Various organisms such as fungi and bacteria can live inside plants, inhabiting the aerial parts (primarily the leaves) without causing damage. These microorganisms, called endophytes, produce an extensive variety of compounds that can be useful for medical and agronomic purposes. Trichilia elegans A. Juss., belonging to the Meliaceae family, shows wide dispersion in South America, and phytochemical analyses from these plants and endophyte isolates have shown biological activity.
Spiders are exceptionally diverse and abundant organisms in terrestrial ecosystems and their evolutionary success is certainly related to their capacity to produce different types of silks during their life cycle, making a specialized use on each of them. Presenting particularly tandemly arranged amino acid repeats, silk proteins (spidroins) have mechanical properties superior to most synthetic or natural high-performance fibers, which makes them very promising for biotechnology industry, with putative applications in the production of new biomaterials.
Luehea divaricata is an important plant in popular medicine; it is used for its depurative, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic activities. We evaluated the antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi isolated from leaves of L. divaricata against phytopathogens and pathogenic bacteria, and characterized the isolates based on amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). The in vitro antagonistic activity of these endophytes against the phytopathogen Alternaria alternata was assayed by dual culture technique.
Transgenic animals are used extensively in the study of in vivo gene function, as models for human diseases and in the production of biopharmaceuticals. The technology behind obtaining these animals involves molecular biology techniques, cell culture and embryo manipulation; the mouse is the species most widely used as an experimental model. In scientific research, diverse models are available as tools for the elucidation of gene function, such as transgenic animals, knockout and conditional knockout animals, knock-in animals, humanized animals, and knockdown animals.
The complete genome sequence of the free-living bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum has been determined by a consortium of laboratories in Brazil. Almost 500 open reading frames (ORFs) coding for transport-related membrane proteins were identified in C. violaceum, which represents 11% of all genes found. The main class of transporter proteins is the primary active transporters (212 ORFs), followed by electrochemical potential-driven transporters (154 ORFs) and channels/pores (62 ORFs).
Since the Haemophilus influenzae genome sequence was completed in 1995, 172 other prokaryotic genomes have been completely sequenced, while 508 projects are underway. Besides pathogens, organisms important in several other fields, such as biotechnology and bioremediation, have also been sequenced. Institutions choose the organisms they wish to sequence according to the importance that these species represent to them, the availability of the microbes, and based on the similarity of a species of interest with others that have been sequenced previously.