Mourad Aboul-Soud received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland UK and completed 3-year postdoctoral studies at the University of Nottingham (England UK) and INRA (Bordeaux-France). He is a full professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at both Cairo (Egypt) and King Saud Universities (Riyadh-KSA). Prof. Aboul-Soud's main area of research isprimarily focused in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology and genetic engineering.
This study aims at employing recent genetic engineering tools to control the expression level of selected JAZ genes, a new family of repressors of jasmonate(JA) signaling, in tomato in order to generate salt-tolerant tomato plants able to grow under limited water availability and saline soil conditions, typical of some regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Wehave successfully dissected the entire family oftomato JAZ-repressor genes (SlJAZ) involved in drought and salinity tolerance via phylogenetic analyses. Four SlJAZs were identified with potential role in abiotic stress tolerance of which only two (SlJAZ2 and SlJAZ3) were targeted for in planta transgenic analysis and mis-expression studies to elucidate their functional roles. Atransgenic approach was employed to silence (Haiprin) the SlJAZ3 gene in tomato miniature Micro-Tom plants. For this, a gene-specific 400-nt sequence was used for the RNA interference (RNAi) silencing approachThe Gateway® LR Clonase® system was utilized to facilitate the cloning ofthe silencing(hairpin) destination vector. The resulting expression clonetransformed into tomato via an Agrobacterium-mediated cotyledon-transformation strategy. A hydroponically-grown system was established to conduct a full transcriptional profiling of the entire SIJAZ gene family (12 members) in different tissues (leaves, roots, floral organs and fruits) of wild-type Micro-Tom tomato plants. This has been achievedviaa real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) strategy in response to abiotic stresses. Initial expression profiling of all members of the JAZ genes in tomato indicated differential expression in response to abiotic stresses such as salinity, jasmonic acid and abscisic acid. Yeast-Two Hybrid (Y2H) studies, where both the SlJAZ2 and SlJAZ3had been used as prey (pGAD vector) and COI.1 as bait (pGBK vector), revealed that SlJAZ2, but not SlJAZ3, directly interacts with SlCOI1. Subsequently, a targeted large-scale Chemical Genomic Screen has been conducted to identify molecules inducing the SlJAZ2/SlCOI1 interaction, therefore acting as “molecular glue” for the JA-Ile co-receptor complex. The screen is currently underway using a state-of-the-art natural product library (NPL-720) representinga collection of 720 pure individual compounds primarily from plant and also from bacteria, fungi, and animal sources. This approach will open up new horizons of increasing tomato productivity in KSAunder harsh environmental conditions such as drought and salinity. It will also help the development of plant molecular biology and biotechnology platforms for transgenic crops with superior agricultural traits.
Francisco Torrens has completed his PhD at the age of 29 years from Universitat de València and postdoctoral studies from Université de Nancy I. He is the director of the Molecular Simulation and Computer-Aided Drug Design and Development Unit in the Institute for Molecular Science UV, a premier nonprofit university. He has published more than 350 papers in reputed journals, 1600 presentations and has been serving as an editorial board member of repute.
Mentha pulegium and Eucalyptus camaldulensis are important plant species with applications in flavouring processed foods. Their essential oils were tested for antifungal activity to explore biocontrol ways vs. fungal rot of apples in storage. Extracts analyses by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry revealed M. pulegium dominated by pulegone and E. camaldulensis, by 1,8 cineole and alpha-pinene. Oils antifungal activity was studied vs. Alternaria alternata and Penicillium expansum. Oil of M. pulegium is thrice more active than E. camaldulensis. Chemical components show synergism. Inhibition suggests food-preservation application. Classification algorithms are proposed based on information entropy and its production. Oils components are classified by numbers of C=C bonds, O atoms and cycles. Classification algorithms are based on information entropy. When applying procedures to moderate-size sets, excessive results appear compatible with data and suffer combinatorial explosion; however, after equipartition conjecture one obtains selection criterion resulting from classification between hierarchical trees. Information entropy permits classifying oils components and agrees with principal component analyses. Periodic table of oils constituents shows that those in the same group present similar properties; components also in the same period, maximum resemblance. Table is extended to other oils and anti inflammatory drugs.