Introduction to Epigenetics Science

Introduction to Epigenetics Science

What is epigenetics?

The term epigenetic is often used to describe a variety of unexpected patterns of gene regulation.

Chemical modifications of chromosomal DNA and/or structures that change the pattern of gene expression without altering the DNA sequence.

  • Epigenetics: 

Any process that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence and leads to modifications that can be transmitted to daughter cells

Or, Gene functions can be altered by more than just change in DNA sequence.

  • Epigenetic trait:

Is a stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA  sequence.

Importance of Epigenetics:

  • Study of evolution

  • Epigenetic drugs to treat various diseases.

  • Cancer treatment: DNA hypomethylation can activate oncogenes and initiate chromosome instability, whereas DNA hypermethylation initiates silencing of tumor suppressor genes.

  • Mental Retardation Disorders

  • Immunity & Related Disorders

  • Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

  • An overall transcriptomic activity of an organism is determined not only by its genetic makeup but also by epigenetic regulations.

Dr. Waleed Abobatta


Money Tree

Money Tree

Pachira aquatica

What the money tree plants?

The money tree is a small to medium-sized forest tree 4-23 m high, have very large flowers with long, narrow, pinkish petals and dozens of long stamens in a shaving-brush form.

The seeds of money tree are large and dark brown seeds known as Malabar chestnuts or Guiana chestnuts have a fleshy pulp and are delicious raw, boiled, fried or roasted, seeds considered as one of the best and easy indoor plants and also, used in the art of bonsai.


                     leaves of Money tree are alternate, palmately compound and clustered towards the ends of the branches.

Petioles long reach to 24 cm with many leaflets (3- 9), leaflets have a small point at the tip, and secondary veins are prominent.each elliptic-lanceolate, 5-28 cm long and 2.5-14.5 cm wide.


                      Very large, Terminal, bisexual,  single flower or 2 to 3 in a cluster, each is narrowly cylindrical in the bud and large, showy and scented. 5 whitish-yellow Petals or whitish-pink tubular-shaped up to 30 cm long. radish and long 3-4 cm.


                  Have a fleshy pulp with large and whitish cotyledons, fruits dark brown, rounded, woody 1.2-2 cm in diameter.

Harvest should be made daily picking the seeds from the previously cleaned ground under the canopy. The fruit is not eaten.

Landscaping Uses:

                                         The 15-18 m tree is also grown as a hedge and used in bonsai as ‘lucky trees’ or ‘money trees’

Food Uses:

                               The seeds of P. aquatica are delicious raw and has a high content of protein and edible oil, it could be used boiled, fried or roasted, the flavor is similar to a European chestnut,  roasted seeds ground to make a hot drink like hot chocolate but with a strong smell, young leaves and flowers are also edible.

Dr. Waleed Abobatta

Endangered Plants

All over the world, we always known about the endangered animals, but what are the most endangered plants?

They might not be as stirring or attractive as animals, but they are just as important to the ecosystem and humanity depends on that ecosystem.

In this articles we’ll talking about the most threatened plants today. Almost all this kinds are classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

These plants inhabit some of the most unreachable, distant parts of our planet. They are threatened by habitat destruction, illegal collection, poaching, and competition with invading species.

Some of this plants:

  1. Attenborough’s pitcher plant (Nepenthes attenboroughii)
  2.    Western Prairie Fringed Orchid ( Platanthera praeclara )
  3. Rafflesia Flower (Rafflesia arnoldii )
  4.  Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum )
  5. Wiggin’s Acalypha (Acalypha wigginsii )
  6. Texas Wild Rice (Zizania texana )
  7. Howell’s Spectacular Thelypody (Thelypodium howellii ssp. spectabilis )
  8. Ouachita Mountain Goldenrod (Solidago ouachitensis )
  9. Enrubio (Solanum drymophilum )
  10. (Agave arizonica )
  11. Stenogyne Kanehoana .

In the next article w’ll taking about each kind of this plants.

Dr. Waleed Abobatta


Magnetic Technology and Agricultural Sector

Among the stresses in agricultural sector worldwide, the increase of soil and water salinity is considered the major stress. This is particularly emerging in developing countries like MENA region. The chronic water shortage in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is a perplexing issue, undoubtedly because various operational sectors. The use of magnetically treated water is an important factor in achieving sustainable development in the agricultural sector. It improves plant production, reduces fertilizer use, and increase water irrigation efficiency, Also, use of magnetically treated irrigation water reduced soil pH but increased soil E C and available P in different plants. From other side, there are some beneficial effect of magnetically treated irrigation water, particularly for saline water and recycled water, on the yield and water productivity of treated plants.

The technology of magnetic water has widely studied and adopted in field of agriculture in many countries, Magnetic technology considered as one of the most promising technologies that can improvement and treated with different problems in the agricultural sector, such as the decrease in quantities of  irrigation water, in the same time there are global demands for food due  to the expected population increase around the world by 2050 .Where the world’s population will reach about 9 billion people, which will need more food production by about 60 percent of current production to meet the needs of mankind.

Magnetic technology is used in several ways to improve agricultural production like:

  1. Treating seeds and seedlings, leads to acceleration of plant growth activates proteins formation and root development (Rakosy-Tican et al., 2005).
  2. or to treat irrigation water
  3. and saline-affected soils,

which are used to increase seed germination and improve seedling growth and crop productivity, the most widespread use of magnetic technology in agriculture is treatment of irrigation water to increase its efficiency and allow the use of available water sources even low quality water, as well as soil salinity treatment.

Magnetic field changed the characteristics of cell membrane, effected the cell reproduction and caused some changes in cell metabolism.

Magnetic treatment of water improve different water characters, also,  improve the vegetative growth and productivity of plants either quality  or quantity, the reason of this effect can be searched in the presence of paramagnetic properties in chloroplast which can cause an acceleration of seeds metabolism by magnetic treatment

A magnetic field treatments was shown to induce seed germination, shoot development, fresh weight and plant length, fruit yield per plant and average fruit weight (Abobatta 2015).

Static magnetic fields has positive effects on the metabolism and growth of different plants, Roots seem much more susceptible to the magnetic field than shoots (Kato et al., 1989), from other side Electromagnetic fields can alter plasma membrane structures and functions.

In general , treatments with magnetic field the plant metabolism is changed and it is possible to induce some phenotypic and genotypic effects able to stimulate the plant productivity.


Dr. Waleed Abobatta


MiniReview: Simmondsia chinensis Jojoba tree

Jojoba tree
Waleed F. Abobatta
Horticulture Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Egypt.


This review presents general information about Hohoba commonly as jojoba. It is the sole species of the family Simmondsiaceae. Jojoba plants have currently received exceptional attention, since, its seeds contain a unique liquid wax commonly called jojoba oil, that is very similar to that obtained from Whale sperm.
Jojoba is considered a promising crop for arid and marginal areas; the plant also has probable value in combatting desertification and soil degradation in dry areas. Although the plant is known for its high-temperature and high-salinity tolerance growth ability, jojoba considered as a new plant for arid and marginal areas.The plant is grown for its seed which contains a liquid wax with a high melting point. This oil is used in a variety of products including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, lubricants and bio-fuel. Several aspects of the crop agronomy is reviewed including a botanical description, propagation methods from seed and cuttings, This review is intended to afford a reference to scientists and growers in the agronomy and management of jojoba.


Croton plant

 Croton plant

Codiaeum variegatum

Family: Euphorbiaceae


                                    Croton has glossy, leathery leaves that are very variable in shape, highly colored and variegated.  The leaves can be ovate or linear and variegated with pink, orange, green, brown, yellow and white.

Croton is an exotic looking plant that is grown in warm greenhouses or conservatory or as a indoor plant.

It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and the western Pacific Ocean islands, and growing in open forests and scrub.


                          It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3 m (9.8 ft) tall and has large, thick, leathery, shiny evergreen leaves, alternately arranged, 5–30 cm long and 0.5–8 cm broad. The inflorescence are long racemes 8–30 cm  long, with male and female flowers on separate inflorescences;   the male flowers are white with five small petals and 20–30 stamens, the female flowers yellowish, with no petals.

The fruit is a capsule around 1 cm diameter, containing three 6 mm seeds. The stems contain milky sap that bleeds from cut stems.


                        In tropical climates, crotons make attractive hedges and potted patio specimens, valued for their striking foliage. They only survive outdoors where temperatures do not normally drop below 10° to 13°C in winter; colder temperatures can cause leaf loss.In colder climates, the plants are grown in greenhouses or as house plants.

The cultivated garden crotons are usually smaller than the wild plant, rarely over 1.8 m tall, and come in a wide diversity of leaf shapes and colours.


                             For a plant with this incredible diversity, it’s amazing there is only species (C. variegatum). 

Crotons are often subdivided by their leaf type: curling, twisted, oak leaf, narrow, broad, oval, etc.

Also, sometimes different plants grouped under the name  Codiaeum variegatum var. pictum (Lodd.) Müll. Arg., though this is not botanically distinct from the species and usually treated as a synonym of it.

For that, there are several hundred of croton cultivars, selected and bred for their foliage. Depending on the cultivar, the leaves may be ovate to linear, entire to deeply lobed or crinkled, and variegated with green, white, purple, orange, yellow, red or pink.

There are different varieties like Dreadlocks, Ann Rutherford, Mona Lisa, and Irene Kingsley.


                            Crotons are easily propagated through stem cutting. Preferable usage  rooting hormone to increase the odds of success.

Crotons sometimes produce “sprouts,” or shoots that are completely different from the parent plant. These can be potted up independently.

Seeds used only in breeding program for scientific purposes,

                       Only cuttings will produce a plant that is identical to the parent.


                          As with many of the Euphorbiaceae, the sap can cause skin eczema in some people. The bark, roots, latex, and leaves are poisonous, containing the toxin called 5-deoxyingenol, also, the latex has caused eczema in some gardeners after repeated exposure.

The plant contains an oil which is violently purgative and is suspected of being a carcinogen. Consumption of the seeds can be fatal to children.

         Chewing the bark and roots may be cause burning of the mouth. 

Dr. Waleed Abobatta

Lucuma Tree

Lucuma Tree
Pouteria lucuma,

Family: Sapotaceae

A fruit tree of the Andes, in Ecuador, the tree is called lugma, from other side,it’s called lucuma in Chile, The native habitat of this tree is the high Andean valleys of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador.

It has been used  by the Incas for at least 2,000 years, p.d., and still is not practically known in the rest of the world.


                  Lucuma is a handsome tree, small to moderately tall, with slightly leathery leaves, it sometimes grows as a central leader tree, but more usually it has multiple leaders.

Lucuma  is a subtropical fruit tree of Andean valleys, especially in Peru, also it’s grown in Ecuador, Colombia, north of Chile and Bolivia.

It is being cultivated  in Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. Also there is some trials to planting in Florida and California .

Peru is the First producer for the dried pulp market, by  (16,000 metric tonnes of fresh fruit in Peru alone (given 8 tonnes per hectare).


              The tree  grow will across a wide range of soil types, including somewhat calcareous or even slightly saline soils, so long as the soil is fairly well drained. the tree need good drain to avoid root rot diseases.


                         Trees flowering in mid winter to spring. The flowers are white  to yellow, and narrowly tubular.  The male anthers are arranged around the ‘mouth’ of the flower ‘tube’. The female style projects from the bud prior to the flower opening, may be they can then pollinate the female part, if it hasn’t already been done.

There are some  author says lucuma trees are self fertile, and “appear to be insect pollinated”, the fruit mature after  8 or 9 months to go from flower pollinating.

“Meanwhile in the Andes it flowers and fruit year round”


                          lucuma tree almost propagation by seeds, for that there are different varieties, for example in Peru, over 100 improved lineages have been identified, either with heavier fruit production, or improved fruit quality.

In Chile La Molina University start deliberate breeding program to get new species with highly production and better fruit quality, now there are ‘San Antonio’, ‘Merced’, and ‘Vergata’ varieties are known as Chilean cultivars .

In New Zealand there is only one cultivar  ‘La Molina’, which was at one time available from a nursery, it is a Peruvian cultivar, the fruit have soft flesh , with orange flesh.


Dr. Waleed Abobatta

A. R. C.

Buddha Hands Fruit

Buddha Hands Fruit

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus

This lemon like citron (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus) is not usually eaten fresh, (although the rind may be candied and is sometimes used for zest), but it’s fragrant and said to have some medical qualities. It is said that the fragrance of a single fruit can perfume a room for weeks.

The Origin:

                                    The origin of this kind of citron is commonly traced back to the Far East, probably northeastern  India  or China, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate.


                   Buddha’s Hands { Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis } one of citrus kinds, like any other citrus variety, it is a  small tree or shrub  with long, irregular branches covered in thorns, the leaves are large grow up to 15 cm, oblong pale, green, Its white flowers grow in fragrant clusters and tinted purplish from the outside, the fruit contain only the white part of the fruit and sometimes a small amount of acidic pulp, but many varieties  are completely juice-less and some are seedless.

The fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling a human hand, but the different cultivars and variations of this citron variety form a gradient from “open-hand” types with outward-splayed segments to “closed-hand” types, in which the fingers are kept together, also, there are half-fingered fruits, in which the basal side is united and the apical side fingered.


                            Trees can be grown from cuttings taken from branches two to four years old, it is very commonly grafted onto sufficient rootstock.


               As most kind of citrus, the plant is sensitive to frost, as well as intense heat and drought, It grows best in a temperate climate.

Traditionally, the fruit was prized by the Chinese for its resemblance to a hand with the fingers outstretched. The buddha’s-hand citron was a popular plant motif in the art of the Ming dynasty. Besides its association with the Buddha the plant suggested wealth because of its resemblance to an outstretched hand. It remains popular at New Year’s and is said to bestow good fortune.

Dr. Waleed Abobatta


Reuse waste water and Green cities development

Reuse waste water and Green cities development


                                    In nature, water (as energy) is neither formed nor destroyed but is converted from one form to another .

  • Only about 1% of global water occurs as liquid freshwater. More than 98% of the freshwater occurs as groundwater, while less than 2% is available in streams and lakes, so the liquid freshwater is a finite and limited resource.
  • The increasing scarcity of water in the world along with rapid population increase in urban areas gives rise to concern about appropriate water management practices.

With increasing population and economic growth, treatment and safe disposal of wastewater is essential to preserve public health and reduce intolerable levels of environmental degradation. In addition, adequate wastewater management is also required for preventing contamination of water bodies for the purpose of preserving the sources of clean water. 
Water scarcity and water pollution are crucial issues in today’s world. One of the ways to reduce the impact of water scarcity and pollution is wastewater reuse.

Why Reuse of Wastewater is required?

—To reduce the ever increasing gap of Potable Water Supply and Demand in Urban Cities.

—To bring down billing charges of fresh water resulted due to long distance transportation, gradient and high energy costs.

—To mitigate conflicts of water resource allocation between the Domestic and Agricultural /Industry.

—To reduce groundwater extraction and Increase conservation of water resources.

  • Make water and sanitation sector sustainable .

—Using reclaimed water in place of fresh water for existing uses can free up existing water supply system capacity to cater for new water needs.

—This results in savings in the cost of developing new water sources, water transfers, treatment and distribution systems .

—It can also result in significant improvements in downstream river water quality.

Environmental benefits of water reuse

—Water reuse to meet the world’s water needs.

“Water recycling is a critical element for managing our water resources .

—Through water conservation and recycling, we can meet environmental needs and still have sustainable development and a viable economy .

water recycling as “the brightest star” in meeting future water needs in the world.