Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Metabolic status, lactation persistency, and udder health of dairy cows after different dry period lengths
Hoeij, Renny van - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp; T.J.G.M. Lam, co-promotor(en): Ariette van Knegsel; Jan Dijkstra. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438070 - 285
dairy cattle - animal health - animal behaviour - dry period - metabolism - energy balance - lactation - milk production - udders - cattle feeding - melkvee - diergezondheid - diergedrag - gustperiode - metabolisme - energiebalans - lactatie - melkproductie - uiers - rundveevoeding

Cows traditionally have a 6 to 8 week non-lactating –‘dry period’- before calving and the start of the next lactation in order to maximize milk production in the subsequent lactation. An omitted, compared with a shortened, dry period reduces milk yield and improves energy availability in cows postpartum, but effects on udder health and persistency were unclear. Cows without a dry period fattened and spontaneously dried off due to the improved energy availability. Reducing the energy availability in the feed for cows without a dry period did not affect fattening or lactation persistency in late lactation. Cows with a short or without a dry period did not receive dry cow antibiotics in this study and this did not affect udder health across the dry period or in early lactation, but seemed to impair udder health in late lactation for cows without a dry period.

Photosynthetic efficiency in microalgal lipid production
Remmers, Ilse M. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Rene Wijffels, co-promotor(en): Packo Lamers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434607 - 200
algae - biofuels - light - triacylglycerols - lipids - metabolism - algae culture - cultural methods - algen - biobrandstoffen - licht - triacylglycerolen - lipiden - metabolisme - algenteelt - cultuurmethoden

Microalgae can contain large amounts of lipids which make them a promising feedstock for sustainable production of food, feed, fuels and chemicals. Various studies, including pilot-scale, have been performed and the knowledge on microalgal processes has advanced quickly. Unfortunately, current production costs for cultivation are still too high for bulk lipid production from microalgae.

One of the major causes for the high costs of bulk lipid production is the reduced solar-to-lipid conversion efficiency. Current research, however, does not provide sufficient insight to identify optimization targets. Therefore, in this thesis we have studied the lipid production in microalgae in depth.

Different TAG-accumulation strategies were investigated from a process engineering and metabolic point of view. The combination of all findings were used in the general discussion to thoroughly evaluate the microalgal lipid accumulation strategies. Current phototrophic microalgal lipid yields are still 10 times lower than the theoretical maximum. There is, however, still an enormous potential for further improvements. Future research should focus on (genetically) improved strains and advanced cultivation strategies, including adaptation to fluctuating outdoor weather conditions.

This thesis was performed within the EU FP7 FUEL4ME project under grand agreement No 308938. Objective of this program is to develop a sustainable and scalable process for biofuels from microalgae and to valorize the by-products.

Metabolic modeling to understand and redesign microbial systems
Heck, Ruben G.A. van - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Vitor Martins dos Santos, co-promotor(en): Maria Suarez Diez. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434553 - 239
micro-organismen - modelleren - kooldioxide - biotechnologie - algen - metabolisme - pseudomonas - microorganisms - modeling - carbon dioxide - biotechnology - algae - metabolism

The goals of this thesis are to increase the understanding of microbial metabolism and to functionally (re-)design microbial systems using Genome- Scale Metabolic models (GSMs). GSMs are species-specific knowledge repositories that can be used to predict metabolic activities for wildtype and genetically modified organisms. Chapter 1 describes the assumptions associated with GSMs, the GSM generation process, common GSM analysis methods, and GSM-driven strain design methods. Thereby, chapter 1 provides a background for all other chapters. In this work, there is a focus on the metabolically versatile bacterium Pseudomonas putida (chapters 2,3,4,5,6), but also other model microbes and biotechnologically or societally relevant microbes are considered (chapters 3,4,6,7,8).

GSMs are reflections of the genome annotation of the corresponding organism. For P. putida, the genome annotation that GSMs have been built on is more than ten years old. In chapter 2, this genome annotation was updated both on a structural and functional level using state-of-the-art annotation tools. A crucial part of the functional annotation relied on the most comprehensive P. putida GSM to date. This GSM was used to identify knowledge gaps in P. putida metabolism by determining the inconsistencies between its growth predictions and experimental measurements. Inconsistencies were found for 120 compounds that could be degraded by P. putida in vitro but not in silico. These compounds formed the basis for a targeted manual annotation process. Ultimately, suitable degradation pathways were identified for 86/120 as part of the functional reannotation of the P. putida genome.

For P. putida there are 3 independently generated GSMs, which is not uncommon for model organisms. These GSMs differ in generation procedure and represent different and complementary subsets of the knowledge on the metabolism of the organism. However, the differing generation procedures also makes it extremely cumbersome to compare their contents, let alone to combine them into a single consensus GSM. Chapter 3 addresses this issue through the introduction of a computational tool for COnsensus Metabolic Model GENeration (COMMGEN). COMMGEN automatically identifies inconsistencies between independently generated GSMs and semi-automatically resolves them. Thereby, it greatly facilitates a detailed comparison of independently generated GSMs as well as the construction of consensus GSMs that more comprehensively describe the knowledge on the modeled organism.

GSMs can predict whether or not the corresponding organism and derived mutants can grow in a large variety of different growth conditions. In comparison, experimental data is extremely limited. For example, BIOLOG data describes growth phenotypes for one strain in a few hundred different media, and genome-wide gene essentially data is typically limited to a single growth medium. In chapter 4 GSMs of multiple Pseudomonas species were used to predict growth phenotypes for all possible single-gene-deletion mutants in all possible minimal growth media to determine conditionally and unconditionally essential genes. This simulated data was integrated with genomic data on 432 sequenced Pseudomonas species, which revealed a clear link between the essentiality of a gene function and the persistence of the gene within the Pseudomonas genus.

Chapters 5 and 6 describe the use of GSMs to (re-)design microbial systems. P. putida is, despite its acknowledged versatile metabolism, an obligate aerobe. As the oxygen-requirement limits the potential applications of P. putida, there have been several experimental attempts to enable it to grow anaerobically, which have so far not succeeded. Chapter 5 describes an in silico effort to determine why P. putida cannot grow anaerobically using a combination of GSM analyses and comparative genomics. These analyses resulted in a shortlist of several essential and oxygen-dependent processes in P. putida. The identification of these processes has enabled the design of P. putida strains that can grow anaerobically based on the current understanding of P. putida metabolism as represented in GSMs.

Efficient microbial CO2 fixation is a requirement for the biobased community, but the natural CO2 fixation pathways are rather inefficient, while the synthetic CO2 fixation pathways have been designed without considering the metabolic context of a target organism. Chapter 6 introduces a computational tool, CO2FIX, that designs species-specific CO2 fixation pathways based on GSMs and biochemical reaction databases. The designed pathways are evaluated for their ATP efficiency, thermodynamic feasibility, and kinetic rates. CO2FIX is applied to eight different organisms, which has led to the identification of both species-specific and general CO2 fixation pathways that have promising features while requiring surprisingly few non-native reactions. Three of these pathways are described in detail.

In all previous chapters GSMs of relatively well-understood microbes have been used to gain further insight into their metabolism and to functionally (re-)design them. For complex microbial systems, such as algae (chapter 7) and gut microbial communities (chapter 8), GSMs are similarly useful, but substantially more difficult to create and analyze. Algae are widely considered as potential centerpieces of a biobased economy. Chapter 7 reviews the current challenges in algal genome annotation, modeling and synthetic biology. The gut microbiota is an incredibly complex microbial system that is crucial to our well-being. Chapter 8 reviews the ongoing developments in the modeling of both single gut microbes and gut microbial communities, and discusses how these developments will enable the move from studying correlation to causation, and ultimately the rational steering of gut microbial activity.

Chapter 9 discusses how the previous chapters contribute to the research goals of this thesis. In addition, it provides an extensive discussion on current GSM practices, the issues associated therewith, and how these issues can be tackled. In particular, the discussion focuses on issues related to: (i) The inability to distinguish between biological difference and GSM generation artifacts when using multiple GSMs, (ii) The lack of continuous GSM updates, (iii) The mismatch between what GSM predictions and experimental data represent, (iv) The need for standardization in GSM evaluation, and (v) The lack of experimental validation of GSM-driven strain design for metabolic engineering.

FeedOmics, an approach to evaluate the functional properties of protein containing feed ingredients
Kar, Soumya K. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Mari Smits; Jerry Wells, co-promotor(en): Alfons Jansman; Dirkjan Schokker. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434461 - 254
compound feeds - ingredients - protein sources - proteins - functional properties - metabolism - feed formulation - protein digestion - proteomics - digestive tract - nutrition physiology - animal nutrition - livestock feeding - mengvoer - ingrediënten - eiwitbronnen - eiwitten - functionele eigenschappen - metabolisme - voersamenstelling - eiwitvertering - eiwitexpressieanalyse - spijsverteringskanaal - voedingsfysiologie - diervoeding - veevoeding

This thesis presents FeedOmics approach as a toolkit, to evaluate (novel) protein containing feed ingredients of different origin considering both their nutritional and functional value in terms of their capacity to support or modify nutrient supply, the animal’s physiology, tissue development and functioning. Such knowledge may contribute to introduce novel and/or alternative protein containing feed ingredients in the diet of livestock, thus creating a sustainable food supply for growing human population.

First week nutrition for broiler chickens : effects on growth, metabolic status, organ development, and carcass composition
Lamot, David - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp, co-promotor(en): Henry van den Brand; Peter Wijtten. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430777 - 187
broilers - animal nutrition - poultry feeding - feeds - growth - metabolism - carcass composition - nutrition physiology - vleeskuikens - diervoeding - pluimveevoeding - voer - groei - metabolisme - karkassamenstelling - voedingsfysiologie

During the first week of life, broiler chickens undergo various developmental changes that are already initiated during incubation. Ongoing development of organs such as the gastro- intestinal tract and the immune system may affect the nutritional requirements during this age period. Despite the residual yolk that is available at hatch and that may provide nutritional support during the first days after hatch, the growth performance may be affected by the time in between hatch and first feed intake. Furthermore, it remains largely unknown to what extend nutritional composition of a pre-starter diet, as well as feed availability directly after hatch have an effect on physiological development directly after hatch, but also at later age. The aim of this thesis was to determine the impact of feed availability and feed composition provided during the first week of life on short-term physiological development, as well as potential long-term effects on growth performance of broiler chickens. Especially early hatched chickens were suggested to benefit more from direct feed access compared to midterm and late hatched chickens, as they tended to have a higher body weight gain during the first week after hatch. A delay in feed access for 48 h resulted in lowered body weight gain and feed intake when compared to direct feed access, but so did a short (13 to 26 h) delay in feed access after hatch. In the latter case, delayed feed access resulted in a lower weight to length ratio of the jejunum and ileum at 4 d of age compared with chickens with direct feed access. Although delayed feed access after hatch resulted in lower body weight gain during the first week after hatch and thereafter, it can be discussed whether this is truly an impairment of long-term growth or just a delayed onset of growth. With respect to feed composition, the inclusion of fish oil and medium chain fatty acids in a pre-starter diet had minor effects on humoral immune function. Inclusion of medium chain fatty acids did result in higher body weight gain and lowered feed efficiency during the first week of life, but only during the period it was provided. Feeding increased diet densities during the first week of life, obtained by formulating diets with different dietary fat levels, resulted in an increased gain to feed ratio, whereas body weight gain and feed intake decreased. Despite the shift in dietary energy supply from carbohydrates to fat and the perceived lower fat digestibility in young broiler chickens, nitrogen metabolizability and fat digestibility were not affected in the current study by feeding increased diet densities. The relative crop, liver and pancreas weights decreased when feeding increased diet densities, whereas the length of the entire intestinal tract increased. This suggests that broiler chickens repartition visceral organ development in response to feeding more concentrated diets during the first week of life. Interestingly, protein and fat accretion were not affected. Continued feeding of increased diet densities after 7 d of age resulted in increased BW gain, G:F ratio and metabolizable energy intake, but mainly during the periods that these diets were provided. In summary, even short durations of delayed feed access already impact intestinal development of young broiler chickens. However, a delayed feed access up to 48 h after hatch does not result in impaired growth, but only a delayed onset of growth. Even though digestibility of fats and oils may be suboptimal in young broiler chickens, feeding of these diets does not have to result in lowered performance per se. Young broiler chickens appear to adapt themselves towards high density diets with high fat inclusion levels in the first week of life, enabling them to digest and metabolize these diet types despite a suboptimal capacity for fat digestion. High density diets result in higher growth performance, but only for the period these diets are provided and thus carry-over effects at later age appear to be limited.

Physiology and application of sulfur-reducing microorganisms from acidic environments
Florentino, Anna Patrícya - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Fons Stams, co-promotor(en): Irene Sanchez Andrea; Jan Weijma. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430975 - 264
bacteria - desulfurella - metabolism - sulfur - reduction - genome analysis - proteomes - bacteriën - metabolisme - zwavel - reductie - genoomanalyse - proteomen

Sulfur cycle is one of the main geochemical cycles on Earth. Oxidation and reduction reactions of sulfur are mostly biotic and performed by microorganisms. In anaerobic conditions – marine and some freshwater systems, dissimilatory sulfur- and sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea are key players in the decomposition of organic carbon releasing sulfide as the product of their metabolism. Sulfide can then be used as terminal reductant by anoxygenic photosynthetic microorganisms or it can be used as electron donor for aerobic or nitrate-reducing bacteria, etc.

One particular case of the sulfur cycle is the naturally occurring oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores, which produce sulfur-rich waters with low pH and high heavy metals content. Extremophilic sulfur-reducing microorganisms are of scientific and technological interest. They are abundant in natural conditions in extreme environments, so they are environmentally relevant. Although hydrogen sulfide is corrosive and odorous, its production can be beneficial for industrial activities such as the precipitation and recovery of heavy metals. Therefore, sulfur reducers have also potential for extending the range of operating conditions of metal precipitation. This thesis describes the isolation and characterization of acidotolerant sulfur-reducing bacteria, providing a first understanding on their metabolism of sulfur compounds and insights on the beneficial microbial interactions for biotechnological purposes.

In Chapter 2, the ecology and physiology of sulfur-reducing prokaryotes is investigated. The ability of sulfur reduction is wide-spread phylogenetically over the microbial tree of life, found in more than 70 genera. Elemental sulfur reduction can occur via direct cell attachment to the solid substrate or with polysulfide as an intermediate. At least four different enzymes are described to be involved in sulfur reduction pathways, and these enzymes were also detected in several microorganisms that are potential sulfur reducers, but were not reported as such in literature so far. The ecological distribution of sulfur respiration seems to be more widespread at high temperatures with neutral pH values. However, some sulfur reducers can grow at pH as low as 1 and the strategies adopted by microorganisms to face high proton concentrations in the environment were commented in this chapter. The sulfide produced from sulfur reduction can be used to selectively precipitate metals by varying the pH values from 2 to 7, depending on the target metal. Economic calculations were presented to show that sulfur reduction is more advantageous then sulfate reduction due to the cost savings of the electron donor needed. Therefore, acidophilic sulfur reducers are of particular interest for application in selective precipitation and recovery of heavy metals from metalliferous waste streams and the suitable technologies for that purpose are also discussed.

Enrichments for sulfur reducers with various electron donors at low pH and mesophilic conditions were performed from sediments of the acidic Tinto river (Spain). A solid-media with colloidal sulfur was developed to facilitate the isolation of true elemental sulfur reducers at low pH. This strategy resulted in the isolation of a sulfur-reducing bacterium, strain TR1, belonging to the Desulfurella genus. The enrichment and isolation procedure were described in Chapter 3. The growth and activity of the isolate was tested at different pH values, temperature conditions, utilization of electron donors, and growth in the presence of heavy metals in solution. The isolate showed tolerance to metals, and growth in a broad temperature and pH, revealing its feasibility to precipitate and recover heavy metals from acidic wastewater and mining water, without the need to neutralize the water before treatment. In Chapter 4, the morphological, biochemical and physiological characterization of the isolate is provided, for which the name Desulfurella amilsii TR1 sp. nov. was proposed. D. amilsii is affiliated to the Deltaproteobacteria class showing 97% of 16S rRNA gene identity to the four species described in the Desulfurella genus. In the presence of elemental sulfur, D. amilsii utilized acetate, formate, lactate, pyruvate, stearate, arginine and H2/CO2 as substrates, completely oxidizing them to H2S and CO2. Besides elemental sulfur, thiosulfate was used as an electron acceptor and the isolate also grew in the absence of external electron donor, by disproportionation of elemental sulfur into sulfide and sulfate.

The draft genome sequence of Desulfurella amilsii TR1 and a comparative genomic analysis with the members of Desulfurellaceae family are reported in Chapter 5. Based on average nucleotide identity and in silico DNA hybridization values, D. multipotens and D. acetivorans were revealed to belong to the same species. Reclassification was therefore suggested. Regarding sulfur metabolism, the analysed genomes encode different sulfur-reducing enzymes per genus. Hippea species encode polysulfide reductase and a sulfide dehydrogenase. The analysed genomes of Desulfurella especies do not possess the polysulfide reductase but possess the sulfide dehydrogenase. D. amilsii is the only member of the family encoding sulfur reductase. Since D. amilsii is able to grow at the lowest pH value, this enzyme was suggested to play a role in sulfur reduction when the microorganism grows in acidic conditions. Genes encoding resistance to acidic conditions were reported for all Desulfurellaceae members, countering physiological tests that showed ability to grow at low pH only for D. amilsii and D. acetivorans. Sulfur respiration by D. amilsii was studied in more detail in Chapter 6, in which the requirement for cell-sulfur interaction at acidic (pH 3.5) and circumneutral (pH 6.5) conditions was evaluated. D. amilsii was shown to benefit from contact with the insoluble substrate, as activity and number of cells decreased when sulfur was sequestered from the medium in dialysis bags of 6-8 kDa pore size. Besides, the abundance of enzymes possibly involved in sulfur respiration, acid resistance and chemolithotrophic growth were investigated by proteomics. Sulfur reductases were not detected in the dataset, but the limitations of the method might leave membrane-bound proteins underrepresented in the study. Different rhodanese-like proteins were detected in high abundance at low and neutral pH, while sulfide dehydrogenase seems to function as a ferredoxin:NADP oxidoreductase. We suggest that the sulfurtransferases might play a key role in sulfur/polysulfide reduction in D. amilsii. Proteomic data also showed that genes involved in acid resistance are constitutively expressed in this microorganism. Some proteins were exclusively detected at low pH, but with very few overlapping with proteins reported to be involved in acid resistance. Moreover, analysis of the proteome revealed the involvement of the hydrogenase HydABC for oxidation of hydrogen during chemolitotrophic growth, as well as the complete pathway for CO2 fixation via the reductive TCA cycle.

More aspects of the sulfur metabolism by D. amilsii were investigated in Chapter 7. Cultures grown on acetate with sulfur or thiosulfate as electron acceptor and cultures grown by disproportionation of elemental sulfur, all at pH 6.5, had their proteomes compared. Rhodanese-like sulfurtransferases were abundant in all the analyzed conditions, with specific differences in the sequences. In sulfur respiration and disproportionation, sulfurtransferases were the only sulfur enzymes detected and so, they are likely to play a central role in the process. The respiration of thiosulfate is likely to happen via a thiosulfate reductase and a dissimilatory sulfite reductase, highly abundant in this specific condition. Analysis on the heterotrophic cultures revealed the ability of D. amilsii to activate acetate to acetyl-CoA via the acetyl-CoA synthetase enzyme and its oxidation via the TCA cycle being this the first report of acetate activation happening via acetyl-CoA synthetase in sulfur-reducing bacteria.

The isolation and characterization of another acidotolerant sulfur respirer, Lucifera butyrica strain ALE, and its growth in co-culture with D. amilsii were described in Chapter 8. L. butyrica was shown to use a wide range of substrate, such as glucose, lactose, ethanol, glycerol glycogen, peptone, etc. When growing on glycerol, a cheap substrate, by fermentation or by respiration of elemental sulfur, L. butyrica produced acetate, ethanol and 1,3-propanediol as major products. Elemental sulfur reduction by this bacterium, however, was not efficient and led to the production of maximum 2.5 mM of sulfide. When L. butyrica grew in a co-culture with D. amilsii, the acetate produced by the first was consumed by the latter and the production of sulfide was boosted in the culture. As D. amilsii is not able to degrade glycerol, the co-culture represents a strategy to broaden the applicability of sulfur reduction at low pH with different sources of electron donors.

Dynamic photosynthesis under a fluctuating environment: a modelling-based analysis
Morales Sierra, Alejandro - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik; Jaap Molenaar, co-promotor(en): Xinyou Yin; Jeremy Harbinson. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430456 - 282
photosynthesis - modeling - analysis - environmental factors - light - canopy - leaves - crop physiology - metabolism - fotosynthese - modelleren - analyse - milieufactoren - licht - kroondak - bladeren - gewasfysiologie - metabolisme

In their natural environment, leaves are exposed to rapid fluctuations of irradiance. Research on CO2 assimilation under fluctuating irradiance often relies on measurements of gas exchange during transients where irradiance is rapidly increased or decreased, after the leaf has adapted to a particular set of environmental conditions. In the field, such increases and decreases occur mostly because of sunflecks (rapid increases in irradiance on a low irradiance background) created by gaps in the canopy and plant movement by wind, and cloudflecks (rapid decreases in irradiance on a high irradiance background) generated by clouds that transiently block the sun.

In this dissertation, the metabolic regulation of photosynthesis and how this may limit dynamic CO2 assimilation is studied in silico with the development and application of simulation models. In order to support the development of the models, a review of the literature was performed as well as an experiment designed to generate data on dynamic CO2 assimilation for different photosynthetic mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition to providing these models to the research community, this dissertation also identifies multiple targets that may be used for improving dynamic CO2 assimilation in plants. It further demonstrates that the dynamic responses of CO2 assimilation to changes in irradiance has a significant effect on canopy CO2 assimilation, even for dense canopies exposed to open skies, resembling the conditions of commercial crops.

In Chapter 1, the context of this dissertation is presented. The societal relevance of this research is argued, making reference to the role that photosynthesis could play in addressing global problems such as food and energy security. The necessary background on the physiology of photosynthesis is provided, with special emphasis on the terminology and concepts required to understand the rest of the dissertation, with the aim of making the contents more accessible to a wider audience. Then, prior literature on the specific topics of this dissertation (i.e., photosynthesis in a dynamic environment and its mathematical modelling) is presented, with a chronological approach that analyses the evolution of ideas and methodologies up to the present.

In Chapter 2, the current literature on dynamic CO2 assimilation is reviewed, with an emphasis on the effects of environmental conditions ([CO2], temperature, and air humidity) on the rates of photosynthetic induction and loss of induction. This review reveals major knowledge gaps, especially on the loss of induction. The little data available indicates that rates of photosynthetic induction increase with [CO2], which could be explained by a weak effect on Rubisco activation and a strong effect on stomatal opening. Increases in temperature also increase the rates of photosynthetic induction, up to an optimum, beyond which a strong negative effect can be observed, which could be attributed to deactivation of Rubisco activase.

In Chapter 3, an experiment is presented that makes use of several photosynthetic mutants of A. thaliana. Downregulating non-photochemical quenching and sucrose synthesis did not have any significant effect on dynamic CO2 assimilation, whereas CO2 diffusion and Rubisco activation exerted stronger limitations. Further analysis reveals that whether stomatal opening limits CO2 assimilation after an increase in irradiance depends on the stomatal conductance prior to the change in irradiance. A threshold value of 0.12 mol m−2 s−1 (defined for fluxes of water vapour) could be defined, above which stomata did not affect the rates of photosynthetic induction. The comparison of measurements across irradiance levels also indicated that the apparent rate constant of Rubisco activation is irradiance-dependent, at least for irradiance levels below 150 μmol m−2 s−1.

In Chapter 4, a phenomenological model of leaf-level CO2 assimilation is presented. The model is described in detail and all the parameters are first estimated with published data, and later refined by fitting the model to the data from Chapter 3. Additional data from the experiment in Chapter 3 is used to validate predictions of CO2 assimilation under lightflecks for the different photosynthetic mutants. The model predicts accurately dynamic CO2 assimilation for the different photosynthetic mutants by only modifying those parameters that are affected by the mutation. This demonstrates that the model has a high predictive power and that the equations, although phenomenological in nature, have a solid physiological basis.

The model is further used to analyse, in silico, the limitations imposed by different photosynthetic processes on dynamic CO2 assimilation at the leaf and canopy level, allowing a more in depth analysis than in Chapter 3. The analysis demonstrates that results obtained at the leaf level should not be extrapolated directly to the canopy level, as the spatial and temporal distribution of irradiance within a canopy is more complex than what is achieved in experimental protocols. Both at the leaf and canopy level, CO2 diffusion is strongly limiting, followed by photoinhibition, chloroplast movements and Rubisco activation.

In Chapter 5, a mechanistic model of the dynamic, metabolic regulation of the electron transport chain is presented. The model is described in detail and all the parameters are estimated from published literature, using measurements on A. thaliana when available. Predictions of the model are tested with steady-state and dynamic measurements of gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and absorbance spectroscopy on A. thaliana, with success.

The analysis in silico indicates that a significant amount of alternative electron transport is required to couple ATP and NADPH production and demand, and most of it is associated with nitrogen assimilation and export of redox power through the malate shuttle. The analysis also reveals that the relationship between ATP synthesis and the proton motive force is highly regulated by the concentrations of substrates (ADP, ATP and inorganic phosphate), and this regulation facilitates an increase in non-photochemical quenching under conditions of low metabolic activity in the stroma.

In Chapter 6, the findings of Chapters 2–5 are summarised and employed to answer in detail the four research questions formulated in Chapter 1. Of great interest is the identification of six potential targets that may be used to improve dynamic CO2 assimilation. These targets are: (i) regulation of Rubisco activity through changes in the amount or regulation of Rubisco activase, (ii) acceleration of stomatal opening and closure, (iii) a lower /ATP for ATP synthesis, (iv) faster relaxation of non-photochemical quenching, (v) reduced chloroplast movements, and (vi) reduced photoinhibition by increased rates of repair of Photosystem II.

Shortening or omitting the dry period in dairy cows : effects on milk yield, energy balance, metabolic status, and fertility
Chen, Juncai - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp, co-promotor(en): Ariette van Knegsel. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579088 - 205
dairy cows - dairy cattle - dry period - milk yield - energy balance - metabolism - lactation - melkkoeien - melkvee - gustperiode - melkopbrengst - energiebalans - metabolisme - lactatie

During early lactation, dairy cows typically experience negative energy balance (EB) caused by the high energy requirement for milk yield, which cannot be met by feed intake. Severity of negative EB has been associated with an increased incidence of metabolic disorders and infectious diseases, subfertility, and increased culling rates. Shortening or omitting the dry period (DP) and feeding glucogenic diet could possibly improve EB in dairy cows. The objective of this thesis was to study the effects of shortening or omitting the DP on milk yield, energy balance, metabolism, and fertility over two subsequent lactations in dairy cows fed a lipogenic or glucogenic diet during early lactation. In the current study, 167 cows were assigned to three DP lengths (0, 30, or 60 days) and two early lactation diets (glucogenic or lipogenic diet), and cows were planned to have same DP length and diet over two subsequent lactations. In the first lactation after DP length and dietary treatments, shortening or omitting the DP improved EB due to a decreased milk yield in the early lactation compared with a conventional DP of 60 days. Omitting the DP or feeding a glucogenic diet improved metabolic status in early lactation. Moreover, omitting the DP increased the percentage of cows with normal resumption of ovarian cyclicity. Shortening the DP to 30 d did not influence metabolic status and fertility compared with conventional DP in dairy cows. In the first lactation, the cows with a 0-d DP had less milk but similar energy intake, leading to excessive weight gain and, therefore, high body condition score (BCS) at onset of the second lactation after DP length and dietary treatments. In the second lactation, improvement of EB in cows with a 0-d DP was less pronounced than the first lactation, which could be related to the high BCS at onset of lactation and reduced milk yield losses. Shortening or omitting the DP did not influence uterine health status, ovarian activity, and reproductive performance in the second lactation. In second lactation, feeding a glucogenic diet improved metabolic status and shortened the interval from calving to first ovulation compared with a lipogenic diet without affecting EB independent of DP length. Furthermore, shortening or omitting the DP decreased peak yield but did not influence lactation persistency in both lactations after implementation of DP treatment. In conclusion, omitting the DP improved metabolic status and resumption of ovarian activity, which was related to an improved EB in early lactation. Shortening the DP for two subsequent lactations could be achieved for most cows with limited milk yield losses. Independent of DP length, glucogenic diet improved EB and metabolic status compared with lipogenic diet in early lactation.

Are all eggs equal? : embryonic development and nutrient metabolism in chicken eggs of different origins
Nangsuay, A. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp, co-promotor(en): Henry van den Brand; R. Meijerhof. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577749 - 213 p.
eggs - hens - broilers - characteristics - strains - embryonic development - nutrients - metabolism - hatcheries - poultry - nutrition physiology - eieren - hennen - vleeskuikens - karakteristieken - stammen (biologisch) - embryonale ontwikkeling - voedingsstoffen - metabolisme - broedinstallaties - pluimvee - voedingsfysiologie

Hatching eggs, supplied to hatcheries are originating from different origins varying in breed, strain, and breeder age. These hatching eggs can be different in size, composition and eggshell properties, which might influence nutrient and O2 availability and consequently could affect embryonic development and nutrient metabolism. The aim of this thesis was therefore 1) to investigate effects of egg origin on nutrient and O2 availability, 2) to investigate effects of egg origins on nutrient metabolism and embryonic development and 3) to investigate consequences of different egg origins on the incubation process and hatching characteristics. In five studies, effects of different egg origins on nutrient and O2 availability, nutrient metabolism, embryo development and hatching characteristics were investigated. The first and second study focused on breeder age and egg size. The third study on breed; broilers and layers. The fourth study on broiler strain and the fifth study on breeder age, strain and eggshell temperature (EST). The overall findings in this thesis suggest that hatching eggs from different origins are not equal in availability of nutrients and O2. Nutrient availability is altered through variation in yolk size, especially by the effects of breeder age and breed. O2 availability is altered by differences in eggshell properties, which is influenced by especially breed and broiler strain. The availability of both nutrients and O2 plays a role on nutrient metabolism measured as embryonic heat production (HP) and consequently on embryonic development. Between incubation day (E) E7 and E14, both nutrient and O2 availability might affect nutrient metabolism as shown in the results of the broiler and layer comparison. Between E14 and hatching, the availability of O2 becomes the most determinant factor for nutrient metabolism and consequently for embryonic development. An increase in EST from 37.8 to 38.9°C from E7 onward resulted in an acceleration of nutrient metabolism and embryonic development until E16, but thereafter a high EST resulted in reduced yolk free body mass development. Embryos with an accelerated metabolic speed at an early stage of incubation, caused by an increased EST, might reach limited O2 availability at a higher magnitude than the embryos at a normal EST. As a result, nutrient metabolism is restricted and embryonic development is depressed. It can be concluded that not only the HP, but also the availability of O2 is crucial to be taken into account for developing incubator temperature. The principle is to obtain an optimal EST, which could maintain the balance between O2 requirement (driven by nutrient metabolism) and O2 availability for a continuing optimal nutrient metabolism to generate sufficient energy for embryonic development throughout incubation.

Metabolic engineering of biosynthesis and sequestration of artemisinin
Wang, B. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Harro Bouwmeester, co-promotor(en): Sander van der Krol. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576728 - 210 p.
artemisinin - nicotiana benthamiana - arabidopsis - biosynthesis - malaria - drugs - genetic engineering - metabolism - artemisinine - biosynthese - geneesmiddelen - genetische modificatie - metabolisme

The sesquiterpenoid artemisinin (AN) is the most important medicine for the treatment of malaria in humans. The industrial production of AN still mainly depends on extraction from the plant Artemisia annua. However, the concentration of AN in A. annua is low. Although different engineering strategies have been used in both A. annua and heterologous plant and yeast production platforms, the worldwide capacity and production costs for AN are not in balance with its demand (Chapter 1). Although the genes encoding for the entire AN biosynthesis pathway (AN-PW) of the AN precursor dihydroartemisinic acid (DHAA) have been identified, the application of these genes in pathway engineering seem to be limited by lack of control over product transport and sequestration. At the onset of this thesis project there was no information on transport in the AN-PW. However, it was known that DHAA is converted into AN outside the glandular trichome cells of A. annua. Therefore, in this thesis I tried to gain more knowledge on transport within the AN-PW and the use of different metabolic engineering strategies to improve the production of AN.

At the onset of my PhD project, the AN-PW genes from two different A. annua chemotypes were compared to understand the basis of different relative activities in the two branches of the AN-PW (Chapter 2). For these assays we used transient expression in N. benthamiana. In the AN-PW, artemisinic aldehyde (AAA) is at a branch point as it can be converted to artemisinic acid (AA) by amorphadiene oxidase (AMO), or to dehydroartemisinic aldehyde (DHAAA) by artemisinic aldehyde Δ11 (13) reductase (DBR2). AA is the precursor for arteannuin B (AB) while DHAAA may be converted by a CYP71AV1 or an ALDH1 to dehydroartemisinic acid (DHAA), the precursor for AN. In this chapter we demonstrate that the CYP71AV1 from a high AN production (HAP) chemotype has reduced activity in the AB branch of the pathway compared to the CYP71AV1 from a low AN production (LAP) chemotype. In addition, we show that the relative expression levels of DBR2 and ALDH1 also affect the AN/AB chemotype. The low catalytic efficiency of AMO from the HAP chemotype may be caused by a deletion of seven amino acids at the N-terminus of the protein compared to CYP71AV1 from LAP. Ectopic expression of the AN-PW genes in N. benthamiana showed that the bulk of the PW products are modified by glycosylation and glutathione conjugations. These side reactions therefore compete with the biosynthesis flux towards the AN precursor DHAA. At this point in my thesis the ectopic expression of AN-PW genes in N. benthamiana had not yielded any AN. At a later stage it became clear that this was due to harvest of leaves at 5-7 days post agro-infiltration (dpi), while AN in N. benthamiana leaves expressing AN-PW genes only becomes detectable after 7 dpi.

Glycosylation of the bulk of the AN-PW products in N. benthamiana stresses the need for an efficient transport of (DH)AA to the outside of cells in order to escape from the glycosylation reactions. In Chapter 3, transport and sequestration of AN precursors was investigated by studying the effect of membrane transporters (PDRs) and lipid transfer proteins (LTPs). Hereto, two membrane transporters with activity towards AN-PW products were made available by the group of Prof. Marc Boutry and we isolated three LTP genes from Artemisia annua which showed expression in the glandular trichomes. In this chapter we show that AaLTP3 displays specific activity, together with AaPDR2 towards transport of (DH)AA to the apoplast in N. benthamiana. Moreover, infiltration experiments with (DH)AA in N. benthamiana leaves revealed that these compounds are rapidly taken up by the cells and that inside the cells there is a strong reverse flux in the AN-PW by conversion of (DH)AA towards (DH)AAA and (DH)AAOH. Subsequently we demonstrated that AaLTP3 has a stronger activity in keeping products in the apoplast than the AaPDR2 membrane transporter. Therefore, I suggest that by removal of (DH)AA from the cytosol through transport over the plasma membrane by AaPDR2 and subsequent sequestration in the apoplast by AaLTP3, AaLTP3 creates sink activity which prevents reflux of (DH)AA from the apoplast back into the cells. AaLTP3 therefore contributes to a directional flux through the AN-PW towards the end product (DH)AA. Finally, in this work we could also for the first time detect AN and AB in N. benthamiana leaves by extraction of necrotic leaves at 13 dpi.

Because in A. annua glandular trichome cells both the AN sesquiterpene biosynthesis pathway and the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway are active, we explored whether there is a functional interaction between these two major secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways. In Chapter 4 we describe how we manipulate the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway in N. benthamiana leaves using the Antirhinum majus transcription factor Rosea1 (ROS) and test coexpression of ROS with AN-PW genes. The co-expression of ROS stimulates AN-PW product accumulation. Subsequent analysis indicates that this is most likely from transcriptional activation of the enzyme Mevalonate Kinase (MVK) in the mevalonate pathway, which provides precursors for the sesquiterpene biosynthesis pathway. In addition, we demonstrate that production of flavonoids competes with AN-PW product accumulation, as co-expression of AN-PW genes with ROS, but simultaneous inhibition of chalcone synthase (CHS) by a CHSRNAi construct, results in higher AN-PW product levels. However, accumulation of the end products AN and AB was not affected significantly. Finally, the combined expression of AN-PW+ROS+AaPDR2+AaLTP3+ CHSRNAi results in highest sequestration of (DH)AA in the apoplast and highest accumulation of the end products AN and AB in N. benthamiana.

During my thesis work, in a related project it was found that expression of another sesquiterpene biosynthesis gene (caryophyllene synthase; CST) in transgenic Arabidopsis resulted in higher caryophyllene emission for a transformant expressing a genomic DNA of CST, compared with a similar transformant expressing a CST cDNA described in literature. This suggested that ectopic expression of intron containing genes is more efficient than ectopic expression of cDNAs. To test whether in the context of metabolic engineering the use of genomic (intron-containing) genes is more efficient than the use of the corresponding cDNA we generated a set of stable transformed Arabidopsis lines with either genomic CST (gCST), cDNA CST (cCST), genomic amorphadiene synthesis (gADS) and cDNA ADS (cADS). In chapter 5 we show that indeed the lines with overexpression of the genomic clones yield higher levels of the anticipated products (caryophyllene or amorphadiene) than the lines with overexpression of the corresponding cDNAs. Transcript analysis showed that for gCST the increase in caryophyllene production was higher than can be explained solely by the increase in CST transcription. In the context of transient expression in N. benthamiana leaves the intron-mediated-enhancement effect was less pronounced.

In the final discussion chapter 6 I review limitations and potential solutions to metabolic engineering of the AN-PW in plants, and I discuss the impact of our findings on AN production capacity using transient expression versus natural production in A. annua. Moreover, I discuss how the finding of this thesis go beyond just insights into the AN-PW as especially the identification of the role of LTPs in sesquestration of (sesqui)terpenes into the apoplast may have an impact on the metabolic engineering efforts of many other (sesqui)terpene pathways. Because some plant hormones are also terpenoid products the newly identified role of LTPs may also have impact on a deeper understanding of hormone signalling in plants. I have already started exploring this path by generating a set of Arabidopsis plants with overexpression of different Arabidopsis LTP genes to test whether any hormone related traits are altered (Chapter 6). Preliminary results do indeed confirm a role of LTPs in endogenous plant hormone balance, something worthwhile to be further explored in future research.

Replacing lactose from calf milk replacers : effects on digestion and post-absorptive metabolism
Gilbert, M.S. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Wouter Hendriks, co-promotor(en): Walter Gerrits; Henk Schols. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576032 - 171
vleeskalveren - lactose - kunstmelk - polysacchariden - glucose - fructose - glycerol - zetmeelvertering - metabolisme - fermentatie - kalvervoeding - diervoeding - voedingsfysiologie - veal calves - filled milk - polysaccharides - starch digestion - metabolism - fermentation - calf feeding - animal nutrition - nutrition physiology

Summary PhD thesis Myrthe S. Gilbert

Replacing lactose from calf milk replacers – Effects on digestion and post-absorptive metabolism

Veal calves are fed milk replacer (MR) and solid feed. The largest part of the energy provided to veal calves originates from the MR. Calf MR contains 40 to 50% lactose, originating from whey, a by-product from cheese production. High and strongly fluctuating dairy prices are a major economic incentive to replace lactose from the calf MR by alternative energy sources. The objective of this thesis was to study the effects of replacing lactose from calf MR on nutrient digestion and fermentation and post-absorptive metabolism.

In Chapter 2 and 3, four starch products (SP) were evaluated for replacing lactose. The four SP differed in size and branching, and consequently required different ratios of starch-degrading enzymes for their complete hydrolysis to glucose. Gelatinized starch required α-amylase and (iso)maltase; maltodextrin required (iso)maltase and α-amylase; maltodextrin with α-1,6-branching required isomaltase, maltase and α-amylase and maltose required maltase. In Chapter 2, adaptation to these SP was assessed during 14 weeks, using a within-animal titration study. Forty male Holstein-Friesian calves (n = 8 per treatment) were assigned to either a lactose control MR or one of four titration strategies, each testing the stepwise exchange of lactose for one of the SP. For control calves, fecal dry matter (DM) content and fecal pH did not change over time. The response in fecal DM content and fecal pH in time did not differ between SP treatments and decreased linearly with 0.57% and 0.32 per week, respectively, where one week corresponded to an increase in SP inclusion of 3%. This indicates that the capacity for starch digestion was already exceeded at low inclusion levels, resulting in SP fermentation. All SP required maltase to achieve complete hydrolysis to glucose and it was, therefore, suggested that maltase is the rate-limiting enzyme in starch digestion in milk-fed calves.

Following the titration, a fixed inclusion level of 18% of the SP in the MR was applied. Effects on starch-degrading enzyme activity, nutrient disappearance, SP fermentation and jugular glucose appearance were measured (Chapter 3). Lactase activity in the brush border was high in the proximal small intestine of all calves, resulting in a high apparent ileal disappearance of lactose (≥ 99% of intake). Maltase and isomaltase activities in the brush border were not increased for any of the SP treatments. Luminal α-amylase activity was lower in the proximal small intestine but greater in the distal small intestine of SP-fed calves compared to control calves. This amylase activity in the distal small intestine of SP-fed calves might have been of microbial origin. Apparent SP disappearance did not differ between SP treatments. The difference between apparent ileal (62%) and total tract (99%) SP disappearance indicated substantial SP fermentation in the large intestine (37% of intake). In addition, total tract SP fermentation was quantified using fecal 13C excretion which originated from the naturally 13C-enriched corn SP. Total tract SP fermentation averaged 89% of intake, regardless of SP treatment. MR leaking into the reticulorumen was measured as the recovery of Cr in the reticulorumen at slaughter after feeding MR pulse-dosed with Cr 4h prior to slaughter. MR leaking into the reticulorumen averaged 11% for SP-fed calves. By difference, this leaves 41% of the SP intake fermented in the small intestine. This coincided with increased fecal nitrogen (N) and DM losses for SP-fed calves. However, apparent total tract crude fat disappearance tended to increase when replacing lactose with SP. The substantial SP fermentation indicates that only 10% of the SP intake was enzymatically hydrolyzed and absorbed as glucose. This was in agreement with the marginal increase in 13C enrichment in peripheral plasma glucose after feeding naturally 13C-enriched gelatinized starch and maltose, compared to a clear increase after feeding naturally 13C-enriched lactose to control calves. It was concluded that fermentation, rather than enzymatic digestion, is the main reason for small intestinal starch disappearance in milk-fed calves. The expected decrease in growth performance with such extensive SP fermentation is partially compensated by the greater crude fat digestion and possibly by a reduced urinary glucose excretion when replacing lactose with SP.

Glucose, fructose and glycerol do not require enzymatic hydrolysis and can be absorbed directly from the small intestine. However, these lactose replacers might differentially affect glucose and insulin metabolism and with that energy partitioning. The effects of partly replacing lactose with glucose, fructose or glycerol on energy and N partitioning and glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity were, therefore, studied in Chapter 4 and 5. Forty male Holstein-Friesian calves either received a lactose control MR or a MR in which one third of the lactose was replaced with glucose, fructose or glycerol (n = 10 per treatment). Energy and N retention were not affected by MR composition. Fructose absorption from the small intestine was incomplete resulting in fructose fermentation. This resulted in fecal losses of DM, energy and N and the lowest numerical energy and N retention for fructose-fed calves. Postprandial plasma concentrations of glucose exceeded the renal threshold for glucose in glucose-fed calves and control calves, which resulted in urinary glucose excretion. Glycerol was likely excreted with the urine of glycerol-fed calves. Oxidation of glucose, fructose and glycerol was quantified by feeding a single dose of [U-13C]glucose, [U-13C]fructose or [U-13C]glycerol with the MR and subsequently measuring 13CO2 production. Oxidation of lactose replacers did not differ between lactose replacers and averaged 72% of intake. However, the time at which the maximum rate of oxidation was reached was delayed for fructose-fed compared to glucose-fed and glycerol-fed calves, indicating that fructose was converted into other substrates before being oxidized. Conversion of fructose and glycerol into glucose was confirmed by an increase in 13C enrichment of peripheral plasma glucose after feeding [U-13C]fructose and [U-13C]glycerol, respectively. Insulin sensitivity did not differ between MR treatments, but was already low at the start of the experiment at 15 weeks of age and remained low throughout the experiment. It was concluded that glucose and glycerol can replace one third of the lactose from the calf MR, but that inclusion of fructose should be lower to prevent incomplete absorption from the small intestine.

In literature and the studies in this thesis, high inter-individual variation in growth performance was found in veal calves. The experiment described in Chapter 6 was, therefore, designed to assess the predictability of later life growth performance by charactering calves in early life. In addition, it was examined whether the ability of calves to cope with MR in which lactose is partially replaced by alternative energy sources can be predicted. From 2 to 11 weeks of age, male Holstein-Friesian calves were fed a lactose control MR and solid feed according to a practical feeding scheme and were characterized individually using targeted challenges related to feeding motivation, digestion, post-absorptive metabolism, immunology, behavior and stress. Based on the results in Chapter 4, a combination of glucose, fructose and glycerol in a 2:1:2 ratio was used to replace half of the lactose from the MR (GFG). From 11 to 27 weeks of age, calves received a lactose control MR or the GFG MR (n = 65 per treatment). Growth performance from 11 to 27 weeks of age tended to be lower for GFG-fed than for control calves (-25 g/d). Measurements in early life explained 12% of the variation in growth performance in later life. However, this was mainly related to variation in solid feed refusals. When growth performance was adjusted to equal solid feed intake, only 4% of the variation in standardized growth performance in later life, reflecting feed efficiency, could be explained by early life measurements. This indicates that > 95% of the variation in feed efficiency in later life could not be explained by early life characterization. It is hypothesized that variation in health status explains substantial variation in feed efficiency in veal calves. Significant relations between fasting plasma glucose concentrations, fecal dry matter and fecal pH in early life and feed efficiency in later life depended on MR composition. These measurements are, therefore, potential tools for screening calves in early life on their ability to cope with a MR in which half of the lactose is replaced by glucose, fructose and glycerol (in a 2:1:2 ratio).

The studies reported in this thesis demonstrate that glycerol, glucose and a combination of glucose, fructose and glycerol in a 2:1:2 ratio are promising lactose replacers. The effects of replacing lactose by other carbohydrate or energy sources described in this thesis are required to evaluate the potential of lactose replacers for inclusion in calf milk replacers and provide input for feed evaluation for calves and ruminants.

Phosphorus metabolism in dairy cattle : literature study on recent developments and gaps in knowledge
Goselink, R.M.A. ; Klop, G. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Bannink, A. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Livestock Research rapport 910) - 36
dairy cattle - phosphorus - nutrient requirements - animal nutrition - metabolism - melkvee - fosfor - voedingsstoffenbehoeften - diervoeding - metabolisme
Goal of this literature study is to define the uncertainties related to P requirement models and ways to make them more precise and more reliable than current systems and to find biomarkers to monitor P balance in living animals. Milk P is an important factor in P balance, and concentration may vary between individual cows. Bone represents a large P reserve and can have a profound impact on cow P balance and plasma P regulation. Plasma P concentration is still the most commonly used diagnostic measurement available to judge the P status of an animal, with all restrictions for good interpretation; new biomarkers defining P status are needed. Further research into mechanisms and quantification of the is needed to improve our understanding of P metabolism.
Effect of dietary protein on lipid and glucose metabolism: implications for metabolic health
Rietman, A. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Frans Kok; D. Tomé, co-promotor(en): Marco Mensink. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573482 - 160
voeding en gezondheid - stofwisselingsstoornissen - eiwitinname - dieet - metabolisme - lipiden - glucose - macronutriënten - nutrition and health - metabolic disorders - protein intake - diet - metabolism - lipids - macronutrients

Abstract

Background: Diet is an important factor in the development of the Metabolic Syndrome (Mets) and type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Accumulation of intra hepatic lipid (IHL) can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is sometimes considered the hepatic manifestation of Mets. Manipulation of the dietary macronutrient composition – altering either fat or simple carbohydrates – has the potential to change lipid storage in the liver. Protein also has this ability, however human data is scarce. Moreover, high dietary protein intake is linked with an increased type 2 Diabetes risk. Therefore, it is essential to study the metabolic consequences of changes in macronutrient composition focussing on altering dietary protein quantity.

Objective: In this thesis the effects of dietary protein on metabolic health focusing on lipid and glucose metabolism were investigated in both observational studies as well as in a human dietary intervention trial.

Methods: In an observational study (n=1283), Fatty Liver Index (FLI) was calculated and related to macronutrient consumption from dietary assessment data. In a controlled dietary intervention, participants (n=27) were assigned to either a control-diet for 4 weeks, or a high-fat, hypercaloric diet, with either a high-protein or a normal-protein content for two weeks, and vice versa. Measurements of IHL (1H-MRS) and blood plasma glucose and lipid concentrations were performed, both in the fasting state and following a meal.

Results: In the observational study, the prevalence of fatty liver as indicated by an FLI>60, was 22.0%. Compared to persons with a normal FLI score of <30, protein intake was positively related with high FLI score >60 (OR: 1.26 per 1 en%, 95%CI 1.16-1.37). This was in particular the case for protein intake from animal sources. In the dietary intervention study, the high-protein diet compared to the normal-protein diet resulted in lower IHL and plasma TG concentrations (IHL: 0.35 ± 0.04 % vs. 0.51 ± 0.08 %; p=0.08; TG: 0.65 ± 0.03 vs. 0.77 ± 0.05 mmol/L; p=0.07). Furthermore, after the meal challenge the free fatty acids (FFA) response was significant different between all three intervention diets (p=0.03). Moreover, the postprandial glucose response was significantly lower after adaptation to NP compared with HP (p=0.03), without differences in the postprandial insulin responses (p=0.37).

Conclusions: From data of the intervention study and observational studies reported in this thesis, it can be concluded that dietary protein intake is associated with alterations in metabolic profile, with both favourable and potential unfavorable health outcomes. On the short term increasing dietary protein in healthy subjects improved lipid metabolism, as seen by lower TG and IHL levels, but not glucose metabolism. On the long term, however, a high-protein intake was related to a fatty liver, and associated to insulin resistance.

Varken is goed als model voor suikerpatiënt
Sikkema, A. ; Koopmans, S.J. - \ 2015
Resource: weekblad voor Wageningen UR 10 (2015)1. - ISSN 1874-3625 - p. 8 - 8.
varkens - mensen - metabolisme - voeding - suikerziekte - dieet - voedingsonderzoek - pigs - people - metabolism - nutrition - diabetes - diet - nutrition research
Niet alle dikke mensen zijn ongezond. Dat blijkt uit Wagenings onderzoek dat is gedaan met varkens. Varkens doen het goed als onderzoekmodel om het effect van voeding op onze welvaartsziekten te bepalen. De stofwisseling van mensen en varkens komt namelijk sterk overeen, stelt onderzoeker Sietse Jan Koopmans. Dit artikel gaat hier nader op in.
Molecular and physiological assessment of metabolic health : adipose tissue, transcriptome analysis and challenge tests
Duivenvoorde, L.P.M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Jaap Keijer, co-promotor(en): Evert van Schothorst. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573017 - 186
muizen - metabolisme - gezondheid - vetweefsel - transcriptomen - stofwisselingsstoornissen - fysiologie - laboratoriumdieren - mice - metabolism - health - adipose tissue - transcriptomes - metabolic disorders - physiology - laboratory animals

Summary of main findings

Maintenance of metabolic health not only ensures that energy is made available in times of need and stored in times of excess, but also prevents resistance to nutritional cues, ectopic lipid accumulation and dysfunction of metabolic organs. The proportion of humans that is at risk for reduced metabolic health increases worldwide due to the current epidemic of obesity and the increase in both mean and maximum life span. Better understanding of the various factors that influence metabolic health may offer opportunities to fight this threat to human health. This thesis aims to assess metabolic health using transcriptome analysis and non-invasive challenge tests. Special focus is on the development and validation of InCa-based non-invasive challenge tests. In most chapters of this thesis white adipose tissue (WAT) formed the major organ of interest because of its key role in whole-body energy homeostasis. WAT function was, among others, studied with whole-genome gene expression analysis, which, compared to single parameter analysis, extends the scale and depth of understanding biological processes.

Metabolic health was also quantified as metabolic flexibility, with the use of non-invasive, indirect calorimetry (InCa) based challenge tests. One of the InCa based challenge tests described in this thesis, the oxygen restriction (OxR) challenge, is a novel approach to investigate metabolic flexibility in mice. In each study, OxR was applied acute ([O2] reduction within 30 minutes) and for a short period of 6 hours in fasted mice. The other two InCa-based challenge tests: fasting and re-feeding and fasting and glucose consumption are nutrient-based and were described previously, although in different formats and settings.

In chapter 2 we demonstrate that dietary restriction on a high-fat diet (HF-DR) improves metabolic health of mice compared with mice receiving the same diet on an ad libitum basis (HF-AL). Already after five weeks of restriction, the serum levels of cholesterol and leptin were significantly decreased in HF-DR mice, whereas their glucose tolerance and serum adiponectin levels were increased. The body weight and measured serum parameters remained stable in the following 7 weeks of restriction, implying metabolic adaptation. To understand the molecular events associated with this adaptation, we analysed gene expression in WAT with whole genome microarrays. HF-DR strongly influenced gene expression in WAT; in total, 8643 genes were differentially expressed between both groups of mice, with a major role for genes involved in lipid metabolism and mitochondrial functioning. DR also increases mitochondrial density in WAT. These results show that WAT, indeed, has an important role in the improvement of metabolic health of dietary restricted mice and suggest that the development of substrate efficiency plays an important role in the observed changes in health status. Finally, mitochondrial density might be used as a marker for WAT health status.

Chapter 3 shows how indirect calorimetry can be used to noninvasively assess metabolic and age-related flexibility in mice. In this study, we tested the sensitivity and response stability over time of three InCa-based treatments in old versus adult mice. For the first treatment, diurnal patterns of respiratory exchange ratio were followed for 24 hours under standard conditions. For the second and third treatment, which were both based on a challenge approach, mice were fasted and either received a glucose bolus to test switch-effectiveness from fat to glucose oxidation (Treatment 2), or were exposed to oxygen restriction (OxR, Treatment 3) in the InCa system, which was introduced as a novel approach to asses metabolic flexibility. Opposite to the mice that were dietary restricted (chapter 2), aging appeared to increase adiposity and decrease WAT mitochondrial density, which further suggests that WAT mitochondrial density might be used as a marker for WAT health. We observed that the test results of the first treatment were not stable between test periods, possibly because of behavioural differences within the group of old mice between both measurements. For the second treatment, no differences between groups were observed. With Treatment 3, however, stable significant differences could be detected: old mice did not maintain reduced oxygen consumption under OxR during both measurements, whereas adult mice did. Further biochemical and gene expression analyses showed that OxR affected glucose and lactate homeostasis in liver and WAT of adult mice, supporting the observed differences in oxygen consumption. This was the first study to show that InCa analysis of the response to OxR is a sensitive and reproducible treatment to noninvasively measure age-impaired metabolic health in mice. Evaluation of metabolic health under non-challenged conditions may be confounded by behavioural-induced variation between animals

The study described in chapter 4 followed up on the promising results that were obtained with the OxR challenge in chapter 3. In this study we tested whether OxR can also be used to reveal diet-induced health effects in an early stage. Early detection of diet-induced health effects might shorten animal experiments and reduce costs and age-related variation. Timely identification may increase options for reversal. Mice were exposed to a low-fat (LF) or high-fat (HF) diet for only 5 days, after which they were exposed to OxR or remained under normoxic conditions. The response to OxR was assessed by calorimetric measurements, followed by analysis of gene expression in liver and WAT. A novelty described in this chapter was the analysis of serum markers for protein glycation and oxidation, to detect differences in the response to OxR between LF and HF mice. Although HF feeding increased body weight, HF and LF mice did not differ in indirect calorimetric values under normoxic conditions and in a fasting state. Exposure to OxR however, increased oxygen consumption and lipid oxidation in HF mice versus LF mice. Furthermore, OxR induced gluconeogenesis and an antioxidant response in the liver of HF mice, whereas it induced de novo lipogenesis and an antioxidant response in eWAT of LF mice, indicating that HF and LF mice differed in their adaptation to OxR. OxR also increased serum markers of protein glycation and oxidation in HF mice, whereas these changes were absent in LF mice. From this study we concluded that OxR is a promising new method to test food products on potential beneficial effects for metabolic health.

The study described in chapter 5 aimed to assess differences in metabolic health of mice on iso-caloric diets differing in fatty acid composition using the OxR challenge. We also implemented a fasting and re-feeding challenge. One diet, the HFpu diet, predominantly contained poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are considered to be healthier than saturated fatty acids (SFAs) that mainly made up the fat component of the second diet, the HFs diet. Since health effects of fatty acids also depend on the ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 PUFAs (n6/n3 ratio), this ratio was kept similar between both diets. Mice received the isocaloric high-fat diets for six months, during and after which several biomarkers for health were measured. We found that HFpu and HFs diets only induce minor differences in static health markers: HFpu and HFs mice did not differ in body weight, total adiposity, adipose tissue health, serum adipokines, whole body energy balance, or circadian rhythm. HFpu and HFs mice also had a similar glucose tolerance, even though HFs mice had more triglycerides in liver and skeletal muscle and larger adipocytes in the eWAT depot. Interestingly, HFs mice were less flexible in their response to both fasting and re-feeding and OxR, which shows the relevance and sensitivity of InCa-based challenge tests. We concluded that InCa-based challenge tests are a valuable contribution to the analysis of metabolic health in mice. Challenge tests in the InCa system may, furthermore, reveal relevant consequences of small changes in metabolic health status, such as adipocyte hypertrophy or ectopic lipid storage.

Chapter 6 describes an in-depth study to the response to OxR both at whole body level using InCa and serum metabolomics (amino acids and (acyl)carnitines) and at WAT level using transcriptomics and the analysis of amino acid and (acyl)carnitine levels. Serum and tissue amino acids levels indicate the level of protein catabolism and certain amino acids are, typically, increased in obese individuals. Serum and tissue (acyl)carnitine levels indicate the rate and completeness of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation; serum acylcarnitine levels are significantly increased in individuals that suffer from ambient oxygen restriction. The metabolic adaptation to OxR was studied in diet-induced moderately obese mice that received a high-fat diet (HFpu diet, as in chapter 5) for 6 weeks, which is expected to lead to WAT expansion and possibly to reduce oxygen availability in WAT. We found that OxR reduced mitochondrial oxidation at whole-body level, as shown by a reduction in whole-body oxygen consumption and an increase in serum long-chain acylcarnitine levels. WAT did not seem to contribute to this serum profile, since only short-chain acylcarnitines were increased in WAT and gene expression analysis indicated an increase in mitochondrial oxidation, based on coordinate down-regulation of Sirt4, Gpam and Chchd3/Minos3. In addition, OxR did not induce oxidative stress in WAT, but increased molecular pathways involved in cell growth and proliferation. OxR increased levels of tyrosine, lysine and ornithine in serum and of leucine/isoleucine in WAT. This study shows that OxR limits oxidative phosphorylation at whole-body level, but in WAT compensatory mechanisms seem to operate. The down-regulation of the mitochondria-related genes Sirt4, Gpam, and Chchd3 may be considered as a biomarker profile for WAT mitochondrial reprogramming in response to acute exposure to limited oxygen availability.

To conclude, the work presented in this thesis provides more insight in the analysis of metabolic health in mice with the use of transcriptome analysis and InCa-based challenge tests. We show that non-invasive tests using the InCa-system are more likely to reveal differences in metabolic flexibility than invasive challenge tests, such as the oral glucose tolerance test. Furthermore, we show that the challenge approach is more sensitive than analysis of metabolic health under non-challenged (free-feeding) conditions. Transcriptome analysis proved to be very valuable to provide in-depth molecular understanding of the mechanisms underlying reduced or improved metabolic health. Ideally, transciptomic or metabolomic approaches should be integrated with InCa-based challenge tests to further extent physiological understanding of diet-induced health effects.

Genomics 4.0 : syntenic gene and genome duplication drives diversification of plant secondary metabolism and innate immunity in flowering plants : advanced pattern analytics in duplicate genomes
Hofberger, J.A. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Eric Schranz. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573147 - 142
genomica - planten - metabolisme - bloeiende planten - genomen - genen - next generation sequencing - genomics - plants - metabolism - flowering plants - genomes - genes

Genomics 4.0 - Syntenic Gene and Genome Duplication Drives Diversification of Plant Secondary Metabolism and Innate Immunity in Flowering Plants

Johannes A. Hofberger1, 2, 3

1 Biosystematics Group, Wageningen University & Research Center, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands (August 2012 – December 2013)

2 Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands (December 2010 – July 2012)

3 Chinese Academy of Sciences/Max Planck Partner Institute for Computational Biology, 320 Yueyang Road,

Shanghai 200031, PR China (January 2014 – December 2014)

TWO-SENTENCE SUMMARY

Large-scale comparative analysis of Big Data from next generation sequencing provides powerful means to exploit the potential of nature in context of plant breeding and biotechnology. In this thesis, we combine various computational methods for genome-wide identification of gene families involved in (a) plant innate immunity and (a) biosynthesis of defense-related plant secondary metabolites across 21 species, assess dynamics that affected evolution of underlying traits during 250 Million Years of flowering plant radiation and provide data on more than 4500 loci that can underpin crop improvement for future food and live quality.

GENERAL ABSTRACT

As sessile organisms, plants are permanently exposed to a plethora of potentially harmful microbes and other pests. The surprising resilience to infections observed in successful lineages is due to a complex defense network fighting off invading pathogens. Within this network, a sophisticated plant innate immune system is accompanied by a multitude of specialized biosynthetic pathways that generate more than 200,000 secondary metabolites with ecological, agricultural, energy and medicinal importance. The rapid diversification of associated genes was accompanied by a series of duplication events in virtually all plant species, including local duplication of short sequences as well as multiplication of all chromosomes due to meiotic errors (plant polyploidy). In a comparative genomics approach, we combined several bioinformatics techniques for large-scale identification of multi-domain and multi-gene families that are involved in plant innate immunity or defense-related secondary metabolite pathways across 21 representative flowering plant genomes. We introduced a framework to trace back duplicate gene copies to distinct ancient duplication events, thereby unravelling a differential impact of gene and genome duplication to molecular evolution of target genes. Comparing the genomic context among homologs within and between species in a phylogenomics perspective, we discovered orthologs conserved within genomic regions that remained structurally immobile during flowering plant radiation. In summary, we described a complex interplay of gene and genome duplication that increased genetic versatility of disease resistance and secondary metabolite pathways, thereby expanding the playground for functional diversification and thus plant trait innovation and success. Our findings give fascinating insights to evolution across lineages and can underpin crop improvement for food, fiber and biofuels production

One-carbon metabolism in acetogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria
Visser, M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Fons Stams. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571730 - 210
anaërobe microbiologie - metabolisme - koolmonoxide - methanol - alcohol dehydrogenase - sulfaat reducerende bacteriën - genetische analyse - eiwitexpressieanalyse - anaerobic microbiology - metabolism - carbon monoxide - sulfate reducing bacteria - genetic analysis - proteomics

ABSTRACT

One-carbon metabolism in acetogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria

Life on earth is sustained by the constant cycling of six essential elements: oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorous, and carbon. The continuous cycling of these elements is due to geo-chemical processes and the combined metabolism of all life on earth. Microorganisms like bacteria and archaea play a major role in this. This is also true for the carbon cycle. In this cycle carbon dioxide and methane are two important C-1 compounds present in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the highest oxidative state of carbon while methane is the highest reduced form of carbon. The art to use light to produce organic compounds and conserve energy from the highest oxidative state of carbon is called photosynthesis and is performed by plants, algae and cyanobacteria. Photosynthesis is not the only system to fix carbon from carbon dioxide. Chemolithotrophs can fix carbon from carbon dioxide using inorganic electron donors, like hydrogen. Subsequently, fixed carbon can be used by other organisms, which also makes life possible for them. Microorganisms play a major role in the degradation of complex organic matter, producing smaller compounds including C-1 compounds. C-1 compounds other than carbon dioxide are e.g. carbon monoxide (CO), methanol and formate. Bacteria and archaea can utilize these relative simple compounds in the presence and absence of oxygen, alone and in cooperation with others (syntrophy). The complex and simple carbon compounds are finally oxidized to carbon dioxide, which closes the carbon cycle.

In addition to their importance to the carbon cycle, one carbon compounds like CO, methanol and formate are important for several applications. They are used as a building block for the production of chemicals. They are also used for bioremediation purposes and for wastewater treatment. Therefore, it is important to gain insight in the one carbon metabolism of microorganisms. The research described in this thesis focuses on the proteins and encoding genes involved in anaerobic degradation of C1 compounds by using genome and proteome analysis.

In Chapter 2 the genomes of two closely related sulfate-reducing bacteria, Desulfotomaculum nigrificans and D. nigrificans strain CO-1-SRB, are compared including their CO metabolism. Both the D. nigrificans type strain and strain CO-1-SRB can grow with CO. However, there are differences. The type strain can grow with 20% CO coupled to sulfate reduction in the presence of yeast extract, while strain CO-1-SRB can grow with 100% CO in the presence of yeast extract. Moreover, strain CO-1-SRB can grow with CO in the presence and absence of sulfate. It couples the oxidation of CO to carbon dioxide to hydrogen production. This conversion, the protein complex involved, and the genes coding for these proteins have been described before in other microorganisms. The genome of strain CO-1-SRB contains the genes coding for this protein complex while the genome of the D. nigrificans type strain does not. However, the genome of the type strain contains genes encoding two other CO dehydrogenases. This indicates that one or both are necessary for the type strain to grow with 20% CO. Additional research on the different CO dehydrogenases and their regulation is essential to assess if all different CO dehydrogenases can facilitate growth and how they are linked to for example creating a proton motive force for ATP production.

The methanol metabolism of anaerobic bacteria seems to differ more from that of methanogens than initially described. Methanogens use a methanol methyltransferase system that consists of two methyltranferases, methyltransferase 1 (subunits MtaB and MtaC) and methyltransferase 2 (MtaA). The methyl group from methanol is transferred to the MtaC subunit by MtaB. Subsequently, MtaA transports the methyl group from MtaC to coenzyme M. A genome and proteome analysis of the acetogenic bacterium Sporomusa strain An4 suggests that instead of MtaA a methyl-tetrahydrofolate methyltransferase is involved in the transport of the methyl bound to MtaC to tetrahydrofolate (Chapter 3).

Research done on the methanol metabolism of the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfotomaculum kuznetsovii also shows differences with that of methanogens (Chapter 5). The methanol methyltransferase system is vitamin B12 and cobalt dependent. D. kuznetsovii grows with methanol and sulfate, but can do this in presence and absence of vitamin B12 and cobalt. In the absence of vitamin B12 and cobalt D. kuznetsovii grows slower and reaches a lower optical density compared to growth in the presence of vitamin B12 and cobalt. This suggests that D. kuznetsovii can use both a methyltransferase system and a vitamin B12 and cobalt independent system for the degradation of methanol. Proteome results confirm this and suggest that the vitamin B12 and cobalt independent system consists of an alcohol dehydrogenase and an aldehyde ferredoxin oxidoreductase. Moreover, the alcohol dehydrogenase seems to be involved in the oxidation of both methanol and ethanol (Chapter 5). The presence of two methanol degradation pathways give an ecological advantage to D. kuznetsovii in environments containing methanol and sulfate but limiting cobalt and vitamin B12 concentrations. Future research should elucidate if more sulfate-reducing bacteria, or perhaps even acetogenic bacteria, have two methanol degrading pathways.

Additional to the genome analysis of D. kuznetsovii to assess the genes coding for the proteins involved in the two methanol degradation pathways, the genome was also analyzed to assess genes encoding other degradation pathways (Chapter 4). This analysis shows many genes present in D. kuznetsovii are also present in Pelotomaculum thermopropionicum. P. thermopropionicum is known to degrade propionate in syntrophic interaction with a methanogen. D. kuznetsovii can also degrade propionate, but only coupled to sulfate reduction and not in syntrophy with methanogens. Moreover, P. thermopropionicum is not able to reduce sulfate. D. kuznetsovii is the only close related, non-syntrophic, propionate degrader of which the genome is available. Therefore, a genome comparison was performed between D. kuznetsovii and P. thermopropionicum to define the differences between a non-syntrophic and a syntrophic lifestyle. D. kuznetsovii misses membrane bound protein complexes like hydrogenases and an extra-cytoplasmic formate dehydrogenase. In order to expand the analysis between non-syntrophs and syntrophs, more genomes of propionate- and butyrate-degrading bacteria were included (Chapter 6). This extended analysis shows that the genomes of non-syntrophs do not contain genes coding for an extra-cytoplasmic formate dehydrogenase, in contrast to all syntrophs included in the analysis. This indicates the importance of this protein complex and the importance of formate as an interspecies electron carrier in syntrophic degradation of propionate and butyrate. Thanks to the extra cytoplasmic formate dehydrogenase the syntrophic bacteria can couple the degradation of propionate and butyrate to formate production. Subsequently, the formate is utilized by methanogens to produce methane. This keeps the formate concentration low, which is necessary for the entire process to be energetically favorable.

Phototrophic pigment production with microalgae
Mulders, K.J.M. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Rene Wijffels, co-promotor(en): Dirk Martens; Packo Lamers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571457 - 179
algen - fototropie - pigmenten - natuurlijke producten - metabolisme - carotenoïden - licht - gerichte mutagenese - algae - phototropism - pigments - natural products - metabolism - carotenoids - light - targeted mutagenesis
Abstract

Microalgal pigments are regarded as natural alternatives for food colorants. To facilitate optimization of microalgae-based pigment production, this thesis aimed to obtain key insights in the pigment metabolism of phototrophic microalgae, with the main focus on secondary carotenoids.

Different microalgal groups each possess their own set of primary pigments. Besides, a selected group of green algae (Chlorophytes) accumulate secondary pigments (secondary carotenoids) when exposed to oversaturating light conditions.

In this thesis it was found for the first time that nutrient-depleted Isochrysis. aff. galbana T-ISO (Haptophytes) accumulates 3-hydroxyechinenone, a precursor of astaxanthin. Besides, it was found that nitrogen-depleted Chromochloris (Chlorella) zofingiensis (Chlorophyes) accumulates astaxanthin, presumably synthesised via echinenone, and ketolutein.

Inhibition of production of β-carotene derivatives (e.g. echinenone and astaxanthin) did not lead to increased production of primary carotenoids (e.g. lutein) or ketolutein in this species, suggesting that the regulatory mechanisms controlling the flux towards ketolutein and primary carotenoids are not affected by the decreased levels of β-carotene derivatives.

Besides, optimal yields of secondary carotenoids and triacylglycerol (TAG) on light were reached with C. zofingiensis for a range of biomass concentrations at the moment of nitrogen depletion.

This indicated that the biomass-specific photon absorption rate did not affect the amounts of energy used for secondary carotenoid and TAG production, for the range of biomass concentrations tested.

It was also found that nitrogen-depleted C. zofingiensis resupplied with nitrogen hardly degraded astaxanthin, whereas the other major secondary metabolites were degraded rapidly.

This indicated that the overall carotenoid yield on light as well as its content may possibly be improved by applying a repeated batch instead of a series of single batch cultivations, which are traditionally applied.

Finally, it was discussed that the highest increases in carotenoid yield on light can be reached by optimizing strain performance (using targeted genetic engineering and/or random mutagenesis), rather than by optimizing the cultivation conditions/operation mode or reactor design.

Droogstand in beweging : effect van beweging in de droogstand op gezondheid van melkkoeien
Goselink, R.M.A. ; Lenssinck, F.A.J. ; Bree, M.G.M. de; Bleumer, E.J.B. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Rapport / Wageningen UR Livestock Research 795) - 28
melkkoeien - melkveehouderij - melkproductie - gustperiode - metabolisme - dierenwelzijn - rundveehouderij - dairy cows - dairy farming - milk production - dry period - metabolism - animal welfare - cattle husbandry
Increasing daily activity of dairy cattle during the dry period by physical exercise can induce fat metabolism in an early stage before calving. This metabolic stimulation contributes to the adaptation of dairy cow metabolism to the high level of activity needed for milk production postpartum. Physical exercise during the dry period does not result in a higher milk yield after calving, but can reduce the risk for metabolic disorders like ketosis and fatty liver disease, especially in dairy cows that have a high body condition score at dry-off.
Missing heritability and soft inheritance of morphology and metabolism in Arabidopsis
Kooke, R. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Harro Bouwmeester; Joost Keurentjes, co-promotor(en): Dick Vreugdenhil. - Wageningen University : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570412 - 283
arabidopsis - heritability - overerving - plantenmorfologie - metabolisme - plantenfysiologie - genetica - epigenetica - genetische variatie - inheritance - plant morphology - metabolism - plant physiology - genetics - epigenetics - genetic variation

The plant phenotype is shaped by complex interactions between its genotype and the environment. Although the genotype is stable and determined by the genomic sequence, plants are able to respond flexibly to changes in environmental conditions by orchestrated signal transduction pathways. The genomic sequence may change with each generation through chromosome rearrangements, meiotic recombination and spontaneous mutations. Through natural selection on these randomly induced changes, genotypes become adapted to their local environment. Because different genotypes adapt to different environments, natural variation within species expands in time and gives rise to a wide variety of genotypes and phenotypes. The genetic architecture that specifies the phenotype can be investigated by analyzing different genotypes in the same environment and associate the phenotypic variation with molecular markers that discriminate the genotypes. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technology enabled the fast sequencing of entire genomes, and in Arabidopsisthalianaalone, more than 1000 different genotypes have been fully resequenced. The sequencing allows the association of phenotypic variation with large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that greatly enhance resolution in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

GWAS on human diseases suffer from missing heritability that is most likely caused by the genetic architecture of the disease traits. Many variants of small effect or rare variants most likely determine a large part of the genetic variation and these variants are difficult to identify in GWAS due to lack of statistical power. In plants, several GWAS have been performed and they have identified previously validated genes and genes involved in monogenic disease resistance, but elucidating quantitative traits such as many agronomic important traits might be problematic in plants as well. Chapter 2 describes a GWA study in which quantitative morphological traits, such as leaf area, flowering time and branching were examined in 350 accessions of Arabidopsis for association with about 200,000 SNPs. The morphological traits showed extensive variation and were highly heritable, but GWA mapping could not identify the genetic variants that explain the heritability. Therefore, missing heritability was addressed using genomic selection models and these models confirmed the quantitative complex architecture of the morphological traits. Based upon these results, the heritability was assumed to be hidden below the significance threshold, and indeed lowering the significance threshold enabled the identification of many candidate genes that have been implicated to play a role in the phenotype directly or indirectly, in previous studies. One candidate gene was studied in more detail; natural variants of ACS11, an ethylene biosynthesis gene, associated significantly with the petiole to leaf length ratio. ACS11is indeed expressed in petioles and ectopically supplied ethylene abolished the difference in the phenotype of natural variants at this locus, strongly suggesting that ACS11is involved in the regulation of petiole growth.

However, lowering the significance threshold also increases the number of false-positive associations, non-causal alleles that co-segregate with the trait values. Because regulation of the morphological traits occurs at multiple intermediate levels, increased certainty on the associations can be obtained by performing GWA mapping on the intermediate levels from genotype to phenotype such as gene expression, and protein and metabolite content. Chapter 3 describes a literature survey into the multi-dimensional regulation of metabolic networks that are regulated by inputs from the clock, the communication between cells and between source and sink tissues, and the environment. The metabolic status of the plant can be seen as the final product of the interaction with the environment, and as such, it can serve as a blueprint for growth and development. Chapter 4 describes the abundant variation in enzyme activities and metabolites involved in primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism. The metabolite and enzyme activity data were analyzed together with plant biomass data, and many pleiotropic regulators were identified with opposite effects on primary metabolism and biomass formation. Natural variants in two stress-responsive genes were oppositely associated with biomass and many enzymes and metabolites involved in primary metabolism, suggesting that higher enzyme activities and higher levels of sugars and proteins might be needed to support plant resistance to stress at the expense of growth.

Some studies indicated that epigenetic variation, independent of the genetic SNPs, may contribute to missing heritability. Epigenetic inheritance is defined as the inheritance of phenotypic variation to future generations without changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic variation is caused by variation in chromatin marks such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and small RNAs. Recently, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population was developed in Arabidopsis where the chromosomes are differentially methylated in lines with an otherwise isogenic background by crossing wild-type Col-0 with a hypomethylated ddm1-2mutant. Chapter 5 describes the epigenetic regulation of morphology and phenotypic plasticity by studying morphological variation in 99 epiRILs under control and saline conditions. The morphology and plasticity trait values were associated with differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that were used as molecular markers in QTL mapping. Many QTLs for various morphological traits and phenotypic plasticity parameters co-located, suggesting pleiotropic epigenetic regulation of growth, morphology and plasticity. Furthermore, methylation variation in the promoter of a salt-tolerance gene, HIGH-AFFINITY K+TRANSPORTER1 (HKT1)associated significantly with leaf area, especially under saline conditions.

To gain more insight into the epigenetic regulation of plant growth and morphology, chapter 6 describes the epigenetic regulation of secondary metabolite levels in leaves and flowers and studies the relationship with the morphological traits determined in chapter 5. Many of the QTLs that were found for growth and morphology overlapped with the QTLs for metabolic traits, and suggest pleiotropic regulation. Furthermore, subsets of the metabolites correlated well with the morphological traits and might thus be regulated by the same loci. The majority of metabolite QTLs was detected for glucosinolates and flavonoids in the flowers, and methylation variation was observed for some of the biosynthetic pathway genes of these compounds when comparing Col-0 and ddm1-2, which indicates a role for epigenetic regulation of these biosynthesis pathways.

Although stable, natural epialleles have been found in plant species and the environment can induce hypo- and hypermethylation of DNA, it remains elusive whether environmentally-induced epigenetic changes can be inherited to subsequent generations, independent of genetic variation. Chapter 7 describes the transgenerational inheritance of phenotypic variation in progeny derived from a common Arabidopsis founder line. The progeny of stressed parents and grandparents showed variation in morphological traits, metabolite accumulation and gene expression. For example, many salt-responsive genes were up-regulated in progeny of salt-stressed grandparents. The responses to biotic (methyljasmonate) and abiotic (salt) stress differed strongly and this suggests that different environments can cause different transgenerational responses. Because all lines are derived from a single ancestor, epigenetic variation and not DNA variation is most likely causal for the phenotypic variation. Further studies are, however, needed to provide conclusive evidence for transgenerational inheritance.

Chapter 8 provides a synthesis of the work and discusses the GWA studies in the light of missing heritability, genetic architecture and the verification of candidate genes. The work on epigenetic regulation of phenotypic plasticity, morphology and metabolism is discussed in relation to Lamarckian soft inheritance that gained new enthusiasm after some recent discoveries in the field of epigenetics. And finally, the metabolomics work is discussed in the light of the growth-defense hypothesis that states that investments in defense occur at the expense of growth.

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