Recent Submissions

Article

Phase Engineering of Zirconium MOFs Enables Efficient Osmotic Energy Conversion: Structural Evolution Unveiled by Direct Imaging

(American Chemical Society (ACS), 2024-04-18) Chen, Cailing; Meng, Lingkun; Cao, Li; Zhang, Daliang; An, Shuhao; Liu, Lingmei; Wang, Jianjian; Li, Guanxing; Pan, Tingting; Shen, Jie; Chen, Zhijie; Shi, Zhan; Lai, Zhiping; Han, Yu; Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center; Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center; Physical Sciences and Engineering; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Chemistry; Chemical Science Program; Chemical Engineering; Chemical Engineering Program; College of Pharmacy, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun 130017, China; Multi-Scale Porous Materials Center, Institute of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies & School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China; Stoddart Institute of Molecular Science, Department of Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Silicon and Advanced Semiconductor Materials, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China; State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China; School of Emergent Soft Matter, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 511442, China; Center for Electron Microscopy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 511442, China

Creating structural defects in a controlled manner within metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) poses a significant challenge for synthesis, and concurrently, identifying the types and distributions of these defects is also a formidable task for characterization. In this study, we demonstrate that by employing 2-sulfonylterephthalic acid as the ligand for synthesizing Zr (or Hf)-based MOFs, a crystal phase transformation from the common fcu topology to the rare jmt topology can be easily facilitated using a straightforward mixed-solvent strategy. The jmt phase, characterized by an extensively open framework, can be considered a derivative of the fcu phase, generated through the introduction of missing-cluster defects. We have explicitly identified both MOF phases, their intermediate states, and the novel core–shell structures they form using ultralow-dose high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. In addition to facilitating phase engineering, the incorporation of sulfonic groups in MOFs imparts ionic selectivity, making them applicable for osmotic energy harvesting through mixed matrix membrane fabrication. The membrane containing the jmt-phase MOF exhibits an exceptionally high peak power density of 10.08 W m–2 under a 50-fold salinity gradient (NaCl: 0.5 M|0.01 M), which surpasses the threshold of 5 W m–2 for commercial applications and can be attributed to the combination of large pore size, extensive porosity, and abundant sulfonic groups in this novel MOF material.

Article

Synthesis, structural characterization and antitumor activities of manganese and cobalt isothiocyanate complexes with 2,2’-bipyridine

(Informa UK Limited, 2024-04-18) El-bendary, Mohamed M.; Akhdhar, Abdullah; Ali, Ehab M. M.; Davaasuren, Bambar; Jaremko, Mariusz; Babgi, Bandar A.; Core Labs, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Physical Characterization; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt; Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Division of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt; Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Article

Evaluation of granular formulated strigolactone analogs for Striga suicidal germination

(Wiley, 2024-04-18) Jamil, Muhammad; Margueritte, Ouedraogo; Yonli, Djibril; Wang, Jian You; Navangi, Lynet; Mudavadi, Patrick; Patil, Rohit H.; Bhoge, Satish Ekanath; Traore, Hamidou; Runo, Steven; Al-Babili, Salim; The BioActives Lab, Center for Desert Agriculture King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Thuwal 23955-6900 Saudi, Arabia; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Center for Desert Agriculture; Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) Ouagadougou 04 Burkina Faso; Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation, Alupe Center Busia 399-50400 Kenya; UPL House, Express Highway, Bandra-East Mumbai 400 051 Maharashtra India; Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology Kenyatta University 00100 Nairobi Kenya

BACKGROUND Striga hermonthica, an obligate root parasitic weed, poses significant threat to cereal production in sub-Saharan Africa. Lowering Striga seed bank in infested soils is a promising strategy to mitigate infestation levels. The dependency of Striga seed germination on strigolactones opens up the possibility of a "suicidal germination" approach, where synthetic germination stimulants induce lethal germination in the absence of a host. Implementing this approach requires active germination stimulants with a suitable formulation for field application. Here, we describe the development of slow-releasing granular formulation of two potent germination stimulants ‘Methyl Phenlactonoate 3’ and ‘Nijmegen-1’ and the assessment of their activity under Lab, greenhouse, mini-field, and field conditions.

RESULTS Under laboratory conditions, the granular formulation of either of the two germination stimulants (1.25 mg per plate, corresponding to 0.09 mg a.i.) induced Striga seed germination at a rate of up to 43%. With 10 mg granular product (0.75 mg a.i.) per pot, we observed 77–83% reduction in Striga emergence under greenhouse pot conditions. Application of the formulated stimulants under artificially or naturally infested fields resulted in approximately 56%, 60%, and 72% reduction in Striga emergence in maize, sorghum, and millet fields in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively.

CONCLUSION Our findings on the newly designed granular formulation of Methyl Phenlactonoate 3 and Nijmegen-1 reveal encouraging prospects for addressing the Striga problem in Africa. These findings underscore several significant advantages of the formulated stimulants, including suitability for the African agricultural context, and, most importantly, their effectiveness in reducing Striga infection.

Article

The emergence of highly resistant and hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae CC14 clone in a tertiary hospital over 8 years

(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2024-04-18) Hala, Sharif; Malaikah, Mohammed; Huang, Jiayi; Bahitham, Wesam; Fallatah, Omniya; Zakri, Samer; Antony, Chakkiath; Alshehri, Mohammed; Ghazzali, Raeece Naeem; Ben Rached, Fathia; Alsahafi, Abdullah; Alsaedi, Asim; AlAhmadi, Ghadeer; Kaaki, Mai; Alazmi, Meshari; AlhajHussein, Baraa; Yaseen, Muhammad; Zowawi, Hosam M.; Alghoribi, Majed F.; Althaqafi, Abdulhakeem O.; Al-Amri, Abdulfattah; Moradigaravand, Danesh; Pain, Arnab; Laboratory of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Red Sea Research Center; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC); Computer Science; Computer Science Program; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Computational Bioscience Research Center; Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC); King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Infectious Disease Research Department, King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Western Region, Saudi Arabia; International Institute for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 001-0020, Japan; King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; College of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Hail, Hail, Saudi Arabia; The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, QLD, Australia

Background is a major bacterial and opportunistic human pathogen, increasingly recognized as a healthcare burden globally. The convergence of resistance and virulence in strains has led to the formation of hypervirulent and multidrug-resistant strains with dual risk, limiting treatment options. clones are known to emerge locally and spread globally. Therefore, an understanding of the dynamics and evolution of the emerging strains in hospitals is warranted to prevent future outbreaks.

            Methods
            In this study, we conducted an in-depth genomic analysis on a large-scale collection of 328 multidrug-resistant (MDR) $\textit{K. pneumoniae}$ strains recovered from 239 patients from a single major hospital in the western coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from 2014 through 2022. We employed a broad range of phylogenetic and phylodynamic methods to understand the evolution of the predominant clones on epidemiological time scales, virulence and resistance determinants, and their dynamics. We also integrated the genomic data with detailed electronic health record (EHR) data for the patients to understand the clinical implications of the resistance and virulence of different strains.
          
            Results
            We discovered a diverse population underlying the infections, with most strains belonging to Clonal Complex 14 (CC14) exhibiting dominance. Specifically, we observed the emergence and continuous expansion of strains belonging to the dominant ST2096 in the CC14 clade across hospital wards in recent years. These strains acquired resistance mutations against colistin and extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase genes, namely $\textit{bla}$$_{OXA-48}$ and $\textit{bla}$$_{OXA-232}$, located on three distinct plasmids, on epidemiological time scales. Strains of ST2096 exhibited a high virulence level with the presence of the siderophore aerobactin ($\textit{iuc}$) locus situated on the same mosaic plasmid as the ESBL gene. Integration of ST2096 with EHR data confirmed the significant link between colonization by ST2096 and the diagnosis of sepsis and elevated in-hospital mortality ($\textit{p-}$value < 0.05).
          
            Conclusions
            Overall, these results demonstrate the clinical significance of ST2096 clones and illustrate the rapid evolution of an emerging hypervirulent and MDR $\textit{K. pneumoniae}$ in a clinical setting.
Article

The emergence of highly resistant and hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae CC14 clone in a tertiary hospital over 8 years

(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2024-04-18) Hala, Sharif; Malaikah, Mohammed; Huang, Jiayi; Bahitham, Wesam; Fallatah, Omniya; Zakri, Samer; Antony, Chakkiath; Alshehri, Mohammed; Ghazzali, Raeece Naeem; Ben Rached, Fathia; Alsahafi, Abdullah; Alsaedi, Asim; AlAhmadi, Ghadeer; Kaaki, Mai; Alazmi, Meshari; AlhajHussein, Baraa; Yaseen, Muhammad; Zowawi, Hosam M.; Alghoribi, Majed F.; Althaqafi, Abdulhakeem O.; Al-Amri, Abdulfattah; Moradigaravand, Danesh; Pain, Arnab; Laboratory of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Red Sea Research Center; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC); Computer Science; Computer Science Program; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Computational Bioscience Research Center; Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC); King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Infectious Disease Research Department, King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Western Region, Saudi Arabia; International Institute for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 001-0020, Japan; King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; College of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Hail, Hail, Saudi Arabia; The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, QLD, Australia

Background is a major bacterial and opportunistic human pathogen, increasingly recognized as a healthcare burden globally. The convergence of resistance and virulence in strains has led to the formation of hypervirulent and multidrug-resistant strains with dual risk, limiting treatment options. clones are known to emerge locally and spread globally. Therefore, an understanding of the dynamics and evolution of the emerging strains in hospitals is warranted to prevent future outbreaks.

            Methods
            In this study, we conducted an in-depth genomic analysis on a large-scale collection of 328 multidrug-resistant (MDR) $\textit{K. pneumoniae}$ strains recovered from 239 patients from a single major hospital in the western coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from 2014 through 2022. We employed a broad range of phylogenetic and phylodynamic methods to understand the evolution of the predominant clones on epidemiological time scales, virulence and resistance determinants, and their dynamics. We also integrated the genomic data with detailed electronic health record (EHR) data for the patients to understand the clinical implications of the resistance and virulence of different strains.
          
            Results
            We discovered a diverse population underlying the infections, with most strains belonging to Clonal Complex 14 (CC14) exhibiting dominance. Specifically, we observed the emergence and continuous expansion of strains belonging to the dominant ST2096 in the CC14 clade across hospital wards in recent years. These strains acquired resistance mutations against colistin and extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase genes, namely $\textit{bla}$$_{OXA-48}$ and $\textit{bla}$$_{OXA-232}$, located on three distinct plasmids, on epidemiological time scales. Strains of ST2096 exhibited a high virulence level with the presence of the siderophore aerobactin ($\textit{iuc}$) locus situated on the same mosaic plasmid as the ESBL gene. Integration of ST2096 with EHR data confirmed the significant link between colonization by ST2096 and the diagnosis of sepsis and elevated in-hospital mortality ($\textit{p-}$value < 0.05).
          
            Conclusions
            Overall, these results demonstrate the clinical significance of ST2096 clones and illustrate the rapid evolution of an emerging hypervirulent and MDR $\textit{K. pneumoniae}$ in a clinical setting.