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Abstract

In December 2019, an unexpected interaction of coronavirus with human’s occurred for the third time in history after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. Soon the virus was confirmed as SARS-CoV-2, and the severity of its transmission lead the World Health Organization to declare it as World Pandemic. Due to its highly contagious nature, new methods like social distancing, self-hygiene and quarantine were being adopted by many countries to halt the transmission. Due to the dearth in specific therapeutics and/or vaccines against Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), a significant thrust in drugs and vaccine discovery was ratified by all the nations. The current review comprehensively details about the emergence and molecular pathogenesis with an interesting timeline which notes all the major events during this crisis. Given the potential general readers and health workers, the symptoms and diagnostic approaches were simplified. Emphasis was given to therapeutic approaches and clinical trials section to support the translational research and to cope up with the viral outbreak.

Abstract

Tribulus terrestris L. (TT) became a very popular plant due to its effects in sexual disorders. The pharmacological actions seem to be related with its content in sterolic saponins. Protodioscin has been reported to be the main compound from TT products with anabolic effects. Because of the popularity of the plant, numerous herbal supplements are consumed around the world. Quantification of steroidal saponins through HPLC methods is sometimes difficult. Several methods have been proposed but not all are reproducible. The aim of this study was to validate a LC MS/MS method for quantification of protodioscin in herbal supplements. Two herbal supplements found on the Romanian market have been chosen for this study. The compounds were separated on a C18 column with ammonium acetate buffer and acetonitrile as mobile phase. The ionization was performed in electrospray negative mode and detection of protodioscin was made by monitoring the sum of ions m/z 737.41, m/z 739.42 and m/z 755.42. In one of the herbal supplements, protodioscin was under the limit of quantification. In conclusion a simple and rapid method is proposed for the quantification of protodioscin in herbal supplements.

Abstract

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the most prevalent pathogen causing urinary tract infections (UTIs). UPECs have various virulence factors such as adhesins, biofilm forming and toxin producing etc., to survive in urinary tract. Under certain circumstances probiotics are preferred for prevention and treatment of UTIs. In this study, we aimed to investigate the in-vitro effects of four different Lactobacillus spp. cell-free supernatants on growth and biofilm formation inhibition in clinically isolated UPEC strains. Growths of 50 UPEC strains were determined in 96-well microplate and measured in a spectrophotometer after four hours incubation at 37°C. Biofilm formation was detected by crystal violet staining method on three UPEC strains. Statistical analysis of growth and biofilm formation experiments were performed by Kruskal-Wallis and one-way ANOVA Tukey’s multiple-comparison tests, respectively. All tested cell-free supernatans of lactobacilli inhibited growths (p<0. 0001) and biofilm formation (p<0.05) of UPECs. All results were found to be statistically significant. As a conclusion, our findings supported previous studies which reported the high efficiency of these four Lactobacillus spp. in the prevention of UTIs.

Abstract

Leaf and petiole samples of four Combretum Loefl. species which were identified in the Herbarium (IFE) were investigated anatomically in search of stable taxonomic micro-anatomical attributes to improve our knowledge of identification of members of the genus. Anatomical characters; in particular, upper and lower cuticles and epidermal structures, fibre structures, vascular architectures, petiolar outlines and trichome micro-morphology are good taxonomic tools to identify the taxa. The invariable uniseriate to multiseriate upper and lower epidermis; the absence of trichome in the petiole and the presence of branched trichome in the mid-rib region of C. zenkeri P. Beauv delimit the taxa. Variations in vascular architectures can be used to identify the taxa while some other anatomical features in the genus suggest great taxonomic affinities. However, the artificial key, which was constructed using stable taxonomic characters, is a reliable taxonomic tool for proper identification of the four species and which can as well be employed in separating each of the taxa from their close relatives. A detailed micro-anatomical study of leaf and petiole structures of the Nigerian Combretum species may provide an invaluable tool for determination and identification of the four taxa studied, thereby assisting in promoting quality assurance in the genus.

Abstract

Prunella vulgaris L. grows in spontaneous flora of Romania in wet places, fields, meadows, unpopulated areas, both in the sun and in the shade. The plant is rich in phenolic acids (caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid), pentacyclic triterpenic compounds (ursolic, oleanolic, betulinic acid) and flavonoids (rutoside, quercetin). Prunella vulgaris L. has shown numerous pharmacological actions: antioxidant, anti-allergic, antimicrobial, immunostimulatory activities. The aim of the study was to evaluate the phytochemical and pharmacological profile of the leaves and spike inflorescence of Prunella vulgaris L. collected from Romania. The polyphenol content in leaves was found to be 63.78 ± 2.01 mg GAE/g dry weight in the methanolic extract and 45.73 ± 13.87 mg GAE/g in the aqueous extract. In the spike inflorescence, total polyphenol content was 36.44 ± 6.73 mg GAE/g in the methanolic extract and 26.49 ± 2.97 mg GAE/g in the aqueous extract. The results from the antioxidant assays (DPPH and ABTS) were not significantly different between the two herbal drugs. Further studies are needed in order to quantify the active compounds.

Abstract

To complete the wide range of studies on chemical composition and pharmacological potential of the fruit of Ribes nigrum and Ribes rubrum, this work aimed to perform a comparative morpho-anatomical characterization of the fruits of both species and complete previously records of black currant as frequently studied species. Microslides of fruits were made with rotation microtome, and then cross sections were stained with toluidine blue. Documentation and evaluation were carried out in microphotos. In R. rubrum, the epidermis cells are ovoid to round, while those of R. nigrum are rectangular to almost round. Under the epidermis, in both fruits, there are two layers of oval hypodermal cells. Underneath the hypodermal layers, parenchyma cells of different size with thin walls and scattered collateral closed bundles were detected. The seeds are embedded in a gelatinous sheath having large thin-walled cells. Endocarp separates the arillar tissue from parenchyma cells, in addition, a gap can be found among these layers, endocarp, arillar tissue, and seeds. The seed coat consists of sclerenchyma cells in both species. In conclusion, histological differences and similarities were described in the fruits of the selected Ribes species, highlighted the first morpho-anatomical description of the berry of Ribes rubrum.

Abstract

This paper presents the obtained results on the chorology and conservation status of the lycopod species identified in Mureș County. It also represents a basis for further studies on monitoring, and establishes conservation measures for these species that are of community interest, included in the IUCN category LC (least concern). During the study, five lycopod species out of the seven listed in Romania were identified. The species are wide spread, occurring in groups that extend over relatively large areas. The conservation status is predominantly good and very good.

Abstract

Leucojum vernum L. (Amaryllidaceae) is a bulbous geophyte from Central Europe known as medicinal and ornamental plant. Native population of this species can be found in the Peres Forest (parcels number 23-24) from Velyka Dobron Wildlife Reserve (Western Ukraine), monitored continuously since 2014. The aim of this study was the morphometric evaluation of the species and the chemistry analysis of the soil in which the species grow. According to our results the length of leaf sheath was the most variable parameter from the evaluated morphometric indicators (number of leaves, maximum leaf length and width, bract length, leaf sheath length, scape length, and bulb diameter). Correlations were found between maximum leaf length and scape length, but also between maximum leaf length and bract length. Soil chemistry analysis showed that the chemical properties of the soil are favorable for the studied plants. The soil pH was slightly acidic, the humus content and the supply of alkaline hydrolyzed nitrogen were high, and the amount of soluble P2O5 was moderate. Differences between the territories were found with respect to the soil agrochemical parameters.

Abstract

Phytosociological structure of the communities dominated by Scirpus sylvaticus was studied in the mountain area of Mureş County with focus on vegetation community organization, floristic composition and habitat conservation. The vegetation sampling and data analysis were done following standard procedures. The study of wet meadows from the Călimani and Gurghiului Mountains carried out in field during 2015-2019, highlights the presence of hygrophilous coenoses belonging to the Scirpetum sylvatici Ralski 1931 plant association. These wet meadows grow on alluvial, gleyic and acidophilous soils. The identified communities belong to Natura 2000 habitat 6430 Hydrophilous tall-herb fringe communities of plains in the montane to alpine levels. The conservation status of the habitat is good and very good and the floristic composition emphasizes a rich floristic diversity.

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Abstract

This mini-review briefly presents the main types of plant aquaporins, highlighting their importance for different plant species and for plant cellular functions. Aquaporins (AQPs), families of water channel proteins (WCPs) are transmembrane proteins that are present in prokaryotes, animals, plants, and humans. The plant aquaporins are part of the Major Intrinsic Proteins (MIPs) family which resides in the following plant organs: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. According to the sub-cellular localization, to their sequence homologies and to their phylogenetic distribution, plant aquaporins have been divided in five subgroups: (a) plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs); (b) tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs); (c) Nodulin26-like intrinsic membrane proteins (NIPs); (d) small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) and (e) uncharacterized intrinsic proteins (XIPs). Different subclasses of the plant aquaporins allow several types of transport using: water, glycerol, urea, hydrogen peroxide, organic acids, ethanol, methanol, arsenite, lactic acid, and gaseous compounds. Plant aquaporins have a significant role in cell response to cold stress, photosynthesis, plant growth, cell elongation, reproduction, and seed germination.