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The nitrogen-decorated CeO2/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite (CeO2/N-rGO) was one-step synthesized by a facile hydrothermal technique and applied as counter electrode materials for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). For comparison, CeO2/rGO and rGO were also synthesized by adjusting corresponding reactants. It was found that the as-synthesized CeO2/N-rGO shows better electrocatalytic activity for triiodide/iodide reduction than that of pure rGO and CeO2/rGO, and a synergistic effect of nitrogen and CeO2 on the rGO sheets was observed. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of DSSCs based on CeO2/N-rGO counter electrode was 3.20%, which is higher than that of CeO2/rGO (2.45%) and rGO counter electrode (1.37%). Furthermore, the synergistic effect of nitrogen and CeO2 on the rGO sheets was also discussed in detail with different CeO2 amount levels. It is believed that this one-step synthetic method is a potential way to synthesize low-cost and efficient rGO-based multiple composited counter electrode materials to replace more expensive Pt.
This research communication describes a genome-wide association study for Italian buffalo mammary gland morphology. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (AX-85117983, AX-8509475 and AX-85117518) were identified to be significantly associated with buffalo anterior teat length, posterior teat length and distance between anterior and posterior teat, respectively. Two significant signals for buffalo mammary gland morphology were observed in two genomic regions on the chromosome 10, and chromosome 20. One of the regions located on the chromosome 10 has the most likely candidate genes ACTC1 and GJD2, both of which have putative roles in the regulation of mammary gland development. This study provides new insights into the genetic variants of buffalo mammary gland morphology and may be beneficial for understanding of the genetic regulation of mammary growth.
This Research Communication describes the polymorphisms in the coding region of DGAT1 gene in Riverine buffalo, Swamp buffalo and crossbred buffalo, and associations between polymorphisms and milk production performance in Riverine buffalo. Two polymorphisms of DGAT1were identified, located in exon 13 and exon 17, respectively. The distribution of the genotypes of the two SNP loci in different buffalo population varied, especially the polymorphism located in exon 13 which was not found in the Swamp buffalo. Moreover, SNP located in exon 17 was a nonsynonymous switch resulting in the animo acid sequence changed from an arginine (Arg) to a histidine (His) at position 484. Both SNPs were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, and the polymorphism of g.8330T>C in the exon 13 was significantly associated with peak milk yield, total milk yield and protein percentage. The C variant was associated with an increase in milk yield and peak yield but less in protein percentage compared with the T variant. The polymorphisms of g.9046T>C in exon 17 were significantly associated with fat percentage, in that the buffaloes with TT genotype had a significantly higher fat percentage than those with CC genotype. These findings reveal the difference in the genetic evolution of the DGAT1 between Riverine buffalo and Swamp buffalo, and provide evidence that the DGAT1 gene has potential effects for Riverine buffalo milk production traits, which can be used as a candidate gene for marker-assisted selection in buffalo breeding.
In this Research Communication we describe the effect of temperature and humidity index (THI) on various physiological traits, the plasma heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and cortisol levels and other blood parameters in crossbred buffalo (Nili-Ravi × Murrah) and Mediterranean buffalo to compare their tolerance to heat stress. As expected, crossbred buffalo had a significantly higher rectal temperature (RT), body surface temperature (BT), respiratory rate (RR), HSP70 and HSP90 levels in summer compared to spring and winter. RT and BT were also significantly higher in spring compared to winter. A significant correlation existed between THI and RT (r = 0·81) and RR (r = 0·84). Importantly, in summer the crossbred buffalo had a significantly lower RT, BT and RR and higher HSP70, HSP90 and cortisol levels than the Mediterranean buffalo. In conclusion, higher THI was associated with significant increase in RT, RR, BT, HSP70, HSP90 and cortisol levels, and the crossbred buffalo were more heat tolerant than Mediterranean buffalo.
This Research Communication describes the association between genetic variation within the prolactin (PRL) gene and the milk production traits of Italian Mediterranean river buffalo (Bufala mediterranea Italiana). High resolution melting (HRM) techniques were developed for genotyping 465 buffaloes. The association of genetic polymorphism with milk production traits was performed and subsequently the effects of parity and calving season were evaluated. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified at exons 2 and 5 and at introns 1 and 2. All the SNPs were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, and statistical analysis showed that the polymorphism of intron1 was significantly (P < 0·05) associated with milk yield, milk protein content and peak milk yield. The average contribution of the intron1 genotype (r2intron1) to total phenotypic variance in milk production traits was 0·09, and the TT genotype showed lower values than CC and CT genotypes. A nonsynonymous SNP was identified in exon 2, which resulted in an amino acid change from arginine to cysteine. Moreover, the polymorphism of exon 2 was associated significantly with milk fat content (P < 0·05), and the buffaloes with TT genotype showed higher total fat content than the buffaloes with CT genotype. These findings provide evidence that polymorphisms of the buffalo PRL gene are associated with milk production traits and PRL can be used as a candidate gene for marker-assisted selection in Italian Mediterranean river buffalo breeding.
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