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Buffalobur is a noxious and invasive weed species native to North America. The influence of environmental factors on seed germination and seedling emergence of buffalobur were evaluated in laboratory and greenhouse experiments. The germination of buffalobur seeds occurred at temperatures ranging from 12.5 to 45 C, with optimum germination attained between 25 and 35 C. Buffalobur seeds germinated equally well under both a 14-h photoperiod and continuous darkness; however, prolonged light exposure (≥ 16 h) significantly inhibited the seed germination. Buffalobur seed is rather tolerant to low water potential and high salt stress, as germination was 28 and 52% at osmotic potentials of −1.1 MPa and salinity level of 160 mM, respectively. Medium pH has no significant effect on seed germination; germination was greater than 95% over a broad pH range from 3 to 10. Seedling emergence was higher (85%) for seeds buried at a soil depth of 2 cm than for those placed on the soil surface (32%), but no seedlings emerged when burial depth reached 8 cm. Knowledge of germination biology of buffalobur obtained in this study will be useful in predicting the potential distribution area and developing effective management strategies for this species.
The influence of environmental factors on seed germination and seedling emergence of American sloughgrass was studied in laboratory and greenhouse conditions. The optimum temperature for seed germination was 10 C and light was not necessary. Seed germination was sensitive to osmotic potential and completely inhibited at an osmotic potential of −0.6 MPa, but it was quite tolerant to salinity: germination occurred even at 160 mM NaCl (36%). More than 80% of seeds germinated at pH values ranging between 4 and 10. Seedling emergence was highest when seeds were placed on the soil surface (91%) but declined with burial depth. Few (3%) seedlings emerged when seeds were planted at a depth of 5 cm. Information gained in this study will lead to a better understanding of the requirements for American sloughgrass germination and emergence.
In order to protect peroral β-galactosidase from being degraded and hydrolyse milk lactose efficiently in the environments of gastrointestinal tract, a double-capsule delivery system composed of enteric-coated capsule and polylactic acid (PLA) nanocapsules (NCs) was developed for encapsulation of β-galactosidase. β-galactosidase-loaded PLA NCs in the size range of 100–200 nm were prepared by a modified w1/o/w2 technique. During the encapsulation process, dichloromethane/ethyl acetate (1 : 1, v/v) as the solvent composition, high-pressure homogenisation (150 bar, 3 min) as the second emulsification method and polyvinyl alcohol or Poloxamer 188 as a stabiliser in the inner phase could efficiently improve the activity retention of β-galactosidase (>90%). Subsequently, the prepared NCs were freeze-dried and filled in a hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HP55)-coated capsule. In vitro results revealed that the HP55-coated capsule remained intact in the simulated gastric fluid and efficiently protected the nested β-galactosidase from acidic denaturation. Under the simulated intestinal condition, the enteric coating dissolved rapidly and released the β-galactosidase-loaded PLA NCs, which exhibited greater stability against enzymatic degradation and higher hydrolysis ratio (∼100%) towards milk lactose than the free β-galactosidase. These results suggest that this double-capsule delivery system represents promising candidate for efficient lactose hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract.
Large-area single-crystalline vanadium dioxide nanoflakes were first fabricated via a thermal reduction method in a tube furnace. The sample was characterized by x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The results show that VO2 nanoflakes are single-crystalline with a monoclinic structure. The VO2 nanoflakes have a width of 200–300 nm, a thickness of 50–100 nm, and a length up to 1–2 μm. It is found that single-crystalline VO2 nanoflakes show a novel and complicated 5–7-step Li-storage behavior for an insertion amount of <0.6 mol lithium per mol of VO2.
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