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Articles by R. Akashi
Total Records ( 4 ) for R. Akashi
  M.M. Rahman , R.B. Abdullah , W.E. Wan Khadijah , T. Nakagawa and R. Akashi
  The high costs of commercial concentrates limit livestock production in South-east Asia. The efficient use of local feed resources may minimize the costs and improve the productivity. Palm Kernel Cake (PKC) contains moderate levels of protein and energy, which is considered sufficient to meet the requirements of most ruminants. However, its protein degradability in the rumen is high resulting in losing its function as protein source for ruminant. This experiment was aimed to investigate the effect of feeding molasses protected PKC and soya waste on intake, nutrient digestibility and growth performance of young female goats. Eight goats were divided into 2 groups and allocated to respective feeding treatments. The treatments were T1 = napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)+1.0% commercial pellet of live weight (LW) and T2 = napier grass+1.0% PKC of LW+100 g molasses+55 g soya waste. The results indicated that the T1 treatment increased (p<0.05) napier grass Dry matter (DM) intake (370 vs. 295 g day-1) compared to T2 treatment but the total intakes of DM (584 vs. 668 g day-1), organic matter (OM) (532 vs. 585 g day-1), Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) (308 vs. 344 g day-1) and crude protein (CP) (59.2 vs. 58.9 g day-1) were similar (p>0.05) for both treatments, respectively. The T1 treatment also increased (p<0.05) apparent digestibility of DM (64.1 vs. 56.3%), OM (67.3 vs. 58.9%), NDF (55.9 vs. 45.2%) and CP (68.4 vs. 52.1%) compared to T2 treatment, but they had no effect (p>0.05) on average daily gain (59.0 vs. 72.1 g day-1) and feed conversion ratio (10.4 vs. 9.6), respectively. It is concluded that supplementing a napier grass-based diet with molasses protected PKC and soya waste can be used as source of protein and energy, exploiting the use of local feed resources for goat production.
  J. Toyama , H. Tanaka , A. Horie , T. Uchiyama and R. Akashi
  Thirteen Cucurbitaceae species have been investigated for anti-H activity of seed lectins. The lectin was extracted from seed powder and concentrated by ethanol precipitation method. Momordica charantia, Trichosanthes kirilowii, T. cucumeroides and T. bracteata had potent hemagglutinating (HA) activity toward human type-H(O) erythrocytes, in which M. charantia exhibited considerably lower activity toward human type-Omh (para-Bombay, H-deficient). Hence, it was characterized as anti-H activity. Eight Japanese cultivars exhibited almost same degrees of anti-H activity. A lectin from seeds of M. charantia has been purified by affinity chromatography and gel-permeation. The lectin was shown to be a glycoprotein containing approximately 10% neutral sugar, which gave a single band on native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and four bands of 31.5, 30.5, 30.0 and 28.5 kDa on SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions suggesting that the lectin is a tetramer. The HA activity was stable at 50 °C for 1 h, but sharply decreased beyond 55 °C. The lectin agglutinated human type-O erythrocytes and the agglutination was inhibited by D-galactose and its derivatives, particularly human blood type-H (O) antigen trisaccharide (Fucα1 → 2Galβ1 → 4GlcNAc). These results suggest that M. charantia seed lectin has anti-H (O) activity and D-galactose specificity. Inter-specific differences in anti-H activity of the seed among Cucurbitaceae may exist.
  H. Tanaka , J. Toyama and R. Akashi
  This study examines the function and genetic structure of Momordica charantia lectin. A galactose-binding lectin (MCL1) was purified from M. charantia seeds. The MCL1 showed highest hemagglutinating activity toward human type-O(H) erythrocytes followed by A, B and Omh (para-Bombay phenotype, also known as H-deficient secretor) erythrocytes. Moreover, we observed that MCL1 inhibited the cell-free synthesis of luciferase in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of purified MCL1 was identified and used to design degenerate oligonucleotide primers. The 3' and 5' ends of the gene coding for this protein were amplified by rapid amplification of cDNA ends, cloned and sequenced. The coding region (1641 bp, 547 amino acid residues) consisted of a 23 amino acid N-terminal signal sequence preceding an A-chain of 263 amino acid residues encoding a ribosome-inactivating protein that was joined to the B-chain of 261 amino acid residues encoding a lectin. The transcript was detected only in embryos, but hemagglutinating activity was detected both in embryos and cotyledons. These results suggest that gene expression occurred only during embryogenesis and the product accumulated in embryos and cotyledons. The MCL1 was expressed in tobacco BY-2 cells and the supernatant fluid of disrupted cells showed higher hemagglutinating activity toward human type-O(H) erythrocyte than the other tested erythrocytes. Thus, transgenic tobacco suspension culture cells harboring the cloned cDNA encoding the lectin purified from M. charantia are expected to be useful for the production of MCL1.
  M. Muguerza , T. Gondo , G. Ishigaki and R. Akashi
  Lignin is generally known as one of the major impediments for utilizing the potential of many forage plants because it limits digestibility and concomitantly, livestock productivity. Warm-season grasses yield high biomass but the digestibility is low due to their high lignin content. Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase, a key enzyme that catalyzes the last stage in the lignin biosynthesis pathway, has been genetically altered in few grasses to increase their digestibility and forage quality. The aim of this study was to reduce the lignin content in a warm-season grass, bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge), by suppression of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase gene expression. Using particle bombardment, cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase gene constructs with the antisense and RNAi vector under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter were introduced into bahiagrass calli. The lignin content in most of the transgenic lines was significantly reduced, although the agronomic characteristics (plant height, leaf length, leaf width, tiller number, heading tiller and dry matter) differed between individuals. The in vitro dry matter digestibility of four of the nine transgenic plant significantly increased by 5.6-10.4% units. These results suggest that the molecular modification of the cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase gene function in the monolignol pathway significantly improved the feeding characteristics of the bahiagrass and that this approach could be used to improve the forage quality of other warm-season grasses. By utilizing their potential, novel cultivars could be developed that are amenable for intensified and sustainable grass forage production.
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