Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cucumber Versus Cucumber

15.11.2004


Marine invertebrate called sea cucumber resembles vegetable cucumber by not only shape, but also by some metabolites. The substances produced by the animal can affect the growth of the plant. This study was conducted by Russian biochemists and supported by the RFBR.



Sea cucumbers are cucumber-shaped echinoderms of the genus Cucumaria (Latin designation for vegetable cucumber sounds similar - Cucumis) having a flexible body with tentacles surrounding the mouth. Very recently, the Russian researchers from Far East have discovered that certain substances produced by Cucumaria are similar to plant glycosides by the chemical structure and can inhibit the growth of roots of cucumber sprouts. The biochemists analyzed published data on the properties of cucumariosides (glycosides produced by Cucumaria) and concluded that their effects on animal and plant cells have similar chemical mechanism. These substances actively interact with the cell membrane, which accounts for their ability to act as antifungal and antitumour agents and also for their toxic effects on some fishes (destruction of blood cells). Besides, the group of cucumariosides includes some immunostimulating and radioprotective agents. Techniques for the extraction of glycosides from the body of sea cucumbers and for their fractionation are already developed and tested.

The Russian biochemists placed cucumber seeds onto wet tissues to germinate and treated the sprouts with solutions of various glycosides originated from Cucumaria. Some cucumariosides acted like growth inhibitors of plant origin and suppressed the growth of cucumber roots. The fact that the plant responded to the biologically active agent of animal origin is very curious. The researchers explain this effect by the ability of cucumariosides for interacting with membrane enzymes of plant and animal cells in the same way. At a low concentration of cucumariosides, the enzymes become inactive. At a higher concentration of these glycosides, the membrane becomes permeable, which causes the leakage of ions (primarily, potassium) and small molecules from the cell. This accounts for the ability of glycosides to suppress the growth of microflora and embryos of sea urchins (echinoderms, relations of sea
cucumbers).



The biochemists revealed that cucumariosides being strongest inhibitors of root growth have molecules with only one reactive group formed of sulphur and oxygen, and least active cucumariosides that produced very insignificant effect on the root growth have three reactive groups in each molecule. This discovery has important implications for biotechnology, where substances with certain fixed properties are needed.

Edible sea cucumbers called trepangs (genus Holothuria) inhabit the same areas of the southern Pacific and Indian oceans as Cucumaria and feed on benthonic animals. Being scared, trepangs can drop the intestine together with the lungs, which later regenerate like any other lost part of the body. Trepangs are dried or smoked for use as an ingredient in soup.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>