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1.
  • Munthe, Christian, 1962- (författare)
  • Precaution and Ethics: Handling risks, uncertainties and knowledge gaps in the regulation of new biotechnologies
  • 2017
  • Bok (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This volume outlines and analyses ethical issues actualized by applying a precautionary approach to the regulation of new biotechnologies. It presents a novel way of categorizing and comparing biotechnologies from a precautionary standpoint. Based on this, it addresses underlying philosophical problems regarding the ethical assessment of decision-making under uncertainty and ignorance, and discusses how risks and possible benefits of such technologies should be balanced from an ethical standpoint. It argues on conceptual and ethical grounds for a technology neutral regulation as well as for a regulation that not only checks new technologies but also requires old, inferior ones to be phased out. It demonstrates how difficult ethical issues regarding the extent and ambition of precautionary policies need to be handled by such a regulation, and presents an overarching framework for doing so.
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3.
  • Sanli, Kemal, et al. (författare)
  • Metagenomic Sequencing of Marine Periphyton: Taxonomic and Functional Insights into Biofilm Communities
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Frontiers in Microbiology. - 1664-302X. ; 6:1192
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Periphyton communities are complex phototrophic, multispecies biofilms that develop on surfaces in aquatic environments. These communities harbor a large diversity of organisms comprising viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoans and metazoans. However, thus far the total biodiversity of periphyton has not been described. In this study, we use metagenomics to characterize periphyton communities from the marine environment of the Swedish west coast. Although we found approximately ten times more eukaryotic rRNA marker gene sequences compared to prokaryotic, the whole metagenome-based similarity searches showed that bacteria constitute the most abundant phyla in these biofilms. We show that marine periphyton encompass a range of heterotrophic and phototrophic organisms. Heterotrophic bacteria, including the majority of proteobacterial clades and Bacteroidetes, and eukaryotic macro-invertebrates were found to dominate periphyton. The phototrophic groups comprise Cyanobacteria and the alpha-proteobacterial genus Roseobacter, followed by different micro- and macro-algae. We also assess the metabolic pathways that predispose these communities to an attached lifestyle. Functional indicators of the biofilm form of life in periphyton involve genes coding for enzymes that catalyze the production and degradation of extracellular polymeric substances, mainly in the form of complex sugars such as starch and glycogen-like meshes together with chitin. Genes for 278 different transporter proteins were detected in the metagenome, constituting the most abundant protein complexes. Finally, genes encoding enzymes that participate in anaerobic pathways, such as denitrification and methanogenesis, were detected suggesting the presence of anaerobic or low-oxygen micro-zones within the biofilms.
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4.
  • Sandin, Per, et al. (författare)
  • Technology neutrality and regulation of agricultural biotechnology
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Professionals in food chains: ethics, rules and responsibility. EurSafe 2018, Vienna, Austria 13 – 16 June 2018 / edited by: Svenja Springer, Herwig Grimm. - Wageningen, Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers. - 978-90-8686-321-1
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Agricultural biotechnology, in particular genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is subject to regulation in many areas of the world, not least in the European Union (EU). A number of authors have argued that those regulatory processes are unfair, costly, and slow and that regulation therefore should move in the direction of increased ‘technology neutrality’. The issue is becoming more pressing, especially since new biotechnologies such as CRISPR increasingly blur the regulatory distinction between GMOs and non-GMOs. This paper offers a definition of technology neutrality, uses the EU GMO regulation as a starting point for exploring technology neutrality, and presents distinctions between variants of the call for technology neutral GMO regulation in the EU.
5.
  • Zubair, Muhammad (författare)
  • Genetic variation, biochemical contents and wound healing activity of Plantago major
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Plantago major L. (greater plantain, common plantain) has been used as a wound healing remedy in different parts of the world for centuries. Different bioactive compounds have been proposed to contribute to the wound healing properties of this plant. The present study was undertaken to investigate the impact of some genetic and environmental factors on the wound healing activity of common plantain. Seeds of P. major were collected from five populations in different parts of Sweden, and were germinated and grown in a greenhouse. As expected for an inbreeding species, RAPD analyses demonstrated considerable between-population variation but very sparse within-population and within-subpopulation variation. Six major phenolic compounds were encountered in samples of P. major, four of which were identified for the first time in this thesis; PLMA 1–PLMA 4. Between-population and sub-population differences in the contents of these chemical compounds showed no correlation with RAPD-based estimates of genetic relatedness. The contents of these compounds differed greatly between different plant organs of P. major. The highest concentration of plantamajoside and PLMA 2 was found in leaves whereas the highest concentration of verbascoside was found in flower stalks and seeds. Contents were significantly higher in freeze-dried leaf samples compared to samples dried at higher temperatures. Both water and ethanol-based extracts of P. major leaves stimulated the cell proliferation and migration in an in vitro scratch assay, and also showed anti-inflammatory activity in an in vitro NF-kB assay with oral epithelial cell cultures. Similarly, these extracts stimulated wound healing activities in ex vivo tests using detached pig ears. Further breeding efforts aimed at developing P. major as a crop plant, and medicinal research aimed at elucidating and optimizing extracts with wound healing properties, are thus warranted.
6.
  • Sandhi, Arifin, 1986-, et al. (författare)
  • Phytofiltration of arsenic by aquatic moss (<em>Warnstorfia fluitans)</em>
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Environmental Pollution. - 0269-7491 .- 1873-6424.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • <p>This work investigates whether aquatic moss (<em>Warnstorfia fluitans</em>) originating from an arsenic (As)-contaminated wetland close to a mine tailings impoundment may be used for phytofiltration of As. The aim was to elucidate the capacity of <em>W. fluitans</em> to remove As from arsenite and arsenate contaminated water, how nutrients affect the As uptake and the proportion of As adsorption and absorption by the moss plant, which consists of dead and living parts.</p><p>Arsenic removal from 0, 1, or 10% Hoagland nutrient solution containing 0–100 μM arsenate was followed over 192 h, and the total As in aquatic moss after treatment was analysed. The uptake and speciation of As in moss cultivated in water containing 10 μM arsenate or arsenite were examined as As uptake in living (absorption + adsorption) and dead (adsorption) plant parts.</p><p>Results indicated that <em>W. fluitans</em> removed up to 82% of As from the water within one hour when 1 μM arsenate was added in the absence of nutrients. The removal time increased with greater nutrient and As concentrations. Up to 100 μM As had no toxic effect on the plant biomass. Both arsenite and arsenate were removed from the solution to similar extents and, independent of the As species added, more arsenate than arsenite was found in the plant. Of the As taken up, over 90% was firmly bound to the tissue, a possible mechanism for resisting high As concentrations. Arsenic was both absorbed and adsorbed by the moss, and twice as much As was found in living parts as in dead moss tissue. This study revealed that <em>W. fluitans</em> has potential to serve as a phytofilter for removing As from As-contaminated water without displaying any toxic effects of the metalloid.</p>
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7.
  • Wang, Yang (författare)
  • Discovery and investigation of glycoside hydrolase family 5 enzymes with potential use in biomass conversion
  • 2015
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Glycoside hydrolases (GHs) cleave glycosidic bonds in glycoconjugates, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides such as cellulose and various hemicelluloses. Mannan is a major group of hemicelluloses. In higher plants, they usually serve as storage carbohydrates in seeds and tubers or as structural polysaccharides cross-linking with cellulose/lignin in cell walls. In industrial fields, this renewable biomass component can be used in various areas such as production of biofuels and health-benefit manno-oligosaccharides; and mannan degrading enzymes, especially mannanases, are important molecular tools for controlling mannan polysaccharides properties in biomass conversion. In this thesis, the evolution, substrate specificity and subfamily classification of the most important GH family, i.e., glycoside hydrolase family 5 (GH5), are presented providing a powerful tool for exploring GH5 enzymes in search for enzymes with interesting properties for sustainable biomass conversion. Additionally, three GH5_7 mannanases from <em>Arabidopsis</em> <em>thaliana</em> (AtMan5-1, AtMan5-2 and AtMan5-6) were investigated in the present study. Bioinformatics tools, heterologous expression, and enzymology were applied in order to reveal the catalytic properties of the target enzymes, increase understanding of plant mannanase evolution, and evaluate their potential use in biomass conversion. This approach revealed: (1) AtMan5-1 exhibits mannan hydrolase/transglycosylase activity (MHT), (2) AtMan5-2 preferably degrades mannans with a glucomannan backbone, and (3) AtMan5-6 is a relatively thermotolerant enzyme showing high catalytic efficiency for conversion of glucomannan and galactomannan making this plant mannanase an interesting candidate for biotechnological applications of digesting various mannans. Moreover, these studies suggest an evolutionary diversification of plant mannanase enzymatic function.</p>
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8.
  • Roos, Jonas (författare)
  • Verticillium longisporum and plant immunity responses in Arabidopsis
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Verticillium spp. are soil-borne ascomycete fungi belonging to a subgroup of Sordariomycetes, and the three major plant pathogens Verticillium longisporum, V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum cause disease on numerous plant species worldwide. In Sweden, V. longisporum poses a threat to Brassica oilseed crops, and is thus emphasized in this thesis. Here the early immune responses to V. longisporum in the model plant Arabidopsis and recent data on the V. longisporum genome are presented. Three genes of importance in the Arabidopsis&ndash;V. longisporum interaction were studied. The genes were identified via transcriptome and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. RabGAP22, a RabGTPase-regulating protein, was found to contribute to V. longisporum resistance. Pull-down assays revealed SERINE:GLYOXYLATE AMINOTRANSFERASE (AGT1) as an interacting partner during V. longisporum infection and the two proteins were shown to co-localize in the peroxisomes. Unexpectedly, a role for RabGAP22 was also found in stomatal immunity. The monoterpene synthase TPS23/27 was on the other hand found to contribute to fungal invasion, by triggering germination of V. longisporum conidia. The third gene codes for a nitrate/peptide transporter, NPF5.12. Pull-down experiments and fluorescent imaging revealed interaction between NPF5.12 and a major latex protein family member, NPFBP1. Implications in plant immunity processes of these three genes are further discussed. The genomes of two Swedish V. longisporum isolates were sequenced and found to have a size of approximately 70 Mb and harbor ~21,000 protein-coding genes. Initial analyses revealed that 86% of the V. longisporum genomes are shared with V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum, with a high extent of gene duplications. Large numbers of proteins were predicted to contain secretion motifs, and this group of proteins is presumed to play major roles in the interactions with V. longisporum host plants. In conclusion, this thesis work has revealed new fungal and plant host genes and thereby laid the basis for new plant breeding and disease protection strategies.
9.
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10.
  • Almered Olsson, Gunilla, 1951-, et al. (författare)
  • Food systems sustainability: For whom and by whom? – An examination of different 'food system change' viewpoints
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Development Research Conference 2018: “Rethinking development”, 22–23 August 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Konferensbidrag (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The United Nations identifies the food crisis as one of the primary overarching challenges facing the international community. Different stakeholders in the food system have widely different perspectives and interests, and challenging structural issues, such as the power differentials among them, remain largely unexamined. These challenges make rational discourse among food system actors from different disciplines, sectors and levels difficult. These challenges can often prevent them from working together effectively to find innovative ways to respond to food security challenges. This means that finding solutions to intractable and stuck issues, such as the food crisis often stall, not at implementation, but at the point of problem identification. Food system sustainability means very different things to different food system actors. These differences in no way undermine or discount the work carried out by these players. However, making these differences explicit is an essential activity that would serve to deepen theoretical and normative project outcomes. Would the impact and reach of different food projects differ if these differences were made explicit? The purpose of this initial part of a wider food system research project is not to search for difference or divergence, with the aim of critique, but rather to argue that by making these differences explicit, the overall food system project engagement will be made more robust, more inclusive and more encompassing. This paper starts with some discussion on the different food system perspectives, across scales, regions and sectors but focuses primarily on the design of processes used to understand these divergent and at times contradictory views of what a sustainable food system may be. This paper draws on ongoing work within the Mistra Urban Futures project, using the food system projects in cities as diverse as Cape Town, Manchester, Gothenburg and Kisumu as sites for this enquiry.
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