Wilhelmson used gene technology to study the role of oxygen in the growth and hyoscyamine production of Egyptian henbane hairy root cultivations and in the malting of barley.
Hyoscyamine is a pharmaceutical compound that is mainly isolated from plants because other production methods are not economically feasible. Instead of isolation from plants, hyoscyamine could be produced in hairy root cultivations of Egyptian henbane; however, in industrial scale processes oxygen transfer to the roots becomes difficult.
Barley is the main raw material in beer production. The lack of oxygen has traditionally been believed to restrict the germination of barley in the malting process and therefore aeration is used during the process. However, oxygen added through aeration does not necessarily reach the barley embryo because it may be consumed by microbes and in chemical reactions.
Wilhelmson transferred the vhb gene encoding an efficient haemoglobin from the Vitreoscilla microbe to Egyptian henbane and barley. The hypothesis was that the haemoglobin would improve growth and hyoscyamine production of the Egyptian henbane root cultures and the germination rate of barley. In addition, she studied the effect of aeration on the processes.
The study showed that the haemoglobin of Vitreoscilla improved the growth of root cultures but did not have a significant effect on hyoscyamine production. The effect of Vitreoscilla haemoglobin was not identical to that of aeration indicating that mechanisms other than those directly related to oxygen concentration are involved. The results will help in further development of pharmaceutical production from hairy roots.
The importance of oxygen deficiency in malting was highly dependent on the stage of the process. Wilhelmson proved that oxygen deficiency is a natural and inevitable stage in barley germination, and aeration did not reduce the oxygen deficiency of barely during the early stages of germination. Moreover, Vitreoscilla haemoglobin did not improve germination; on the contrary, it even slowed down germination slightly. A certain degree of oxygen deficiency may actually be favourable for germination because it generates nitric oxide, which accelerates germination. The research showed that the need for aeration increases as the malting process proceeds. Malt houses can utilise the results in timing the aeration of the malting process.
VTT, Research Scientist Annika Wilhelmson, M.Sc, . will defend her doctoral thesis on 12 October 2007 at noon at the Helsinki University of Technology (Street address: Kemistintie 1, Auditorium Ke2, Espoo, Finland).
Press Office | alfa
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy