IPA Awardees for November 2014

Rhodora V. Azanza
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Occurrence and Biological Characteristics of Glass Eels of the Japanese Eel Anguilla japonica at the Cagayan River of Luzon Island, Philippines in 2009. Zoological Studies, 53 (13): 6 pages, February 2014.

The Japanese eel spawns at the Northern Equatorial Current in the Philippine sea and the larvae are transported to freshwater growth habitats in East Asia. Morphologi
cal and genetic characteristics of Anguillid glass eels recruiting in 2009 were studied. Results show that spawning events in 2008 can account for the 2009 larvae data of the species at the Cagayan River, Philippines.

Link to the article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1810-522X-53-13.pdf
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 1.014

Marilen P. Balolong
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

In vitro Evaluation of the Mucin-Adhesion Ability and Probiotic Potential of Lactobacillus mucosae LM1. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 117 (2): 485–497, August 2014.

We characterized the probiotic potential of Lactobacillus mucosae LM1, focusing on its in vitro mucin-adhesion abilities. Screening assays were used to evaluate LM1. Previous studies on Lact. mucosae species have been performed, but few have examined the ability of this species to adhere to and colonize the intestinal mucosa. Thus, adhesion, aggregation and pathogen inhibition assays of LM1 along with microbial adhesion to solvents (MATS) assay were carried out in comparison with another putative probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii PF01, and the commercial strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Based on MATS assay, the cell surfaces of the lactobacilli strains were found to be hydrophobic and highly electron-donating, but the average hydropathy (GRAVY) index of predicted surface-exposed proteins in the LM1 genome indicated that most were hydrophilic. LM1 showed the highest adhesion, aggregation and hydrophobicity among the strains tested and significantly inhibited the adhesion of Escherichia coli K88 and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium KCCM 40253. Correlations among adhesion, aggregation and hydrophobicity, as well as between coaggregation and displacement of E. coli, were observed. Increased adhesion may not always correlate with increased pathogen inhibition due to various strain-specific mechanisms. Nevertheless, LM1 has promising probiotic properties that can be explored further using a genomics approach. Our data on adhesion of LM1 strain showed a significant correlation between adhesion, hydrophobicity of cell surface and autoaggregation. This study gives basic knowledge for the elucidation of the adhesion mechanism of Lactobacillus sp. and prediction of its adherence in specific host models.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jam.12539/abstract
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 2.386

Marilen P. Balolong
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Assessment of Fecal Bacterial Diversity Among Healthy Piglets During the Weaning Transition. The Journal of General and Applied Microbiology, 60 (4): 140-146, 2014.

The high level of genetic diversity in the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract has the potential to provide numerous beneficial functions to the host. Thus it is now acknowledged that the complexity in animal functioning is linked to the interacting microbiome in the gut. Despite the importance of gut microbiome, there is a lack of information concerning the microbial communities in the pig gut during the weaning transition. This study describes the fecal microbial shifts of healthy piglets during the weaning transition using barcoded pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Fecal samples were obtained from 15 piglets during the weaning period (fourth week after birth) and post-weaning (sixth week after birth) and were subjected to community genomic extraction for pyrosequencing analysis. As the piglets underwent the weaning transition a trend toward increased bacterial diversity was observed, based on species abundance as measured by the Shannon-Weaver index. Firmicutes (54%) and Bacteroidetes (59.6%) were the most dominant phyla during pre-weaning and post-weaning, respectively. During the weaning transition a distinct shift from Bacteroides to Prevotella as the most abundant genus was observed. Additionally, we detected a number of abundant gut bacterial species that have not been reported previously. Clostridium rectum, C. clostridioforme, C. lactatifermentans and Butyricimonas virosa were uniquely detected prior to weaning while Roseburia cecicola and Baluatia wexlerae were detected during the post-weaning period only.

Link to the article: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jgam/60/4/60_140/_article
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 0.598

Marilen P. Balolong
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Pyrosequencing-based Analysis of Fecal Microbial Communities in Three Purebred Pig Lines. Journal of Microbiology, 52 (8): 646-651, August 2014.

This study examined the fecal bacterial diversity of 15-week- old pigs from three purebred lines: Duroc, Landrace, and Yorkshire. Taxon-dependent and -independent analyses were performed to evaluate differences in the fecal bacterial com- munities and to identify bacterial genera that can be used to discriminate breeds, following high-throughput pyrosequen- cing of 16S rRNA genes. Among the breeds evaluated, Land- race had the most diverse bacterial community composition. Prevotella, Blautia, Oscillibacter, and Clostridium were de- tected in all samples regardless of breed. On the other hand, Catenibacterium, Blautia, Dialister, and Sphaerochaeta were differentially detected among breeds, as demonstrated by the canonical loading plot. The discriminant analysis of prin- cipal components plot also showed clear separation of the three purebred pig lines, with a certain degree of similarity between Landrace and Yorkshire pigs and a distinct separa- tion between Duroc pigs and the other two breeds. Other factors not related to breed, such as season or time of sam- pling and pen effects, may contribute to shaping the gut microbiota of pigs.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12275-014-4270-2
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 1.529

Eukene O. Bensig, Mary Joyce R. Flores and Fleurdeliz F. Maglangit
Science Cluster
UP Cebu

Fecal and Coliform Levels as Indicative Factors in Deterioration of the Water Quality of Lahug River, Cebu City, Philippines. IAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservation, 10 (1): 71-83, March 2014.

Total coliform comprises of bacteria from cold blooded and/ or soil organisms. These bacteria can be present not only in human feces but also in soil, manure and submerged wood. Largely, their number is ten times greater than fecal coliform.  Fecal coliform bacteria which is a subset of total coliform, are more fecal-specific in origin (US EPA, 2001). They can be found among warm blooded animals specifically in the intestinal tract and in fecal matter. Pathogenic microorganisms are generally found in the same environment with fecal coliforms. Thus, they become suitable indicators for the incidence of disease causing microbes. This study analyzed the water quality of Lahug River in terms of coliform levels and its correlation with the physicochemical parameters.  In general, the fecal and total coliform counts exceeded the standard values specified for Classes C and D waters.The level of coliform bacteria increased from the upstream towards the downstream sites of the river during the months of February to April; however, the difference in values across time was not significant. This could imply that there was a continuous fecal pollution in the river. Similarly, no  statistically significant correlations were noted between FCs and TCs with the physicochemical parameters.

Link to the article: http://iamure.com/publication/index.php/ijec/article/view/770
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Eukene O. Bensig, Brisneve Edullantes, Judith R. Silapan and Joemark T. Narsico
Science Cluster
UP Cebu

Oil Degrading and Heterotrophic Bacteria Composition in the Oil-spilled Affected Mangrove Forest Sediment in Mactan Island, Central Philippines. International Journal of Biosciences, 5 (8): 141-146, October 2014.

Oil spill increases the amount of hydrocarbons in marine ecosystems that disrupts the ecological balance with severe economic consequences. The oil spill incident in central Cebu affected the mangrove areas, aquaculture ponds and intertidal areas which resulted to disruption of ecological processes and economic loss. Recent studies suggest that microorganisms are the chief agents for the biodegradation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aquatic and terrestrial environments (Alexander et al., 1982; Swanell and Head, 1994). Bacteria and yeast appear to be the dominant degraders in aquatic ecosystems. Thus, the recovery or active process of oil degradation is a function of microbial interaction and density. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the microbial composition in sediments of oil spilled areas and compare it with a reference site. The  study aimed to measure the microbial count of heterotrophic and oil degrading bacteria present in the sediment and compare the relative density and relative composition of the oil spill affected sites with that of the reference site.

Link to the article: http://www.innspub.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IJB-V5No8-p141-146.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Dennis V. Umali
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Characterization of Complete Genome Sequence of Genotype VI and VII velogenic Newcastle Disease Virus from Japan. Virus Genes, 49 (1): 89-99, August 2014.

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isthe causative agent of the highly contagious and economically important Newcastle disease (ND). Whole genome sequencing of wild strains of NDVs has not been performed in Japan. Molecular characterization of NDVs especially from recent outbreaks in vaccinated commercial poultry flocks is essential, as it may provide important insights on the genomic properties of NDVs involved in cases of breakthrough infections. In the present study, complete genome sequences of three NDVs isolated from vaccinated commercial layer flocks were determined, analyzed and compared to different field and vaccine NDV strains from various parts of the world. The general genomic characteristics of the Japanese field strains were consistent with previously characterized class II NDV, except for those belonging to early genotypes (genotype I to IV), which lack the six nucleotide insertion at nucleotide positions 1648-1653 of the nucleoprotein (NP) gene. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Japanese strains could be classified into genotypes VIc and VIIe using the complete genome sequence and the complete coding sequence of the fusion (F) gene. Characterization of functional domains and neutralizing epitopes of the F and hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) proteins of Japanese field strains revealed a total of 31 amino acid substitutions. Although virus neutralization (VN) test showed that poor flock immunity due to vaccination failure maybe the major factors involved in the mechanism of breakthrough infection of the Japanese field strains, approximately two to threefold decrease in the VN titers (VNT) of the field NDV strains possessing a point mutation (E347K or E347G) at the linear epitope of the HN protein was observed. This study may be a useful reference in characterizing future ND outbreaks in vaccinated chickens and as a genetic map for future investigations regarding vaccine designs, reverse genetics systems and development of molecular diagnostic tools to prevent future ND outbreaks in vaccinated poultry flocks.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11262-014-1075-7
Impact Factor: (2013/2014 1.837)

May Kristine O. Bernardo and Voltaire G. Organo
Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Chlorophyll as a Simple, Inexpensive and Environment-friendly Colorimetric Indicator for NO2 Gas. Oriental Journal of Chemistry, 30 (2): 445-449, 2014.

Nitrogen dioxide ((NO2) is one of the major pollutants constantly monitored because of its health and environmental impact. It is a component of photochemical smog and responsible for production of acid rain. NO2 can also induce cough, nasal and eye irritations, and can lead to serious respiratory infections. These concerns due to extensive circulation of NO2/NOx in the atmosphere necessitate development of novel approaches for its detection and monitoring. Several studies have been devoted to selectively monitor the levels of NO2 in the atmosphere. These include metallic oxides, organic semiconductors, metal complexes and cage-like molecules. These approaches however require expensive materials and lengthy procedures for its synthesis. Our research presents a simple and low-cost approach to sensing NO2 gas. It utilizes a common pigment in plants—Chlorophyll. This ubiquitous pigment can serve as a colorimetric indicator for NO2 gas. A drastic color change can be observed when chlorophyll, either in solution or absorbed into paper, was exposed to NO2 gas. Other pollutant gases such as CO2 and SO2 did not show any color change. This system allows for naked-eye detection of NO2 gas. While several gas sensors have been developed in the past, this approach does not require synthesis since chlorophyll can be obtained easily from plant materials. Moreover, the method presented here is inexpensive since gases can be produced from common laboratory reagents, and the set-up requires minimal use of equipment. Thus, this method can be performed in the classroom or laboratories with limited cost and equipment.

Link to the article: http://www.orientjchem.org/vol30no2/chlorophyll-as-a-simple-inexpensive-and-environment-friendly-colorimetric-indicator-for-no2-gas/
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Nina Abigail B. Clavio and Junie B. Billones
Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Virtual Screening Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isocitrate lyase and in silico ADME-Tox Evaluation of Top Hits . Journal of  Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 6 (10): 727-738, 2014. 

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most widespread infections today than at any other time in human history. Currently, one-third of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the pathogen in TB. There are almost 9 million new cases of TB in 2011 with 1.4 million deaths. In addition to the large number of tuberculosis cases, TB has become a global public health problem because of its resistance to frontline drugs such as isoniazid and rifampin.  It is anticipated that there will be about 8.9 to 9.9 million new and relapse TB cases this year, largely due to drug resistance. Thus, there is a great need to develop new drugs that resist persistent TB infection. It is possible to stop persistent infections by interrupting a key biological pathway called glyoxylate bypass in which the enzyme isocitrate lyase (ICL) plays a main role. ICL has been found to be essential for Mtb survival in the host. Since the glyoxylate pathway has not been observed in mammals, ICL is considered an attractive target of new anti-tubercular drugs. In this work, one million compounds were screened using a drug model based on the structure of ICL. The top hits and derivatives were also evaluated virtually for their drug-like properties. The virtual screening yielded 17 compounds with better binding affinities than the natural substrate, indicating possible therapeutic potentials. The top hits also displayed satisfactory drug-like characteristics. The laboratory preparation and experimental bioactivity measurements on these candidate compounds are now underway in our group. 

Link to the article: http://jocpr.com/vol6-iss10-2014/JCPR-2014-6-10-727-738.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Erlinda S. Ganzon-Naret
Institute of Aquaculture
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

Use of Raw and Heat-treated Mung Bean Seeds (Phaseolus aureus) as Replacement for Soybean Meal Protein in the Diets for Sea Bass, Lates calcarifer Fingerlings in Tanks: Effects on Growth Performance, Nutrient Utilization and Survival Rate. AACL Bioflux, 7 (6): 458-468, November 2014.

Heat processing such as autoclaving and boiling significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the protein and ash content in mung bean seeds as compared to raw mung beans (Table 1), however heat treatment did not have greater effect on the crude lipid. No significant (P > 0.05) differences were observed in crude protein or Nitrogen Free Extract (carbohydrate) among heat-treated mung beans. These observations are in agreement with those reported by Bau et al (1997) on soybeans.

Link to the article: http://www.bioflux.com.ro/docs/2014.458-468.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

 

Teresa S. Encarnacion-Tadem
Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

“The Role of Non-governmental Organizations in the Field of Health in Modern Southeast Asia: The Philippine Experience” in Histories of Health in Southeast Asia: Perspective on the Long Twentieth Century. Tim Harper and Sunil S. Amrith (editors). Indiana, USA: Indiana University Press, 2014.

Sherlyne A. Almonte-Acosta
College of Education
UP Diliman

“A Closer Look at Internationalism in International Education in the Philippines: A Journey Towards Authenticity” in Globalizing Minds: Rhetoric and Realities in International Schools. Daphne P. Hobson and Iveta Silova (editors). USA: Information Age Publishing, Inc, 2014.

 

Elizabeth I. Olarte,  Annabelle A. Herrera, Irene M.  Villaseñor and Sonia D. Jacinto
Institute of Biology
Institute of Chemistry
College of Science
UP Diliman

In Vitro Antitumor Properties of an Isolate from Leaves of Cassia alata L. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14 (5): 3191-3196, 2013.

Cassia alata (akapulko ) is a well known therapeutic tropical plant. It is most known for its potent activity against skin-disease-causing microorganisms.  This paper demonstrates for the first time in the country, the ability of ethanol  extracts from leaves of Cassia alata to kill selected cancer cells. It is not effective against other cancer cell lines.  Interestingly, the extract was not toxic when tested against a non-cancer cell line, Chinese hamster ovarian cells, AA8. When further processed, the substance responsible for the toxicity contained polyunsaturated fatty acid esters (PUFA). The results point to the possibility of this PUFA  to also kill other cancer cells making it  promising for drug development.  The cancer cells used for testing are cell lines which were isolated from cancer patients, stored in cell banks and were subsequently purchased, grown and maintained in the laboratory for experimental purposes. In previous studies, activity shown by cell lines has similarity to activity of cells within the human body.

Link to article: http://apjcpcontrol.net/paper_file/issue_abs/Volume14_No5/3191-96%204.24%20Elizabeth%20I%20Olarte%20.pdf
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 1.5

Else G. Dapat* and Sonia D. Jacinto
Department of Biology*
Institute of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences*
College of Science
UP Manila*
UP Diliman

A Phenolic Ester from Aglaia loheri Leaves Reveals Cytotoxicity Towards Sensitive and Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13 :286, 10 pages, October 2013.

This paper demonstrates the activity of leaf extract from Aglaia or “kalabuyo”  a plant used as food by the Aetas of the mountain forests of Bataan.  The extract was demonstrated to kill human colon cancer cell line. It was then processed so as to obtain the pure  substance from the extract that was toxic to the cancer cells. This substance is classified in chemistry as a phenolic ester. Subsequently more  tests were done in Germany to establish that it causes the cancer cells to commit suicide. Moreover, this was also discovered to kill even blood cancer cells which are found to be resistant to a number of drugs. These resistant cells are called CEM-ADR5000. The cancer cells used for testing are cell lines which were taken/donated by cancer patients and were subsequently  maintained and grown in the laboratory for experimental purposes. In previous studies activity shown by cell lines has similarity to activity of cells within the human body. The results point to the possibility of this substance, phenolic ester,  to also kill other cancer cells making it  promising for development of drug against cancer.

Link to the article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/13/286
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 1.877

Lorenzo P. Lopez Jr., Arvin I. Mabilangan, Maria Angela B. Faustino, Neil Gabriel Saplagio, Arnel A. Salvador and Armando S. Somintac
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Thermo-optic Coefficient of Electrochemically Etched Porous Silicon. International Journal of Electrochemical Science, 9 (1): 8079-8089, January 2014.

Silicon is widely used material in semiconductor industry. However, Silicon technology is limited due to its optical properties. To aid this limitation, porous silicon was introduced. Porous Si is formed through etching of Si wafer in an ethanoic HF solution. The properties of porous silicon are controlled by etching parameters. However, refractive index of porous silicon varies with temperature. Thus, temperature dependent reflectance spectroscopy was performed. The experimental results show that the reflectance spectra of porous silicon shifts to longer wavelength due to thermal variation of refractive index of porous silicon. This is the second paper of porous Si research in the country. And was published in International Journal of Electrochemical Science

Link to the article: http://www.electrochemsci.org/papers/vol9/91208079.pdf
Impact Factor: (2013/2014) 1.956

Fredegusto Guido P. David
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

“Cellular Automata Model of Urbanization in Camiguin, Philippines” in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Gerhard Goos, Juris Hartmanis and Jan van Leeuwen (editors). New York USA: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014.