Twyman Research Management
Specialist consultants in
scientific project development,
management and presentation
to Twyman Research Management
Twyman Research Management Ltd is a UK company that specializes in scientific project development, management and presentation, including the preparation of research proposals, project management and reporting, project dissemination and complementary activities, and expert assistance with the preparation, editing and revision of scientific manuscripts.
We have been working for more than 20 years to develop and manage research projects and improve the quality of scientific publications.
Article of the Month
The modification of staple cereals to increase nutrient levels in the seeds is a common approach to develop new varieties that prevent diseases of malnutrition. However, it is often unclear how such interventions affect the metabolism of the vegetative tissues of the same plants, particularly the leaves and roots. In May’s article of the month, Girón-Calva et al. carried out a comprehensive metabolic comparison of normal maize plants and a variety engineered to accumulate carotenoids in the seeds, focusing on the metabolic profiles of the leaves and roots. Not only did they find differences in vegetative metabolism between the two plant lines, but also different responses to high or low levels of nitrogen in the fertilizer. These different vegetative responses arose even before seed development and thus cannot be a direct response to metabolic engineering in the seed, suggesting that the differences are somehow already primed at the embryonic stage. This model of transgenerational metabolic priming could help to predict the outcome of metabolic engineering.
Article details: Girón-Calva PS et al. (2021) Nitrogen inputs influence vegetative metabolism in maize engineered with a seed-specific carotenoid pathway. Plant Cell Rep 40 (5) 899-911.
Image shows a collection of maize cobs.
Image credit: Parmveer Singh (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Apples and pears are consumed all over the world as part of a healthy diet. They provide a rich source of polyphenols, which are complex molecules that demonstrate a range of useful activities in vitro, including antioxidant activity. However, the benefits of dietary polyphenols are difficult to confirm directly because of the varying amounts present in different fruit cultivars as well as differences in absorption and metabolism. In April’s article of the month Commisso et al. investigate the metabolic complexity of six apple and five pear cultivars, and measure their antioxidant capacity in relation to the abundance of different polyphenol compounds. They determined the relationship between metabolic diversity and the genotype of the cultivars and the growing season, and identified cultivars with high levels of polyphenols and low levels of sugars. The metabolic profiling of different fruit cultivars will help consumers to choose fruit products with known health benefits.
Article details: Commisso M et al. (2021) Metabolomic profiling and antioxidant activity of fruits representing diverse apple and pear cultivars. Biology 10 (5) 380.
Image shows a selection of apples and pears.
Image credit: Dimitar Nikolov (CC BY 2.0)
Honeybees are in decline due to a combination of factors including habitat loss, the spread of pathogens and parasites, and the widespread use of pesticides. Honeybees are killed by high doses of pesticides and overwhelming pathogen numbers, but even lower exposure has the potential to induce stress responses that reduce colony fitness. In our article of the month for March, Bartling et al. investigate this phenomenon by testing the effects of a bacterial pathogen and four pesticides on honeybee stress responses and innate immunity when administered at low oral doses. All five stressors affected the mean lifespan of the insects and induced the production of antimicrobial and detoxifying defence factors, but the pesticides triggered a specific effect based on nitric oxide signalling. It may be possible to use these responses as markers to assess the fitness of honeybee colonies.
Article details: Bartling MT et al. (2021) Exposure to low doses of pesticides induces an immune response and the production of nitric oxide in honeybees. Sci Rep 11 (1) 6819.