to be distinguished in spineless cultivars. Regarding spine micromorphology, prickly cultivars had strong persistent spines, observed by ESEM as a compact arrangement of oblong epidermal cells with a rough granular structure. However, deciduous spines in spineless cultivars had a broken transversely fissured epidermis covering a parallel arrangement of fibres. Through AFM, the deciduous spine surface presented an irregular hilly and smooth microrelief while persistent spines exhibited rough helical filamentous prints. ESEM and AFM studies of cladode surfaces from prickly and spineless cactus pear cultivars revealed valuable micro-morphological details that ought to be extended to a large number of O. ficus-indica cultivars. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill): anatomy, physiology and chemical composition with emphasis on its biofunctional properties.

    PubMed

    Ventura-Aguilar, Rosa Isela; Bosquez-Molina, Elsa; Bautista-Baños, Silvia; Rivera-Cabrera, Fernando

    2017-12-01

    Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill) is native to Mesoamerica and marketed in different forms such as fresh, frozen or pre-cooked. Worldwide, this vegetable is recognized for its pharmaceutical actions, including its antioxidant, diuretic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties, as well as their antiviral and antispermatogenic effects. However, not all of these properties have been associated with its chemical composition; therefore, this review aims to present and integrate information available on the physiology and anatomy of cactus stem and its chemical composition, focusing on some of the many factors that determine its biofunctionality. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes.

    PubMed

    Albano, Clara; Negro, Carmine; Tommasi, Noemi; Gerardi, Carmela; Mita, Giovanni; Miceli, Antonio; De Bellis, Luigi; Blando, Federica

    2015-04-01

    Betacyanin (betanin), total phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity (by Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays) were investigated in two differently colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) genotypes, one with purple fruit and the other with orange fruit, from the Salento area, in Apulia (South Italy). In order to quantitate betanin in cactus pear fruit extracts (which is difficult by HPLC because of the presence of two isomers, betanin and isobetanin, and the lack of commercial standard with high purity), betanin was purified from Amaranthus retroflexus inflorescence, characterized by the presence of a single isomer. The purple cactus pear variety showed very high betanin content, with higher levels of phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant capacity (TEAC) than the orange variety. These findings confirm the potential for exploiting the autochthonous biodiversity of cactus pear fruits. In particular, the purple variety could be an interesting source of colored bioactive compounds which not only have coloring potential, but are also an excellent source of dietary antioxidant components which may have beneficial effects on consumers' health.

  15. Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Albano, Clara; Negro, Carmine; Tommasi, Noemi; Gerardi, Carmela; Mita, Giovanni; Miceli, Antonio; De Bellis, Luigi; Blando, Federica

    2015-01-01

    Betacyanin (betanin), total phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity (by Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays) were investigated in two differently colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) genotypes, one with purple fruit and the other with orange fruit, from the Salento area, in Apulia (South Italy). In order to quantitate betanin in cactus pear fruit extracts (which is difficult by HPLC because of the presence of two isomers, betanin and isobetanin, and the lack of commercial standard with high purity), betanin was purified from Amaranthus retroflexus inflorescence, characterized by the presence of a single isomer. The purple cactus pear variety showed very high betanin content, with higher levels of phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant capacity (TEAC) than the orange variety. These findings confirm the potential for exploiting the autochthonous biodiversity of cactus pear fruits. In particular, the purple variety could be an interesting source of colored bioactive compounds which not only have coloring potential, but are also an excellent source of dietary antioxidant components which may have beneficial effects on consumers’ health. PMID:26783704

  16. Diversity and antifungal activity of the endophytic fungi associated with the native medicinal cactus Opuntia humifusa (Cactaceae) from the United States

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The endophytic fungal community associated with the native cactus Opuntia humifusa in the United States was investigated and its potential for providing antifungal compounds. A total of 108 endophytic fungal isolates were obtained and identified by molecular methods into 17 different taxa of the gen...

  17. Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) water extract ameliorates loperamide-induced constipation in rats.

    PubMed

    Han, Sung Hee; Park, Kyungmi; Kim, Eun Young; Ahn, So Hyun; Lee, Hyun-Sun; Suh, Hyung Joo

    2017-01-17

    Korean cactus Cheonnyuncho (Opuntia humifusa) is rich in pectin, phenols, flavonoids, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Some Koreans drink Cheonnyuncho juice prepared by grinding Cheonnyuncho with water. Cheonnyuncho is well known for its functional properties and antioxidant effects, but its effect on constipation has not been sufficiently studied. Loperamide (2 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously to induce constipation in rats. The animals were divided into four groups: a normal group (NOR), constipation control group (CON), and two constipation groups receiving the Cheonnyuncho extract (CE) at two different concentrations in drinking water, 3% (L-CE group) and 6% (H-CE group), for 25 days. The fecal pellet numbers of NOR and L-CE were significantly increased from 35.67 ± 2.09 (CON) to 50.60 ± 1.38 and 46.50 ± 2.91 after loperamide treatment, respectively (p < 0.05). The water content of fecal excretions was significantly enhanced in only the L-CE group (33.05 ± 0.49%) compared to control (23.38 ± 1.26%) (p < 0.05) after loperamide treatment. The oral intake of CE (L-CE and H-CE groups) significantly increased levels of the intestinal transit ratio (45.25 ± 1.86% and 41.05 ± 2.47%, respectively) compared to the CON group (32.15 ± 2.05%) (p < 0.05). Treatment with the low concentration of CE significantly increased fecal levels of acetic, propionic, butyric, and valeric acids, as well as the total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration. Histological analyses revealed that the thickness of the distal colon also increased in the CE-treated groups in a dose-dependent manner. Constipation decreased when CE was fed to the rats. In particular, the fecal pellet number and water content, as well as histological parameters such as distal colon thickness, improved. The CE treatment also increased the fecal SCFA content. These results show that the extract of Cheonnyuncho (O. humifusa) alleviated the

  18. Asynchronous ripening behavior of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) cultivars with respect to physicochemical and physiological attributes.

    PubMed

    Kyriacou, M C; Emmanouilidou, M G; Soteriou, G A

    2016-11-15

    Physicochemical and physiological ripening events in cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit of cultivars 'Ntopia' and 'Hercules' were profiled against skin coloration from mature-green (S1) to over-mature (S5). Fructose and glucose accumulation were linear in 'Ntopia' but peaked near S3 in 'Hercules' synchronously to the appearance of sucrose. Betalains increased steadily in 'Ntopia' (103.2mg/l) but peaked before full skin coloration in 'Hercules' (49.7mg/l); whereas phenolic content remained invariable and ascorbate content peaked near S5 in both 'Ntopia' (108.6μg/g) and 'Hercules' (163.1μg/g). Cell wall material diminished with maturity though textural changes with ripening appeared not related to pectin solubilization but to weakening of glycan bonding and loss of neutral sugars. Fruit firmness rather was correlated to seed weight (r=0.89) and seed-to-pulp ratio (r=0.73). Cultivar differences highlighted in the chronology of ripening events are critical for defining optimum harvest maturity and postharvest handling protocols for premium quality cactus pear fruit. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Microencapsulation of betalains obtained from cactus fruit (Opuntia ficus-indica) by spray drying using cactus cladode mucilage and maltodextrin as encapsulating agents.

    PubMed

    Otálora, María Carolina; Carriazo, José Gregorio; Iturriaga, Laura; Nazareno, Mónica Azucena; Osorio, Coralia

    2015-11-15

    The microencapsulation of betalains from cactus fruit by spray drying was evaluated as a stabilization strategy for these pigments. The betalains used as active agent were extracted from purple fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica (BE) and encapsulated with maltodextrin and cladode mucilage MD-CM and only with MD. The microcapsulates were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermal analysis (TGA-DSC), tristimulus colorimetry, as well as, their humidity, water activity and dietary fiber content were also determined. The active agent content was measured by UV-Vis spectrophotometry and its composition confirmed by HPLC-ESIMS. A pigment storage stability test was performed at 18 °C and different relative humidities. The addition of CM in the formulation increased the encapsulation efficiency, diminished the moisture content, and allowed to obtain more uniform size and spherical particles, with high dietary fiber content. These microencapsulates are promising functional additive to be used as natural colorant in the food industry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The fatty acid profile of fat depots from Santa Inês sheep fed spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.).

    PubMed

    Costa, Roberto G; Almeida, Michelly DA; Cruz, George Rodrigo B; Beltrão Filho, Edvaldo M; Ribeiro, Neila L; Madruga, Marta S; Queiroga, Rita de Cássia Re

    2017-10-01

    Fat is the tissue that varies most in animals from both a quantitative and distribution perspective. It plays a fundamental biological role as energy storage during food scarcity. Renal, pelvic and internal fat are deposited first. These fats are used to identify fatty acid profiles that may be considered beneficial or unhealthy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the fatty acid profile of fat depots in Santa Inês sheep finished in confinement with spineless cactus in their diets. The treatments included increasing levels of spineless cactus (Opuntia fícus-indica Mill.): T1 = 0%, T2 = 30%, T3 = 50%, and T4 = 70%. The diets significantly affected the adipose depots. The orthogonal contrast between the diet with no cactus (control) and the other diets indicates that the quantity of saturated fatty acids decreased and that the levels of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids increased in animals fed spineless cactus. The use of spineless cactus in the diets of Santa Inês sheep affects the lipid profile of their fat depots, reducing the quantity of saturated fatty acids and increasing the quantity of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of the fat depots indicates that these fats can be used to formulate meat products and add economic and nutritional value to such products, which increases sheep farmers' incomes. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. Enrichment of rice-based extrudates with Cactus Opuntia dillenii seed powder: a novel source of fiber and antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Rayan, Ahmed M; Morsy, Noha E; Youssef, Khaled M

    2018-02-01

    The present study investigated the effects of adding the powder of cactus Opuntia dillenii ( O. dillenii ) seeds on the functional properties, fiber, antioxidants and acceptability of rice-based extrudates. The control blend consisting basically of rice flour was replaced with O. dillenii seed powder at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 20% then extruded at the optimum processing conditions. The extruded products were evaluated for their chemical composition, functional properties, color attributes, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics. The results revealed that adding O. dillenii seeds powder enhanced the fiber, phenolics, flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity of extrudates. Expansion, bulk density and breaking strength were significantly decreased, while water absorption index, water solubility index and oil absorption index were significantly increased compared to the control. Furthermore, the mean scores of sensory evaluation indicated clear improvements in all tested sensory attributes, which significantly increased by increasing the level of O. dillenii seed powder up to 15%. The results confirmed that O. dillenii seed powder could be incorporated in rice to develop snack products of acceptable functional, nutritional and sensory properties.

  2. Bioactives in cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) stems possess potent antioxidant and pro-apoptotic activities through COX-2 involvement.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinhee; Soh, Soon Yil; Shin, Juha; Cho, Chi-Woung; Choi, Young Hee; Nam, Sang-Yong

    2015-10-01

    Bioactives extracted from cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) stems were investigated for their chemopreventive activities using human cancer cells in vitro. The bioactives present in crude extracts were detected and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography. Among all the extracts, such as hexane, ethyl acetate (EtOAc), acetone, methanol (MeOH), and MeOH:water (80:20), the MeOH extract had the highest amount of polyphenolic compounds and the acetone extract exhibited the most potent effect at scavenging the 2,2,-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-di-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline)-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS(•+) ) radical. In addition, most of the extracts, with the exception of hexane, exhibited significant cytotoxicity in human SW480 colon and MCF7 breast cancer cells. Overall, the SW480 cells were more sensitive than the MCF7 cells to the cytotoxic effect of the O. ficus-indica extracts (OFEs). Cell death by OFE treatment caused significant inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 and increased the Bax/Bcl2 ratio in both SW480 and MCF7 cell lines. However, degradation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase was significantly increased by OFE only in the MCF7 cells, thereby inducing apoptosis. These findings demonstrate the health-benefit roles, including anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative activities as well as pro-apoptotic effects, of bioactive compounds in OFEs, suggesting a chemopreventive role in human cancer cells. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) Protects Against Stress-Induced Acute Gastric Lesions in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seung Hyun; Jeon, Byung Ju; Kim, Dae Hyun; Kim, Tae Il; Lee, Hee Kyoung; Han, Dae Seob; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Jung Wha

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The protective activity of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) fruit juice and its main constituent, betanin, were evaluated against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats. After 6 h of water immersion restraint stress (WIRS), gastric mucosal lesions with bleeding were induced in Sprague–Dawley rats. Pretreatment of a lyophilized powder containing O. ficus indica var. saboten fruit juice and maltodextrin (OFSM) and betanin significantly reduced stress lesions (800–1600 mg/kg). Both OFSM and betanin effectively prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content as detected by alcian blue staining. In addition, OFSM significantly suppressed WIRS-induced increases in the level of gastric mucosal tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Betanin alone was only effective in decreasing MPO. These results revealed the protective activity of OFSM against stress-induced acute gastric lesions and that betanin may contribute to OFSM's gastric protective activity, at least in part. When OFSM and betanin were taken together, OFSM exerted gastroprotective activity against stress-induced gastric lesions by maintaining gastric mucus, which might be related to the attenuation of MPO-mediated damage and proinflammatory cytokine production. PMID:23062184

  4. Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) protects against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung Hyun; Jeon, Byung Ju; Kim, Dae Hyun; Kim, Tae Il; Lee, Hee Kyoung; Han, Dae Seob; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Jung Wha; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2012-11-01

    The protective activity of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) fruit juice and its main constituent, betanin, were evaluated against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats. After 6 h of water immersion restraint stress (WIRS), gastric mucosal lesions with bleeding were induced in Sprague-Dawley rats. Pretreatment of a lyophilized powder containing O. ficus indica var. saboten fruit juice and maltodextrin (OFSM) and betanin significantly reduced stress lesions (800-1600 mg/kg). Both OFSM and betanin effectively prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content as detected by alcian blue staining. In addition, OFSM significantly suppressed WIRS-induced increases in the level of gastric mucosal tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Betanin alone was only effective in decreasing MPO. These results revealed the protective activity of OFSM against stress-induced acute gastric lesions and that betanin may contribute to OFSM's gastric protective activity, at least in part. When OFSM and betanin were taken together, OFSM exerted gastroprotective activity against stress-induced gastric lesions by maintaining gastric mucus, which might be related to the attenuation of MPO-mediated damage and proinflammatory cytokine production.

  5. Technological characteristics and selected bioactive compounds of Opuntia dillenii cactus fruit juice following the impact of pulsed electric field pre-treatment.

    PubMed

    Moussa-Ayoub, Tamer E; Jaeger, Henry; Youssef, Khaled; Knorr, Dietrich; El-Samahy, Salah; Kroh, Lothar W; Rohn, Sascha

    2016-11-01

    Selected technological characteristics and bioactive compounds of juice pressed directly from the mash of whole Opuntia dillenii cactus fruits have been investigated. The impact of pulsed electric fields (PEF) for a non-thermal disintegration on the important juice characteristics has been evaluated in comparison to microwave heating and use of pectinases. Results showed that the cactus juice exhibited desirable technological characteristics. Besides, it also contained a high amount of phenolic compounds being the major contributors to the overall antioxidant activity of juice. HPLC-DAD/ESI-MS(n) measurements in the fruits' peel and pulp showed that isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside was determined as the single flavonol found only in the fruit's peel. Treating fruit mash with a moderate electric field strength increased juice yield and improved juice characteristics. Promisingly, the highest release of isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside from fruit's peel into juice was maximally achieved by PEF. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Water Relations, Diurnal Acidity Changes, and Productivity of a Cultivated Cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, E; Badilla, I; Nobel, P S

    1983-07-01

    Physiological responses of the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) were studied on a commercial plantation in central Chile. Young cladodes (flattened stems) and flower buds exhibited daytime stomatal opening, whereas mature cladodes and fruit exhibited the nocturnal stomatal opening characteristic of CAM plants. Severe water stress suppressed the nocturnal stomatal opening by mature cladodes, but their high water vapor conductance occurring near dawn was not affected. Nocturnal acidity increases were not as sensitive to water stress as was the nocturnal stomatal opening. The magnitude of the nocturnal acidity increases depended on the total daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), being 90% PAR-saturated at 27 moles per square meter per day for a mean nighttime air temperature of 5 degrees C and at 20 moles per square meter per day for 18 degrees C. Inasmuch as the PAR received on unshaded vertical surfaces averaged about 21 moles per square meter per day, nocturnal acidity increases by the cladodes were on the verge of being PAR-limited in the field. The net assimilation rate, which was positive throughout the year, annually averaged 3.4 grams per square meter per day for 1.0- and 2.0-year-old plants. Plants that were 5.4 years old had 7.2 square meters of cladode surface area (both sides) and an annual dry weight productivity of 13 megagrams (metric tons) per hectare per year when their ground cover was 32%. This substantial productivity for a CAM plant was accompanied by the highest nocturnal acidity increase so far observed in the field, 0.78 mole H(+) per square meter.

  7. Water Relations, Diurnal Acidity Changes, and Productivity of a Cultivated Cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica1

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo, Edmundo; Badilla, Ignacio; Nobel, Park S.

    1983-01-01

    Physiological responses of the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) were studied on a commercial plantation in central Chile. Young cladodes (flattened stems) and flower buds exhibited daytime stomatal opening, whereas mature cladodes and fruit exhibited the nocturnal stomatal opening characteristic of CAM plants. Severe water stress suppressed the nocturnal stomatal opening by mature cladodes, but their high water vapor conductance occurring near dawn was not affected. Nocturnal acidity increases were not as sensitive to water stress as was the nocturnal stomatal opening. The magnitude of the nocturnal acidity increases depended on the total daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), being 90% PAR-saturated at 27 moles per square meter per day for a mean nighttime air temperature of 5°C and at 20 moles per square meter per day for 18°C. Inasmuch as the PAR received on unshaded vertical surfaces averaged about 21 moles per square meter per day, nocturnal acidity increases by the cladodes were on the verge of being PAR-limited in the field. The net assimilation rate, which was positive throughout the year, annually averaged 3.4 grams per square meter per day for 1.0- and 2.0-year-old plants. Plants that were 5.4 years old had 7.2 square meters of cladode surface area (both sides) and an annual dry weight productivity of 13 megagrams (metric tons) per hectare per year when their ground cover was 32%. This substantial productivity for a CAM plant was accompanied by the highest nocturnal acidity increase so far observed in the field, 0.78 mole H+ per square meter. PMID:16663084

  8. The effect of cactus spines on light interception and Photosystem II for three sympatric species of Opuntia from the Mojave Desert.

    PubMed

    Loik, Michael E

    2008-09-01

    Cactus spines reduce herbivory, direct water toward roots and reduce the impacts of high- and low-temperature extremes. Yet, shading of stems by spines reduces incident photosynthetic photon flux density (PFD), photosynthesis and growth. This study compared spinescence, PFD interception, stem temperature, Photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry and xanthophyll pigment composition for three species of cacti from the Mojave Desert, CA. The species vary in spinescence: Opuntia basilaris, which has no central or radial spines; Opuntia erinacea, which is densely covered with spines; and Opuntia phaeacantha, which has an intermediate coverage of spines. The role of spines was tested by removing spines from stems of O. erinacea. PFD interception was similar for both O. basilaris and O. phaeacantha, and about three times that for densely spined O. erinacea; removal of spines increased incident PFD three-fold. There were no effects of spines on stem temperatures. Steady-state light-response curves of chlorophyll a fluorescence from PSII indicated that PhiPSII, photochemical quenching (qP) and electron flux within PSII were lower, and non-photochemical quenching was higher, for O. erinacea in comparison to the other two species with less spines. After 2 months, qP was higher and electron flux lower, and xanthophyll pigment pool size was higher, for stems from which spines had been removed compared with intact stems. These three species allocate different amounts of biomass to spines, resulting in species-specific PFD interception, PSII photochemistry and xanthophyll pigment pool size, which may help maintain rates of photosynthesis during the hot, dry Mojave Desert summer.

  9. Digestibility of (Poly)phenols and Antioxidant Activity in Raw and Cooked Cactus Cladodes ( Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    De Santiago, Elsy; Pereira-Caro, Gema; Moreno-Rojas, José Manuel; Cid, Concepción; De Peña, María-Paz

    2018-05-29

    This study aims to investigate whether heat treatment applied to cactus cladodes influences the bioaccessibility of their (poly)phenolic compounds after simulated gastric and intestinal digestion. A total of 45 (poly)phenols were identified and quantified in raw and cooked cactus cladodes by ultra high performance liquid chromatography photodiode array detector high resolution mass spectrometry. Both flavonoids (60-68% total), mainly isorhamnetin derivatives, and phenolic acids (32-40%) with eucomic acids as the predominant ones significantly ( p < 0.05) increased with microwaving and griddling processes. After in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, 55-64% of the total (poly)phenols of cooked cactus cladodes remained bioaccessible versus 44% in raw samples. Furthermore, digestive conditions and enzymes degraded or retained more flavonoids (37-63% bioaccessibility) than phenolic acids (56-87% bioaccessibility). Microwaved cactus cladodes contributed the highest amount of (poy)phenols (143.54 mg/g dm) after gastrointestinal process, followed by griddled samples (133.98 mg/g dm), showing the highest antioxidant capacity. Additionally, gastrointestinal digestion induced isomerizations among the three stereoisomeric forms of piscidic and eucomic acids.

  10. Ameliorative Effect of Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) Extract on Lithium-Induced Nephrocardiotoxicity: A Biochemical and Histopathological Study.

    PubMed

    Saad, Anouar Ben; Rjeibi, Ilhem; Ncib, Sana; Zouari, Nacim; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including metal-induced toxicity. The study reports the protective effects of Opuntia ficus indica (CCE) against lithium carbonate-induced toxicity in rats. Nephrocardiotoxicity was induced in male Wistar rats by single dose of lithium carbonate (25 mg/kg b.w twice daily for 30 days). Aqueous extract of Opuntia ficus indica was administered at the dose of 100 mg/kg of b.w by gavage for 60 days. Obtained results revealed that administration of lithium carbonate caused a significant increase in serum creatinine, uric acid, and urea levels. Additionally, a significant decrease in the level of renal and cardiac SOD, CAT, and GPx activities was associated with a significant increase of MDA levels in lithium carbonate group more than those of the control. However, the treatment of experimental rats with CCE prevented these alterations and maintained the antioxidant status. The histopathological observations supported the biochemical evidences of nephrocardioprotection. CCE supplementation could protect against lithium carbonate-induced renal and cardiac injuries in rats, plausibly by the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and inhibition of MDA to confer the protective effect.

  11. Ameliorative Effect of Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) Extract on Lithium-Induced Nephrocardiotoxicity: A Biochemical and Histopathological Study

    PubMed Central

    Ncib, Sana

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including metal-induced toxicity. The study reports the protective effects of Opuntia ficus indica (CCE) against lithium carbonate-induced toxicity in rats. Nephrocardiotoxicity was induced in male Wistar rats by single dose of lithium carbonate (25 mg/kg b.w twice daily for 30 days). Aqueous extract of Opuntia ficus indica was administered at the dose of 100 mg/kg of b.w by gavage for 60 days. Obtained results revealed that administration of lithium carbonate caused a significant increase in serum creatinine, uric acid, and urea levels. Additionally, a significant decrease in the level of renal and cardiac SOD, CAT, and GPx activities was associated with a significant increase of MDA levels in lithium carbonate group more than those of the control. However, the treatment of experimental rats with CCE prevented these alterations and maintained the antioxidant status. The histopathological observations supported the biochemical evidences of nephrocardioprotection. CCE supplementation could protect against lithium carbonate-induced renal and cardiac injuries in rats, plausibly by the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and inhibition of MDA to confer the protective effect. PMID:29376078

  12. Lactic Acid Fermentation of Cactus Cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) Generates Flavonoid Derivatives with Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties.

    PubMed

    Filannino, Pasquale; Cavoski, Ivana; Thlien, Nadia; Vincentini, Olimpia; De Angelis, Maria; Silano, Marco; Gobbetti, Marco; Di Cagno, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is widely distributed in the arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. In the last decades, the interest towards vegetative crop increased, and cladodes are exploited for nutraceutical and health-promoting properties. This study aimed at investigating the capacity of selected lactic acid bacteria to increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cactus cladodes pulp, with the perspective of producing a functional ingredient, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparation. Preliminarily, the antioxidant activity was determined through in vitro assays. Further, it was confirmed through ex vivo analysis on intestinal Caco-2/TC7 cells, and the profile of flavonoids was characterized. Cactus cladode pulp was fermented with lactic acid bacteria, which were previously selected from plant materials. Chemically acidified suspension, without bacterial inoculum and incubated under the same conditions, was used as the control. Lactobacillus plantarum CIL6, POM1 and 1MR20, Lactobacillus brevis POM2 and POM4, Lactobacillus rossiae 2LC8 and Pediococcus pentosaceus CILSWE5 were the best growing strains. Fermentation of cladode pulp with L. brevis POM2 and POM4 allowed the highest concentration of γ-amino butyric acid. Lactic acid fermentation had preservative effects (P<0.05) on the levels of vitamin C and carotenoids. Two flavonoid derivatives (kaemferol and isorhamnetin) were identified in the ethyl acetate extracts, which were considered to be the major compounds responsible for the increased radical scavenging activity. After inducing oxidative stress by IL-1β, the increased antioxidant activity (P<0.05) of fermented cladode pulp was confirmed using Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented cladode pulp had also immune-modulatory effects towards Caco-2 cells. Compared to the control, fermented cladode pulp exhibited a significantly (P<0.05) higher inhibition of IL-8, TNFα and prostaglandins PGE2 synthesis. The highest

  13. Lactic Acid Fermentation of Cactus Cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) Generates Flavonoid Derivatives with Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    PubMed Central

    Filannino, Pasquale; Cavoski, Ivana; Thlien, Nadia; Vincentini, Olimpia; De Angelis, Maria; Silano, Marco; Gobbetti, Marco; Di Cagno, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is widely distributed in the arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. In the last decades, the interest towards vegetative crop increased, and cladodes are exploited for nutraceutical and health-promoting properties. This study aimed at investigating the capacity of selected lactic acid bacteria to increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cactus cladodes pulp, with the perspective of producing a functional ingredient, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparation. Preliminarily, the antioxidant activity was determined through in vitro assays. Further, it was confirmed through ex vivo analysis on intestinal Caco-2/TC7 cells, and the profile of flavonoids was characterized. Cactus cladode pulp was fermented with lactic acid bacteria, which were previously selected from plant materials. Chemically acidified suspension, without bacterial inoculum and incubated under the same conditions, was used as the control. Lactobacillus plantarum CIL6, POM1 and 1MR20, Lactobacillus brevis POM2 and POM4, Lactobacillus rossiae 2LC8 and Pediococcus pentosaceus CILSWE5 were the best growing strains. Fermentation of cladode pulp with L. brevis POM2 and POM4 allowed the highest concentration of γ-amino butyric acid. Lactic acid fermentation had preservative effects (P<0.05) on the levels of vitamin C and carotenoids. Two flavonoid derivatives (kaemferol and isorhamnetin) were identified in the ethyl acetate extracts, which were considered to be the major compounds responsible for the increased radical scavenging activity. After inducing oxidative stress by IL-1β, the increased antioxidant activity (P<0.05) of fermented cladode pulp was confirmed using Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented cladode pulp had also immune-modulatory effects towards Caco-2 cells. Compared to the control, fermented cladode pulp exhibited a significantly (P<0.05) higher inhibition of IL-8, TNFα and prostaglandins PGE2 synthesis. The highest

  14. Evaluation of protective effect of cactus pear seed oil (Opuntia ficus-indica L. MILL.) against alloxan-induced diabetes in mice.

    PubMed

    Berraaouan, Ali; Abderrahim, Ziyyat; Hassane, Mekhfi; Abdelkhaleq, Legssyer; Mohammed, Aziz; Mohamed, Bnouham

    2015-07-01

    To evaluate the in vitro antioxidant power of cactus pear seed oil [Opuntia ficus-indica L. MILL. (CPSO)] and its protective effect against chemically induced diabetes mellitus in mice. The in vitro antioxidant effect of CPSO was evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay. The preventive effect was conducted on Swiss albino mice treated with CPSO (2 mL/kg, per os), before and after a single intraperitoneal alloxan administration (100 mg/kg). Survival rate, body weight and fasting blood glucose were measured and histopathological analysis of pancreas was performed to evaluate alloxan-induced tissue injuries. CPSO exhibited an antioxidant effect in DPPH scavenging assay. Moreover, the administration of CPSO (2 mL/kg) significantly attenuated alloxan-induced death and hyperglycemia (P < 0.001) in treated mice. Morphometric study of pancreas revealed that CPSO significantly protected islets of langerhans against alloxan induced-tissue alterations. Based on theses results, CPSO can prevente alloxan-induced-diabetes by quenching free radicals produced by alloxan and inhibiting tissue injuries in pancreatic β-cells. Copyright © 2015 Hainan Medical College. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Use of green chemistry methods in the extraction of dietary fibers from cactus rackets (Opuntia ficus indica): Structural and microstructural studies.

    PubMed

    Cheikh Rouhou, Marwa; Abdelmoumen, Souhir; Thomas, Sabu; Attia, Hamadi; Ghorbel, Dorra

    2018-05-23

    This work aims to compare the development of three green chemistry methods in the extraction of cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) dietary fibers. The influence of extraction conditions (solvent nature: water, lemon juice and ethanol; extraction process: maceration and steam explosion; extraction time: 30 min, 1 h, 3 h, 5 h) on the chemical and structural composition was studied. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy proved that all treatments do not affect the cellulose structure and could induce the reduction of hemicelluloses and lignin content. The steam treatment with lemon juice was the best treatment in term of quality of the fibers extracted. Through X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis, it was demonstrated that this treatment contributed to the destruction of the amorphous phase with preservation of the crystalline phase. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that the microstructure of the sample surface was uniform and contains arranged fibers. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) revealed fibers with 80 nm of diameter. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. The effect of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Onakpoya, Igho J; O'Sullivan, Jack; Heneghan, Carl J

    2015-05-01

    Hundreds of dietary supplements are currently marketed as weight loss supplements. However, the advertised health claims of effectiveness for most of these have not been proven. The aim of this study was to critically appraise and evaluate the evidence for effectiveness of cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI), using data from published randomized clinical trials. We conducted electronic searches in Medline, Embase, Amed, Cinahl, and the Cochrane Library. No restrictions on age, time, or language were imposed. The risk for bias in the studies included was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration criteria. Two reviewers independently determined the eligibility of included studies, assessed reporting quality, and extracted data. We identified seven eligible studies, of which five were included. The studies varied in design and reporting quality. Meta-analysis revealed a nonsignificant difference in body weight between OFI and controls (mean difference = -0.83 kg; 95% confidence interval, -2.49 to 0.83; I(2) = 93%). Significant reductions in body mass index, percentage body fat, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and total cholesterol were observed. Adverse events included gastric intolerance and flu symptoms. The evidence from randomized clinical trials does not indicate that supplementation with OFI generates statistically significant effects on body weight. Consumption of OFI can cause significant reductions in percentage body fat, blood pressure, and total cholesterol. Few clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI have been published. They vary in design and methodology, and are characterized by inconsistent quality of reporting. Further clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI on body composition and metabolic parameters are warranted. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Conserved and divergent rhythms of crassulacean acid metabolism-related and core clock gene expression in the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Mallona, Izaskun; Egea-Cortines, Marcos; Weiss, Julia

    2011-08-01

    The cactus Opuntia ficus-indica is a constitutive Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. Current knowledge of CAM metabolism suggests that the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase (PPCK) is circadian regulated at the transcriptional level, whereas phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) are posttranslationally controlled. As little transcriptomic data are available from obligate CAM plants, we created an expressed sequence tag database derived from different organs and developmental stages. Sequences were assembled, compared with sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information nonredundant database for identification of putative orthologs, and mapped using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Orthology and Gene Ontology. We identified genes involved in circadian regulation and CAM metabolism for transcriptomic analysis in plants grown in long days. We identified stable reference genes for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and found that OfiSAND, like its counterpart in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and OfiTUB are generally appropriate standards for use in the quantification of gene expression in O. ficus-indica. Three kinds of expression profiles were found: transcripts of OfiPPCK oscillated with a 24-h periodicity; transcripts of the light-active OfiNADP-ME and OfiPPDK genes adapted to 12-h cycles, while transcript accumulation patterns of OfiPEPC and OfiMDH were arrhythmic. Expression of the circadian clock gene OfiTOC1, similar to Arabidopsis, oscillated with a 24-h periodicity, peaking at night. Expression of OfiCCA1 and OfiPRR9, unlike in Arabidopsis, adapted best to a 12-h rhythm, suggesting that circadian clock gene interactions differ from those of Arabidopsis. Our results indicate that the evolution of CAM metabolism could be the result of modified circadian regulation at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional

  18. Conserved and Divergent Rhythms of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism-Related and Core Clock Gene Expression in the Cactus Opuntia ficus-indica1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Mallona, Izaskun; Egea-Cortines, Marcos; Weiss, Julia

    2011-01-01

    The cactus Opuntia ficus-indica is a constitutive Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. Current knowledge of CAM metabolism suggests that the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase (PPCK) is circadian regulated at the transcriptional level, whereas phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) are posttranslationally controlled. As little transcriptomic data are available from obligate CAM plants, we created an expressed sequence tag database derived from different organs and developmental stages. Sequences were assembled, compared with sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information nonredundant database for identification of putative orthologs, and mapped using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Orthology and Gene Ontology. We identified genes involved in circadian regulation and CAM metabolism for transcriptomic analysis in plants grown in long days. We identified stable reference genes for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and found that OfiSAND, like its counterpart in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and OfiTUB are generally appropriate standards for use in the quantification of gene expression in O. ficus-indica. Three kinds of expression profiles were found: transcripts of OfiPPCK oscillated with a 24-h periodicity; transcripts of the light-active OfiNADP-ME and OfiPPDK genes adapted to 12-h cycles, while transcript accumulation patterns of OfiPEPC and OfiMDH were arrhythmic. Expression of the circadian clock gene OfiTOC1, similar to Arabidopsis, oscillated with a 24-h periodicity, peaking at night. Expression of OfiCCA1 and OfiPRR9, unlike in Arabidopsis, adapted best to a 12-h rhythm, suggesting that circadian clock gene interactions differ from those of Arabidopsis. Our results indicate that the evolution of CAM metabolism could be the result of modified circadian regulation at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional

  19. Diversity and antifungal activity of the endophytic fungi associated with the native medicinal cactus Opuntia humifusa (Cactaceae) from the United States.

    PubMed

    Silva-Hughes, Alice F; Wedge, David E; Cantrell, Charles L; Carvalho, Camila R; Pan, Zhiqiang; Moraes, Rita M; Madoxx, Victor L; Rosa, Luiz H

    2015-06-01

    The endophytic fungal community associated with the native cactus Opuntia humifusa in the United States was investigated and its potential for providing antifungal compounds. A hundred-eight endophytic fungal isolates were obtained and identified by molecular methods into 17 different taxa of the genera Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Biscogniauxia, Cladosporium, Cryptococcus, Curvularia, Diaporthe, Epicoccum, Paraconiothyrium, Pestalotiopsis and Phoma. The most frequent species associated with O. humifusa were Alternaria sp. 3, Aureobasidium pullulans and Diaporthe sp. The fungal community of O. humifusa had a high richness and diversity; additionally, the species richness obtained indicates that the sample effort was enough to recover the diversity pattern obtained. Six extracts of endophytes showed antifungal properties and (1)H NMR analyses of the extracts of Alternaria sp. 5 Ohu 8B2, Alternaria sp. 3 Ohu 30A, Cladosporium funiculosum Ohu 17C1 and Paraconiothyrium sp. Ohu 17A indicated the presence of functional groups associated with unsaturated fatty-acid olefinic protons and fatty acid methylene and methyl protons. GC-FID analysis of these extracts confirmed the presence of a mixture of different fatty acids. The (1)H NMR analyses of Biscogniauxia mediterranea Ohu 19B extracts showed the presence of aromatic compounds. From the extract of B. mediterranea we isolated the compound 5-methylmellein that displayed moderate antifungal activity against the phytopathogenic fungi Phomopsis obscurans. Our results suggest that native medicinal cacti of the United States can live symbiotically with rich and diverse endophytic communities and may be a source of bioactive molecules, including those able to inhibit or control plant disease pathogens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Microencapsulation of pulp and ultrafiltered cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) extracts and betanin stability during storage.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Cristina; Saavedra, Jorge; Sáenz, Carmen; García, Paula; Robert, Paz

    2014-08-15

    Pulp (CP) and ultrafiltered (UF) cactus pear extracts were encapsulated with Capsul (C) by applying a central composite design (CP-C and UF-C systems) by spray-drying. To evaluate the effect of the extract, microparticles obtained under optimal conditions were characterised and stored at 60 °C. Betacyanin and betaxanthin encapsulation efficiency reached values above 98% for both systems studied. This efficiency was attributed to strong interactions between betalains and the polymer. Betalain degradation in CP-C and UF-C microparticles followed pseudo-first order kinetics. The betacyanin degradation rate constant was significantly higher for CP-C than for UF-C. These results suggested that the mucilage or higher sugar content of CP increased the hygroscopicity of the CP-C microparticles, leading to the degradation of betalain. The hydrolysis pathway was the main mechanism of betanin degradation during microparticle storage. These results demonstrate the potential utility of both CP-C and UF-C microparticles as natural colourants for healthy foods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Effect of different film packaging on microbial growth in minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    Palma, A; Mangia, N P; Fadda, A; Barberis, A; Schirra, M; D'Aquino, S

    2013-01-01

    Microorganisms are natural contaminants of fresh produce and minimally processed products, and contamination arises from a number of sources, including the environment, postharvest handling and processing. Fresh-cut products are particularly susceptible to microbial contaminations because of the changes occurring in the tissues during processing. In package gas composition of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) in combination with low storage temperatures besides reducing physiological activity of packaged produce, can also delay pathogen growth. Present study investigated on the effect of MAPs, achieved with different plastic films, on microbial growth of minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntio ficus-indica) fruit. Five different plastic materials were used for packaging the manually peeled fruit. That is: a) polypropylene film (Termoplast MY 40 micron thickness, O2 transmission rate 300 cc/m2/24h); b) polyethylene film (Bolphane BHE, 11 micron thickness, O2 transmission rate 19000 cc/m2/24h); c) polypropylene laser-perforated films (Mach Packaging) with 8, 16 or 32 100-micron holes. Total aerobic psychrophilic, mesophilic microorganisms, Enterobacteriaceae, yeast, mould populations and in-package CO2, O2 and C2H4 were determined at each storage time. Different final gas compositions, ranging from 7.8 KPa to 17.1 KPa O2, and 12.7 KPa to 2.6 KPa CO2, were achieved with MY and micro perforated films, respectively. Differences were detected in the mesophilic, Enterobacteriaceae and yeast loads, while no difference was detected in psychrophilic microorganisms. At the end of storage, microbial load in fruits sealed with MY film was significantly lower than in those sealed with BHE and micro perforated films. Furthermore, fruits packed with micro-perforated films showed the highest microbial load. This occurrence may in part be related to in-package gas composition and in part to a continuous contamination of microorganisms through micro-holes.

  2. Shelf life, physicochemical, microbiological and antioxidant properties of purple cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) juice after thermoultrasound treatment.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Cansino, Nelly Del Socorro; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther; León-Rivera, Jesús Ernesto; Delgado-Olivares, Luis; Alanís-García, Ernesto; Ariza-Ortega, José Alberto; Manríquez-Torres, José de Jesús; Jaramillo-Bustos, Diana Pamela

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in color, betalain content, browning index, viscosity, physical stability, microbiological growth, antioxidant content and antioxidant activity of purple cactus pear juice during storage after thermoultrasonication at 80% amplitude level for 15 and 25 min in comparison with pasteurized juice. Thermoultrasound treatment for 25 min increased color stability and viscosity compared to treatment for 15 min (6.83 and 6.72 MPa, respectively), but this last parameter was significantly lower (p<0.05) compared to the control and pasteurized juices (22.47 and 26.32 MPa, respectively). Experimental treatment reduced significantly (p<0.05) sediment solids in juices. Total plate counts decreased from the first day of storage exhibiting values of 1.38 and 1.43 logCFU/mL, for 15 and 25 min treatment, respectively. Compared to the control, both treatments reduced enterobacteria counts (1.54 logCFU/mL), and compared to pasteurized juice decreased pectinmethylesterase activity (3.76 and 3.82 UPE/mL), maintained high values of ascorbic acid (252.05 and 257.18 mg AA/L) and antioxidant activity (by ABTS: 124.8 and 115.6 mg VCEAC/100 mL; and DPPH: 3114.2 and 2757.1 μmol TE/L). During storage thermoultrasonicated juices had a minimum increase in pectinmethylesterase activity (from day 14), and exhibited similar total plate counts to pasteurized juice. An increase of phenolic content was observed after 14 days of storage, particularly for treatment at 80%, 25 min, and an increase in antioxidant activity (ABTS, DPPH) by the end of storage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. An anti-inflammatory principle from cactus.

    PubMed

    Park, E H; Kahng, J H; Lee, S H; Shin, K H

    2001-03-01

    In previous studies, the ethanol extract of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) showed potent anti-inflammatory action. In the present study, following fractionation of the methanol extract of cactus stems guided by adjuvant-induced chronic inflammation model in mice, an active anti-inflammatory principle has been isolated and identified as beta-sitosterol.

  4. Use of spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis) for dairy goats and growing kids: impacts on milk production, kid's growth, and meat quality.

    PubMed

    Mahouachi, M; Atti, N; Hajji, H

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of spineless cactus incorporation in food of dairy goats and growing kids on milk production and composition and on kid's growth and meat characteristics. Two experiments were conducted on Tunisian local goats. In the first, 30 females were divided into two groups; goats of Control group were reared on grazing pasture receiving indoor 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. Goats for the second group (Cac-FL) were kept in feedlot and fed cactus ad libitum more 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. In the second experiment, 14 kids were divided into 2 groups receiving 600 g of hay. The Control group received ad libitum a concentrate containing 130 g crude protein (CP) per kg of dry matter. The second group received cactus ad-libitum plus the half concentrate quantity of control one with 260 g CP/kg DM (Cactus). The daily milk production averaged 485 ml for Control group and 407 ml for Cac-FL one. The milk fat content was significantly higher for Control than Cac-FL group. In the second experiment, animals in Control and Cactus groups had similar growth rate. Carcass fat was significantly lower in Cactus than in the Control group. Cactus in the diet was associated with more C18:2 and conjugated linoleic acid as well as a higher proportion of PUFA than Control ones.

  5. Use of Spineless Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis) for Dairy Goats and Growing Kids: Impacts on Milk Production, Kid's Growth, and Meat Quality

    PubMed Central

    Mahouachi, M.; Atti, N.; Hajji, H.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of spineless cactus incorporation in food of dairy goats and growing kids on milk production and composition and on kid's growth and meat characteristics. Two experiments were conducted on Tunisian local goats. In the first, 30 females were divided into two groups; goats of Control group were reared on grazing pasture receiving indoor 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. Goats for the second group (Cac-FL) were kept in feedlot and fed cactus ad libitum more 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. In the second experiment, 14 kids were divided into 2 groups receiving 600 g of hay. The Control group received ad libitum a concentrate containing 130 g crude protein (CP) per kg of dry matter. The second group received cactus ad-libitum plus the half concentrate quantity of control one with 260 g CP/kg DM (Cactus). The daily milk production averaged 485 ml for Control group and 407 ml for Cac-FL one. The milk fat content was significantly higher for Control than Cac-FL group. In the second experiment, animals in Control and Cactus groups had similar growth rate. Carcass fat was significantly lower in Cactus than in the Control group. Cactus in the diet was associated with more C18:2 and conjugated linoleic acid as well as a higher proportion of PUFA than Control ones. PMID:22536135

  6. Thiabendazole uptake and storage performance of cactus pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. Cv Gialla] fruit following postharvest treatments with reduced doses of fungicide at 52 degrees C.

    PubMed

    Schirra, Mario; Brandolini, Vincenzo; Cabras, Paolo; Angioni, Alberto; Inglese, Paolo

    2002-02-13

    The storage response of cactus pears [Opuntia ficus-indica Miller (L.) cv. Gialla] was investigated over 6 weeks at 6 degrees C, plus an additional week of simulated marketing period (SMP) at 20 degrees C, after a 3-min dip treatment with thiabendazole (TBZ) at 1000 mg/L at 20 degrees C or 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C. Untreated fruits were used as control. Following TBZ treatments at 20 and 52 degrees C, total residues were recovered from the peel of cactus pear, as the concentration of residues in the pulp was negligible. Treatments with 1000 mg/L TBZ at 20 degrees C resulted in a 2.82 mg/kg residue uptake (active ingredient, whole-fruit basis), whereas treatment at 150 mg/L TBZ left 1.09 mg/kg. TBZ showed great persistence over both storage and SMP: on average, in the fruits treated at 20 and 52 degrees C, over 72 and 68%, respectively, of TBZ was still present after SMP. Postharvest treatments with 1000 mg/L TBZ at room temperature did not affect the expression of slight-to-moderate chilling injury (CI), but reduced severe CI by approximately 50% and decay development by 63.4% in comparison to those of untreated fruit after SMP. The effectiveness of TBZ was much higher with the treatment at 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C, providing 91% control of severe CI and approximately 89% suppression of decay; no treatment damage occurred during storage and SMP. External appearance was better in fruit treated with 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C. Respiration rate, titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and acetaldehyde in the flesh were not significantly influenced by treatments. Ethylene production rate and ethanol levels in the flesh were significantly higher in the TBZ-treated fruit as opposed to those in the untreated control fruit.

  7. Reproduction, longevity and survival of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Screened potted cactus plants (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) containing pairs of adult male and female cactus moths, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), were placed in a cactus field in St. Marks, Florida to measure oviposition patterns under field-realistic conditions. Results...

  8. Effect of spineless cactus intake (Opuntia ficus-indica) on blood glucose levels in lactating sows and its impact on feed intake, body weight loss, and weaning-estrus interval.

    PubMed

    Ordaz-Ochoa, Gerardo; Juárez-Caratachea, Aureliano; Pérez-Sánchez, Rosa Elena; Román-Bravo, Rafael María; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Ruy

    2017-06-01

    The effect of spineless cactus intake (Opuntia ficus-indica) on blood glucose (BG) levels in lactating sows and its impact on daily and total feed intake (dFI -1 and TFI, respectively), body weight loss (BWL), and weaning-estrus interval length (WEI) were evaluated. Thirty-four hybrid (Yorkshire × Landrace × Pietrain) sows in lactation phase were used. Sows were divided into two groups: G1 (n = 17) where they received commercial feed and G2 (n = 17) provided with commercial feed plus an average of 2.0 ± 0.5 kg spineless cactus, based on a sow's body weight. The variables evaluated were BG, dFI -1 , TFI, BWL, and WEI. Statistical analysis was performed by using a fixed and mixed model methodology, under a repeated measurements experiment. Group effects were found on all analyzed variables (P < 0.05). The BG was lower in G2 (55.2 and 64.5 mg/dL pre- and post-prandial, respectively), compared to that in G1 (70.9 and 80.1 mg/dL pre- and post-prandial, respectively) (P < 0.05). G2 showed better performance than G1 for dFI -1 , BWL, and WEI (P < 0.05) whose averages were 5.5 ± 1.8 kg, 7.4 ± 4.5%, and 5.3 ± 1.2 days, respectively. Averages for these variables in G1 were 4.7 ± 1.5 kg, 16.8 ± 4.6%, and 6.1 ± 1.6 days, respectively. Intake of spineless cactus reduced BG levels in lactating sows, generating greater dFI -1 , lower BWL at the end of lactation, and a lower WEI.

  9. Replacement of wheat bran with spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica Mill cv Gigante) and urea in the diets of Holstein x Gyr heifers.

    PubMed

    de Figueiredo Monteiro, Carolina Corrêa; Silva de Melo, Airon Aparecido; Ferreira, Marcelo Andrade; de Souza Campos, José Mauricio; Rodrigues Souza, Julyana Sena; Dos Santos Silva, Evannielly Thuanny; de Paula Xavier de Andrade, Rafael; da Silva, Emmanuelle Cordeiro

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the replacement effect of wheat bran with spineless cactus and urea in heifers. Twenty-four heifers with an average initial weight of 185 ± 13 kg were used in this experiment. Four levels of spineless cactus corrected with urea and ammonium sulfate (9:1) were studied: 0, 33, 66, and 100 % replacement with wheat bran. Samples of feed, orts, and feces were analyzed to estimate the intake and digestibility of dry matter (DM) and nutrients. Indigestible neutral detergent fiber was used as an internal marker. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design. Dry matter, neutral detergent fiber, and total digestible nutrient intake demonstrated a quadratic effect (P < 0.05). Rumen degradable protein intake increased linearly (P < 0.05). The maximum DM digestibility was estimated to be 0.67 with a 43 % replacement. Crude protein and NDF digestibility increased linearly (P < 0.05). The total body weight gain and average daily gain decreased linearly with the replacement. Thus, it is practical to replace wheat bran with spineless cactus containing urea and ammonium sulfate up to 66 % in sugar cane-based diets.

  10. The optimization of phenolic compounds extraction from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) skin in a reflux system using response surface methodology

    PubMed Central

    Jorge, Aguirre Joya; Heliodoro, De La Garza Toledo; Alejandro, Zugasti Cruz; Ruth, Belmares Cerda; Noé, Aguilar Cristóbal

    2013-01-01

    Objective To extract, quantify, and evaluate the phenolic content in Opuntia ficus-indica skin for their antioxidant capacity with three different methods (ABTS, DPPH, and lipid oxidation) and to optimize the extraction conditions (time, temperature and ethanol concentration) in a reflux system. Methods The extraction process was done using a reflux system. A San Cristobal II experimental design with three variables and three levels was used. The variables evaluated were time of extraction (h), concentration of ethanol (%, v/v) and temperature (°C). The extraction process was optimized using a response surface methodology. Results It was observed that at higher temperature more phenolic compounds were extracted, but the antioxidant capacity was decreased. The optimum conditions for phenolic compounds extraction and antioxidant capacity mixing the three methods were as follows: 45% of ethanol, 80 °C and 2 hours of extraction. Values obtained in our results are little higher that other previously reported. Conclusions It can be concluded the by-products of Opuntia ficus-indica represent a good source of natural antioxidants with possible applications in food, cosmetics or drugs industries. PMID:23730555

  11. The optimization of phenolic compounds extraction from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) skin in a reflux system using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Aguirre Joya; Heliodoro, De La Garza Toledo; Alejandro, Zugasti Cruz; Ruth, Belmares Cerda; Noé, Aguilar Cristóbal

    2013-06-01

    To extract, quantify, and evaluate the phenolic content in Opuntia ficus-indica skin for their antioxidant capacity with three different methods (ABTS, DPPH, and lipid oxidation) and to optimize the extraction conditions (time, temperature and ethanol concentration) in a reflux system. The extraction process was done using a reflux system. A San Cristobal II experimental design with three variables and three levels was used. The variables evaluated were time of extraction (h), concentration of ethanol (%, v/v) and temperature (°C). The extraction process was optimized using a response surface methodology. It was observed that at higher temperature more phenolic compounds were extracted, but the antioxidant capacity was decreased. The optimum conditions for phenolic compounds extraction and antioxidant capacity mixing the three methods were as follows: 45% of ethanol, 80 °C and 2 hours of extraction. Values obtained in our results are little higher that other previously reported. It can be concluded the by-products of Opuntia ficus-indica represent a good source of natural antioxidants with possible applications in food, cosmetics or drugs industries.

  12. Accumulation of silicon in cacti native to the United States: characterization of silica bodies and cyclic oligosiloxanes in Stenocereus thurberi, Opuntia littoralis, Opuntia ficus-indica, and Opuntia stricta.

    PubMed

    Wright, Cynthia R; Waddell, Emanuel A; Setzer, William N

    2014-06-01

    Four different cactus species growing in the United States, Stenocereus thurberi growing in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, Opuntia littoralis and Opuntia ficus-indica, growing on Santa Catalina Island, California, and Opuntia stricta, growing in northern Alabama, were examined for the presence of silica bodies (opaline phytoliths). Silica bodies were found in all four of these cactus species, parallelepiped-shaped crystals in S. thurberi, and starburst-shaped crystalline structures in the three Opuntia species. In addition, the essential oils of the four cactus species were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. To our surprise, S. thurberi, O. littoralis, and O. ficus-indica (but not O. stricta) essential oils contained cyclic oligosiloxanes. To our knowledge, cyclic oligosiloxanes have not been previously found as essential oil components.

  13. Effect of air flow rate on the polyphenols content and antioxidant capacity of convective dried cactus pear cladodes (Opuntia ficus indica).

    PubMed

    Gallegos-Infante, José-Alberto; Rocha-Guzman, Nuria-Elizabeth; González-Laredo, Ruben-Francisco; Reynoso-Camacho, Rosalia; Medina-Torres, Luis; Cervantes-Cardozo, Veronica

    2009-01-01

    The interest in nopal has encouraged the use of dehydration; there are few studies about the effect of process parameters on the nopal polyphenol content and antioxidant activity. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the effect of air-drying flow rates on the amount and antioxidant capacity of extracts of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes. Nopal was dried at 45 degrees C and air flow rates of 3 and 5 m/sec. Samples were analyzed for moisture, total polyphenol, flavonoid, and flavonol contents, chain-breaking activity, inhibition of low-density lipoprotein and deoxyribose oxidation. Nopal drying at an air flow rate of 3 m/sec showed higher values of phenols, flavonoids and flavonols. The best value of low-density lipoprotein inhibition and deoxyribose was found at 1,000 microg/ml. The air flow rate affected the amount of polyphenols and the OH( . ) radical scavenging, but did not modify the chain-breaking activity and the low-density lipoprotein inhibition activity.

  14. More flowers or new cladodes? Environmental correlates and biological consequences of sexual reproduction in a Sonoran Desert prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    1996-01-01

    Should a platyopuntia expend all aerolar meristems in flower production, now new cladodes could be produced, and further reproductive effort and vegetative growth would cease. To investigate the trade-off between flower and cladode production, the numbers of flowers, fruits, and cladodes were monitored for 4 years on 30 Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyek, plants on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona. Plant size controlled the number of flowers initiated each spring. The proportion of flowers that developed (i.e., did not abort) was perhaps determined by December-February rainfall in the months before bloom, with more being developed in the wettest years. Models based on different ratios of initiated cladodes to initiated flowers demonstrated that continued high investment in flowers and fruits would eventually terminate reproduction altogether; therefore periods of high sexual reproduction should alternate with periods of high vegetative growth. In the first 3 years of this study, the ratio of new cladodes to initiated flowers was low, showing a high investment in sexual reproduction. As suggested by the model, the population recouped this investment in the fourth year, when the number of new cladodes was nearly 3 times the 1992-1994 mean, and the number of initiated flowers was only 73% of the 3-year mean.

  15. RAPD analysis of the last population of a likely Florida Keys endemic cactus

    Treesearch

    D.R. Gordon; Thomas L. Kubisiak

    1998-01-01

    The semaphore cactus in the Florida Keys has until recently been considered a disjunct location of the Jamaican Opuntia spinosissima. Loss of all but one population in the Keys coupled with recent suggestions that the species should be taxonomically separated from the Jamaican cactus and is, therefore, a Florida Keys endemic, makes this population of conservation...

  16. The cactus webworm, Loxomorpha flavidissimalis (Grote, 1878) (Pyraloidea, Crambidae): its distribution and a potential pest in Mexico

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We report Loxomorpha flavidissimalis, the cactus webworm, for the first time from Tamaulipas, Mexico, as an herbivore of the cultivated cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica. We observed larvae over a four year period (2010-2014) during the months of March to November and found young cladode losses attributa...

  17. Phenology and egg production of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): comparison of field census data and life stage development in the field

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Natural phenology and development of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) was studied under field conditions in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. Marks, FL. from July 2006 to September 2007. Cactus pads (Opuntia stricta Haw. [Cactaceae]) were visually surveyed...

  18. Macrophage immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides isolated from Opuntia polyacantha

    PubMed Central

    Schepetkin, Igor A.; Xie, Gang; Kirpotina, Liliya N.; Klein, Robyn A.; Jutila, Mark A.; Quinn, Mark T.

    2008-01-01

    Opuntia polyacantha (prickly pear cactus) has been used extensively for its nutritional properties; however, less is known regarding medicinal properties of Opuntia tissues. In the present study, we extracted polysaccharides from O. polyacantha and used size-exclusion chromatography to fractionate the crude polysaccharides into four polysaccharide fractions (designated as Opuntia polysaccharides C-I to C-IV). The average Mr of fractions C-I through C-IV was estimated to be 733, 550, 310, and 168 kDa, respectively, and sugar composition analysis revealed that Opuntia polysaccharides consisted primarily of galactose, galacturonic acid, xylose, arabinose, and rhamnose. Analysis of the effects of Opuntia polysaccharides on human and murine macrophages demonstrated that all four fractions had potent immunomodulatory activity, inducing production of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 6. Furthermore, modulation of macrophage function by Opuntia polysaccharides was mediated, at least in part, through activation of nuclear factor κB. Together, our results provide a molecular basis to explain a portion of the beneficial therapeutic properties of extracts from O. polyacantha and support the concept of using Opuntia polysaccharides as an immunotherapeutic adjuvant. PMID:18597716

  19. Bone Mineral Density, Mechanical, Microstructural Properties and Mineral Content of the Femur in Growing Rats Fed with Cactus Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) Cladodes as Calcium Source in Diet.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Becerra, Ezequiel; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; Del Real, Alicia; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Rodríguez-García, Mario; Rubio, Efraín; Quintero-García, Michelle; Rojas-Molina, Isela

    2017-02-04

    Mechanical, microstructural properties, mineral content and bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur were evaluated in growing rats fed with Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) cladodes at different maturity stages as calcium source. Male weanling rats were fed with cladodes at early maturity stage (25 and 60 days of age, belonging to groups N-60 and N-200, respectively) and cladodes at late maturity stage (100 and 135 days of age, belonging to groups N-400 and N-600, respectively) for 6 weeks. Additionally, a control group fed with calcium carbonate as calcium source was included for comparative purposes. All diets were fitted to the same calcium content (5 g/kg diet). The failure load of femurs was significantly lower ( p ≤ 0.05) in groups N-60 and N-200 in comparison to N-400, N-600 and control groups. The cortical width (Ct.Wi) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) of the femurs in control and N-600 groups were significantly higher ( p ≤ 0.05) than Ct.Wi and Tb.Th of femurs in groups N-60 and N-200. Trabecular separation of the femurs in N-60 and N-200 groups showed the highest values compared with all experimental groups. The highest calcium content in the femurs were observed in control, N-600 and N-400 groups; whereas the lowest phosphorus content in the bones were detected in N-200, N-600 and N-400 groups. Finally, the BMD in all experimental groups increased with age; nevertheless, the highest values were observed in N-600 and control groups during pubertal and adolescence stages. The results derived from this research demonstrate, for the first time, that the calcium found in Opuntia ficus indica cladodes is actually bioavailable and capable of improving mineral density and mechanical and microstructural properties of the bones. These findings suggest that the consumption of cladodes at late maturity stage within the diet might have a beneficial impact on bone health.

  20. Response of vegetable pads of two cactus cultivars to the presence of Salmonella strains

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tender cactus pads (cladodes) or nopalitos (Opuntia ficus-indica L) are an important vegetable in Mexico. They are often pre-trimmed, cut and packaged, and while usually consumed cooked, they may also be eaten raw in salads. Salmonella is an enteropathogenic bacterium that can adapt to adverse envir...

  1. Trail marking by the larvae of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) spends most of its larval life feeding within the cladodes of Opuntia cactuses, but the gregarious caterpillars begin their life outside the plant, and in the later instars make intermittent excursions over plant surfaces to access new cladodes and to t...

  2. Bone Mineral Density, Mechanical, Microstructural Properties and Mineral Content of the Femur in Growing Rats Fed with Cactus Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) Cladodes as Calcium Source in Diet

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Becerra, Ezequiel; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; Del Real, Alicia; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Rodríguez-García, Mario; Rubio, Efraín; Quintero-García, Michelle; Rojas-Molina, Isela

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical, microstructural properties, mineral content and bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur were evaluated in growing rats fed with Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) cladodes at different maturity stages as calcium source. Male weanling rats were fed with cladodes at early maturity stage (25 and 60 days of age, belonging to groups N-60 and N-200, respectively) and cladodes at late maturity stage (100 and 135 days of age, belonging to groups N-400 and N-600, respectively) for 6 weeks. Additionally, a control group fed with calcium carbonate as calcium source was included for comparative purposes. All diets were fitted to the same calcium content (5 g/kg diet). The failure load of femurs was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) in groups N-60 and N-200 in comparison to N-400, N-600 and control groups. The cortical width (Ct.Wi) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) of the femurs in control and N-600 groups were significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) than Ct.Wi and Tb.Th of femurs in groups N-60 and N-200. Trabecular separation of the femurs in N-60 and N-200 groups showed the highest values compared with all experimental groups. The highest calcium content in the femurs were observed in control, N-600 and N-400 groups; whereas the lowest phosphorus content in the bones were detected in N-200, N-600 and N-400 groups. Finally, the BMD in all experimental groups increased with age; nevertheless, the highest values were observed in N-600 and control groups during pubertal and adolescence stages. The results derived from this research demonstrate, for the first time, that the calcium found in Opuntia ficus indica cladodes is actually bioavailable and capable of improving mineral density and mechanical and microstructural properties of the bones. These findings suggest that the consumption of cladodes at late maturity stage within the diet might have a beneficial impact on bone health. PMID:28165410

  3. Dietary indicaxanthin from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L. Mill) fruit prevents eryptosis induced by oxysterols in a hypercholesterolaemia-relevant proportion and adhesion of human erythrocytes to endothelial cell layers.

    PubMed

    Tesoriere, Luisa; Attanzio, Alessandro; Allegra, Mario; Livrea, Maria A

    2015-08-14

    Toxic oxysterols in a hypercholesterolaemia-relevant proportion cause suicidal death of human erythrocytes or eryptosis. This process proceeds through early production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), release of prostaglandin (PGE2) and opening of PGE2-dependent Ca channels, membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) externalisation, and cell shrinkage. The present study was the first to reveal that a bioavailable phytochemical, indicaxanthin (Ind) from cactus pear fruit, in a concentration range (1.0-5.0 μM) consistent with its plasma level after a fruit meal, prevents PS externalisation and cell shrinkage in a dose-dependent manner when incubated with isolated healthy human erythrocytes exposed to an oxysterol mixture for 48 h. Dietary Ind inhibited ROS production, glutathione (GSH) depletion, PGE2 release and Ca2+ entry. Ind alone did not modify the erythrocyte redox environment or affect other parameters. Ex vivo spiking of normal human blood with the oxysterol mixture for 48 h induced eryptosis, resulting in the production of ROS and decreased levels of GSH, which was prevented by concurrent exposure to 5 μm-Ind. The adherence of eryptotic erythrocytes to the endothelium causes vascular tissue injury. Erythrocytes isolated from blood incubated with the oxysterol mixture plus 5 μm-Ind did not adhere to endothelial cell monolayers. Eryptotic erythrocytes may contribute to thrombotic complications in hypercholesterolaemia. Our findings suggest the positive effects of diets containing Ind on erythrocytes in hypercholesterolaemic subjects.

  4. Chilocorus cacti (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a Biological Control Agent of the Wild Cochineal (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) of Prickly Pear Cactus.

    PubMed

    Hernández-González, I A; Cruz-Rodríguez, J A

    2018-04-05

    The wild cochineal (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) is considered to be the most important pest in cactus pear plantations. In Mexico, there are seven natural enemies that provide natural biological control of D. opuntiae. However, their role and impact have not been evaluated. In this article, we report on aspects of the population biology of Chilocorus cacti L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), which is considered one of the main natural enemies of D. opuntiae. We also conducted experiments to evaluate the consumption of C. cacti by this predator when fed nymphs and adult females of D. opuntiae. Changes in the survival function of D. opuntiae in the presence or absence C. cacti were also identified. Both larvae and adults of C. cacti prefer to consume D. opuntiae nymphs because the wax produced by adult females presents a significant obstacle. The survival analysis showed that the presence of C. cacti had significant negative effects on D. opuntiae survival. C. cacti significantly increased its abundance while reducing the density of adult female D. opuntiae, but this impact occurred only after they had consumed the more preferred nymphs. For this reason, natural enemies other than C. cacti may be required to achieve adequate levels of biological control.

  5. Studies on the pharmacological action of cactus: identification of its anti-inflammatory effect.

    PubMed

    Park, E H; Kahng, J H; Paek, E A

    1998-02-01

    The ethanol extracts of Opuntia ficus-indica fructus (EEOF) and Opuntia ficus-indica stem (EEOS) were prepared and used to evaluate the pharmacological effects of cactus. Both the extracts inhibited the writhing syndrome induced by acetic acid, indicating that they contains analgesic effect. The oral administrations of EEOF and EEOS suppressed carrageenan-induced rat paw edema and also showed potent inhibition in the leukocyte migration of CMC-pouch model in rats. Moreover, the extracts suppressed the release of beta-glucuronidase, a lysosomal enzyme in rat neutrophils. It was also noted that the extracts showed the protective effect on gastric mucosal layers. From the results it is suggested that the cactus extracts contain anti-inflammatory action having protective effect against gastric lesions.

  6. Characterization of the nutritional components in fruit and cladode of selenium-enriched nutraceutical cactus pear fruit varieties grown on agricultural sediment

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Different accessions of different colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus Indica) were grown in soils high in salts, boron and selenium (Se) located in the Westside of central California. The changes in the nutritional status and biological transformation of the absorbed inorganic Se from the soils into ...

  7. A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus.

    PubMed

    Ju, Jie; Bai, Hao; Zheng, Yongmei; Zhao, Tianyi; Fang, Ruochen; Jiang, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system. This unique system is composed of well-distributed clusters of conical spines and trichomes on the cactus stem; each spine contains three integrated parts that have different roles in the fog collection process according to their surface structural features. The gradient of the Laplace pressure, the gradient of the surface-free energy and multi-function integration endow the cactus with an efficient fog collection system. Investigations of the structure-function relationship in this system may help us to design novel materials and devices to collect water from fog with high efficiencies.

  8. A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Jie; Bai, Hao; Zheng, Yongmei; Zhao, Tianyi; Fang, Ruochen; Jiang, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system. This unique system is composed of well-distributed clusters of conical spines and trichomes on the cactus stem; each spine contains three integrated parts that have different roles in the fog collection process according to their surface structural features. The gradient of the Laplace pressure, the gradient of the surface-free energy and multi-function integration endow the cactus with an efficient fog collection system. Investigations of the structure–function relationship in this system may help us to design novel materials and devices to collect water from fog with high efficiencies. PMID:23212376

  9. Biosorption of hexavalent chromium from aqueous medium with Opuntia biomass.

    PubMed

    Fernández-López, José A; Angosto, José M; Avilés, María D

    2014-01-01

    The biosorption of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solutions by Opuntia cladodes and ectodermis from cactus fruits was investigated. Both types of biomass are considered low-cost, natural, and ecofriendly biosorbents. Batch experiments were carried out to determine Cr(VI) biosorption capacity and the efficiency of the biosorption process under different pH, initial Cr(VI) concentration, and sorbent dosage. The biosorption of Cr(VI) by Opuntia biomass was highly pH dependent, favoring higher metal uptake at low pH. The higher biosorption capacity was exhibited at pH 2. The optimal conditions were obtained at a sorbent dosage of 1 g L(-1) and initial metal concentration of 10 mg L(-1). Biosorption kinetic data were properly fitted with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The rate constant, the initial biosorption rate, and the equilibrium biosorption capacity were determined. The experimental equilibrium data obtained were analyzed using two-parameter isotherm models (Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin). The Langmuir maximum monolayer biosorption capacity (q max) was 18.5 mg g(-1) for cladodes and 16.4 mg g(-1) for ectodermis. The results suggest that Opuntia biomass could be considered a promising low-cost biosorbent for the ecofriendly removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous systems.

  10. Biosorption of Hexavalent Chromium from Aqueous Medium with Opuntia Biomass

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The biosorption of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solutions by Opuntia cladodes and ectodermis from cactus fruits was investigated. Both types of biomass are considered low-cost, natural, and ecofriendly biosorbents. Batch experiments were carried out to determine Cr(VI) biosorption capacity and the efficiency of the biosorption process under different pH, initial Cr(VI) concentration, and sorbent dosage. The biosorption of Cr(VI) by Opuntia biomass was highly pH dependent, favoring higher metal uptake at low pH. The higher biosorption capacity was exhibited at pH 2. The optimal conditions were obtained at a sorbent dosage of 1 g L−1 and initial metal concentration of 10 mg L−1. Biosorption kinetic data were properly fitted with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The rate constant, the initial biosorption rate, and the equilibrium biosorption capacity were determined. The experimental equilibrium data obtained were analyzed using two-parameter isotherm models (Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin). The Langmuir maximum monolayer biosorption capacity (q max) was 18.5 mg g−1 for cladodes and 16.4 mg g−1 for ectodermis. The results suggest that Opuntia biomass could be considered a promising low-cost biosorbent for the ecofriendly removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous systems. PMID:24982975

  11. The influence of herbivory and weather on the vital rates of two closely related cactus species.

    PubMed

    Sauby, Kristen E; Kilmer, John; Christman, Mary C; Holt, Robert D; Marsico, Travis D

    2017-09-01

    Herbivory has long been recognized as a significant driver of plant population dynamics, yet its effects along environmental gradients are unclear. Understanding how weather modulates plant-insect interactions can be particularly important for predicting the consequences of exotic insect invasions, and an explicit consideration of weather may help explain why the impact can vary greatly across space and time. We surveyed two native prickly pear cactus species (genus Opuntia ) in the Florida panhandle, USA, and their specialist insect herbivores (the invasive South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum , and three native insect species) for five years across six sites. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the impact of herbivory and weather on plant relative growth rate (RGR) and sexual reproduction, and we used Fisher's exact test to estimate the impact of herbivory on survival. Weather variables (precipitation and temperature) were consistently significant predictors of vital rate variation for both cactus species, in contrast to the limited and varied impacts of insect herbivory. Weather only significantly influenced the impact of herbivory on Opuntia humifusa fruit production. The relationships of RGR and fruit production with precipitation suggest that precipitation serves as a cue in determining the trade-off in the allocation of resources to growth or fruit production. The presence of the native bug explained vital rate variation for both cactus species, whereas the invasive moth explained variation only for O .  stricta . Despite the inconsistent effect of herbivory across vital rates and cactus species, almost half of O .  stricta plants declined in size, and the invasive insect negatively affected RGR and fruit production. Given that fruit production was strongly size-dependent, this suggests that O .  stricta populations at the locations surveyed are transitioning to a size distribution of predominantly smaller sizes and with reduced

  12. Protective Effect of Cactus Cladode Extracts on Peroxisomal Functions in Microglial BV-2 Cells Activated by Different Lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Saih, Fatima-Ezzahra; Andreoletti, Pierre; Mandard, Stéphane; Latruffe, Norbert; El Kebbaj, M'Hammed Saïd; Lizard, Gérard; Nasser, Boubker; Cherkaoui-Malki, Mustapha

    2017-01-07

    In this study, we aimed to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Opuntia ficus-indica cactus cladode extracts in microglia BV-2 cells. Inflammation associated with microglia activation in neuronal injury can be achieved by LPS exposure. Using four different structurally and biologically well-characterized LPS serotypes, we revealed a structure-related differential effect of LPS on fatty acid β-oxidation and antioxidant enzymes in peroxisomes: Escherichia coli -LPS decreased ACOX1 activity while Salmonella minnesota -LPS reduced only catalase activity. Different cactus cladode extracts showed an antioxidant effect through microglial catalase activity activation and an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing nitric oxide (NO) LPS-dependent production. These results suggest that cactus extracts may possess a neuroprotective activity through the induction of peroxisomal antioxidant activity and the inhibition of NO production by activated microglial cells.

  13. By-products of Opuntia ficus-indica as a source of antioxidant dietary fiber.

    PubMed

    Bensadón, Sara; Hervert-Hernández, Deisy; Sáyago-Ayerdi, Sonia G; Goñi, Isabel

    2010-09-01

    Dietary fiber and bioactive compounds are widely used as functional ingredients in processed foods. The market in this field is competitive and the development of new types of quality ingredients for the food industry is on the rise. Opuntia ficus-indica (cactus pear) produces edible tender stems (cladodes) and fruits with a high nutritional value in terms of minerals, protein, dietary fiber and phytochemicals; however, around 20% of fresh weight of cladodes and 45% of fresh weight of fruits are by-products. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the nutritional value of by-products obtained from cladodes and fruits from two varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica, examining their dietary fiber and natural antioxidant compound contents in order to obtain quality ingredients for functional foods and increase the added value of these by-products.

  14. Toward understanding the efficacy and mechanism of Opuntia spp. as a natural coagulant for potential application in water treatment.

    PubMed

    Miller, Sarah M; Fugate, Ezekiel J; Craver, Vinka Oyanedel; Smith, James A; Zimmerman, Julie B

    2008-06-15

    Historically, there is evidence to suggest that communities in the developing world have used plant-based materials as one strategy for purifying drinking water. In this study, the coagulant properties of Opuntia spp., a species of cactus, are quantitatively evaluated for the first time. Opuntia spp. was evaluated for turbidity removal from synthetic water samples, and steps were made toward elucidating the underlying coagulation mechanism. In model turbid water using kaolin clay particles at pH 10, Opuntia spp. reduced turbidity by 98% for a range of initial turbidities. This is similar to the observed coagulation activities previously described for Moringa oleifera, a widely studied natural coagulant. Although it has been reported that Moringa oleifera predominantly operates through charge neutralization, comparison of zeta potential measurements and transmission electron microscopy images of flocs formed by Opuntia spp. suggest that these natural coagulants operate through different mechanisms. It is suggested that Opuntia spp. operates predominantly through a bridging coagulation mechanism. Once optimized, application of these readily available plants as a part of point-of-use water treatment technology may offer a practical, inexpensive, and appropriate solution for producing potable water in some developing communities.

  15. Characterization of crystalline structures in Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Padilla, Margarita; Rivera-Muñoz, Eric M; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; del López, Alicia Real; Rodríguez-García, Mario Enrique

    2015-01-01

    This research studies the crystalline compounds present in nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladodes. The identification of the crystalline structures was performed using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The crystalline structures identified were calcium carbonate (calcite) [CaCO3], calcium-magnesium bicarbonate [CaMg(CO3)2], magnesium oxide [MgO], calcium oxalate monohydrate [Ca(C2O4)•(H2O)], potassium peroxydiphosphate [K4P2O8] and potassium chloride [KCl]. The SEM images indicate that calcite crystals grow to dipyramidal, octahedral-like, prismatic, and flower-like structures; meanwhile, calcium-magnesium bicarbonate structures show rhombohedral exfoliation and calcium oxalate monohydrate is present in a drusenoid morphology. These calcium carbonate compounds have a great importance for humans because their bioavailability. This is the first report about the identification and structural analysis of calcium carbonate and calcium-magnesium bicarbonate in nopal cladodes, as well as the presence of magnesium oxide, potassium peroxydiphosphate and potassium chloride in these plants. The significance of the study of the inorganic components of these cactus plants is related with the increasing interest in the potential use of Opuntia as a raw material of products for the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

  16. The use of a natural coagulant (Opuntia ficus-indica) in the removal for organic materials of textile effluents.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Maísa Tatiane Ferreira; Ambrosio, Elizangela; de Almeida, Cibele Andrade; de Souza Freitas, Thábata Karoliny Formicoli; Santos, Lídia Brizola; de Cinque Almeida, Vitor; Garcia, Juliana Carla

    2014-08-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the activity of the coagulant extracted from the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) in the process of coagulation/flocculation of textile effluents. Preliminary tests of a kaolinite suspension achieved maximum turbidity removal of 95 % using an NaCl extraction solution. Optimization assays were conducted with actual effluents using the response surface methodology (RSM) based on the Box-Behnken experimental design. The responses of the variables FeCl3, dosage, cactus dosage, and pH in the removal of COD and turbidity from both effluents were investigated. The optimum conditions determined for jeans washing laundry effluent were the following: FeCl3 160 mg L(-1), cactus dosage 2.60 mg L(-1), and pH 5.0. For the fabric dyeing effluent, the optimum conditions were the following: FeCl3 640 mg L(-1), cactus dosage 160 mg L(-1), and pH 6.0. Investigation of the effects of the storage time and temperature of the cactus O. ficus-indica showed that coagulation efficiency was not significantly affected for storage at room temperature for up to 4 days.

  17. Transcriptional variation associated with cactus host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri populations.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Kim; Matzkin, Luciano M; Bono, Jeremy M

    2015-10-01

    Although the importance of host plant chemistry in plant-insect interactions is widely accepted, the genetic basis of adaptation to host plants is not well understood. Here, we investigate transcriptional changes associated with a host plant shift in Drosophila mettleri. While D. mettleri is distributed mainly throughout the Sonoran Desert where it specializes on columnar cacti (Carnegiea gigantea and Pachycereus pringleii), a population on Santa Catalina Island has shifted to chemically divergent coastal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia littoralis). We compared gene expression of larvae from the Sonoran Desert and Santa Catalina Island when reared on saguaro (C. gigantea), coastal prickly pear and laboratory food. Consistent with expectations based on the complexity and toxicity of cactus relative to laboratory food, within-population comparisons between larvae reared on these food sources revealed transcriptional differences in detoxification and other metabolic pathways. The majority of transcriptional differences between populations on the cactus hosts were independent of the rearing environment and included a disproportionate number of genes involved in processes relevant to host plant adaptation (e.g. detoxification, central metabolism and chemosensory pathways). Comparisons of transcriptional reaction norms between the two populations revealed extensive shared plasticity that likely allowed colonization of coastal prickly pear on Santa Catalina Island. We also found that while plasticity may have facilitated subsequent adaptive divergence in gene expression between populations, the majority of genes that differed in expression on the novel host were not transcriptionally plastic in the presumed ancestral state. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Microscale Mechanism of Age Dependent Wetting Properties of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia).

    PubMed

    Rykaczewski, Konrad; Jordan, Jacob S; Linder, Rubin; Woods, Erik T; Sun, Xiaoda; Kemme, Nicholas; Manning, Kenneth C; Cherry, Brian R; Yarger, Jeffery L; Majure, Lucas C

    2016-09-13

    Cacti thrive in xeric environments through specialized water storage and collection tactics such as a shallow, widespread root system that maximizes rainwater absorption and spines adapted for fog droplet collection. However, in many cacti, the epidermis, not the spines, dominates the exterior surface area. Yet, little attention has been dedicated to studying interactions of the cactus epidermis with water drops. Surprisingly, the epidermis of plants in the genus Opuntia, also known as prickly pear cacti, has water-repelling characteristics. In this work, we report that surface properties of cladodes of 25 taxa of Opuntia grown in an arid Sonoran climate switch from water-repelling to superwetting under water impact over the span of a single season. We show that the old cladode surfaces are not superhydrophilic, but have nearly vanishing receding contact angle. We study water drop interactions with, as well as nano/microscale topology and chemistry of, the new and old cladodes of two Opuntia species and use this information to uncover the microscopic mechanism underlying this phenomenon. We demonstrate that composition of extracted wax and its contact angle do not change significantly with time. Instead, we show that the reported age dependent wetting behavior primarily stems from pinning of the receding contact line along multilayer surface microcracks in the epicuticular wax that expose the underlying highly hydrophilic layers.

  19. Demographic monitoring of Wright fishhook cactus

    Treesearch

    Ronald J. Kass

    2001-01-01

    Wright fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae Benson) is a small barrel cactus endemic to the San Rafael Swell in south-central Utah. It was listed as an endangered species in 1979 due to its small population size, threats of over-collecting, and development associated with oil and gas. Demographic monitoring was initiated in 1993 with the following objectives: to...

  20. Dye-sensitized solar cells using Aloe Vera and Cladode of Cactus extracts as natural sensitizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganta, D.; Jara, J.; Villanueva, R.

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) from natural plant-based dyes, extracted from the Cladode (nopal) of the Thornless Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), the gel of Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller), and the combination of Cladode and Aloe Vera extracts on side-by-side configuration. Optical properties were analyzed using UV-Vis Absorption and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Open circuit voltages (Voc) varied from 0.440 to 0.676 V, fill factors (FF) were greater than 40%, short-circuit photocurrent densities (Jsc) ranged from 0.112 to 0.290 mA/cm2 and highest conversion efficiency of 0.740% was reported for the Cladode DSSC.

  1. CACTUS SPRING ROADLESS AREA, CALIFORNIA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matti, Jonathan C.; Kuizon, Lucia

    1984-01-01

    Geologic, geochemical, and geophysical studies together with a review of historic mining and prospecting activities indicate that the Cactus Spring Roadless Area in California has little promise for the occurrence of mineral or energy resources. Marble bodies occur in the northern part of the roadless area and are possible resources for building stone, crushed and quarried aggregate, and lime and magnesium for Portland cement and industrial applications. It is recommended that the terrane of marble be mapped and sampled carefully in order to evaluate the quantity and quality of the carbonate resources.

  2. Viruses in laboratory-reared cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Marti, O.G.; Myers, R.E.; Carpenter, J.E.

    2007-03-15

    The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Phycitinae), is a non-native species threatening a variety of native cacti, particularly endangered species of Opuntia (Zimmerman et al. 2001), on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Cactoblastis cactorum populations have expanded from Florida northward along the Atlantic coast as far as Charleston, SC, and westward along the Gulf of Mexico to Dauphin Island, south of Mobile, AL. It is feared that further movement to the west will allow C. cactorum to enter the US desert Southwest and Mexico, particularly the latter. Numerous cactus species, especially those of the genera Opuntia andmore » Nopalea, are native to the U.S. and Mexico. Local economies based on agricultural and horticultural uses of cacti could be devastated by C. cactorum (Vigueras and Portillo 2001). A bi-national control program between the US and Mexico is being developed, utilizing the sterile insect technique (SIT). In the SIT program, newly emerged moths are irradiated with a {sup 60}Co source and released to mate with wild individuals. The radiation dose completely sterilizes the females and partially sterilizes the males. When irradiated males mate with wild females, the F1 progeny of these matings are sterile. In order for the SIT program to succeed, large numbers of moths must be reared from egg to adult on artificial diet in a quarantined rearing facility (Carpenter et al. 2001). Irradiated insects must then be released in large numbers at the leading edge of the invasive population and at times which coincide with the presence of wild individuals available for mating. Mortality from disease in the rearing colony disrupts the SIT program by reducing the numbers of insects available for release.« less

  3. Chemical composition of volatiles from Opuntia littoralis, Opuntia ficus-indica, and Opuntia prolifera growing on Catalina Island, California.

    PubMed

    Wright, Cynthia R; Setzer, William N

    2014-01-01

    The essential oils from the cladodes of Opuntia littoralis, Opuntia ficus-indica and Opuntia prolifera growing wild on Santa Catalina Island, California, were obtained by hydrodistillation and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Terpenoids were the dominant class of volatiles in O. littoralis, with the two main components being the furanoid forms of cis-linalool oxide (10.8%) and trans-linalool oxide (8.8%). Fatty acid-derived compounds dominated the essential oil of O. ficus-indica with linoleic acid (22.3%), palmitic acid (12.7%), lauric acid (10.5%) and myristic acid (4.2%) as major fatty acids. O. prolifera oil was composed of 46.6% alkanes and the primary hydrocarbon component was heptadecane (19.2%). Sixteen compounds were common to all the three Opuntia species.

  4. Oil composition and characterisation of phenolic compounds of Opuntia ficus-indica seeds.

    PubMed

    Chougui, Nadia; Tamendjari, Abderezak; Hamidj, Wahiba; Hallal, Salima; Barras, Alexandre; Richard, Tristan; Larbat, Romain

    2013-08-15

    The seed composition of four varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica growing in Algeria was investigated. Seeds ground into a fine powder were first, subjected to oil extraction and fatty acids analysis. The phenolic compounds were then extracted from the defatted powder of seeds in order to be quantified and characterised by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS(n)) and to nuclear magnetic resonance (LC-NMR) approaches. In addition, an evaluation of the antioxidant activity of the phenolic extracts was investigated. Gas chromatography analysis of the seed oil showed high percentages of linoleic acid in the four varieties ranging from 58% to 63%. The phenolic profile of the Opuntia ficus-indica seeds displayed a high complexity, with more than 20 compounds detected at 330 nm after the LC separation. Among them, three isomers of feruloyl-sucrose were firmly identified and another was strongly supposed to be a sinapoyl-diglycoside. High correlations were found between phenolic content in the defatted seed extracts and their antioxidant activity. The data indicate that the defatted cactus seed wastes still contain various components that constitute a source for natural foods. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Cactus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2007-01-01

    The transfer of data from one part of a computer to another has always been a complex task in which speed is traded against accuracy and the time required for error correction. Much more complex therefore is the transfer of information from one machine to another of a different type. Difficulties arise when machines are updated, when file formats…

  6. Hepatoprotective Effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha Fruits against Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Damage

    PubMed Central

    González-Ponce, Herson Antonio; Martínez-Saldaña, María Consolación; Rincón-Sánchez, Ana Rosa; Sumaya-Martínez, María Teresa; Buist-Homan, Manon; Faber, Klaas Nico; Moshage, Han; Jaramillo-Juárez, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure (ALF) is a serious health problem in developed countries. N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), the current therapy for APAP-induced ALF, is not always effective, and liver transplantation is often needed. Opuntia spp. fruits are an important source of nutrients and contain high levels of bioactive compounds, including antioxidants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha extracts against APAP-induced ALF. In addition, we analyzed the antioxidant activities of these extracts. Fruit extracts (800 mg/kg/day, orally) were given prophylactically to male Wistar rats before intoxication with APAP (500 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Rat hepatocyte cultures were exposed to 20 mmol/L APAP, and necrosis was assessed by LDH leakage. Opuntia robusta had significantly higher levels of antioxidants than Opuntia streptacantha. Both extracts significantly attenuated APAP-induced injury markers AST, ALT and ALP and improved liver histology. The Opuntia extracts reversed APAP-induced depletion of liver GSH and glycogen stores. In cultured hepatocytes, Opuntia extracts significantly reduced leakage of LDH and cell necrosis, both prophylactically and therapeutically. Both extracts appeared to be superior to NAC when used therapeutically. We conclude that Opuntia extracts are hepatoprotective and can be used as a nutraceutical to prevent ALF. PMID:27782042

  7. Antioxidant betalains from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) inhibit endothelial ICAM-1 expression.

    PubMed

    Gentile, C; Tesoriere, L; Allegra, M; Livrea, M A; D'Alessio, P

    2004-12-01

    It has been suggested that some pigments would have antioxidant properties and that their presence in dietary constituents would contribute to reduce the risk of oxidative stress-correlated diseases. Among others, inflammatory response depends on redox status and may implicate oxidative stress. Vascular endothelial cells are a direct target of oxidative stress in inflammation. We have tested the impact of the free radical scavenger and antioxidant properties of betalains from the prickle pear in an in vitro model of endothelial cells. Here we show the capacity of betalains to protect endothelium from cytokine-induced redox state alteration, through ICAM-1 inhibition.

  8. Evaluation of some biological parameters of Opuntia ficus indica. 1. Influence of a seed oil supplemented diet on rats.

    PubMed

    Ennouri, Monia; Fetoui, Hamadi; Bourret, Evelyne; Zeghal, Najiba; Attia, Hamadi

    2006-08-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) is native to Tunisia and the fruit is consumed exclusively as fresh fruit. The seed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids but the nutritive value of the oil is unknown. The objective of our research was to determine the fatty acid content of cactus pear seed oil and to evaluate the effect of an oil supplemented diet on rats. The main fatty acids of prickly pear seed oil were C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2 with an exceptional level of linoleic acid, up to 700 g kg(-1), and a total content of unsaturated fatty acids of 884.8 g kg(-1). Feed intake and body weight of rats were measured every two days during the nine weeks of treatment. Digestibility, feed conversion efficiency and protein efficiency ratio were determined. No difference in digestibility was noted for the oil enriched diet. The results indicated a significant decrease in serum glucose concentration (22%) over the control group. However, an increase in the concentration of glycogen was noted in liver and muscle. Blood cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol decreased in the treated group. High density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentration remained unaltered during the treatment. These findings support the nutritional value of cactus pear as a natural source of edible oil containing essential fatty acids and reinforce the possibility of cactus pear as a new crop for Tunisia especially in semi-arid regions, where conventional crops are difficult to establish.

  9. 75 FR 81087 - South American Cactus Moth Quarantine; Addition of the State of Louisiana

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    .... After an incubation period following mating, the female South American cactus moth deposits an egg stick... plant. Within a short period of time, the South American cactus moth can destroy whole stands of cactus...

  10. Differences in Tolerance to Host Cactus Alkaloids in Drosophila koepferae and D. buzzatii

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Ignacio M.; Carreira, Valeria P.; Corio, Cristian; Padró, Julián; Soto, Eduardo M.; Hasson, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of cactophily in the genus Drosophila was a major ecological transition involving over a hundred species in the Americas that acquired the capacity to cope with a variety of toxic metabolites evolved as feeding deterrents in Cactaceae. D. buzzatii and D. koepferae are sibling cactophilic species in the D. repleta group. The former is mainly associated with the relatively toxic-free habitat offered by prickly pears (Opuntia sulphurea) and the latter has evolved the ability to use columnar cacti of the genera Trichocereus and Cereus that contain an array of alkaloid secondary compounds. We assessed the effects of cactus alkaloids on fitness-related traits and evaluated the ability of D. buzzatii and D. koepferae to exploit an artificial novel toxic host. Larvae of both species were raised in laboratory culture media to which we added increasing doses of an alkaloid fraction extracted from the columnar cactus T. terschekii. In addition, we evaluated performance on an artificial novel host by rearing larvae in a seminatural medium that combined the nutritional quality of O. sulphurea plus amounts of alkaloids found in fresh T. terschekii. Performance scores in each rearing treatment were calculated using an index that took into account viability, developmental time, and adult body size. Only D. buzzatii suffered the effects of increasing doses of alkaloids and the artificial host impaired viability in D. koepferae, but did not affect performance in D. buzzatii. These results provide the first direct evidence that alkaloids are key determinants of host plant use in these species. However, the results regarding the artificial novel host suggest that the effects of alkaloids on performance are not straightforward as D. koepferae was heavily affected. We discuss these results in the light of patterns of host plan evolution in the Drosophila repleta group. PMID:24520377

  11. Betalain profile, phenolic content, and color characterization of different parts and varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Cejudo-Bastante, María Jesús; Chaalal, Makhlouf; Louaileche, Hayette; Parrado, Juan; Heredia, Francisco J

    2014-08-20

    Three different varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica (R, red; Y, yellow; RY, red-yellow) have been considered in this study. Attention was focused on differential tristimulus colorimetry and on the analysis of individual betalains (HPLC-DAD-ESI-ToF-MS) and phenolic content, scarcely previously reported in these kinds of samples. The importance of this research stems from the elucidation of the parts and varieties of cactus pear more optimal for use as natural colorants and sources of phenolics and betalains. Thus, the RY pulp was appropriate to obtain colorants with high color intensity (C*(ab) = 66.5), whereas the whole Y fruit and R pulp reached powerful and stable yellow and red colors, respectively (C*(ab)/h(ab), 57.1/84.7 and 61.1°/81.8°). This choice was also based on the visually appreciable differences (ΔE*(ab) > 5) among samples, mainly quantitative (%Δ(2)L, %Δ(2)C). In addition, seeds of all Opuntia varieties showed significantly (p < 0.05) similar phenolic content (around 23.3 mg/g) and color characteristics.

  12. Identification of functional groups of Opuntia ficus-indica involved in coagulation process after its active part extraction.

    PubMed

    Bouaouine, Omar; Bourven, Isabelle; Khalil, Fouad; Baudu, Michel

    2018-04-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica that belongs to the Cactaceae family and is a member of Opuntia kind has received increasing research interest for wastewater treatment by flocculation. The objectives of this study were (i) to provide more information regarding the active constituents of Opuntia spp. and (ii) to improve the extracting and using conditions of the flocculant molecules for water treatment. A classic approach by jar test experiments was used with raw and extracted material by solubilization and precipitation. The surface properties of solid material were characterized by FTIR, SEM, zeta potential measurement, and surface titration. The splitting based on the solubility of the material with pH and the titration of functional groups completed the method. The optimal pH value for a coagulation-flocculation process using cactus solid material (CSM) was 10.0 and a processing rate of 35 mg L -1 . The alkaline pH of flocculation suggests an adsorption mechanism with bridging effect between particles by water-soluble extracted molecules. To validate this mechanism, an extraction water was carried out at pH = 10 (optimum of flocculation) and the solution was acidified (pH = 7) to allow precipitation of so considered active flocculant molecules. The strong flocculant property of this extract was verified, and titration of this solution showed at least one specific pKa of 9.0 ± 0.6. This pKa corresponds to phenol groups, which could be assigned to lignin and tannin.

  13. The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

    The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during May-June (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the "scozzolatura" practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in May-June, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

  14. Biology and population dynamics of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, was a successful biological control agent against prickly pear cacti in Australia in the 1920’s. Since then, it was introduced to other countries including the Carribean islands. In 1989, the cactus moth was reported in Florida and has continued to spread nort...

  15. Carpet: Adaptive Mesh Refinement for the Cactus Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnetter, Erik; Hawley, Scott; Hawke, Ian

    2016-11-01

    Carpet is an adaptive mesh refinement and multi-patch driver for the Cactus Framework (ascl:1102.013). Cactus is a software framework for solving time-dependent partial differential equations on block-structured grids, and Carpet acts as driver layer providing adaptive mesh refinement, multi-patch capability, as well as parallelization and efficient I/O.

  16. Opuntia spp.: Characterization and Benefits in Chronic Diseases.

    PubMed

    Del Socorro Santos Díaz, María; Barba de la Rosa, Ana-Paulina; Héliès-Toussaint, Cécile; Guéraud, Françoise; Nègre-Salvayre, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia species have been used for centuries as food resources and in traditional folk medicine for their nutritional properties and their benefit in chronic diseases, particularly diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. These plants are largely distributed in America, Africa, and the Mediterranean basin. Opuntia spp. have great economic potential because they grow in arid and desert areas, and O. ficus-indica , the domesticated O . species, is used as a nutritional and pharmaceutical agent in various dietary and value-added products. Though differences in the phytochemical composition exist between wild and domesticated ( O. ficus-indica ) Opuntia spp., all Opuntia vegetatives (pear, roots, cladodes, seeds, and juice) exhibit beneficial properties mainly resulting from their high content in antioxidants (flavonoids, ascorbate), pigments (carotenoids, betalains), and phenolic acids. Other phytochemical components (biopeptides, soluble fibers) have been characterized and contribute to the medicinal properties of Opuntia spp. The biological properties of Opuntia spp. have been investigated on cellular and animal models and in clinical trials in humans, allowing characterization and clarification of the protective effect of Opuntia -enriched diets in chronic diseases. This review is an update on the phytochemical composition and biological properties of Opuntia spp. and their potential interest in medicine.

  17. Opuntia spp.: Characterization and Benefits in Chronic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    del Socorro Santos Díaz, María; Barba de la Rosa, Ana-Paulina; Héliès-Toussaint, Cécile; Guéraud, Françoise

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia species have been used for centuries as food resources and in traditional folk medicine for their nutritional properties and their benefit in chronic diseases, particularly diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. These plants are largely distributed in America, Africa, and the Mediterranean basin. Opuntia spp. have great economic potential because they grow in arid and desert areas, and O. ficus-indica, the domesticated O. species, is used as a nutritional and pharmaceutical agent in various dietary and value-added products. Though differences in the phytochemical composition exist between wild and domesticated (O. ficus-indica) Opuntia spp., all Opuntia vegetatives (pear, roots, cladodes, seeds, and juice) exhibit beneficial properties mainly resulting from their high content in antioxidants (flavonoids, ascorbate), pigments (carotenoids, betalains), and phenolic acids. Other phytochemical components (biopeptides, soluble fibers) have been characterized and contribute to the medicinal properties of Opuntia spp. The biological properties of Opuntia spp. have been investigated on cellular and animal models and in clinical trials in humans, allowing characterization and clarification of the protective effect of Opuntia-enriched diets in chronic diseases. This review is an update on the phytochemical composition and biological properties of Opuntia spp. and their potential interest in medicine. PMID:28491239

  18. Effects of cooking methods on phenolic compounds in xoconostle (Opuntia joconostle).

    PubMed

    Cortez-García, Rosa María; Ortiz-Moreno, Alicia; Zepeda-Vallejo, Luis Gerardo; Necoechea-Mondragón, Hugo

    2015-03-01

    Xoconostle, the acidic cactus pear fruit of Opuntia joconostle of the Cactaceae family, is the source of several phytochemicals, such as betalain pigments and numerous phenolic compounds. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of four cooking procedures (i.e., boiling, grilling, steaming and microwaving) on the total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity (measured by ABTS, DPPH, reducing power, and BCBA) of xoconostle. In addition, HPLC-DAD analyses were performed to identify and quantify individual phenolic compounds. After microwaving and steaming xoconostle, the TPC remained the same that in fresh samples, whereas both grilling and boiling produced a significant, 20% reduction (p ≤ 0.05). Total flavonoids remained unchanged in boiled and grilled xoconostle, but steaming and microwaving increased the flavonoid content by 13 and 20%, respectively. Steaming and microwaving did not produce significant changes in the antioxidant activity of xoconostle, whereas boiling and grilling result in significant decreases. The phenolic acids identified in xoconostle fruits were gallic, vanillic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, ferulic and protocatechuic acids; the flavonoids identified were epicatechin, catechin, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin and kaempferol. Based on the results, steaming and microwaving are the most suitable methods for retaining the highest level of phenolic compounds and flavonoids in xoconostle.

  19. Potential of Opuntia ficus-indica for air pollution biomonitoring: a lead isotopic study.

    PubMed

    El Hayek, Eliane; El Samrani, Antoine; Lartiges, Bruno; Kazpard, Veronique; Benoit, Mathieu; Munoz, Marguerite

    2015-11-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (Ofi) is a long-domesticated cactus that is widespread throughout arid and semiarid regions. Ofi is grown for both its fruits and edible cladodes, which are flattened photosynthetic stems. Young cladodes develop from mother cladodes, thus forming series of cladodes of different ages. Therefore, successive cladodes may hold some potential for biomonitoring over several years the local atmospheric pollution. In this study, cladodes, roots, dust deposited onto the cladodes, and soil samples were collected in the vicinity of three heavily polluted sites, i.e., a fertilizer industry, the road side of a highway, and mine tailings. The lead content was analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) was used to characterize the cladode surfaces and the nature of dust deposit, and the lead isotopes were analyzed to identify the origin of Pb. The results show that (i) Ofi readily bioaccumulates Pb, (ii) the lead isotopic composition of cladodes evidences a foliar pathway of lead into Ofi and identifies the relative contributions of local Pb sources, and (iii) an evolution of air quality is recorded with successive cladodes, which makes Ofi a potential biomonitor to be used in environmental and health studies.

  20. Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes as feedstock for ethanol production by Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Kuloyo, Olukayode O; du Preez, James C; García-Aparicio, Maria del Prado; Kilian, Stephanus G; Steyn, Laurinda; Görgens, Johann

    2014-12-01

    The feasibility of ethanol production using an enzymatic hydrolysate of pretreated cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear cactus) as carbohydrate feedstock was investigated, including a comprehensive chemical analysis of the cladode biomass and the effects of limited aeration on the fermentation profiles and sugar utilization. The low xylose and negligible mannose content of the cladode biomass used in this study suggested that the hemicellulose structure of the O. ficus-indica cladode was atypical of hardwood or softwood hemicelluloses. Separate hydrolysis and fermentation and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation procedures using Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae at 40 and 35 °C, respectively, gave similar ethanol yields under non-aerated conditions. In oxygen-limited cultures K. marxianus exhibited almost double the ethanol productivity compared to non-aerated cultures, although after sugar depletion utilization of the produced ethanol was evident. Ethanol concentrations of up to 19.5 and 20.6 g l(-1) were obtained with K. marxianus and S. cerevisiae, respectively, representing 66 and 70 % of the theoretical yield on total sugars in the hydrolysate. Because of the low xylan content of the cladode biomass, a yeast capable of xylose fermentation might not be a prerequisite for ethanol production. K. marxianus, therefore, has potential as an alternative to S. cerevisiae for bioethanol production. However, the relatively low concentration of fermentable sugars in the O. ficus-indica cladode hydrolysate presents a technical constraint for commercial exploitation.

  1. Arabinan-cellulose composite in Opuntia ficus-indica prickly pear spines.

    PubMed

    Vignon, M R; Heux, L; Malainine, M-E; Mahrouz, M

    2004-01-02

    The ultrastructure of the spines decorating the cladodes of the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica was investigated by optical microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, wide angle X-ray, and solid state 13C NMR analyses. Each spine consisted of a compact parallel arrangement of slender cellulosic fibers (0.4 mm in length and 6-10 microm in diameter) with small lumens. The fibers were disencrusted by alkali and sodium chlorite bleaching, yielding a remarkable arabinan-cellulose (1:1) product. X-ray fiber diagrams of the spines before and after purification confirmed the presence of crystalline cellulose domains with molecular axis parallel to the spine axis. CP-MAS 13C T1 NMR data showed a strong interaction at a nanometric level of a fraction of the arabinan and the cellulose crystalline domains. By sequential hydrothermal extractions, followed by a trifluoroacetic acid treatment, a relatively pure cellulose was isolated while the extracted fibers became fibrillated into slender microfibrils having no more than 4-6 nm diameter. The hydrothermal extract yielded the alpha-L-arabinofuranan consisting of a chain of (1-->5)-linked L-arabinosyl residues with branching either at C-2 or C-3 or at both C-2 and C-3. Taken together, these observations suggest that the bulk of the spine fibers consists of an intimate composite of cellulose microfibrils embedded in an arabinan matrix.

  2. Selenium Accumulation, Distribution, and Speciation in Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus: A Drought- and Salt-Tolerant, Selenium-Enriched Nutraceutical Fruit Crop for Biofortified Foods1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Bañuelos, Gary S.; Fakra, Sirine C.; Walse, Spencer S.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Yang, Soo In; Pickering, Ingrid J.; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A.H.; Freeman, John L.

    2011-01-01

    The organ-specific accumulation, spatial distribution, and chemical speciation of selenium (Se) were previously unknown for any species of cactus. We investigated Se in Opuntia ficus-indica using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, microfocused x-ray fluorescence elemental and chemical mapping (μXRF), Se K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). μXRF showed Se concentrated inside small conic, vestigial leaves (cladode tips), the cladode vasculature, and the seed embryos. Se K-edge XANES demonstrated that approximately 96% of total Se in cladode, fruit juice, fruit pulp, and seed is carbon-Se-carbon (C-Se-C). Micro and bulk XANES analysis showed that cladode tips contained both selenate and C-Se-C forms. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry quantification of Se in high-performance liquid chromatography fractions followed by LC-MS structural identification showed selenocystathionine-to-selenomethionine (SeMet) ratios of 75:25, 71:29, and 32:68, respectively in cladode, fruit, and seed. Enzymatic digestions and subsequent analysis confirmed that Se was mainly present in a “free” nonproteinaceous form inside cladode and fruit, while in the seed, Se was incorporated into proteins associated with lipids. μXRF chemical mapping illuminated the specific location of Se reduction and assimilation from selenate accumulated in the cladode tips into the two LC-MS-identified C-Se-C forms before they were transported into the cladode mesophyll. We conclude that Opuntia is a secondary Se-accumulating plant whose fruit and cladode contain mostly free selenocystathionine and SeMet, while seeds contain mainly SeMet in protein. When eaten, the organic Se forms in Opuntia fruit, cladode, and seed may improve health, increase Se mineral nutrition, and help prevent multiple human cancers. PMID:21059825

  3. Selenium Accumulation, Distribution, and Speciation in Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus: A Drought- and Salt-Tolerant, Selenium-Enriched Nutraceutical Fruit Crop for Biofortified Foods

    SciTech Connect

    Banuelos, Gary S.; Fakra, Sirine C.; Walse, Spencer S.

    The organ-specific accumulation, spatial distribution, and chemical speciation of selenium (Se) were previously unknown for any species of cactus. We investigated Se in Opuntia ficus-indica using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, microfocused x-ray fluorescence elemental and chemical mapping ({micro}XRF), Se K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). {micro}XRF showed Se concentrated inside small conic, vestigial leaves (cladode tips), the cladode vasculature, and the seed embryos. Se K-edge XANES demonstrated that approximately 96% of total Se in cladode, fruit juice, fruit pulp, and seed is carbon-Se-carbon (C-Se-C). Micro and bulk XANES analysis showed that cladode tipsmore » contained both selenate and C-Se-C forms. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry quantification of Se in high-performance liquid chromatography fractions followed by LC-MS structural identification showed selenocystathionine-to-selenomethionine (SeMet) ratios of 75:25, 71:29, and 32:68, respectively in cladode, fruit, and seed. Enzymatic digestions and subsequent analysis confirmed that Se was mainly present in a 'free' nonproteinaceous form inside cladode and fruit, while in the seed, Se was incorporated into proteins associated with lipids. {micro}XRF chemical mapping illuminated the specific location of Se reduction and assimilation from selenate accumulated in the cladode tips into the two LC-MS-identified C-Se-C forms before they were transported into the cladode mesophyll. We conclude that Opuntia is a secondary Se-accumulating plant whose fruit and cladode contain mostly free selenocystathionine and SeMet, while seeds contain mainly SeMet in protein. When eaten, the organic Se forms in Opuntia fruit, cladode, and seed may improve health, increase Se mineral nutrition, and help prevent multiple human cancers.« less

  4. Effects of a natural fire on a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus fendleri var. kuenzleri) and nylon hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus viridiflorus) population in Southeastern New Mexico

    Treesearch

    Robert C. Sivinski

    2007-01-01

    During the summer of 1992, a natural wildfire burned 250 acres of juniper savanna on Rawhide Ridge in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. This fire burned through the center of a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus population. This threatened cactus is locally sympatric with the more abundant nylon hedgehog cactus, which has similar growth form and stature...

  5. EVALUATION OF FREEZE DRIED ALOE VERA AND NOPAL CACTUS FOR POSSIBLE HEALTH TREATMENTS BY COMPARISON OF ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES AND FREE RADICAL INHIBITION.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Kenneth R; Jones, Anthony E; Belmont, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this project was to characterize the antioxidant powers of lyophilized Aloe Vera ( Aloe barbadensis ) and Nopal Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) by quantifying the phenolics content and radical scavenging abilities of preparations derived from these plants. Extracts of these lyophylized succulents were assayed for phenolic compounds by the Folin Ciocalteau method and compared for free radical scavenging capability by the DPPH method. We found that even though the Aloe lyophilizate extract contained more phenolic content, the Nopal lyophilizate exhibited better free radical scavenging ability. Aloe Vera extract contained 0.278 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 11.1% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.177±0.015 min -1 . Nopal Cactus extract contained 0.174 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 13.2% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.155±0.009 min -1 . These results showed Nopal to have greater antioxidant potency than Aloe.

  6. EVALUATION OF FREEZE DRIED ALOE VERA AND NOPAL CACTUS FOR POSSIBLE HEALTH TREATMENTS BY COMPARISON OF ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES AND FREE RADICAL INHIBITION

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Anthony E.; Belmont, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this project was to characterize the antioxidant powers of lyophilized Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) and Nopal Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) by quantifying the phenolics content and radical scavenging abilities of preparations derived from these plants. Extracts of these lyophylized succulents were assayed for phenolic compounds by the Folin Ciocalteau method and compared for free radical scavenging capability by the DPPH method. We found that even though the Aloe lyophilizate extract contained more phenolic content, the Nopal lyophilizate exhibited better free radical scavenging ability. Aloe Vera extract contained 0.278 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 11.1% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.177±0.015 min−1. Nopal Cactus extract contained 0.174 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 13.2% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.155±0.009 min−1. These results showed Nopal to have greater antioxidant potency than Aloe. PMID:27284273

  7. Phytochemical, antioxidant and protective effect of cactus cladodes extract against lithium-induced liver injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Ben Saad, Anouar; Dalel, Brahmi; Rjeibi, Ilhem; Smida, Amani; Ncib, Sana; Zouari, Nacim; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-12-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (Castaceae) (cactus) is used in Tunisian medicine for the treatment of various diseases. This study determines phytochemical composition of cactus cladode extract (CCE). It also investigates antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective potential of CCE against lithium carbonate (Li 2 CO 3 )-induced liver injury in rats. Twenty-four Wistar male rats were divided into four groups of six each: a control group given distilled water (0.5 mL/100 g b.w.; i.p.), a group injected with Li 2 CO 3 (25 mg/kg b.w.; i.p.; corresponding to 30% of the LD 50 ) twice daily for 30 days, a group receiving only CCE at 100 mg/kg of b.w. for 60 days and then injected with distilled water during the last 30 days of CCE treatment, and a group receiving CCE and then injected with Li 2 CO 3 during the last 30 days of CCE treatment. The bioactive components containing the CCE were identified using chemical assays. Treatment with Li 2 CO 3 caused a significant change of some haematological parameters including red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), haemoglobin content (Hb), haematocrit (Ht) and mean corpuscular volume (VCM) compared to the control group. Moreover, significant increases in the levels of glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities were observed in the blood of Li 2 CO 3 -treated rats. Furthermore, exposure to Li 2 CO 3 significantly increased the LPO level and decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities in the hepatic tissues. CCE possesses a significant hepatoprotective effect.

  8. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

  9. Annealing a magnetic cactus into phyllotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisoli, Cristiano; Gabor, Nathaniel M.; Lammert, Paul E.; Maynard, J. D.; Crespi, Vincent H.

    2010-04-01

    The appearance of mathematical regularities in the disposition of leaves on a stem, scales on a pine-cone, and spines on a cactus has puzzled scholars for millennia; similar so-called phyllotactic patterns are seen in self-organized growth, polypeptides, convection, magnetic flux lattices and ion beams. Levitov showed that a cylindrical lattice of repulsive particles can reproduce phyllotaxis under the (unproved) assumption that minimum of energy would be achieved by two-dimensional Bravais lattices. Here we provide experimental and numerical evidence that the Phyllotactic lattice is actually a ground state. When mechanically annealed, our experimental “magnetic cactus” precisely reproduces botanical phyllotaxis, along with domain boundaries (called transitions in Botany) between different phyllotactic patterns. We employ a structural genetic algorithm to explore the more general axially unconstrained case, which reveals multijugate (multiple spirals) as well as monojugate (single-spiral) phyllotaxis.

  10. Biomimetic "Cactus Spine" with Hierarchical Groove Structure for Efficient Fog Collection.

    PubMed

    Bai, Fan; Wu, Juntao; Gong, Guangming; Guo, Lin

    2015-07-01

    A biomimetic "cactus spine" with hierarchical groove structure is designed and fabricated using simple electrospinning. This novel artificial cactus spine possesses excellent fog collection and water transportation ability. A model cactus equipped with artificial spines also shows a great water storage capacity. The results can be helpful in the development of water collectors and may make a contribution to the world water crisis.

  11. Study of the antioxidant properties of extracts obtained from nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladodes after convective drying.

    PubMed

    Medina-Torres, Luis; Vernon-Carter, E Jaime; Gallegos-Infante, J Alberto; Rocha-Guzman, Nuria E; Herrera-Valencia, E E; Calderas, Fausto; Jiménez-Alvarado, Rubén

    2011-04-01

    The process of convective drying was evaluated in terms of the bioactive compounds contained in nopal samples before and after dehydration. Total polyphenol, flavonoid, flavonol, carotene and ascorbic acid contents were determined in undehydrated and dehydrated samples. Two drying temperatures (45 and 65 °C) and two air flow rates (3 and 5 m s(-1) ) were evaluated. The rheology of samples under the best drying conditions was also studied, since it provides important information regarding processing (mixing, flow processing) as well as the sensory attributes (texture) of rehydrated samples. Non-Newtonian shear-thinning behaviour was observed for samples dried at 45 °C, while samples dried at 65 °C showed shear-thickening behaviour, possibly caused by thermal chain scission of high-molecular-weight components. The best conditions for bioactive compound preservation were a drying temperature of 45 °C and an air flow rate of 3 m s(-1) , resulting in 40.97 g phenols, 23.41 g flavonoids, 0.543 g β-carotene and 0.2815 g ascorbic acid kg(-1) sample as shown in table 3. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Application of Opuntia ficus-indica in bioremediation of wastewaters. A critical review.

    PubMed

    Nharingo, Tichaona; Moyo, Mambo

    2016-01-15

    Heavy metal ion, pesticide and dye wastewaters cause severe ecological contamination with conventional treatment methods proving inadequate, unsuccessful or expensive to apply. Several biomaterials have recently been explored for the biosorption and biocoagulation-flocculation of pollutants from wastewaters. In the past 10 years, there has been an extensive research output on the use of biological materials such as agricultural wastes, chitosan, Moringa Oleifera, Eichhornia crassipes, bacteria, algae, Cactus plants etc. in environmental remediation. The present paper reviews the scattered information about the green technology involving Opuntia ficus-indica derived biomaterials in wastewater decontamination. Its characterization, physicochemical compositions, its application in biosorption and flocculation of dyes, pesticides and metallic species focussing on equilibrium, kinetics and thermodynamic properties are reviewed. The main results obtained in the depollution of a variety of contaminated wastewaters using cladodes, fruit pulp and peels mucilage and electrolytes show very high and promising pollutant maximum sorption capacities and removal percentages in the range -125.4-1000 mg/g and 0.31-2251.56 mg/g for the biosorption of dyes and metallic species respectively and removal % ranges of 50-98.7%, 11-93.62% and 17-100% for turbidity, chemical oxygen demand and heavy metals respectively by coagulation-flocculation process. The biomaterials proved to be efficient in pollutant removal that there is need to explore the scaling up of the study from the laboratory scale to community pilot plants and eventually to industrial levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Programmed cell death promotes male sterility in the functional dioecious Opuntia stenopetala (Cactaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Rentería, Lluvia; Orozco-Arroyo, Gregorio; Cruz-García, Felipe; García-Campusano, Florencia; Alfaro, Isabel; Vázquez-Santana, Sonia

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The sexual separation in dioecious species has interested biologists for decades; however, the cellular mechanism leading to unisexuality has been poorly understood. In this study, the cellular changes that lead to male sterility in the functionally dioecious cactus, Opuntia stenopetala, are described. Methods The spatial and temporal patterns of programmed cell death (PCD) were determined in the anthers of male and female flowers using scanning electron microscopy analysis and histological observations, focusing attention on the transition from bisexual to unisexual development. In addition, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling assays were used as an indicator of DNA fragmentation to corroborate PCD. Key results PCD was detected in anthers of both female and male flowers, but their patterns differed in time and space. Functionally male individuals developed viable pollen, and normal development involved PCD on each layer of the anther wall, which occurred progressively from the inner (tapetum) to the outer layer (epidermis). Conversely, functional female individuals aborted anthers by premature and displaced PCD. In anthers of female flowers, the first signs of PCD, such as a nucleus with irregular shape, fragmented and condensed chromatin, high vacuolization and condensed cytoplasm, occurred at the microspore mother cell stage. Later these features were observed simultaneously in all anther wall layers, connective tissue and filament. Neither pollen formation nor anther dehiscence was detected in female flowers of O. stenopetala due to total anther disruption. Conclusions Temporal and spatial changes in the patterns of PCD are responsible for male sterility of female flowers in O. stenopetala. Male fertility requires the co-ordination of different events, which, when altered, can lead to male sterility and to functionally unisexual individuals. PCD could be a widespread mechanism in the determination of

  14. Programmed cell death promotes male sterility in the functional dioecious Opuntia stenopetala (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Flores-Rentería, Lluvia; Orozco-Arroyo, Gregorio; Cruz-García, Felipe; García-Campusano, Florencia; Alfaro, Isabel; Vázquez-Santana, Sonia

    2013-09-01

    The sexual separation in dioecious species has interested biologists for decades; however, the cellular mechanism leading to unisexuality has been poorly understood. In this study, the cellular changes that lead to male sterility in the functionally dioecious cactus, Opuntia stenopetala, are described. The spatial and temporal patterns of programmed cell death (PCD) were determined in the anthers of male and female flowers using scanning electron microscopy analysis and histological observations, focusing attention on the transition from bisexual to unisexual development. In addition, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling assays were used as an indicator of DNA fragmentation to corroborate PCD. PCD was detected in anthers of both female and male flowers, but their patterns differed in time and space. Functionally male individuals developed viable pollen, and normal development involved PCD on each layer of the anther wall, which occurred progressively from the inner (tapetum) to the outer layer (epidermis). Conversely, functional female individuals aborted anthers by premature and displaced PCD. In anthers of female flowers, the first signs of PCD, such as a nucleus with irregular shape, fragmented and condensed chromatin, high vacuolization and condensed cytoplasm, occurred at the microspore mother cell stage. Later these features were observed simultaneously in all anther wall layers, connective tissue and filament. Neither pollen formation nor anther dehiscence was detected in female flowers of O. stenopetala due to total anther disruption. Temporal and spatial changes in the patterns of PCD are responsible for male sterility of female flowers in O. stenopetala. Male fertility requires the co-ordination of different events, which, when altered, can lead to male sterility and to functionally unisexual individuals. PCD could be a widespread mechanism in the determination of functionally dioecious species.

  15. Corrective action investigation plan: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches. Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    This Correction Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) contains environmental sample collection objectives and logic for the CAU No. 426, which includes the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, CAS No. RG-08-001-RG-CS. The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches are located at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) which is part of the Nellis Air Force Range, approximately 255 kilometers (km) (140 miles [mi]) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, by air. The purpose of this investigation is to generate sufficient data to establish the types of waste buried in the trenches, identify the presence and nature of contamination, determine the vertical extent of contaminant migration below themore » Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, and determine the appropriate course of action for the site. The potential courses of action for the site are clean closure, closure in place (with or without remediation), or no further action.« less

  16. Compositional, thermal and microstructural characterization of the Nopal (opuntia ficus indica), for addition in commercial cement mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández Carrillo, C. G.; Gómez-Cuaspud, J. A.; E Martínez Suarez, C.

    2017-12-01

    The Nopal (opuntia ficus indica) from remote times has contributed like food and additive product in prehispanic constructions; although it grows in all the Colombian territory is very little used and its contribution in mixtures of Colombian cement is unknown. In order to evaluate the hydration characteristics of Nopal, several Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) were performed to evaluate the optimal temperature of dehydration. Initially, the results show that around 175°C the weight loss is approximately 95%, this mass loss corresponds to the process of physical removal, suggesting that at least a remaining amount of 5% (w/w) has the ability to retain large amounts of water which is stored in the micro-structural deposits of Nopal. The evaluation by means Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), confirm that the whole cactus structure enables the water storage at cellular level. The results of infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis allowed the qualitative and semi-quantitative evaluation of the presence of functional groups and elemental chemical composition of Nopal respectively, mainly related with polysaccharide functional groups, which corresponds to 85% of the total composition. Other functional groups, are related with protein and mineral components. This found characteristics are relevant for the water retention in process that require the decrease of water consumption and the reinforcing of mechanical properties and durability, due to ability of Nopal mucilage to restore its hydration characteristics.

  17. Protective effect of Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis prickly pear juice upon ethanol-induced damages in rat erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Alimi, Hichem; Hfaeidh, Najla; Bouoni, Zouhour; Sakly, Mohsen; Ben Rhouma, Khémais

    2012-05-01

    Juice from the fruit of the cactus Opuntia ficus indica is claimed to possess several health-beneficial properties. The present study was carried out to determine whether O. ficus indica f. inermis fruit extract might have a protective effect upon physiological and morphological damages inflicted to erythrocytes membrane by chronic ethanol poisoning, per os, in rat. Chemical analysis of the extract revealed the presence of polyphenols, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, and betalains. Ethanol administration (3 g/kg b.w, per day for 90 days) induced an increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) and carbonylated proteins levels and a decrease of glutathione (GSH) level in erythrocyte. Ethanol administration also reduced the scavenging activity in plasma and enhanced erythrocytes hemolysis, as compared to control rats. In addition, ethanol intake increased the erythrocyte shape index by +895.5% and decreased the erythrocyte diameter by -61.53% as compared to controls. In animals also given prickly pear juice during the same experimental period, the studied parameters were much less shifted. This protective effect was found to be dose-dependent. It is likely that the beneficial effect of the extract is due to the high content of antioxidant compounds. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Italian Opuntia ficus-indica Cladodes as Rich Source of Bioactive Compounds with Health-Promoting Properties

    PubMed Central

    Pellizzoni, Marco; Lucini, Luigi

    2018-01-01

    Natural by-products, especially phenolic compounds, are in great demand by the nutra-pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. An analytical study was performed to investigate, for the first time, the presence of antioxidant constituents and the corresponding in vitro antioxidant activity in the extract of cladodes from Ficodindia di San Cono (Opuntia ficus-indica) protected designation of origin (PDO). The cladode extracts were analysed for target determination of selected constituents, i.e., β-polysaccharides and total phenolic content. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of hydro-alcoholic extracts was assessed by means of two different methods: α, α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging method and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. An untargeted UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS profiling approach was used to depict the phenolic profile of hydro-alcoholic cladode extracts. Interestingly, over 2 g/kg of polyphenols were detected in this matrix, and these compounds were mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties, as shown by the strong correlation between phenolic classes and antioxidant scores. Finally, this study provides basic information on the presence of bioactive compounds and in vitro antioxidant activities in cladode extracts from cactus that might recommend their novel applications at the industrial level in the field of nutraceutical products. PMID:29463028

  19. Protein enrichment of an Opuntia ficus-indica cladode hydrolysate by cultivation of Candida utilis and Kluyveromyces marxianus

    PubMed Central

    Akanni, Gabriel B; du Preez, James C; Steyn, Laurinda; Kilian, Stephanus G

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND The cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear cactus) have a low protein content; for use as a balanced feed, supplementation with other protein sources is therefore desirable. We investigated protein enrichment by cultivation of the yeasts Candida utilis and Kluyveromyces marxianus in an enzymatic hydrolysate of the cladode biomass. RESULTS Dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of sun-dried cladodes resulted in a hydrolysate containing (per litre) 45.5 g glucose, 6.3 g xylose, 9.1 g galactose, 10.8 g arabinose and 9.6 g fructose. Even though K. marxianus had a much higher growth rate and utilized l-arabinose and d-galactose more completely than C. utilis, its biomass yield coefficient was lower due to ethanol and ethyl acetate production despite aerobic cultivation. Yeast cultivation more than doubled the protein content of the hydrolysate, with an essential amino acid profile superior to sorghum and millet grains. CONCLUSIONS This K. marxianus strain was weakly Crabtree positive. Despite its low biomass yield, its performance compared well with C. utilis. This is the first report showing that the protein content and quality of O. ficus-indica cladode biomass could substantially be improved by yeast cultivation, including a comparative evaluation of C. utilis and K. marxianus. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:25371280

  20. Richness of endophytic fungi isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica Mill. (Cactaceae) and preliminary screening for enzyme production.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, J D P; Santos, M G S; Svedese, V M; Lima, D M M; Fernandes, M J S; Paiva, L M; Souza-Motta, C M

    2012-05-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica Mill. (forage cactus) is farmed with relative success in the semi-arid region of the Brazilian northeast for commercial purposes, particularly as forage and food. Endophytic microorganisms are those that can be isolated inside plant tissues and can be a new source to production of enzymes with different potentialities. The objective of this study was to describe the richness of endophytic fungi from O. ficus-indica and to detect the capacity of these species to produce extracellular hydrolytic enzymes. Forty-four endophytic fungi species were isolated. Among them, the most commonly found were Cladosporium cladosporioides (20.43%) and C. sphaerospermum (15.99%). Acremonium terricola, Monodictys castaneae, Penicillium glandicola, Phoma tropica and Tetraploa aristata are being reported for the first time as endophytic fungi for Brazil. The majority of isolated fungi exhibited enzymatic potential. Aspergillus japonicus and P. glandicola presented pectinolytic activity. Xylaria sp. was the most important among the other 14 species with positive cellulase activity. All 24 isolates analysed were xylanase-positive. Protease was best produced by isolate PF103. The results indicate that there is a significant richness of endophytic fungi in O. ficus-indica, and that these isolates indicate promising potential for deployment in biotechnological processes involving production of pectinases, cellulases, xylanases and proteases.

  1. Italian Opuntia ficus-indica Cladodes as Rich Source of Bioactive Compounds with Health-Promoting Properties.

    PubMed

    Rocchetti, Gabriele; Pellizzoni, Marco; Montesano, Domenico; Lucini, Luigi

    2018-02-18

    Natural by-products, especially phenolic compounds, are in great demand by the nutra-pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. An analytical study was performed to investigate, for the first time, the presence of antioxidant constituents and the corresponding in vitro antioxidant activity in the extract of cladodes from Ficodindia di San Cono ( Opuntia ficus-indica ) protected designation of origin (PDO). The cladode extracts were analysed for target determination of selected constituents, i.e. β-polysaccharides and total phenolic content. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of hydro-alcoholic extracts was assessed by means of two different methods: α, α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging method and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. An untargeted UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS profiling approach was used to depict the phenolic profile of hydro-alcoholic cladode extracts. Interestingly, over 2 g/kg of polyphenols were detected in this matrix, and these compounds were mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties, as shown by the strong correlation between phenolic classes and antioxidant scores. Finally, this study provides basic information on the presence of bioactive compounds and in vitro antioxidant activities in cladode extracts from cactus that might recommend their novel applications at the industrial level in the field of nutraceutical products.

  2. Protein enrichment of an Opuntia ficus-indica cladode hydrolysate by cultivation of Candida utilis and Kluyveromyces marxianus.

    PubMed

    Akanni, Gabriel B; du Preez, James C; Steyn, Laurinda; Kilian, Stephanus G

    2015-03-30

    The cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear cactus) have a low protein content; for use as a balanced feed, supplementation with other protein sources is therefore desirable. We investigated protein enrichment by cultivation of the yeasts Candida utilis and Kluyveromyces marxianus in an enzymatic hydrolysate of the cladode biomass. Dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of sun-dried cladodes resulted in a hydrolysate containing (per litre) 45.5 g glucose, 6.3 g xylose, 9.1 g galactose, 10.8 g arabinose and 9.6 g fructose. Even though K. marxianus had a much higher growth rate and utilized l-arabinose and d-galactose more completely than C. utilis, its biomass yield coefficient was lower due to ethanol and ethyl acetate production despite aerobic cultivation. Yeast cultivation more than doubled the protein content of the hydrolysate, with an essential amino acid profile superior to sorghum and millet grains. This K. marxianus strain was weakly Crabtree positive. Despite its low biomass yield, its performance compared well with C. utilis. This is the first report showing that the protein content and quality of O. ficus-indica cladode biomass could substantially be improved by yeast cultivation, including a comparative evaluation of C. utilis and K. marxianus. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. CACTUS: Command and Control Training Using Knowledge-Based Simulations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Roger; Ravenscroft, Andrew; Williams, R. J.

    2008-01-01

    The CACTUS project was concerned with command and control training of large incidents where public order may be at risk, such as large demonstrations and marches. The training requirements and objectives of the project are first summarized justifying the use of knowledge-based computer methods to support and extend conventional training…

  4. Corrective action investigation plan: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches. Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    This Correction Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) contains environmental sample collection objectives and logic for the Corrective Action Unit No. 426, which includes the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, located at the Tonopah Test Range. The purpose of this investigation is to generate sufficient data to establish the types of waste buried in the trenches, identify the presence and nature of contamination, determine the vertical extent of contaminant migration below the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, and determine the appropriate course of action for the site. The potential courses of action for the site are clean closure, closure in place (with or withoutmore » remediation), or no further action. The scope of this investigation will include drilling and collecting subsurface samples from within and below the trenches. Sampling locations will be biased toward the areas most likely to be contaminated. The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Site is identified as one of three potential locations for buried, radioactively contaminated materials from the Double Tracks Test. This test was the first of four storage-transportation tests conducted in 1963 as part of Operation Roller Coaster. The experiment involved the use of live animals to assess the inhalation intake of a plutonium aerosol.« less

  5. Adult nutrition, but not inbreeding, affects male primary sexual traits in the leaf-footed cactus bug Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae).

    PubMed

    Joseph, Paul N; Sasson, Daniel A; Allen, Pablo E; Somjee, Ummat; Miller, Christine W

    2016-07-01

    Adverse conditions may be the norm rather than the exception in natural populations. Many populations experience poor nutrition on a seasonal basis. Further, brief interludes of inbreeding can be common as population density fluctuates and because of habitat fragmentation. Here, we investigated the effects of poor nutrition and inbreeding on traits that can be very important to reproductive success and fitness in males: testes mass, sperm concentration, and sperm viability. Our study species was Narnia femorata, a species introduced to north-central Florida in the 1950s. This species encounters regular, seasonal changes in diet that can have profound phenotypic effects on morphology and behavior. We generated inbred and outbred individuals through a single generation of full-sibling mating or outcrossing, respectively. All juveniles were provided a natural, high-quality diet of Opuntia humifusa cactus cladode with fruit until they reached adulthood. New adult males were put on a high- or low-quality diet for at least 21 days before measurements were taken. As expected, the low-quality diet led to significantly decreased testes mass in both inbred and outbred males, although there were surprisingly no detectable effects on sperm traits. We did not find evidence that inbreeding affected testes mass, sperm concentration, and sperm viability. Our results highlight the immediate and overwhelming effects of nutrition on testes mass, while suggesting that a single generation of inbreeding might not be detrimental for primary sexual traits in this particular population.

  6. Variation in the local population dynamics of the short-lived Opuntia macrorhiza (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Haridas, C V; Keeler, Kathleen H; Tenhumberg, Brigitte

    2015-03-01

    Spatiotemporal variation in demographic rates can have profound effects for population persistence, especially for dispersal-limited species living in fragmented landscapes. Long-term studies of plants in such habitats help with understanding the impacts of fragmentation on population persistence but such studies are rare. In this work, we reanalyzed demographic data from seven years of the short-lived cactus Opuntia macrorhiza var. macrorhiza at five plots in Boulder, Colorado. Previous work combining data from all years and all plots predicted a stable population (deterministic log lamda approximately 0). This approach assumed that all five plots were part of a single population. Since the plots were located in a suburban-agricultural interface separated by highways, grazing lands, and other barriers, and O. macrorhiza is likely dispersal limited, we analyzed the dynamics of each plot separately using stochastic matrix models assuming each plot represented a separate population. We found that the stochastic population growth rate log lamdaS varied widely between populations (log lamdaS = 0.1497, 0.0774, -0.0230, -0.2576, -0.4989). The three populations with the highest growth rates were located close together in space, while the two most isolated populations had the lowest growth rates suggesting that dispersal between populations is critical for the population viability of O. macrorhiza. With one exception, both our prospective (stochastic elasticity) and retrospective (stochastic life table response experiments) analysis suggested that means of stasis and growth, especially of smaller plants, were most important for population growth rate. This is surprising because recruitment is typically the most important vital rate in a short-lived species such as O. macrorhiza. We found that elasticity to the variance was mostly negligible, suggesting that O. macrorhiza populations are buffered against large temporal variation. Finally, single-year elasticities to means

  7. A tale of two cacti-the complex relationship between peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and endangered star cactus (Astrophytum asterias)

    Treesearch

    M. Terry; D. Price; J. Poole

    2007-01-01

    Astrophytum asterias, commonly called star cactus, is a federally listed endangered cactus endemic to the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion of extreme southern Texas, USA, and Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Only three metapopulations totaling less than 4000 plants are presently known in Texas. Star cactus, known locally as “star peyote”, is highly...

  8. Endophytic bacteria in cacti seeds can improve the development of cactus seedlings.

    Treesearch

    M. Esther Puente; Ching Y. Li; Yoav Bashan

    2009-01-01

    A plant-bacterium association between the giant cardon cactus Pachycereus pringlei and endophytic bacteria help seedlings establish and grow on barren rock, This cactus, together with other desert plants, is responsible for weathering ancient lava flows in the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico.When cardon seeds are inoculated with endophytic...

  9. Opuntia Extract Reduces Scar Formation in Rabbit Ear Model: A Randomized Controlled Study.

    PubMed

    Fang, Quan; Huang, Chunlan; You, Chuangang; Ma, Shaolin

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to investigate the effect of Opuntia stricta H (Cactaceae) extract on suppression of hypertrophic scar on ventral surface wounds of rabbit ears. Full thickness skin defection was established in a rabbit ear to simulate hypertrophic scar. Opuntia extract was sprayed on the wounds in the experimental group, and normal saline was used in the control group. After the wounds healed with scar formation, the hypertrophic scar tissue was harvested on days 22, 39, and 54 for histological analysis. The expression of type I and type III collagen and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that the scar of the control group is more prominent compared with the opuntia extract group. The expression of type I collagen in the opuntia extract group was lower than the control group, while type III collagen in opuntia extract group gradually increased and exceeded control group. The expression of MMP-1 decreased in the opuntia extract group, while the control group increased over time, but the amount of MMP-1 was much higher than that in the control group on day 22. In conclusion, opuntia extract reduces hypertrophic scar formation by means of type I collagen inhibition, and increasing type III collagen and MMP-1.T he novel application of opuntia extract may lead to innovative and effective antiscarring therapies. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. Determination of the folate content in cladodes of nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) by microbiological assay utilizing Lactobacillus casei (ATCC 7469) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Escobar, Tania Breshkovskaya; Valverde-González, Maria Elena; Paredes-López, Octavio

    2010-05-26

    Prickly pear cactus has been an important food source in Mexico since ancient times due to its economical and ecological benefits and potential nutraceutical value. Nevertheless, studies on the nutritional aspects and health benefits have been scarce. The purpose of this study was to assess, apparently for the first time, the folate contents of cladodes of nopal by a microbiological assay, using Lactobacillus casei (ATCC 7469) in extracts that were enzymatically treated to release the bound vitamin, employing single, dual, and trienzymatic procedures, and using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We used Opuntia cladodes of different length sizes. The microbiological assay showed some differences among enzyme treatments and sizes of nopal; the trienzyme treatment (alpha-amylase-protease-conjugase) was more efficient in determining the folate content in nopal, giving 5.0 ng/g in the small size cladodes at 54 h of testing time, while ELISA showed no significant differences in the folate content among sizes of cladodes (5.5-5.62 ng/g at 0 min testing time). Both techniques may be used for the assessment of folate content in cladodes, but ELISA is more rapid and reliable.

  11. Antioxidant Opuntia ficus-indica Extract Activates AHR-NRF2 Signaling and Upregulates Filaggrin and Loricrin Expression in Human Keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Nakahara, Takeshi; Mitoma, Chikage; Hashimoto-Hachiya, Akiko; Takahara, Masakazu; Tsuji, Gaku; Uchi, Hiroshi; Yan, Xianghong; Hachisuka, Junichi; Chiba, Takahito; Esaki, Hitokazu; Kido-Nakahara, Makiko; Furue, Masutaka

    2015-10-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) is a cactus species widely used as an anti-inflammatory, antilipidemic, and hypoglycemic agent. It has been shown that OFI extract (OFIE) inhibits oxidative stress in animal models of diabetes and hepatic disease; however, its antioxidant mechanism remains largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that OFIE exhibited potent antioxidant activity through the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) and the downstream antioxidant enzyme quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), which inhibited the generation of reactive oxygen species in keratinocytes challenged with tumor necrosis factor α or benzo[α]pyrene. The antioxidant capacity of OFIE was canceled in NRF2 knockdown keratinocytes. OFIE exerted this NRF2-NQO1 upregulation through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Moreover, the ligation of AHR by OFIE upregulated the expression of epidermal barrier proteins: filaggrin and loricrin. OFIE also prevented TH2 cytokine-mediated downregulation of filaggrin and loricrin expression in an AHR-dependent manner because it was canceled in AHR knockdown keratinocytes. Antioxidant OFIE is a potent activator of AHR-NRF2-NQO1 signaling and may be beneficial in treating barrier-disrupted skin disorders.

  12. Introduced and invasive cactus species: a global review

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Robertson, Mark P.; Wilson, John R.U.; Richardson, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding which species are introduced and become invasive, and why, are central questions in invasion science. Comparative studies on model taxa have provided important insights, but much more needs to be done to unravel the context dependencies of these findings. The cactus family (Cactaceae), one of the most popular horticultural plant groups, is an interesting case study. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. We reviewed the drivers of introductions and invasions in the family and seek insights that can be used to minimize future risks. We compiled a list of species in the family and determined which have been recorded as invasive. We also mapped current global distributions and modelled the potential global distributions based on distribution data of known invasive taxa. Finally, we identified whether invasiveness is phylogenetically clustered for cacti and whether particular traits are correlated with invasiveness. Only 57 of the 1922 cactus species recognized in this treatment have been recorded as invasive. There are three invasion hotspots: South Africa (35 invasive species recorded), Australia (26 species) and Spain (24 species). However, there are large areas of the world with climates suitable for cacti that are at risk of future invasion—in particular, parts of China, eastern Asia and central Africa. The invasive taxa represent an interesting subset of the total species pool. There is a significant phylogenetic signal: invasive species occur in 2 of the 3 major phylogenetic clades and in 13 of the 130 genera. This phylogenetic signal is not driven by human preference, i.e. horticultural trade, but all invasive species are from 5 of the 12 cactus growth forms. Finally, invasive species tend to have significantly larger native ranges than non-invasive species, and none of the invasive species are of conservation concern in their

  13. Introduced and invasive cactus species: a global review.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J; Robertson, Mark P; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2014-12-03

    Understanding which species are introduced and become invasive, and why, are central questions in invasion science. Comparative studies on model taxa have provided important insights, but much more needs to be done to unravel the context dependencies of these findings. The cactus family (Cactaceae), one of the most popular horticultural plant groups, is an interesting case study. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. We reviewed the drivers of introductions and invasions in the family and seek insights that can be used to minimize future risks. We compiled a list of species in the family and determined which have been recorded as invasive. We also mapped current global distributions and modelled the potential global distributions based on distribution data of known invasive taxa. Finally, we identified whether invasiveness is phylogenetically clustered for cacti and whether particular traits are correlated with invasiveness. Only 57 of the 1922 cactus species recognized in this treatment have been recorded as invasive. There are three invasion hotspots: South Africa (35 invasive species recorded), Australia (26 species) and Spain (24 species). However, there are large areas of the world with climates suitable for cacti that are at risk of future invasion-in particular, parts of China, eastern Asia and central Africa. The invasive taxa represent an interesting subset of the total species pool. There is a significant phylogenetic signal: invasive species occur in 2 of the 3 major phylogenetic clades and in 13 of the 130 genera. This phylogenetic signal is not driven by human preference, i.e. horticultural trade, but all invasive species are from 5 of the 12 cactus growth forms. Finally, invasive species tend to have significantly larger native ranges than non-invasive species, and none of the invasive species are of conservation concern in their

  14. Betalain, Acid Ascorbic, Phenolic Contents and Antioxidant Properties of Purple, Red, Yellow and White Cactus Pears

    PubMed Central

    Sumaya-Martínez, María Teresa; Cruz-Jaime, Sandra; Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; García-Paredes, Juan Diego; Cariño-Cortés, Raquel; Cruz-Cansino, Nelly; Valadez-Vega, Carmen; Martinez-Cardenas, Leonardo; Alanís-García, Ernesto

    2011-01-01

    Commercialization of cactus pears based on their antioxidant properties can generate competitive advantages, and these can turn into business opportunities and the development of new products and a high-value ingredient for the food industry. This work evaluated the antioxidant activities (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging, protection against oxidation of a β-carotene-linoleic acid emulsion, and iron (II) chelation), the content of total phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, betacyanin, betaxanthin and the stability of betacyanin pigments in presence of Cu (II)-dependent hydroxyl radicals (OH•), in 18 cultivars of purple, red, yellow and white cactus pear from six Mexican states. Our results indicated that the antiradical activities from yellow and white cactus pear cultivars were not significantly different (p < 0.05) and were lower than the average antiradical activities in red and purple cultivars. The red cactus pear from the state of Zacatecas showed the highest antioxidant activity. The free radical scavenging activity for red cactus pears was significantly correlated (p < 0.05) to the concentration of total phenolic compounds (R2 = 0.90) and ascorbic acid (R2 = 0.86). All 18 cultivars of cactus pears studied showed significant chelating activity of ferrous ions. The red and purple cactus pears showed a great stability when exposed to OH•. PMID:22072899

  15. Dietary cladode powder from wild type and domesticated Opuntia species reduces atherogenesis in apoE knock-out mice.

    PubMed

    Garoby-Salom, Sandra; Guéraud, Françoise; Camaré, Caroline; de la Rosa, Ana-Paulina Barba; Rossignol, Michel; Santos Díaz, María del Socorro; Salvayre, Robert; Negre-Salvayre, Anne

    2016-03-01

    Dietary intake of Opuntia species may prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases. The present study was designed to characterize the biological antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Opuntia species and to investigate whether Opuntia cladodes prevent the development of atherosclerosis in vivo, in apoE(-)KO mice. The effects of the two Opuntia species, the wild Opuntia streptacantha and the domesticated Opuntia ficus-indica, were tested on the generation of intra- and extracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and kinetics of the LDL oxidation by murine CRL2181 endothelial cells and on the subsequent inflammatory signaling leading to the adhesion of monocytes on the activated endothelium and the formation of foam cells. Opuntia species blocked the extracellular ROS (superoxide anion) generation and LDL oxidation by CRL2181, as well as the intracellular ROS rise and signaling evoked by the oxidized LDL, including the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NFκB, the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 adhesion molecules, and the adhesion of monocytes to CRL2181. In vivo, Opuntia significantly reduced the formation of atherosclerotic lesions and the accumulation of 4-hydroxynonenal adducts in the vascular wall of apoE-KO mice, indicating that Opuntia cladodes prevent lipid oxidation in the vascular wall. In conclusion, wild and domesticated Opuntia species exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiatherogenic properties which emphasize their nutritional benefit for preventing cardiovascular diseases.

  16. Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Greta; Rutman, Sue; Munson, Seth M.

    2010-01-01

    Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

  17. Probable hypoglycemic adverse drug reaction associated with prickly pear cactus, glipizide, and metformin in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Sobieraj, Diana M; Freyer, Craig W

    2010-01-01

    To report a case of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus taking prickly pear cactus (PPC), glipizide, and metformin. A 58-year-old Mexican male with type 2 diabetes mellitus being treated with metformin 1000 mg twice daily and extended-release glipizide 10 mg daily was referred to the pharmacist for medication education. He denied taking herbal supplements or experiencing hypoglycemia. Two hemoglobin A(1c) values (6.8% and 6.7%) obtained over the past year demonstrated glycemic control, which was supported by his reported fasting blood glucose readings of 113-132 mg/dL. One month later, the patient reported 4 hypoglycemic events with blood glucose readings of 49-68 mg/dL, which resulted in discontinuation of glipizide. One month later, the patient denied any further hypoglycemia. During medication reconciliation he reported consuming crude PPC pads daily for 2 months for glucose control. Literature suggests that PPC has an effect on lowering blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although few identified data describe ADRs from combining PPC with other agents used in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. A literature search of MEDLINE (through December 2009) using the search terms diabetes mellitus, prickly pear cactus, nopal, opuntia, metformin, glipizide, glyburide, glimepiride, and sulfonylurea revealed no case reports of the described ADR. One case report describing the blood glucose-lowering effect of PPC in a patient concurrently taking oral antihyperglycemics documented an episode of hypoglycemia, although the Naranjo probability scale was not applied. One patient survey discovered the most common drug-herbal interaction in the given population to be between PPC and antihyperglycemic agents, resulting in hypoglycemia. In our case, use of the Naranjo probability scale suggests the ADR to be probable. The mechanism may be due to the additive glucose lowering of the 3 agents consumed concurrently by the

  18. Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller as a source of bioactivity compounds for health and nutrition.

    PubMed

    Aragona, M; Lauriano, E R; Pergolizzi, S; Faggio, C

    2017-08-14

    Plants with beneficial properties are known in traditional medicine. Nowadays, in spite of widespread availability of synthetic compounds, the search goes towards natural compounds to lower cost and few side effects. The increasing interest in preventive medicine encourages use of nutraceuticals, bioactive compounds of vegetable origin with important nutritional values. Among the medicinal plants, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller (Family Cactaceae, subfamily Opuntiodeae, Genus Opuntia, subgenus Platyopuntia, species Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller) is widely known for its beneficial properties. The aim of the present review is to stress the major classes of Opuntia components and their medical interest through emphasis on some of their biological effects, particularly those having the most promising expected health benefits and therapeutic impacts on fish and mammals.

  19. Husimi-cactus approximation study on the diluted spin ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuka, Hiromi; Okabe, Yutaka; Nefedev, Konstantin

    2018-04-01

    We investigate dilution effects on the classical spin-ice materials such as Ho2Ti2O7 and Dy2Ti2O7 . In particular, we derive a formula of the thermodynamic quantities as functions of the temperature and a nonmagnetic ion concentration based on a Husimi-cactus approximation. We find that the formula predicts a dilution-induced crossover from the cooperative to the conventional paramagnets in a ground state, and that it also reproduces the "generalized Pauling's entropy" given by Ke et al. To verify the formula from a numerical viewpoint, we compare these results with Monte Carlo simulation calculation data, and then find good agreement for all parameter values.

  20. Effect of fruits of Opuntia elatior Mill on mast cell degranulation

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Sanjay P.; Sheth, N. R.; Suhagia, B. N.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The presence of potentially active nutrients and their multifunctional properties make prickly pear a perfect candidate for the production of phytopharmaceutical products. Among the numerous Opuntia species, bioactive compounds have been isolated and characterized primarily from Opuntia ficus-indica, Opuntia polycantha, Opuntia stricta, Opuntia dilleni for various medicinal properties. Objective: Based on the traditional use of prickly pear for enhancement of immune function, the objective of the present study to evaluate the effect of prickly pear on mast cell degranulation function. Materials and Methods: The Opuntia fruit juice (OFJ) (10-200 μl/ml) were studied for the effect on sensitized rat peritoneal mast cell degranulation induced by immunological (egg albumin), and nonimmunological (compound 48/80) stimuli and compared with that of the reference standard, sodium cromoglycate and ketotifen (10 μg/ml). Results and Conclusion: The OFJ exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) concentration dependent inhibition of mast cell degranulation. The IC50 value of OFJ was found 12.24 and 18 μl/ml for immunological and nonimmunological induced mast cell degranulation, respectively. The betacyanin is an active principle compound in prickly pear that may responsible for mast cell stabilizing action. PMID:25883521

  1. Performance improvement through quality evaluations of sterile cactus moths, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), mass-reared at two insectaries

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A bi-national program was established by Mexico and the United States to mitigate the threat of Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), an invasive herbivore from South America, to native Opuntia spp. biodiversity and Opuntia-based industries. Mass-rearing, sterilization, and transpo...

  2. Comparative shotgun proteomic analysis of wild and domesticated Opuntia spp. species shows a metabolic adaptation through domestication.

    PubMed

    Pichereaux, Carole; Hernández-Domínguez, Eric E; Santos-Diaz, Maria Del Socorro; Reyes-Agüero, Antonio; Astello-García, Marizel; Guéraud, Françoise; Negre-Salvayre, Anne; Schiltz, Odile; Rossignol, Michel; Barba de la Rosa, Ana Paulina

    2016-06-30

    The Opuntia genus is widely distributed in America, but the highest richness of wild species are found in Mexico, as well as the most domesticated Opuntia ficus-indica, which is the most domesticated species and an important crop in agricultural economies of arid and semiarid areas worldwide. During domestication process, the Opuntia morphological characteristics were favored, such as less and smaller spines in cladodes and less seeds in fruits, but changes at molecular level are almost unknown. To obtain more insights about the Opuntia molecular changes through domestication, a shotgun proteomic analysis and database-dependent searches by homology was carried out. >1000 protein species were identified and by using a label-free quantitation method, the Opuntia proteomes were compared in order to identify differentially accumulated proteins among wild and domesticated species. Most of the changes were observed in glucose, secondary, and 1C metabolism, which correlate with the observed protein, fiber and phenolic compounds accumulation in Opuntia cladodes. Regulatory proteins, ribosomal proteins, and proteins related with response to stress were also observed in differential accumulation. These results provide new valuable data that will help to the understanding of the molecular changes of Opuntia species through domestication. Opuntia species are well adapted to dry and warm conditions in arid and semiarid regions worldwide, and they are highly productive plants showing considerable promises as an alternative food source. However, there is a gap regarding Opuntia molecular mechanisms that enable them to grow in extreme environmental conditions and how the domestication processes has changed them. In the present study, a shotgun analysis was carried out to characterize the proteomes of five Opuntia species selected by its domestication degree. Our results will help to a better understanding of proteomic features underlying the selection and specialization under

  3. Microwave optimization of mucilage extraction from Opuntia ficus indica Cladodes.

    PubMed

    Felkai-Haddache, Lamia; Dahmoune, Farid; Remini, Hocine; Lefsih, Khalef; Mouni, Lotfi; Madani, Khodir

    2016-03-01

    In this study, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of polysaccharides from Opuntia ficus indica Cladodes were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The effects of three extraction factors on the yield of mucilage were examined. The results indicated that the optimum extraction conditions were determined as follows: microwave power X1, 700 W; extraction time X2, 5.15 minand ratio water/raw material X3, 4.83 mL/g at fixed pH 11. Under these optimal extraction conditions, mucilage yield was found to be Y, 25.6%. A comparison between the model results and experimental data gave a high correlation coefficient (R(2)=0.88), adjusted coefficient (Radj=0.83) and low root mean square error (RMSE=2.45) and showed that the two models were able to predict a mucilage yield by green extraction microwave process. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus-indica Crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier and Modulates Neuronal Bioelectric Activity in Rat Hippocampus at Dietary-Consistent Amounts.

    PubMed

    Allegra, Mario; Carletti, Fabio; Gambino, Giuditta; Tutone, Marco; Attanzio, Alessandro; Tesoriere, Luisa; Ferraro, Giuseppe; Sardo, Pierangelo; Almerico, Anna Maria; Livrea, Maria Antonia

    2015-08-26

    Indicaxanthin is a bioactive and bioavailable betalain pigment from the Opuntia ficus-indica fruits. In this in vivo study, kinetic measurements showed that indicaxanthin is revealed in the rat brain within 1 h from oral administration of 2 μmol/kg, an amount compatible with a dietary consumption of cactus pear fruits in humans. A peak (20 ± 2.4 ng of indicaxanthin per whole brain) was measured after 2.5 h; thereafter the molecule disappeared with first order kinetics within 4 h. The potential of indicaxanthin to affect neural activities was in vivo investigated by a microiontophoretic approach. Indicaxanthin, administered in a range between 0.085 ng and 0.34 ng per neuron, dose-dependently modulated the rate of discharge of spontaneously active neurons of the hippocampus, with reduction of the discharge and related changes of latency and duration of the effect. Indicaxanthin (0.34 ng/neuron) showed inhibitory effects on glutamate-induced excitation, indicating activity at the level of glutamatergic synapses. A molecular target of indicaxanthin is suggested by in silico molecular modeling of indicaxanthin with N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), the most represented of the glutamate receptor family in hippocampus. Therefore, at nutritionally compatible amounts indicaxanthin (i) crosses the rat BBB and accumulates in brain; (ii) can affect the bioelectric activity of hippocampal neurons locally treated with amounts comparable with those measured in the brain; and (iii) modulates glutamate-induced neuronal excitation. The potential of dietary indicaxanthin as a natural neuromodulatory agent deserves further mechanistic and neurophysiologic investigation.

  5. 40 CFR 180.1179 - Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and Rhizophoria...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Plant extract derived from Opuntia...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1179 Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and...

  6. 40 CFR 180.1179 - Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and Rhizophoria...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Plant extract derived from Opuntia...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1179 Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and...

  7. 40 CFR 180.1179 - Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and Rhizophoria...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Plant extract derived from Opuntia...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1179 Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and...

  8. 40 CFR 180.1179 - Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and Rhizophoria...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Plant extract derived from Opuntia...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1179 Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and...

  9. 40 CFR 180.1179 - Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and Rhizophoria...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Plant extract derived from Opuntia...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1179 Plant extract derived from Opuntia lindheimeri, Quercus falcata, Rhus aromatica, and...

  10. Acoustic emissions correlated with hydration of Saguaro Cactus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardell, L. J.; Rowe, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    For some years it has been demonstrated that hardwood trees produce acoustic emissions during periods of drought, which arise from cavitation in the xylem as water is withdrawn. These emissions not only provide insights into the fluid transport behavior within these trees, but also the degree to which cavitation can proceed before inevitable tree mortality. Such studies can have significant impact on our understanding of forest die-off in the face of climate change. Plant mortality is not limited to woody trees, however, and it is not only the coniferous and deciduous forests whose response to climate and rainfall changes are important. In the desert Southwest we observe changes to survival rates of numerous species of flora. One of the most conspicuous of these plants is the iconic Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantean). These behemoths of the Sonoran Desert are very sensitive to small perturbations in their environment. Specifically, during the summer monsoon season when the cacti become well-hydrated, they can absorb hundreds of gallons of water within a very short time frame. We have obtained a juvenile saguaro on which we are conducting experiments to monitor acoustic emissions during hydration and dessication cycles. We will report on our observations obtained using piezoelectric ceramic accelerometers whose signals are digitized up to 44 Khz and recorded during hydration.

  11. Acoustic emissions correlated with hydration of Saguaro Cactus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardell, L. J.; Rowe, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    For some years it has been demonstrated that hardwood trees produce acoustic emissions during periods of drought, which arise from cavitation in the xylem as water is withdrawn. These emissions not only provide insights into the fluid transport behavior within these trees, but also the degree to which cavitation can proceed before inevitable tree mortality. Such studies can have significant impact on our understanding of forest die-off in the face of climate change. Plant mortality is not limited to woody trees, however, and it is not only the coniferous and deciduous forests whose response to climate and rainfall changes are important. In the desert Southwest we observe changes to survival rates of numerous species of flora. One of the most conspicuous of these plants is the iconic Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantean). These behemoths of the Sonoran Desert are very sensitive to small perturbations in their environment. Specifically, during the summer monsoon season when the cacti become well-hydrated, they can absorb hundreds of gallons of water within a very short time frame. We have obtained a juvenile saguaro on which we are conducting experiments to monitor acoustic emissions during hydration and dessication cycles. We will report on our observations obtained using piezoelectric ceramic accelerometers whose signals are digitized up to 44 Khz and recorded during hydration.

  12. Soil compaction vulnerability at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Carmichael, Shinji; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    Compaction vulnerability of different types of soils by hikers and vehicles is poorly known, particularly for soils of arid and semiarid regions. Engineering analyses have long shown that poorly sorted soils (for example, sandy loams) compact to high densities, whereas well-sorted soils (for example, eolian sand) do not compact, and high gravel content may reduce compaction. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in southwestern Arizona, is affected greatly by illicit activities associated with the United States–Mexico border, and has many soils that resource managers consider to be highly vulnerable to compaction. Using geospatial soils data for ORPI, compaction vulnerability was estimated qualitatively based on the amount of gravel and the degree of sorting of sand and finer particles. To test this qualitative assessment, soil samples were collected from 48 sites across all soil map units, and undisturbed bulk densities were measured. A scoring system was used to create a vulnerability index for soils on the basis of particle-size sorting, soil properties derived from Proctor compaction analyses, and the field undisturbed bulk densities. The results of the laboratory analyses indicated that the qualitative assessments of soil compaction vulnerability underestimated the area of high vulnerability soils by 73 percent. The results showed that compaction vulnerability of desert soils, such as those at ORPI, can be quantified using laboratory tests and evaluated using geographic information system analyses, providing a management tool that managers potentially could use to inform decisions about activities that reduce this type of soil disruption in protected areas.

  13. Antidepressant-like Effect of Kaempferol and Quercitirin, Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten

    PubMed Central

    Park, Soo-Hyun; Sim, Yun-Beom; Han, Pyung-Lim; Lee, Jin-Koo

    2010-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. is widely cultivated in Jeju Island (South Korea) for use in manufacture of health foods. This study described antidepressant effect of two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. The expression of the hypothalamic POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin levels were increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten or its flavoniods administered orally. In addition, antidepressant activity was studied using tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST) and rota-rod test in chronically restraint immobilization stress group in mice. After restraint stress (2 hrs/day for 14 days), animals were kept in cage for 14 days without any further stress, bet with drugs. Mice were fed with a diet supplemented for 14 days and during the behavioral test period with kaempferol or quercitrin (30 mg/kg/day). POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin level was increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten and its flavoniods. In addition, immobility time in TST and FST was significantly reduced by kaempferol or quercitrin. In rota-rod test, the time of permanence was maintained to the semblance of control group in turning at 15 rpm. Our results suggest that two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. show a potent antidepressant effect. PMID:22110339

  14. Antidepressant-like Effect of Kaempferol and Quercitirin, Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten.

    PubMed

    Park, Soo-Hyun; Sim, Yun-Beom; Han, Pyung-Lim; Lee, Jin-Koo; Suh, Hong-Won

    2010-06-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. is widely cultivated in Jeju Island (South Korea) for use in manufacture of health foods. This study described antidepressant effect of two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. The expression of the hypothalamic POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin levels were increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten or its flavoniods administered orally. In addition, antidepressant activity was studied using tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST) and rota-rod test in chronically restraint immobilization stress group in mice. After restraint stress (2 hrs/day for 14 days), animals were kept in cage for 14 days without any further stress, bet with drugs. Mice were fed with a diet supplemented for 14 days and during the behavioral test period with kaempferol or quercitrin (30 mg/kg/day). POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin level was increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten and its flavoniods. In addition, immobility time in TST and FST was significantly reduced by kaempferol or quercitrin. In rota-rod test, the time of permanence was maintained to the semblance of control group in turning at 15 rpm. Our results suggest that two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. show a potent antidepressant effect.

  15. Anatomical, chemical, and biochemical characterization of cladodes from prickly pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.].

    PubMed

    Ginestra, Giovanna; Parker, Mary L; Bennett, Richard N; Robertson, Jim; Mandalari, Giuseppina; Narbad, Arjan; Lo Curto, Rosario B; Bisignano, Giuseppe; Faulds, Craig B; Waldron, Keith W

    2009-11-11

    Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes represent the green stem of the plant and are generally used as animal feed or disposed of in landfills. The present work investigated the anatomical and chemical composition of Opuntia cladodes, which form the basis of their pharmacological effects. Glucose and galacturonic acid were the main sugars of Opuntia cladodes, whereas high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed the presence of mainly kaempherol and isorhamnetin glycosides (glucoside and rhamnoside). The presence of high amounts of calcium oxalate crystals was demonstrated by light microscopy on fresh and lyophilized cladodes. No antimicrobial activity was observed even after enzymatic treatment. O. ficus-indica cladodes may retain material tightly associated with cell-wall components, and this property will have the potential to greatly reduce the bioavailability of bioactive compounds.

  16. Hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire in NIDDM.

    PubMed

    Frati-Munari, A C; Gordillo, B E; Altamirano, P; Ariza, C R

    1988-01-01

    To assess the hypoglycemic effect of the nopal Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire (O. streptacantha Lem.), three groups of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) were studied. Group one (16 patients) ingested 500 g of broiled nopal stems. Group 2 (10 patients) received only 400 ml of water as a control test. Three tests were performed on group 3 (6 patients): one with nopal, a second with water, and a third with ingestion of 500 g broiled squash. Serum glucose and insulin levels were measured at 0, 60, 120, and 180 min. After the intake of O. streptacantha Lem., serum glucose and serum insulin levels decreased significantly in groups 1 and 3, whereas no similar changes were noticed in group 2. The mean reduction of glucose reached 17.6 +/- 2.2% of basal values at 180 min in group 1 and 16.2 +/- 1.8% in group 3; the reduction of serum insulin at 180 min reached 50.2 +/- 8.0% in group 1 and 40.3 +/- 12.4% in group 3. This study shows that the stems of O. streptacantha Lem. cause a hypoglycemic effect in patients with NIDDM. The mechanism of this effect is unknown, but an increased insulin sensitivity is suggested.

  17. Aborted fruits of Opuntia microdasys (Cactaceae): insurance against reproductive failure.

    PubMed

    Palleiro, N; Mandujano, M C; Golubov, J

    2006-04-01

    New individuals in clonal populations arise through the recruitment of sexual or clonal offspring. The predominance of one type of regeneration over the other has been correlated with different selective environmental pressures. We compared the reproductive mode (sexual through seeds and vegetative through plantlets or detached cladodes) of Opuntia microdasys from three desert habitats of the Chihuahuan Desert: bajada (BH), hill-piedmont (HPH), and an interdune (IDH). Successful establishment and growth of plantlets were determined in two experiments: (1) the effect of light (three levels of photosynthetically active radiation [PAR]: full, low, and medium) and two levels of watering and (2) maternal effects and provenance of plantlets. Adult plant densities did not differ among habitats (639 individuals/ha), but the number of offspring and fruit production increased significantly at BH. Plantlets (94.3%) dominated the form of recruitment for all habitats, followed by cladodes (3.1%) and seedlings (2.6%). A higher proportion of plantlets established in the low and medium PAR treatments (76%) in comparison to full exposure (39%). Maternal factors affected survival and growth, but plantlet provenance did not. The high fruit abortion rate resulting from environmental and maternal effects provided suitable conditions for establishment of plantlets.

  18. How Nectar-Feeding Bats Localize their Food: Echolocation Behavior of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae Approaching Cactus Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Koblitz, Jens C.; Fleming, Theodore H.; Medellín, Rodrigo A.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich; Tschapka, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Nectar-feeding bats show morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations for feeding on nectar. How they find and localize flowers is still poorly understood. While scent cues alone allow no precise localization of a floral target, the spatial properties of flower echoes are very precise and could play a major role, particularly at close range. The aim of this study is to understand the role of echolocation for classification and localization of flowers. We compared the approach behavior of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae to flowers of a columnar cactus, Pachycereus pringlei, to that to an acrylic hollow hemisphere that is acoustically conspicuous to bats, but has different acoustic properties and, contrary to the cactus flower, present no scent. For recording the flight and echolocation behaviour we used two infrared video cameras under stroboscopic illumination synchronized with ultrasound recordings. During search flights all individuals identified both targets as a possible food source and initiated an approach flight; however, they visited only the cactus flower. In experiments with the acrylic hemisphere bats aborted the approach at ca. 40–50 cm. In the last instant before the flower visit the bats emitted a long terminal group of 10–20 calls. This is the first report of this behaviour for a nectar-feeding bat. Our findings suggest that L. yerbabuenae use echolocation for classification and localization of cactus flowers and that the echo-acoustic characteristics of the flower guide the bats directly to the flower opening. PMID:27684373

  19. Chapter 1: The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl: Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; W. Scott Richardson; Glenn A. Proudfoot

    2000-01-01

    The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) is a small, cryptic owl that is often difficult to observe. Its natural history and conservation needs are poorly understood. Despite ongoing research in Texas and Arizona, the available information remains limited. In addition, factors influencing demographics (e.g., habitat...

  20. Chapter 6: Research needs for the conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; W. Scott Richardson; Deborah M. Finch; David J. Krueper

    2000-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe research needs for the conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) in Arizona. Estimates of population size, structure, and dynamics, as well as demographic data, are needed for the recovery team to formulate sound population objectives. Habitat loss due to residential development...

  1. Historical biogeography of longhorn cactus beetles: the influence of Pleistocene climate changes on American desert communities

    Treesearch

    Christopher Irwin Smith; Brian Dorsey Farrell

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial sequence data from three species of flightless cactus beetles, Moneilema gigas, M. armatum, and M. appressum, were analyzed. The coalescent models implemented in the program FLUCTUATE were used to test the hypothesis that these species experienced range changes following the end of the last glacial...

  2. Preliminary report on the reproductive biology of the threatened Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus

    Treesearch

    Bonnie B. Amos; Christos Vassiliou

    2001-01-01

    The Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus chisoensis, Cactaceae) is a narrow endemic restricted to an approximately 100 square mile area in Big Bend National Park, Texas. It was listed as threatened in 1987 as Echinocereus chisoensis var. chisoensis. An investigation of the reproductive biology and pollination ecology conducted in 1999 and 2000 revealed the...

  3. Five-Year Monitoring Study of Siler's Pincushion Cactus (Pediocactus sileri) in Kane County, Utah

    Treesearch

    Alyce M. Hreha; Therese B. Meyer

    2001-01-01

    Siler's pincushion cactus (Pediocuctus sileri) occurs primarily on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Washington and Kane Counties in southwestern Utah and across the border in northwestern Arizona. This 5 year (1993-1997) monitoring study was set up as a challenge cost-share project between Red Butte Garden and the Utah State BLM Office in Salt Lake City. A...

  4. Ecology and conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Deborah M. Finch

    2000-01-01

    This report is the result of a cooperative effort by the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the USDA Forest Service Region 3, with participation by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Bureau of Land Management. It assesses the state of knowledge related to the conservation status of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona. The population decline of this...

  5. Survival of the endangered Pima pineapple cactus: Does clearing before prescribed fire alter survival postfire?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Jarchow, Christopher; Crawford, Julie A.

    2017-01-01

    Federal land managers and ranchers often use prescribed fire as a tool to reduce invading woody plants within desert grasslands of the arid southwestern United States. Managers must evaluate the threat of the burn toward the health and survival of plants of concern including how preemptive clearing before prescribed fire might benefit these species. One example is the endangered Pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina), a small hemispheric cactus of desert scrublands and grasslands of south-central Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. In 2014, we examined survival of Pima pineapple cactus documented in 2009 or 2010 within grasslands of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. Of the 72 sites observed, 35 had no burn after documentation and 37 experienced prescribed fire. Refuge staff removed vegetation between 0.3 and 3.0 m from the cactus preburn. We found that Pima pineapple cacti in areas subjected to prescribed fire and with preemptive clearing had the same survival statistically as cacti from sites that were not burned.

  6. Knowlton's cactus (Pediocactus knowltonii): Eighteen years of monitoring and recovery actions

    Treesearch

    Robert C. Sivinski; Charlie McDonald

    2007-01-01

    Pediocactus knowltonii is a rare, endemic cactus that is presently known to occur on a single 10-hectare hill in northwestern New Mexico near the Colorado border. It was listed as federally endangered in 1979. Population monitoring and recovery actions were initiated when the Recovery Plan was adopted in 1985. The land at the type locality has been...

  7. Application of a rule-based knowledge system using CLIPS for the taxonomy of selected Opuntia species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heymans, Bart C.; Onema, Joel P.; Kuti, Joseph O.

    1991-01-01

    A rule based knowledge system was developed in CLIPS (C Language Integrated Production System) for identifying Opuntia species in the family Cactaceae, which contains approx. 1500 different species. This botanist expert tool system is capable of identifying selected Opuntia plants from the family level down to the species level when given some basic characteristics of the plants. Many plants are becoming of increasing importance because of their nutrition and human health potential, especially in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The expert tool system described can be extremely useful in an unequivocal identification of many useful Opuntia species.

  8. Coral settlement onto Halimeda opuntia: a fatal attraction to an ephemeral substrate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nugues, Maggy M.; Szmant, Alina M.

    2006-11-01

    Degraded reefs with a high abundance of macroalgae usually also have low densities of coral recruits. Few studies, however, have examined whether these algae affect coral larval settlement. This study demonstrates, experimentally, that larvae of the Caribbean coral Favia fragrum can settle on the green alga Halimeda opuntia even when another substrate more suitable for settlement is present. Larval settlement onto experimental substrates was quantified under three treatments: rubble only, rubble plus plastic algal mimic, and rubble plus live H. opuntia. Similar total larval settlement was observed in all treatments. No larvae settled on the algal mimic, but total settlement was similar on the rubble in the first two treatments, showing that the rubble alone offered sufficient substrate for high settlement success. About half the larvae in the live algal treatment settled on H. opuntia instead of on the rubble, showing that larvae did not reject this substrate as they did the algal mimic. This result raises the possibility that corals will settle on some macroalgae when their abundance is high. Most macroalgae, including H. opuntia, are ephemeral substrates unsuitable for post-settlement survival. Such unexpected settlement may therefore have significant consequences for coral recruitment success on algal-dominated reefs.

  9. Extensive profiling of three varieties of Opuntia spp. fruit for innovative food ingredients.

    PubMed

    Melgar, Bruno; Pereira, Eliana; Oliveira, M Beatriz P P; Garcia-Castello, Esperanza M; Rodriguez-Lopez, Antonio D; Sokovic, Marina; Barros, Lillian; Ferreira, Isabel C F R

    2017-11-01

    Consumer interest in the use of natural ingredients is creating a growing trend in the food industry, leading to research into the development of natural products such as colorants, antimicrobials and antioxidant compounds. This work involves an extensive morphological (using physico-chemical assays), chemical (antioxidant activity assays) and microbiological (Gram-positive and negative strains) characterization of prickly peras (Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) var. sanguigna, gialla and Opuntia engelmannii) fruits. Through chromatographic assays, these species have shown interesting contents of hydrophilic (sugars, organic acids and betalains) and lipophilic (tocopherols and fatty acids) compounds. While Opuntia engelmannii exhibited higher content of betacyanins and mucilage, OFI varieties sanguigna and gialla displayed greater organic acid content. The sanguigna variety also showed the highest α-tocopherol content. All this compounds could be the responsible of enhancing the bioactivity of this variety, which can be observed in its antimicrobial potential, tested in the studied strains too. Results revealed that Opuntia spp. could be used as a nutraceutical and/or food additive, maintaining and promoting health and life quality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Acute toxicity of Opuntia ficus indica and Pistacia lentiscus seed oils in mice.

    PubMed

    Boukeloua, A; Belkhiri, A; Djerrou, Z; Bahri, L; Boulebda, N; Hamdi Pacha, Y

    2012-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica and Pistacia lentiscus L. seeds are used in traditional medicine. The objective of this study was to investigate the toxicity of the fixed oil of Opuntia ficus indica and Pistacia lentiscus L. seeds in mice through determination of LD₅₀ values, and also the physicochemical characteristics of the fixed oil of these oils. The acute toxicity of their fixed oil were also investigated in mice using the method of Kabba and Berhens. The fixed oil of Pistacia lentiscus and Opuntia ficus indica seeds were extracted and analyzed for its chemical and physical properties such as acid value, free fatty acid percentage (% FFA), iodine index, and saponification value as well as refractive index and density. LD₅₀ values obtained by single doses, orally and intraperitoneally administered in mice, were respectively 43 ± 0,8 ;[40.7- 45.4 ] ml/kg body wt. p.o. and 2.72 ± 0,1 ;[2.52-2.92] ml/kg body wt. i.p. for Opuntia ficus indica ; and 37 ± 1 ;[34.4 - 39.8 ] ml/kg body wt. p.o. and 2.52 ± 0,2 ;[2.22 - 2.81 ] ml/kg body wt. i.p. for Pistacia lentiscus respectively. The yields of seed oil were respectively calculated as 20.25% and 10.41%. The acid and free fatty acid values indicated that the oil has a low acidity.

  11. Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity of whole extract and isolated indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus-indica associated with re-activation of the onco-suppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene in human colorectal carcinoma (Caco-2) cells

    SciTech Connect

    Naselli, Flores; Tesoriere, Luisa; Caradonna, Fabio

    Highlights: • Cactus pear fruit extract and indicaxanthin cause apoptosis of colon cancer cells. • Indicaxanthin does not cause ROS formation, but affects epigenoma in Caco-2 cells. • Indicaxanthin reverses methylation of oncosuppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene in Caco-2 cells. • Indicaxanthin reactivates retinoblastoma in Caco-2 cells. • Bioavailable indicaxanthin may have chemopreventive activity in colon cancer. - Abstract: Phytochemicals may exert chemo-preventive effects on cells of the gastro-intestinal tract by modulating epigenome-regulated gene expression. The effect of the aqueous extract from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI extract), and of its betalain pigment indicaxanthin (Ind), on proliferation of humanmore » colon cancer Caco-2 cells has been investigated. Whole extract and Ind caused a dose-dependent apoptosis of proliferating cells at nutritionally relevant amounts, with IC{sub 50} 400 ± 25 mg fresh pulp equivalents/mL, and 115 ± 15 μM (n = 9), respectively, without toxicity for post-confluent differentiated cells. Ind accounted for ∼80% of the effect of the whole extract. Ind did not cause oxidative stress in proliferating Caco-2 cells. Epigenomic activity of Ind was evident as de-methylation of the tumor suppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene promoter, reactivation of the silenced mRNA expression and accumulation of p16{sup INK4a}, a major controller of cell cycle. As a consequence, decrease of hyper-phosphorylated, in favor of the hypo-phosphorylated retinoblastoma was observed, with unaltered level of the cycline-dependent kinase CDK4. Cell cycle showed arrest in the G2/M-phase. Dietary cactus pear fruit and Ind may have chemo-preventive potential in intestinal cells.« less

  12. Characterization of carotenoid profile of Spanish Sanguinos and Verdal prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica, spp.) tissues.

    PubMed

    Cano, M P; Gómez-Maqueo, A; García-Cayuela, T; Welti-Chanes, J

    2017-12-15

    Carotenoid profiles of different tissues (peel, pulp and whole fruit) of Spanish Sanguinos (red) and Verdal (orange) prickly pears (Opuntia ficus-indica spp.) have been characterized in detail and quantified for the first time. Carotenoids were determined by HPLC-PDA-MS (APCI + ), using a reverse phase C 30 column. A total of 9 xantophylls and 4 hydrocarbon carotenes were identified. Also, minor amounts of chlorophyll a, a' and b can be observed in Opuntia peel extracts. All carotenoids were found to be present in their free form (no carotenoid esters were detected). The RAE was highest in Opuntia peels, showing values from 19.20 to 16.48µg/100g fresh weigth, for Sanguinos and Verdal Opuntia fruits, respectively. The main carotenoid in Opuntia peel extracts was (all-E)-lutein with 1132.51 and 767.98µg/100g fresh weigth, followed by (all-E)-β-carotene with 200.40 and 173.50µg/100g fresh weigth for Sanguinos and Verdal varieties of Opuntia fruits, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Fish and wildlife to determine endangered status of San Rafael Cactus

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to determine the endangered status of the San Rafael Cactus. Although the only known occurrences of the species do not appear to fall within the boundaries of the San Rafael Swell Special Tar Sands Area, nearby combined hydrocarbon leasing could be impacted. There are two known populations of Pediocactus despainii, about 25 miles apart and each containing 2000 to 3000 individuals. Both occur in central Utah (Emery County), mainly in areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This rare species is being sought be cactus collectors, one population is heavily impactedmore » by recreational off-road vehicles, and approximately one-half of each population is in areas covered by oil and gas leases and/or mining claims for gypsum. If the species is determined to be endangered, then the Fish and Wildlife Service could define a critical habitat for its preservation.« less

  14. Supplementing with Opuntia ficus-indica Mill and Dioscorea nipponica Makino extracts synergistically attenuates menopausal symptoms in estrogen-deficient rats.

    PubMed

    Ko, Byoung-Seob; Lee, Hye Won; Kim, Da Sol; Kang, Suna; Ryuk, Jin Ah; Park, Sunmin

    2014-08-08

    Prickly pear cactus grown in Korea (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill, KC) and Buchema (Dioscorea nipponica Makino, B) have been traditionally used in East Asia and South America to treat various metabolic diseases. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the extracts of KC, B, and KC+B can prevent the impairments of energy, glucose, lipid and bone homeostasis in estrogen-deficient ovariectomized (OVX) rats and to explore their mechanisms. OVX rats were divided into 4 groups and fed high fat diets supplemented with either 3% dextrin (control), 3% KC, 3% B or 1.5% KC+1.5% B. Sham rats were fed 3% dextrin. After 12 weeks of diet consumption, energy, lipid, glucose and bone metabolisms were analyzed and Wnt signaling in the femur and hepatic signaling were determined. OVX impaired energy, glucose and lipid metabolism and decreased uterine and bone masses. B and KC+B prevented the decrease in energy expenditure, especially from fat oxidation, in OVX rats, but did not affect food intake. KC+B and B reduced body weight and visceral fat levels, as compared to the OVX-control, by decreasing fat synthesis and inhibiting FAS and SREBP-1c expression. KC+B and B prevented the increases in serum lipid levels and insulin resistance by improving hepatic insulin signaling (pIRS→pAkt→pGSK-3β). KC and KC+B also prevented decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) in the femur and lumbar spine in OVX rats. This was related to decreased expressions of bone turnover markers such as serum osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and bone-specific ALP levels, and increased serum P levels. KC and KC+B upregulated low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 and β-catenin in OVX rats, but suppressed the expression of dickkopf-related protein 1. B alone improved energy, lipid and glucose homeostasis, but not bone loss, whereas KC alone enhanced BMD, but not energy, lipid or glucose homeostasis. KC+B synergistically attenuated impairments of bone, energy, lipid and glucose

  15. Carcass characteristics of lambs fed spineless cactus as a replacement for sugarcane.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Juliana Paula Felipe; de Andrade Ferreira, Marcelo; Alves, Adryanne Marjorie Souza Vitor; de Melo, Ana Caroline Cerqueira; de Andrade, Ida Barbosa; Urbano, Stela Antas; Suassuna, Juraci Marcos Alves; de Barros, Leonardo José Assis; de Barros Melo, Tobias Tobit

    2018-04-01

    Fresh sugarcane has been a new roughage source for ruminant's in semiarid regions, a function of the decline of sugar and alcohol industry in recent years. However, there is little data published regarding lambs fed sugarcane associated with spineless cactus. This study evaluated the effect of sugarcane replacement with spineless cactus (0%, 33%, 66%, and 100%) in the diet of Santa Inês lambs on carcass characteristics. Thirty-six non-castrated Santa Ines lambs at four months of age and an initial body weight of 22±2.3 kg were assigned in a randomized block design and slaughtered after 70 days of confinement. The effects of spineless cactus as a replacement for sugarcane in the diet of the lambs on the carcass characteristics, commercial cut weight and yield, leg tissue composition, and carcass measurements were studied. The study revealed quadratic behavior in slaughter body weight, and hot and cold carcass weight, with maximum values of 38.60, 18.60, and 18.11 kg and replacement levels of 40.18%, 44.42%, and 43.14%, respectively. The cold carcass yield presented an increasing linear behavior. The compactness index of carcass and leg presented a quadratic effect, with estimated maximal values of 0.28 and 0.57 kg/cm and replacement levels of 43.37% and 45.5%, respectively. The weights of commercial cuts of leg, loin, shoulder, and breast showed quadratic behavior, with maximum values of 2.79, 0.852, 1.46, and 1.30 kg and replacement levels of 49.5, 45.32, 39.0, and 40.7, respectively. For tissue composition, quadratic behavior was verified for leg weight, subcutaneous fat, and total fat. The replacement of sugarcane by spineless cactus at level 44% is recommended for finishing lambs considering that this level improved most of the carcass characteristics, weights, and yields of commercial cuts and leg tissue composition.

  16. Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus).

    PubMed

    Barr, Kelly R; Kus, Barbara E; Preston, Kristine L; Howell, Scarlett; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy G

    2015-05-01

    Achieving long-term persistence of species in urbanized landscapes requires characterizing population genetic structure to understand and manage the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on connectivity. Urbanization over the past century in coastal southern California has caused both precipitous loss of coastal sage scrub habitat and declines in populations of the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). Using 22 microsatellite loci, we found that remnant cactus wren aggregations in coastal southern California comprised 20 populations based on strict exact tests for population differentiation, and 12 genetic clusters with hierarchical Bayesian clustering analyses. Genetic structure patterns largely mirrored underlying habitat availability, with cluster and population boundaries coinciding with fragmentation caused primarily by urbanization. Using a habitat model we developed, we detected stronger associations between habitat-based distances and genetic distances than Euclidean geographic distance. Within populations, we detected a positive association between available local habitat and allelic richness and a negative association with relatedness. Isolation-by-distance patterns varied over the study area, which we attribute to temporal differences in anthropogenic landscape development. We also found that genetic bottleneck signals were associated with wildfire frequency. These results indicate that habitat fragmentation and alterations have reduced genetic connectivity and diversity of cactus wren populations in coastal southern California. Management efforts focused on improving connectivity among remaining populations may help to ensure population persistence. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barr, Kelly R.; Kus, Barbara E.; Preston, Kristine; Howell, Scarlett; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy

    2015-01-01

    Achieving long-term persistence of species in urbanized landscapes requires characterizing population genetic structure to understand and manage the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on connectivity. Urbanization over the past century in coastal southern California has caused both precipitous loss of coastal sage scrub habitat and declines in populations of the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). Using 22 microsatellite loci, we found that remnant cactus wren aggregations in coastal southern California comprised 20 populations based on strict exact tests for population differentiation, and 12 genetic clusters with hierarchical Bayesian clustering analyses. Genetic structure patterns largely mirrored underlying habitat availability, with cluster and population boundaries coinciding with fragmentation caused primarily by urbanization. Using a habitat model we developed, we detected stronger associations between habitat-based distances and genetic distances than Euclidean geographic distance. Within populations, we detected a positive association between available local habitat and allelic richness and a negative association with relatedness. Isolation-by-distance patterns varied over the study area, which we attribute to temporal differences in anthropogenic landscape development. We also found that genetic bottleneck signals were associated with wildfire frequency. These results indicate that habitat fragmentation and alterations have reduced genetic connectivity and diversity of cactus wren populations in coastal southern California. Management efforts focused on improving connectivity among remaining populations may help to ensure population persistence.

  18. Bacteria Associated with Copestylum (Diptera, Syrphidae) Larvae and Their Cactus Host Isolatocereus dumortieri

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durbán, Ana; Latorre, Amparo; Antón, Josefa; Marcos-García, María de los Ángeles

    2011-01-01

    We describe the gut bacterial diversity inhabiting two saprophagous syrphids and their breeding substrate (decayed tissues of the columnar cactus Isolatocereus dumortieri). We analyzed the gut microbiota of Copestylum latum (scooping larvae that feed on decayed cactus tissues) and Copestylum limbipenne (whose larvae can also feed on semiliquid tissues) using molecular techniques. DNA was extracted from larval guts and cactus tissues. The V1-V3 region of the 16S rRNA genes was amplified and sequenced. A total of 31079 sequences were obtained. The main findings are: C. limbipenne is dominated by several Enterobacteriaceae, including putative nitrogen-fixing genera and pectinolitic species and some denitrifying species, whereas in C. latum unclassified Gammaproteobacteria predominate. Decayed tissues have a dominant lactic acid bacterial community. The bacterial communities were more similar between larval species than between each larva and its breeding substrate. The results suggest that the gut bacterial community in these insects is not strongly affected by diet and must be dependent on other factors, such as vertical transmission, evolutionary history and host innate immunity. PMID:22132101

  19. Genetic variation and population structure of the mixed-mating cactus, Melocactus curvispinus (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Nassar, J M; Hamrick, J L; Fleming, T H

    2001-07-01

    Genetic diversity was measured in the mixed-mating cactus, Melocactus curvispinus, in Venezuela. Allozyme diversity was surveyed in 19 putative loci over 18 populations. Compared to other plant taxa, this cactus is rich in polymorphic loci (Ps=89.5%), with high numbers of alleles per polymorphic locus (APs=3.82), but moderate levels of heterozygosity (Hes=0.145). Substantial levels of inbreeding were detected across loci and populations at macrogeographic (FIS=0.348) and regional levels (FIS=0.194-0.402). Moderate levels of genetic differentiation among populations were detected at macrogeographical (FST=0.193) and regional (FST=0.084-0.187) scales, suggesting that gene flow is relatively restricted, but increases within regions without topographic barriers. The population genetic structure observed for this cactus was attributed to, at least, three factors: short-distance pollination and seed dispersal, the mixed-mating condition of the species, and genetic drift. High genetic identities between populations (I=0.942) supported the conspecific nature of all populations surveyed. The levels and patterns of genetic structure observed for M. curvispinus were consistent with its mating system and gene dispersal mechanisms.

  20. Unusual presentation of cactus spines in the flank of an elderly man: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Splinters and spines of plant matter are common foreign bodies in skin wounds of the extremities, and often present embedded in the dermis or subcutaneous tissue. Vegetative foreign bodies are highly inflammatory and, if not completely removed, can cause infection, toxic reactions, or granuloma formation. Older patients are at increased risk for infection from untreated plant foreign bodies. The most common error in plant splinter and spine management is failure to detect their presence. Case presentation Here we report a case of cactus spines in an 84-year-old Caucasian man presenting on the right flank as multiple, red papules with spiny extensions. This presentation was unusual both in location and the spinous character of the lesions, and only after punch biopsy analysis was a diagnosis of cactus matter spines made. Conclusions Our patient presented with an unusual case of cactus spines that required histopathology for identification. Skin lesions with neglected foreign bodies are a common cause of malpractice claims. If not removed, foreign bodies of the skin, particularly in elderly individuals, can result in inflammatory and infectious sequela. This report underscores the importance of thoroughly evaluating penetrating skin lesions for the presence of foreign bodies, such as splinters and spines. PMID:20500838

  1. Opuntia in México: Identifying Priority Areas for Conserving Biodiversity in a Multi-Use Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Illoldi-Rangel, Patricia; Ciarleglio, Michael; Sheinvar, Leia; Linaje, Miguel; Sánchez-Cordero, Victor; Sarkar, Sahotra

    2012-01-01

    Background México is one of the world's centers of species diversity (richness) for Opuntia cacti. Yet, in spite of their economic and ecological importance, Opuntia species remain poorly studied and protected in México. Many of the species are sparsely but widely distributed across the landscape and are subject to a variety of human uses, so devising implementable conservation plans for them presents formidable difficulties. Multi–criteria analysis can be used to design a spatially coherent conservation area network while permitting sustainable human usage. Methods and Findings Species distribution models were created for 60 Opuntia species using MaxEnt. Targets of representation within conservation area networks were assigned at 100% for the geographically rarest species and 10% for the most common ones. Three different conservation plans were developed to represent the species within these networks using total area, shape, and connectivity as relevant criteria. Multi–criteria analysis and a metaheuristic adaptive tabu search algorithm were used to search for optimal solutions. The plans were built on the existing protected areas of México and prioritized additional areas for management for the persistence of Opuntia species. All plans required around one–third of México's total area to be prioritized for attention for Opuntia conservation, underscoring the implausibility of Opuntia conservation through traditional land reservation. Tabu search turned out to be both computationally tractable and easily implementable for search problems of this kind. Conclusions Opuntia conservation in México require the management of large areas of land for multiple uses. The multi-criteria analyses identified priority areas and organized them in large contiguous blocks that can be effectively managed. A high level of connectivity was established among the prioritized areas resulting in the enhancement of possible modes of plant dispersal as well as only a small number

  2. Phenolic Profiles, Phytchemicals and Mineral Content of Decoction and Infusion of Opuntia ficus-indica Flowers.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Imene; Ennouri, Monia; Bouaziz, Mohamed; Ben Amira, Amal; Attia, Hamadi

    2015-12-01

    Opuntia flowers are a natural source of biologically active compounds and they have been used as medicinal plant for a long time. Despite the various uses reported for the decoction and infusion of these flowers, their characterization has been discarded. In this study, the decoction and infusion prepared from Opuntia ficus-indica were analyzed with respect to their content in minerals and phytochemicals in order to evaluate its nutritional characteristics. The obtained data proved that these preparations are a rich source of minerals mainly K and Ca. Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed that they have important polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins contents with the infusion that presented the highest polyphenol levels. LC-MS analyses of decoction and infusion allowed the characterization of 20 phenolic compounds. It is mainly identified by the presence of flavonols glycosides.

  3. Taurine is absent from amino components in fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Ali, Hatem Salama Mohamed; Al-Khalifa, Abdulrahman Saleh; Brückner, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Juices of edible fruits from Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller, commonly named prickly pears or Indian figs, were analysed for amino acids using an automated amino acid analyser run in the high-resolution physiological mode. Emphasis was put on the detection of free taurine (Tau), but Tau could be detected neither in different cultivars of prickly pears from Italy, South Africa and the Near East nor in commercially available prickly pear juices from the market.

  4. Review of samples of sediment, tailings, and waters adjacent to the Cactus Queen gold mine, Kern County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rytuba, James J.; Kim, Christopher S.; Goldstein, Daniel N.

    2011-01-01

    The Cactus Queen Mine is located in the western Mojave Desert in Kern County, California. The Cactus Queen gold-silver (Au-Ag) deposit is similar to other Au-Ag deposits hosted in Miocene volcanic rocks that consist of silicic domes and associated flows, pyroclastic rocks, and subvolcanic intrusions. The volcanic rocks were emplaced onto a basement of Mesozoic silicic intrusive rocks. A part of the Cactus Queen Mine is located on Federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Staff from the BLM initially sampled the mine area and documented elevated concentrations of arsenic (As) in tailings and sediment. BLM then requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with Chapman University, measure and characterize As and other geochemical constituents in sediment, tailings, and waters on the part of the mine on Federal lands. This report is made in response to the request by the BLM, the lead agency mandated to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to the potential removal of As-contaminated mine waste from the Cactus Queen Mine as a means of reducing As release and exposure to humans and biota. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of sediments, mine tailings, and surface waters at the Cactus Queen Mine on January 27, 2008. Our results provide a preliminary assessment of the sources of As and associated chemical constituents that could potentially impact humans and biota.

  5. A novel function for the IκB inhibitor Cactus in promoting Dorsal nuclear localization and activity in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Maira Arruda; Fontenele, Marcio; Lim, Bomyi; Bisch, Paulo Mascarello; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y; Araujo, Helena Marcolla

    2017-08-15

    The evolutionarily conserved Toll signaling pathway controls innate immunity across phyla and embryonic patterning in insects. In the Drosophila embryo, Toll is required to establish gene expression domains along the dorsal-ventral axis. Pathway activation induces degradation of the IκB inhibitor Cactus, resulting in a ventral-to-dorsal nuclear gradient of the NFκB effector Dorsal. Here, we investigate how cactus modulates Toll signals through its effects on the Dorsal gradient and on Dorsal target genes. Quantitative analysis using a series of loss- and gain-of-function conditions shows that the ventral and lateral aspects of the Dorsal gradient can behave differently with respect to Cactus fluctuations. In lateral and dorsal embryo domains, loss of Cactus allows more Dorsal to translocate to the nucleus. Unexpectedly, cactus loss-of-function alleles decrease Dorsal nuclear localization ventrally, where Toll signals are high. Overexpression analysis suggests that this ability of Cactus to enhance Toll stems from the mobilization of a free Cactus pool induced by the Calpain A protease. These results indicate that Cactus acts to bolster Dorsal activation, in addition to its role as a NFκB inhibitor, ensuring a correct response to Toll signals. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity of whole extract and isolated indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus-indica associated with re-activation of the onco-suppressor p16(INK4a) gene in human colorectal carcinoma (Caco-2) cells.

    PubMed

    Naselli, Flores; Tesoriere, Luisa; Caradonna, Fabio; Bellavia, Daniele; Attanzio, Alessandro; Gentile, Carla; Livrea, Maria A

    2014-07-18

    Phytochemicals may exert chemo-preventive effects on cells of the gastro-intestinal tract by modulating epigenome-regulated gene expression. The effect of the aqueous extract from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI extract), and of its betalain pigment indicaxanthin (Ind), on proliferation of human colon cancer Caco-2 cells has been investigated. Whole extract and Ind caused a dose-dependent apoptosis of proliferating cells at nutritionally relevant amounts, with IC50 400±25 mg fresh pulp equivalents/mL, and 115±15 μM (n=9), respectively, without toxicity for post-confluent differentiated cells. Ind accounted for ∼80% of the effect of the whole extract. Ind did not cause oxidative stress in proliferating Caco-2 cells. Epigenomic activity of Ind was evident as de-methylation of the tumor suppressor p16(INK4a) gene promoter, reactivation of the silenced mRNA expression and accumulation of p16(INK4a), a major controller of cell cycle. As a consequence, decrease of hyper-phosphorylated, in favor of the hypo-phosphorylated retinoblastoma was observed, with unaltered level of the cycline-dependent kinase CDK4. Cell cycle showed arrest in the G2/M-phase. Dietary cactus pear fruit and Ind may have chemo-preventive potential in intestinal cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Seasonal resource value and male size influence male aggressive interactions in the leaf footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata.

    PubMed

    Nolen, Zachary J; Allen, Pablo E; Miller, Christine W

    2017-05-01

    In animal contests, resource value (the quality of a given resource) and resource holding potential (a male's absolute fighting ability) are two important factors determining the level of engagement and outcome of contests. Few studies have tested these factors simultaneously. Here, we investigated whether natural, seasonal differences in cactus phenology (fruit quality) influence interactions between males in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). We also considered whether males were more likely to interact when they were similar in size, as predicted by theory. Finally, we examined if male size relative to the size of an opponent predicted competitive success. We found that males have more interactions on cactus with high value ripe fruit, as we predicted. Further, we found that males that were closer in size were more likely to interact, and larger males were more likely to become dominant. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. II. Growth promotion of cactus seedlings.

    PubMed

    Puente, M E; Li, C Y; Bashan, Y

    2004-09-01

    Four bacterial species isolated from the rhizoplane of cacti growing in bare lava rocks were assessed for growth promotion of giant cardon cactus seedlings (Pachycereus pringlei). These bacteria fixed N(2), dissolved P, weathered extrusive igneous rock, marble, and limestone, and significantly mobilized useful minerals, such as P, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn in rock minerals. Cardon cactus seeds inoculated with these bacteria were able to sprout and grow normally without added nutrients for at least 12 months in pulverized extrusive igneous rock (ancient lava flows) mixed with perlite. Cacti that were not inoculated grew less vigorously and some died. The amount of useful minerals (P, K, Fe, Mg) for plant growth extracted from the pulverized lava, measured after cultivation of inoculated plants, was significant. This study shows that rhizoplane bacteria isolated from rock-growing cacti promote growth of a cactus species, and can help supply essential minerals for a prolonged period of time.

  9. Differential larval settlement responses of Porites astreoides and Acropora palmata in the presence of the green alga Halimeda opuntia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, K.; Sneed, J. M.; Paul, V. J.

    2016-06-01

    Settlement is critical to maintaining coral cover on reefs, yet interspecific responses of coral planulae to common benthic macroalgae are not well characterized. Larval survival and settlement of two Caribbean reef-building corals, the broadcast-spawner Acropora palmata and the planulae-brooder Porites astreoides, were quantified following exposure to plastic algae controls and the green macroalga Halimeda opuntia. Survival and settlement rates were not significantly affected by the presence of H. opuntia in either species. However, ~10 % of P. astreoides larvae settled on the surface of the macroalga, whereas larvae of A. palmata did not. It is unlikely that corals that settle on macroalgae will survive post-settlement; therefore, H. opuntia may reduce the number of P. astreoides and other non-discriminatory larvae that survive to adulthood. Our results suggest that the presence of macroalgae on impacted reefs can have unexpected repercussions for coral recruitment and highlight discrepancies in settlement specificity between corals with distinct life history strategies.

  10. Extended geographical distribution and host range of the cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera Pyralidae)in Argentina

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A field exploration was conducted to confirm the southernmost distribution of Cactoblastis cactorum in Argentina. The distribution of the moth was extended to the south (40° 10´S) and west (66° 56´W). The native Opuntia penicilligera was recorded as a host for the first time. These findings should ...

  11. Bleogens: Cactus-Derived Anti-Candida Cysteine-Rich Peptides with Three Different Precursor Arrangements

    PubMed Central

    Loo, Shining; Kam, Antony; Xiao, Tianshu; Tam, James P.

    2017-01-01

    Cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) play important host-defense roles in plants. However, information concerning CRPs in the Cactaceae (cactus) family is limited, with only a single cactus-derived CRP described to date. Here, we report the identification of 15 novel CRPs with three different precursor architectures, bleogens pB1-15 from Pereskia bleo of the Cactaceae family. By combining proteomic and transcriptomic methods, we showed that the prototype, bleogen pB1, contained 36 amino acid residues, a six-cysteine motif typical of the six-cysteine-hevein-like peptide (6C-HLP) family, and a type I two-domain precursor consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and a mature domain. In contrast, the precursors of the other 14 bleogens contained a type II three-domain architecture with a propeptide domain inserted between the ER and the mature bleogen domain. Four of these 14 bleogens display a third type of architecture with a tandemly repeating bleogen domain. A search of the Onekp database revealed that <1% plant species possess three different precursor architectures for the biosynthesis of 6C-HLPs, including Lophophora williamsii, Pereskia aculeate, Portulaca cryptopetala, Portulaca oleracea, Portulaca suffruticosa, and Talinum sp. NMR analysis confirmed that bleogen pB1 has cystine-knot disulfide connectivity as well as a two-beta-sheet and a four-loop structural fold that is similar to other 6C-HLPs. Sequence analysis, structural studies, and in silico modeling revealed that bleogen pB1 has a cation-polar-cation motif, a signature heparin-binding motif that was confirmed by heparin affinity chromatography. Cell-based assays showed that bleogen pB1 is non-toxic to mammalian cells but functions as an anti-Candida peptide. Taken together, our findings provide insight into the occurrence, functions and precursor architectures of CRPs in the cactus family. PMID:29312404

  12. Increased acidification in the rhizosphere of cactus seedlings induced by Azospirillum brasilense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo, Angel; Li, Ching; Bashan, Yoav

    2002-08-01

    Acidification of the rhizosphere of cactus seedlings (giant cardon, Pachycereus pringlei) after inoculation with the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum brasilense Cd, in the presence or absence of ammonium and nitrate, was studied to understand how to increase growth of cardon seedlings in poor desert soils. While ammonium enhanced rhizosphere and liquid culture acidification, inoculation with the bacteria enhanced it further. On the other hand, nitrate increased pH of the rhizosphere, but combined with the bacterial inoculation, increase in pH was significantly smaller. Bacterial inoculation with ammonium enhanced plant growth.

  13. Young Daughter Cladodes Affect CO2 Uptake by Mother Cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica

    PubMed Central

    PIMIENTA-BARRIOS, EULOGIO; ZAÑUDO-HERNANDEZ, JULIA; ROSAS-ESPINOZA, VERONICA C.; VALENZUELA-TAPIA, AMARANTA; NOBEL, PARK S.

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Drought damages cultivated C3, C4 and CAM plants in the semi-arid lands of central Mexico. Drought damage to Opuntia is common when mother cladodes, planted during the dry spring season, develop young daughter cladodes that behave like C3 plants, with daytime stomatal opening and water loss. In contrast, wild Opuntia are less affected because daughter cladodes do not develop on them under extreme drought conditions. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the effects of the number of daughter cladodes on gas exchange parameters of mother cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica exposed to varying soil water contents. • Methods Rates of net CO2 uptake, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, chlorophyll content and relative water content were measured in mature mother cladodes with a variable number of daughter cladodes growing in spring under dry and wet conditions. • Key Results Daily carbon gain by mother cladodes was reduced as the number of daughter cladodes increased to eight, especially during drought. This was accompanied by decreased mother cladode relative water content, suggesting movement of water from mother to daughter cladodes. CO2 assimilation was most affected in phase IV of CAM (late afternoon net CO2 uptake) by the combined effects of daughter cladodes and drought. Rainfall raised the soil water content, decreasing the effects of daughter cladodes on net CO2 uptake by mother cladodes. • Conclusions Daughter cladodes significantly hasten the effects of drought on mother cladodes by competition for the water supply and thus decrease daily carbon gain by mother cladodes, mainly by inhibiting phase IV of CAM. PMID:15567805

  14. Seed Anatomy and Water Uptake in Relation to Seed Dormancy in Opuntia tomentosa (Cactaceae, Opuntioideae)

    PubMed Central

    Orozco-Segovia, A.; Márquez-Guzmán, J.; Sánchez-Coronado, M. E.; Gamboa de Buen, A.; Baskin, J. M.; Baskin, C. C.

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims There is considerable confusion in the literature concerning impermeability of seeds with ‘hard’ seed coats, because the ability to take up (imbibe) water has not been tested in most of them. Seeds of Opuntia tomentosa were reported recently to have a water-impermeable seed coat sensu lato (i.e. physical dormancy), in combination with physiological dormancy. However, physical dormancy is not known to occur in Cactaceae. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine if seeds of O. tomentosa are water-permeable or water-impermeable, i.e. if they have physical dormancy. Methods The micromorphology of the seed coat and associated structures were characterized by SEM and light microscopy. Permeability of the seed-covering layers was assessed by an increase in mass of seeds on a wet substrate and by dye-tracking and uptake of tritiated water by intact versus scarified seeds. Key Results A germination valve and a water channel are formed in the hilum–micropyle region during dehydration and ageing in seeds of O. tomentosa. The funicular envelope undoubtedly plays a role in germination of Opuntia seeds via restriction of water uptake and mechanical resistance to expansion of the embryo. However, seeds do not exhibit any of three features characteristic of those with physical dormancy. Thus, they do not have a water-impermeable layer(s) of palisade cells (macrosclereids) or a water gap sensu stricto and they imbibe water without the seed coat being disrupted. Conclusions Although dormancy in seeds of this species can be broken by scarification, they have physiological dormancy only. Further, based on information in the literature, it is concluded that it is unlikely that any species of Opuntia has physical dormancy. This is the first integrative study of the anatomy, dynamics of water uptake and dormancy in seeds of Cactaceae subfamily Opuntioideae. PMID:17298989

  15. Autonomous Biological Control of Dactylopius opuntiae (Hemiptera: Dactyliiopidae) in a Prickly Pear Plantation With Ecological Management.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Rodríguez, J A; González-Machorro, E; Villegas González, A A; Rodríguez Ramírez, M L; Mejía Lara, F

    2016-04-07

    It is broadly known that the conservation of biological diversity in agricultural ecosystems contributes to pest control. This process was studied in a prickly pear plantation (Opuntia megacanthaandOpuntia ficus-indica) located in central Mexico. No insecticides have been used on this plantation since 2000, and local farmers believe that the presence of different species of insects limits the growth of the wild cochineal (Dactylopius opuntiaeCockerell), which is one of the main pests in this crop. From August 2012 to November 2013, we estimated the number of cochineal per stem in the plantation and determined its spatial distribution pattern. In order to identify signs of population regulation, we obtained histograms of the frequency distribution of the size of the clusters and determined if distribution is adjusted to a power function (power law). We identified the cochineal predators and determined the correlation in their abundances. The greater abundance of cochineal occurred between summer and autumn while the minimum value was recorded in spring. The frequency distribution of the cochineal clusters had a high level of adjustment to a power function, suggesting the presence of population regulation processes. Six species that prey on cochineal were identified.Laetilia coccidivoraandHyperaspis trifurcatawere the most active and their abundance was significantly correlated with the abundance of cochineal. We found that the probability of extinction of these insects in a cladode increases with its density, since the density and predator activity also increased. It is likely that, under these conditions, the cochineal have established an autonomous control. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities in extracts of fully grown cladodes of 8 cultivars of cactus pear.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, E; Dávila-Aviña, J; Castillo, S L; Heredia, N; Vázquez-Alvarado, R; García, S

    2014-04-01

    The antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of some cultivars of the nopal cactus have not been determined. In this study, 8 cultivars of nopal cacti from Mexico were assayed for phenolic content, antioxidant activities, and antimicrobial activities against Campylobacter Jejuni, Vibrio cholera, and Clostridium Perfringens. Plant material was washed, dried, and macerated in methanol. Minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were determined using the broth microdilution method. Antioxidant activities were quantitatively determined using spectrophotometric methods. The MCBs of the nopal cacti ranged from 1.1 to 12.5 mg/mL for c. jejuni, 4.4 to 30 mg/mL for V. cholera, and 0.8 to 16 mg/mL for C. perfringens in the cultivars Cardon Blanco, Real de Catorce, and Jalpa, respectively. High quantities of total phenols and total flavonoids were found in the Jalpa cacti (3.80 mg of gallic acid equivalent GAE/g dry weight [DW] and 36.64 mg of quercetin equivalents [QE]/g DW, respectively). 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities (RSA) were correlated to bioactive compound contents. The Villanueva cacti had the highest %RSA at 42.31%, and the lowest activity was recorded in Copena V1 at 19.98%. In conclusion, we found that some of the 8 cactus pear cultivars studied may be used for their antioxidant compounds or antimicrobials to control or prevent the contamination of foods. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  17. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiler, Edward; Markow, Therese A.

    2011-01-01

    Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera) and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones). For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal “stepping stones”. Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation. PMID:26467624

  18. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, Edward; Markow, Therese A

    2011-05-05

    Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera) and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones). For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal "stepping stones". Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation.

  19. Characterization of alkali treated and untreated new cellulosic fiber from Saharan aloe vera cactus leaves.

    PubMed

    A N, Balaji; K J, Nagarajan

    2017-10-15

    The aim of this study is to examine the use of new natural fibers, which are extracted from the Saharan aloe vera cactus plant leaves as reinforcement in polymer composites. The physicochemical, mechanical and thermal properties of the Saharan Aloe Vera Cactus Leaves (SACL) fibers are investigated, through the effect of alkali treatment. The contents of α-cellulose, hemicellulose, wax and moisture present in SACL fibers were characterized by standard test methods The mechanical properties of SACL fibers were measured through single fiber tensile test. The interfacial strength between the fiber and matrix was estimated by the fiber pull-out test. These results ensure that the chemical and mechanical properties of the fibers are improved after the alkali treatment. FT-IR spectroscopic analysis confirms that the alkali treatment process has removed certain amount of amorphous materials from the fibers. XRD analysis results show that the alkali treatment has enhanced the Crystallinity Index and Crystalline Size of the fibers. Thermal behavior of the fibers was analyzed by using TGA. The thermal stability and the thermal degradation temperature increases after the alkali treatment of fibers. The morphologies of fibers were analyzed by SEM and prove that the fiber surfaces become rough after alkali treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of Abscisic Acid and Sucrose on Somatic Embryogenesis in Cactus Copiapoa tenuissima Ritt. forma mostruosa

    PubMed Central

    Lema-Rumińska, J.; Goncerzewicz, K.; Gabriel, M.

    2013-01-01

    Having produced the embryos of cactus Copiapoa tenuissima Ritt. forma monstruosa at the globular stage and callus, we investigated the effect of abscisic acid (ABA) in the following concentrations: 0, 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μM on successive stages of direct (DSE) and indirect somatic embryogenesis (ISE). In the indirect somatic embryogenesis process we also investigated a combined effect of ABA (0, 0.1, 1 μM) and sucrose (1, 3, 5%). The results showed that a low concentration of ABA (0-1 μM) stimulates the elongation of embryos at the globular stage and the number of correct embryos in direct somatic embryogenesis, while a high ABA concentration (10–100 μM) results in growth inhibition and turgor pressure loss of somatic embryos. The indirect somatic embryogenesis study in this cactus suggests that lower ABA concentrations enhance the increase in calli fresh weight, while a high concentration of 10 μM ABA or more changes calli color and decreases its proliferation rate. However, in the case of indirect somatic embryogenesis, ABA had no effect on the number of somatic embryos and their maturation. Nevertheless, we found a positive effect of sucrose concentration for both the number of somatic embryos and the increase in calli fresh weight. PMID:23843737

  1. Factors affecting establishment success of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-06-01

    Early plant stages may be the most vulnerable within the life cycle of plants especially in arid ecosystems. Interference from exotic species may exacerbate this condition. We evaluated germination, seedling survival and growth in the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis, as a function of sunlight exposure (i.e., growing under open and shaded areas), different shade providers (i.e., growing under two native shrubs and one exotic grass species), two levels of predation (i.e., exclusion and non-exclusion) and variable microenvironmental conditions (i.e., temperature, PAR, humidity). Field experiments demonstrated that suitable conditions for germination and establishment of H. portoricensis seedling are optimal in shaded areas beneath the canopy of established species, but experiments also demonstrated that the identity of the shade provider can have a significant influence on the outcome of these processes. Harrisia portoricensis seedlings had higher probabilities of survival and grew better (i.e., larger diameters) when they were transplanted beneath the canopy of native shrubs, than beneath the exotic grass species, where temperature and solar radiation values were on average much higher than those obtained under the canopies of native shrubs. We also detected that exclusion from potential predators did not increase seedling survival. Our combined results for H. portoricensis suggested that the modification of microenvironmental conditions by the exotic grass may lower the probability of recruitment and establishment of this endangered cactus species.

  2. Population Genetic Structure of a Widespread Bat-Pollinated Columnar Cactus

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Enriquena; Búrquez, Alberto; Scheinvar, Enrique; Eguiarte, Luis Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Bats are the main pollinators and seed dispersers of Stenocereus thurberi, a xenogamous columnar cactus of northwestern Mexico and a good model to illustrate spatial dynamics of gene flow in long-lived species. Previous studies in this cactus showed differences among populations in the type and abundance of pollinators, and in the timing of flowering and fruiting. In this study we analyzed genetic variability and population differentiation among populations. We used three primers of ISSR to analyze within and among populations genetic variation from eight widely separated populations of S. thurberi in Sonora, Mexico. Sixty-six out of 99 of the ISSR bands (P = 66.7%) were polymorphic. Total heterozygosity for all populations sampled revealed high genetic diversity (Hsp = 0.207, HBT = 0.224). The AMOVA showed that most of the genetic variation was within populations (80.5%). At the species level, estimates of population differentiation, θ = 0.175 and θB = 0.194, indicated moderate gene flow among populations. The absence of a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances indicated little isolation by geographic distance. The large genetic variation and diversity found in S. thurberi is consistent with its open reproductive system and the high mobility of bats, a major pollinator. However, small changes in number or kind of pollinators and seed dispersal agents, in the directionality of migratory routes, and/or in the timing of flowering and fruiting among populations, can critically affect gene flow dynamics. PMID:27015281

  3. Population Genetic Structure of a Widespread Bat-Pollinated Columnar Cactus.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Enriquena; Búrquez, Alberto; Scheinvar, Enrique; Eguiarte, Luis Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Bats are the main pollinators and seed dispersers of Stenocereus thurberi, a xenogamous columnar cactus of northwestern Mexico and a good model to illustrate spatial dynamics of gene flow in long-lived species. Previous studies in this cactus showed differences among populations in the type and abundance of pollinators, and in the timing of flowering and fruiting. In this study we analyzed genetic variability and population differentiation among populations. We used three primers of ISSR to analyze within and among populations genetic variation from eight widely separated populations of S. thurberi in Sonora, Mexico. Sixty-six out of 99 of the ISSR bands (P = 66.7%) were polymorphic. Total heterozygosity for all populations sampled revealed high genetic diversity (Hsp = 0.207, HBT = 0.224). The AMOVA showed that most of the genetic variation was within populations (80.5%). At the species level, estimates of population differentiation, θ = 0.175 and θB = 0.194, indicated moderate gene flow among populations. The absence of a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances indicated little isolation by geographic distance. The large genetic variation and diversity found in S. thurberi is consistent with its open reproductive system and the high mobility of bats, a major pollinator. However, small changes in number or kind of pollinators and seed dispersal agents, in the directionality of migratory routes, and/or in the timing of flowering and fruiting among populations, can critically affect gene flow dynamics.

  4. Chapter 3: The status of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona: Population surveys and habitat assessment

    Treesearch

    W. Scott Richardson; Jean-Luc E. Cartron; David J. Krueper; Lauren Turner; Thomas H. Skinner

    2000-01-01

    In 1993, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) began formal population surveys in an attempt to document the numbers and distribution of cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) in Arizona. Surveys were initiated to gather information on this little-known subspecies which was considered for listing at the time. Prior to...

  5. Distribution of Paradine plains cactus in pinyon-juniper woodland on the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest

    Treesearch

    Arthur M. Phillips; Debra J. Kennedy; Barbara G. Phillips; Diedre Weage

    2001-01-01

    Surveys for Paradine plains cactus (Pediocactus paradinei B. W. Benson) conducted for the Kaibab National Forest, North Kaibab Ranger District in 1992-94 qualitatively showed a fairly substantial population of scattered individuals in the pinyon-juniper woodland, and indicated that there might be a correlation between plant distribution and dripline of trees. This...

  6. Analysis of factors that affect the potential of star fruit (Averhoa Bilimbi) and cactus (Gymnocalycium Hossei) extracts as alternative battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahmawati, Sitti; Agnesstacia

    2014-03-01

    This research analyzes the factors that affect the work of the battery from the star fruit extract and the cactus extract. The value voltage and current generated are measure the work of the battery. Voltage measurement based on the electrode distance function, and electrode surface area. Voltage as a surface area electrode function and electrode distance function determined the current density and the voltage generated. From the experimental results obtained that the battery voltage is large enough, it is about 1.8 V for the extract of star fruit, and 1.7 V for the extract of cactus, which means that the juice extract from star fruit and the juice extract of cactus can become an alternative as battery replacement. The measurements with different electrode surface area on the star fruit and cactus extract which has the depth of the electrode 0.5 cm to 4 cm causes a decrease in the electric current generated from 12.5 mA to 1.0 mA, but obtained the same voltage.

  7. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. II. growth promotion of cactus seedlings.

    Treesearch

    M.E. Puente; C.Y. Li; Y. Bashan

    2004-01-01

    Four bacterial species isolated from the rhizoplane of cacti growing in bare lava rocks were assessed for growth promotion of giant cardon cactus seedlings (Pachycereus pringlei). These bacteria fixed N2, dissolved P, weathered extrusive igneous rock, marble, and limestone, and significantly mobilized useful minerals, such as...

  8. Pollination of pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha sheeri var. robustispina): does pollen flow limit abundance of this endangered species?

    Treesearch

    Christopher J. McDonald; Guy R. McPherson

    2005-01-01

    Pima pineapple cactus (PPC) (Coryphantha sheeri var. robustispina), a federally listed endangered species, occurs throughout southeastern Arizona and has relatively low population densities. To determine whether pollination limits reproduction of PPC we used florescent dye to quantify pollen flow between individuals in a PPC...

  9. Floral orientation in Eulychnia acida, an arborescent cactus of the Atacama Desert, and implications for cacti globally

    Treesearch

    Steven D. Warren; Lorgio E. Aguilera; L. Scott Baggett; Mauricio Zuniga

    2017-01-01

    The hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile may be the driest place on Earth. Plants surviving there have adapted a number of unique strategies to cope with the harsh conditions. Many cacti in arid areas tend to produce reproductive organs in positions that maximize incidence of solar radiation. We sought to determine whether Eulychnia acida, an endemic cactus with...

  10. Chapter 2: A historical perspective on the population decline of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    R. Roy Johnson; Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Lois T. Haight; Russell B. Duncan; Kenneth J. Kingsley

    2000-01-01

    The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) was discovered in the U.S. by Bendire in 1872 in the Tucson area (Coues 1872). During the next five decades, naturalists collected many specimens of this owl and typically described the subspecies as common or fairly common along some streams and rivers of central and southern Arizona...

  11. Ant predation on an invasive herbivore: Can an extrafloral nectar-producing plant provide associational resistance to Opuntia individuals?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The legume Chamaecrista fasciculata attracts ants to its extrafloral nectar (EFN) which can lead to reduced herbivory and increased fecundity for the plant. In Florida, Opuntia stricta and O. humifusa, hosts of the invasive moth Cactoblastis cactorum, are often found growing in close association wit...

  12. Hepatoprotective Flavonoids in Opuntia ficus-indica Fruits by Reducing Oxidative Stress in Primary Rat Hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jung Wha; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Hyun Woo; Park, Sang Wook; Kim, Hong Pyo; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2017-01-01

    Background: Liver disorder was associated with alcohol consumption caused by hepatic cellular damages. Opuntia ficus-indica fruit extracts (OFIEs), which contain betalain pigments and polyphenols including flavonoids, have been introduced as reducing hangover symptoms and liver protective activity. Objective: To evaluate hepatoprotective activity of OFIEs and isolated compounds by high-speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC). Materials and Methods: The extract of O. ficus-indica fruits was fractionated into methylene chloride and n-butanol. The n-butanol fraction was isolated by HSCCC separation (methylene chloride-methanol-n-butanol-water, 5:4:3:5, v/v/v/v). The hepatoprotective activity of OFIEs and isolated compounds was evaluated on rat primary hepatocytes against ethanol-induced toxicity. Antioxidative parameters such as glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzymes and the GSH content were measured. Results: Two flavonoids, quercetin 3-O-methyl ester (1) and (+)-taxifolin, and two flavonoid glycosides, isorhamnetin 3-O-β-d-glucoside (3) and narcissin (4), were isolated from the n-butanol fraction by HSCCC separation. Among them, compound 2 significantly protected rat primary hepatocytes against ethanol exposure by preserving antioxidative properties of GR and GSH-Px. Conclusions: OFIEs and (+)-taxifolin were suggested to reduce hepatic damage by alcoholic oxidative stress. SUMMARY Hepatoprotective Flavonoids were isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica by high -speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC). PMID:28839374

  13. Hepatoprotective Flavonoids in Opuntia ficus-indica Fruits by Reducing Oxidative Stress in Primary Rat Hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Wha; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Hyun Woo; Park, Sang Wook; Kim, Hong Pyo; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2017-01-01

    Liver disorder was associated with alcohol consumption caused by hepatic cellular damages. Opuntia ficus-indica fruit extracts (OFIEs), which contain betalain pigments and polyphenols including flavonoids, have been introduced as reducing hangover symptoms and liver protective activity. To evaluate hepatoprotective activity of OFIEs and isolated compounds by high-speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC). The extract of O. ficus-indica fruits was fractionated into methylene chloride and n -butanol. The n -butanol fraction was isolated by HSCCC separation (methylene chloride-methanol- n -butanol-water, 5:4:3:5, v/v/v/v). The hepatoprotective activity of OFIEs and isolated compounds was evaluated on rat primary hepatocytes against ethanol-induced toxicity. Antioxidative parameters such as glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-P x ) enzymes and the GSH content were measured. Two flavonoids, quercetin 3- O -methyl ester (1) and (+)-taxifolin, and two flavonoid glycosides, isorhamnetin 3- O -β- d -glucoside (3) and narcissin (4), were isolated from the n -butanol fraction by HSCCC separation. Among them, compound 2 significantly protected rat primary hepatocytes against ethanol exposure by preserving antioxidative properties of GR and GSH-P x . OFIEs and (+)-taxifolin were suggested to reduce hepatic damage by alcoholic oxidative stress. Hepatoprotective Flavonoids were isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica by high -speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC).

  14. Antioxidant, antibacterial and in vivo dermal wound healing effects of Opuntia flower extracts.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Imene; Bardaa, Sana; Mzid, Massara; Sahnoun, Zouheir; Rebaii, Tarak; Attia, Hamadi; Ennouri, Monia

    2015-11-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica flowers are used for various medicinal purposes. The aims of the present investigation were to evaluate biological properties of O. ficus-indica flowers extracts and to investigate its antioxidant and antibacterial activities and its ability to enhance wound healing. The wound healing activity of the mucilaginous and methanol extracts of O. ficus-indica flowers were assessed using excision wound model in rats. After thirteen days of treatment by both extracts, a beneficial effect on cutaneous repair was observed as assessed by the acceleration of wound contraction and remodeling phases. Histopathological studies of the granulation tissue indicated that the derma is properly arranged with the Opuntia flowers extract, compared with the control group. The mucilage extract was more effective than the methanol extract, but both showed significant results compared with the control. Such investigation was supported by the efficiency of the methanolic and mucilage extract as antimicrobial and antioxidant. Indeed, the extracts showed a potential antioxidant activity determined by different test systems, namely DPPH radicals scavenging activity, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, reducing power, β-carotene bleaching assay and metal chelating activity and exhibited significant antibacterial activity against almost all tested bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Development of microsatellite markers using next-generation sequencing for the columnar cactus Echinopsis chiloensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Ossa, Carmen G; Larridon, Isabel; Peralta, Gioconda; Asselman, Pieter; Pérez, Fernanda

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to develop microsatellite markers as a tool to study population structure, genetic diversity and effective population size of Echinopsis chiloensis, an endemic cactus from arid and semiarid regions of Central Chile. We developed 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers for E. chiloensis using next-generation sequencing and tested them in 60 individuals from six sites, covering all the latitudinal range of this species. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 8, while the observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosity ranged from 0.0 to 0.80 and from 0.10 to 0.76, respectively. We also detected significant differences between sites, with F ST values ranging from 0.05 to 0.29. Microsatellite markers will enable us to estimate genetic diversity and population structure of E. chiloensis in future ecological and phylogeographic studies.

  16. Water availability and the competitive effect of a columnar cactus on its nurse plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores-Martínez, Arturo; Ezcurra, Exequiel; Sánchez-Colón, Salvador

    1998-02-01

    A field study was conducted in a semi-arid tropical ecosystem in Mexico to test whether competition for soil water is the causal mechanism underlying the negative effect of the columnar cactus Neobuxbaumia tetetzo on its nurse plant Mimosa luisana and to examine how this relationship varies over time. The effect of irrigation was evaluated by recording the production of leaves, modules (i.e. internodes with an axillary bud), inflorescences and fruits in shrubs growing either isolated or associated with juvenile or adult columnar cacti. 4 001 of water, in five doses of 801 each every 15 d, were added to the treatment plants; no water other than rainfall was added to control plants. Additionally, to evaluate how the effect of the columnar cacti on the shrubs may vary among years we made a comparison of the production of plant structures between 2 years of contrasting rainfall. The irrigation treatment increased the production of modules, inflorescences and fruits, but not of leaves. Shrub response to watering was also dependent on class of association: those associated with juvenile cacti showed a higher response to irrigation than any other treatment. Our results show that water addition increases the production of structures and partially reduces the negative effect of the cactus on nurse shrub, thus supporting the hypothesis of competition for water. The negative effect of the cacti on their nurse plants was present during both years of observations, but the intensity of the negative effect varies from relatively wet to dry years. The results are discussed in relation to how temporal changes in resource availability affect the results of competitive interactions and the importance of this mechanism in the structure and dynamics of this dryland community.

  17. Vivipary and offspring survival in the epiphytic cactus Epiphyllum phyllanthus (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Cota-Sánchez, J Hugo; Abreu, Deusa D

    2007-01-01

    Vivipary, the germination of seeds before they are shed from the parent plant, is a rare event in angiosperms involving complex ecophysiological processes. Pseudovivipary and cryptovivipary occur in approximately 30 (2%) species of the cactus family. A remarkable case of vivipary in Epiphyllum phyllanthus is described here. Information is provided regarding the biology of viviparous fruits, morphology, mortality, survival rates of viviparous offspring, and some eco-evolutionary implications of this reproductive strategy in the Cactaceae. This epiphytic cactus has no host-specific relationship. A low proportion (33.3%) of individuals produced viviparous fruits. Seed number/fruit varied from 197 to 230 with percentage of viviparous germination from 97.5% to 99%. The viviparous seedlings exhibited normal development and were no different from non-viviparous offspring. Transplanting experiments showed that the first week is critical for seedling establishment, and high mortality occurred in the three treatments used: 69% on the phorophyte surface, 58.6% on the ground, and 44.8% under controlled conditions. The number of survivors gradually stabilized, and the contribution to establishment was comparable in each of the treatments after the acclimation phase. It is suggested that vivipary is associated with thermoregulation, parental care, conspecific nursing, and rapid seedling establishment. Germination is not a limiting factor in the perpetuation of this viviparous species, but seedling establishment is. In viviparous individuals of E. phyllanthus, seedling mortality during establishment rather than failure to germinate within the fruit is a limiting factor affecting local population density. Overall, viviparity is an intrinsic, genetic event involving high metabolic costs favouring germination and dispersal of the fittest offspring regardless of substrate and environmental conditions.

  18. Antioxidant Phytochemicals of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. Cladodes with Potential Anti-spasmodic Activity.

    PubMed

    Lanuzza, Francesco; Occhiuto, Francesco; Monforte, Maria Teresa; Tripodo, Maria Marcella; D'Angelo, Valeria; Galati, Enza Maria

    2017-10-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae), a plant widespread in dry regions of the world, shows interesting biological activities (cicatrizant, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic) and is widely used in traditional medicine. Phytochemical analysis and antispasmodic effect of wild OFI cladodes were carried out. Polyphenols and Vitamin E occurrence, in antioxidant pool of OFI cladodes, were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The antispasmodic effect of OFI cladodes was assessed in isolated rabbit smooth muscle tissues. The experiments were carried out with preparations of rabbit jejunum and uterus with the spontaneous contractile activity, to evaluate the effect of cumulative concentrations of the extract on basal tone, amplitude, and frequency of contractions. Catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and chlorogenic, ferulic, and p-coumaric acid were identified. α-, β-, and γ-tocopherols have been highlighted and α-tocopherol is the major component. OFI cladodes contain significant amount of polyphenols and tocopherols that are effective radical scavengers and inhibited ethanol 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl formation by 50%. OFI cladodes caused a light inhibition of amplitude and frequency of spontaneous contractions and a marked decrease in muscle basal tone of rabbit jejunum preparations. On spontaneously contracting uterus preparations, the addition of increasing concentrations of cladode extract caused uterine muscle relaxation. The contraction of smooth muscle preparations depends on an increase in cytoplasmic free calcium ion concentration, which activates the contractile elements. The flavonoids may suppress the contractility of smooth myocytes, by an inhibition of availability of Ca 2+ for muscle contraction. Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) cladodes contain significant amount of polyphenols and tocopherols that are effective radical scavengers and inhibited ethanol 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl formation by 50

  19. Antioxidant Phytochemicals of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. Cladodes with Potential Anti-spasmodic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lanuzza, Francesco; Occhiuto, Francesco; Monforte, Maria Teresa; Tripodo, Maria Marcella; D’Angelo, Valeria; Galati, Enza Maria

    2017-01-01

    Background: Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae), a plant widespread in dry regions of the world, shows interesting biological activities (cicatrizant, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic) and is widely used in traditional medicine. Objectives: Phytochemical analysis and antispasmodic effect of wild OFI cladodes were carried out. Material and Methods: Polyphenols and Vitamin E occurrence, in antioxidant pool of OFI cladodes, were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The antispasmodic effect of OFI cladodes was assessed in isolated rabbit smooth muscle tissues. The experiments were carried out with preparations of rabbit jejunum and uterus with the spontaneous contractile activity, to evaluate the effect of cumulative concentrations of the extract on basal tone, amplitude, and frequency of contractions. Results: Catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and chlorogenic, ferulic, and p-coumaric acid were identified. α-, β-, and γ-tocopherols have been highlighted and α-tocopherol is the major component. OFI cladodes contain significant amount of polyphenols and tocopherols that are effective radical scavengers and inhibited ethanol 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl formation by 50%. OFI cladodes caused a light inhibition of amplitude and frequency of spontaneous contractions and a marked decrease in muscle basal tone of rabbit jejunum preparations. On spontaneously contracting uterus preparations, the addition of increasing concentrations of cladode extract caused uterine muscle relaxation. Conclusion: The contraction of smooth muscle preparations depends on an increase in cytoplasmic free calcium ion concentration, which activates the contractile elements. The flavonoids may suppress the contractility of smooth myocytes, by an inhibition of availability of Ca2+ for muscle contraction. SUMMARY Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) cladodes contain significant amount of polyphenols and tocopherols that are effective radical

  20. Corrrective action decision document for the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches (Corrective Action Unit No. 426). Revision No. 1

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    The Corrective Action Decision Document (CADD) for the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches (Corrective Action Unit [CAU] No. 426) has been prepared for the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Nevada Environmental Restoration Project. This CADD has been developed to meet the requirements of the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) of 1996, stated in Appendix VI, {open_quotes}Corrective Action Strategy{close_quotes} (FFACO, 1996). The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Corrective Action Site (CAS) No. RG-08-001-RG-CS is included in CAU No. 426 (also referred to as the {open_quotes}trenches{close_quotes}); it has been identified as one of three potential locations for buried, radioactively contaminated materials frommore » the Double Tracks Test. The trenches are located on the east flank of the Cactus Range in the eastern portion of the Cactus Spring Ranch at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) in Nye County, Nevada, on the northern portion of Nellis Air Force Range. The TTR is approximately 225 kilometers (km) (140 miles [mi]) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, by air and approximately 56 km (35 mi) southeast of Tonopah, Nevada, by road. The trenches were dug for the purpose of receiving waste generated during Operation Roller Coaster, primarily the Double Tracks Test. This test, conducted in 1963, involved the use of live animals to assess the biological hazards associated with non-nuclear detonation of plutonium-bearing devices (i.e., inhalation uptake of plutonium aerosol). The CAS consists of four trenches that received solid waste and had an overall impacted area of approximately 36 meters (m) (120 feet [ft]) long x 24 m (80 ft) wide x 3 to 4.5 m (10 to 15 ft) deep. The average depressions at the trenches are approximately 0.3 m (1 ft) below land surface.« less

  1. Determination of some mineral contents of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) seed flours.

    PubMed

    Al-Juhaimi, Fahad; Özcan, Mehmet Musa

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to determine some mineral contents of prickly pear (Opuntia fıcus-indica L.) seeds collected from different locations. The mineral contents of seeds were established by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. All the seeds contained Ca, K, Mg and P at high levels. Calcium content ranged between 268.5 (sample no. 11) and 674.8 ppm (sample no. 4). The level of K changed between 346.7 (sample no. 1) and 676.1 ppm (sample no. 13). Phosphorus content of seeds varied between 1,173.6 (sample no. 14) and 1,871.3 ppm (sample no. 1). It is apparent that seeds are good sources of the macro and micro minerals and can be consumed as a food ingredient to provide nutrition.

  2. Opuntia ficus indica peel derived pectin mediated hydroxyapatite nanoparticles: Synthesis, spectral characterization, biological and antimicrobial activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopi, D.; Kanimozhi, K.; Kavitha, L.

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, we have adapted a facile and efficient green route for the synthesis of HAP nanoparticles using pectin as a template which was extracted from the peel of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruits. The concentration of pectin plays a major role in the behavior of crystallinity, purity, morphology as well as biological property of the as-synthesized HAP nanoparticles. The extracted pectin and the as-synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by various analytical techniques. The in vitro apatite formation on the surface of the as-synthesized nanoparticles in simulated body fluid (SBF) for various days showed an enhanced bioactivity. Also, the antimicrobial activity was investigated using various microorganisms. All the results revealed the formation of pure, low crystalline and discrete granular like HAP nanoparticles of size around 25 nm with enhanced biological and antimicrobial activities. Hence the as-synthesized nanoparticles can act as a better bone regenerating material in the field of biomedicine.

  3. Hydrothermal carbonization of Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes: Role of process parameters on hydrochar properties.

    PubMed

    Volpe, Maurizio; Goldfarb, Jillian L; Fiori, Luca

    2018-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes are a potential source of solid biofuel from marginal, dry land. Experiments assessed the effects of temperature (180-250°C), reaction time (0.5-3h) and biomass to water ratio (B/W; 0.07-0.30) on chars produced via hydrothermal carbonization. Multivariate linear regression demonstrated that the three process parameters are critically important to hydrochar solid yield, while B/W drives energy yield. Heating value increased together with temperature and reaction time and was maximized at intermediate B/W (0.14-0.20). Microscopy shows evidence of secondary char formed at higher temperatures and B/W ratios. X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric data, microscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry suggest that calcium oxalate in the raw biomass remains in the hydrochar; at higher temperatures, the mineral decomposes into CO 2 and may catalyze char/tar decomposition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Raman bands in Ag nanoparticles obtained in extract of Opuntia ficus-indica plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocarando-Chacon, J.-G.; Cortez-Valadez, M.; Vargas-Vazquez, D.; Rodríguez Melgarejo, F.; Flores-Acosta, M.; Mani-Gonzalez, P. G.; Leon-Sarabia, E.; Navarro-Badilla, A.; Ramírez-Bon, R.

    2014-05-01

    Silver nanoparticles have been obtained in an extract of Opuntia ficus-indica plant. The size and distribution of nanoparticles were quantified by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The diameter was estimated to be about 15 nm. In addition, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) peaks of silver were observed in these samples. Three Raman bands have been experimentally detected at 83, 110 and 160 cm-1. The bands at 83 and 110 cm-1 are assigned to the silver-silver Raman modes (skeletal modes) and the Raman mode located at 160 cm-1 has been assigned to breathing modes. Vibrational assignments of Raman modes have been carried out based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT) quantum mechanical calculation. Structural and vibrational properties for small Agn clusters with 2≤n≤9 were determined. Calculated Raman modes for small metal clusters have an approximation trend of Raman bands. These Raman bands were obtained experimentally for silver nanoparticles (AgNP).

  5. Green Synthesis of Ag-Cu Nanoalloys Using Opuntia ficus- indica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha-Rocha, O.; Cortez-Valadez, M.; Hernández-Martínez, A. R.; Gámez-Corrales, R.; Alvarez, Ramón A. B.; Britto-Hurtado, R.; Delgado-Beleño, Y.; Martinez-Nuñez, C. E.; Pérez-Rodríguez, A.; Arizpe-Chávez, H.; Flores-Acosta, M.

    2017-02-01

    Bimetallic Ag/Cu nanoparticles have been obtained by green synthesis using Opuntia ficus- indica plant extract. Two synthesis methods were applied to obtain nanoparticles with core-shell and Janus morphologies by reversing the order of precursors. Transmission electronic microscopy revealed size of 10 nm and 20 nm for the core-shell and Janus nanoparticles, respectively. Other small particles with size of up to 2 nm were also observed. Absorption bands attributed to surface plasmon resonance were detected at 440 nm and 500 nm for the core-shell and Janus nanoparticles, respectively. Density functional theory predicted a breathing mode type (BMT) located at low wavenumber due to small, low-energy clusters of (AgCu) n with n = 2 to 9, showing a certain correlation with the experimental one (at 220 cm-1). The dependence of the BMT on the number of atoms constituting the cluster is also studied.

  6. Effects of Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten stem on gastric damages in rats.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun Bang; Hyun, Jin Ee; Li, Da Wei; Moon, Yung In

    2002-02-01

    The effects of the dried stem powder of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten (OF-s) were investigated on gastric lesion and ulcer models in rats. It showed significant inhibition in HCl ethanol-induced gastric lesion at the doses of 200 and 600 mg/kg p.o. and in HCl.aspirin-induced gastric lesion at 600 mg/kg p.o. OF-s also showed significant inhibition in indomethacin-induced gastric lesion at the doses of 200 and 600 mg/kg, p.o. However, it did not affect both the aspirin-induced and Shay ulcers in rats. It also did not affect gastric juice secretion, acid output and pH. These data indicate that OF-s only possesses pronounced inhibitory action on gastric lesion without antiulcer activity in rats.

  7. Comparison of hypotensive, diuretic and renal effects between cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica and furosemide.

    PubMed

    Bakour, Meryem; Al-Waili, Noori; El-Haskoury, Redouan; El-Menyiy, Nawal; Al-Waili, Thia; Al-Waili, Ali; Lyoussi, Badiaa

    2017-09-01

    To investigate the diuretic, hypotensive and renal effect of Opuntia ficus-indica in two different species in oral and intravenous administration. Diuretic activity was evaluated in rats with the plant cladode gel and aqueous extract administrated orally, and was evaluated in rabbits with plant extract administered intravenously. Single and repeated doses of cladode gel or aqueous extract of cladode were tested. Urine volume and blood and urine creatinine, sodium and potassium were measured, and creatinine clearance was calculated. The hypotensive effect of lyophilized extract of cladode was evaluated in rabbits. Two polyethylene PE50 catheters were used: one in the jugular vein for the infusion of the plant extract and the other in the carotid for the evaluation of the arterial pressure. The cladode gel or aqueous extract increased urine volume, creatinine clearance and urinary excretion of sodium and potassium without significant effect on serum creatinine or blood urea. Furosemide, gel and aqueous extract of cladode insignificantly lowered plasma potassium in rats. Intravenous administration of the lyophilized extract caused a significant decrease in mean arterial pressure in rabbits with a significant increase in urine volume and urine sodium and potassium; the effect was dose dependent. Intravenous administration of lyophilized extract did not affect plasma sodium or potassium. Gel and aqueous extract of Opuntia ficus-indica cladode have a significant diuretic effect on rats, and the lyophilized extract has a diuretic and hypotensive effect on normotensive rabbits without deterioration in renal function test. Additional studies on active ingredients are essential to pave the way for clinical studies on diuretic and hypotensive effect of the plant. Copyright © 2017 Hainan Medical University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Prickly coexistence or blunt competition? Opuntia refugia in an invaded rodent community.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Stephen David; Macdonald, David W

    2009-02-01

    Endemic Nesoryzomys swarthi and invasive Rattus rattus exist in unlikely sympatry in Galápagos as female N. swarthi suffer from competition with R. rattus. This study evaluates the role of feeding habits in facilitating their co-occurrence. Spool-and-line tracking of 85 N. swarthi and 33 R. rattus was used to quantify their selected diets, foods of which were used in captive trials of 46 N. swarthi and 34 R. rattus to quantify their preferred diets. Selected diets were compared between species and seasons using niche measures, and contrasted to preferred diets to qualify inferences about competition. Diet overlap was highest in the wet season when food-particularly fruit-abundance was highest and R. rattus diet breadth was broadest. Preferred and selected diets were marginally correlated for R. rattus but uncorrelated for N. swarthi, suggesting that R. rattus interfere with N. swarthi foraging. Diet overlap was highest between female N. swarthi and R. rattus, perhaps due to female breeding requirements. Male N. swarthi avoided R. rattus-preferred foods, possibly to avoid aggressive encounters with R. rattus. During the dry season, when foods declined and the R. rattus population crashed, diet overlap was lowest as R. rattus diet narrowed in the absence of fruits. Female, and particularly male, N. swarthi diet broadened, with emphasis on acquiring Opuntia foods but N. swarthi-preferred and selected diets were uncorrelated, suggesting that their foraging was inhibited by R. rattus. In conclusion, the narrower diet breadth of R. rattus in contrast to N. swarthi suggests that this species may be less adapted to food acquisition at this site, particularly when fruits are absent. The year-round presence of R. rattus, however, appears to inhibit N. swarthi foraging for its preferred diet, and they instead specialise on Opuntia foods, which were uneaten by R. rattus and may provide N. swarthi with a localised competition refuge from encounters with R. rattus.

  9. Chemical analysis of nutritional content of prickly pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at varied ages in an organic harvest.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Urbiola, Margarita I; Pérez-Torrero, Esther; Rodríguez-García, Mario E

    2011-05-01

    Opuntia ficus indica, also known as prickly pads, are an important part of the human diet and are also used as forage for livestock. This is an interesting vegetable due the environmental conditions in which it grows and its resistance to climatic extremes; however, little is known about its nutritional properties, especially in the later stages of maturity. The objective of this study was to determine the composition of organic prickly pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at differing stages of growth maturity. Chemical proximate analysis and mineral constituent analysis at different maturation stages were carried out in this investigation. As a result, older prickly pads were found to be an important source of nutritional components such as calcium.

  10. A novel method for the determination of ascorbic acid and antioxidant capacity in Opuntia ficus indica using in vivo microdialysis.

    PubMed

    Pretti, L; Bazzu, G; Serra, P A; Nieddu, G

    2014-03-15

    A simple and rapid method was developed for in vivo simultaneous determination of ascorbic-acid and antioxidant capacity in microdialysates from cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller. The method is verified in water-stressed plants, as compared with a well-watered test controls. The microdialysis probe construction and insertion procedure was specifically developed to minimise the tissue trauma of the plant and to obtain optimal dialysis performance. Microdialysis was performed using a flow rate of 3 μL/min and the samples were analysed by HPLC coupled to electrochemical detection of ascorbic-acid and DPPH-determined antioxidant capacity. Our data indicate exponential decay of the concentrations of the analysed compounds as a function of microdialysis sampling time. Water-stressed Opuntia show decreased ascorbic acid levels and increased the others antioxidants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Chemical Analysis of Nutritional Content of Prickly Pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at Varied Ages in an Organic Harvest

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Urbiola, Margarita I.; Pérez-Torrero, Esther; Rodríguez-García, Mario E.

    2011-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica, also known as prickly pads, are an important part of the human diet and are also used as forage for livestock. This is an interesting vegetable due the environmental conditions in which it grows and its resistance to climatic extremes; however, little is known about its nutritional properties, especially in the later stages of maturity. The objective of this study was to determine the composition of organic prickly pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at differing stages of growth maturity. Chemical proximate analysis and mineral constituent analysis at different maturation stages were carried out in this investigation. As a result, older prickly pads were found to be an important source of nutritional components such as calcium. PMID:21655119

  12. Effect of hyaluronic acid and polysaccharides from Opuntia ficus indica (L.) cladodes on the metabolism of human chondrocyte cultures.

    PubMed

    Panico, A M; Cardile, V; Garufi, F; Puglia, C; Bonina, F; Ronsisvalle, S

    2007-05-04

    Conventional medications in articular disease are often effective for symptom relief, but they can also cause significant side effects and do not slow the progression of the disease. Several natural substances have been shown to be effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), and preliminary evidence suggests that some of these compounds may exert a favourable influence on the course of the disease. In this study, we assay the anti-inflammatory/chondroprotective effect of some lyophilised extracts obtained from Opuntia ficus indica (L.) cladodes and of hyaluronic acid (HA) on the production of key molecules released during chronic inflammatory events such as nitric oxide (NO), glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), prostaglandins (PGE(2)) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human chondrocyte culture, stimulated with proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). Further the antioxidant effect of these extracts was evaluated in vitro employing the bleaching of the stable 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH test). All the extracts tested in this study showed an interesting profile in active compounds. Particularly some of these extracts were characterized by polyphenolic and polysaccharidic species. In vitro results pointed out that the extracts of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes were able to contrast the harmful effects of IL-1 beta. Our data showed the protective effect of the extracts of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes in cartilage alteration, which appears greater than that elicited by hyaluronic acid (HA) commonly employed as visco-supplementation in the treatment of joint diseases.

  13. Protective effect of Opuntia ficus-indica L. cladodes against UVA-induced oxidative stress in normal human keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Petruk, Ganna; Di Lorenzo, Flaviana; Imbimbo, Paola; Silipo, Alba; Bonina, Andrea; Rizza, Luisa; Piccoli, Renata; Monti, Daria Maria; Lanzetta, Rosa

    2017-12-15

    Opuntia ficus-indica L. is known for its beneficial effects on human health, but still little is known on cladodes as a potent source of antioxidants. Here, a direct, economic and safe method was set up to obtain water extracts from Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes rich in antioxidant compounds. When human keratinocytes were pre-treated with the extract before being exposed to UVA radiations, a clear protective effect against UVA-induced stress was evidenced, as indicated by the inhibition of stress-induced processes, such as free radicals production, lipid peroxidation and GSH depletion. Moreover, a clear protective effect against apoptosis in pre-treated irradiated cells was evidenced. We found that eucomic and piscidic acids were responsible for the anti-oxidative stress action of cladode extract. In conclusion, a bioactive, safe, low-cost and high value-added extract from Opuntia cladodes was obtained to be used for skin health/protection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The polysaccharide and low molecular weight components of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes: Structure and skin repairing properties.

    PubMed

    Di Lorenzo, Flaviana; Silipo, Alba; Molinaro, Antonio; Parrilli, Michelangelo; Schiraldi, Chiara; D'Agostino, Antonella; Izzo, Elisabetta; Rizza, Luisa; Bonina, Andrea; Bonina, Francesco; Lanzetta, Rosa

    2017-02-10

    The Opuntia ficus-indica multiple properties are reflected in the increasing interest of chemists in the identification of its natural components having pharmaceutical and/or cosmetical applications. Here we report the structural elucidation of Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage that highlighted the presence of components differing for their chemical nature and the molecular weight distribution. The high molecular weight components were identified as a linear galactan polymer and a highly branched xyloarabinan. The low molecular weight components were identified as lactic acid, D-mannitol, piscidic, eucomic and 2-hydroxy-4-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-butanoic acids. A wound healing assay was performed in order to test the cicatrizing properties of the various components, highlighting the ability of these latter to fasten dermal regeneration using a simplified in vitro cellular model based on a scratched keratinocytes monolayer. The results showed that the whole Opuntia mucilage and the low molecular weight components are active in the wound repair. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Production and characterization of cosmetic nanoemulsions containing Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) mill extract as moisturizing agent.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Renato Cesar de Azevedo; Barreto, Stella Maria de Andrade Gomes; Ostrosky, Elissa Aarantes; da Rocha-Filho, Pedro Alves; Veríssimo, Lourena Mafra; Ferrari, Márcio

    2015-02-02

    This study aimed to produce and characterize an oil in water (O/W) nanoemulsion containing Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill hydroglycolic extract, as well as evaluate its preliminary and accelerated thermal stability and moisturizing efficacy. The formulations containing 0.5% of xanthan gum (FX) and 0.5% of xanthan gum and 1% of Opuntia ficus-indica MILL extract (FXE) were white, homogeneus and fluid in aspect. Both formulations were stable during preliminary and accelerated stability tests. FX and FXE presented a pH compatible to skin pH (4.5-6.0); droplet size varying from 92.2 to 233.6 nm; a polydispersion index (PDI) around 0.200 and a zeta potential from -26.71 to -47.01 mV. FXE was able to increase the water content of the stratum corneum for 5 h after application on the forearm. The O/W nanoemulsions containing 1% of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill extract presented suitable stability for at least for 60 days. Besides, this formulation was able to increase the water content of stratum corneum, showing its moisturizing efficacy.

  16. Past climate changes and ecophysiological responses recorded in the isotope ratios of saguaro cactus spines.

    PubMed

    English, Nathan B; Dettman, David L; Sandquist, Darren R; Williams, David G

    2007-11-01

    The stable isotope composition of spines produced serially from the apex of columnar cacti has the potential to be used as a record of changes in climate and physiology. To investigate this potential, we measured the delta(18)O, delta(13)C and F(14)C values of spines from a long-lived columnar cactus, saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). To determine plant age, we collected spines at 11 different heights along one rib from the stem apex (3.77 m height) to the base of a naturally occurring saguaro. Fractions of modern carbon (F(14)C) ranged from 0.9679 to 1.5537, which is consistent with ages between 1950 and 2004. We observed a very strong positive correlation (r = 0.997) between the F(14)C age of spines and the age of spines determined from direct and repeated height measurements taken on this individual over the past 37 years. A series of 96 spines collected from this individual had delta(18)O values ranging from 38 per thousand to 50 per thousand [Vienna standard mean ocean water (VSMOW)] and delta(13)C values from -11.5 per thousand to -8.5 per thousand [Vienna Peedee belemnite (VPDB)]. The delta(18)O and delta(13)C values of spines were positively correlated (r = 0.45, P < 0.0001) and showed near-annual oscillations over the approximately 15-year record. This pattern suggests that seasonal periods of reduced evaporative demand or greater precipitation input may correspond to increased daytime CO(2) uptake. The lowest delta(18)O and delta(13)C values of spines observed occurred during the 1983 and 1993 El Niño years, suggesting that the stable isotope composition recorded in spine tissue may serve as a proxy for these climate events. We compared empirical models and data from potted experimental cacti to validate these observations and test our hypotheses. The isotopic records presented here are the first ever reported from a chronosequence of cactus spines and demonstrate that tissues of columnar cacti, and potentially other long-lived succulents, may contain a

  17. Ecophysiological and Anatomical Mechanisms behind the Nurse Effect: Which Are More Important? A Multivariate Approach for Cactus Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Delgado-Sánchez, Pablo; Yáñez-Espinosa, Laura; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan Francisco; Chapa-Vargas, Leonardo; Flores, Joel

    2013-01-01

    Background Cacti establish mostly occurs under the canopy of nurse plants which provide a less stressful micro-environment, although mechanisms underlying this process are unknown. The impact of the combination of light and watering treatments on Opuntia streptacantha (Cactaceae) seedlings was examined. Methods/Principal Findings Ecophysiological [titratable acidity, osmotic potential (‘solute potential’, Ψs), relative growth rate (RGR) and their components (NAR, SLA, and LWR)], anatomical (chloroplast density, chloroplast frequency, and cell area), and environmental [photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and air temperature] sets of variables were analyzed, assessing relationships between them and measuring the intensity of the relationships. Three harvests were carried out at days 15, 30, and 45. Ψs and acidity content were the most important responses for seedling establishment. The main anatomical and environmental variables were chloroplast density and water availability, respectively. Opuntia streptacantha seedlings establish better in the shade-watering treatment, due to higher Ψs and acidity, unaffected chloroplasts, and lower PPFD. In addition, the chloroplasts of cells under high-light and non-watering treatment were clumped closer to the center of the cytosol than those under shade-drought, to avoid photoinhibition and/or to better distribute or utilize the penetrating light in the green plant tissue. Conclusions Opuntia seedlings grow better under the shade, although they can tolerate drought in open spaces by increasing and moving chloroplasts and avoiding drastic decreases in their Ψs. This tolerance could have important implications for predicting the impact of climate change on natural desert regeneration, as well as for planning reforestation-afforestation practices, and rural land uses. PMID:24312310

  18. Closure Report for Corrective Action Unit 426: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, Tonopah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Dave Madsen

    This Closure Report provides the documentation for closure of the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 426. The site is located on the Tonopah Test Range, approximately 225 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas, NV. CAU 426 consists of one corrective action site (CAS) which is comprised of four waste trenches. The trenches were excavated to receive solid waste generated in support of Operation Roller Coaster, primary the Double Tracks Test in 1963, and were subsequently backfilled. The Double Tracks Test involved use of live animals to assess the biological hazards associated with the nonnuclear detonation of plutonium-bearing devices.more » The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection approved Corrective Action Plan (CAP)which proposed ''capping'' methodology. The closure activities were completed in accordance with the approved CAP and consisted of constructing an engineered cover in the area of the trenches, constructing/planting a vegetative cover, installing a perimeter fence and signs, implementing restrictions on future use, and preparing a Post-Closure Monitoring Plan.« less

  19. Resolving a Prickly Situation: Involving Stakeholders in Invasive Cactus Management in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Kaplan, Haylee; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2016-05-01

    The regulation and management of alien species can be contentious, particularly when the stakeholders who benefit from alien species are different from those who suffer the costs. We propose a consultative process involving relevant stakeholders in invasive species management decisions. The process involves (1) the identification of relevant stakeholders, (2) assessing their perceptions, (3) enhancing interaction between stakeholders, (4) assessing changes in stakeholders' perceptions following interactions with other stakeholders, and (5) developing management recommendations in collaboration with stakeholders. We demonstrate the application of the process using the family Cactaceae ('cacti') in South Africa. Many species of cacti have been introduced to the country over the past two centuries, mostly for horticulture, food and fodder, and hundreds of other species have been introduced in the past few decades (or are likely to be introduced soon) for horticulture. Using the proposed process enabled the negotiation and participation of all stakeholders in decision making and helped minimize contentious situations by clarifying stakeholder's beliefs and exploring consensus solutions. Consequently, management objectives were broadly supported by all stakeholders. These results will be included in a national cactus management strategy for South Africa.

  20. Hierarchical structures of cactus spines that aid in the directional movement of dew droplets

    PubMed Central

    Clement, R. M.; Gethin, D. T.; Kiernan, M.; Goral, T.; Griffiths, P.; Beynon, D.; Parker, A. R.

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cactus whose spines act as dew harvesters were chosen for this study: Copiapoa cinerea var. haseltoniana, Mammillaria columbiana subsp. yucatanensis and Parodia mammulosa and compared with Ferocactus wislizenii whose spines do not perform as dew harvesters. Time-lapse snapshots of C. cinerea showed movement of dew droplets from spine tips to their base, even against gravity. Spines emanating from one of the areoles of C. cinerea were submerged in water laced with fluorescent nanoparticles and this particular areole with its spines and a small area of stem was removed and imaged. These images clearly showed that fluorescent water had moved into the stem of the plant. Lines of vascular bundles radiating inwards from the surface areoles (from where the spines emanate) to the core of the stem were detected using magnetic resonance imaging, with the exception of F. wislizenii that does not harvest dew on its spines. Spine microstructures were examined using SEM images and surface roughness measurements (Ra and Rz) taken of the spines of C. cinerea. It was found that a roughness gradient created by tapered microgrooves existed that could potentially direct surface water from a spine tip to its base. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science’. PMID:27354735

  1. Disruption rates for one vulnerable soil in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Sturm, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Rates of soil disruption from hikers and vehicle traffic are poorly known, particularly for arid landscapes. We conducted an experiment in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in western Arizona, USA, on an air-dry very fine sandy loam that is considered to be vulnerable to disruption. We created variable-pass tracks using hikers, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), and a four-wheel drive vehicle (4WD) and measured changes in cross-track topography, penetration depth, and bulk density. Hikers (one pass = 5 hikers) increased bulk density and altered penetration depth but caused minimal surface disruption up to 100 passes; a minimum of 10 passes were required to overcome surface strength of this dry soil. Both ATV and 4WD traffic significantly disrupted the soil with one pass, creating deep ruts with increasing passes that rendered the 4WD trail impassable after 20 passes. Despite considerable soil loosening (dilation), bulk density increased in the vehicle trails, and lateral displacement created berms of loosened soil. This soil type, when dry, can sustain up to 10 passes of hikers but only one vehicle pass before significant soil disruption occurs; greater disruption is expected when soils are wet. Bulk density increased logarithmically with applied pressure from hikers, ATV, and 4WD.

  2. Resolving a Prickly Situation: Involving Stakeholders in Invasive Cactus Management in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novoa, Ana; Kaplan, Haylee; Wilson, John R. U.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-05-01

    The regulation and management of alien species can be contentious, particularly when the stakeholders who benefit from alien species are different from those who suffer the costs. We propose a consultative process involving relevant stakeholders in invasive species management decisions. The process involves (1) the identification of relevant stakeholders, (2) assessing their perceptions, (3) enhancing interaction between stakeholders, (4) assessing changes in stakeholders' perceptions following interactions with other stakeholders, and (5) developing management recommendations in collaboration with stakeholders. We demonstrate the application of the process using the family Cactaceae (`cacti') in South Africa. Many species of cacti have been introduced to the country over the past two centuries, mostly for horticulture, food and fodder, and hundreds of other species have been introduced in the past few decades (or are likely to be introduced soon) for horticulture. Using the proposed process enabled the negotiation and participation of all stakeholders in decision making and helped minimize contentious situations by clarifying stakeholder's beliefs and exploring consensus solutions. Consequently, management objectives were broadly supported by all stakeholders. These results will be included in a national cactus management strategy for South Africa.

  3. Combining Ferric Salt and Cactus Mucilage for Arsenic Removal from Water.

    PubMed

    Fox, Dawn I; Stebbins, Daniela M; Alcantar, Norma A

    2016-03-01

    New methods to remediate arsenic-contaminated water continue to be studied, particularly to fill the need for accessible methods that can significantly impact developing communities. A combination of cactus mucilage and ferric (Fe(III)) salt was investigated as a flocculation-coagulation system to remove arsenic (As) from water. As(V) solutions, ferric nitrate, and mucilage suspensions were mixed and left to stand for various periods of time. Visual and SEM observations confirmed the flocculation action of the mucilage as visible flocs formed and settled to the bottom of the tubes within 3 min. The colloidal suspensions without mucilage were stable for up to 1 week. Sample aliquots were tested for dissolved and total arsenic by ICP-MS and HGAFS. Mucilage treatment improved As removal (over Fe(III)-only treatment); the system removed 75-96% As in 30 min. At neutral pH, removal was dependent on Fe(III) and mucilage concentration and the age of the Fe(III) solution. The process is fast, achieving maximum removal in 30 min, with the majority of As removed in 10-15 min. Standard jar tests with 1000 μg/L As(III) showed that arsenic removal and settling rates were pH-dependent; As removal was between 52% (high pH) and 66% (low pH).

  4. Polymorphic microsatellite markers for the rare and endangered cactus Uebelmannia pectinifera (Cactaceae) and its congeneric species.

    PubMed

    Moraes, E M; Cidade, F W; Silva, G A R; Machado, M C

    2014-12-04

    The cactus genus Uebelmannia includes 3 narrow endemic species associated with rocky savanna habitats in eastern South America. Because of their rarity and illegal over-collection, all of these species are endangered. Taxonomic uncertainties resulting from dramatic local variation in morphology within Uebelmannia species preclude effective conservation efforts, such as the reintroduction or translocation of plants, to restore declining populations. In this study, we developed and characterized 18 perfect, dinucleotide simple-sequence repeat markers for U. pectinifera, the most widely distributed species in the genus, and tested the cross-amplification of these markers in the remaining congeneric species and subspecies. All markers were polymorphic in a sample from 2 U. pectinifera populations. The effective number of alleles ranged from 1.6 to 8.7, with an average per population of 3.3 (SE ± 0.30) and 4.5 (SE ± 0.50). Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.375 to 0.847 and 8-10 loci showed departures from Hardy- Weinberg equilibrium in the analyzed populations. Based on the observed polymorphism level of each marker, as well as the analysis of null allele presence and evidence of amplification of duplicate loci, a subset of 12 loci can be used as reliable markers to investigate the genetic structure, diversity, and species limits of the Uebelmannia genus.

  5. Hierarchical structures of cactus spines that aid in the directional movement of dew droplets.

    PubMed

    Malik, F T; Clement, R M; Gethin, D T; Kiernan, M; Goral, T; Griffiths, P; Beynon, D; Parker, A R

    2016-08-06

    Three species of cactus whose spines act as dew harvesters were chosen for this study: Copiapoa cinerea var. haseltoniana, Mammillaria columbiana subsp. yucatanensis and Parodia mammulosa and compared with Ferocactus wislizenii whose spines do not perform as dew harvesters. Time-lapse snapshots of C. cinerea showed movement of dew droplets from spine tips to their base, even against gravity. Spines emanating from one of the areoles of C. cinerea were submerged in water laced with fluorescent nanoparticles and this particular areole with its spines and a small area of stem was removed and imaged. These images clearly showed that fluorescent water had moved into the stem of the plant. Lines of vascular bundles radiating inwards from the surface areoles (from where the spines emanate) to the core of the stem were detected using magnetic resonance imaging, with the exception of F. wislizenii that does not harvest dew on its spines. Spine microstructures were examined using SEM images and surface roughness measurements (Ra and Rz) taken of the spines of C. cinerea It was found that a roughness gradient created by tapered microgrooves existed that could potentially direct surface water from a spine tip to its base.This article is part of the themed issue 'Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads. In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network.

  7. Forensic identification of CITES protected slimming cactus (Hoodia) using DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Gathier, Gerard; van der Niet, Timotheus; Peelen, Tamara; van Vugt, Rogier R; Eurlings, Marcel C M; Gravendeel, Barbara

    2013-11-01

    Slimming cactus (Hoodia), found only in southwestern Africa, is a well-known herbal product for losing weight. Consequently, Hoodia extracts are sought-after worldwide despite a CITES Appendix II status. The failure to eradicate illegal trade is due to problems with detecting and identifying Hoodia using morphological and chemical characters. Our aim was to evaluate the potential of molecular identification of Hoodia based on DNA barcoding. Screening of nrITS1 and psbA-trnH DNA sequences from 26 accessions of Ceropegieae resulted in successful identification, while conventional chemical profiling using DLI-MS led to inaccurate detection and identification of Hoodia. The presence of Hoodia in herbal products was also successfully established using DNA sequences. A validation procedure of our DNA barcoding protocol demonstrated its robustness to changes in PCR conditions. We conclude that DNA barcoding is an effective tool for Hoodia detection and identification which can contribute to preventing illegal trade. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  8. Cytogeography of the Humifusa clade of Opuntia s.s. Mill. 1754 (Cactaceae, Opuntioideae, Opuntieae): correlations with pleistocene refugia and morphological traits in a polyploid complex

    PubMed Central

    Majure, Lucas C.; Judd, Walter S.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Soltis, Douglas E.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Ploidy has been well studied and used extensively in the genus Opuntia to determine species boundaries, detect evidence of hybridization, and infer evolutionary patterns. We carried out chromosome counts for all members of the Humifusa clade to ascertain whether geographic patterns are associated with differences in ploidy. We then related chromosomal data to observed morphological variability, polyploid formation, and consequently the evolutionary history of the clade. We counted chromosomes of 277 individuals from throughout the ranges of taxa included within the Humifusa clade, with emphasis placed on the widely distributed species, Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf., 1820 s.l. and Opuntia macrorhiza Engelm., 1850 s.l. We also compiled previous counts made for species in the clade along with our new counts to plot geographic distributions of the polyploid and diploid taxa. A phylogeny using nuclear ribosomal ITS sequence data was reconstructed to determine whether ploidal variation is consistent with cladogenesis. We discovered that diploids of the Humifusa clade are restricted to the southeastern United States (U.S.), eastern Texas, and southeastern New Mexico. Polyploid members of the clade, however, are much more widely distributed, occurring as far north as the upper midwestern U.S. (e.g., Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin). Morphological differentiation, although sometimes cryptic, is commonly observed among diploid and polyploid cytotypes, and such morphological distinctions may be useful in diagnosing possible cryptic species. Certain polyploid populations of Opuntia humifusa s.l. and Opuntia macrorhiza s.l., however, exhibit introgressive morphological characters, complicating species delineations. Phylogenetically, the Humifusa clade forms two subclades that are distributed, respectively, in the southeastern U.S. (including all southeastern U.S. diploids, polyploid Opuntia abjecta Small, 1923, and polyploid Opuntia pusilla (Haw.) Haw., 1812) and the

  9. Development and characterization of edible films based on mucilage of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.).

    PubMed

    Espino-Díaz, Miguel; de Jesús Ornelas-Paz, J; Martínez-Téllez, Miguel A; Santillán, Carlos; Barbosa-Cánovas, Gustavo V; Zamudio-Flores, Paul B; Olivas, Guadalupe I

    2010-08-01

    Mucilage of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) was extracted and characterized by its composition and molecular weight distribution. Mucilage film-forming dispersions were prepared under different pHs (3, 4, 5.6, 7, and 8) and calcium concentration (0% and 30% of CaCl(2), with respect to mucilage's weight), and their particle size determined. Mucilage films with and without calcium (MFCa and MF, respectively) were prepared. The effect of calcium and pH on mucilage films was evaluated determining thickness, color, water vapor permeability (WVP), tensile strength (TS), and percentage of elongation (%E). The average molecular weight of the different fractions of mucilage was: 3.4 x 10(6) (0.73%), 1 x 10(5) (1.46%), 1.1 x 10(3) (45.79%), and 2.4 x 10(2) Da (52.03%). Aqueous mucilage dispersions with no calcium presented particles with an average size d(0.5) of 15.4 microm, greater than the dispersions with calcium, 13.2 microm. MFCa films showed more thickness (0.13 mm) than the MF films (0.10 mm). The addition of calcium increased the WVP of the films from 109.94 to 130.45 gmm/m(2)dkPa. Calcium and pH affected the mechanical properties of the films; the largest TS was observed on MF films, whereas the highest %E was observed on MFCa films. The highest differences among MF and MFCa films were observed at pHs 5.6 and 7 for TS and at pHs 4 and 8 for %E. No effect of pH and calcium was observed on luminosity and hue angle. Chroma values were higher for MF when compared with MFCa, and increased as pH of the films increased. Practical Application: In this study mucilage from nopal was extracted and characterized by its ability to form edible films under different pHs, and with or without the addition of calcium. Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage had the ability to form edible films. In general, it can be considered that mucilage films without modification of pH and without the addition of calcium have the best water vapor barrier properties and tensile strength. Mucilage from nopal

  10. Opuntia humifusa Supplementation Increased Bone Density by Regulating Parathyroid Hormone and Osteocalcin in Male Growing Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Junyong; Park, Jinho; Choi, Seong Hee; Igawa, Shoji; Song, Youngju

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the effect of Opuntia humifusa (O. humifusa) supplementation on bone density and related hormone secretion in growing male rats. Sixteen six-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups; control diet group (CG, n = 8), and experimental diet group (EG, n = 8). The rats in the CG were given a control diet and those in the EG were given 5% O. humifusa added to the control diet for eight weeks. The serum OC level of the EG was significantly higher than that of the CG, and the serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) level of EG was significantly lower than that of the CG. In addition, the femoral and tibial BMD of the EG were significantly higher values than those of the CG, and the tibial BMC of the EG was significantly higher than that of the CG. These results suggest that O. humifusa supplementation has a positive effect on bone density by suppressing PTH and increasing the OC level in growing male rats. PMID:22837661

  11. Extraction, stability, and separation of betalains from Opuntia joconostle cv. using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Gonzalez, Noe; Jaime-Fonseca, Monica R; San Martin-Martinez, Eduardo; Zepeda, L Gerardo

    2013-12-11

    Betalains were extracted and analyzed from Opuntia joconostle (the prickly pear known as xoconostle in Mexico). For the extraction, two solvent systems were used, methanol/water and ethanol/water. A three-variable Box-Behnken statistical design was used for extraction: solvent concentration (0-80%, v/v), temperature (5-30 °C), and treatment time (10-30 min). The extraction and stability of betalains from xoconostle were studied using response surface methodology (RSM). Techniques such as UV-vis, column chromatography, and HPLC were employed for the separation and analysis of the main pigments present in the extracts. Maximum pigment concentration (92 mg/100 g of fruit) was obtained at a temperature of 15 °C and a time of 10 min for methanol/water (20:80), whereas maximum stability of the pigment was observed at pH 5 and a temperature of 25 °C. HPLC chromatograms showed the main betalains of the xoconostle characterized were betalain, betanidin, and isobetalain.

  12. Effects of catalase on chloroplast arrangement in Opuntia streptacantha chlorenchyma cells under salt stress.

    PubMed

    Arias-Moreno, Diana Marcela; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan Francisco; Maruri-López, Israel; Delgado-Sánchez, Pablo

    2017-08-17

    In arid and semiarid regions, low precipitation rates lead to soil salinity problems, which may limit plant establishment, growth, and survival. Herein, we investigated the NaCl stress effect on chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic-pigments, movement and chloroplasts ultrastructure in chlorenchyma cells of Opuntia streptacantha cladodes. Cladodes segments were exposed to salt stress at 0, 100, 200, and 300 mM NaCl for 8, 16, and 24 h. The results showed that salt stress reduced chlorophyll content, F v /F m , ΦPSII, and qP values. Under the highest salt stress treatments, the chloroplasts were densely clumped toward the cell center and thylakoid membranes were notably affected. We analyzed the effect of exogenous catalase in salt-stressed cladode segments during 8, 16, and 24 h. The catalase application to salt-stressed cladodes counteracted the NaCl adverse effects, increasing the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, photosynthetic-pigments, and avoided chloroplast clustering. Our results indicate that salt stress triggered the chloroplast clumping and affected the photosynthesis in O. streptacantha chlorenchyma cells. The exogenous catalase reverted the H 2 O 2 accumulation and clustering of chloroplast, which led to an improvement of the photosynthetic efficiency. These data suggest that H 2 O 2 detoxification by catalase is important to protect the chloroplast, thus conserving the photosynthetic activity in O. streptacantha under stress.

  13. A dehydrin-dehydrin interaction: the case of SK3 from Opuntia streptacantha

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Sánchez, Itzell E.; Martynowicz, David M.; Rodríguez-Hernández, Aida A.; Pérez-Morales, Maria B.; Graether, Steffen P.; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan F.

    2014-01-01

    Dehydrins belongs to a large group of highly hydrophilic proteins known as Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins. It is well known that dehydrins are intrinsically disordered plant proteins that accumulate during the late stages of embryogenesis and in response to abiotic stresses; however, the molecular mechanisms by which their functions are carried out are still unclear. We have previously reported that transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing an Opuntia streptacantha SK3 dehydrin (OpsDHN1) show enhanced tolerance to freezing stress. Herein, we show using a split-ubiquitin yeast two-hybrid system that OpsDHN1 dimerizes. We found that the deletion of regions containing K-segments and the histidine-rich region in the OpsDHN1 protein affects dimer formation. Not surprisingly, in silico protein sequence analysis suggests that OpsDHN1 is an intrinsically disordered protein, an observation that was confirmed by circular dichroism and gel filtration of the recombinantly expressed protein. The addition of zinc triggered the association of recombinantly expressed OpsDHN1 protein, likely through its histidine-rich motif. These data brings new insights about the molecular mechanism of the OpsDHN1 SK3-dehydrin. PMID:25346739

  14. Targeting Aging with Functional Food: Pasta with Opuntia Single-Arm Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Anna; Di Bona, Danilo; Candore, Giuseppina; Carru, Ciriaco; Zinellu, Angelo; Di Miceli, Giuseppe; Nicosia, Aldo; Gambino, Caterina Maria; Ruisi, Paolo; Caruso, Calogero; Vasto, Sonya; Accardi, Giulia

    2018-06-01

    Interventions to extend life span represent the new perspective in aging investigation. Healthy dietary habits are important modifiable factors that can favor a healthy aging phenotype. Many studies have demonstrated benefits for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus resulting from the traditional Mediterranean foods. Opuntia Ficus Indica (OFI), widespread in the Mediterranean basin, belongs to the Cactaceae family. It is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, products containing extracts from OFI fruits or cladodes have been used to control obesity and other metabolic parameters, such as glycemia and lipid profile. The aim of this study was to analyze the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of pasta with 3% of OFI cladode extracts added to show its beneficial effect in human health. We performed a single arm longitudinal intervention study in 42 healthy volunteers, administrating 500 g/week of this functional pasta for 30 days. Our pasta had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with putative effect on the aging process and related metabolic diseases. We also demonstrated a hypoglycemic effect. The results are preliminary, but it is possible to speculate that our pasta could be considered an effective food for the prevention of age-related metabolic disorders.

  15. Experimental binding of lead to a low cost on biosorbent: Nopal (Opuntia streptacantha).

    PubMed

    Miretzky, Patricia; Muñoz, Carolina; Carrillo-Chávez, Alejandro

    2008-03-01

    The use of nopal cladodes (Opuntia streptacantha) as raw material for Pb(2+) biosorption was investigated. Batch experiments were carried out to determine Pb(2+) sorption capacity and the efficiency of the sorption process under different pH, initial Pb(2+) and nopal biomass concentrations. The experimental data showed a good fit to Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms models. The maximum adsorption capacity for Pb(2+) was 0.14 mmol g(-1) with an efficiency higher than 94% (pH 5.0 and 2.5 g L(-1) nopal biomass). The Pb(2+) kinetics were best described by the pseudo-second-order rate model. The rate constant, the initial sorption rate and the equilibrium sorption capacity were determined. The practical implication of this study is the development of an effective and economic technology in which the nopal biomass did not undergo any chemical or physical pretreatment, which added to nopal abundance in Mexico and its low cost makes it a good option for Pb(2+) removal from contaminated waters.

  16. [Effect of a dehydrated extract of nopal (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) on blood glucose].

    PubMed

    Frati-Munari, A C; de León, C; Ariza-Andraca, R; Bañales-Ham, M B; López-Ledesma, R; Lozoya, X

    1989-01-01

    To assess if a dehydrated extract of nopal stems retains the effect on glycemia of the entire nopal stems two experiments were performed. A. Six patients with type II diabetes mellitus in fasting condition received 30 capsules containing 10.1 +/- 0.3 g of the extract, and serum glucose levels were measured hourly from 0 to 180 minutes. B. Six healthy volunteers received 30 capsules with the extract followed by 74 g of dextrose orally. Serum glucose measurements were made in a similar fashion. In each experiment a control test with empty capsules was performed. Nopal extract did not reduce fasting glycemia in diabetic subjects. Nevertheless, the extract diminished the increase of serum glucose which followed a dextrose load. Peak serum glucose was 20.3 +/- 18.2 mg/dl (X +/- SD) lower in the test with nopal than in the control one (P less than 0.025). Dehydrated extract of nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill) did not show acute hypoglycemic effect, although could attenuate postprandial hyperglycemia.

  17. Cadmium Removal from Aqueous Systems Using Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar as Biosorbent

    PubMed Central

    Beltrán-Hernández, Rosa Icela; Juárez-Santillán, Luis Felipe; Martínez-Ugalde, Ivan; Coronel-Olivares, Claudia; Lucho-Constantino, Carlos Alexander

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the use of a natural adsorbent like nopal (Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar) for removing cadmium from aqueous solutions with low concentrations of this metal. Two treatments were applied to the cladodes: a dehydration to get dehydrated nopal (DHN) and heating up to 90°C to obtain a thermally treated nopal (TN). After examining the effect of various pH values (2–7), the capacity of each biosorbent was examined in batch sorption tests at different dosages (0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 mg L−1). The results indicated that adsorption of cadmium to biomass of DHN and TN was highly dependent on pH and biosorbent dosage. The best removal of cadmium (53.3%, corresponding to q e of 0.155 mg g−1) was obtained at pH 4.0 by using the TN sorbent. Infrared and Raman spectra confirmed that cadmium removal occurred via adsorption to –OH functional groups. PMID:26783531

  18. Cadmium Removal from Aqueous Systems Using Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar as Biosorbent.

    PubMed

    Beltrán-Hernández, Rosa Icela; Vázquez-Rodríguez, Gabriela Alejandra; Juárez-Santillán, Luis Felipe; Martínez-Ugalde, Ivan; Coronel-Olivares, Claudia; Lucho-Constantino, Carlos Alexander

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the use of a natural adsorbent like nopal (Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar) for removing cadmium from aqueous solutions with low concentrations of this metal. Two treatments were applied to the cladodes: a dehydration to get dehydrated nopal (DHN) and heating up to 90°C to obtain a thermally treated nopal (TN). After examining the effect of various pH values (2-7), the capacity of each biosorbent was examined in batch sorption tests at different dosages (0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 mg L(-1)). The results indicated that adsorption of cadmium to biomass of DHN and TN was highly dependent on pH and biosorbent dosage. The best removal of cadmium (53.3%, corresponding to q e of 0.155 mg g(-1)) was obtained at pH 4.0 by using the TN sorbent. Infrared and Raman spectra confirmed that cadmium removal occurred via adsorption to -OH functional groups.

  19. Extraction, characterization and gelling behavior enhancement of pectins from the cladodes of Opuntia ficus indica.

    PubMed

    Lefsih, Khalef; Delattre, Cédric; Pierre, Guillaume; Michaud, Philippe; Aminabhavi, Tejraj M; Dahmoune, Farid; Madani, Khodir

    2016-01-01

    Total Pectins Fraction (TPF) was extracted at room temperature from dried cladodes of Opuntia ficus indica. TPF is constituted of three pectic fractions WSP, CSP and ASP, which are made up of 66.6%, 44.3% and 81.1% (w/w) of galacturonic acid, respectively. The antioxidant ability of TPF increased with the concentration increasing. It scavenged hydroxyl radical by 90% and chelated 90% of ferrous ions at 5 g/L. FTIR study was carried out. Strong characteristic absorption peaks at 1,618 cm(-1) assigned to the vibration of COO(-) group of galacturonic acid. In the fingerprint region, we noticed three well-defined peaks at 1054, 1085, and 1,154 cm(-1) characteristic of pectic polysaccharides. TPF are non-gelling pectins. The co-crosslinking of TPF with carrageenan was carried out and the gelling behavior was successfully improved. Thermo-sensitive hydrogel was obtained with 82% of TPF and 18% of carrageenan (w/w). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Pectin from Opuntia ficus indica: Optimization of microwave-assisted extraction and preliminary characterization.

    PubMed

    Lefsih, Khalef; Giacomazza, Daniela; Dahmoune, Farid; Mangione, Maria Rosalia; Bulone, Donatella; San Biagio, Pier Luigi; Passantino, Rosa; Costa, Maria Assunta; Guarrasi, Valeria; Madani, Khodir

    2017-04-15

    Optimization of microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of water-soluble pectin (WSP) from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes was performed using Response Surface Methodology. The effect of extraction time (X 1 ), microwave power (X 2 ), pH (X 3 ) and solid-to-liquid ratio (X 4 ) on the extraction yield was examined. The optimum conditions of MAE were as follows: X 1 =2.15min; X 2 =517W; X 3 =2.26 and X 4 =2g/30.6mL. The maximum obtained yield of pectin extraction was 12.57%. Total carbohydrate content of WSP is about 95.5% including 34.4% of Galacturonic acid. Pectin-related proteins represent only the 0.66% of WSP mass. HPSEC and light scattering analyses reveal that WSP is mostly constituted of high molecular pectin and FTIR measurements show that the microwave treatment does not alter the chemical structure of WSP, in which Galacturonic acid content and yield are 34.4% and 4.33%, respectively. Overall, application of MAE can give rise to high quality pectin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Depolymerization of polysaccharides from Opuntia ficus indica: Antioxidant and antiglycated activities.

    PubMed

    Chaouch, Mohamed Aymen; Hafsa, Jawhar; Rihouey, Christophe; Le Cerf, Didier; Majdoub, Hatem

    2015-08-01

    The extraction, purification and degradation of polysaccharides from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes, as well as the evaluation of their antioxidant and antiglycated activities in vitro were investigated. The optimization of the extraction showed that extraction by ultrasound at 40 °C presented the best carbohydrates yield. The degradation of the extracted polysaccharides was achieved by free radical depolymerization with H2O2 in the presence of copper(II) acetate for various reaction times. Sugar contents were determined by colorimetric assays. The macromolecular characteristics of the different isolated and degraded carbohydrates were carried by size exclusion chromatography (SEC/MALS/VD/DRI). These experiments showed that all samples are polysaccharides, which are probably pectins and that molecular weight (Mw) has decreased from 6,800,000 to 14,000 g/mol after 3 h of depolymerization without changing the structure. Preliminary antioxidant and antiglycated tests indicated that degraded polysaccharides for 2 and 3 h showed even better antioxidant and antiglycated activities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Extraction and characterization of three polysaccharides extracted from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes.

    PubMed

    Bayar, Nadia; Kriaa, Mouna; Kammoun, Radhouane

    2016-11-01

    The chemical extraction and the characterization of polysaccharides from mucilage (MC), pectin (PC) and total pectic mucilage fraction (TFC) of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes as well as the evaluation of their antioxidant activities was investigated. The FTIR spectroscopic analysis revealed the presence of carboxyl and hydroxyl groups corresponding to polysaccharides. Uronic acid and the total sugar contents of PC were higher than those of TFC and MC whereas ash content of MC was considerably more important. In addition, the findings showed that all the samples had little protein content and low average molecular weight compared to the results mentioned in literature. Furthermore, MC reached not only the highest water (WHC) and oil holding (OHC) capacities (7.81g/g and 1.34g/g, respectively) but also the highest antioxidant properties (DPPH and ABTS scavenging activities, β-carotene bleaching inhibition activity and reducing power). However, PC had the strongest emulsifying and foaming properties. As for TFC, it had low WHC, OHC and emulsifying properties whereas it had higher foaming properties than MC and greater antioxidant properties compared to PC. These outcomes can encourage the use of PC as a surfactant and MC and TFC as natural antioxidants in food and pharmaceutical industries. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Hypocholesterolemic Effect and In Vitro Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitory Activity of an Opuntia ficus-indica Extract.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Camberos, Eduardo; Flores-Fernandez, Jose Miguel; Fernandez-Flores, Ofelia; Gutierrez-Mercado, Yanet; Carmona-de la Luz, Joel; Sandoval-Salas, Fabiola; Mendez-Carreto, Carlos; Allen, Kirk

    2015-01-01

    Cholesterol control is fundamental for prevention of cardiovascular disorders. In this work, the hypocholesterolemic activity of an aqueous Opuntia ficus-indica extract (AOE) was tested in triton-induced mice. The inhibitory activity on pancreatic lipase enzyme was evaluated in vitro by the same extract. Furthermore, polyphenol content of the extract was evaluated. Hypercholesterolemia was induced in three groups of mice by intraperitoneal administration of Triton WR-1339. After induction of hypercholesterolemia, the groups were treated with an AOE (500 mg/kg) and saline solution and the positive control group with orlistat, respectively. Cholesterol levels were measured 24 h later in peripheral blood. The levels of blood cholesterol after administration of AOE significantly decreased compared to negative control. The inhibitory activity of AOE on pancreatic lipase enzyme was evaluated at concentrations from 60 to 1000 μg/mL. The AOE inhibited the pancreatic lipase with an IC50 = 588.5 μg/mL. The AOE had a high content of polyphenolic compounds. These results show that AOE is able to prevent hypercholesterolemia by pancreatic lipase inhibition, in part due to its polyphenolic compounds.

  4. Opuntia ficus indica peel derived pectin mediated hydroxyapatite nanoparticles: synthesis, spectral characterization, biological and antimicrobial activities.

    PubMed

    Gopi, D; Kanimozhi, K; Kavitha, L

    2015-04-15

    In the present study, we have adapted a facile and efficient green route for the synthesis of HAP nanoparticles using pectin as a template which was extracted from the peel of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruits. The concentration of pectin plays a major role in the behavior of crystallinity, purity, morphology as well as biological property of the as-synthesized HAP nanoparticles. The extracted pectin and the as-synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by various analytical techniques. The in vitro apatite formation on the surface of the as-synthesized nanoparticles in simulated body fluid (SBF) for various days showed an enhanced bioactivity. Also, the antimicrobial activity was investigated using various microorganisms. All the results revealed the formation of pure, low crystalline and discrete granular like HAP nanoparticles of size around 25 nm with enhanced biological and antimicrobial activities. Hence the as-synthesized nanoparticles can act as a better bone regenerating material in the field of biomedicine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Topical anti-inflammatory effects of isorhamnetin glycosides isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Martínez-Vitela, Carlos; Serna-Saldívar, Sergio O

    2015-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) has been widely used in Mexico as a food and for the treatment of different health disorders such as inflammation and skin aging. Its biological properties have been attributed to different phytochemicals such as the isorhamnetin glycosides which are the most abundant flavonoids. Moreover, these compounds are considered a chemotaxonomic characteristic of OFI species. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of OFI extract and its isorhamnetin glycosides on different inflammatory markers in vitro and in vivo. OFI extract was obtained by alkaline hydrolysis of OFI cladodes powder and pure compounds were obtained by preparative chromatography. Nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 6 production were measured. NO production was tested in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells while in vivo studies were carried on croton oil-induced ear edema model. OFI extract and diglycoside isorhamnetin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (IGR) at 125 ng/mL suppressed the NO production in vitro (73.5 ± 4.8% and 68.7 ± 5.0%, resp.) without affecting cell viability. Likewise, IGR inhibited the ear edema (77.4 ± 5.7%) equating the indomethacin effects (69.5 ± 5.3%). Both IGR and OFI extract significantly inhibited the COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-6 production. IGR seems to be a suitable natural compound for development of new anti-inflammatory ingredient.

  6. Physicochemical properties and storage stability of margarine containing Opuntia ficus-indica peel extract as antioxidant.

    PubMed

    Chougui, Nadia; Djerroud, Naima; Naraoui, Fatima; Hadjal, Samir; Aliane, Khellaf; Zeroual, Brahim; Larbat, Romain

    2015-04-15

    This study falls within the framework of the industrial exploitation of by-products of the prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica). The study aims to evaluate the use of hydro-ethanolic extract of prickly pear peels as a substitute of vitamin E used as antioxidant in margarine preservation. The extract was rich in total phenolics (1512.58 mg GAE/100 g DM). HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS(n) analyses allowed the identification of sixteen compounds belonging to hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids. The extract displayed a reducing power and an antiradical activity that were respectively similar to and lower than the two antioxidant standards quercetin and butylated hydroxyanisole. Tests conducted at laboratory and pilot scales showed that the margarines elaborated with peel extract were more resistant to oxidation than the margarine reference with vitamin E. In addition, neither the physicochemical nor the microbiological properties were modified. Prickly pear peels contain bioactive substances that could be used in different food sectors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Optimization of enzymatic extraction of pectin from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes after mucilage removal.

    PubMed

    Bayar, Nadia; Friji, Marwa; Kammoun, Radhouane

    2018-02-15

    In this study, pectin was isolated from Opuntia ficus indica (OFI) cladodes after removing mucilage using the xylanase and cellulase. The process variables were optimized by the Box Behnken design with three factors at three levels. The optimal extraction condition obtained was: liquid to solid (LS), cellulase to xylanase and enzymes to matter ratios of 22ml/g, 2:1U/U and 4U/g, respectively. The simulated extraction yield of 17.91% was validated by the experimental result (16.67±0.30). The enzyme-extracted pectin from OFI cladodes (EAEPC) was low methylated, with a high uronic acid content, a water and oil holding capacity of 5.42g/g and 1.23g/g, respectively, a good foam and emulsion stability and important DPPH radical scavenging activity. Both the OFI cladodes and enzymatic process present promising alternatives to traditional sources and extraction processes of pectin, respectively. EAEPC thus represents a promising additive in food industries. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Hypocholesterolemic Effect and In Vitro Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitory Activity of an Opuntia ficus-indica Extract

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Fernandez, Jose Miguel; Fernandez-Flores, Ofelia; Gutierrez-Mercado, Yanet; Carmona-de la Luz, Joel; Sandoval-Salas, Fabiola; Mendez-Carreto, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Cholesterol control is fundamental for prevention of cardiovascular disorders. In this work, the hypocholesterolemic activity of an aqueous Opuntia ficus-indica extract (AOE) was tested in triton-induced mice. The inhibitory activity on pancreatic lipase enzyme was evaluated in vitro by the same extract. Furthermore, polyphenol content of the extract was evaluated. Hypercholesterolemia was induced in three groups of mice by intraperitoneal administration of Triton WR-1339. After induction of hypercholesterolemia, the groups were treated with an AOE (500 mg/kg) and saline solution and the positive control group with orlistat, respectively. Cholesterol levels were measured 24 h later in peripheral blood. The levels of blood cholesterol after administration of AOE significantly decreased compared to negative control. The inhibitory activity of AOE on pancreatic lipase enzyme was evaluated at concentrations from 60 to 1000 μg/mL. The AOE inhibited the pancreatic lipase with an IC50 = 588.5 μg/mL. The AOE had a high content of polyphenolic compounds. These results show that AOE is able to prevent hypercholesterolemia by pancreatic lipase inhibition, in part due to its polyphenolic compounds. PMID:26078966

  9. Nutritive value and chemical composition of prickly pear seeds (Opuntia ficus indica L.) growing in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Özcan, Mehmet Musa; Al Juhaimi, Fahad Y

    2011-08-01

    The proximate composition and physico-chemical properties (moisture, crude lipid, crude protein, ash, and crude fiber, peroxide value, saponification value, acidity, relative density and refractive index) of prickly pear seed and corresponding oil were determined. The mineral contents (Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, Mn and Zn) of samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. Minerals determined were: calcium 471.2 mg/kg, potassium 532.7 mg/kg, magnesium 117.3 mg/kg, phosphorus 1,627.5 mg/kg and natrium 71.3 mg/kg. The fatty acid profiles of seed oil from the Opuntia ficus indica were analyzed by gas chromatography. Linoleic acid was established as the major fatty acid (61.01%), followed by oleic (25.52%) and palmitic (12.23%) acids. Both myristic, stearic and arachidonic acids were detected in O. ficus indica seed oil in low amounts. As a result, O. ficus indica seeds are an important source of natural fiber and, given its high linoleic acid content, its oil can be used as a nutraceutic agent.

  10. Bioaccessibility, Intestinal Permeability and Plasma Stability of Isorhamnetin Glycosides from Opuntia ficus-indica (L.).

    PubMed

    Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, César; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Cepeda-Cañedo, Eduardo; Serna-Saldívar, Sergio O

    2017-08-22

    Isorhamnetin glycosides are representative compounds of Opuntia ficus-indica that possess different biological activities. There is slight information about the changes in bioaccessibility induced by the glycosylation pattern of flavonoids, particularly for isorhamnetin. In this study, the bioaccessibility and permeability of isorhamnetin glycosides extracted from O. ficus-indica were contrasted with an isorhamnetin standard. Also, the plasma stability of these isorhamnetin glycosides after intravenous administration in rats was evaluated. Recoveries of isorhamnetin after oral and gastric digestion were lower than that observed for its glycosides. After intestinal digestion, isorhamnetin glycosides recoveries were reduced to less than 81.0%. The apparent permeability coefficient from apical (AP) to basolateral (BL) direction (Papp (AP-BL) ) of isorhamnetin was 2.6 to 4.6-fold higher than those obtained for its glycosides. Isorhamnetin diglycosides showed higher Papp (AP-BL) values than triglycosides. Sugar substituents affected the Papp (AP-BL) of the triglycosides. Isorhamnetin glycosides were better retained in the circulatory system than the aglycone. After intravenous dose of the isorhamnetin standard, the elimination half-life was 0.64 h but increased to 1.08 h when the O. ficus-indica extract was administered. These results suggest that isorhamnetin glycosides naturally found in O. ficus-indica could be a controlled delivery system to maintain a constant plasmatic concentration of this important flavonoid to exert its biological effects in vivo.

  11. Glycemic index and glycemic load in the Opuntia ficus-indica fruit

    PubMed

    Ibarra-Salas, María de Jesús; Novelo-Huerta, Hilda Irene; De León-Salas, Marcela Alejandra; Sánchez-Murillo, Mayra Elisa; Mata-Obregón, María Del Carmen; Garza-Juárez, Aurora de Jesús

    2017-01-01

    There is evidence that support the clinical usage of glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) in the prevention of chronic disease. To determine the GI and GL of the Opuntia ficus-indica fruit. An analytic, transversal study was made involving 25 healthy volunteers accepted by an informed consent with a normal body mass index, glucose, glycoside hemoglobin, cholesterol and serum triglycerides. The homogeneity of the population was evaluated with anthropometrical and biochemical data using principal component analysis (PCA). The equivalent of 50 g of carbohydrates test food (tuna) and 50 g of dextrose as food standard was provided for the measure of the glucose curve. The GI was determined by calculating the area under the curve by the triangulation method. The CG was reported as the product of IG by carbohydrate loading provided. The IG of the tuna was 48.01 ± 17.4, classified as low, while the CG was 24.0 ± 8.7 rated as high. The chemometric analysis by PCA showed that the selection of the normal population for determining the IG, it is important to consider the values of cholesterol and triglycerides. Copyright: © 2017 SecretarÍa de Salud

  12. Bioaccessibility, Intestinal Permeability and Plasma Stability of Isorhamnetin Glycosides from Opuntia ficus-indica (L.)

    PubMed Central

    Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, César; Cepeda-Cañedo, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Isorhamnetin glycosides are representative compounds of Opuntia ficus-indica that possess different biological activities. There is slight information about the changes in bioaccessibility induced by the glycosylation pattern of flavonoids, particularly for isorhamnetin. In this study, the bioaccessibility and permeability of isorhamnetin glycosides extracted from O. ficus-indica were contrasted with an isorhamnetin standard. Also, the plasma stability of these isorhamnetin glycosides after intravenous administration in rats was evaluated. Recoveries of isorhamnetin after oral and gastric digestion were lower than that observed for its glycosides. After intestinal digestion, isorhamnetin glycosides recoveries were reduced to less than 81.0%. The apparent permeability coefficient from apical (AP) to basolateral (BL) direction (Papp(AP-BL)) of isorhamnetin was 2.6 to 4.6-fold higher than those obtained for its glycosides. Isorhamnetin diglycosides showed higher Papp(AP-BL) values than triglycosides. Sugar substituents affected the Papp(AP-BL) of the triglycosides. Isorhamnetin glycosides were better retained in the circulatory system than the aglycone. After intravenous dose of the isorhamnetin standard, the elimination half-life was 0.64 h but increased to 1.08 h when the O. ficus-indica extract was administered. These results suggest that isorhamnetin glycosides naturally found in O. ficus-indica could be a controlled delivery system to maintain a constant plasmatic concentration of this important flavonoid to exert its biological effects in vivo. PMID:28829356

  13. Topical Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Isorhamnetin Glycosides Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica

    PubMed Central

    Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A.; Martínez-Vitela, Carlos; Serna-Saldívar, Sergio O.

    2015-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) has been widely used in Mexico as a food and for the treatment of different health disorders such as inflammation and skin aging. Its biological properties have been attributed to different phytochemicals such as the isorhamnetin glycosides which are the most abundant flavonoids. Moreover, these compounds are considered a chemotaxonomic characteristic of OFI species. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of OFI extract and its isorhamnetin glycosides on different inflammatory markers in vitro and in vivo. OFI extract was obtained by alkaline hydrolysis of OFI cladodes powder and pure compounds were obtained by preparative chromatography. Nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 6 production were measured. NO production was tested in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells while in vivo studies were carried on croton oil-induced ear edema model. OFI extract and diglycoside isorhamnetin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (IGR) at 125 ng/mL suppressed the NO production in vitro (73.5 ± 4.8% and 68.7 ± 5.0%, resp.) without affecting cell viability. Likewise, IGR inhibited the ear edema (77.4 ± 5.7%) equating the indomethacin effects (69.5 ± 5.3%). Both IGR and OFI extract significantly inhibited the COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-6 production. IGR seems to be a suitable natural compound for development of new anti-inflammatory ingredient. PMID:25821823

  14. Sun/shade conditions affect recruitment and local adaptation of a columnar cactus in dry forests.

    PubMed

    Miranda-Jácome, Antonio; Montaña, Carlos; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-02-01

    Facilitation among plants in water-limited environments (i.e. where evapotranspiration overcomes the availability of water during the growing season) has been considered a local adaptation to water and light conditions. Among cacti, early life-history stages can benefit from the facilitative effects of nurse plants that reduce solar radiation and water stress. However, whether light condition itself acts as an agent of selection through facilitation remains untested. The aim of this study was to determine (1) whether light conditions affect seedling recruitment, (2) whether the positive effect of shade on seedling recruitment is more intense under more stressful conditions and (3) whether shade condition (facilitation) reduces the magnitude of local adaptation on seedling recruitment relative to full sunlight conditions. A reciprocal transplant experiment, coupled with the artificial manipulation of sun/shade conditions, was performed to test for the effects of local adaptation on germination, seedling survival and growth, using two demes of the columnar cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus, representing different intensities of stressful conditions. Full sunlight conditions reduced recruitment success and supported the expectation of lower recruitment in more stressful environments. Significant local adaptation was mainly detected under full sunlight conditions, indicating that this environmental factor acts as an agent of selection at both sites. The results supported the expectation that the magnitude of local adaptation, driven by the effects of facilitative nurse plants, is less intense under reduced stressful conditions. This study is the first to demonstrate that sun/shade conditions act as a selective agent accounting for local adaptation in water-limited environments, and that facilitation provided by nurse plants in these environments can attenuate the patterns of local adaptation among plants benefiting from the nurse effect.

  15. Sun/shade conditions affect recruitment and local adaptation of a columnar cactus in dry forests

    PubMed Central

    Miranda-Jácome, Antonio; Montaña, Carlos; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Facilitation among plants in water-limited environments (i.e. where evapotranspiration overcomes the availability of water during the growing season) has been considered a local adaptation to water and light conditions. Among cacti, early life-history stages can benefit from the facilitative effects of nurse plants that reduce solar radiation and water stress. However, whether light condition itself acts as an agent of selection through facilitation remains untested. The aim of this study was to determine (1) whether light conditions affect seedling recruitment, (2) whether the positive effect of shade on seedling recruitment is more intense under more stressful conditions and (3) whether shade condition (facilitation) reduces the magnitude of local adaptation on seedling recruitment relative to full sunlight conditions. Methods A reciprocal transplant experiment, coupled with the artificial manipulation of sun/shade conditions, was performed to test for the effects of local adaptation on germination, seedling survival and growth, using two demes of the columnar cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus, representing different intensities of stressful conditions. Key Results Full sunlight conditions reduced recruitment success and supported the expectation of lower recruitment in more stressful environments. Significant local adaptation was mainly detected under full sunlight conditions, indicating that this environmental factor acts as an agent of selection at both sites. Conclusions The results supported the expectation that the magnitude of local adaptation, driven by the effects of facilitative nurse plants, is less intense under reduced stressful conditions. This study is the first to demonstrate that sun/shade conditions act as a selective agent accounting for local adaptation in water-limited environments, and that facilitation provided by nurse plants in these environments can attenuate the patterns of local adaptation among plants benefiting

  16. Thermal Energy Exchange Model and Water Loss of a Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus acanthodes1

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Donald A.; Nobel, Park S.

    1977-01-01

    The influences of various diurnal stomatal opening patterns, spines, and ribs on the stem surface temperature and water economy of a CAM succulent, the barrel cactus Ferocactus acanthodes, were examined using an energy budget model. To incorporate energy exchanges by shortwave and longwave irradiation, latent heat, conduction, and convection as well as the heat storage in the massive stem, the plant was subdivided into over 100 internal and external regions in the model. This enabled the average surface temperature to be predicted within 1 C of the measured temperature for both winter and summer days. Reducing the stem water vapor conductance from the values observed in the field to zero caused the average daily stem surface temperature to increase only 0.7 C for a winter day and 0.3 C for a summer day. Thus, latent heat loss does not substantially reduce stem temperature. Although the surface temperatures averaged 18 C warmer for the summer day than for the winter day for a plant 41 cm tall, the temperature dependence of stomatal opening caused the simulated nighttime water loss rates to be about the same for the 2 days. Spines moderated the amplitude of the diurnal temperature changes of the stem surface, since the daily variation was 17 C for the winter day and 25 C for the summer day with spines compared with 23 C and 41 C, respectively, in their simulated absence. Ribs reduced the daytime temperature rise by providing 54% more area for convective heat loss than for a smooth circumscribing surface. In a simulation where both spines and ribs were eliminated, the daytime average surface temperature rose by 5 C. PMID:16660148

  17. First record of Hesperolabops nigriceps Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae) on Opuntia ficus-indica in Milpa Alta, Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Palomares-Pérez, Martín; Rodríguez-Leyva, Esteban; Brailovsky, Harry; Ramírez-Alarcón, Samuel

    2010-01-01

    In recent years a species of Hesperolabops has become a problem as a pest of nopalitos, Opuntia ficus-indica, in Milpa Alta, in the south of Mexico City, which is the most important production region of this vegetable in the country. A survey of Hesperolabops in Milpa Alta has resulted in the first report of Hesperolabops nigriceps Reuter. This occurrence should be monitored and considered in future studies in order to avoid misidentification of Hesperolabops spp. Kirkaldy native populations there, and to avoid the confusion of the damage that may be caused on O. ficus-indica.

  18. Patterns of growth and mortality in the endangered Nichol's Turk's Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) in Southeastern Arizona

    Treesearch

    M. E. McIntosh; L. A. McDade; A. E. Boyd; P. D. Jenkins

    2007-01-01

    Nichol’s Turk’s Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) occurs in a few isolated populations in the Sonoran desert of southcentral Arizona (Pima and Pinal counties). The populations of this variety are disjunct from the more widespread variety that occurs in the Chihuahuan desert of Texas and...

  19. Indicaxanthin from cactus pear fruit exerts anti-inflammatory effects in carrageenin-induced rat pleurisy.

    PubMed

    Allegra, Mario; Ianaro, Angela; Tersigni, Mariaroberta; Panza, Elisabetta; Tesoriere, Luisa; Livrea, Maria Antonia

    2014-02-01

    Nutritional research has shifted recently from alleviating nutrient deficiencies to chronic disease prevention. We investigated the activity of indicaxanthin, a bioavailable phytochemical of the betalain class from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Miller) in a rat model of acute inflammation. Rat pleurisy was achieved by injection of 0.2 mL of λ-carrageenin in the pleural cavity, and rats were killed 4, 24, and 48 h later; exudates were collected to analyze inflammatory parameters, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); cells recruited in pleura were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. Indicaxanthin (0.5, 1, or 2 μmol/kg), given orally before carrageenin, time- and dose-dependently, reduced the exudate volume (up to 70%) and the number of leukocytes recruited in the pleural cavity (up to 95%) at 24 h. Pretreatment with indicaxanthin at 2 μmol/kg inhibited the carrageenin-induced release of PGE(2) (91.4%), NO (67.7%), IL-1β (53.6%), and TNF-α (71.1%), and caused a decrease of IL-1β (34.5%), TNF-α (81.6%), iNOS (75.2%), and COX2 (87.7%) mRNA, as well as iNOS (71.9%) and COX-2 (65.9%) protein expression, in the recruited leukocytes. Indicaxanthin inhibited time- and dose- dependently the activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the whole inflammatory cascade. A pharmacokinetic study with a single 2 μmol/kg oral administration showed a maximum 0.22 ± 0.02 μmol/L (n = 15) plasma concentration of indicaxanthin, with a half-life of 1.15 ± 0.11 h. When considering the high bioavailability of indicaxanthin in humans, our findings suggest that this dietary pigment has the potential to improve health and prevent inflammation-based disorders.

  20. Preliminary Assessment for CAU 485: Cactus Spring Ranch Pu and DU Site CAS No. TA-39-001-TAGR: Soil Contamination, Tonopah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    1998-07-01

    Corrective Action Unit 485, Corrective Action Site TA-39-001-TAGR, the Cactus Spring Ranch Soil Contamination Area, is located approximately six miles southwest of the Area 3 Compound at the eastern mouth of Sleeping Column Canyon in the Cactus Range on the Tonopah Test Range. This site was used in conjunction with animal studies involving the biological effects of radionuclides (specifically plutonium) associated with Operation Roofer Coaster. The location had been used as a ranch by private citizens prior to government control of the area. According to historical records, Operation Roofer Coaster activities involved assessing the inhalation uptake of plutonium in animalsmore » from the nonnuclear detonation of nuclear weapons. Operation Roofer Coaster consisted of four nonnuclear destruction tests of a nuclear device. The four tests all took place during May and June 1963 and consisted of Double Tracks and Clean Slate 1, 11, and 111. Eighty-four dogs, 84 burros, and 136 sheep were used for the Double Tracks test, and ten sheep and ten dogs were used for Clean Slate 11. These animals were housed at Cactus Spring Ranch. Before detonation, all animals were placed in cages and transported to the field. After the shot, they were taken to the decontamination area where some may have been sacrificed immediately. All animals, including those sacrificed, were returned to Cactus Spring Ranch at this point to have autopsies performed or to await being sacrificed at a later date. A description of the Cactus Spring Ranch activities found in project files indicates the ranch was used solely for the purpose of the Roofer Coaster tests and bioaccumulation studies and was never used for any other project. No decontamination or cleanup had been conducted at Cactus Spring Ranch prior to the start of the project. When the project was complete, the pits at Cactus Spring Ranch were filled with soil, and trailers where dogs were housed and animal autopsies had been performed were

  1. Development of cell lines from the cactophagous insect: Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and their susceptibility to three baculoviruses

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The unintentional introduction of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, a successful biological control agent formerly employed in the control of invasive prickly pear cactus species (Opuntia spp.) as a possible threat to native, endangered species of cactus in the southeastern United States as we...

  2. Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on symptoms of the alcohol hangover.

    PubMed

    Wiese, Jeff; McPherson, Steve; Odden, Michelle C; Shlipak, Michael G

    2004-06-28

    The severity of the alcohol hangover may be related to inflammation induced by impurities in the alcohol beverage and byproducts of alcohol metabolism. An extract of the Opuntia ficus indica (OFI) plant diminishes the inflammatory response to stressful stimuli. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, 64 healthy, young adult volunteers were randomly assigned to receive OFI (1600 IU) and identical placebo, given 5 hours before alcohol consumption. During 4 hours, subjects consumed up to 1.75 g of alcohol per kilogram of body weight. Hangover severity (9 symptoms) and overall well-being were assessed on a scale (0-6), and blood and urine samples were obtained the following morning. Two weeks later, the study protocol was repeated with OFI and placebo reversed. Fifty-five subjects completed both the OFI and placebo arms of the study. Three of the 9 symptoms-nausea, dry mouth, and anorexia-were significantly reduced by OFI (all P<.05). Overall, the symptom index was reduced by 2.7 points on average (95% confidence interval, -0.2 to 5.5; P =.07), and the risk of a severe hangover (>/=18 points) was reduced by half (odds ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.88; P =.02). C-reactive protein levels were strongly associated with hangover severity; the mean symptom index was 4.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.2-7.1; P =.007) higher in subjects with morning C-reactive protein levels greater than 1.0 mg/L. In addition, C-reactive protein levels were 40% higher after subjects consumed placebo compared with OFI. The symptoms of the alcohol hangover are largely due to the activation of inflammation. An extract of the OFI plant has a moderate effect on reducing hangover symptoms, apparently by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators.

  3. Antioxidant properties and chemical characterization of Spanish Opuntia ficus-indica Mill. cladodes and fruits.

    PubMed

    Andreu, Lucía; Nuncio-Jáuregui, Nallely; Carbonell-Barrachina, Ángel A; Legua, Pilar; Hernández, Francisca

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that consumption of Opuntia ficus-indica Mill. has an important positive health benefit, mainly due to antioxidant properties, which justifies this research. This study examined antioxidant activity, organic acid and sugar profile, total phenolic, and physicochemical characteristics of six O. ficus-indica cultivars growing in the Spanish Mediterranean. It should be noted that, in this study, both cladodes (young and adult) and fruits (peel and pulp) were analyzed. The antioxidant activity (2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl methods) was higher in fruit peel than in cladodes. The young cladodes presented an important antioxidant activity by the ferric-reducing ability of plasma method as well as a higher total phenolic content (18.90 g gallic acid equivalent per kilogram). High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with diode-array detector analysis revealed the absence of sucrose and the presence of glucose and fructose, which the values were higher in pulp fruits. HPLC with refractive index detector analysis showed that citric, malic, and succinic acids were the main organic acids in all cultivars, with a significant higher content in old cladodes. These investigations valorize O. ficus-indica fruits in comparison with cladodes. In general, this plant can be considered as an ingredient for the production of health-promoting food, highlighting mainly in the antioxidant activity and total polyphenols content found in young cladodes and peel fruits. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  4. Ameliorative effect of Opuntia ficus indica juice on ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rat erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Alimi, Hichem; Hfaeidh, Najla; Bouoni, Zouhour; Sakly, Mohsen; Rhouma, Khémais Ben

    2013-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis fruit juice (OFIj) on reversing oxidative damages induced by chronic ethanol intake in rat erythrocytes. OFIj was firstly analyzed with HPLC for phenolic and flavonoids content. Secondly, 40 adult male Wistar rats were equally divided into five groups and treated for 90 days as follows: control (C), ethanol-only 3 g/kg body weight (b.w) (E), low dose of OFIj 2 ml/100 g b.w+ethanol (Ldj+E), high dose of OFIj 4 ml/100 g b.w+ethanol (Hdj+E), and only a high dose of OFIj 4 ml/100g b.w (Hdj). HPLC analysis indicated high concentrations of phenolic acids and flavonoids in OFIj. Ethanol treatment markedly decreased the activities of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and the level of reduced glutathione (GSH). Changes in the erythrocyte's antioxidant ability were accompanied by enhanced oxidative modification of lipids (increase of malondialdeyde level) and proteins (increase in carbonyl groups). Interestingly, pre-administration of either 2 ml/100 g b.w or 4 ml/100 g b.w of OFIj to ethanol-intoxicated rats significantly reversed decreases in enzymatic as well as non enzymatic antioxidants parameters in erythrocytes. Also, the administration of OFIj significantly protected lipids and proteins against ethanol-induced oxidative modifications in rat erythrocytes. The beneficial effect of OFIj can result from the inhibition of ethanol-induced free radicals chain reactions in rat erythrocytes or from the enhancement of the endogenous antioxidants activities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Chemical and Physical Defense Traits in Two Sexual Forms of Opuntia robusta in Central Eastern Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; León Solano, Héctor Javier; Solache Rámos, Lupita Tzenyatze; Mendoza Reyes, Citlalli Hypatia; Oro Cerro, María del Carmen; Mariezcurrena Berasain, María Dolores; Rivas Manzano, Irma Victoria; Manjarrez, Javier; Villareal Benitez, José Luis; Czarnoleski, Marcin

    2014-01-01

    Sexually dimorphic plants provide an excellent opportunity for examining the differences in the extent of their defense against herbivores because they exhibit sex-related differences in reproductive investment. Such differences enable comparison of the sex with high reproduction expenses with the sex that expends less. The more costly sex is usually also better defended against herbivores. Generally, females are considered more valuable than hermaphrodites in terms of fitness; however, hermaphrodites are more valuable if they can produce seed by autonomous selfing, provided that the inbreeding depression is low and pollen is limited. We studied a gynodioecious population of Opuntia robusta from Central-Eastern Mexico, which has been reported to be trioecious, dioecious, or hermaphrodite, and addressed the following questions: 1) Is the hermaphrodite's reproductive output higher than the female's, and are hermaphrodites thus better defended? 2) Are plant tissues differentially defended? 3) Do trade-offs exist among different physical defense traits? and 4) among physical and chemical defense traits? We found that 1) hermaphrodites had a higher seed output and more spines per areola than females and that their spines contained less moisture. Non-reproductive hermaphrodite cladodes contained more total phenolic compounds (TPCs) than female ones. In addition, 2) hermaphrodite reproductive cladodes bore more spines than female cladodes, and 3) and 4) we found a negative relationship between spine number per areola and areola number per cladode and a positive relationship between spine number per areola per plant and TPC concentration per plant. Non-reproductive hermaphrodite cladodes contained a higher concentration of TPCs than female cladodes, and parental cladodes contained fewer TPCs than both reproductive and empty cladodes. PMID:24599143

  6. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase expression in activated microglia and peroxynitrite scavenging activity by Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ming Hong; Kim, Jae Yeon; Yoon, Jeong Hoon; Lim, Hyo Jin; Kim, Tae Hee; Jin, Changbae; Kwak, Wie-Jong; Han, Chang-Kyun; Ryu, Jae-Ha

    2006-09-01

    Activated microglia by neuronal injury or inflammatory stimulation overproduce nitric oxide (NO) by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion, resulting in neurodegenerative diseases. The toxic peroxynitrite (ONOO-), the reaction product of NO and superoxide anion further contributes to oxidative neurotoxicity. A butanol fraction obtained from 50% ethanol extracts of Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten (Cactaceae) stem (SK OFB901) and its hydrolysis product (SK OFB901H) inhibited the production of NO in LPS-activated microglia in a dose dependent manner (IC50 15.9, 4.2 microg/mL, respectively). They also suppressed the expression of protein and mRNA of iNOS in LPS-activated microglial cells at higher than 30 microg/mL as observed by western blot analysis and RT-PCR experiment. They also inhibited the degradation of I-kappaB-alpha in activated microglia. Moreover, they showed strong activity of peroxynitrite scavenging in a cell free bioassay system. These results imply that Opuntia ficus indica may have neuroprotective activity through the inhibition of NO production by activated microglial cells and peroxynitrite scavenging activity. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Effects of Hanseniaspora opuntiae C21 on the growth and digestive enzyme activity of juvenile sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Yuexin; Liu, Zhiming; Yang, Zhiping; Bao, Pengyun; Zhang, Congyao; Ding, Jianfeng

    2014-07-01

    The effects of a diet containing Hanseniaspora opuntiae C21 on growth and digestive enzyme activity were estimated in juvenile Apostichopus japonicus. Groups of sea cucumbers were fed diets containing H. opuntiae C21 at 0 (control), 104, 105, and 106 CFU (colony-forming units)/g feed. Results showed that after 45 d the specific growth rate (SGR) of sea cucumbers fed a C21-supplemented diet at 10 4 CFU/g feed was significantly higher than that of the control ( P < 0.05). Intestinal trypsin and lipase activities were significantly enhanced by C21 administration at 104 and 105 CFU/g feed compared with the control ( P < 0.05). After feeding for 23-42 d, C21 was demonstrated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to be present in the intestine of sea cucumbers. In addition, after feeding the C21-supplemented diets for 15 d, the sea cucumbers were switched to an unsupplemented diet and C21 was confirmed to be capable of colonizing the intestine for at least 31 d after cessation of feeding. In conclusion, C21 was shown to successfully colonize the intestine of juvenile A. japonicus via dietary supplementation, and improve growth and digestive enzyme activity.

  8. Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica flowers maceration on quality and on heat stability of olive oil.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Imène; BenAmira, Amal; Khemakem, Ibtihel; Attia, Hamadi; Ennouri, Monia

    2017-05-01

    This study was focused on the evaluation of the quality and the oxidative stability of olive oil added with Opuntia ficus - indica flowers. Two different amounts of O. ficus - indica flowers were considered 5 and 15% (w/w). The olive oils were evaluated towards their quality, fatty acids profile, total phenol contents and thermal properties by differential scanning calorimetry. The oxidative stability was also monitored by employing the Rancimat and the oven test based on accelerating the oxidation process during storage. The addition of O. ficus - indica flowers induced an increase in free acidity values and a variation in fatty acids profile of olive oils but values remained under the limits required for an extra-virgin olive oil. The obtained olive oils were nutritionally enriched due to the increase in their phenols content. The oxidative stability was generally improved, mainly in olive oil enriched with 5% Opuntia ficus - indica flowers. These findings proved that this enriched olive oil could be considered as a product with a greater added value.

  9. Comparative Study of Antioxidant Power, Polyphenols, Flavonoids and Betacyanins of the Peel and Pulp of Three Tunisian Opuntia Forms

    PubMed Central

    Yeddes, Nizar; Chérif, Jamila K.; Guyot, Sylvain; Sotin, Hélène; Ayadi, Malika T.

    2013-01-01

    The antioxidant activity and the chemical composition of methanol extracts from peel and pulp belonging to two species of Tunisian prickly pears Opuntia ficus indica (spiny and thornless forms) and Opuntia stricta have been studied. The antioxidant capacity was measured by DPPH radical scavenging activity. The total phenolic compound (TPC) and the total flavonoid content were determined by the Folin–Ciocalteu method and colorimetric method, respectively. The phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with an electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The results showed that O. stricta fruits present the best antioxidant activities than the two forms of O. ficus indica, while the TPC was more important in O. ficus indica than in the O. stricta fruits. The peels have higher flavonoids than pulp, and the thornless variety has more flavonoid than the spiny. The RP-HPLC and ESI-MS analysis detected two classes of phenolic compounds and betalain pigments. Isorhamnetin derivatives are the dominant flavonol glycoside identified in O. ficus indica (spiny: 65.25 μg·g−1; thornless: 77.03 μg·g−1) and O. stricta peels (19.22 μg·g−1). PMID:26787622

  10. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces pollinator visitation and seed set in the coast barrel cactus, Ferocactus viridescens.

    PubMed

    LeVan, Katherine E; Hung, Keng-Lou James; McCann, Kyle R; Ludka, John T; Holway, David A

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction arise not only from resource allocation but also from interactions among mutualists. Indirect costs of plant defense by ants, for example, can outweigh benefits if ants deter pollinators. Plants can dissuade ants from occupying flowers, but such arrangements may break down when novel ant partners infiltrate mutualisms. Here, we examine how floral visitation by ants affects pollination services when the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) replaces a native ant species in a food-for-protection mutualism with the coast barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), which, like certain other barrel cacti, produces extrafloral nectar. We compared the effects of floral visitation by the Argentine ant with those of the most prevalent native ant species (Crematogaster californica). Compared to C. californica, the Argentine ant was present in higher numbers in flowers. Cactus bees (Diadasia spp.), the key pollinators in this system, spent less time in flowers when cacti were occupied by the Argentine ant compared to when cacti were occupied by C. californica. Presumably as a consequence of decreased duration of floral visits by Diadasia, cacti occupied by L. humile set fewer seeds per fruit and produced fewer seeds overall compared to cacti occupied by C. californica. These data illustrate the importance of mutualist identity in cases where plants balance multiple mutualisms. Moreover, as habitats become increasingly infiltrated by introduced species, the loss of native mutualists and their replacement by non-native species may alter the shape of trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction.

  11. [Therapeutic effects and mechanisms of Opuntia dillenii Haw on atherosclerosis of rats].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-chun; Qi, Zhan-peng; Liu, Zhen-zhong; Li, Tao; Cui, Hong-xia; Wang, Bao-qing; Chi, Na

    2015-04-01

    The research aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects and mechanisms of Opuntia dillenii Haw polysaccharide (OPS) on atherosclerosis of rats. First atherosclerotic rat models were established by high-fat and high-calcium diet. Thirty days later, the rats were treated with low dosage of OPS (0.2 g x kg(-1) x d(-1)) or high dosage of OPS (0.4 g x kg(-1) x d(-1)) by intraperitoneal injection for 60 days continuously. At the end of treatment, thoracic aorta rings were prepared and vasorelaxation of rat thoracic aorta in different experiment groups were determined by using 620M multi wire myograph system in vitro. Blood and livers of rats were collected. Then plasma levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) of rats were separately determined using whole automatic biochemical analyzer; protein level of hepatic apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and that of hepatic diglyceride acyltransferase (Dgat1) were measured by Western Blot technique. Results showed that the ability of rat thoracic aorta to relax decreased markedly in the model group compared with that in the normal group, and significant differences existed in vasorelaxation ratios induced by different concentrations of carbamylcholine chloride (Carb) between these two groups (P < 0.01). After OPS treatment, the ability of rat thoracic aorta to relax improved markedly, the vasorelaxation ratios induced by Carb at 5 and 10 μmol x L(-1) were respectively 0.34 ± 0.08 and 0.62 ± 0.15 in the group treated with low dosage of OPS, while the ratios induced by Carb at 1 and 5 μmol x L(-1) were respectively 0.54 ± 0.08 and 0.98 ± 0.02 in the group treated with high dosage of OPS, which were all significantly different with those in the model group (P < 0.01). Plasma contents of TC, TG and LDL reduced significantly by the treatments both with low and high dosages of OPS compared with those in the model group (P < 0.01). Protein level of hepatic ApoB and that of hepatic Dgat1

  12. Choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG)-based green solvents from optimized cactus malic acid for biomass delignification.

    PubMed

    Yiin, Chung Loong; Quitain, Armando T; Yusup, Suzana; Uemura, Yoshimitsu; Sasaki, Mitsuru; Kida, Tetsuya

    2017-11-01

    This work aimed to develop an efficient microwave-hydrothermal (MH) extraction of malic acid from abundant natural cactus as hydrogen bond donor (HBD) whereby the concentration was optimized using response surface methodology. The ideal process conditions were found to be at a solvent-to-feed ratio of 0.008, 120°C and 20min with 1.0g of oxidant, H 2 O 2 . Next generation environment-friendly solvents, low transition temperature mixtures (LTTMs) were synthesized from cactus malic acid with choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG) as hydrogen bond acceptors (HBAs). The hydrogen-bonding interactions between the starting materials were determined. The efficiency of the LTTMs in removing lignin from oil palm biomass residues, empty fruit bunch (EFB) was also evaluated. The removal of amorphous hemicellulose and lignin after the pretreatment process resulted in an enhanced digestibility and thermal degradability of biomass. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Water relations of cacti during desiccation: distribution of water in tissues. [Carnegiea gigantea; Ferocactus acanthodes; Opuntia basilaris

    SciTech Connect

    Barcikowski, W.; Nobel, P.S.

    1984-03-01

    Three species of cacti survived an average stem water loss of 81%. Fractional water loss was greater from water-storage tissue than from the chlorenchyma, as documented at the cellular level by determining changes in cell volume and at the tissue level by determining relative water content of chlorenchyma and storage tissues. For Carnegiea gigantea and Ferocactus acanthodes, this differential loss of water resulted from a decrease in the moles of solute per cell for storage tissue; hence, less water was retained at a given osmotic pressure than for the chlorenchyma. Opuntia basilaris lost less water from the chlorenchyma during droughtmore » because of a greater initial osmotic pressure in the chlorenchyma than in the storage tissue. Greater retention of water in the chlorenchyma would result in less disruption of photosynthetic activity in these cacti during drought.« less

  14. Bioactivity, proximate, mineral and volatile profiles along the flowering stages of Opuntia microdasys (Lehm.): defining potential applications.

    PubMed

    Chahdoura, Hassiba; Barreira, João C M; Fernández-Ruiz, Virginia; Morales, Patricia; Calhelha, Ricardo C; Flamini, Guido; Soković, Marina; Ferreira, Isabel C F R; Achour, Lotfi

    2016-03-01

    Opuntia spp. flowers have been traditionally used for medical purposes, mostly because of their diversity in bioactive molecules with health promoting properties. The proximate, mineral and volatile compound profiles, together with the cytotoxic and antimicrobial properties were characterized in O. microdasys flowers at different maturity stages, revealing several statistically significant differences. O. microdasys stood out mainly for its high contents of dietary fiber, potassium and camphor, and its high activities against HCT15 cells, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus versicolor and Penicillium funiculosum. The vegetative stage showed the highest cytotoxic and antifungal activities, whilst the full flowering stage was particularly active against bacterial species. The complete dataset has been classified by principal component analysis, achieving clearly identifiable groups for each flowering stage, elucidating also the most distinctive features, and comprehensively profiling each of the assayed stages. The results might be useful to define the best flowering stage considering practical application purposes.

  15. Essential oils composition of two Sicilian cultivars of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) fruits (prickly pear).

    PubMed

    Zito, Pietro; Sajeva, Maurizio; Bruno, Maurizio; Rosselli, Sergio; Maggio, Antonella; Senatore, Felice

    2013-01-01

    The essential oils composition of the skin, pulp and seeds from fruits of two Sicilian cultivars of Opuntia ficus-indica (cv. Sanguigna and cv. Surfarina) has been obtained by hydrodistillation and the possible antioxidant, antimicrobial and semiochemical roles have been investigated comparing the data with those reported in the literature. The presence of antioxidants and antimicrobials found in this study increases the spectrum of compounds that have beneficial properties in O. ficus-indica. In addition, several compounds identified in this study have been reported to influence the behaviour of Ceratitis capitata, a phytophagous pest which causes severe damages to several crops including O. ficus-indica and the kairomonal activity of the odour of the fruits seems provided by a blend of compounds found in the various matrices analysed.

  16. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of a flavonoid-rich concentrate recovered from Opuntia ficus-indica juice.

    PubMed

    Matias, A; Nunes, S L; Poejo, J; Mecha, E; Serra, A T; Madeira, Paulo J Amorim; Bronze, M R; Duarte, C M M

    2014-12-01

    In this work, Opuntia ficus indica juice was explored as a potential source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients towards intestinal inflammation. An adsorption separation process was used to produce a natural flavonoid-rich concentrate (FRC) from Opuntia ficus-indica juice. The FRC effect (co- or pre-incubation) on induced-oxidative stress and induced-inflammation was evaluated in human Caco-2 cells. The main constituents identified and present in the extract are flavonoids (namely isorhamnetins and their derivatives such as isorhamnetin 3-O-rhamnose-rutinoside and isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside) and phenolic acids (such as ferulic, piscidic and eucomic acids). Our results showed that co-incubation of FRC with the stress-inducer attenuates radicals production in a much more significant manner than pre-incubation. These results suggest that FRC compounds which cannot pass the cell membrane freely (isorhamnetin derivatives) have an ability to inhibit the formation of H2O2-induced radicals in the surrounding environment of intestinal epithelial cells. The capacity of FRC (co-incubation) for suppressing (at the extracellular level) free radicals chain initiation or propagation reaction was probably related with a more pronounced reduction in protein oxidation. A similar response was observed in the inflammatory state, where a marked decrease in IL-8 secretion and blocked degradation of IκBα was achieved for FRC co-incubation. Simultaneously, treatment with FRC significantly reduces NO and TNF-α expression and modulates apparent permeability in Caco-2 cells. In these cases, no significant differences were found between pre- and co-incubation treatments suggesting that bioavailable phenolics, such as ferulic, eucomic and piscidic acids and isorhamnetin, act at the intracellular environment.

  17. ViDiT-CACTUS: an inexpensive and versatile library preparation and sequence analysis method for virus discovery and other microbiology applications.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Joost Theo Petra; Canuti, Marta; Munro, Hannah J; Dufour, Suzanne C; Lang, Andrew S

    2018-04-19

    High-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies are becoming increasingly important within microbiology research, but aspects of library preparation, such as high cost per sample or strict input requirements, make HTS difficult to implement in some niche applications and for research groups on a budget. To answer these necessities, we developed ViDiT, a customizable, PCR-based, extremely low-cost (<5 US dollars per sample) and versatile library preparation method, and CACTUS, an analysis pipeline designed to rely on cloud computing power to generate high-quality data from ViDiT-based experiments without the need of expensive servers. We demonstrate here the versatility and utility of these methods within three fields of microbiology: virus discovery, amplicon-based viral genome sequencing and microbiome profiling. ViDiT-CACTUS allowed the identification of viral fragments from 25 different viral families from 36 oropharyngeal-cloacal swabs collected from wild birds, the sequencing of three almost complete genomes of avian influenza A viruses (>90% coverage), and the characterization and functional profiling of the complete microbial diversity (bacteria, archaea, viruses) within a deep-sea carnivorous sponge. ViDiT-CACTUS demonstrated its validity in a wide range of microbiology applications and its simplicity and modularity make it easily implementable in any molecular biology laboratory, towards various research goals.

  18. Continuous high and low temperature induced a decrease of photosynthetic activity and changes in the diurnal fluctuations of organic acids in Opuntia streptacantha.

    PubMed

    Ojeda-Pérez, Zaida Zarely; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan Francisco; Delgado-Sánchez, Pablo

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia plants grow naturally in areas where temperatures are extreme and highly variable in the day during the entire year. These plants survive through different adaptations to respond to adverse environmental conditions. Despite this capability, it is unknown how CAM photosynthetic activity and growth in Opuntia plantlets is affected by constant heat or cold. Therefore, the main objective of this research was to evaluate the short-term effect of high (40°C) and low (4°C) continuous temperatures on the photosynthetic efficiency, the organic acid content (malic acid) and the relative growth rate (RGR) in seven-month-old Opuntia streptacantha plantlets during 5, 10, and 15 days. Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis allowed us to determine that high temperatures negatively impact the photosynthetic efficiency of O. streptacantha plantlets, which exhibited the lowest values of maximum quantum efficiency of the photosystem II (Fv/Fm = 52%, Fv/F0 = 85%), operational quantum yield of PS (ΦPSII = 65%) and relative electron transport rate (rETR = 65%), as well as highest values of basal fluorescence (F0 = 226%) during 15 days of treatment. Similarly, low temperatures decreased Fv/Fm (16%), Fv/F0 (50%), ΦPSII and rETR (16%). High temperatures also decreased nocturnal acidification in approximately 34-50%, whereas low temperatures increased it by 30-36%. Additionally, both continuous temperatures affected drastically diurnal consumption of malic acid, which was related to a significant RGR inhibition, where the specific photosynthetic structure area component was the most affected. Our results allowed determining that, despite the high tolerance to extreme temperatures described for Opuntia plants, young individuals of O. streptacantha suffered photosynthetic impairment that led to the inhibition of their growth. Thus, the main findings reported in this study can help to predict the potential impact of climatic change on the establishment and survival of succulent species

  19. Continuous high and low temperature induced a decrease of photosynthetic activity and changes in the diurnal fluctuations of organic acids in Opuntia streptacantha

    PubMed Central

    Ojeda-Pérez, Zaida Zarely; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan Francisco

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia plants grow naturally in areas where temperatures are extreme and highly variable in the day during the entire year. These plants survive through different adaptations to respond to adverse environmental conditions. Despite this capability, it is unknown how CAM photosynthetic activity and growth in Opuntia plantlets is affected by constant heat or cold. Therefore, the main objective of this research was to evaluate the short-term effect of high (40°C) and low (4°C) continuous temperatures on the photosynthetic efficiency, the organic acid content (malic acid) and the relative growth rate (RGR) in seven-month-old Opuntia streptacantha plantlets during 5, 10, and 15 days. Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis allowed us to determine that high temperatures negatively impact the photosynthetic efficiency of O. streptacantha plantlets, which exhibited the lowest values of maximum quantum efficiency of the photosystem II (Fv/Fm = 52%, Fv/F0 = 85%), operational quantum yield of PS (ΦPSII = 65%) and relative electron transport rate (rETR = 65%), as well as highest values of basal fluorescence (F0 = 226%) during 15 days of treatment. Similarly, low temperatures decreased Fv/Fm (16%), Fv/F0 (50%), ΦPSII and rETR (16%). High temperatures also decreased nocturnal acidification in approximately 34–50%, whereas low temperatures increased it by 30–36%. Additionally, both continuous temperatures affected drastically diurnal consumption of malic acid, which was related to a significant RGR inhibition, where the specific photosynthetic structure area component was the most affected. Our results allowed determining that, despite the high tolerance to extreme temperatures described for Opuntia plants, young individuals of O. streptacantha suffered photosynthetic impairment that led to the inhibition of their growth. Thus, the main findings reported in this study can help to predict the potential impact of climatic change on the establishment and survival of succulent

  20. Lignans from Opuntia ficus-indica seeds protect rat primary hepatocytes and HepG2 cells against ethanol-induced oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Wha; Yang, Heejung; Kim, Hyeon Woo; Kim, Hong Pyo; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2017-01-01

    Bioactivity-guided isolation of Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) seeds against ethanol-treated primary rat hepatocytes yielded six lignan compounds. Among the isolates, furofuran lignans 4-6, significantly protected rat hepatocytes against ethanol-induced oxidative stress by reducing intracellular reactive oxygen species levels, preserving antioxidative defense enzyme activities, and maintaining the glutathione content. Moreover, 4 dose-dependently induced the heme oxygenase-1 expression in HepG2 cells.

  1. Efficiency of Opuntia ficus in the phytoremediation of a soil contaminated with used motor oil and lead, compared to that of Lolium perenne and Aloe barbadensis.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarado, Luisa F; Vaca-Mier, Mabel; López-Callejas, Raymundo; Rojas-Valencia, Ma Neftalí

    2018-01-28

    Industrial pollutants such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons in soils represent a serious concern due to their persistence and negative effects on the environment, affecting cellular processes in living organisms and even causing mutations and cancer. The main objectives of this work were to evaluate the efficiency of Opuntia ficus in the phytoremediation of a soil polluted with used motor oil. Two other species, one with different and one with similar characteristics, relatively, were used for comparison purposes: Lolium perenne and Aloe barbadensis. The effect of the plants on lead solubility and bioaccumulation, the biomass production of each specie and the microbial counts and bacterial identification for each experiment was studied. Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were measured every 5 weeks throughout the 20-week phytoremediation experiment. At the end of the experiment soluble Pb, Pb extracted by the plant species, microbiological counts, total biomass and bacterial species in soil were analyzed. Even though Lolium perenne showed the highest TPH removal (47%), Opuntia ficus produced the highest biomass and similar removal (46%). Since Opuntia ficus requires low amounts of water and grows fast, it would be a suitable option in the remediation of soils polluted with hydrocarbons and/or heavy metals.

  2. Blooming rhythms of cactus Cereus peruvianus with nocturnal peak at full moon during seasons of prolonged daytime photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Ben-Attia, Mossadok; Reinberg, Alain; Smolensky, Michael H; Gadacha, Wafa; Khedaier, Achraf; Sani, Mamane; Touitou, Yvan; Boughamni, Néziha Ghanem

    2016-01-01

    Cereus peruvianus (Peruvian apple cactus) is a large erect and thorny succulent cactus characterized by column-like (cereus [L]: column), that is, candle-shaped, appendages. For three successive years (1100 days), between early April and late November, we studied the flowering patterns of eight cacti growing in public gardens and rural areas of north and central Tunisia, far from nighttime artificial illumination, in relation to natural environmental light, temperature, relative humidity and precipitation parameters. Flower blooming was assessed nightly between 23:00 h and until at least 02:00 h, and additionally around-the-clock at ~1 h intervals for 30 consecutive days during the late summer of each year of study to quantify both nyctohemeral (day-night) and lunar patterns. During the summer months of prolonged daytime photoperiod, flower blooming of C. peruvianus exhibited predictable-in-time variation as "waves" with average period of 29.5 days synchronized by the light of the full moon. The large-sized flower (~16 cm diameter) opens almost exclusively at night, between sunset and sunrise, as a 24 h rhythm during a specific 3-4-day span of the lunar cycle (full moon), with a strong correlation between moon phase and number and proportion of flowers in bloom (ranging from r = +0.59 to +0.91). Black, blue and red cotton sheets were used to filter specific spectral bands of nighttime moonlight from illuminating randomly selected plant appendages as a means to test the hypothesis of a "gating" 24 h rhythm phenomenon of photoreceptors at the bud level. Relative to control conditions (no light filtering), black sheet covering inhibited flower bud induction by 87.5%, red sheet covering by 46.6% and blue sheet covering by 34%, and the respective inhibiting effects on number of flowers in bloom were essentially 100%, ~81% and ~44%. C. peruvianus is a unique example of a terrestrial plant that exhibits a circadian flowering rhythm (peak ~00:00 h) "gated" by 24 h, lunar

  3. The effect of Opuntia ficus-indica juice supplementation on oxidative stress, cardiovascular parameters, and biochemical markers following yo-yo Intermittent recovery test.

    PubMed

    Khouloud, Aloui; Abedelmalek, Salma; Chtourou, Hamdi; Souissi, Nizar

    2018-03-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a flavonoid-rich fresh fruit juice on cardiovascular, oxidative stress, and biochemical parameters during the yo-yo intermittent recovery test (YYIRT). Twenty-two healthy males subjects participated in this study divided into two groups: An experimental group (EG: n  = 11) who consumed the antioxidant supplement and a control group (CG: n  = 11). All participants performed two test sessions at 07:00 hr before and after 2 weeks of supplementation with Opuntia ficus-indica juice. Blood samples were taken before (P1) and immediately (P2) after the YYIRT. Our results showed that following the 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH ● ) test, the Opuntia ficus-indica juice has an antioxidant capacity for capturing free radicals ( p  < .05) and reducing oxidative stress related to exercise. Concerning biochemical and cardiovascular parameters, our results showed a significant increase on total cholesterol (TC) ( p  < .01), triglycerides (TG) ( p  < .05), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ( p  < .01), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ( p  < .01), creatine kinase (CK) ( p  < .01), lactate deshydrogenase (LDH) ( p  < .01), glucose (GLC) ( p  < .01), systolic (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ( p  < .01) immediately after exercise. However, TC ( p  < .05), TG ( p  < .05) and LDL ( p  < .05), the maximal heart rate (HRmax), the CK ( p  < .05), and LDH ( p  < .01) as well as the malondialdehyde (MDA) ( p  < .01) demonstrated a significant decrease after supplementation of Opuntia ficus-indica juice before and immediately after YYIRT. However, no significant effect on HDL ( p  > .05), GLC ( p  > .05) levels nor the SBP and DBP ( p  > .05) was observed after supplementation with Opuntia ficus-indica juice. The supplementation leads to an improvement on YYIRT performance (The total distance covered during the YYIRT, V O 2max , VMA) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Opuntia

  4. An Archeological Survey in the Gypsum Breaks on the Elm Fork of the Red River,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-01-01

    Tamarix gallica salt cedar Salix nigra black willow Opuntia lindenheimeri prickly pear cactus* Artemisia filifolia sand sage Bouteloua gracilis blue...125 projectile points were recovered including Gary, Bonham, Hayes barbed, Alba barbed, knives, drills, scrapers, gouges, cores, grinding stones

  5. A perspective on natural products research and ethnopharmacology in Mexico: the eagle and the serpent on the prickly pear cactus.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Michael; Frei Haller, Barbara; Leonti, Marco

    2014-03-28

    Mexico's extraordinarily rich cultural and floristic diversity has fascinated explorers and researchers ever since the "New World" was discovered for and by Europeans. For many decades, natural product research has been a very active field of research in Mexico, and there also are some ongoing ethnopharmacological research efforts. This review provides an overview and critical appraisal on some key developments in these fields and examples of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities that have become of great local importance in Mexican popular medicine. In this review, the focus is on plants with effects on the CNS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and gastrointestinal disorders. While some of the major food plants consumed worldwide originate from southern North America, only very few medicinal plants have become of major global importance. Opuntia species are now used increasingly to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome and represent an example of a novel medicinal product/supplement. Undoubtedly, narcotic and mind-altering drugs both have received the widest scientific interest and have attracted considerable popular attention. The history of use of the indigenous Mexican Materia Medica in the context of research on local and popular resources specifically with regard to the diverse challenges in the context of studying the world's biodiversity and the development of comparative and semiquantitative ethnobotanical research methods is discussed herein. Natural product and ethnopharmacological research in Mexico seems to have been influenced by the political and societal developments originating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and subsequent conventions, which have not yet had the desired effect of giving value to these local resources, as they might deserve. Their equitable and sustainable implementation remains a challenge. Natural product research and ethnopharmacology will play a key role in developing an

  6. A Common Caatinga Cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, is an Important Ecotope of Wild Triatoma brasiliensis Populations in the Jaguaribe Valley of Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Valença-Barbosa, Carolina; Lima, Marli M.; Sarquis, Otília; Bezerra, Claudia M.; Abad-Franch, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Triatoma brasiliensis is the most important vector of Chagas disease in the Caatinga eco-region of northeastern Brazil. Wild T. brasiliensis populations have been reported only from rocky outcrops. However, this species frequently infests/re-infests houses in rock-free sedimentary lowlands. We therefore hypothesized that it should also occupy other natural ecotopes. We show that a common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, locally known as xiquexique, often harbors T. brasiliensis breeding colonies apparently associated with rodents (n = 44 cacti, infestation rate = 47.7%, 157 bugs captured). Our findings suggest that infested cacti might be involved in house re-infestation by T. brasiliensis in the Caatinga region. PMID:24710611

  7. Physicochemical characterization of nopal pads (Opuntia ficus indica) and dry vacuum nopal powders as a function of the maturation.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Garcia, M E; de Lira, C; Hernández-Becerra, E; Cornejo-Villegas, M A; Palacios-Fonseca, A J; Rojas-Molina, I; Reynoso, R; Quintero, L C; Del-Real, A; Zepeda, T A; Muñoz-Torres, C

    2007-09-01

    This paper presents the physicochemical and nutrimental characterization of fresh nopal (Opuntia ficus indica, Redonda variety) and nopal powder produced at different stages of development. Nopal powder was obtained by dry vacuum technique using 10(2) Torr and low temperature (40 degrees C). The results showed that the nutrimental and mineral composition of nopal changes as a function of the maturation as follow: The ash content increases from 18.41 for nopalitos (60 g of weight) to 23.24% (nopal pads 200 g); calcium content increases from 1.52 to 3.72%, while phosphorous exhibits an opposite trend: 0.43 to 0.27%, respectively. Calcium oxalate was determined by X-ray diffraction and SEM microscopy and quantified by using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Calcium oxalate decreases from 7.95 to 3.47 mg/g and the Ca/P ratio varies from 3.6 to 11. The soluble fibre decreases from 25.22 to 14.91%, while insoluble fibre increases from 29.87 to 41.65%. These results suggest that nopal could be an important source of minerals within the diets of people in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

  8. Textile dyes removal from aqueous solution using Opuntia ficus-indica fruit waste as adsorbent and its characterization.

    PubMed

    Peláez-Cid, A A; Velázquez-Ugalde, I; Herrera-González, A M; García-Serrano, J

    2013-11-30

    For this research, three different adsorbents, one untreated and two chemically activated, were prepared from Opuntia ficus-indica fruit waste. By the construction of adsorption isotherms, its adsorption capabilities and the viability of its use in the removal of textile basic and direct type dyes were determined. It was found that the adsorbent with the most adsorption capacity for basic dyes was the one activated with NaClO, and, for direct dyes, it was the one activated with NaOH. Langmuir and Freundlich equations isotherms were applied for the analysis of the experimental data. It was found that the Freundlich model best described the adsorption behavior. The adsorption capacity was improved when the pH of the dye solution had an acid value. The specific surface area of the adsorbents was calculated by means of methylene blue adsorption at 298 K to stay within a range between 348 and 643 m(2) g(-1). The FTIR spectroscopic characterization technique, the SEM, the point of zero charge, and the elemental analysis show the chemical and physical characteristics of the studied adsorbents, which confirm the adsorption results obtained. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Lead bioaccumulation in Opuntia ficus-indica following foliar or root exposure to lead-bearing apatite.

    PubMed

    El Hayek, Eliane; El Samrani, Antoine; Lartiges, Bruno; Kazpard, Veronique; Aigouy, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    The contamination of edible leafy vegetables by atmospheric heavy metal-bearing particles is a major issue in environmental toxicology. In this study, the uptake of lead by cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (Ofi), traditionally used in Mexican cuisine and in livestock fodder, is investigated after a 4-months exposure of either cladodes or roots to synthetic Pb-fluorapatite particles. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) for the quantitative analysis of Pb levels, Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) for the examination of the cladode surface and fate of particles, and Micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) measurements for elemental mapping of Pb in cladodes, were used. The results evidence that foliar contamination may be a major pathway for the transfer of Pb within Ofi cladodes. The stomata, areoles, and cuticle of cladode surface, play an obvious role in the retention and the incorporation of lead-bearing apatite, thus revealing the hazard of eating contaminated cladodes. The possibility of using series of successive cladodes for biomonitoring the atmospheric pollution in arid and semi-arid regions is also rapidly discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Evaluation of the Biological Activity of Opuntia ficus indica as a Tissue- and Estrogen Receptor Subtype-Selective Modulator.

    PubMed

    An, Byoung Ha; Jeong, Hyesoo; Zhou, Wenmei; Liu, Xiyuan; Kim, Soolin; Jang, Chang Young; Kim, Hyun-Sook; Sohn, Johann; Park, Hye-Jin; Sung, Na-Hye; Hong, Cheol Yi; Chang, Minsun

    2016-06-01

    Phytoestrogens are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) with potential for use in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve peri/postmenopausal symptoms. This study was aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the SERM properties of the extract of Korean-grown Opuntia ficus-indica (KOFI). The KOFI extract induced estrogen response element (ERE)-driven transcription in breast and endometrial cancer cell lines and the expression of endogenous estrogen-responsive genes in breast cancer cells. The flavonoid content of different KOFI preparations affected ERE-luciferase activities, implying that the flavonoid composition likely mediated the estrogenic activities in cells. Oral administration of KOFI decreased the weight gain and levels of both serum glucose and triglyceride in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Finally, KOFI had an inhibitory effect on the 17β-estradiol-induced proliferation of the endometrial epithelium in OVX rats. Our data demonstrate that KOFI exhibited SERM activity with no uterotrophic side effects. Therefore, KOFI alone or in combination with other botanical supplements, vitamins, or minerals may be an effective and safe alternative active ingredient to HRTs, for the management of postmenopausal symptoms. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Traceability of Opuntia ficus-indica L. Miller by ICP-MS multi-element profile and chemometric approach.

    PubMed

    Mottese, Antonio Francesco; Naccari, Clara; Vadalà, Rossella; Bua, Giuseppe Daniel; Bartolomeo, Giovanni; Rando, Rossana; Cicero, Nicola; Dugo, Giacomo

    2018-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica L. Miller fruits, particularly 'Ficodindia dell'Etna' of Biancavilla (POD), 'Fico d'india tradizionale di Roccapalumba' with protected brand and samples from an experimental field in Pezzolo (Sicily) were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in order to determine the multi-element profile. A multivariate chemometric approach, specifically principal component analysis (PCA), was applied to individuate how mineral elements may represent a marker of geographic origin, which would be useful for traceability. PCA has allowed us to verify that the geographical origin of prickly pear fruits is significantly influenced by trace element content, and the results found in Biancavilla PDO samples were linked to the geological composition of this volcanic areas. It was observed that two principal components accounted for 72.03% of the total variance in the data and, in more detail, PC1 explains 45.51% and PC2 26.52%, respectively. This study demonstrated that PCA is an integrated tool for the traceability of food products and, at the same time, a useful method of authentication of typical local fruits such as prickly pear. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Ovicidal and larvicidal activity of extracts of Opuntia ficus-indica against gastrointestinal nematodes of naturally infected sheep.

    PubMed

    Féboli, Aline; Laurentiz, Antonio C; Soares, Suelen C S; Augusto, Jeferson G; Anjos, Luciano A; Magalhães, Lizandra G; Filardi, Rosemeire S; Laurentiz, Rosangela S

    2016-08-15

    This study describes the in vitro anthelmintic activity of extracts from Opuntia ficus indica against gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep. The anthelmintic activity was evaluated by inhibition of egg hatching, larval development and larval migration assays. The residual aqueous fractions from cladodes and fruits showed higher ovicidal activity with EC50 values of 7.2mg/mL and 1.5mg/mL, respectively. The aqueous, hexane, and ethyl acetate fractions from fruits and the aqueous fraction from cladodes inhibited 100% of larval development at the lowest concentration tested (1.56mg/mL). The crude cladode and fruit ethanolic extracts inhibited larval migration and showed EC50 values of 0.74mg/mL and 0.27mg/mL, respectively. Phytochemical screening detected high concentrations of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, and saponins in the fruits and cladodes. The results demonstrated that O. ficus exhibits anthelmintic activity in vitro, suggesting that, beyond its nutritional potential, this plant can also be an ally for parasite control in sheep. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Exceptional reduction of the plastid genome of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea): Loss of the ndh gene suite and inverted repeat.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Michael J; Copetti, Dario; Búrquez, Alberto; Bustamante, Enriquena; Charboneau, Joseph L M; Eguiarte, Luis E; Kumar, Sudhir; Lee, Hyun Oh; Lee, Junki; McMahon, Michelle; Steele, Kelly; Wing, Rod; Yang, Tae-Jin; Zwickl, Derrick; Wojciechowski, Martin F

    2015-07-01

    • Land-plant plastid genomes have only rarely undergone significant changes in gene content and order. Thus, discovery of additional examples adds power to tests for causes of such genome-scale structural changes.• Using next-generation sequence data, we assembled the plastid genome of saguaro cactus and probed the nuclear genome for transferred plastid genes and functionally related nuclear genes. We combined these results with available data across Cactaceae and seed plants more broadly to infer the history of gene loss and to assess the strength of phylogenetic association between gene loss and loss of the inverted repeat (IR).• The saguaro plastid genome is the smallest known for an obligately photosynthetic angiosperm (∼113 kb), having lost the IR and plastid ndh genes. This loss supports a statistically strong association across seed plants between the loss of ndh genes and the loss of the IR. Many nonplastid copies of plastid ndh genes were found in the nuclear genome, but none had intact reading frames; nor did three related nuclear-encoded subunits. However, nuclear pgr5, which functions in a partially redundant pathway, was intact.• The existence of an alternative pathway redundant with the function of the plastid NADH dehydrogenase-like complex (NDH) complex may permit loss of the plastid ndh gene suite in photoautotrophs like saguaro. Loss of these genes may be a recurring mechanism for overall plastid genome size reduction, especially in combination with loss of the IR. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. Effects of an invasive grass on the demography of the Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis: Implications for cacti conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-05-01

    The impact of exotic species around the world is among the primary threats to the conservation and management of rare and endangered species. In this work we asked whether or not the presence of the African grass Megathyrsus maximus on Mona Island was associated with negative impacts on the demography of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis. To address this question we performed field observations where we compared demographic data collected at un-manipulated areas invaded by Megathyrsus with un-manipulated areas non-invaded by this exotic grass. Additionally, demographic data were also collected in areas in which we removed the exotic grass biomass using two alternative treatments: complete and partial grass removal. Results demonstrated that the presence of Megathyrsus has negative effects on demographic parameters of Harrisia at various stages throughout its life cycle. In general, the survival, growth, and reproduction of Harrisia plants were depressed under the presence of Megathyrsus. Growth and survival of seedlings and juveniles of Harrisia were more impacted by the presence of Megathyrsus than adult performance and seedling recruitment only occurred in areas with grass absence. Our combined results suggest that modifications of the micro-environment by the presence of Megathyrsus may add an additional level of vulnerability to the persistence of Harrisia, and as such this factor must be considered when designing conservation strategies for this endangered species. This study highlights the need for a greater emphasis on understanding the interactions between invasive grass species and native cacti, and the importance of such information in designing conservation strategies for cacti species elsewhere.

  15. Differential Response to Soil Salinity in Endangered Key Tree Cactus: Implications for Survival in a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Joie; Maschinski, Joyce; Hughes, Phillip; McAuliffe, Joe; Roncal, Julissa; Powell, Devon; Sternberg, Leonel O'reilly

    2012-01-01

    Understanding reasons for biodiversity loss is essential for developing conservation and management strategies and is becoming increasingly urgent with climate change. Growing at elevations <1.4 m in the Florida Keys, USA, the endangered Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii) experienced 84 percent loss of total stems from 1994 to 2007. The most severe losses of 99 and 88 percent stems occurred in the largest populations in the Lower Keys, where nine storms with high wind velocities and storm surges, occurred during this period. In contrast, three populations had substantial stem proliferation. To evaluate possible mortality factors related to changes in climate or forest structure, we examined habitat variables: soil salinity, elevation, canopy cover, and habitat structure near 16 dying or dead and 18 living plants growing in the Lower Keys. Soil salinity and elevation were the preliminary factors that discriminated live and dead plants. Soil salinity was 1.5 times greater, but elevation was 12 cm higher near dead plants than near live plants. However, distribution-wide stem loss was not significantly related to salinity or elevation. Controlled salinity trials indicated that salt tolerance to levels above 40 mM NaCl was related to maternal origin. Salt sensitive plants from the Lower Keys had less stem growth, lower root:shoot ratios, lower potassium: sodium ratios and lower recovery rate, but higher δ 13C than a salt tolerant lineage of unknown origin. Unraveling the genetic structure of salt tolerant and salt sensitive lineages in the Florida Keys will require further genetic tests. Worldwide rare species restricted to fragmented, low-elevation island habitats, with little or no connection to higher ground will face challenges from climate change-related factors. These great conservation challenges will require traditional conservation actions and possibly managed relocation that must be informed by studies such as these. PMID:22403670

  16. Differential response to soil salinity in endangered key tree cactus: implications for survival in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Joie; Maschinski, Joyce; Hughes, Phillip; McAuliffe, Joe; Roncal, Julissa; Powell, Devon; Sternberg, Leonel O'reilly

    2012-01-01

    Understanding reasons for biodiversity loss is essential for developing conservation and management strategies and is becoming increasingly urgent with climate change. Growing at elevations <1.4 m in the Florida Keys, USA, the endangered Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii) experienced 84 percent loss of total stems from 1994 to 2007. The most severe losses of 99 and 88 percent stems occurred in the largest populations in the Lower Keys, where nine storms with high wind velocities and storm surges, occurred during this period. In contrast, three populations had substantial stem proliferation. To evaluate possible mortality factors related to changes in climate or forest structure, we examined habitat variables: soil salinity, elevation, canopy cover, and habitat structure near 16 dying or dead and 18 living plants growing in the Lower Keys. Soil salinity and elevation were the preliminary factors that discriminated live and dead plants. Soil salinity was 1.5 times greater, but elevation was 12 cm higher near dead plants than near live plants. However, distribution-wide stem loss was not significantly related to salinity or elevation. Controlled salinity trials indicated that salt tolerance to levels above 40 mM NaCl was related to maternal origin. Salt sensitive plants from the Lower Keys had less stem growth, lower root:shoot ratios, lower potassium: sodium ratios and lower recovery rate, but higher δ (13)C than a salt tolerant lineage of unknown origin. Unraveling the genetic structure of salt tolerant and salt sensitive lineages in the Florida Keys will require further genetic tests. Worldwide rare species restricted to fragmented, low-elevation island habitats, with little or no connection to higher ground will face challenges from climate change-related factors. These great conservation challenges will require traditional conservation actions and possibly managed relocation that must be informed by studies such as these.

  17. Influence of Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles on the genetic structure of the mistletoe cactus Rhipsalis baccifera (Cactaceae) in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Rodríguez-Gómez, Flor

    2015-01-01

    Phylogeographical work on cloud forest-adapted species provides inconsistent evidence on cloud forest dynamics during glacial cycles. A study of Rhipsalis baccifera (Cactaceae), a bird-dispersed epiphytic mistletoe cactus, was conducted to investigate genetic variation at sequence data from nuclear [internal transcribed spacer (ITS), 677 bp] and chloroplast (rpl32-trnL, 1092bp) DNA for 154 individuals across the species range in Mesoamerica to determine if such patterns are consistent with the expansion/contraction model of cloud forest during glacial cycles. We conducted population and spatial genetic analyses as well as gene flow and divergence time estimates between 24 populations comprising the distribution of R. baccifera in Mexico and Guatemala to gain insight of the evolutionary history of these populations, and a complementary species distribution modeling approach to frame information derived from the genetic analyses into an explicit paleoecological context. The results revealed a phylogeographical break at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and high levels of genetic diversity among populations and cloud forest areas. Despite the genetic differentiation of some R. baccifera populations, the widespread ITS ribotypes suggest effective nuclear gene flow via pollen and population differentiation shown by the rpl32-trnL suggests more restricted seed flow. Predictions of species distribution models under past last glacial maximum (LGM) climatic conditions and a significant signal of demographic expansion suggest that R. baccifera populations experienced a range expansion tracking the conditions of the cloud forest distribution and shifted to the lowlands with population connectivity during the LGM. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Seasonal photosynthetic gas exchange and water-use efficiency in a constitutive CAM plant, the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

    PubMed

    Bronson, Dustin R; English, Nathan B; Dettman, David L; Williams, David G

    2011-11-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and the capacity to store large quantities of water are thought to confer high water use efficiency (WUE) and survival of succulent plants in warm desert environments. Yet the highly variable precipitation, temperature and humidity conditions in these environments likely have unique impacts on underlying processes regulating photosynthetic gas exchange and WUE, limiting our ability to predict growth and survival responses of desert CAM plants to climate change. We monitored net CO(2) assimilation (A(net)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), and transpiration (E) rates periodically over 2 years in a natural population of the giant columnar cactus Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro) near Tucson, Arizona USA to investigate environmental and physiological controls over carbon gain and water loss in this ecologically important plant. We hypothesized that seasonal changes in daily integrated water use efficiency (WUE(day)) in this constitutive CAM species would be driven largely by stomatal regulation of nighttime transpiration and CO(2) uptake responding to shifts in nighttime air temperature and humidity. The lowest WUE(day) occurred during time periods with extreme high and low air vapor pressure deficit (D(a)). The diurnal with the highest D(a) had low WUE(day) due to minimal net carbon gain across the 24 h period. Low WUE(day) was also observed under conditions of low D(a); however, it was due to significant transpiration losses. Gas exchange measurements on potted saguaro plants exposed to experimental changes in D(a) confirmed the relationship between D(a) and g(s). Our results suggest that climatic changes involving shifts in air temperature and humidity will have large impacts on the water and carbon economy of the giant saguaro and potentially other succulent CAM plants of warm desert environments.

  19. Extreme variation in floral characters and its consequences for pollinator attraction among populations of an Andean cactus

    PubMed Central

    Schlumpberger, Boris O.; Cocucci, Andrea A.; Moré, Marcela; Sérsic, Alicia N.; Raguso, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Background and aims A South American cactus species, Echinopsis ancistrophora (Cactaceae), with dramatic among-population variation in floral traits is presented. Methods Eleven populations of E. ancistrophora were studied in their habitats in northern Argentina, and comparisons were made of relevant floral traits such as depth, stigma position, nectar volume and sugar concentration, and anthesis time. Diurnal and nocturnal pollinator assemblages were evaluated for populations with different floral trait combinations. Key Results Remarkable geographical variations in floral traits were recorded among the 11 populations throughout the distribution range of E. ancistrophora, with flower lengths ranging from 4·5 to 24·1 cm. Other floral traits associated with pollinator attraction also varied in a population-specific manner, in concert with floral depth. Populations with the shortest flowers showed morning anthesis and those with the longest flowers opened at dusk, whereas those with flowers of intermediate length opened at unusual times (2300–0600 h). Nectar production varied non-linearly with floral length; it was absent to low (population means up to 15 µL) in short- to intermediate-length flowers, but was high (population means up to 170 µL) in the longest tubed flowers. Evidence from light-trapping of moths, pollen carriage on their bodies and moth scale deposition on stigmas suggests that sphingid pollination is prevalent only in the four populations with the longest flowers, in which floral morphological traits and nectar volumes match the classic expectations for the hawkmoth pollination syndrome. All other populations, with flowers 4·5–15 cm long, were pollinated exclusively by solitary bees. Conclusions The results suggest incipient differentiation at the population level and local adaptation to either bee or hawkmoth (potentially plus bee) pollination. PMID:19342397

  20. Effect of habitat disturbance on pollination biology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus quevedonis at landscape-level in central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Oseguera, A G; Casas, A; Herrerías-Diego, Y; Pérez-Negrón, E

    2013-05-01

    Stenocereus quevedonis ('pitire') is a columnar cactus endemic to central Mexico, grown for its edible fruit. Phenology, pollination biology and behaviour of flower visitors of this species were compared in six conserved and disturbed sites, hypothesising that: (i) pitire pollination is self-incompatible, requiring animal vectors; (ii) higher incidence of radiation on plants in cleared forest may lead to a higher number of flowers per pitire plant and longer blooming season, and disturbing and differential spatial availability of flower resources may determine differential attraction of pollinators to conserved and disturbed areas; (iii) if pitire pollination system is specialised, reproductive success would decrease with pollinator scarcity, or other species may substitute for main pollinators. In all sites, pitire reproduction started in January, flowering peak occurring in April, anthesis duration was 15 h and predominantly nocturnal (9 h), pollen was released at 23:00 h, nectar was produced throughout anthesis, and breeding system was self-incompatible. Flower production per plant was similar in disturbed and conserved sites, but flower availability was higher (because of higher tree density) and longer in disturbed sites. Pollination is nocturnal, the most frequent legitimate pollinator being the bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae; diurnal pollination is rare but possible, carried out by bee species. Fruit and seed set in control and nocturnal pollination treatments at disturbed sites were higher than in conserved sites. Frequency of L. yerbabuenae visits was similar among site types, but more visits of complementary nocturnal and diurnal pollinators were recorded in disturbed sites, which could explain differences in reproductive success. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. Encapsulating betalains from Opuntia ficus-indica fruits by ionic gelation: Pigment chemical stability during storage of beads.

    PubMed

    Otálora, María Carolina; Carriazo, José Gregorio; Iturriaga, Laura; Osorio, Coralia; Nazareno, Mónica Azucena

    2016-07-01

    Betalain encapsulation was performed by ionic gelation as a stabilization strategy for these natural pigments. Betalains were extracted from purple cactus fruits and encapsulated in calcium-alginate and in combination of calcium alginate and bovine serum albumin. Beads were characterised by scanning electron microscopy and thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry. Moisture sorption isotherms were determined. Bead morphology was affected by matrix composition. Pigments storage stability was evaluated at different equilibrium relative humidity and temperatures. Pigment composition of beads was determined by HPLC-MS-MS and degradation products were also analysed after storage; betalamic acid being the major one. Both types of matrices protected the encapsulated pigments, being their storage stability better at low relative humidity than that of the non-encapsulated control material. Antiradical activities of beads were proportional to remaining betalain contents. At high relative humidity, there was no protection and low storage stability was observed in the samples. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Nurse Plants vs. Nurse Objects: Effects of Woody Plants and Rocky Cavities on the Recruitment of the Pilosocereus leucocephalus Columnar Cactus

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel Angel; Sosa, Vinicio J.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Most studies on cactus recruitment have focused on the role of woody plants as seedling facilitators. Although the spatial association of cacti with objects had been described, the mechanisms underlying this association remain unknown. The aims of this study were to identify which mechanisms facilitate the establishment of a columnar cactus under the shade and protection of objects and to compare these mechanisms with those involved in plant–plant facilitation. Methods Three split-split-plot field experiments were conducted to compare the effects of two microhabitats (inside rocky cavities and beneath plant canopies) on seed removal, germination, seedling survivorship and dry weight. Flat, open spaces were used as the control. For each microhabitat, the effect of seed or seedling protection and substrate limitation were explored; aboveground microclimate and some soil properties were also characterized. Key Results The permanence of superficial seeds was greater inside rocky cavities than beneath woody plant canopies or on flat, open areas. Germination was similar in cavities and beneath plant canopies, but significantly higher than on flat, open areas. Seedling survivorship was greater beneath plant canopies than inside cavities or on flat, open spaces. Conclusions The mechanisms of plant facilitation are different from those of object facilitation. There are seed–seedling conflicts involved in the recruitment of P. leucocephalus: nurse plants favour mainly seedling survivorship by providing a suitable microenvironment, while nurse objects mainly favour seed permanence, by protecting them from predators. PMID:18056054

  3. Host specificity and risk assessment of Trichogramma fuentesi (Hymenoptera:Trichogrammatidae), a potential biological agent of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a non-native moth attacking prickly pear cactus, Opuntia spp., in southeastern U.S. The insect is also an important threat to ecological systems and to native and endangered Opuntia spp. in southwestern USA. The egg parasitoid Trichogramma f...

  4. Opuntia ficus-indica ingestion stimulates peripheral disposal of oral glucose before and after exercise in healthy men.

    PubMed

    Van Proeyen, Karen; Ramaekers, Monique; Pischel, Ivo; Hespel, Peter

    2012-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) cladode and fruit-skin extract on blood glucose and plasma insulin increments due to high-dose carbohydrate ingestion, before and after exercise. Healthy, physically active men (n = 6; 21.0 ± 1.6 years, 78.1 ± 6.0 kg) participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study involving 2 experimental sessions. In each session, the subjects successively underwent an oral glucose tolerance test at rest (OGTT(R)), a 30-min cycling bout at ~75% VO(2max), and another OGTT after exercise (OGTT(EX)). They received capsules containing either 1,000 mg OFI or placebo (PL) 30 min before and immediately after the OGTT(R). Blood samples were collected before (t₀) and at 30-min intervals after ingestion of 75 g glucose for determination of blood glucose and serum insulin. In OGTT(EX) an additional 75-g oral glucose bolus was administered at t₆₀. In OGTT(R), OFI administration reduced the area under the glucose curve (AUC(GLUC)) by 26%, mainly due to lower blood glucose levels at t₃₀ and t₆₀ (p < .05). Furthermore, a higher serum insulin concentration was noted after OFI intake at baseline and at t₃₀ (p < .05). In OGTT(EX), blood glucose at t₆₀ was ~10% lower in OFI than in PL, which resulted in a decreased AUC(GLUC) (-37%, p < .05). However, insulin values and AUC(INS) were not different between OFI and PL. In conclusion, the current study shows that OFI extract can increase plasma insulin and thereby facilitate the clearance of an oral glucose load from the circulation at rest and after endurance exercise in healthy men.

  5. Sperm DNA fragmentation induced by cryopreservation: new insights and effect of a natural extract from Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Meamar, Mehrdad; Zribi, Nassira; Cambi, Marta; Tamburrino, Lara; Marchiani, Sara; Filimberti, Erminio; Fino, Maria Grazia; Biggeri, Annibale; Menezo, Yves; Forti, Gianni; Baldi, Elisabetta; Muratori, Monica

    2012-08-01

    To analyze the effect of cryopreservation on sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in two cytometric sperm populations, PI(brighter) and PI(dimmer), and to test the effects of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) extracts, which contain antioxidants and flavanoids, and of resveratrol on cryopreservation of human semen. In vitro prospective study. Institutional study. Twenty-one normozoospermic men undergoing semen analysis for couple infertility. Cryopreservation using the routine method in the presence of OFI extracts or resveratrol. Measurement of SDF by TUNEL/PI flow cytometric method to evaluate sperm motility (by automated motion analysis, CASA system) and viability (by eosin/nigrosin staining) in the two populations of sperm PI(br) and PI(dim). Cryopreservation induced an increase of SDF only in the PI(br) sperm population. The increase was negatively dependent on the basal values of SDF in the same population. Addition of OFI extracts and resveratrol to the cryopreservation medium slightly but statistically significantly reduced SDF in the PI(br) population without affecting the deleterious effect of cryopreservation on sperm motion parameters or viability. The increase of SDF in the PI(br) population, which is unrelated to semen quality, suggests that caution must be taken in using cryopreserved semen, as morphologically normal and motile sperm may be damaged. The addition of substances with multifunctional properties such as OFI extracts to cryopreservation medium is only slightly effective in preventing the dramatic effects on SDF. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Rheological Flow Behavior of Structural Polysaccharides from Edible Tender Cladodes of Wild, Semidomesticated and Cultivated 'Nopal' (Opuntia) of Mexican Highlands.

    PubMed

    López-Palacios, C; Peña-Valdivia, C B; Rodríguez-Hernández, A I; Reyes-Agüero, J A

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify the content of polysaccharides of edible tender cladodes (nopalitos) of three species of Opuntia and to evaluate the rheological flow behavior of isolated polysaccharides. A completely randomized experimental design was used to characterize a wild (O. streptacantha), a semidomesticated (O. megacantha) and a domesticated (O. ficus-indica) species. Mucilage content was higher (4.93 to 12.43 g 100 g -1 dry matter), tightly bound hemicelluloses were lower (3.32 to 1.81 g 100 g -1 dry matter) and pectins and loosely bound hemicelluloses were not different in wild than in domesticated species. Aqueous solution/suspensions of mucilage, pectins, hemicellulose and cellulose of all species showed non-Newtonian behavior under simple shear flow. The flow behavior of the structural polysaccharides was well described by the Ostwald de-Waele model. Pectins and mucilages exhibited the highest consistency indexes (K values ranged from 0.075 to 0.177 Pas n ) with a moderated shear-thinning behavior (n values ranged from 0.53 to 0.67). Cellulose dispersions exhibited the most shear-thinning behavior (n values ranged from 0.17 to 0.41) and hemicelluloses showed a tendency to Newtonian flow (n values ranged from 0.82 to 0.97). The rheological flow properties of these polysaccharides may be useful to improve the textural and sensory qualities of some foods and pharmaceutical materials. Moreover, they can emerge as functional ingredients mainly due to the nutraceutical properties that have been attributed to nopalitos.

  7. Brain Distribution and Modulation of Neuronal Excitability by Indicaxanthin From Opuntia Ficus Indica Administered at Nutritionally-Relevant Amounts

    PubMed Central

    Gambino, Giuditta; Allegra, Mario; Sardo, Pierangelo; Attanzio, Alessandro; Tesoriere, Luisa; Livrea, Maria A.; Ferraro, Giuseppe; Carletti, Fabio

    2018-01-01

    Several studies have recently investigated the role of nutraceuticals in complex pathophysiological processes such as oxidative damages, inflammatory conditions and excitotoxicity. In this regard, the effects of nutraceuticals on basic functions of neuronal cells, such as excitability, are still poorly investigated. For this reason, the possible modulation of neuronal excitability by phytochemicals (PhC) could represent an interesting field of research given that excitotoxicity phenomena are involved in neurodegenerative alterations leading, for example, to Alzheimer’s disease. The present study was focused on indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus indica, a bioactive betalain pigment, with a proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, previously found to cross blood-brain barrier (BBB) and to modulate the bioelectric activity of hippocampal neurons. On this basis, we aimed at detecting the specific brain areas where indicaxanthin localizes after oral administration at dietary-achievable amounts and highlighting eventual local effects on the excitability of single neuronal units. HPLC analysis of brain tissue 1 h after ingestion of 2 μmol/kg indicaxanthin indicated that the phytochemical accumulates in cortex, hippocampus, diencephalon, brainstem and cerebellum, but not in the striato-pallidal complex. Then, electrophysiological recordings, applying the microiontophoretic technique, were carried out with different amounts of indicaxanthin (0.34, 0.17, 0.085 ng/neuron) to assess whether indicaxanthin influenced the neuronal firing rate. The data showed that the bioelectric activity of neurons belonging to different brain areas was modulated after local injection of indicaxanthin, mainly with dose-related responses. A predominating inhibitory effect was observed, suggesting a possible novel beneficial effect of indicaxanthin in reducing cell excitability. These findings can constitute a new rationale for exploring biological mechanisms through which PhC could

  8. The effect of isorhamnetin glycosides extracted from Opuntia ficus-indica in a mouse model of diet induced obesity.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, César; Torres, Nimbe; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Noriega, Lilia G; Torre-Villalvazo, Iván; Leal-Díaz, Ana M; Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Márquez-Mota, Claudia; Ordaz, Guillermo; Chavez-Santoscoy, Rocío A; Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O; Tovar, Armando R

    2015-03-01

    A diet rich in polyphenols can ameliorate some metabolic alterations associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) is a plant rich in isorhamnetin glycosides and is highly consumed in Mexico. The purpose of this research was to determine the metabolic effect of an OFI extract on a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and in isolated pancreatic islets. OFI extract was added to a high fat (HF) diet at a low (0.3%) or high (0.6%) dose and administered to C57BL/6 mice for 12 weeks. Mice fed the HF diet supplemented with the OFI extract gained less body weight and exhibited significantly lower circulating total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol compared to those fed the HF diet alone. The HF-OFI diet fed mice presented lower glucose and insulin concentration than the HF diet fed mice. However, the HF-OFI diet fed mice tended to have higher insulin concentration than control mice. The OFI extract stimulated insulin secretion in vitro, associated with increased glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) mRNA content. Furthermore, the OFI extract improved glucose tolerance, and additionally increased energy expenditure. These metabolic improvements were associated with reduced adipocyte size, increased hepatic IRS1 tyr-608 and S6 K thr-389 phosphorylation. OFI isorhamnetin glycosides also diminished the hepatic lipid content associated with reduced mRNA expression of the endoplasmic reticulum stress markers and lipogenic enzymes and increased mRNA expression of genes related to fatty acid oxidation. Overall, the OFI extract prevented the development of metabolic abnormalities associated with diet-induced obesity.

  9. Opposite Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica L. Juice Depending on Fruit Maturity Stage on Gastrointestinal Physiological Parameters in Rat.

    PubMed

    Rtibi, Kais; Selmi, Slimen; Grami, Dhekra; Amri, Mohamed; Sebai, Hichem; Marzouki, Lamjed

    2018-06-01

    The phytochemical composition and the effect of the green and ripe Opuntia ficus-indica juice on some gastrointestinal (GI) physiological parameters such as stomach emptying and small-intestinal motility and permeability were determined in rats administered multiple concentrations of the prickly pear juice (5, 10, and 20 mL kg -1 , b.w., p.o.). Other separate groups of rats were received, respectively; sodium chloride (0.9%, b.w., p.o.), clonidine (α- 2 -adrenergic agonist, 1 mg kg -1 , b.w., i.p.), yohimbine (α- 2 -adrenergic antagonist, 2 mg kg -1 , b.w., i.p.), and loperamide (5 mg kg -1 , b.w., p.o.). In vivo reverse effect of juice on GI physiological parameters was investigated using a charcoal meal test, phenol-red colorimetric method, loperamide-induced acute constipation, and castor oil-caused small-bowel hypersecretion. However, the opposite in vitro influence of juice on intestinal permeability homeostasis was assessed by the Ussing chamber system. Mature prickly pear juice administration stimulated significantly and dose dependently the GI transit (GIT; 8-26%) and gastric emptying (0.9-11%) in a rat model. Conversely, the immature prickly pear juice reduced gastric emptying (7-23%), GIT (10-28%), and diarrhea (59-88%). Moreover, the standard drugs have produced their antagonistic effects on GI physiological functions. The permeability of the isolated perfused rat small-intestine has a paradoxical response flowing prickly pear juices administration at diverse doses and maturity grade. Most importantly, the quantitative phytochemical analyses of both juices showed a different composition depending on the degree of maturity. In conclusion, the prickly pear juice at two distinct phases of maturity has different phytochemical characteristics and opposite effects on GI physiological actions in rat.

  10. Protective effects of Opuntia ficus-indica extract on ram sperm quality, lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation during liquid storage.

    PubMed

    Allai, Larbi; Druart, Xavier; Öztürk, Mehmet; BenMoula, Anass; Nasser, Boubker; El Amiri, Bouchra

    2016-12-01

    The present study aimed to assess the phenolic composition of the acetone extract from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes (ACTEX) and its effects on ram semen variables, lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation during liquid storage at 5°C for up to 72h in skim milk and Tris egg yolk extenders. Semen samples from five rams were pooled extended with Tris-egg yolk (TEY) or skim milk (SM) extenders containing ACTEX (0%, 1%, 2%, 4% and 8%) at a final concentration of 0.8×10 9 sperm/ml and stored for up to 72h at 5°C. The sperm variables were evaluated at different time periods (8, 24, 48 and 72h). Sperm total motility and viability were superior in TEY than in SM whereas the progressive motility, membrane integrity, abnormality and spontaneous lipid peroxidation were greater in SM compared to TEY (P<0.05). The results also indicated that the inclusion of 1% ACTEX in the SM or TEY extender increased the sperm motility, viability, membrane integrity, and decreased the abnormality, lipids peroxidation up to 72h in storage compared to control group. Similarly, even at 72h of storage, 1% ACTEX can efficiently decrease the negative effects of liquid storage on sperm DNA fragmentation (P<0.05). In conclusion, SM and TEY supplemented with 1% of ACTEX can improve the quality of ram semen. Further studies are required to identify the active components in ACTEX involved in its effect on ram sperm preservation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes as a functional ingredient: bioactive compounds profile and their effect on antioxidant quality of bread.

    PubMed

    Msaddak, Lotfi; Abdelhedi, Ola; Kridene, Amani; Rateb, Mostafa; Belbahri, Lassaâd; Ammar, Emna; Nasri, Moncef; Zouari, Nacim

    2017-02-07

    In the context of a balanced diet, the antioxidant-rich food consumption is a preventive way of many degenerative diseases. Consequently, improving the nutraceutical quality of traditional foods such as bakery products is an interesting approach. Considering the present consumer's demand, cladodes from prickly pear that were traditionally used as a valuable food as well as in folk medicine for the treatment of several chronic diseases were investigated for their use in bread production to improve its functionality. Bioactive substances were determined by liquid chromatography-high resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-HRESIMS) analysis. Dough rheological properties were characterized by alveographic measurements. Bread antioxidant quality was evaluated by total phenolics content, DPPH• radical-scavenging, metal (Fe 2+ ) chelating and Fe 3+ reducing power determinations. LC-HRESIMS analysis of the cladodes extract allowed the identification of 9 flavonoids, 2 phenolics, 1 alkaloid and 1 terpenoid compounds. Cladodes powder enrichment induced important modifications on the dough rheological parameters in terms of the extensibility (L) and deformation energy (W) decrease. Moreover, cladodes powder addition to bread resulted in a decrease in both crust and crumb colour parameters (L*, a* and b*). A 5% supplementation resulted in an increase of the bread yield and bread specific volume by 8.9 and 25%, respectively. Interestingly, Bread containing cladodes powder showed enhanced total phenolics content and antioxidant potential as compared to the control. Substitution of wheat flour by the cladodes powder at 5% level was optimal for improving the total phenolics content and the antioxidant potential of bread without having any negative effect on its sensory acceptability. Cladodes from Opuntia ficus-indica could be considered as a potential health-promoting functional ingredient in bakery products.

  12. Opuntia ficus indica (nopal) attenuates hepatic steatosis and oxidative stress in obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats.

    PubMed

    Morán-Ramos, Sofía; Avila-Nava, Azalia; Tovar, Armando R; Pedraza-Chaverri, José; López-Romero, Patricia; Torres, Nimbe

    2012-11-01

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with multiple factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress. Nopal, a cactus plant widely consumed in the Mexican diet, is considered a functional food because of its antioxidant activity and ability to improve biomarkers of metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nopal consumption on the development of hepatic steatosis and hepatic oxidative stress and on the regulation of genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism. Obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats were fed a control diet or a diet containing 4% nopal for 7 wk. Rats fed the nopal-containing diet had ∼50% lower hepatic TG than the control group as well as a reduction in hepatomegaly and biomarkers of hepatocyte injury such as alanine and aspartate aminotransferases. Attenuation of hepatic steatosis by nopal consumption was accompanied by a higher serum concentration of adiponectin and a greater abundance of mRNA for genes involved in lipid oxidation and lipid export and production of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 and microsomal TG transfer proteins in liver. Hepatic reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation biomarkers were significantly lower in rats fed nopal compared with the control rats. Furthermore, rats fed the nopal diet had a lower postprandial serum insulin concentration and a greater liver phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAKT):AKT ratio in the postprandial state. This study suggests that nopal consumption attenuates hepatic steatosis by increasing fatty acid oxidation and VLDL synthesis, decreasing oxidative stress, and improving liver insulin signaling in obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats.

  13. A common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, is an important ecotope of wild Triatoma brasiliensis populations in the Jaguaribe valley of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Valença-Barbosa, Carolina; Lima, Marli M; Sarquis, Otília; Bezerra, Claudia M; Abad-Franch, Fernando

    2014-06-01

    Triatoma brasiliensis is the most important vector of Chagas disease in the Caatinga eco-region of northeastern Brazil. Wild T. brasiliensis populations have been reported only from rocky outcrops. However, this species frequently infests/re-infests houses in rock-free sedimentary lowlands. We therefore hypothesized that it should also occupy other natural ecotopes. We show that a common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, locally known as xiquexique, often harbors T. brasiliensis breeding colonies apparently associated with rodents (n = 44 cacti, infestation rate = 47.7%, 157 bugs captured). Our findings suggest that infested cacti might be involved in house re-infestation by T. brasiliensis in the Caatinga region. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  14. The Relationship Between CME Properties in the CDAW, CACTUS and SEEDS Catalogs and ?25 MeV Solar Proton Event Intensities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, I. G.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Cane, H. V.

    2013-12-01

    The existence of a correlation between the intensity of solar energetic proton (SEP) events and the speed of the associated coronal mass ejection near the Sun is well known, and is often interpreted as evidence for particle acceleration at CME-driven shocks. However, this correlation is far from perfect and might be improved by taking other parameters into consideration (e.g., CME width). In studies of cycle 23 SEP events, values of CME speed, width and other parameters were typically taken from the CDAWWeb LASCO CME catalog. This is compiled 'by hand' from examination of LASCO images by experienced observers. Other automated LASCO CME catalogs have now been developed, e.g., CACTUS (Royal Observatory of Belgium) and SEEDS (George Mason University), but the basic CME parameters do not always agree with those from the CDAWweb catalog since they are not determined in the same way. For example the 'CME speed' might be measured at a specific position angle against the plane of the sky in one catalog, or be the average of speeds taken along the CME front in another. Speeds may also be based on linear or higher order fits to the coronagraph images. There will also be projection effects in these plane of the sky speeds. Similarly, CME widths can vary between catalogs and are dependent on how they are defined. For example, the CDAW catalog lists any CME that surrounds the occulting disk as a 'halo' (360 deg. width) CME even though the CME may be highly-asymmetric and originate from a solar event far from central meridian. Another catalog may give a smaller width for the same CME. The problem of obtaining the 'true' CME width is especially acute for assessing the relationship between CME width and SEP properties when using the CDAW catalog since a significant fraction, if not the majority, of the CMEs associated with major SEP events are reported to be halo CMEs. In principle, observations of CMEs from the STEREO A and B spacecraft, launched in late 2006, might be used to

  15. Preliminary Assessment for CAU 485: Cactus Spring Ranch Pu and Du Site, CAS No. TA-39-001-TAGR: Soil Contamination, Tonapah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    ITLV

    1998-07-01

    Corrective Action Unit 485, Corrective Action Site TA-39-001-TAGR, the Cactus Spring Ranch Soil Contamination Area, is located approximately six miles southwest of the Area 3 Compound at the eastern mouth of Sleeping Column Canyon in the Cactus Range on the Tonopah Test Range. This site was used in conjunction with animal studies involving the biological effects of radionuclides (specifically plutonium) associated with Operation Roller Coaster. According to field records, a hardened layer of livestock feces ranging from 2.54 centimeters (cm) (1 inch [in.]) to 10.2 cm (4 in.) thick is present in each of the main sheds. IT personnel conductedmore » a field visit on December 3, 1997, and noted that the only visible feces were located within the east shed, the previously fenced area near the east shed, and a small area southwest of the west shed. Other historical records indicate that other areas may still be covered with animal feces, but heavy vegetation now covers it. It is possible that radionuclides are present in this layer, given the history of operations in this area. Chemicals of concern may include plutonium and depleted uranium. Surface soil sampling was conducted on February 18, 1998. An evaluation of historical documentation indicated that plutonium should not be and depleted uranium could not be present at levels significantly above background as the result of test animals being penned at the site. The samples were analyzed for isotopic plutonium using method NAS-NS-3058. The results of the analysis indicated that plutonium levels of the feces and surface soil were not significantly elevated above background.« less

  16. Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) Mortality and Population Regeneration in the Cactus Forest of Saguaro National Park: Seventy-Five Years and Counting

    PubMed Central

    Orum, Thomas V.; Ferguson, Nancy; Mihail, Jeanne D.

    2016-01-01

    Annual census data spanning seventy-five years document mortality and regeneration in a population of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) in the Cactus Forest of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park near Tucson, AZ. On 6 four-hectare plots, each saguaro was censused and a methodical search for new saguaros was conducted annually each year from 1942 through 2016, with the exception of 1955. Regeneration has been episodic with 828 plants established from 1959 through 1993 compared with 34 plants established between 1942 and 1958 and only three plants established after 1993. The years preceding 1959 and following 1993, include some of the driest decades in centuries in southern Arizona. While woodcutting and cattle grazing are believed to be among the causes of decades of failed regeneration prior to 1958, neither of these factors contributed to the failed regeneration following 1993. The height structure of the population from 1942 to 2016 shifted dramatically from a population dominated by large saguaros (> 5.4 m tall) in the first three decades of the study to a population dominated by small saguaros (< 1.8 m tall) in the most recent two decades. Mortality is shown to be strongly age dependent. In the year following the 2011 catastrophic freeze, 21 of 59 plants older than 80 years died compared with zero deaths in 270 plants between the ages of 29 and 80 years. Saguaros under 40 years old, growing under small shrubs or in the open, have a lower probability of survival than better protected saguaros. Long-term population monitoring is essential to understanding the complex impacts of human and environmental factors on the population dynamics of long-lived species. PMID:27505437

  17. Secondary Metabolites Production and Plant Growth Promotion by Pseudomonas chlororaphis and P. aurantiaca Strains Isolated from Cactus, Cotton, and Para Grass.

    PubMed

    Shahid, Izzah; Rizwan, Muhammad; Baig, Deeba Noreen; Saleem, Rahman Shahzaib; Malik, Kauser A; Mehnaz, Samina

    2017-03-28

    Fluorescent pseudomonads have been isolated from halophytes, mesophytes, and xerophytes of Pakistan. Among these, eight isolates, GS-1, GS-3, GS-4, GS-6, GS-7, FS-2 (cactus), ARS-38 (cotton), and RP-4 (para grass), showed antifungal activity and were selected for detailed study. Based on biochemical tests and 16S rRNA gene sequences, these were identified as strains of P. chlororaphis subsp. chlororaphis and aurantiaca . Secondary metabolites of these strains were analyzed by LC-MS. Phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA), 2-hydroxy-phenazine, Cyclic Lipopeptide (white line-inducing principle (WLIP)), and lahorenoic acid A were detected in variable amounts in these strains. P. aurantiaca PB-St2 was used as a reference as it is known for the production of these compounds. The phzO and PCA genes were amplified to assure that production of these compounds is not an artifact. Indole acetic acid production was confirmed and quantified by HPLC. HCN and siderophore production by all strains was observed by plate assays. These strains did not solubilize phosphate, but five strains were positive for zinc solubilization. Wheat seedlings were inoculated with these strains to observe their effect on plant growth. P. aurantiaca strains PB-St2 and GS-6 and P. chlororaphis RP-4 significantly increased both root and shoot dry weights, as compared with uninoculated plants. However, P. aurantiaca strains FS-2 and ARS-38 significantly increased root and shoot dry weights, respectively. All strains except PB-St2 and ARS-38 significantly increased the root length. This is the first report of the isolation of P. aurantiaca from cotton and cactus, P. chlororaphis from para grass, WLIP and lahorenoic acid A production by P. chlororaphis , and zinc solubilization by P. chlororaphis and P. aurantiaca .

  18. Physicochemical, nutritional, and functional characterization of fruits xoconostle (Opuntia matudae) pears from Central-México Region.

    PubMed

    Guzmán-Maldonado, Salvador H; Morales-Montelongo, Ana L; Mondragón-Jacobo, Candelario; Herrera-Hernández, Guadalupe; Guevara-Lara, Fidel; Reynoso-Camacho, Rosalia

    2010-08-01

    Xoconostle cv. Cuaresmeño (Opuntia matudae) has attracted domestic and international industry attention; however, variations of composition from xoconostle structures have not been evaluated. Industries discard the pulp (endocarp) and peel (pericarp) as wastes and utilize the skin (mesocarp), which is the edible portion. The physicochemical, nutritional, and functional characterization of structures from xoconostle pear from 3 major sites of production in Mexico were assessed. Skin yield ranged from 58% to 64% and was higher to that of peel (22% to 24%) and pulp (12% to 18%) yields. pH, degrees Brix, and acidity were similar among xoconostle structures. Total fiber showed by peel (18.23% to 20.37%) was 2-fold higher than that of skin. Protein and ether extract were higher in xoconostle pulp compared to that showed by peel and skin. Iron content of xoconostle peel (6 to 9.6 mg/100 g, DWB) was higher to that of skin and pulp and prickly pear pulp. Soluble phenols of peel (840 to 863 mg GAE/100 g, DWB) were almost similar to that of skin (919 to 986 mg GAE/100 g, dry weigh basis); meanwhile, ascorbic acid concentration of skin was 2-fold higher compared to that of peel. The phenolic fraction of xoconostle structures consisted of gallic, vanillic, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acids; catechin, epicatechin, and vanillin were also identified by high-performance liquid chromatography-didoe array detection (HPLC-DAD). Xoconostle peel showed higher antioxidant activity (TEAC) compared to that of skin (2-fold) and pulp (6-fold) of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. The potential of xoconostle peel and pulp for the production of feed or food is promissory. Practical Application: Outstanding nutritional and functional properties of xoconostle cv. Cuaresmeño fruits are demonstrated. Increased consumption could contribute positively to improve the diet of rural and urban consumers. The high fiber, mineral, and antioxidant components of xoconostle peel and pulp suggest that these

  19. Additive insulinogenic action of Opuntia ficus-indica cladode and fruit skin extract and leucine after exercise in healthy males

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Oral intake of a specific extract of Opuntia ficus-indica cladode and fruit skin (OpunDia™) (OFI) has been shown to increase serum insulin concentration while reducing blood glucose level for a given amount of glucose ingestion after an endurance exercise bout in healthy young volunteers. However, it is unknown whether OFI-induced insulin stimulation after exercise is of the same magnitude than the stimulation by other insulinogenic agents like leucine as well as whether OFI can interact with those agents. Therefore, the aims of the present study were: 1) to compare the degree of insulin stimulation by OFI with the effect of leucine administration; 2) to determine whether OFI and leucine have an additive action on insulin stimulation post-exercise. Methods Eleven subjects participated in a randomized double-blind cross-over study involving four experimental sessions. In each session the subjects successively underwent a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) after a 30-min cycling bout at ~70% VO2max. At t0 and t60 during the OGTT, subjects ingested 75 g glucose and capsules containing either 1) a placebo; 2) 1000 mg OFI; 3) 3 g leucine; 4) 1000 mg OFI + 3 g leucine. Blood samples were collected before and at 30-min intervals during the OGTT for determination of blood glucose and serum insulin. Results Whereas no effect of leucine was measured, OFI reduced blood glucose at t90 by ~7% and the area under the glucose curve by ~15% and increased serum insulin concentration at t90 by ~35% compared to placebo (P<0.05). From t60 to the end of the OGTT, serum insulin concentration was higher in OFI+leucine than in placebo which resulted in a higher area under the insulin curve (+40%, P<0.05). Conclusion Carbohydrate-induced insulin stimulation post-exercise can be further increased by the combination of OFI with leucine. OFI and leucine could be interesting ingredients to include together in recovery drinks to resynthesize muscle glycogen faster post

  20. Cactus: Writing an Article

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley; Spencer, Toby

    2010-01-01

    Some people became mathematics or science teachers by default. There was once such a limited range of subjects that students who could not write essays did mathematics and science. Computers changed that. Word processor software helped some people overcome huge spelling and grammar hurdles and made it easy to edit and manipulate text. Would-be…

  1. Nopal cactus film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Fuentes-Tapia, I.; Conde-Cuatzo, María. G.

    2017-03-01

    Nopal mucilage potentially has certain properties required for the preparation biofilms which can be used as holographic replication recording medium. In this study, mucilage from nopal was extracted and characterized by its ability to form films under different concentration with polyvinyl alcohol. The transmission holographic diffraction gratings (master) were replicated into nopal films. The results showed good diffraction efficiencies. Mucilage from nopal could represent a good option for the development of films to replication holographic, owing to; its low cost and its compatibility with the environmental.

  2. [Importance of accurate assessment of capillary blood glucose level in diagnosis: misleading results in handlers of prickly pears (Opuntia ficus-indica)].

    PubMed

    García Pantoja, José; Landróguez Salinas, Sergio; Barrero Luque, Susana; Pérez Pérez, José Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Hypoglycemia can cause symptoms of neuroglycopenia that can be easily confused with symptoms of greater clinical importance such as stroke. Appropriate differential diagnosis between these 2 processes will be essential for guiding the treatment approach. We report a case in which stroke was initially suspected because hypoglycemia was masked by the incorrect capillary blood glucose (CBG) measurement technique used in treating an itinerant vendor of prickly pears (Opuntia ficus-indica). We studied the effects of prickly pear handling on the CBG levels in 11 vendors before and after they handled the fruit. CBG levels were noticeably higher after the fruit was handled in all cases. Our observations reveal the need to measure both capillary and venous blood glucose levels to rule out hypoglycemia in patients with acute neurological symptoms.

  3. Metabolite profiling of enzymatically hydrolyzed and fermented forms of Opuntia ficus-indica and their effect on UVB-induced skin photoaging.

    PubMed

    Cho, Dong-Woon; Kim, Dae-Eung; Lee, Dae-Hee; Jung, Kyung-Hoon; Hurh, Byung-Serk; Kwon, Oh Wook; Kim, Sun Yeou

    2014-01-01

    Fermentation of natural products is emerging as an important processing method and is attracting a lot of attention because it may have the advantage of having a new biological function. In this study, fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica were enzymatically hydrolyzed and then fermented with two species of yeast. We identified novel prominent markers in enzymatically hydrolyzed O. ficus-indica (EO) and fermented O. ficus-indica (FO) samples by using an ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. We also evaluated the effect of EO and FO on photoaging of skin cells exposed to ultraviolet radiation. We identified the major fermented metabolite in the FO as ferulic acid. Our in vitro study indicated that FO significantly enhanced the concentration of pro-collagen type 1 than the EO, by increasing the TGF-β1 production.

  4. Morphology-controlled cactus-like branched anatase TiO2 arrays with high light-harvesting efficiency for dye-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wu-Qiang; Rao, Hua-Shang; Feng, Hao-Lin; Guo, Xin-Dong; Su, Cheng-Yong; Kuang, Dai-Bin

    2014-08-01

    The present work establishes a facile process for one-step hydrothermal growth of vertically aligned anatase cactus-like branched TiO2 (CBT) arrays on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) substrate. Various CBT morphologies are obtained by adjusting the potassium titanium oxide oxalate (PTO) reactant concentration (from 0.05 M to 0.15 M) and this yields a morphologically-controllable branched TiO2 arrays geometry. The CBT arrays consist of a vertically oriented nanowire (NW) or nanosheet (NS) stem and a host of short nanorod (NR) branches. The hierarchical CBT arrays demonstrate their excellent candidatures as photoanodes, which are capable of exhibiting high light-harvesting efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Consequently, DSSCs based on 7 μm long optimized CBT arrays (0.05 M PTO), which are assembled with high density and high aspect-ratio NR branches, exhibit an impressive power conversion efficiency of 6.43% under AM 1.5G one sun illumination. The high performance can be attributed to the prominent light-harvesting efficiency, resulting from larger surface area and superior light-scattering capability.

  5. Resource quality affects weapon and testis size and the ability of these traits to respond to selection in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata.

    PubMed

    Sasson, Daniel A; Munoz, Patricio R; Gezan, Salvador A; Miller, Christine W

    2016-04-01

    The size of weapons and testes can be central to male reproductive success. Yet, the expression of these traits is often extremely variable. Studies are needed that take a more complete organism perspective, investigating the sources of variation in both traits simultaneously and using developmental conditions that mimic those in nature. In this study, we investigated the components of variation in weapon and testis sizes using the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) on three natural developmental diets. We show that the developmental diet has profound effects on both weapon and testis expression and scaling. Intriguingly, males in the medium-quality diet express large weapons but have relatively tiny testes, suggesting complex allocation decisions. We also find that heritability, evolvability, and additive genetic variation are highest in the high-quality diet for testis and body mass. This result suggests that these traits may have an enhanced ability to respond to selection during a small window of time each year when this diet is available. Taken together, these results illustrate that normal, seasonal fluctuations in the nutritional environment may play a large role in the expression of sexually selected traits and the ability of these traits to respond to selection.

  6. Model-based analysis supports interglacial refugia over long-dispersal events in the diversification of two South American cactus species

    PubMed Central

    Perez, M F; Bonatelli, I A S; Moraes, E M; Carstens, B C

    2016-01-01

    Pilosocereus machrisii and P. aurisetus are cactus species within the P. aurisetus complex, a group of eight cacti that are restricted to rocky habitats within the Neotropical savannas of eastern South America. Previous studies have suggested that diversification within this complex was driven by distributional fragmentation, isolation leading to allopatric differentiation, and secondary contact among divergent lineages. These events have been associated with Quaternary climatic cycles, leading to the hypothesis that the xerophytic vegetation patches which presently harbor these populations operate as refugia during the current interglacial. However, owing to limitations of the standard phylogeographic approaches used in these studies, this hypothesis was not explicitly tested. Here we use Approximate Bayesian Computation to refine the previous inferences and test the role of different events in the diversification of two species within P. aurisetus group. We used molecular data from chloroplast DNA and simple sequence repeats loci of P. machrisii and P. aurisetus, the two species with broadest distribution in the complex, in order to test if the diversification in each species was driven mostly by vicariance or by long-dispersal events. We found that both species were affected primarily by vicariance, with a refuge model as the most likely scenario for P. aurisetus and a soft vicariance scenario most probable for P. machrisii. These results emphasize the importance of distributional fragmentation in these species, and add support to the hypothesis of long-term isolation in interglacial refugia previously proposed for the P. aurisetus species complex diversification. PMID:27071846

  7. Growth and reproductive characteristics of the columnar cactus Stenocereus queretaroensis and their relationships with environmental factors and colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae.

    PubMed

    Pimienta-Barrios, Eulogio; Pimienta-Barrios, Enrique; Salas-Galván, Mariá Eugenia; Zañudo-Hernandez, Julia; Nobel, Park S

    2002-06-01

    Three natural populations of pitayo (Stenocereus queretaroensis (Weber) Buxbaum), a columnar arborescent cactus, were studied in their subtropical environments in western Mexico. All of the sites were characterized by shallow, nutrient-poor soils. Percentage of colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) fungi, stem growth, fruit mass, and percentage germination were greater in S. queretaroensis at Autlan, Jalisco (AJ) than at Zacoalco de Torres, Jalisco (ZTJ) or Santa Rosa, Zacatecas (SRZ). The onset of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae during the middle of the summer wet period preceded increases in stem extension rate and stem phosphorus concentration. Based on previous studies of effects of environmental factors on photosynthesis, climatic conditions were more favorable for photosynthesis at AJ than at SRZ and ZTJ, as indicated by the amount of summer rainfall, the amount of light, and the moderate air temperatures that prevailed during the fall and winter seasons. There was a significant positive correlation between stem growth and percentage of total root length colonized by arbuscules of AM fungi for S. queretaroensis at SRZ and AJ, but not at ZTJ. A negative significant correlation was observed between stem growth and maximal and minimal air temperatures at the three study sites. Stem growth was positively related to rainfall only at SRZ, and light was statistically related to stem growth only at ZTJ. Among sites, S. queretaroensis at AJ had the highest carbon gain and greatest AM colonization, creating physiological conditions that led to the highest stem growth, fruit mass and percentage of seed germination.

  8. Anonymous nuclear markers reveal taxonomic incongruence and long-term disjunction in a cactus species complex with continental-island distribution in South America.

    PubMed

    Perez, Manolo F; Carstens, Bryan C; Rodrigues, Gustavo L; Moraes, Evandro M

    2016-02-01

    The Pilosocereus aurisetus complex consists of eight cactus species with a fragmented distribution associated to xeric enclaves within the Cerrado biome in eastern South America. The phylogeny of these species is incompletely resolved, and this instability complicates evolutionary analyses. Previous analyses based on both plastid and microsatellite markers suggested that this complex contained species with inherent phylogeographic structure, which was attributed to recent diversification and recurring range shifts. However, limitations of the molecular markers used in these analyses prevented some questions from being properly addressed. In order to better understand the relationship among these species and make a preliminary assessment of the genetic structure within them, we developed anonymous nuclear loci from pyrosequencing data of 40 individuals from four species in the P. aurisetus complex. The data obtained from these loci were used to identify genetic clusters within species, and to investigate the phylogenetic relationship among these inferred clusters using a species tree methodology. Coupled with a palaeodistributional modelling, our results reveal a deep phylogenetic and climatic disjunction between two geographic lineages. Our results highlight the importance of sampling more regions from the genome to gain better insights on the evolution of species with an intricate evolutionary history. The methodology used here provides a feasible approach to develop numerous genealogical molecular markers throughout the genome for non-model species. These data provide a more robust hypothesis for the relationship among the lineages of the P. aurisetus complex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Effect of Opuntia humifusa Supplementation and Acute Exercise on Insulin Sensitivity and Associations with PPAR-γ and PGC-1α Protein Expression in Skeletal Muscle of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Junyong; Lee, Junghun; Kwon, Daekeun; Song, Youngju

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether Opuntia humifusa (O. humifusa), which is a member of the Cactaceae family, supplementation and acute swimming exercise affect insulin sensitivity and associations with PPAR-γ and PGC-1α protein expression in rats. Thirty-two rats were randomly divided into four groups (HS: high fat diet sedentary group, n = 8; HE: high fat diet acute exercise group, n = 8; OS: 5% O. humifusa supplemented high fat diet sedentary group, n = 8; OE: 5% O. humifusa supplemented high fat diet acute exercise group, n = 8). Rats in the HE and OE swam for 120 min. before being sacrificed. Our results indicated that serum glucose level, fasting insulin level and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in OS were significantly lower compared to those of the HS (p < 0.01, p < 0.05, p < 0.05). In addition, PPAR-γ protein expression in the OS and OE was significantly higher than that of the HS and HE, respectively (p < 0.05, p < 0.01). PGC-1α and GLUT-4 protein expressions in the OS were significantly higher compared to those of the HS (p < 0.05, p < 0.05). From these results, O. humifusa supplementation might play an important role for improving insulin sensitivity through elevation of PPAR-γ, PGC-1α, and GLUT-4 protein expression in rat skeletal muscle. PMID:23538842

  10. Reversing gastric mucosal alterations during ethanol-induced chronic gastritis in rats by oral administration of Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Ramírez, Ricardo; Olguín-Martínez, Marisela; Kubli-Garfias, Carlos; Hernández-Muñoz, Rolando

    2006-07-21

    To study the effect of mucilage obtained from cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) on the healing of ethanol-induced gastritis in rats. Chronic gastric mucosa injury was treated with mucilage (5 mg/kg per day) after it was induced by ethanol. Lipid composition, activity of 5'-nucleotidase (a membrane-associated ectoenzyme) and cytosolic activities of lactate and alcohol dehydrogenases in the plasma membrane of gastric mucosa were determined. Histological studies of gastric samples from the experimental groups were included. Ethanol elicited the histological profile of gastritis characterized by loss of the surface epithelium and infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) decreased and cholesterol content increased in plasma membranes of the gastric mucosa. In addition, cytosolic activity increased while the activity of alcohol dehydrogenases decreased. The administration of mucilage promptly corrected these enzymatic changes. In fact, mucilage readily accelerated restoration of the ethanol-induced histological alterations and the disturbances in plasma membranes of gastric mucosa, showing a univocal anti-inflammatory effect. The activity of 5'-nucleotidase correlated with the changes in lipid composition and the fluidity of gastric mucosal plasma membranes. The beneficial action of mucilage seems correlated with stabilization of plasma membranes of damaged gastric mucosa. Molecular interactions between mucilage monosaccharides and membrane phospholipids, mainly PC and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), may be the relevant features responsible for changing activities of membrane-attached proteins during the healing process after chronic gastric mucosal damage.

  11. Phytochemical characterization of different prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) cultivars and botanical parts: UHPLC-ESI-MSn metabolomics profiles and their chemometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Mena, Pedro; Tassotti, Michele; Andreu, Lucía; Nuncio-Jáuregui, Nallely; Legua, Pilar; Del Rio, Daniele; Hernández, Francisca

    2018-06-01

    Prickly pear is an important source of bioactive compounds. However, a comprehensive characterization of the phytochemical profile of its aerial botanical parts, considering genotypic differences, has not been conducted. This study evaluated the phytochemical composition of four botanical parts (fruit pulp and skin, and young and adult cladodes) of six cultivars. Analysis was carried out by using two non-targeted UHPLC-ESI-MS n experimental conditions and assisted with multivariate analysis to facilitate data interpretation. Up to 41 compounds, mainly (poly)phenolic molecules, were identified and quantified, 23 compounds being reported for the first time in Opuntia ficus-indica. Phenolic composition varied significantly depending on the part of the plant. Betalains were detected only in the fruit of a red cultivar. This study provided novel insights in terms of identification of bioactives and thorough characterization of botanical parts of prickly pears. This information may be used for the development of prickly pear-derived products with high levels of bioactive compounds. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The n-butanolic extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten enhances long-term memory in the passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong Min; Kim, Dong Hyun; Park, Se Jin; Park, Dong Hyun; Jung, Seo Yun; Kim, Hyoung Ja; Lee, Yong Sup; Jin, Changbae; Ryu, Jong Hoon

    2010-08-16

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten Makino (Cactaceae) is used to treat burns, edema, dyspepsia, and asthma in traditional medicine. The present study investigated the beneficial effects of the n-butanolic extract of O. ficus-indica var. saboten (BOF) on memory performance in mice and attempts to uncover the mechanisms underlying its action. Memory performance was assessed with the passive avoidance task, and western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to measure changes in protein expression and cell survival. After the oral administration of BOF for 7 days, the latency time in the passive avoidance task was significantly increased relative to vehicle-treated controls (P<0.05). Western blotting revealed that the expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), phosphorylated cAMP response element binding-protein (pCREB), and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) 1/2 were significantly increased in hippocampal tissue after 7 days of BOF administration (P<0.05). Doublecortin and 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining also revealed that BOF significantly enhanced the survival of immature neurons, but did not affect neuronal cell proliferation in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These results suggest that the subchronic administration of BOF enhances long-term memory, and that this effect is partially mediated by ERK-CREB-BDNF signaling and the survival of immature neurons. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. A Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Litramine IQP-G-002AS, an Opuntia ficus-indica Derived Fiber for Weight Management

    PubMed Central

    Gruenwald, Joerg; Uebelhack, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Sedentary lifestyle and caloric overconsumption are the key determinants of the escalating obesity prevalence. Reducing dietary fat absorption may help to induce a negative energy balance and thus help in managing weight problem. Apart from approved drug therapies, weight problems may also be aided with alternative and natural treatments. This paper compiled and reviewed the efficacy and safety of Litramine IQP-G-002AS, an Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) derived fiber, in reducing dietary fat absorption and promoting weight loss. Evidence reviewed shows that Litramine IQP-G-002AS displays efficacy in promoting fat excretion and weight loss in four randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies (including an unpublished pilot study). With a daily dosage of 3 g over a seven-day period, Litramine IQP-G-002AS showed an increased faecal fat excretion compared with placebo (15.8% (SD 5.8%) versus 4.6% (SD 3.1%); P < 0.001). In a 12-week study, significant greater weight loss (3.8 kg (SD 1.8 kg) versus 1.4 kg (SD 2.6 kg); P < 0.001) was observed in overweight and obese subjects treated with Litramine IQP-G-002AS as compared to placebo. No relevant gastrointestinal side effects have been reported for Litramine IQP-G-002AS at the dosages studied. PMID:25254061

  14. Exploitation of Leuconostoc mesenteroides strains to improve shelf life, rheological, sensory and functional features of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) fruit puree.

    PubMed

    Di Cagno, Raffaella; Filannino, Pasquale; Vincentini, Olimpia; Lanera, Alessia; Cavoski, Ivana; Gobbetti, Marco

    2016-10-01

    Strains of Leuconostoc mesenteroides were identified from raw prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.). Five autochthonous strains were selected based on the kinetics of growth and acidification on prickly pear fruit juice, and the capacity to synthesize exo-polysaccharides. All selected Leuc. mesenteroides strains showed an in vitro mucilage-degrading capability. A protocol for processing and storage of fermented prickly pear fruit puree (FP) was set up. Unstarted FP and chemically acidified FP were used as the controls. Starters grew and remained viable at elevated cell numbers during 21 days of storage at 4 °C. Contaminating Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts were found only in the controls. Viscosity and serum separation distinguished started FP compared to the controls. Colour parameters, browning index, sensory attributes, antimicrobial activity, vitamin C and betalains levels were positively affected by lactic acid fermentation. Increase of free radical scavenging activity in ethyl acetate soluble extract suggested an effect of selected strains on phenolic profiles. Started FP markedly inhibited the inflammatory status of Caco-2/TC7 cells, and also contributed to maintaining the integrity of tight junctions. Started FP scavenged the reactive oxygen species generated by H2O2 on Caco-2 cells. All selected strain variously affected the immunomodulatory activity towards anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Reversing gastric mucosal alterations during ethanol-induced chronic gastritis in rats by oral administration of Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Ramírez, Ricardo; Olguín-Martínez, Marisela; Kubli-Garfias, Carlos; Hernández-Muñoz, Rolando

    2006-01-01

    AIM: To study the effect of mucilage obtained from cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) on the healing of ethanol-induced gastritis in rats. METHODS: Chronic gastric mucosa injury was treated with mucilage (5 mg/kg per day) after it was induced by ethanol. Lipid composition, activity of 5’-nucleotidase (a membrane-associated ectoenzyme) and cytosolic activities of lactate and alcohol dehydrogenases in the plasma membrane of gastric mucosa were determined. Histological studies of gastric samples from the experimental groups were included. RESULTS: Ethanol elicited the histological profile of gastritis characterized by loss of the surface epithelium and infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) decreased and cholesterol content increased in plasma membranes of the gastric mucosa. In addition, cytosolic activity increased while the activity of alcohol dehydrogenases decreased. The administration of mucilage promptly corrected these enzymatic changes. In fact, mucilage readily accelerated restoration of the ethanol-induced histological alterations and the disturbances in plasma membranes of gastric mucosa, showing a univocal anti-inflammatory effect. The activity of 5’-nucleotidase correlated with the changes in lipid composition and the fluidity of gastric mucosal plasma membranes. CONCLUSION: The beneficial action of mucilage seems correlated with stabilization of plasma membranes of damaged gastric mucosa. Molecular interactions between mucilage monosaccharides and membrane phospholipids, mainly PC and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), may be the relevant features responsible for changing activities of membrane-attached proteins during the healing process after chronic gastric mucosal damage. PMID:16865772

  16. Compositional and structural changes in Phoenix canariensis and Opuntia ficus-indica with pretreatment: Effects on enzymatic hydrolysis and second generation ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Udeh, Benard Anayo; Erkurt, Emrah Ahmet

    2017-01-01

    Two different plants namely Phoenix canariensis and Opuntia ficus-indica were used as substrate for reducing sugar generation and ethanol production. Dilute acid, alkaline and steam explosion were used as pretreatment methods in order to depolymerize lignin and/or hemicellulose and recover cellulose. By using alkaline pretreatment with 2.5% NaOH 71.08% for P. canariensis and 74.61% for O. ficus-indica lignin removal and 81.84% for P. canariensis and 72.66% for O. ficus-indica cellulose recovery yields were obtained. Pretreated materials were hydrolyzed by cellulase with high efficiency (87.0% and 84.5% cellulose conversion yields for P. canariensis and O. ficus-indica) and used as substrate for fermentation. Maximum ethanol production of 15.75g/L and 14.71g/L were achieved from P. canariensis and O. ficus-indica respectively. Structural differences were observed by XRD, FTIR and SEM for untreated, pretreated, hydrolyzed and fermented samples and were highly correlated with compositional analysis results. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Ultrasonic extraction of pectin from Opuntia ficus indica cladodes after mucilage removal: Optimization of experimental conditions and evaluation of chemical and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Bayar, Nadia; Bouallegue, Tahani; Achour, Mabrouka; Kriaa, Mouna; Bougatef, Ali; Kammoun, Radhouane

    2017-11-15

    Ultrasonic assisted extraction (UAE) of pectin from Opuntia ficus indica (OFI) cladodes after mucilage removal was attempted using the response surface methodology. The process variables were optimized by the isovariant central composite design in order to improve the pectin extraction yield. The optimum condition obtained was: sonication time 70min, temperature 70°C, pH 1.5 and the water-material ratio 30ml/g. This condition was validated and the performance of experimental extraction was 18.14%±1.41%, which was closely linked to the predicted value (19.06%). Thus, UAE present a promising alternative to conventional extraction process thanks to its high efficiency which was achieved in less time and at lower temperatures. The pectin extracted by UAE from OFI cladodes (UAEPC) has a low degree of esterification, high uronic acid content, important functional properties and good anti-radical activity. These results are in favor of the use of UAEPC as potential additive in food industry. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Evaluation of the efficacy of the crude extracts of Capsicum frutescens, Citrus limon and Opuntia vulgaris against Newcastle disease in domestic fowl in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Mtambo, M M; Mushi, E J; Kinabo, L D; Maeda-Machang'u, A; Mwamengele, G L; Yongolo, M G; Temu, R P

    1999-12-15

    Prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy of a combination of Capsicum frutescens (red pepper), Citrus limon (lemon) and Opuntia vulgaris (prickly pear) against Newcastle disease (ND) in domestic fowl were evaluated. Eighty-eight broiler chickens were divided into five groups. Birds from three groups were inoculated with velogenic ND virus strain, whereas birds from two groups were left as controls. Two groups received a mixture of the plant extract three days prior to inoculation and birds from one group were given the plant extract for two days following development of clinical signs. Blood samples were collected for haemaglutination inhibition tests (HI) for detection of ND virus antibodies. Body weights were monitored during the experiment. Three birds died from the group that was inoculated with ND virus and treated with the plant extract; two died from the group that received the plant extract as a prophylaxis and inoculated with ND virus; and one bird died from the group that was inoculated with ND virus but not given the plant extract. No death was observed in any of the birds in the control groups. Antibody titers for ND virus rose four-fold in the inoculated birds but remained low in the un-inoculated groups. Mean body weights of birds in group B declined markedly compared to the other groups. The results indicated that there was no prophylactic or therapeutic value of the plant extract against ND. The plant extract showed a negative effect on body weights in birds with ND.

  19. Genetic diversity and structure of a rare endemic cactus and an assessment of its genetic relationship with a more common congener.

    PubMed

    Rayamajhi, Niraj; Sharma, Jyotsna

    2018-06-01

    Endemic, obligate outcrossing plant species with narrow geographic distributions and disjunct populations are prone to loss of genetic diversity. Simultaneously, delineating clear species boundaries is important for targeted conservation efforts. The rare and endemic cactus, Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii (SBT), has a parapatric relationship with Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. brevihamatus (SBB) but genetic distance between the two taxa is unknown. We: (1) developed taxon-specific polymorphic microsatellites, (2) assessed genetic diversity within and among nine populations of SBT, and within one population of SBB, and (3) estimated the genetic relationship between the two subspecies. Within-population genetic diversity of SBT was moderate to high (mean H o  = 0.37; mean H e  = 0.59). Indirect estimate of inbreeding corrected for null alleles (F is-INEst ) was low for SBT, ranging from 0.03 to 0.14 (mean F is-INEst  = 0.07). Genetic differentiation among populations of SBT was low based on F st (0.08) and AMOVA (Ф PT  = 0.10). Lack of genetic and spatial correlation in SBT populations coupled with the presence of private alleles and bottleneck events in several populations suggests that reproductive isolation is occurring but that sufficient time may not have yet passed to manifest strong differentiation. Cluster analyses segregated the 10 populations into three distinct groups, and separated SBB genotypes clearly. Results suggest that while hybridization between the two subspecies may occur, SBT is clearly differentiated genetically from SBB to retain its current taxonomic status.

  20. Software Engineering Support of the Third Round of Scientific Grand Challenge Investigations: An Earth Modeling System Software Framework Strawman Design that Integrates Cactus and UCLA/UCB Distributed Data Broker

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Talbot, Bryan; Zhou, Shu-Jia; Higgins, Glenn

    2002-01-01

    One of the most significant challenges in large-scale climate modeling, as well as in high-performance computing in other scientific fields, is that of effectively integrating many software models from multiple contributors. A software framework facilitates the integration task. both in the development and runtime stages of the simulation. Effective software frameworks reduce the programming burden for the investigators, freeing them to focus more on the science and less on the parallel communication implementation, while maintaining high performance across numerous supercomputer and workstation architectures. This document proposes a strawman framework design for the climate community based on the integration of Cactus, from the relativistic physics community, and UCLA/UCB Distributed Data Broker (DDB) from the climate community. This design is the result of an extensive survey of climate models and frameworks in the climate community as well as frameworks from many other scientific communities. The design addresses fundamental development and runtime needs using Cactus, a framework with interfaces for FORTRAN and C-based languages, and high-performance model communication needs using DDB. This document also specifically explores object-oriented design issues in the context of climate modeling as well as climate modeling issues in terms of object-oriented design.

  1. Supercritical SC-CO(2) and Soxhlet n-Hexane Extract of Tunisian Opuntia ficus indica Seeds and Fatty Acids Analysis.

    PubMed

    Yeddes, Nizar; Chérif, Jamila Kalthoum; Jrad, Amel; Barth, Danielle; Trabelsi-Ayadi, Malika

    2012-01-01

    The fatty acids profiles of Tunisian Opuntia ficus indica seeds (spiny and thornless form) were investigated. Results of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO(2)) and soxhlet n-hexane extract were compared. Quantitatively, the better yield was obtained through soxhlet n-hexane: 10.32% (spiny) and 8.91% (thornless) against 3.4% (spiny) and 1.94% (thornless) by SC-CO(2) extract (T = 40°C, P = 180 bar, time = 135 mn, CO(2) flow rate = 15 mL·s(-1)). Qualitatively, the main fatty acids components were the same for the two types of extraction. Linoleic acid was the major compound, SC-CO(2): 57.60% (spiny), 59.98% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 57.54% (spiny), 60.66% (thornless), followed by oleic acid, SC-CO(2): 22.31% (spiny), 22.40% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 25.28% (spiny), 20.58% (thornless) and palmitic acid, SC-CO(2): 14.3% (spiny), 12.92% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 11.33% (spiny), 13.08% (thornless). The SC-CO(2) profiles fatty acids showed a richness with other minority compounds such as C(20:1), C(20:2), and C(22).The seeds oil was highly unsaturated (US = 4.44-5.25), and the rising temperatures donot affect the selectivity of fatty acids extract by SC-CO2: US = 4.44 (T = 40°C) and 4.13 (T = 70°C).

  2. Supercritical SC-CO2 and Soxhlet n-Hexane Extract of Tunisian Opuntia ficus indica Seeds and Fatty Acids Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Yeddes, Nizar; Chérif, Jamila Kalthoum; Jrad, Amel; Barth, Danielle; Trabelsi-Ayadi, Malika

    2012-01-01

    The fatty acids profiles of Tunisian Opuntia ficus indica seeds (spiny and thornless form) were investigated. Results of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) and soxhlet n-hexane extract were compared. Quantitatively, the better yield was obtained through soxhlet n-hexane: 10.32% (spiny) and 8.91% (thornless) against 3.4% (spiny) and 1.94% (thornless) by SC-CO2 extract (T = 40°C, P = 180 bar, time = 135 mn, CO2 flow rate = 15 mL·s−1). Qualitatively, the main fatty acids components were the same for the two types of extraction. Linoleic acid was the major compound, SC-CO2: 57.60% (spiny), 59.98% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 57.54% (spiny), 60.66% (thornless), followed by oleic acid, SC-CO2: 22.31% (spiny), 22.40% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 25.28% (spiny), 20.58% (thornless) and palmitic acid, SC-CO2: 14.3% (spiny), 12.92% (thornless), soxhlet n-hexane: 11.33% (spiny), 13.08% (thornless). The SC-CO2 profiles fatty acids showed a richness with other minority compounds such as C20:1, C20:2, and C22.The seeds oil was highly unsaturated (US = 4.44–5.25), and the rising temperatures donot affect the selectivity of fatty acids extract by SC-CO2: US = 4.44 (T = 40°C) and 4.13 (T = 70°C). PMID:22754699

  3. Opuntia ficus-indica seed attenuates hepatic steatosis and promotes M2 macrophage polarization in high-fat diet-fed mice.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jung-Woo; Shin, Jun-Kyu; Koh, Eun-Ji; Ryu, Hyojeong; Kim, Hyoung Ja; Lee, Sun-Mee

    2016-04-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) is a popular edible plant that possesses considerable nutritional value and exhibits diverse biological actions including anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic activities. In this study, we hypothesized that DWJ504, an extract of O ficus-indica seed, would ameliorate hepatic steatosis and inflammation by regulating hepatic de novo lipogenesis and macrophage polarization against experimental nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Mice were fed a normal diet or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks. DWJ504 (250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg) or vehicle (0.5% carboxymethyl cellulose) were orally administered for the last 4 weeks of the 10-week HFD feeding period. DWJ504 treatment remarkably attenuated HFD-induced increases in hepatic lipid content and hepatocellular damage. DWJ504 attenuated increases in sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 and carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein expression and a decrease in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A. Although DWJ504 augmented peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α protein expression, it attenuated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ expression. Moreover, DWJ504 promoted hepatic M2 macrophage polarization as indicated by attenuation of the M1 marker genes and enhancement of M2 marker genes. Finally, DWJ504 attenuated expression of toll-like receptor 4, nuclear factor κB, tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 6, TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon β, and interferon β levels. Our results demonstrate that DWJ504 prevented intrahepatic lipid accumulation, induced M2 macrophage polarization, and suppressed the toll-like receptor 4-mediated inflammatory signaling pathway. Thus, DWJ504 has therapeutic potential in the prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Hypoglycemic Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten Is Due to Enhanced Peripheral Glucose Uptake through Activation of AMPK/p38 MAPK Pathway.

    PubMed

    Leem, Kang-Hyun; Kim, Myung-Gyou; Hahm, Young-Tae; Kim, Hye Kyung

    2016-12-09

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten (OFS) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat several illnesses, including diabetes. However, detailed mechanisms underlying hypoglycemic effects remain unclear. In this study, the mechanism underlying the hypoglycemic activity of OFS was evaluated using in vitro and in vivo systems. OFS treatment inhibited α-glucosidase activity and intestinal glucose absorption assessed by Na⁺-dependent glucose uptake using brush border membrane vesicles. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is widely recognized as an important regulator of glucose transport in skeletal muscle, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) has been proposed to be a component of AMPK-mediated signaling. In the present study, OFS dose-dependently increased glucose uptake in L6 muscle cells. The AMPK and p38 MAPK phosphorylations were stimulated by OFS, and inhibitors of AMPK (compound C ) and p38 MAPK (SB203580) abolished the effects of OFS. Furthermore, OFS increased glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation to the plasma membrane. OFS administration (1 g/kg and 2 g/kg body weight) in db/db mice dose-dependently ameliorated hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose tolerance. Insulin resistance assessed by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index were also dose-dependently improved with OFS treatment. OFS administration improved pancreatic function through increased β-cell mass in db/db mice. These findings suggest that OFS acts by inhibiting glucose absorption from the intestine and enhancing glucose uptake from insulin-sensitive muscle cells through the AMPK/p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

  5. Hypoglycemic Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten Is Due to Enhanced Peripheral Glucose Uptake through Activation of AMPK/p38 MAPK Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Leem, Kang-Hyun; Kim, Myung-Gyou; Hahm, Young-Tae; Kim, Hye Kyung

    2016-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten (OFS) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat several illnesses, including diabetes. However, detailed mechanisms underlying hypoglycemic effects remain unclear. In this study, the mechanism underlying the hypoglycemic activity of OFS was evaluated using in vitro and in vivo systems. OFS treatment inhibited α-glucosidase activity and intestinal glucose absorption assessed by Na+-dependent glucose uptake using brush border membrane vesicles. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is widely recognized as an important regulator of glucose transport in skeletal muscle, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) has been proposed to be a component of AMPK-mediated signaling. In the present study, OFS dose-dependently increased glucose uptake in L6 muscle cells. The AMPK and p38 MAPK phosphorylations were stimulated by OFS, and inhibitors of AMPK (compound C) and p38 MAPK (SB203580) abolished the effects of OFS. Furthermore, OFS increased glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation to the plasma membrane. OFS administration (1 g/kg and 2 g/kg body weight) in db/db mice dose-dependently ameliorated hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose tolerance. Insulin resistance assessed by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index were also dose-dependently improved with OFS treatment. OFS administration improved pancreatic function through increased β-cell mass in db/db mice. These findings suggest that OFS acts by inhibiting glucose absorption from the intestine and enhancing glucose uptake from insulin-sensitive muscle cells through the AMPK/p38 MAPK signaling pathway. PMID:27941667

  6. Effect of three pretreatment techniques on the chemical composition and on the methane yields of Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) biomass.

    PubMed

    Calabrò, P S; Catalán, E; Folino, A; Sánchez, A; Komilis, D

    2018-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) is an emerging biomass that has the potential to be used as substrate in anaerobic digestion. The goal of this work was to investigate the effect of three pretreatment techniques (thermal, alkaline, acidic) on the chemical composition and the methane yield of OFI biomass. A composite experimental design with three factors and two to three levels was implemented, and regression modelling was employed using a total of 10 biochemical methane potential (BMP) tests. The measured methane yields ranged from 289 to 604 NmL/gVS added ; according to the results, only the acidic pretreatment (HCl) was found to significantly increase methane generation. However, as the experimental values were quite high with regards to the theoretical methane yield of the substrate, this effect still needs to be confirmed via further research. The alkaline pretreatment (NaOH) did not noticeably affect methane yields (an average reduction of 8% was recorded), despite the fact that it did significantly reduce the lignin content. Thermal pretreatment had no effect on the methane yields or the chemical composition. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed changes in the chemical structure after the addition of NaOH and HCl. Modelling of the cumulated methane production by the Gompertz modified equation was successful and aided in understanding kinetic advantages linked to some of the pretreatments. For example, the alkaline treatment (at the 20% dosage) at room temperature resulted to a μ max (maximum specific methane production rate [NmLCH 4 /(gVS added ·d)]) equal to 36.3 against 18.6 for the control.

  7. Immunostimulatory Activity of Opuntia ficus-indica var. Saboten Cladodes Fermented by Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus subtilis in RAW 264.7 Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Joon-Ho; Lim, Sang-Bin

    2017-02-01

    To increase the functionality of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten cladodes, it was fermented by Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus subtilis. Eighty percent methanol extracts were investigated for their effects on nitric oxide (NO) production, cytokine secretion, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in RAW 264.7 cells. Methanol extracts of L. plantarum culture medium (LPCME) and B. subtilis culture medium (BSCME) did not affect lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NO production but, at 500 μg/mL, increased interferon (IFN)-γ-induced NO production by 55.2 and 66.5 μM, respectively, in RAW 264.7 cells. In RAW 264.7 cells not treated with LPS and IFN-γ, LPCME did not affect NO production, but BSCME increased NO production significantly in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, BSCME induced the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in RAW 264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. BSCME at 500 μg/mL increased TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA levels by 83.8% and 82.2%, respectively. BSCME increased NF-κB-dependent luciferase activity in a dose-dependent manner; 500 μg/mL BSCME increased activity 9.1-fold compared with the control. BSCME induced the phosphorylation of p38, c-JUN NH 2 -terminal protein kinase (JNK), and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in a dose-dependent manner, but did not affect total ERK levels. In conclusion, BSCME exerted immunostimulatory effects, which were mediated by MAPK phosphorylation and NF-κB activation, resulting in increased TNF-α and IL-1β gene expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Therefore, BSCM shows promise for use as an immunostimulatory therapeutic.

  8. Antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi obtained from the arid zone invasive plant Opuntia dillenii and the isolation of equisetin, from endophytic Fusarium sp.

    PubMed

    Ratnaweera, Pamoda B; de Silva, E Dilip; Williams, David E; Andersen, Raymond J

    2015-07-10

    Opuntia dillenii is an invasive plant well established in the harsh South-Eastern arid zone of Sri Lanka. Evidence suggests it is likely that the endophytic fungal populations of O. dillenii assist the host in overcoming biotic and abiotic stress by producing biologically active metabolites. With this in mind there is potential to discover novel natural products with useful biological activities from this hitherto poorly investigated source. Consequently, an investigation of the antimicrobial activities of the endophytes of O. dillenii, that occupies a unique ecological niche, may well provide useful leads in the discovery of new pharmaceuticals. Endophytic fungi were isolated from the surface sterilized cladodes and flowers of O. dillenii using several nutrient media and the antimicrobial activities were evaluated against three Gram-positive and two Gram-negative bacteria and Candida albicans. The two most bioactive fungi were identified by colony morphology and DNA sequencing. The secondary metabolite of the endophyte Fusarium sp. exhibiting the best activity was isolated via bioassay guided chromatography. The chemical structure was elucidated from the ESIMS and NMR spectroscopic data obtained for the active metabolite. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the active compound were determined. Eight endophytic fungi were isolated from O. dillenii and all except one showed antibacterial activities against at least one of the test bacteria. All extracts were inactive against C. albicans. The most bioactive fungus was identified as Fusarium sp. and the second most active as Aspergillus niger. The structure of the major antibacterial compound of the Fusarium sp. was shown to be the tetramic acid derivative, equisetin. The MIC's for equisetin were 8 μg mL(-1) against Bacillus subtilis, 16 μg mL(-1) against Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). O. dillenii, harbors several endophytic fungi capable of producing

  9. Changes in physiological and some nutritional, nutraceuticals, chemical-physical, microbiological and sensory quality of minimally processed cactus pears cvs 'Bianca', 'Gialla' and 'Rossa' stored under passive modified atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Palma, Amedeo; Continella, Alberto; La Malfa, Stefano; D'Aquino, Salvatore

    2018-03-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the overall quality changes of minimally processed cactus pears cvs 'Bianca', Gialla' and 'Rossa' stored at 4 °C for 10 days. Periodically in-package CO 2 , O 2 and C 2 H 4 were determined and fruit were assessed for overall quality changes (pH, acidity, sugars, phenolics, betacyanins and betaxanthines, antioxidant capacity, colour, firmness, microbiological population and sensory attributes). In a preliminary study three different polymeric films were tested to select the most suitable to design a package with a short lag time to achieve steady-state conditions. Results showed marked differences between measured in-package CO 2 and O 2 values and those calculated based on respiration of peeled fruit and film permeance to CO 2 and O 2 provided by manufactures. The sensory evaluation of packed fruit indicated in film BBT-Bolphane, which created a steady-state in-package partial pressure for CO 2 of 4.3-4.8 kPa and for O 2 of 4.8-5.5 kPa, as the best film. Results of in-package gas composition with the three cultivars were similar to those achieved in cv. 'Gialla' with the preliminary test. All measured qualitative parameters changed slightly over the storage period for all cultivars and followed the same trend, despite significant differences existing among cultivars. This study clearly showed a similar physiological behavior of minimally processed 'Bianca', 'Gialla' and 'Rossa' cactus pears. Storage conditions optimal for one cultivar fit well for the others; thus mixing fruit of different cultivars in a package designed for one specific cultivar does not lead to relevant deviation from expected results. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  10. Protective effect of cactus cladode extract against cisplatin induced oxidative stress, genotoxicity and apoptosis in balb/c mice: combination with phytochemical composition

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cis-Platinum (II) (cis-diammine dichloroplatinum; CDDP) is a potent antitumor compound widely used for the treatment of many malignancies. An important side-effect of CDDP is nephrotoxicity. The cytotoxic action of this drug is often thought to induce oxidative stress and be associated with its ability to bind DNA to form CDDP–DNA adducts and apoptosis in kidney cells. In this study, the protective effect of cactus cladode extract (CCE) against CDDP-induced oxidative stress and genotoxicity were investigated in mice. We also looked for levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, chromosome aberrations (CA) test, SOS Chromotest, expressions of p53, bax and bcl2 in kidney and we also analyzed several parameters of renal function markers toxicity such as serum biochemical analysis. Methods Adult, healthy balb/c (20–25 g) male mice aged of 4–5 weeks were pre-treated by intraperitonial administration of CCE (50 mg/Kg.b.w) for 2 weeks. Control animals were treated 3 days a week for 4 weeks by intraperitonial administration of 100 μg/Kg.b.w CDDP. Animals which treated by CDDP and CCE were divided into two groups: the first group was administrated CCE 2 hours before each treatment with CDDP 3 days a week for 4 weeks. The second group was administrated without pre-treatment with CCE but this extract was administrated 24 hours after each treatment with CDDP 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Results Our results showed that CDDP induced significant alterations in all tested oxidative stress markers. In addition it induced CA in bone morrow cells, increased the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins p53 and bax and decreased the expression of anti-apoptotic protein bcl2 in kidney. On the other hand, CDDP significantly increased the levels of urea and creatinine and decreased the levels of albumin and total protein.The treatment of CCE before or after treatment with CDDP showed, (i) a total reduction

  11. Cactus: An Introduction to Regression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2008-01-01

    When the author first used "VisiCalc," the author thought it a very useful tool when he had the formulas. But how could he design a spreadsheet if there was no known formula for the quantities he was trying to predict? A few months later, the author relates he learned to use multiple linear regression software and suddenly it all clicked into…

  12. Hanseniaspora opuntiae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Acetobacter pasteurianus predominate during well-performed Malaysian cocoa bean box fermentations, underlining the importance of these microbial species for a successful cocoa bean fermentation process.

    PubMed

    Papalexandratou, Zoi; Lefeber, Timothy; Bahrim, Bakhtiar; Lee, Ong Seng; Daniel, Heide-Marie; De Vuyst, Luc

    2013-09-01

    Two spontaneous Malaysian cocoa bean box fermentations (one farm, two plantation plots) were investigated. Physical parameters, microbial community dynamics, yeast and bacterial species diversity [mainly lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and acetic acid bacteria (AAB)], and metabolite kinetics were monitored, and chocolates were produced from the respective fermented dry cocoa beans. Similar microbial growth and metabolite profiles were obtained for the two fermentations. Low concentrations of citric acid were found in the fresh pulp, revealing low acidity of the raw material. The main end-products of the catabolism of the pulp substrates glucose, fructose, and citric acid by yeasts, LAB, and AAB were ethanol, lactic acid, acetic acid, and/or mannitol. Hanseniaspora opuntiae, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Acetobacter pasteurianus were the prevalent species of the two fermentations. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus, and Acetobacter ghanensis were also found during the mid-phase of the fermentation processes. Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides and Acetobacter senegalensis were among the prevailing species during the initial phase of the fermentations. Tatumella saanichensis and Enterobacter sp. were present in the beginning of the fermentations and they could be responsible for the degradation of citric acid and/or the production of gluconic acid and lactic acid, respectively. The presence of facultative heterofermentative LAB during the fermentations caused a high production of lactic acid. Finally, as these fermentations were carried out with high-quality raw material and were characterised by a restricted microbial species diversity, resulting in successfully fermented dry cocoa beans and good chocolates produced thereof, it is likely that the prevailing species H. opuntiae, S. cerevisiae, Lb. fermentum, and A. pasteurianus were responsible for it. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  14. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  15. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  16. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  17. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  18. Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Arid West Region

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

    splendens), mesquite (Prosopis spp.), saguaro cactus ( Carnegiea gigantea ), and cholla and prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.). The cold desert lies...Creosote bush (Larrea divaricata) is commonly associated with the hot desert, along with other xeric shrubs, succulents, cacti , and short grasses. In

  19. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. I. root colonization and weathering of igneous rocks.

    Treesearch

    M.E. Puente; Y. Bashan; C.Y. Li; V.K. Lebsky

    2004-01-01

    Dense layers of bacteria and fungi in the rhizoplane of three species of cactus (Pachycereus pringlei, Stenocereus thurberi, Opuntia cholla) and a wild fig tree (Ficus palmeri) growing in rocks devoid of soil were revealed by bright-field and fluorescence microscopy and field emission...

  20. Geographical range and laboratory studies on Apanteles opuntiarum (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Argentina, a candidate for biological control of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in North America

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a pest that threatens native Opuntia spp. in North America. Control tactics developed and implemented against this invasive pest successfully eradicated the moth in Mexico and on barrier islands in the United States. However,...

  1. UNDERSTANDING THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE GEOGRAPHICAL EXPANSION OF CACTOBLASTIS CACTORUM IN NON-NATIVE HABITATS

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum is renowned for its role as a highly successful biological control agent for weedy Opuntia cactus, but more recently it is notorious as an invasive pest in North America. Interestingly, historical accounts of the geographical expansion of C. cactorum when deployed as a biologi...

  2. Biofilm formation and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella spp. isolated from nopal stems and water and soil samples

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nopal is a native cactus specie [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) MILL (Cactaceae)] of appreciable economic importance in Mexico. This plant or its by-products are typically ingested fresh as a salad or processed into juice or yogurt, but it can also be used as a dietary supplement or be formulated into co...

  3. Characterization of Salmonella spp. from nopal leaves and associated soil and water samples in Morelos, Mexico

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Introduction: Nopal is a native cactus specie [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) MILL (Cactaceae)] of great economic importance in Mexico. It is grown in open fields and subsequently ingested fresh as a salad or processed as a juice or yogurt, but it may also be used as a dietary supplement and/or for cosme...

  4. Stability of some Cactaceae proteins based on fluorescence, circular dichroism, and differential scanning calorimetry measurements.

    PubMed

    Gorinstein, S; Zemser, M; Vargas-Albores, F; Ochoa, J L; Paredes-Lopez, O; Scheler, C; Aksu, S; Salnikow, J

    1999-02-01

    Characterization of three cactus proteins (native and denatured) from Machaerocereus gummosus (Pitahaya agria), Lophocereu schottii (Garambullo), and Cholla opuntia (Cholla), was based on electrophoretic, fluorescence, CD (circular dichroism), DSC (differential scanning calorimetry), and FT-IR (Fourier transform infrared) measurements. The obtained results of intrinsic fluorescence, DSC, and CD were dissimilar for the three species of cactus, providing evidence of differences in secondary and tertiary structures. Cactus proteins may be situated in the following order corresponding to their relative stability: Machaerocereus gummosus (Pitahaya agria) > Cholla opuntia (Cholla) > Lophocereu schottii (Garambullo). Thermodynamic properties of proteins and their changes upon denaturation (temperature of denaturation, enthalphy, and the number of ruptured hydrogen bonds) were correlated with the secondary structure of proteins and disappearance of alpha-helix.

  5. Leaf and stem CO/sub 2/ uptake in the three subfamilies of the Cactaceae. [Pereskia aculeata; Pereskia grandifolia; Maihuenia poeppigii; Carnegiea gigantea; Ferocactus acanthodes; Coryphantha vivipara; Mammillaria dioica; Opuntia ficus-inidica; Pereskiopsis porteri; Quiabentia chacoensis; Austrocylindropuntia subulata

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.; Hartsock, T.L.

    Net CO/sub 2/ uptake over 24-hour periods was examined for the leaves and for the stems of 11 species of cacti representing all three subfamilies. For Pereskia aculeata, Pereskia grandifolia, and Maihuenia poeppigii (subfamily Pereskioideae), all the net shoot CO/sub 2/ uptake was by the leaves and during the daytime. In contrast, for the leafless species Carnegiea gigantea, Ferocactus acanthodes, Coryphantha vivipara, and Mammillaria dioica (subfamily Cactoideae), all the shoot net CO/sub 2/ uptake was by the stems and at night. Similarly, for leafless Opuntia ficus-indica (subfamily Opuntioideae), all net CO/sub 2/ uptake occurred at night. For leafy members ofmore » the Opuntioideae (Pereskiopsis porteri, Quiabentia chacoensis, Austrocylindropuntia subulata), at least 88% of the shoot CO/sub 2/ uptake over 24 hours was by the leaves and some CO/sub 2/ uptake occurred at night. Leaves responded to the instantaneous level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) during the daytime, as occurs for C/sub 3/ plants, whereas nocturnal CO/sub 2/ uptake by stems of O. ficus-indica and F. acanthodes responded to the total daily PAR, as occurs for Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants. Thus, under the well-watered conditions employed, the Pereskioideae behaved as C/sub 3/ plants, the Cactoideae behaved as CAM plants, and the Opuntioideae exhibited characteristics of both pathways.« less

  6. Trace element mobility and transfer to vegetation within the Ethiopian Rift Valley lake areas.

    PubMed

    Kassaye, Yetneberk A; Skipperud, Lindis; Meland, Sondre; Dadebo, Elias; Einset, John; Salbu, Brit

    2012-10-26

    To evaluate critical trace element loads in native vegetation and calculate soil-to-plant transfer factors (TFs), 11 trace elements (Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Pb and Mn) have been determined in leaves of 9 taxonomically verified naturally growing terrestrial plant species as well as in soil samples collected around 3 Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes (Koka, Ziway and Awassa). The Cr concentration in leaves of all the plant species was higher than the "normal" range, with the highest level (8.4 mg per kg dw) being observed in Acacia tortilis from the Lake Koka area. Caper species (Capparis fascicularis) and Ethiopian dogstooth grass (Cynodon aethiopicus) from Koka also contained exceptionally high levels of Cd (1 mg per kg dw) and Mo (32.8 mg per kg dw), respectively. Pb, As and Cu concentrations were low in the plant leaves from all sites. The low Cu level in important fodder plant species (Cynodon aethiopicus, Acacia tortilis and Opuntia ficus-indicus) implies potential deficiency in grazing and browsing animals. Compared to the Canadian environmental quality guideline and maximum allowable concentration in agricultural soils, the total soil trace element concentrations at the studied sites are safe for agricultural crop production. Enrichment factor was high for Zn in soils around Lakes Ziway and Awassa, resulting in moderate to high transfer of Zn to the studied plants. A six step sequential extraction procedure on the soils revealed a relatively high mobility of Cd, Se and Mn. Strong association of most trace elements with the redox sensitive fraction and mineral lattice was also confirmed by partial redundancy analysis. TF (mg per kg dw plants/mg per kg dw soil) values based on the total (TF(total)) and mobile fractions (TF(mobile)) of soil trace element concentrations varied widely among elements and plant species, with the averaged TF(total) and TF(mobile) values ranging from 0.01-2 and 1-60, respectively. Considering the mobile fraction in soils should

  7. Pro-oxidant activity of indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus indica modulates arachidonate metabolism and prostaglandin synthesis through lipid peroxide production in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Allegra, M.; D’Acquisto, F.; Tesoriere, L.; Attanzio, A.; Livrea, M.A.

    2014-01-01

    Macrophages come across active prostaglandin (PG) metabolism during inflammation, shunting early production of pro-inflammatory towards anti-inflammatory mediators terminating the process. This work for the first time provides evidence that a phytochemical may modulate the arachidonate (AA) metabolism in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages, promoting the ultimate formation of anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone 15deoxy-PGJ2. Added 1 h before LPS, indicaxanthin from Opuntia Ficus Indica prevented activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and over-expression of PGE2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1), but up-regulated cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PGD2 synthase (H-PGDS), with final production of the anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone. The effects were positively related with concentration between 50 and 100 µM. Indicaxanthin did not have any effect in the absence of LPS. A kinetic study investigating the redox status of LPS-stimulated macrophages between 0.5 and 12 h, either in the absence or in the presence of 50–100 µM indicaxanthin, revealed a differential control of ROS production, with early (0.5–3 h) modest inhibition, followed by a progressive (3–12 h) concentration-dependent enhancement over the level induced by LPS alone. In addition, indicaxanthin caused early (0.5–3 h) concentration-dependent elevation of conjugated diene lipid hydroperoxides, and production of hydroxynonenal-protein adducts, over the amount induced by LPS. In LPS-stimulated macrophages indicaxanthin did not affect PG metabolism when co-incubated with either an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase or vitamin E. It is concluded that LPS-induced pro-oxidant activity of indicaxanthin at the membrane level allows formation of signaling intermediates whose accumulation modulates PG biosynthetic pathway in inflamed macrophages. PMID:25180166

  8. Changes in Respiratory Mitochondrial Machinery and Cytochrome and Alternative Pathway Activities in Response to Energy Demand Underlie the Acclimation of Respiration to Elevated CO2 in the Invasive Opuntia ficus-indica1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; Blanc-Betes, Elena; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.; Azcon-Bieto, Joaquim

    2007-01-01

    Studies on long-term effects of plants grown at elevated CO2 are scarce and mechanisms of such responses are largely unknown. To gain mechanistic understanding on respiratory acclimation to elevated CO2, the Crassulacean acid metabolism Mediterranean invasive Opuntia ficus-indica Miller was grown at various CO2 concentrations. Respiration rates, maximum activity of cytochrome c oxidase, and active mitochondrial number consistently decreased in plants grown at elevated CO2 during the 9 months of the study when compared to ambient plants. Plant growth at elevated CO2 also reduced cytochrome pathway activity, but increased the activity of the alternative pathway. Despite all these effects seen in plants grown at high CO2, the specific oxygen uptake rate per unit of active mitochondria was the same for plants grown at ambient and elevated CO2. Although decreases in photorespiration activity have been pointed out as a factor contributing to the long-term acclimation of plant respiration to growth at elevated CO2, the homeostatic maintenance of specific respiratory rate per unit of mitochondria in response to high CO2 suggests that photorespiratory activity may play a small role on the long-term acclimation of respiration to elevated CO2. However, despite growth enhancement and as a result of the inhibition in cytochrome pathway activity by elevated CO2, total mitochondrial ATP production was decreased by plant growth at elevated CO2 when compared to ambient-grown plants. Because plant growth at elevated CO2 increased biomass but reduced respiratory machinery, activity, and ATP yields while maintaining O2 consumption rates per unit of mitochondria, we suggest that acclimation to elevated CO2 results from physiological adjustment of respiration to tissue ATP demand, which may not be entirely driven by nitrogen metabolism as previously suggested. PMID:17660349

  9. Pro-oxidant activity of indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus indica modulates arachidonate metabolism and prostaglandin synthesis through lipid peroxide production in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages.

    PubMed

    Allegra, M; D'Acquisto, F; Tesoriere, L; Attanzio, A; Livrea, M A

    2014-01-01

    Macrophages come across active prostaglandin (PG) metabolism during inflammation, shunting early production of pro-inflammatory towards anti-inflammatory mediators terminating the process. This work for the first time provides evidence that a phytochemical may modulate the arachidonate (AA) metabolism in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages, promoting the ultimate formation of anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone 15deoxy-PGJ2. Added 1 h before LPS, indicaxanthin from Opuntia Ficus Indica prevented activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and over-expression of PGE2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1), but up-regulated cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PGD2 synthase (H-PGDS), with final production of the anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone. The effects were positively related with concentration between 50 and 100 µM. Indicaxanthin did not have any effect in the absence of LPS. A kinetic study investigating the redox status of LPS-stimulated macrophages between 0.5 and 12 h, either in the absence or in the presence of 50-100 µM indicaxanthin, revealed a differential control of ROS production, with early (0.5-3 h) modest inhibition, followed by a progressive (3-12 h) concentration-dependent enhancement over the level induced by LPS alone. In addition, indicaxanthin caused early (0.5-3 h) concentration-dependent elevation of conjugated diene lipid hydroperoxides, and production of hydroxynonenal-protein adducts, over the amount induced by LPS. In LPS-stimulated macrophages indicaxanthin did not affect PG metabolism when co-incubated with either an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase or vitamin E. It is concluded that LPS-induced pro-oxidant activity of indicaxanthin at the membrane level allows formation of signaling intermediates whose accumulation modulates PG biosynthetic pathway in inflamed macrophages.

  10. Presence of Multidrug-Resistant Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli, Enteropathogenic E. coli and Enterotoxigenic E. coli, on Raw Nopalitos (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) and in Nopalitos Salads from Local Retail Markets in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Aldapa, Carlos A; Cerna-Cortes, Jorge F; Rangel-Vargas, Esmeralda; Torres-Vitela, Mdel Refugio; Villarruel-López, Angelica; Gutiérrez-Alcántara, Eduardo J; Castro-Rosas, Javier

    2016-05-01

    The presence of multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria in food is a significant public health concern. Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes (DEPs) are foodborne bacteria. In Mexico, DEPs have been associated with diarrheal illness. There is no information about the presence of multidrug-resistant DEPs on fresh vegetables and in cooked vegetable salads in Mexico. "Nopalitos" (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is a Cactacea extensively used as a fresh green vegetable throughout Mexico. The presence of generic E. coli and multidrug-resistant DEPs on raw whole and cut nopalitos and in nopalitos salad samples was determined. One hundred raw whole nopalitos (without prickles) samples, 100 raw nopalitos cut into small square samples, and 100 cooked nopalitos salad samples were collected from markets. Generic E. coli was determined using the most probable number procedures. DEPs were identified using two multiplex polymerase chain reaction procedures. Susceptibility to 16 antibiotics was tested for the isolated DEP strains by standard test. Of the 100 whole nopalitos samples, 100 cut nopalitos samples, and 100 nopalitos salad samples, generic E. coli and DEPs were identified, respectively, in 80% and 10%, 74% and 10%, and 64% and 8%. Eighty-two DEP strains were isolated from positive nopalitos samples. The identified DEPs included Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). All isolated strains exhibited resistance to at least six antibiotics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of multidrug-resistant and antibiotic resistance profiles of STEC, ETEC, and EPEC on raw nopalitos and in nopalitos salads in Mexico.

  11. Starmerella camargoi f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella ilheusensis f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella litoralis f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella opuntiae f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella roubikii f.a., sp. nov. and Starmerella vitae f.a., sp. nov., isolated from flowers and bees, and transfer of related Candida species to the genus Starmerella as new combinations.

    PubMed

    Santos, Ana Raquel O; Leon, Marina P; Barros, Katharina O; Freitas, Larissa F D; Hughes, Alice F S; Morais, Paula B; Lachance, Marc-André; Rosa, Carlos A

    2018-04-01

    Six novel yeast species, Starmerella camargoi f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella ilheusensis f.a., sp. nov., Starmerella litoralis f.a., Starmerella opuntiae f.a., sp. nov., sp. nov., Starmerella roubikii f.a., sp. nov. and Starmerella vitae f.a, sp. nov. are proposed to accommodate 19 isolates recovered from ephemeral flowers or bees in Brazil, Costa Rica and Belize. Sequence analysis of the ITS-5.8S region (when available) and the D1/D2 domains of the large subunit of the rRNA gene showed that the six novel yeasts are phylogenetically related to several species of the Starmerella clade. The type strains are Starmerella camargoi f.a., sp. nov. UFMG-CM-Y595 T (=CBS 14130 T ; Mycobank number MB 822640), Starmerella ilheusensis f.a., sp. nov. UFMG-CM-Y596 T (=CBS CBS14131 T ; MB 822641), Starmerella litoralis f.a., sp. nov. UFMG-CM-Y603 T (=CBS14104 T ; MB 822642), Starmerella opuntiae f.a., sp. nov. UFMG-CM-Y286 T (=CBS 13466 T ; MB 822643), Starmerella roubikii f.a., sp. nov. UWOPS 01-191.1 (=CBS 15148; MB 822645) and Starmerella vitae f.a., sp. nov. UWOPS 00-107.2 (=CBS 15147 T ; MB 822646). In addition, 25 species currently assigned to the genus Candida are reassigned formally to the genus Starmerella.

  12. Quantifying Impacts of Ground Water Withdrawal on Avian Communities in Desert Riparian Woodlands of the Southwestern U.S.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-31

    2 CARGIG = saguaro cactus ( Carnegiea gigantea ); CELRET = (Celtis reticulate); FRAPEN = velvet ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica); OPUNTIA = cholla cacti ...at Rincon Creek (D. Swann, Saguaro National Park, personal communication). We used a GIS to determine which pools of standing water and what...received information and/or logistical support from the following people: D. Swann, N. Kline ( Saguaro National Park), K. Baldwin, D. Carter, J. Fonseca, M

  13. Cactus: The Centres of a Triangle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2009-01-01

    This is the first of two articles which describe how to use "JavaSketchPad" to explore the centres of a triangle. This introductory exercise is suggested in the GSP "Workshop Guide". Students can use "JavaSketchPad Interactive Geometry" (JSP) at home at no cost. They are likely to impress their parents with their enthusiasm for geometry and all…

  14. CACTUS: Calculator and Computer Technology User Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    1998-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students use computer-based spreadsheets to find out how much grain should be added to a chess board when a grain of rice is put on the first square, the amount is doubled for the next square, and the chess board is covered. (ASK)

  15. Plant reproductive allocation predicts herbivore dynamics across spatial and temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tyre, Andrew J; Louda, Svata M

    2006-11-01

    Life-history theory suggests that iteroparous plants should be flexible in their allocation of resources toward growth and reproduction. Such plasticity could have consequences for herbivores that prefer or specialize on vegetative versus reproductive structures. To test this prediction, we studied the response of the cactus bug (Narnia pallidicornis) to meristem allocation by tree cholla cactus (Opuntia imbricata). We evaluated the explanatory power of demographic models that incorporated variation in cactus relative reproductive effort (RRE; the proportion of meristems allocated toward reproduction). Field data provided strong support for a single model that defined herbivore fecundity as a time-varying, increasing function of host RRE. High-RRE plants were predicted to support larger insect populations, and this effect was strongest late in the season. Independent field data provided strong support for these qualitative predictions and suggested that plant allocation effects extend across temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, late-season insect abundance was positively associated with interannual changes in cactus RRE over 3 years. Spatial variation in insect abundance was correlated with variation in RRE among five cactus populations across New Mexico. We conclude that plant allocation can be a critical component of resource quality for insect herbivores and, thus, an important mechanism underlying variation in herbivore abundance across time and space.

  16. [Evaluation of nopal capsules in diabetes mellitus].

    PubMed

    Frati Munari, A C; Vera Lastra, O; Ariza Andraca, C R

    1992-01-01

    To find out if commercial capsules with dried nopal (prickle-pear cactus, Opuntia ficus indica may have a role in the management of diabetes mellitus, three experiments were performed: 30 capsules where given in fasting condition to 10 diabetic subjects and serum glucose was measured through out 3 hours; a control test was performed with 30 placebo capsules. OGTT with previous intake of 30 nopal or placebo capsules was performed in ten healthy individuals. In a crossover and single blinded study 14 diabetic patients withdrew the oral hypoglycemic treatment and received 10 nopal or placebo capsules t.i.d. during one week; serum glucose, cholesterol and tryglycerides levels were measured before and after each one-week period. Five healthy subjects were also studied in the same fashion. Opuntia capsules did not show acute hypoglycemic effect and did not influence OGTT. In diabetic patients serum glucose, cholesterol and tryglycerides levels did not change with Opuntia, but they increased with placebo (P < 0.01 glucose and cholesterol, P = NS triglycerides). In healthy individuals glycemia did not change with nopal, while cholesterol and triglycerides decreased (P < 0.01 vs. placebo). The intake of 30 Opuntia capsules daily in patients with diabetes mellitus had a discrete beneficial effect on glucose and cholesterol. However this dose is unpractical and at present it is not recommended in the management of diabetes mellitus.

  17. Candida coquimbonensis sp. nov., a link between Australian and Nearctic/Neotropical Phaffomyces.

    PubMed

    Cardinali, Gianluigi; Antonielli, Livio; Corte, Laura; Roscini, Luca; Ganter, Philip F

    2012-12-01

    A novel species of ascomycetous yeast, Candida coquimbonensis sp. nov., from the necrotic tissue of cacti in Chile and Australia is described. C. coquimbonensis sp. nov. is closely related and phenotypically similar to Phaffomyces opuntiae. There is no overlap in the geographical distribution between C. coquimbonensis and any species in the Phaffomyces clade. However, this is the first member of the clade to be collected in both native (Chile) and non-native (Australia) cactus habitats. The type strain of C. coquimbonensis sp. nov. is TSU 00-206.4B(T) ( = CBS 12348(T) = USCFST 12-103(T)).

  18. Descriptions of therapeutic arthrocenthesis and of synovial fluid in a Nahuatl text from prehispanic Mexico.

    PubMed Central

    Alarcon-Segovia, D

    1980-01-01

    Paracelsus is considered to have been the first to record the viscid quality of the synovial fluid. However, his contemporary Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscan friar who came to Mexico shortly after the Spanish conquest, obtained from elderly Aztec Indians who spoke only Nahuatl the descriptions of therapeutic arthrocentesis and of the viscid nature of the synovial fluid. They compared the fluid from the knee joint to the viscid fluid from the leaves of the nopal cactus (Opuntia sp.). We here record their description and confirm the accuracy of their comparison. Images PMID:7416821

  19. Descriptions of therapeutic arthrocenthesis and of synovial fluid in a Nahuatl text from prehispanic Mexico.

    PubMed

    Alarcon-Segovia, D

    1980-06-01

    Paracelsus is considered to have been the first to record the viscid quality of the synovial fluid. However, his contemporary Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscan friar who came to Mexico shortly after the Spanish conquest, obtained from elderly Aztec Indians who spoke only Nahuatl the descriptions of therapeutic arthrocentesis and of the viscid nature of the synovial fluid. They compared the fluid from the knee joint to the viscid fluid from the leaves of the nopal cactus (Opuntia sp.). We here record their description and confirm the accuracy of their comparison.

  20. Seasonal Effects on the Population, Morphology and Reproductive Behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae)

    PubMed Central

    Cirino, Lauren A.; Miller, Christine W.

    2017-01-01

    Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata. This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead to unripe green fruit in June that ripen into red fruit through December. Many morphological and behavioral characteristics of N. femorata are known to be affected by cactus phenology in a controlled laboratory setting, including the degree of sexual dimorphism and mating behavior. Our goal with this study was to determine if similar phenotypic changes of N. femorata occurred over time in the wild, and the extent to which these changes were concordant with phenological changes in its host plant. Further, we investigate the length of the insect mouthparts (beak) over time. Ongoing work has suggested that beak length may change across cohorts of developing insects in response to feeding deep within cactus fruit where seed and pulp depth decrease as the fruit ripens. Our results revealed a drop in cactus fruit abundance between the months of July through October 2015 as cactus fruits turned red and ripened. Simultaneously, the average body size of both males and females of N. femorata declined at two sampled sites. Male hind femora (a sexually-selected weapon) decreased disproportionately in size over time so that males later in the year had relatively smaller hind femora for their body size. The sex-specific patterns of morphological change led to increased sexual-size dimorphism and decreased sexual dimorphism for hind femora later in the year. Further, we found that beak length decreased across cohorts of insects as cactus fruit ripened, suggesting phenotypic plasticity in mouthpart length. Behavioral studies revealed that female readiness to mate increased as the season progressed. In sum, we found pronounced changes in the phenotypes of these insects in the field. Although this study is far from

  1. Seasonal Effects on the Population, Morphology and Reproductive Behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae).

    PubMed

    Cirino, Lauren A; Miller, Christine W

    2017-01-17

    Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata . This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead to unripe green fruit in June that ripen into red fruit through December. Many morphological and behavioral characteristics of N. femorata are known to be affected by cactus phenology in a controlled laboratory setting, including the degree of sexual dimorphism and mating behavior. Our goal with this study was to determine if similar phenotypic changes of N. femorata occurred over time in the wild, and the extent to which these changes were concordant with phenological changes in its host plant. Further, we investigate the length of the insect mouthparts (beak) over time. Ongoing work has suggested that beak length may change across cohorts of developing insects in response to feeding deep within cactus fruit where seed and pulp depth decrease as the fruit ripens. Our results revealed a drop in cactus fruit abundance between the months of July through October 2015 as cactus fruits turned red and ripened. Simultaneously, the average body size of both males and females of N. femorata declined at two sampled sites. Male hind femora (a sexually-selected weapon) decreased disproportionately in size over time so that males later in the year had relatively smaller hind femora for their body size. The sex-specific patterns of morphological change led to increased sexual-size dimorphism and decreased sexual dimorphism for hind femora later in the year. Further, we found that beak length decreased across cohorts of insects as cactus fruit ripened, suggesting phenotypic plasticity in mouthpart length. Behavioral studies revealed that female readiness to mate increased as the season progressed. In sum, we found pronounced changes in the phenotypes of these insects in the field. Although this study is far from

  2. CACTUS (Calculator and Computer Technology User Service): Some Easter Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2007-01-01

    In the Western Gregorian Calendar, the date of Easter Sunday is defined as the Sunday following the ecclesiastical Full Moon that falls on or next after March 21. While the pattern of dates so defined usually repeats each 19 years, there is a 0.08 day difference between the cycles. More accurately, the system has a period of 70 499 183 lunations…

  3. 75 FR 41073 - South American Cactus Moth Regulations; Quarantined Areas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-15

    ...) that is indigenous to Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is a serious quarantine... notice to the owner, person in possession, or person responsible for the management of the land to be...

  4. Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose saguaro or giant cactus

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer

    2008-01-01

    Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose - has the northernmost distribution of any of the large, columnar cacti of the tropical and subtropical Americas. Formerly regarded as a member of the genus Cereus, it is now considered the single species of its own genus, Carnegiea. It is a principal indicator species of the Sonoran Desert and is found at...

  5. High proportion of cactus species threatened with extinction.

    PubMed

    Goettsch, Bárbara; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Cruz-Piñón, Gabriela; Duffy, James P; Frances, Anne; Hernández, Héctor M; Inger, Richard; Pollock, Caroline; Schipper, Jan; Superina, Mariella; Taylor, Nigel P; Tognelli, Marcelo; Abba, Agustín M; Arias, Salvador; Arreola-Nava, Hilda J; Baker, Marc A; Bárcenas, Rolando T; Barrios, Duniel; Braun, Pierre; Butterworth, Charles A; Búrquez, Alberto; Caceres, Fátima; Chazaro-Basañez, Miguel; Corral-Díaz, Rafael; Del Valle Perea, Mario; Demaio, Pablo H; Duarte de Barros, Williams A; Durán, Rafael; Yancas, Luis Faúndez; Felger, Richard S; Fitz-Maurice, Betty; Fitz-Maurice, Walter A; Gann, George; Gómez-Hinostrosa, Carlos; Gonzales-Torres, Luis R; Patrick Griffith, M; Guerrero, Pablo C; Hammel, Barry; Heil, Kenneth D; Hernández-Oria, José Guadalupe; Hoffmann, Michael; Ishihara, Mario Ishiki; Kiesling, Roberto; Larocca, João; León-de la Luz, José Luis; Loaiza S, Christian R; Lowry, Martin; Machado, Marlon C; Majure, Lucas C; Ávalos, José Guadalupe Martínez; Martorell, Carlos; Maschinski, Joyce; Méndez, Eduardo; Mittermeier, Russell A; Nassar, Jafet M; Negrón-Ortiz, Vivian; Oakley, Luis J; Ortega-Baes, Pablo; Ferreira, Ana Beatriz Pin; Pinkava, Donald J; Porter, J Mark; Puente-Martinez, Raul; Gamarra, José Roque; Pérez, Patricio Saldivia; Martínez, Emiliano Sánchez; Smith, Martin; Manuel Sotomayor M Del C, J; Stuart, Simon N; Muñoz, José Luis Tapia; Terrazas, Teresa; Terry, Martin; Trevisson, Marcelo; Valverde, Teresa; Van Devender, Thomas R; Véliz-Pérez, Mario Esteban; Walter, Helmut E; Wyatt, Sarah A; Zappi, Daniela; Alejandro Zavala-Hurtado, J; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-10-05

    A high proportion of plant species is predicted to be threatened with extinction in the near future. However, the threat status of only a small number has been evaluated compared with key animal groups, rendering the magnitude and nature of the risks plants face unclear. Here we report the results of a global species assessment for the largest plant taxon evaluated to date under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria, the iconic Cactaceae (cacti). We show that cacti are among the most threatened taxonomic groups assessed to date, with 31% of the 1,478 evaluated species threatened, demonstrating the high anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity in arid lands. The distribution of threatened species and the predominant threatening processes and drivers are different to those described for other taxa. The most significant threat processes comprise land conversion to agriculture and aquaculture, collection as biological resources, and residential and commercial development. The dominant drivers of extinction risk are the unscrupulous collection of live plants and seeds for horticultural trade and private ornamental collections, smallholder livestock ranching and smallholder annual agriculture. Our findings demonstrate that global species assessments are readily achievable for major groups of plants with relatively moderate resources, and highlight different conservation priorities and actions to those derived from species assessments of key animal groups.

  6. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  7. Equivalency of Galápagos giant tortoises used as ecological replacement species to restore ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Gibbs, James P; Cayot, Linda J; Tapia, Washington

    2013-08-01

    Loss of key plant-animal interactions (e.g., disturbance, seed dispersal, and herbivory) due to extinctions of large herbivores has diminished ecosystem functioning nearly worldwide. Mitigating for the ecological consequences of large herbivore losses through the use of ecological replacements to fill extinct species' niches and thereby replicate missing ecological functions has been proposed. It is unknown how different morphologically and ecologically a replacement can be from the extinct species and still provide similar functions. We studied niche equivalency between 2 phenotypes of Galápagos giant tortoises (domed and saddlebacked) that were translocated to Pinta Island in the Galápagos Archipelago as ecological replacements for the extinct saddlebacked giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Thirty-nine adult, nonreproductive tortoises were introduced to Pinta Island in May 2010, and we observed tortoise resource use in relation to phenotype during the first year following release. Domed tortoises settled in higher, moister elevations than saddlebacked tortoises, which favored lower elevation arid zones. The areas where the tortoises settled are consistent with the ecological conditions each phenotype occupies in its native range. Saddlebacked tortoises selected areas with high densities of the arboreal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia galapageia) and mostly foraged on the cactus, which likely relied on the extinct saddlebacked Pinta tortoise for seed dispersal. In contrast, domed tortoises did not select areas with cactus and therefore would not provide the same seed-dispersal functions for the cactus as the introduced or the original, now extinct, saddlebacked tortoises. Interchangeability of extant megaherbivores as replacements for extinct forms therefore should be scrutinized given the lack of equivalency we observed in closely related forms of giant tortoises. Our results also demonstrate the value of trial introductions of sterilized individuals to test

  8. Potent virucidal effect of pheophorbide a and pyropheophorbide a on enveloped viruses.

    PubMed

    Bouslama, Lamjed; Hayashi, Kyoko; Lee, Jung-Bum; Ghorbel, Abdelwahed; Hayashi, Toshimitsu

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of ethanol and aqueous extracts from a stem of Opuntia ficus indica on replication of three kinds of viruses: two enveloped viruses [herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), influenza A virus (IFV-A)], and one non-enveloped virus [poliovirus type 1 (PV-1)]. Only ethanol extract from the cactus stem showed significant antiviral activity in vitro. Two chlorophyll derivatives, pheophorbide a and pyropheophorbide a, were isolated as active substances exhibiting potent virucidal effects on HSV-2 and IFV-A, but no activity against PV-1 was observed. These findings suggest that these active compounds might recognize specific glycoproteins of enveloped viruses, precluding their binding to host cell receptors and inhibiting viral infections.

  9. An ants-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Lanan, M. C.; Bronstein, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar-secreting plants (EFN plants) is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the extrafloral nectar-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5000m2, and workers visit between five and thirty-four extrafloral nectar-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to twenty nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms PMID:23515612

  10. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  11. Determination of free amino compounds in betalainic fruits and vegetables by gas chromatography with flame ionization and mass spectrometric detection.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Florian; Graneis, Stephan; Schreiter, Pat P-Y; Stintzing, Florian C; Carle, Reinhold

    2006-06-14

    Amino acids and amines are the precursors of betalains. Therefore, the profiles of free amino compounds in juices obtained from cactus pears [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. cv. Bianca, cv. Gialla, and cv. Rossa], pitaya fruits [Selenicereus megalanthus (K. Schumann ex Vaupel) Moran, Hylocereus polyrhizus (Weber) Britton & Rose, and Hylocereus undatus (Haworth) Britton & Rose], and in extracts from differently colored Swiss chard [Beta vulgaris L. ssp. cicla (L.) Alef. cv. Bright Lights] petioles and red and yellow beets (B. vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. conditiva Alef. cv. Burpee's Golden) were investigated for the first time. Amino compounds were derivatized with propyl chloroformate. While gas chromatography (GC) with mass spectrometry was used for peak assignment, GC flame ionization detection was applied for quantification of individual compounds. Whereas proline was the major free amino compound of cactus pear and pitaya fruit juices, glutamine dominated in Swiss chard stems and beets, respectively. Interestingly, extremely high concentrations of dopamine were detected in Swiss chard stems and beets. Furthermore, the cleavage of betaxanthins caused by derivatization in alkaline reaction solutions is demonstrated for the first time. Amino acids and amines thus released might increase the actual free amino compound contents of the respective sample. To evaluate the contribution of betaxanthin cleavage to total amino acid and amine concentration, isolated betaxanthins were derivatized according to the "EZ:faast" method prior to quantification of the respective amino compounds released. On a molar basis, betaxanthin contribution to overall amino compound contents was always below 6.4%.

  12. Citizen Science and Open Data: a Model for Invasive Alien Plant Species in Kenya's Northern Rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amirazodi, S.; Griffin, R.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Ouko, E.; Omondi, S.; Mugo, R. M.; Farah, H.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Adams, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    Invasive species in African savannas pose great threat to the native biodiversity and changes ecosystem functioning. In the forest sector, for instance Acacia species are important sources of fuel-wood, yet at the same time they have increased strain on water resources and shrunken forage spaces for both livestock and wildlife. In recently infested regions, invasive species can progress through the stages of introduction, establishment and dispersal to a full range. Currently there is much worldwide interest in predicting distributions of invasive species, and several organizations are faced with questions of whether and how to tackle such environmental challenges, or how to interpret predictions from the science community. Conservation practioners require mapped estimates of where species could persist in a given region, and this is associated to information about the biotope - i.e. the geographic location of the species' niche. The process of collecting species distribution data for identifying the potential distribution of the invasive species in the invaded ranges has become a challenge both in terms of resource and time allocation. This study highlights innovative approaches in crowdsourcing validation data in mapping and modelling invasive species (Acacia reficiens and Cactus) through involvement of the local communities. The general approach was to model the distribution of A. reficiens and Cactus (Opuntia Spp) using occurrence records from native range, then project the model into new regions to assess susceptibility to invasion using climatic and topographic environmental variables. The models performed better than random prediction (P < 0.05). The average testing omission rate varied from 11.3% to 14% for the two species. The average test AUC values for Acacia reficiens (0.97 ± 0.01) and Cactus (Opuntia Spp) (0.96 ± 0.02) were high showing the fitted models had high discriminative ability to differentiate suitable environments for invasive plant species

  13. Semiochemicals from ex situ abiotically stressed cactus tissue: a contributing role of fungal spores

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Semiochemicals play a central role in communication between plants and insects, such as signaling the location of a suitable host. Fungi on host plants can also play an influential role in communicating certain plant vulnerabilities to an insect. The spiroketal conophthorin is an important semiochem...

  14. 76 FR 9978 - South American Cactus Moth; Territorial and Import Regulations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-23

    ... 7 CFR Part 318 Cotton, Cottonseeds, Fruits, Guam, Hawaii, Plant diseases and pests, Puerto Rico, Quarantine, Transportation, Vegetables, Virgin Islands. 7 CFR Part 319 Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs...

  15. Spatial patterns of distribution and abundance of Harrisia portoricensis, an endangered Caribbean cactus

    Treesearch

    J. Rojas-Sandoval; E. J. Melendez-Ackerman; NO-VALUE

    2013-01-01

    Aims The spatial distribution of biotic and abiotic factors may play a dominant role in determining the distribution and abundance of plants in arid and semiarid environments. In this study, we evaluated how spatial patterns of microhabitat variables and the degree of spatial dependence of these variables influence the distribution and abundance of the endangered...

  16. Effects of prescribed fire on recruitment of Juniperus and Opuntia in a semiarid grassland watershed

    Treesearch

    Burton K. Pendleton; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Carleton S. White

    2008-01-01

    The Bernalillo Watershed Protection Project was begun in 1953 following catastrophic erosion and flooding of small communities below. Although erosion control features and protection from grazing successfully increased grass cover and stabilized watershed soils, the expansion of juniper woodland (Juniperus monosperma) into the grassland watershed...

  17. Physical characterization of biodegradable films based on chitosan, polyvinyl alcohol and Opuntia mucilage

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This study aimed to develop and characterize biodegradable films containing mucilage, chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in different concentrations. The films were prepared by casting on glass plates using glycerol as plasticizer. Mechanical properties, water vapor and oxygen barrier, as well as ...

  18. Molecular phylogeny and character evolution in terete-stemmed Andean opuntias (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae).

    PubMed

    Ritz, C M; Reiker, J; Charles, G; Hoxey, P; Hunt, D; Lowry, M; Stuppy, W; Taylor, N

    2012-11-01

    The cacti of tribe Tephrocacteae (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae) are adapted to diverse climatic conditions over a wide area of the southern Andes and adjacent lowlands. They exhibit a range of life forms from geophytes and cushion-plants to dwarf shrubs, shrubs or small trees. To confirm or challenge previous morphology-based classifications and molecular phylogenies, we sampled DNA sequences from the chloroplast trnK/matK region and the nuclear low copy gene phyC and compared the resulting phylogenies with previous data gathered from nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. The here presented chloroplast and nuclear low copy gene phylogenies were mutually congruent and broadly coincident with the classification based on gross morphology and seed micro-morphology and anatomy. Reconstruction of hypothetical ancestral character states suggested that geophytes and cushion-forming species probably evolved several times from dwarf shrubby precursors. We also traced an increase of embryo size at the expense of the nucellus-derived storage tissue during the evolution of the Tephrocacteae, which is thought to be an evolutionary advantage because nutrients are then more rapidly accessible for the germinating embryo. In contrast to these highly concordant phylogenies, nuclear ribosomal DNA data sampled by a previous study yielded conflicting phylogenetic signals. Secondary structure predictions of ribosomal transcribed spacers suggested that this phylogeny is strongly influenced by the inclusion of paralogous sequence probably arisen by genome duplication during the evolution of this plant group. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Clinical efficacy of facial masks containing yoghurt and Opuntia humifusa Raf. (F-YOP).

    PubMed

    Yeom, Gyoseon; Yun, Dae-Myoung; Kang, Yun-Won; Kwon, Ji-Sook; Kang, In-Oh; Kim, Sun Yeou

    2011-01-01

    Facial packs or masks are popular beauty treatments that are thought to improve skin quality. We formulated a yoghurt pack using natural ingredients (F-YOP), with consideration of skin affinity, safety, health, and beauty. Then, we performed an in vitro assessment of biological activity and in vivo assessments of moisture, TEWL, melanin content, and elasticity. Facial areas treated with F-YOP showed increased moisture compared to control regions: 89±6.26% (forehead), 140.72±10.19% (cheek), and 123.29±6.67% (chin). Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values were decreased in the treated areas compared to control: 101.38±6.95% (forehead), 50.37±5.93% (cheek), and l57.81±10.88% (chin). Elasticity was decreased in the control region, whereas the treatment region did not change. The initial elasticity was maintained in the cheek. F-YOP exhibited activity on DPPH radical scavenging, SOD-like activity, and lipoxygenase activity. F-YOP treatment successfully improved the moisture, brightness, and elasticity of treated skin.

  20. Development of a Configurable Growth Chamber with a Computer Vision System to Study Circadian Rhythm in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Pedro J.; Fernández, Carlos; Weiss, Julia; Egea-Cortines, Marcos

    2012-01-01

    Plant development is the result of an endogenous morphogenetic program that integrates environmental signals. The so-called circadian clock is a set of genes that integrates environmental inputs into an internal pacing system that gates growth and other outputs. Study of circadian growth responses requires high sampling rates to detect changes in growth and avoid aliasing. We have developed a flexible configurable growth chamber comprising a computer vision system that allows sampling rates ranging between one image per 30 s to hours/days. The vision system has a controlled illumination system, which allows the user to set up different configurations. The illumination system used emits a combination of wavelengths ensuring the optimal growth of species under analysis. In order to obtain high contrast of captured images, the capture system is composed of two CCD cameras, for day and night periods. Depending on the sample type, a flexible image processing software calculates different parameters based on geometric calculations. As a proof of concept we tested the system in three different plant tissues, growth of petunia- and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) flowers and of cladodes from the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica. We found that petunia flowers grow at a steady pace and display a strong growth increase in the early morning, whereas Opuntia cladode growth turned out not to follow a circadian growth pattern under the growth conditions imposed. Furthermore we were able to identify a decoupling of increase in area and length indicating that two independent growth processes are responsible for the final size and shape of the cladode. PMID:23202214

  1. Space invaders? A search for patterns underlying the coexistence of alien black rats and Galápagos rice rats.

    PubMed

    Harris, Donna B; Gregory, Stephen D; Macdonald, David W

    2006-08-01

    The introduction and spread of the black rat Rattus rattus is believed to have caused the worst decline of any vertebrate taxon in Galápagos. However, the "extinct" Santiago rice rat Nesoryzomys swarthi has recently been rediscovered in sympatry with R. rattus providing the first exception to this general pattern of displacement. We carried out an exploratory investigation of this novel system with the aim of identifying patterns that may facilitate the apparent coexistence of the two species. We carried out an extensive survey of Santiago Island to map the current distribution of the endemic rice rat and to explore broad scale distribution-habitat associations. We then used live-trapping, radio-tracking, and spool-and-line tracking to quantify abundance-habitat correlations and to test for evidence of interspecific spatial segregation, alteration of N. swarthi activity patterns (spatial and temporal), and microhabitat partitioning. We found that N. swarthi has disappeared from part of its historical range and appears to be restricted to a 14 km stretch of the north-central coast, characterised by high density of the cactus Opuntia galapageia. In contrast, the generalist R. rattus was found at all survey sites. We found no evidence of spatial segregation, and home range size, temporal activity and density of N. swarthi did not vary with local density of R. rattus. However, pre-dawn and post-dusk N. swarthi activity levels increased with R. rattus density perhaps reflecting an increase in foraging effort necessary to compensate for the costs of interspecific exploitation or interference competition. The distribution, microhabitat selection, and abundance-habitat relations of N. swarthi suggest that the endemic cactus O. galapageia may facilitate interspecific coexistence. Further research should include a comparison of inter-seasonal resource preference and foraging activity of the two species coupled with replicated field experiments to confirm and quantify

  2. 76 FR 61855 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Cactus...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-05

    ... the opportunity to provide input. We identified, contacted, and consulted with a diverse group of... ``Cuatro Ojos'' (four eyes), as it is sometimes called in Mexico (Oberholser 1974, p. 451). The species... concerning the relevant taxonomic group'' (50 CFR 424.11(a)) and on ``the best available scientific and...

  3. Effect of fiber fractions of prickly pear cactus (nopal) on quality and sensory properties of wheat bread rolls.

    PubMed

    Guevara-Arauza, Juan Carlos; Bárcenas, Diego Guadalupe; Ortega-Rivas, Enrique; Martínez, Jaime David Pérez; Hernández, Jaime Reyes; de Jesús Ornelas-Paz, José

    2015-05-01

    In this study the addition of total fiber (TF), insoluble fiber (IF), and soluble fiber (SF) from nopal to wheat flour used to make bread rolls was assessed. The rheological properties of dough as well as quality, texture, sensorial and physical characteristics of the crumb rolls produced were evaluated. The storage (23.50 MPa) and loss modulus (11.95 MPa) for SF-dough were the lowest indicating that a less visco-elastic behavior was obtained. Polarized light microscopy showed that a more homogeneous size and a better distribution of starch granules were developed into SF-dough. Crumb hardness (3.25-4.78 N) and chewiness (0.31-0.81 N) of SF-rolls were lower than the control experiment (3.99-5.81 N and 0.35-1.01 N respectively). Springiness for all treatments was constant (1.0) compared with the control (1.02-0.87) for 2 days of storage. The lowest cohesiveness values (0.24-014) were computed by IF treatment for a similar storage time. The specific crumb volume increased by 12.46, 9.03 and 1.10 % by the addition of SF, TF and IF respectively. The lowest rate of staling was shown by SF-rolls (0.199) and it was followed by TF (0.296), IF (0.381) and control (0.458) treatments. As a result, the highest scores on quality (9.3 out of 10) and sensorial attributes (from 8.9 up to 9.7) were assigned to SF-rolls.

  4. Clinical and cost effectiveness of computer treatment for aphasia post stroke (Big CACTUS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Rebecca; Cooper, Cindy; Enderby, Pam; Brady, Marian; Julious, Steven; Bowen, Audrey; Latimer, Nicholas

    2015-01-27

    Aphasia affects the ability to speak, comprehend spoken language, read and write. One third of stroke survivors experience aphasia. Evidence suggests that aphasia can continue to improve after the first few months with intensive speech and language therapy, which is frequently beyond what resources allow. The development of computer software for language practice provides an opportunity for self-managed therapy. This pragmatic randomised controlled trial will investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a computerised approach to long-term aphasia therapy post stroke. A total of 285 adults with aphasia at least four months post stroke will be randomly allocated to either usual care, computerised intervention in addition to usual care or attention and activity control in addition to usual care. Those in the intervention group will receive six months of self-managed word finding practice on their home computer with monthly face-to-face support from a volunteer/assistant. Those in the attention control group will receive puzzle activities, supplemented by monthly telephone calls. Study delivery will be coordinated by 20 speech and language therapy departments across the United Kingdom. Outcome measures will be made at baseline, six, nine and 12 months after randomisation by blinded speech and language therapist assessors. Primary outcomes are the change in number of words (of personal relevance) named correctly at six months and improvement in functional conversation. Primary outcomes will be analysed using a Hochberg testing procedure. Significance will be declared if differences in both word retrieval and functional conversation at six months are significant at the 5% level, or if either comparison is significant at 2.5%. A cost utility analysis will be undertaken from the NHS and personal social service perspective. Differences between costs and quality-adjusted life years in the three groups will be described and the incremental cost effectiveness ratio will be calculated. Treatment fidelity will be monitored. This is the first fully powered trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of computerised aphasia therapy. Specific challenges in designing the protocol are considered. Registered with Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN68798818 on 18 February 2014.

  5. 75 FR 70897 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; South American Cactus...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-19

    ... either of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov[sol]fdmspublic[sol]component[sol]main ?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2010-0106 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Postal Mail[sol]Commercial Delivery: Please send...

  6. Genetic structure of Kurtzmaniella cleridarum, a cactus flower beetle yeast of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts: speciation by distance?

    PubMed

    Lachance, Marc-André; Perri, Ami M; Farahbakhsh, Amy S; Starmer, William T

    2013-11-01

    We studied 95 isolates of the yeast species Kurtzmaniella cleridarum recovered from nitidulid beetles collected in flowers of cacti of the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and the Mojave Desert of California. They were characterized on the basis of mating type and ten polymorphic DNA markers in relation to their geographic distribution. Although all loci appeared to be free of strong linkage, the recovered haplotypes represented but a small fraction of possible combinations, indicating that abundant asexual reproduction of local genotypes accounts for much of population growth, even though the yeast is capable of sexual recombination in nature. Much of the genetic differentiation took place at the local level, indicating that gene flow across the various localities is limited. However, a relationship exists between overall genetic differentiation and geography over long distances. We estimated that populations separated by c. 1300 km would share no alleles in common and that such a separation might be enough to favor the onset of speciation. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Does retained-seed priming drive the evolution of serotiny in drylands? An assessment using the cactus Mammillaria hernandezii.

    PubMed

    Santini, Bianca A; Martorell, Carlos

    2013-02-01

    Serotinous plants retain their seeds for a long time. In deserts, retained seeds undergo hydration-dehydration cycles and thus may become primed. Priming enhances germination and seedling vigor. We test the hypothesis that serotiny evolves because it provides a site protected from predators in which seeds can become primed. Rainfall-cued dispersal of primed seeds may enhance this effect. We tested this hypothesis with Mammillaria hernandezii through protein-content analyses; field and laboratory germination experiments with primed, unprimed, and retained seeds; and fitness estimations from demographic models. Hydration-dehydration cycles induced priming, enhancing germination. Artificial priming and retention in the parent plant for 1 yr induced similar changes in seed protein patterns, suggesting that priming occurs naturally while seeds are retained. Under field conditions, germination of seeds retained for 1 yr more than doubled that of seeds of the same cohort that were not primed or that remained buried for 1 yr. The first seeds to germinate died rapidly. Serotinous plants whose seeds underwent priming had higher fitness than those whose seeds were in the soil seed bank or that did not experience priming. Priming in soil seed banks may be costly because of high predation, so seed protection during priming is sufficient to promote the evolution of serotiny. Bet hedging contributes to this process. Rapid germination of primed seeds that respond to brief rainfall events is disadvantageous because such rainfall is insufficient for seedling survival. Serotinous species counteract this cost by cueing dispersal with heavy precipitation.

  8. Rock-colonizing plants: abundance of the endemic cactus Mammillaria fraileana related to rock type in the southern Sonoran Desert

    Treesearch

    Blanca R. Lopez; Yoav Bashan; Macario Bacilio; Gustavo De la Cruz-Aguero

    2009-01-01

    Establishment, colonization, and permanence of plants affect biogenic and physical processes leading to development of soil. Rockiness, temperature, and humidity are accepted explanations to the influence and the presence of rock-dwelling plants, but the relationship between mineral and chemical composition of rocks with plant abundance is unknown in some regions. This...

  9. Host Plant Adaptation in Drosophila mettleri Populations

    PubMed Central

    Castrezana, Sergio; Bono, Jeremy M.

    2012-01-01

    The process of local adaptation creates diversity among allopatric populations, and may eventually lead to speciation. Plant-feeding insect populations that specialize on different host species provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the causes of ecological specialization and the subsequent consequences for diversity. In this study, we used geographically separated Drosophila mettleri populations that specialize on different host cacti to examine oviposition preference for and larval performance on an array of natural and non-natural hosts (eight total). We found evidence of local adaptation in performance on saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) for populations that are typically associated with this host, and to chemically divergent prickly pear species (Opuntia spp.) in a genetically isolated population on Santa Catalina Island. Moreover, each population exhibited reduced performance on the alternative host. This finding is consistent with trade-offs associated with adaptation to these chemically divergent hosts, although we also discuss alternative explanations for this pattern. For oviposition preference, Santa Catalina Island flies were more likely to oviposit on some prickly pear species, but all populations readily laid eggs on saguaro. Experiments with non-natural hosts suggest that factors such as ecological opportunity may play a more important role than host plant chemistry in explaining the lack of natural associations with some hosts. PMID:22493678

  10. Host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri populations.

    PubMed

    Castrezana, Sergio; Bono, Jeremy M

    2012-01-01

    The process of local adaptation creates diversity among allopatric populations, and may eventually lead to speciation. Plant-feeding insect populations that specialize on different host species provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the causes of ecological specialization and the subsequent consequences for diversity. In this study, we used geographically separated Drosophila mettleri populations that specialize on different host cacti to examine oviposition preference for and larval performance on an array of natural and non-natural hosts (eight total). We found evidence of local adaptation in performance on saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) for populations that are typically associated with this host, and to chemically divergent prickly pear species (Opuntia spp.) in a genetically isolated population on Santa Catalina Island. Moreover, each population exhibited reduced performance on the alternative host. This finding is consistent with trade-offs associated with adaptation to these chemically divergent hosts, although we also discuss alternative explanations for this pattern. For oviposition preference, Santa Catalina Island flies were more likely to oviposit on some prickly pear species, but all populations readily laid eggs on saguaro. Experiments with non-natural hosts suggest that factors such as ecological opportunity may play a more important role than host plant chemistry in explaining the lack of natural associations with some hosts.

  11. Extracts of edible and medicinal plants damage membranes of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Eduardo; García, Santos; Heredia, Norma

    2010-10-01

    The use of natural compounds from plants can provide an alternative approach against food-borne pathogens. The mechanisms of action of most plant extracts with antimicrobial activity have been poorly studied. In this work, changes in membrane integrity, membrane potential, internal pH (pH(in)), and ATP synthesis were measured in Vibrio cholerae cells after exposure to extracts of edible and medicinal plants. A preliminary screen of methanolic, ethanolic, and aqueous extracts of medicinal and edible plants was performed. Minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were measured for extracts showing high antimicrobial activity. Our results indicate that methanolic extracts of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica var. Villanueva L.), sweet acacia (Acacia farnesiana L.), and white sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt.) are the most active against V. cholera, with MBCs ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 mg/ml. Using four fluorogenic techniques, we studied the membrane integrity of V. cholerae cells after exposure to these four extracts. Extracts from these plants were able to disrupt the cell membranes of V. cholerae cells, causing increased membrane permeability, a clear decrease in cytoplasmic pH, cell membrane hyperpolarization, and a decrease in cellular ATP concentration in all strains tested. These four plant extracts could be studied as future alternatives to control V. cholerae contamination in foods and the diseases associated with this microorganism.

  12. Extracts of Edible and Medicinal Plants Damage Membranes of Vibrio cholerae▿

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Eduardo; García, Santos; Heredia, Norma

    2010-01-01

    The use of natural compounds from plants can provide an alternative approach against food-borne pathogens. The mechanisms of action of most plant extracts with antimicrobial activity have been poorly studied. In this work, changes in membrane integrity, membrane potential, internal pH (pHin), and ATP synthesis were measured in Vibrio cholerae cells after exposure to extracts of edible and medicinal plants. A preliminary screen of methanolic, ethanolic, and aqueous extracts of medicinal and edible plants was performed. Minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were measured for extracts showing high antimicrobial activity. Our results indicate that methanolic extracts of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica var. Villanueva L.), sweet acacia (Acacia farnesiana L.), and white sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt.) are the most active against V. cholera, with MBCs ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 mg/ml. Using four fluorogenic techniques, we studied the membrane integrity of V. cholerae cells after exposure to these four extracts. Extracts from these plants were able to disrupt the cell membranes of V. cholerae cells, causing increased membrane permeability, a clear decrease in cytoplasmic pH, cell membrane hyperpolarization, and a decrease in cellular ATP concentration in all strains tested. These four plant extracts could be studied as future alternatives to control V. cholerae contamination in foods and the diseases associated with this microorganism. PMID:20802077

  13. Remote sensing of Sonoran Desert vegetation structure and phenology with ground-based LiDAR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sankey, Joel B.; Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Duran, Cesar M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  14. Influence of climatic variability on local population dynamics of a Sonoran Desert platyopuntia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2005-01-01

    Age-based population dynamics of Opuntia engelmannii, a shrubby cactus with flattened cladodes, were investigated at a Sonoran Desert site protected from grazing since 1907. Demographic statistics were determined from births and deaths on six permanent vegetation plots mapped four times between 1968 and 2001. Moderate longevity (13-56 years) and modest per capita annual survival (0.9298) were associated with fairly rapid turnover; cycles of population growth and decline were thus evident over relatively short periods. Age-frequency distribution, determined for subpopulations in two neighboring habitats in 1996 and 2003, was used to calculate residual regeneration, an index of the difference between observed cohort size and idealized survivorship. Establishment peaks occurred in the late 1970s, the mid-1980s, and the early to mid-1990s and coincided with increased winter moisture in the years before germination, ample summer rain in the year of germination, and decreased drought in the years after germination, reflecting favorable conditions for fruit production, seed germination, and seedling survival. Regionally, pulses and gaps in establishment coincide with the frequency and amplitude of large-scale climatic phenomena that affect cycles of moisture and drought on decadal and interdecadal scales. Because of local factors, however, subpopulations within a few km of one another can experience virtually identical climates yet differ strikingly in age structure and density. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Natural products used for diabetes.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Karen; Gong, William C

    2002-01-01

    To review the efficacy and safety of natural products commonly used for diabetes. English and Spanish-language journals retrieved through a MEDLINE search of articles published between 1960 and December 2001 using these index terms: Opuntia, karela, gymnema, tecoma, alpha lipoic acid, thioctic acid, ginseng, panaxans, and diabetes. Natural products have long been used in traditional systems of medicine for diabetes. Products in common use include nopal (prickly pear cactus), fenu-greek, karela (bitter melon), gymnema, ginseng, tronadora, chromium, and alpha-lipoic acid. The popularity of these products varies among people of different ethnicities. Nopal is the most commonly used herbal hypoglycemic among persons of Mexican descent. Karela is more commonly used by persons from Asian countries. Some of these agents have gained universal appeal. For a select number of products, studies have revealed single or multiple mechanisms of action. For several of these, high soluble fiber content is a contributing factor. Based on the available evidence, several natural products in common use can lower blood glucose in patients with diabetes. Commonly used natural products often have a long history of traditional use, and pharmacists who have a stronger understanding of these products are better positioned to counsel patients on their appropriate use.

  16. Efficacy of dietary supplementation with botanicals on carbohydrate metabolism in humans.

    PubMed

    Cefalu, William T; Ye, Jianping; Wang, Zhong Q

    2008-06-01

    Botanical products are widely used in nutritional supplementation for promotion of health or prevention of diseases. With the high prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, abnormalities in carbohydrate metabolism are common in the general population and obtaining glycemic control is important in reducing the complications of diabetes. If shown to be effective, botanical products have a unique position in potentially aiding the general public in regard to obesity and diabetes. They can be obtained "over-the-counter" and may have less side effects compared to many synthetic drugs. Although most of the popular botanicals have a long history in folk medicine, there is paucity of data regarding their efficacy and safety, particularly as it relates to human studies. In this review, we discuss the data that was available in the literature for nine botanicals that are frequently promoted to help manage blood glucose. They are Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), Fenugreek (trigonella foenum graecum), Gymnema Sylvestre, Ivy Gourd (Coccinia indica), Nopal or Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia streptacantha), Ginseng, Aloe Vera, Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), and Garlic (Allium sativum). The discussion is emphasized on the clinical aspect of these botanicals. Due to the lack of sufficient evidence from clinical studies for any of the botanicals reviewed, it is premature to actively recommend use of any particular herb to treat either glucose or other risk factors. Thus, well defined randomized clinical trials are warranted in this area.

  17. Hydrocarbon Degradation and Lead Solubility in a Soil Polluted with Lead and Used Motor Oil Treated by Composting and Phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarado, L F; Vaca-Mier, M; López, R; Rojas-Valencia, M N

    2018-02-01

    Used lubricant oils and metals can be common soil pollutants in abandoned sites. When soil is contaminated with various hazardous wastes, the efficiency of biological treatments could be affected. The purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of combining phytoremediation and composting on the efficiency of hydrocarbon degradation and lead solubility in a soil contaminated with 31,823 mg/kg of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) from used motor oil and 8260 mg/kg of lead. Mexican cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) and yard trimmings were added in the composting process, and lucerne (Medicago sativa) was used in the phytoremediation process. After a 9 week composting process, only 13% of the initial TPH concentration was removed. The following 20 week phytoremediation process removed 48% of TPH. The highest TPH degradation percentage (66%), was observed in the experiment with phytoremediation only. This work demonstrates sustainable technologies, such as biological treatments, represent low-cost options for remediation; however, they are not frequently used because they require long periods of time for success.

  18. Gross composition, fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of Saanen goat milk fed with Cacti varieties.

    PubMed

    Catunda, Karen Luanna Marinho; de Aguiar, Emerson Moreira; de Góes Neto, Pedro Etelvino; da Silva, José Geraldo Medeiros; Moreira, José Aparecido; do Nascimento Rangel, Adriano Henrique; de Lima Júnior, Dorgival Morais

    2016-08-01

    The use of cactus is an alternative for sustainable production systems in Northeast Brazil. The objective of this research was to evaluate the influence of supplying five cacti species from the Brazilian semi-arid northeast region on the physical-chemical sensory characteristics and the profile of fatty acids of Saanen goat milk. Five multiparous goats were used, confined, and distributed in a Latin square 5 × 5 design, with five experimental diets and five periods. Treatments consisted of 473 to 501 g/kg of a cactaceous mix (Pilosocereus gounellei, Cereus jamacaru, Cereus squamosus, Nopalea cochenillifera, or Opuntia stricta) added to 187.8 to 197.9 g/kg of "Sabiá" (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) hay and 311 to 329 g/kg of concentrate. No effects of experimental diets (P > 0.05) were evidenced in the physical and chemical composition of milk for fat, total solids, or salt levels. However, protein, lactose, solids-not-fat levels, and cryoscopy point were influenced by diet (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the profile of fatty acids between treatments for all acids found, except for butyric acid. Diets also did not (P > 0.05) confer sensory changes in milk characteristics. The use of the native cacti in the dairy goats' diet did not influence the sensory characteristics or lipid profile of milk.

  19. A critical review on the spray drying of fruit extract: effect of additives on physicochemical properties.

    PubMed

    Krishnaiah, Duduku; Nithyanandam, Rajesh; Sarbatly, Rosalam

    2014-01-01

    Spray drying accomplishes drying while particles are suspended in the air and is one method in the family of suspended particle processing systems, along with fluid-bed drying, flash drying, spray granulation, spray agglomeration, spray reaction, spray cooling, and spray absorption. This drying process is unique because it involves both particle formation and drying. The present paper reviews spray drying of fruit extracts, such as acai, acerola pomace, gac, mango, orange, cactus pear, opuntia stricta fruit, watermelon, and durian, and the effects of additives on physicochemical properties such as antioxidant activity, total carotenoid content, lycopene and β-carotene content, hygroscopy, moisture content, volatile retention, stickiness, color, solubility, glass transition temperature, bulk density, rehydration, caking, appearance under electron microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. The literature clearly demonstrates that the effect of additives and encapsulation play a vital role in determining the physicochemical properties of fruit extract powder. The technical difficulties in spray drying of fruit extracts can be overcome by modifying the spray dryer design. It also reveals that spray drying is a novel technology for converting fruit extract into powder form.

  20. Intake of dehydrated nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) improves bone mineral density and calciuria in adult Mexican women.

    PubMed

    Aguilera-Barreiro, María de Los Angeles; Rivera-Márquez, José Alberto; Trujillo-Arriaga, Héctor Miguel; Tamayo Y Orozco, Juan Alfredo; Barreira-Mercado, Eduardo; Rodríguez-García, Mario E

    2013-01-01

    The intake of dehydrated nopal (DN) at a high stage of maturity along with high calcium content could improve bone mineral density (BMD) and calciuria and thus prevent osteoporosis. To evaluate the effect of calcium intake from a vegetable source (DN) on BMD and calciuria covering a 2-year period in menopausal and non-menopausal women with low bone mass (LBM). The study was quasi-experimental, blinded, and randomized, and included 131 Mexican women aged 35-55. Urinary calcium/creatinine index (CCI) was determined; BMD was analyzed on lumbar spine and total hip regions. Four groups were studied: Control group (CG), women with normocalciuria and a minimum dose of DN; experimental group 1 (EG1), women with hypercalciuria and a minimum dose of DN; experimental group 2 (EG2), women with hypercalciuria, and a maximum dose of DN; and normal group (NG) for reference in BMD. After the first semester of treatment, calciuria levels in women from both experimental groups returned to normal, remaining constant for the rest of the treatment. The percentage difference in BMD increased in the total hip region in the CG (pre 4.5% and post 2.1%) and EG2 (pre 1.8% and post 2.5%) groups significantly in comparison to NG and EG1, which exhibited a significant decrease in their BMD. BMD increased only for the lumbar region in the EG2 group (premenopausal). The use of a vegetable calcium source such as nopal improves BMD in women with LBM in the total hip and lumbar spine regions principally in the premenopausal women, maintaining constant and normal calciuria levels.

  1. [Hypoglycemic action of different doses of nopal (Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire) in patients with type II diabetes mellitus].

    PubMed

    Frati-Munari, A C; Del Valle-Martínez, L M; Ariza-Andraca, C R; Islas-Andrade, S; Chávez-Negrete, A

    1989-01-01

    To assess the relationship between the doses of O. streptacantha Lem. and its acute hypoglycemic action in diabetics, eight patients with type II diabetes mellitus were studied. Four test were performed to each patient with the intake of: (a) 400 ml of water, (b) 100 g (c) 300 g and (d) 500 g of broiled stems of O. streptacantha Lem. Serum glucose was measured at 0, 60, 120 and 180 minutes. Maximal decrease of serum glucose was noticed at 180 minutes, with a mean of 2.3, 10, 30.1 and 46.7 mg/dl less than basal value with 0, 100, 300 and 500 g respectively (P = NS, less than 0.05, less than 0.001 and less than 0.001 respectively). A significant direct correlation (r = 0.690, P less than 0.001) was noticed between the doses and the hypoglycemic effect.

  2. Induction of apoptosis in colon cancer cells treated with isorhamnetin glycosides from Opuntia ficus-indica pads.

    PubMed

    Antunes-Ricardo, Marilena; Moreno-García, Beatriz E; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Aráiz-Hernández, Diana; Alvarez, Mario M; Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O

    2014-12-01

    (OFI) contains health-promoting compounds like flavonoids, being the isorhamnetin glycosides the most abundant. We evaluated the effect of OFI extracts with different isorhamnetin glycosides against two different human colon cancer cells (HT-29 and Caco2). The extracts were obtained by alkaline hydrolysis with NaOH at 40 °C during 15, 30 or 60 min. Tri and diglycosides were the most abundant isorhamnetin glycosides, therefore these compounds were isolated to compare their cytotoxic effect with the obtained from the extracts. The OFI extracts and purified isorhamnetin glycosides were more cytotoxic against HT-29 cells than Caco2 cells. OFI-30 exhibited the lowest IC50 value against HT-29 (4.9 ± 0.5 μg/mL) and against Caco2 (8.2 ± 0.3 μg/mL). Isorhamnetin diglycosides IG5 and IG6 were more cytotoxic than pure isorhamnetin aglycone or triglycosides when they were tested in HT-29 cells. Bioluminescent analysis revealed increased activity of caspase 3/7 in OFI extracts-treated cells, particularly for the extract with the highest concentration of isorhamnetin triglycosides. Flow cytometry analysis confirmed that OFI extract and isorhamnetin glycosides induced a higher percentage of apoptosis in HT-29 than in Caco2, while isorhamnetin was more apoptotic in Caco2. This research demonstrated that glycosilation affected antiproliferative effect of pure isorhamnetin glycosides or when they are mixed with other phytochemicals in an extract obtained from OFI.

  3. Intake of dehydrated nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) improves bone mineral density and calciuria in adult Mexican women

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera-Barreiro, María de los Angeles; Rivera-Márquez, José Alberto; Trujillo-Arriaga, Héctor Miguel; Tamayo y Orozco, Juan Alfredo; Barreira-Mercado, Eduardo; Rodríguez-García, Mario E

    2013-01-01

    Background The intake of dehydrated nopal (DN) at a high stage of maturity along with high calcium content could improve bone mineral density (BMD) and calciuria and thus prevent osteoporosis. Objective To evaluate the effect of calcium intake from a vegetable source (DN) on BMD and calciuria covering a 2-year period in menopausal and non-menopausal women with low bone mass (LBM). Methods The study was quasi-experimental, blinded, and randomized, and included 131 Mexican women aged 35–55. Urinary calcium/creatinine index (CCI) was determined; BMD was analyzed on lumbar spine and total hip regions. Four groups were studied: Control group (CG), women with normocalciuria and a minimum dose of DN; experimental group 1 (EG1), women with hypercalciuria and a minimum dose of DN; experimental group 2 (EG2), women with hypercalciuria, and a maximum dose of DN; and normal group (NG) for reference in BMD. Results After the first semester of treatment, calciuria levels in women from both experimental groups returned to normal, remaining constant for the rest of the treatment. The percentage difference in BMD increased in the total hip region in the CG (pre 4.5% and post 2.1%) and EG2 (pre 1.8% and post 2.5%) groups significantly in comparison to NG and EG1, which exhibited a significant decrease in their BMD. BMD increased only for the lumbar region in the EG2 group (premenopausal). Conclusion The use of a vegetable calcium source such as nopal improves BMD in women with LBM in the total hip and lumbar spine regions principally in the premenopausal women, maintaining constant and normal calciuria levels. PMID:23704856

  4. Antioxidant and Anticlastogenic Capacity of Prickly Pear Juice

    PubMed Central

    Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; García-Melo, Fernando; Morales-González, José A.; Vázquez-Alvarado, Patricia; Muñoz-Juárez, Sergio; Zuñiga-Pérez, Clara; Sumaya-Martínez, Maria Teresa; Madrigal-Bujaidar, Eduardo; Hernández-Ceruelos, Alejandra

    2013-01-01

    Plants belonging to the genus Opuntia spp. are the most abundant of the Cactaceae family, grown throughout America and the Mediterranean central area. Its fruit, known as cactus pear or prickly pear, is an oval berry grouped in different colors. Some studies have shown its antioxidant activities which may help in preventing chronic pathologies such as diabetes. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of three varieties of prickly pear juice (red-purple, white-green and yellow-orange) in five different concentrations (100, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 mg/mL) by DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical) colorimetric method, selecting the best variety to determine its anticlastogenic potential against methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). The results indicate that the highest antioxidant was found in the juice of the prickly pear red-purple variety (PPRP), in all concentrations. Its anticlastogenic potential was therefore evaluated with a micronucleus assay. The experiment was run over two weeks. A negative control was included along with a positive control with MMS (40 mg/kg), a group of mice treated with PPRP (25 mL/kg), and three groups with PPRP (in doses of 25, 16.5 and 8.3 mL/kg) plus the mutagen. The PPRP was administered daily by oral gavage and the MMS was injected intraperitoneally five days prior to the end of the experiment. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h in order to determine the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MNPE). The results indicated that PPRP is not a genotoxic agent, on the contrary, it may reduce the number of MNPE. In this regard, the PPRP showed an anticlastogenic effect directly proportional to its concentrations. Thus, the highest protection was obtained with a concentration of 25 mL/kg after 48 h of treatment. PMID:24145870

  5. Plant-based culture media: Efficiently support culturing rhizobacteria and correctly mirror their in-situ diversity.

    PubMed

    Youssef, Hanan H; Hamza, Mervat A; Fayez, Mohamed; Mourad, Elhussein F; Saleh, Mohamed Y; Sarhan, Mohamed S; Suker, Ragab M; Eltahlawy, Asmaa A; Nemr, Rahma A; El-Tahan, Mahmod; Ruppel, Silke; Hegazi, Nabil A

    2016-03-01

    Our previous publications and the data presented here provide evidences on the ability of plant-based culture media to optimize the cultivability of rhizobacteria and to support their recovery from plant-soil environments. Compared to the tested chemically-synthetic culture media (e.g. nutrient agar and N-deficient combined-carbon sources media), slurry homogenates, crude saps, juices and powders of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) and succulent plants (Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens) were rich enough to support growth of rhizobacteria. Representative isolates of Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Bacillus spp. and Azospirillum spp. exhibited good growth on agar plates of such plant-based culture media. Cell growth and biomass production in liquid batch cultures were comparable to those reported with the synthetic culture media. In addition, the tested plant-based culture media efficiently recovered populations of rhizobacteria associated to plant roots. Culturable populations of >10(6)-10(8) cfu g(-1) were recovered from the ecto- and endo-rhizospheres of tested host plants. More than 100 endophytic culture-dependent isolates were secured and subjected to morphophysiological identification. Factor and cluster analyses indicated the unique community structure, on species, genera, class and phyla levels, of the culturable population recovered with plant-based culture media, being distinct from that obtained with the chemically-synthetic culture media. Proteobacteria were the dominant (78.8%) on plant-based agar culture medium compared to only 31% on nutrient agar, while Firmicutes prevailed on nutrient agar (69%) compared to the plant-based agar culture media (18.2%). Bacteroidetes, represented by Chryseobacterium indologenes, was only reported (3%) among the culturable rhizobacteria community of the plant-based agar culture medium.

  6. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  7. Indicaxanthin inhibits NADPH oxidase (NOX)-1 activation and NF-κB-dependent release of inflammatory mediators and prevents the increase of epithelial permeability in IL-1β-exposed Caco-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Tesoriere, L; Attanzio, A; Allegra, M; Gentile, C; Livrea, M A

    2014-02-01

    Dietary redox-active/antioxidant phytochemicals may help control or mitigate the inflammatory response in chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In the present study, the anti-inflammatory activity of indicaxanthin (Ind), a pigment from the edible fruit of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica, L.), was shown in an IBD model consisting of a human intestinal epithelial cell line (Caco-2 cells) stimulated by IL-1β, a cytokine known to play a major role in the initiation and amplification of inflammatory activity in IBD. The exposure of Caco-2 cells to IL-1β brought about the activation of NADPH oxidase (NOX-1) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to activate intracellular signalling leading to the activation of NF-κB, with the over-expression of inflammatory enzymes and release of pro-inflammatory mediators. The co-incubation of the cells with Ind, at a nutritionally relevant concentration (5-25 μM), and IL-1β prevented the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8, PGE2 and NO, the formation of ROS and the loss of thiols in a dose-dependent manner. The co-incubation of the cells with Ind and IL-1β also prevented the IL-1β-induced increase of epithelial permeability. It was also shown that the activation of NOX-1 and NF-κB was prevented by Ind and the expression of COX-2 and inducible NO synthase was reduced. The uptake of Ind in Caco-2 cell monolayers appeared to be unaffected by the inflamed state of the cells. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the dietary pigment Ind may have the potential to modulate inflammatory processes at the intestinal level.

  8. Antioxidant and anticlastogenic capacity of prickly pear juice.

    PubMed

    Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; García-Melo, Fernando; Morales-González, José A; Vázquez-Alvarado, Patricia; Muñoz-Juárez, Sergio; Zuñiga-Pérez, Clara; Sumaya-Martínez, Maria Teresa; Madrigal-Bujaidar, Eduardo; Hernández-Ceruelos, Alejandra

    2013-10-18

    Plants belonging to the genus Opuntia spp. are the most abundant of the Cactaceae family, grown throughout America and the Mediterranean central area. Its fruit, known as cactus pear or prickly pear, is an oval berry grouped in different colors. Some studies have shown its antioxidant activities which may help in preventing chronic pathologies such as diabetes. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of three varieties of prickly pear juice (red-purple, white-green and yellow-orange) in five different concentrations (100, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 mg/mL) by DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical) colorimetric method, selecting the best variety to determine its anticlastogenic potential against methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). The results indicate that the highest antioxidant was found in the juice of the prickly pear red-purple variety (PPRP), in all concentrations. Its anticlastogenic potential was therefore evaluated with a micronucleus assay. The experiment was run over two weeks. A negative control was included along with a positive control with MMS (40 mg/kg), a group of mice treated with PPRP (25 mL/kg), and three groups with PPRP (in doses of 25, 16.5 and 8.3 mL/kg) plus the mutagen. The PPRP was administered daily by oral gavage and the MMS was injected intraperitoneally five days prior to the end of the experiment. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h in order to determine the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MNPE). The results indicated that PPRP is not a genotoxic agent, on the contrary, it may reduce the number of MNPE. In this regard, the PPRP showed an anticlastogenic effect directly proportional to its concentrations. Thus, the highest protection was obtained with a concentration of 25 mL/kg after 48 h of treatment.

  9. Plant-based culture media: Efficiently support culturing rhizobacteria and correctly mirror their in-situ diversity

    PubMed Central

    Youssef, Hanan H.; Hamza, Mervat A.; Fayez, Mohamed; Mourad, Elhussein F.; Saleh, Mohamed Y.; Sarhan, Mohamed S.; Suker, Ragab M.; Eltahlawy, Asmaa A.; Nemr, Rahma A.; El-Tahan, Mahmod; Ruppel, Silke; Hegazi, Nabil A.

    2015-01-01

    Our previous publications and the data presented here provide evidences on the ability of plant-based culture media to optimize the cultivability of rhizobacteria and to support their recovery from plant-soil environments. Compared to the tested chemically-synthetic culture media (e.g. nutrient agar and N-deficient combined-carbon sources media), slurry homogenates, crude saps, juices and powders of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) and succulent plants (Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens) were rich enough to support growth of rhizobacteria. Representative isolates of Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Bacillus spp. and Azospirillum spp. exhibited good growth on agar plates of such plant-based culture media. Cell growth and biomass production in liquid batch cultures were comparable to those reported with the synthetic culture media. In addition, the tested plant-based culture media efficiently recovered populations of rhizobacteria associated to plant roots. Culturable populations of >106–108 cfu g−1 were recovered from the ecto- and endo-rhizospheres of tested host plants. More than 100 endophytic culture-dependent isolates were secured and subjected to morphophysiological identification. Factor and cluster analyses indicated the unique community structure, on species, genera, class and phyla levels, of the culturable population recovered with plant-based culture media, being distinct from that obtained with the chemically-synthetic culture media. Proteobacteria were the dominant (78.8%) on plant-based agar culture medium compared to only 31% on nutrient agar, while Firmicutes prevailed on nutrient agar (69%) compared to the plant-based agar culture media (18.2%). Bacteroidetes, represented by Chryseobacterium indologenes, was only reported (3%) among the culturable rhizobacteria community of the plant-based agar culture medium. PMID:26966571

  10. Inhibition of amyloid β aggregation and protective effect on SH-SY5Y cells by triterpenoid saponins from the cactus Polaskia chichipe.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Koji; Koike, Shin; Ogasawara, Yuki; Takahashi, Kunio; Koyama, Kiyotaka; Kinoshita, Kaoru

    2017-07-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) destroys brain function, especially in the hippocampus, and is a social problem worldwide. A major pathogenesis of AD is related to the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides, resulting in neuronal cell death in the brain. Here, we isolated four saponins (1-4) and elucidated their structures from 1D and 2D NMR and HRFABMS spectral data. The structures of 1 and 2 were determined as new saponins which have cochalic acid as the aglycon, and 3 was determined as a new saponin with oleanolic acid as the aglycon. Compound 4 was confirmed as the known saponin chikusetsusaponin V (=ginsenoside R 0 ). Isolated saponins (1-4) and six previously reported saponins (5-10) were tested for their inhibitory effects of Aβ aggregation and their protective effects on SH-SY5Y cells against Aβ-associated toxicity. As the results, compounds 3 and 4 showed inhibitory effect of Aβ aggregation and compounds 5-8 exerted the protective effects on SH-SY5Y cells against Aβ-associated toxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Phylogenetic relationships of Sonoran Desert cactus beetles in the tribe Hololeptini (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Histerinae), with comments on the taxonomic status of Iliotona beyeri.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, Edward; Vergara-Quintanar, Joel E; Castrezana, Sergio; Caterino, Michael S; Markow, Therese A

    2010-07-01

    Nucleotide sequences from 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) were used to examine phylogenetic relationships and evolution of beetles from the tribe Hololeptini (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Histerinae) that inhabit necrotic tissue of columnar cacti in the Sonoran Desert. Phylogenetic and morphological analyses revealed the presence of seven separate lineages, three representing species in the genus Iliotona, including I. beyeri stat. nov., and four species belonging to the genus Hololepta (sensu lato). The possible roles of historical vicariance and host plant associations on the evolution of the Hololeptini from the Sonoran Desert are discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Flight Operations in the Sells Airspace Overlying the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation and Organ Pipe Cactus Nat’l Monument. Volume 2

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-01

    by crash- associated fires. I -2 An Epual Opportunity Agency b. all off-road tracks created by vehicles driven to the site to retrieve the wreakage...require responses: 1. The DEIS established that in 1977, 10,394 supersonic sorties capable of creating sonic booms were flown in the Sells Airspace, DEIS...report discuss the effect of a typical case of a F-16 aircraft flying at interme- diate power and z00 feet AGL creating a noise of 103dB. RDEI3 §4.3.2.1

  13. Anoxia-conditioning hormesis alters the relationship between irradiation doses for survival and sterility in the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    One of the most important components of a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) program is appropriate irradiation dose. Knowing the organismal dose-response enables the selection of a dose that induces the highest level of sterility while preserving the sexual competitiveness and quality of the sterile in...

  14. Culturable Facultative Methylotrophic Bacteria from the Cactus Neobuxbaumia macrocephala Possess the Locus xoxF and Consume Methanol in the Presence of Ce3+ and Ca2+

    PubMed Central

    del Rocío Bustillos-Cristales, María; Corona-Gutierrez, Ivan; Castañeda-Lucio, Miguel; Águila-Zempoaltécatl, Carolina; Seynos-García, Eduardo; Hernández-Lucas, Ismael; Muñoz-Rojas, Jesús; Medina-Aparicio, Liliana; Fuentes-Ramírez, Luis Ernesto

    2017-01-01

    Methanol-consuming culturable bacteria were isolated from the plant surface, rhizosphere, and inside the stem of Neobuxbaumia macrocephala. All 38 isolates were facultative methylotrophic microorganisms. Their classification included the Classes Actinobacteria, Sphingobacteriia, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria. The deduced amino acid sequences of methanol dehydrogenase obtained by PCR belonging to Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria showed high similarity to rare-earth element (REE)-dependent XoxF methanol dehydrogenases, particularly the group XoxF5. The sequences included Asp301, the REE-coordinating amino acid, present in all known XoxF dehydrogenases and absent in MxaF methanol dehydrogenases. The quantity of the isolates showed positive hybridization with a xoxF probe, but not with a mxaF probe. Isolates of all taxonomic groups showed methylotrophic growth in the presence of Ce3+ or Ca2+. The presence of xoxF-like sequences in methylotrophic bacteria from N. macrocephala and its potential relationship with their adaptability to xerophytic plants are discussed. PMID:28855445

  15. Cactus, Riparian Habitat, and Turf Grass: Water Budget and Policy Implications of Vegetation Change Under Urban Heat Island and Effluent Irrigation in the Southwest U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, C. A.

    2008-12-01

    This paper assesses the impacts of two urban growth drivers--urban heat island (UHI) and effluent irrigation--on the landscaping vegetation component of water budgets in semi-arid southern Arizona, and has policy significance for other urbanizing regions facing water scarcity. Landscaping irrigation, accounting for up to half of the study area's urban water demand, is influenced by vegetation type, UHI temperature and evapotranspiration, and water type (potable or effluent). Conservation programs that have resulted in widespread adoption of low-flow indoor plumbing fixtures and appliances currently identify irrigation of lawns, trees, and other landscaping as targets to reduce water use. At the same time, however, high water-demand turf grass is expanding on golf courses, public parks, and campuses that are irrigated using effluent that historically has supported riparian corridor habitat. Tucson, Arizona's UHI over 1969-2006 is characterized by a 0.043 degC/yr increase in annual average differences between urban - nonurban minimum temperatures (Tmin). The most pronounced trends in urban Tmin increases are 0.097 degC/yr for the months of March, April, May, and June corresponding to the pre- monsoon period of highest outdoor water demand. The UHI Tmax and reference evapotranspiration trends are less marked but indicate increasing irrigation demand for both residential and public landscaping. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from Landsat Thematic Mapper for 1984-2005 shows that vegetation, particularly turf on golf courses, is increasing in Tucson's expanding urban fringe but has largely stabilized or is marginally decreasing in the urban core. Regression analysis of NDVI with water use (records only available for 2000-2006) shows mixed results. The tradeoff between water conservation for residential landscaping and expanding turf grass on public landscaping at the cost of riparian corridors is explored from dual water budget and policy perspectives.

  16. Field Surveys, IOC Valleys. Volumes II-I and II-II. Biological Resources Survey, Dry Lake Valley, Nevada and Pine and Wah Wah Valleys, Utah. Supplement. Spring Survey of the IOC Valleys.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-08-01

    pinnata X K CACTACEAE Coryphantha vivipara x Opuntia echinocarpa K 0 x K K K 5putaerinacea K Op’untia sp. x X -12- TABLE 3-1 (Cont.) Shelter site...pilosus x Lepidium montanun X CACTACEAE Opuntia echinocarpa x x Opuntia erinacea X X X CHENOPODIACEAE Atriplex canescens X X X Ceratoides lanata X X X X...Stanleya pinnata X CACTACEAE Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea X Echinocereus engelmannii X opuntia echinocarpa X X X X X X X X Opuntia erinacea XX X X X X x

  17. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  18. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  19. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  20. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  1. Nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) protects from metabolic endotoxemia by modifying gut microbiota in obese rats fed high fat/sucrose diet.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Tapia, Mónica; Aguilar-López, Miriam; Pérez-Cruz, Claudia; Pichardo-Ontiveros, Edgar; Wang, Mei; Donovan, Sharon M; Tovar, Armando R; Torres, Nimbe

    2017-07-05

    Current efforts are directed to reducing the gut dysbiosis and inflammation produced by obesity. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether consuming nopal, a vegetable rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, and polyphenols can reduce the metabolic consequences of obesity by modifying the gut microbiota and preventing metabolic endotoxemia in rats fed a high fat and sucrose diet. With this aim, rats were fed a high fat diet with 5% sucrose in the drinking water (HFS) for 7 months and then were fed for 1 month with HFS + 5% nopal (HFS + N). The composition of gut microbiota was assessed by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene. Nopal modified gut microbiota and increased intestinal occludin-1 in the HFS + N group. This was associated with a decrease in metabolic endotoxemia, glucose insulinotropic peptide, glucose intolerance, lipogenesis, and metabolic inflexibility. These changes were accompanied by reduced hepatic steatosis and oxidative stress in adipose tissue and brain, and improved cognitive function, associated with an increase in B. fragilis. This study supports the use of nopal as a functional food and prebiotic for its ability to modify gut microbiota and to reduce metabolic endotoxemia and other obesity-related biochemical abnormalities.

  2. Antidiabetic Effect of Fresh Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) in Low-Dose Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Seung Hwan; Kang, Il-Jun

    2017-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate α-glucosidase inhibitory and antidiabetic effects of Nopal water extract (NPWE) and Nopal dry power (NADP) in low-dose streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD). The type 2 diabetic rat model was induced by HFD and low-dose STZ. The rats were divided into four groups as follows: (1) nondiabetic rats fed a regular diet (RD-Control); (2) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD (HF-STZ-Control); (3) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD and supplemented with NPWE (100 mg/kg body weight, HF-STZ-NPWE); and (4) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD and supplemented with comparison medication (rosiglitazone, 10 mg/kg, body weight, HF-STZ-Rosiglitazone). In results, NPWE and NADP had IC50 values of 67.33 and 86.68 μg/mL, both of which exhibit inhibitory activities but lower than that of acarbose (38.05 μg/mL) while NPWE group significantly decreased blood glucose levels compared to control and NPDP group on glucose tolerance in the high-fat diet fed rats model (P < 0.05). Also, the blood glucose levels of HR-STZ-NPWE group were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than HR-STZ-Control group on low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD. Based on these findings, we suggested that NPWE could be considered for the prevention and/or treatment of blood glucose and a potential use as a dietary supplement. PMID:28303158

  3. [Effect of raw and cooked nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) ingestion on growth and profile of total cholesterol, lipoproteins, and blood glucose in rats].

    PubMed

    Cárdenas Medellín, M L; Serna Saldívar, S O; Velazco de la Garza, J

    1998-12-01

    Two different concentrations (approx. 6 and 12%) and two presentations (raw and cooked) of dehydrated nopal were fed to laboratory rats and growth and serum total cholesterol, lipoprotein profile and glucose determined. Samples of raw and cooked nopal were chemically characterized for moisture, protein, ash, crude fiber, ether extract, total dietary fiber, reducing sugars, amino acids, minerals and gross energy. Cooking slightly affected some of the nutrients analyzed. After one month feeding, blood was withdrawn via intracardiac puncture and serum glucose, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and VLDL were determined. Rats fed 12% nopal had lower weight gains (P < 0.05) when compared with counterparts fed 6% nopal or the control diet. Consumption of nopal did not affect (P > 0.05) glucose, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels. However, rats fed raw nopal at the 12% concentration level had a 34% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels; thus, it was concluded that raw nopal had a potentially beneficial effect for hypercholesterolemic individuals.

  4. Crystallization and Colloidal Stabilization of Ca(OH)2 in the Presence of Nopal Juice (Opuntia ficus indica): Implications in Architectural Heritage Conservation.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Navarro, Carlos; Ruiz-Agudo, Encarnacion; Burgos-Cara, Alejandro; Elert, Kerstin; Hansen, Eric F

    2017-10-17

    Hydrated lime (Ca(OH) 2 ) is a vernacular art and building material produced following slaking of CaO in water. If excess water is used, a slurry, called lime putty, forms, which has been the preferred craftsman selection for formulating lime mortars since Roman times. A variety of natural additives were traditionally added to the lime putty to improve its quality. The mucilaginous juice extracted from nopal cladodes has been and still is used as additive incorporated in the slaking water for formulation of lime mortars and plasters, both in ancient Mesoamerica and in the USA Southwest. Little is known on the ultimate effects of this additive on the crystallization and microstructure of hydrated lime. Here, we show that significant changes in habit and size of portlandite crystals occur following slaking in the presence of nopal juice as well as compositionally similar citrus pectin. Both additives contain polysaccharides made up of galacturonic acid and neutral sugar residues. The carboxyl (and hydroxyl) functional groups present in these residues and in their alkaline degradation byproducts, which are deprotonated at the high pH (12.4) produced during lime slaking, strongly interact with newly formed Ca(OH) 2 crystals acting in two ways: (a) as nucleation inhibitors, promoting the formation of nanosized crystals, and (b) as habit modifiers, favoring the development of planar habit following their adsorption onto positively charged (0001) Ca(OH) 2 faces. Adsorption of polysaccharides on Ca(OH) 2 crystals prevents the development of large particles, resulting in a very reactive, nanosized portlandite slurry. It also promotes steric stabilization, which limits aggregation, thus enhancing the colloidal nature of the lime putty. Overall, these effects are very favorable for the preparation of highly plastic lime mortars with enhanced properties.

  5. Antidiabetic Effect of Fresh Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica) in Low-Dose Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Seung Hwan; Kang, Il-Jun; Lim, Soon Sung

    2017-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate α -glucosidase inhibitory and antidiabetic effects of Nopal water extract (NPWE) and Nopal dry power (NADP) in low-dose streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD). The type 2 diabetic rat model was induced by HFD and low-dose STZ. The rats were divided into four groups as follows: (1) nondiabetic rats fed a regular diet (RD-Control); (2) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD (HF-STZ-Control); (3) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD and supplemented with NPWE (100 mg/kg body weight, HF-STZ-NPWE); and (4) low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD and supplemented with comparison medication (rosiglitazone, 10 mg/kg, body weight, HF-STZ-Rosiglitazone). In results, NPWE and NADP had IC 50 values of 67.33 and 86.68  μ g/mL, both of which exhibit inhibitory activities but lower than that of acarbose (38.05  μ g/mL) while NPWE group significantly decreased blood glucose levels compared to control and NPDP group on glucose tolerance in the high-fat diet fed rats model ( P < 0.05). Also, the blood glucose levels of HR-STZ-NPWE group were significantly lower ( P < 0.05) than HR-STZ-Control group on low-dose STZ-induced diabetic rats fed HFD. Based on these findings, we suggested that NPWE could be considered for the prevention and/or treatment of blood glucose and a potential use as a dietary supplement.

  6. Prevalence and behavior of multidrug-resistant Salmonella strains on raw whole and cut nopalitos (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) and on nopalitos salads.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Aldapa, Carlos A; Gutiérrez-Alcántara, Eduardo J; Torres-Vitela, M Refugio; Rangel-Vargas, Esmeralda; Villarruel-López, Angelica; Castro-Rosas, Javier

    2017-09-01

    The presence of multidrug-resistant Salmonella in vegetables is a significant public health concern. Nopalito is a cactaceous that is commonly consumed either raw or cooked in Mexico and other countries. The presence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strains on raw whole nopalitos (RWN, without prickles), raw nopalitos cut into squares (RNCS) and in cooked nopalitos salads (CNS) samples was determined. In addition, the behavior of multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolates on RWN, RNCS and CNS at 25° ± 2 °C and 3° ± 2 °C was investigated. One hundred samples of RWN, 100 of RNCS and 100 more of CNS were collected from public markets. Salmonella strains were isolated and identified in 30, 30 and 10% of the samples, respectively. Seventy multidrug-resistant Salmonella strains were isolated from all the nopalitos samples. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolates survived at least 15 days on RWN at 25° ± 2 °C or 3° ± 2 °C. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolates grew in the RNCS and CNS samples at 25° ± 2 °C. However, at 3° ± 2 °C the bacterial growth was inhibited. This is the first report about multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolation from raw nopalitos and nopalitos salads. Nopalitos from markets are very likely to be an important factor contributing to the endemicity of multidrug-resistant Salmonella-related gastroenteritis in Mexico. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Reverse Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica L. Juice and Seeds Aqueous Extract on Gastric Emptying and Small-Bowel Motility in Rat.

    PubMed

    Rtibi, Kaïs; Selmi, Slimen; Saidani, Khouloud; Grami, Dhekra; Amri, Mohamed; Sebai, Hichem; Marzouki, Lamjed

    2018-01-01

    This study was conducted to compare the effects of juice and seeds on gastric emptying, small-bowel motility and intestinal ion transport. Separate groups of rats were randomized to receive NaCl, increasing doses of juice (5, 10, and 20 mL/kg, b.w.) or seeds aqueous extract (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, b.w.). Simultaneously, two other groups were received, the reference drugs; clonidine (1 mg/kg) and yohimbine (2 mg/kg). The charcoal meal was used as a suspension for gastrointestinal motility test. The purgative action of juice was confirmed using the loperamide (5 mg/kg, p.o.) induced constipation. To evaluate the antisecretory effect, we were used as a hypersecretion agent, the castor oil at the dose of 5 mL/kg. Compared to the control and standard groups, we were showed that the prickly pear has an opposite effect on small-bowel motility and gastric emptying. Indeed, the juice at various doses has a laxative effect of gastrointestinal transit in healthy and constipated-rats. However, the aqueous extract of the seeds leads to a reduction of motility in normal rats which gives it a remarkable antidiarrhoeal activity, a notable intestinal fluid accumulation decline and electrolyte concentrations reestablishment. Moreover, orally juice administered at different doses accelerated the stomach emptying time in contrast to the seeds aqueous extract. More importantly, a significant variation in the phytochemical constituents levels between juice and seeds was found. These findings confirm the reverse therapeutic effects of this fruit in the treatment of digestive disturbances such as difficulty stool evacuation and massive intestinal secretion, likewise, the gastric emptying process perturbation. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  8. Studies on convective drying of `Ameclyae' Opuntia ficus-indica seeds and its effect on the quality of extracted oil based on its α-tocopherol content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassini, Lamine; Bettaieb, Emna; Motri, Samia; Desmorieux, Hélène

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this work is to model the thin layer convective drying kinetics of `Ameclyae' prickly pear seed variety and to evaluate the effects of drying conditions on the quality of extracted seed oil, specifically α-tocopherol content. Drying experiments were carried on following a full 23 factorial design using a vertical drying tunnel. The study is restricted to a particular particle size and a particular seed bed of height 0.5 cm, of effective porosity around 0.4 and of initial moisture content on dry basis equal to 1.2 (± 0.01) kg/kg. The temperature range was 45 to 70 °C, relative humidity range was 15-30% and air velocity was 1 and 2 m/s. The experimental drying curves were fitted to different semi-theoretical drying models proposed in the literature. The Midilli-Kucuk model was found with satisfaction describing the seed air drying curves with a correlation coefficient of 0.999 and a standard error of 0.01. For each drying condition, the extraction of fixed oil seeds was performed at cold using liquid/solid separation method. The oil quality was evaluated on the basis of the α-tocopherol content. The α-tocopherol was identified and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-UV). According to the experimental results, it was found that drying air velocity is the most important factor influencing the concentration of α-tocopherol, whereas the effects of temperature and relative humidity were lower. The increase of the velocity from 1 m/s to 2 m/s reduced the α-tocopherol concentration by about 25%. The convective drying of thin layer of seeds at soft air conditions, drying temperature of 45 °C, relative humidity of 15% and air velocity of 1 m/s give the optimal quality of extracted oil in terms of α-tocopherol content. Characterization of the morphologic structure of seeds was also performed by SEM.

  9. Evaluation and management of 2 ferocactus spines in the orbit.

    PubMed

    Russell, David J; Kim, Tim I; Kubis, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    A 49-year-old woman, who had fallen face first in a cactus 1 week earlier, presented with a small, mobile, noninflamed subcutaneous nodule at the rim of her right lateral orbit with no other functional deficits. A CT scan was obtained, which revealed a 4-cm intraorbital tubular-shaped foreign body resembling a large cactus spine. A second preoperative CT scan, obtained for an intraoperative guidance system, demonstrated a second cactus spine, which was initially not seen on the first CT scan. Both spines were removed surgically without complication. The authors discuss factors that can cause diagnosis delay, review the radiographic features of cactus spines, and discuss the often times benign clinical course of retained cactus spine foreign bodies. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first case report of cactus spines in the orbit. Health-care professionals should have a low threshold for imaging in cases of traumatic injuries involving cactus spines.

  10. First Report of the Carolina Spiral Nematode, Scutellonema brachyurus, from Soil of a Garden in Crete, Greece.

    PubMed

    Tzortzakakis, Emmanuel A; Cantalapiedra-Navarrete, Carolina; Archidona-Yuste, Antonio; Palomares-Rius, Juan E; Castillo, Pablo

    2016-03-01

    Members of the genus Scutellonema can cause substantial crop losses to ornamental and cultivated plants directly by feeding ectoparasitically on plant roots (Bridge et al., 2005; Coyne et al., 2006). In May 2015, a soil sample from a house garden from Heraklion city in Crete, Greece, was sent for diagnosis of plant-parasitic nematodes. In this place, there had been cactus (Opuntia sp.) plants (probably imported), which were uprooted 3 to 4 years earlier. After that, the area was cropped with cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in spring-summer and leaf vegetables such as spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) in autumn-winter. The soil was collected 1 mon after the end of chicory crop. A population density (ca. 30 individuals/100 cm(3) of soil) of spiral nematodes (Scutellonema sp.) was found by extracting soil with the wet sieving and decanting method (Cobb, 1918). Morphological and molecular analyses of females identified the species as Scutellonema brachyurus (Steiner, 1938) Andrássy, 1958. The morphology of females was characterized by a hemispherical lip region with four to six annuli, morphometric data for 12 females were L, 640 to 760 μm; a, 24.6 to 30.6; b, 5.8 to 7.4; c, 69.1 to 99.3; c´ 0.5 to 0.6; stylet, 24.5 to 27.5 μm with anterior part shorter than posterior; and spermatheca nonfunctional and male absent. The morphology agreed with the description of S. brachyurus (van den Berg et al., 2013). Alignment indicated that the D2-D3 and ITS sequences (KU059494 and KU059495, respectively) showed 99% and 100% to 99% similarity, respectively, to other sequences of S. brachyurus (type A) deposited in GenBank from the United States, Italy, and Korea (JX472037-JX472046, DQ328753, FJ485643; and JX472069, JX472070, JX472071, respectively), differing from one to six nucleotides. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian inference of these sequences placed the Scutellonema sp. in a highly supported (100%) clade that included all S. brachyurus

  11. Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Environmental Impact Statement, Flight Operations in the Sells Airspace Overlying the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation & Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Southern Arizona. Revised Draft

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-06-06

    farm animals (horses, beef cattle, turkeys, broilers , sheep, dairy cattle and pheasants) at Edwards AFB during 1966 show, except for avian species...15 15 loss of hearing, effects on mental health, effects on the circulatory system such as hypertension, digestive system problems, etc. Invlew of the

  12. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... michelinii, Blushing star Family Caryophylliidae Eusmilia fastigiata, Flower coral Tubastrea aurea, Cup coral... cactus Mussa angulosa, Large flower coral Mycetophyllia aliciae, Thin fungus coral M. danae, Fat fungus...

  13. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... michelinii, Blushing star Family Caryophylliidae Eusmilia fastigiata, Flower coral Tubastrea aurea, Cup coral... cactus Mussa angulosa, Large flower coral Mycetophyllia aliciae, Thin fungus coral M. danae, Fat fungus...

  14. 77 FR 17052 - Metaldehyde; Notice of Receipt of Request To Voluntarily Amend a Registration To Terminate...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-23

    ..., kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, mustard spinach, rape greens), grass grown for seed, ornamentals, prickly..., rape greens), grass grown for seed, ornamentals, prickly pear cactus, tomato, strawberry, watercress...

  15. 76 FR 39888 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-07

    ... (Bakersfield cactus); Orcuttia pilosa (hairy orcutt grass); Orcuttia viscida (Sacramento orcutt grass...); Tuctoria mucronata (Solano grass). Permit No. TE-45778A Applicant: Ellis Ecological Services Incorporated...

  16. Tijuana River Flood Control Project, San Diego County, California.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-05-20

    vulgare Fragrant everlasting Gnaphalium beneolens White hoarhound Marrubium vulgere Hottentot-f ig Mesembryanthemum edule ANNUALS Tumbleweed Amaranthus a...scoparium California box-thorn Lycium californicum See fig Mesembryanthemum chilense Ice plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Hottentot fig... Mesembryanthemum edule Little ice plant Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum Coastal prickly pear Opuntia occidentalis San Diego cholla Opuntia serpentia Salt marsh

  17. "Is post hoc development of risk management in weed biocontrol too late? Lessons learned from Cactoblastis cactorum"

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum is renowned for its success as a biological control agent against exotic Opuntia spp. in many locations including Australia, South Africa and Hawaii. However, in 1957, its introduction into the Caribbean to control native Opuntia spp. ultimately resulted in its arrival to sout...

  18. Is post hoc development of risk management in weed biocontrol too late? Lessons learned from Cactoblastis cactorum.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum is renowned for its success as a biological control agent against exotic Opuntia spp. in many locations including Australia, South Africa and Hawaii. However, in 1957, its introduction into the Caribbean to control native Opuntia spp. ultimately resulted in its arrival to sout...

  19. The effect of nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) on postprandial blood glucose, incretins, and antioxidant activity in Mexican patients with type 2 diabetes after consumption of two different composition breakfasts.

    PubMed

    López-Romero, Patricia; Pichardo-Ontiveros, Edgar; Avila-Nava, Azalia; Vázquez-Manjarrez, Natalia; Tovar, Armando R; Pedraza-Chaverri, José; Torres, Nimbe

    2014-11-01

    Nopal is a plant used in traditional Mexican medicine to treat diabetes. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate whether nopal can regulate postprandial glucose. The purpose for conducting this study was to evaluate the glycemic index, insulinemic index, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) index, and the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) index, and the effect of nopal on patients with type 2 diabetes after consumption of a high-carbohydrate breakfast (HCB) or high-soy-protein breakfast (HSPB) on the postprandial response of glucose, insulin, GIP, GLP-1, and antioxidant activity. In study 1, the glycemic index, insulinemic index, GIP index, and GLP-1 index were calculated for seven healthy participants who consumed 50 g of available carbohydrates from glucose or dehydrated nopal. In study 2, 14 patients with type 2 diabetes consumed nopal in HCB or HSPB with or without 300 g steamed nopal. The glycemic index of nopal was 32.5±4, insulinemic index was 36.1±6, GIP index was 6.5±3.0, and GLP-1 index was 25.9±18. For those patients with type 2 diabetes who consumed the HCB+nopal, there was significantly lower area under the curve for glucose (287±30) than for those who consumed the HCB only (443±49), and lower incremental area under the curve for insulin (5,952±833 vs 7,313±1,090), and those patients with type 2 diabetes who consumed the HSPB avoided postprandial blood glucose peaks. Consumption of the HSPB+nopal significantly reduced the postprandial peaks of GIP concentration at 30 and 45 minutes and increased the antioxidant activity after 2 hours measured by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrilhidracyl method. These findings suggest that nopal could reduce postprandial blood glucose, serum insulin, and plasma GIP peaks, as well as increase antioxidant activity in healthy people and patients with type 2 diabetes. Copyright © 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Protective effects of polyphenol-rich infusions from carob (Ceratonia siliqua) leaves and cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica against inflammation associated with diet-induced obesity and DSS-induced colitis in Swiss mice.

    PubMed

    Aboura, Ikram; Nani, Abdelhafid; Belarbi, Meriem; Murtaza, Babar; Fluckiger, Aurélie; Dumont, Adélie; Benammar, Chahid; Tounsi, Moufida Saidani; Ghiringhelli, François; Rialland, Mickaël; Khan, Naim Akhtar; Hichami, Aziz

    2017-12-01

    In the present study, we have investigated the effects of polyphenol-rich infusions from carob leaves and OFI-cladodes on inflammation associated with obesity and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis in Swiss mice. In vitro studies revealed that aqueous extracts of carob leaves and OFI-cladodes exhibited anti-inflammatory properties marked by the inhibition of IL-6, TNF-α and nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells concomitant with NF-κβ nucleus translocation inhibition. For in vivo investigations, Swiss male mice were subjected to control or high fat diet (HFD). At the 8th week after the start of study, animals received or not 1% infusion of either carob leaves or OFI-cladode for 4 weeks and were subjected to 2% DSS administration in drinking water over last 7 days. After sacrifice, pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in plasma and their mRNA expression in different organs were determined. Results showed that carob leaf and OFI-cladode infusions reduced inflammation severity associated with HFD-induced obesity and DSS-induced acute colitis indicated by decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines expression (as such TNF-α, IL1b and IL-6) in colon, adipose tissue and spleen. In addition, plasma levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were also curtailed in response to infusions treatment. Thus, carob leaf and OFI-cladode infusions prevented intestinal permeability through the restoration of tight junction proteins (Zo1, occludins) and immune homeostasis. Hence, the anti-inflammatory effect of carob leaves and OFI-cladodes could be attributed to their polyphenols which might alleviate inflammation severity associated with obesity and colitis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Design and Evaluation of Simulations for the Development of Complex Decision-Making Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Roger; Varley, Glen

    2002-01-01

    Command and Control Training Using Simulation (CACTUS) is a computer digital mapping system used by police to manage large-scale public events. Audio and video records of adaptive training scenarios using CACTUS show how the simulation develops decision-making skills for strategic and tactical event management. (SK)

  2. Lessons from Cacti: How to Survive the Prickles of Life during Tough Times

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigger, Alan S.; Bigger, Linda B.

    2009-01-01

    The saguaro cactus looked a little like humans, in different shapes and sizes. How on earth do they survive in a climate that seems so inhospitable? It is possible to learn lessons for life from a cactus, if one can only get beyond the thorns, and that these lessons will assist one to survive during tough or prickly times. These plants survive…

  3. 78 FR 40673 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Acuña...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-08

    ... acres (ac)) in six units located in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, Arizona. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat approximately 19,901 ha (49,186 ac) in nine.... For the acu[ntilde]a cactus, we propose to designate approximately 7,657 ha (18,921 ac) as critical...

  4. 76 FR 65163 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-20

    ...] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Christmas Cactus and Easter Cactus in Growing Media From the Netherlands and Denmark AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request...

  5. 77 FR 60509 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for the Lemmon Fleabane...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-03

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list as an endangered or threatened species Erigeron lemmonii (Lemmon fleabane). After a review of the best available scientific information we find that listing the Lemmon fleabane as an endangered or threatened species is no longer warranted, and therefore we are removing this species from the candidate list. We propose to list Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis (acu[ntilde]a cactus) and Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) as an endangered species, and we propose to designate critical habitat for both cactus species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If finalized, the effect of these regulations would be to add acu[ntilde]a cactus and Fickeisen plains cactus to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and to designate critical habitat for these species.

  6. Automated LASCO CME Catalog for Solar Cycle 23: Are CMEs Scale Invariant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbrecht, E.; Berghmans, D.; Van der Linden, R. A. M.

    2009-02-01

    In this paper, we present the first automatically constructed LASCO coronal mass ejection (CME) catalog, a result of the application of the Computer Aided CME Tracking software (CACTus) on the LASCO archive during the interval 1997 September-2007 January. We have studied the CME characteristics and have compared them with similar results obtained by manual detection (CDAW CME catalog). On average, CACTus detects less than two events per day during solar minimum, up to eight events during maximum, nearly half of them being narrow (<20°). Assuming a correction factor, we find that the CACTus CME rate is surprisingly consistent with CME rates found during the past 30 years. The CACTus statistics show that small-scale outflow is ubiquitously observed in the outer corona. The majority of CACTus-only events are narrow transients related to previous CME activity or to intensity variations in the slow solar wind, reflecting its turbulent nature. A significant fraction (about 15%) of CACTus-only events were identified as independent events, thus not related to other CME activity. The CACTus CME width distribution is essentially scale invariant in angular span over a range of scales from 20° to 120° while previous catalogs present a broad maximum around 30°. The possibility that the size of coronal mass outflows follow a power-law distribution could indicate that no typical CME size exists, i.e., that the narrow transients are not different from the larger well defined CMEs.

  7. A Study of Insect Pollinators Associated with DoD TER-S Flowering Plants, Including Identification of Habitat Types Where They Co-Occur by Military Installation in the Western United States

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

    environmental stewardship division chiefs can interact with contractors and partner land managers and biologists with plant and pollinator information in hand...1979. Pollination of Southwestern Opuntias. Plant Systematics and Evolution 133: 15-28. Keywords: Opuntia sp. Agapostemon angelicus...Parrish, J.A.D and F.A. Bazzaz. 1979. Difference in pollination niche relationships in early and late successional plant communities. Ecology 60

  8. Plant temperatures and heat flux in a Sonoran Desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Joan G; Patten, D T

    1970-09-01

    In the extreme desert environment the potential energy load is high, consequently high temperatures might be a limiting factor for plant survival. Field measurements of plant temperatures in a Sonoran Desert ecosystem were made using fine thermocouples. Temperatures of six desert species were measured: Opuntia engelmannii, Opuntia bigelovii, Opuntia acanthocarpa, Echinocereus engelmannii, Larrea tridentata and Franseria deltoidea. Daily temperature profiles were used to compare the different responses of cacti and shrubs to the desert heat load and also to compare spring and summer responses. Leaf temperature of shrubs was at or near air temperature during both the mild, spring season and the hotter dry season. The cacti, on the other hand, absorbed and stored heat, thus temperatures were often above air temperature. The energy absorbed is determined largely by plant orientation and surface area exposed to the sun. Actual energy absorbed by the plants was estimated from energy diagrams.The flat stem pads of Opuntia engelmannii plants are oriented to receive maximum sunlight without long periods of continuous heating. Opuntia bigelovii spines reflect and absorb much of the environmental energy load, thereby protecting the thick, succulent stems from overheating. The smaller stems of Opuntia acanthocarpa dissipate heat more effectively by their large surface area exposed to convective air currents. Leaves on desert shrubs remain nearer to air temperature than do succulent stems of cacti, because their very large surface to volume ratio allows them to dissipate much heat by convection.

  9. Wild Plants Used by the Native Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Study, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Describes 10 wild plants used by Native Americans. They include: rose hips; the common milkweed; cattails; elderberries; cactus fruits; lamb's quarters pigweeds (Chenopodium sp.); persimmons; mints (Monardo sp.); the yucca; and the hawthorn. Illustrations of each plant are included. (JN)

  10. Splinters and Other Foreign Bodies in the Skin

    MedlinePlus

    ... FBs: Bullets, BBs, nails, sewing needles, pins, tacks. Fiberglass spicules. Fishhooks: May have a barbed point that ... need removal Tiny plant stickers, cactus spines, or fiberglass spicules that need removal Minor sliver, splinter, or ...

  11. Literary support to the vegetable origin of shilajit.

    PubMed

    Lal, V K; Panday, K K; Kapoor, M L

    1988-01-01

    Shilajit, exuding from the rocks of mountains has been proved to be basically derived from the latex of cactus like Euphorbia species. Therefore, in the present communication, an attempt has been made to provide similar information from the ayurvedic literatures.

  12. Dreamy Draw Dam - Master Plan and Feature Design, New River and Phoenix City Streams, Arizona.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-09-01

    Carnegiea gigantea Saguaro Cactus Ferocactus wislizenii Fishhook Barrel Cactus The area north of the paved assembly area will be recontoured to...brittlebush, triangle bursage, little leaf palo verde, ocotillo, and various cacti species (pls. 8 and 9). Destructive past land uses have contributed to the...is well established. Plants used include saguaro , ocotillo, and Bermuda grass. The areas used for borrowing of material in construction of the 18 dam

  13. Sexual selection is influenced by both developmental and adult environments.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Stephanie R; Scarlett Tudor, M; Moore, Allen J; Miller, Christine W

    2014-12-01

    Sexual selection is often assumed to be strong and consistent, yet increasing research shows it can fluctuate over space and time. Few experimental studies have examined changes in sexual selection in response to natural environmental variation. Here, we use a difference in resource quality to test for the influence of past environmental conditions and current environmental conditions on male and female mate choice and resulting selection gradients for leaf-footed cactus bugs, Narnia femorata. We raised juveniles on natural high- and low-quality diets, cactus pads with and without ripe cactus fruits. New adults were again assigned a cactus pad with or without fruit, paired with a potential mate, and observed for mating behaviors. We found developmental and adult encounter environments affected mating decisions and the resulting patterns of sexual selection for both males and females. Males were not choosy in the low-quality encounter environment, cactus without fruit, but they avoided mating with small females in the high-quality encounter environment. Females were choosy in both encounter environments, avoiding mating with small males. However, they were the choosiest when they were in the low-quality encounter environment. Female mate choice was also context dependent by male developmental environment. Females were more likely to mate with males that had developed on cactus with fruit when they were currently in the cactus with fruit environment. This pattern disappeared when females were in the cactus without fruit environment. Altogether, these results experimentally demonstrate context-dependent mate choice by both males and females. Furthermore, we demonstrate that simple, seasonal changes in resources can lead to fluctuations in sexual selection. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Environmental Assessment: Space Innovation and Development Center Schriever AFB, Colorado

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-01

    Ptychocheilus lucius E Gunnison sage-grouse Centrocercus minimus c Humpback chub Gila cypha E Razorback sucker© Xyrauchentexanus E Uinta Basin hookless...debilis c Razorback sucker© Xyrauchen texanus E Uinta Basin hookless cactus Sclerocactus glaucus T Yellow-billed cuckoo Coccyzus americanus c GILPIN...Razorback sucker© Xyrauchen texanus E Uinta Basin hookless cactus Sclerocactus glaucus T Yellow-billed cuckoo Coccyzus americanus c MINERAL Bald

  15. Threatened and Endangered Species Survey for Patrick Air Force Base, Florida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oddy, Donna M.; Stolen, Eric D.; Schmalzer, Paul A.; Larson, Vickie L.; Hall, Patrice; Hensley, Melissa A.

    1997-01-01

    A review of previous environmental work conducted at Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) indicated that several threatened, endangered, or species of special concern occurred or had the potential to occur there. This study was implemented to collect more information on protected species at PAFB. A map of landcover types was prepared for PAFB using aerial photography, groundtruthing, and a geographic information system (GIS). Herbaceous vegetation was the most common vegetation type. The second most abundant vegetation type was disturbed shrubs/exotics. The beach and associated dune vegetation comprised 3.2% of the land area, but was the most extensive natural community within PAFB. A few isolated mangrove communities exist along the Banana River. Seventy-seven species of vascular plants occurred on the dunes, including four species listed by state agencies: spider lily (Hymenocallis latifolia), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia stricta), beach star (Remirea maritima), and inkberry (Scaevola plumien). Surveys of other habitats revealed eighty-four species of vascular plants including two state-listed species: spider lily and prickly pear cactus. Many of these areas are dominated by invasive, exotic species, particularly Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), and native species of open or disturbed sites such as camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris) and beardgrass (Andropogon spp.). Due to the isolation of PAFB from other natural areas, most exotic plant populations on the base are not an immediate threat to intact native plant communities. Dune habitat was surveyed for the southeastem beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus niveiventris) by quarterly trapping along eight 100 m transects. No beach mice were found. The limited extent of dune habitat, its fragmented condition, and the isolation of PAFB from extant populations of the beach mouse probably accounts for its absence. Surveys of birds on PAFB found an avifauna

  16. The physiological response of two green calcifying algae from the Great Barrier Reef towards high dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC and DOC) availability.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Friedrich Wilhelm; Vogel, Nikolas; Teichberg, Mirta; Uthicke, Sven; Wild, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Increasing dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations associated with ocean acidification can affect marine calcifiers, but local factors, such as high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations through sewage and algal blooms, may interact with this global factor. For calcifying green algae of the genus Halimeda, a key tropical carbonate producer that often occurs in coral reefs, no studies on these interactions have been reported. These data are however urgently needed to understand future carbonate production. Thus, we investigated the independent and combined effects of DIC (pCO2 402 μatm/ pHtot 8.0 and 996 μatm/ pHtot 7.7) and DOC (added as glucose in 0 and 294 μmol L-1) on growth, calcification and photosynthesis of H. macroloba and H. opuntia from the Great Barrier Reef in an incubation experiment over 16 days. High DIC concentrations significantly reduced dark calcification of H. opuntia by 130 % and led to net dissolution, but did not affect H. macroloba. High DOC concentrations significantly reduced daily oxygen production of H. opuntia and H. macroloba by 78 % and 43 %, respectively, and significantly reduced dark calcification of H. opuntia by 70%. Combined high DIC and DOC did not show any interactive effects for both algae, but revealed additive effects for H. opuntia where the combination of both factors reduced dark calcification by 162 % compared to controls. Such species-specific differences in treatment responses indicate H. opuntia is more susceptible to a combination of high DIC and DOC than H. macroloba. From an ecological perspective, results further suggest a reduction of primary production for Halimeda-dominated benthic reef communities under high DOC concentrations and additional decreases of carbonate accretion under elevated DIC concentrations, where H. opuntia dominates the benthic community. This may reduce biogenic carbonate sedimentation rates and hence the buffering capacity against further ocean acidification.

  17. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  18. Agave salmiana plant communities in central Mexico as affected by commercial use.

    PubMed

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal (Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha(-1)) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha(-1)) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha(-1)) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  19. Class III Survey and Testing of Cultural Resources in Proposed Flood Control System Right-of-Way, Southeastern El Paso, El Paso County, Texas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-05-01

    and 3 contained Mormon tea-type pollen, as well as high spine Asteraceae. Levels 3 and 4 contained Pooceoe and Opuntia. Level 4 contained modern oak...Sample Identification Quantity EP-1 Cheno-Am 12 Pinus 5 Poaceae 1 Opuntia 3 High Spine Asteraceae 1 V Ephedra torroyana-type 1 Indeterminate 1 - I...Total 24 Lycopodium 84 Concentration Value (grains/ml) 258.3 EP-2 Cheno-Am 19 Pinus 1 High Spine Asteraceae 2 Ephedra torreyana-type 1 Indeterminate 1

  20. β-Arrestins Negatively Regulate the Toll Pathway in Shrimp by Preventing Dorsal Translocation and Inhibiting Dorsal Transcriptional Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jie-Jie; Lan, Jiang-Feng; Shi, Xiu-Zhen; Yang, Ming-Chong; Niu, Guo-Juan; Ding, Ding; Zhao, Xiao-Fan; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; Wang, Jin-Xing

    2016-01-01

    The Toll signaling pathway plays an important role in the innate immunity of Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. The activation and termination of Toll signaling are finely regulated in these animals. Although the primary components of the Toll pathway were identified in shrimp, the functions and regulation of the pathway are seldom studied. We first demonstrated that the Toll signaling pathway plays a central role in host defense against Staphylococcus aureus by regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides in shrimp. We then found that β-arrestins negatively regulate Toll signaling in two different ways. β-Arrestins interact with the C-terminal PEST domain of Cactus through the arrestin-N domain, and Cactus interacts with the RHD domain of Dorsal via the ankyrin repeats domain, forming a heterotrimeric complex of β-arrestin·Cactus·Dorsal, with Cactus as the bridge. This complex prevents Cactus phosphorylation and degradation, as well as Dorsal translocation into the nucleus, thus inhibiting activation of the Toll signaling pathway. β-Arrestins also interact with non-phosphorylated ERK (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase) through the arrestin-C domain to inhibit ERK phosphorylation, which affects Dorsal translocation into the nucleus and phosphorylation of Dorsal at Ser276 that impairs Dorsal transcriptional activity. Our study suggests that β-arrestins negatively regulate the Toll signaling pathway by preventing Dorsal translocation and inhibiting Dorsal phosphorylation and transcriptional activity. PMID:26846853