Biologists taught infusoria to fight poisons

November 29, 2017

A team of scientists from the Faculty of Biology of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Laboratory of Aerobic Metabolism in Microorganisms of Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms of the Russian Academy of Sciences found a new substance with anti-oxidant properties able protect living organisms from various toxic compounds. The results of the study were published in Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology magazine.

A group of scientists found and investigated a new property of isocitric acid - an organic compound that plays an important role in the functioning of cells. The researchers produced the acid in the laboratory using a special strain of yeast. This method helps one obtain a safe and puretarget substance compared to chemical synthesis. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether isocitric acid supports resistance against harmful oxidation substances and to what extent. For lab studies the team chose single-cell organisms - infusoria Paramecium caudatum.

"Infusoria have a quite big surface of contact with the environment compared to their size. They quickly react to toxic substances by exhibiting a range of biological, physiological, and biochemical changes," -- explained Anatoliy Inozemtsev, a co-author of the work and lead researcher of the Department of Higher Nervous Activity of the Faculty of Biology, MSU. "Moreover, they have a filtration feeding mechanism which increases the chance of toxic substances accumulation and enhances their influence on the body. Therefore, infusoria are a convenient model for biological testing of chemical substances."

The team conducted a series of experiments subjecting infusoria to different oxidants -- substances that cause harm to living organisms by starting oxidative reactions. In their work the scientists used the most widely spread oxidants, including hydrogen peroxide and salts of heavy metals. The influence of these substances on infusoria caused the microorganisms to die. In a repeated set of experiments the researchers treated infusoria with isocitric acid. For the purpose ofcomparison, the same set of experiments was performed with a classic anti-oxidant, ascorbic acid.

As a result, the scientists established that isocitric acid increased the survival rate of the cells 25-31 times compared to untreated infusoria. Moreover, the positive effect of isocitric acid surpassed that of ascorbic acid. Another important result of the work is the fact that isocitric acid is easy to produce and integrate in manufacturing processes.

"The only obstacle for the development of implementation of this simple and affordable compound is the absence of manufacturing facilities in our country. We hope that further studies of the effects of isocitric acid in lab animals (rats) will help us overcome this issue," -- added Anatoliy Inozemtsev.

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Related Microorganisms Articles from Brightsurf:

A more resistant material against microorganisms is created to restore cultural heritage
The study was performed by a research team at the University Research Institute into Fine Chemistry and Nanochemistry at the University of Cordoba and Seville's Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of the Spanish National Research Council

NYUAD study finds gene targets to combat microorganisms binding to underwater surfaces
A group of synthetic biologists at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have identified new genetic targets that could lead to safe, biologically-based approaches to combat marine biofouling - the process of sea-based microorganisms, plants, or algae binding to underwater surfaces.

Less flocking behavior among microorganisms reduces the risk of being eaten
When algae and bacteria with different swimming gaits gather in large groups, their flocking behaviour diminishes, something that may reduce the risk of falling victim to aquatic predators.

Are vultures spreaders of microbes that put human health at risk?
A new analysis published in IBIS examines whether bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are present in wild vultures cause disease in the birds, and whether vultures play a role in spreading or preventing infectious diseases to humans and other animal species.

Timing key in understanding plant microbiomes
Oregon State University researchers have made a key advance in understanding how timing impacts the way microorganisms colonize plants, a step that could provide farmers an important tool to boost agricultural production.

Advances in the production of minor ginsenosides using microorganisms and their enzymes
Advances in the Production of Minor Ginsenosides Using Microorganisms and Their Enzymes - BIO Integration Announcing a new article publication for BIO Integration journal.

Study shows how microorganisms survive in harsh environments
In northern Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, microorganisms are able to eke out an existence by extracting water from the rocks they colonize.

Microorganisms in parched regions extract needed water from colonized rocks
Cyanobacteria living in rocks in Chile's Atacama Desert extract water from the minerals they colonize and, in doing so, change the phase of the material from gypsum to anhydrite.

Verticillium wilt fungus killing millions of trees is actually an army of microorganisms
A research project studied the microbiome of olive tree roots and concluded that Verticillium wilt is fueled by a community of microorganisms that team up to attack plants, thus reassessing the way this problem is dealt with

New drug formulation could treat Candida infections
With antimicrobial resistance (AMR) increasing around the world, new research led by the University of Bristol has shown a new drug formulation could possibly be used in antifungal treatments against Candida infections.

Read More: Microorganisms News and Microorganisms Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to