Sample records for ancient insect taxa

  1. A proteomic approach for studying insect phylogeny: CAPA peptides of ancient insect taxa (Dictyoptera, Blattoptera as a test case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gäde Gerd


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuropeptide ligands have to fit exactly into their respective receptors and thus the evolution of the coding regions of their genes is constrained and may be strongly conserved. As such, they may be suitable for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships within higher taxa. CAPA peptides of major lineages of cockroaches (Blaberidae, Blattellidae, Blattidae, Polyphagidae, Cryptocercidae and of the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis were chosen to test the above hypothesis. The phylogenetic relationships within various groups of the taxon Dictyoptera (praying mantids, termites and cockroaches are still highly disputed. Results Tandem mass spectrometry of neuropeptides from perisympathetic organs was used to obtain sequence data of CAPA peptides from single specimens; the data were analysed by Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Interference. The resulting cladograms, taking 61 species into account, show a topology which is in general agreement with recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses, including the recent phylogenetic arrangement placing termites within the cockroaches. When sequence data sets from other neuropeptides, viz. adipokinetic hormones and sulfakinins, were included, the general topology of the cladogram did not change but bootstrap values increased considerably. Conclusion This study represents the first comprehensive survey of neuropeptides of insects for solely phylogenetic purposes and concludes that sequences of short neuropeptides are suitable to complement molecular biological and morphological data for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships.

  2. Non-destructive sampling of ancient insect DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis; Elias, Scott; Gilbert, Tom


    BACKGROUND: A major challenge for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies on insect remains is that sampling procedures involve at least partial destruction of the specimens. A recent extraction protocol reveals the possibility of obtaining DNA from past insect remains without causing visual morphological...... of 77-204 base pairs (-bp) in size using species-specific and general insect primers. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The applied non-destructive DNA extraction method shows promising potential on insect museum specimens of historical age as far back as AD 1820, but less so on the ancient permafrost...... damage. We test the applicability of this protocol on historic museum beetle specimens dating back to AD 1820 and on ancient beetle chitin remains from permafrost (permanently frozen soil) dating back more than 47,000 years. Finally, we test the possibility of obtaining ancient insect DNA directly from...

  3. Non-destructive sampling of ancient insect DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis; Elias, Scott; Gilbert, Tom;


    BACKGROUND: A major challenge for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies on insect remains is that sampling procedures involve at least partial destruction of the specimens. A recent extraction protocol reveals the possibility of obtaining DNA from past insect remains without causing visual morphological...... damage. We test the applicability of this protocol on historic museum beetle specimens dating back to AD 1820 and on ancient beetle chitin remains from permafrost (permanently frozen soil) dating back more than 47,000 years. Finally, we test the possibility of obtaining ancient insect DNA directly from...... of 77-204 base pairs (-bp) in size using species-specific and general insect primers. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The applied non-destructive DNA extraction method shows promising potential on insect museum specimens of historical age as far back as AD 1820, but less so on the ancient permafrost...

  4. Molecular evidence for ancient asexuality in timema stick insects. (United States)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J


    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual taxa that have evolved and adapted without sex would be "scandalous" exceptions to this rule, but it is often difficult to exclude the possibility that putative asexuals deploy some form of "cryptic" sex, or have abandoned sex more recently than estimated from divergence times to sexual relatives [10]. Here we provide evidence, from high intraspecific divergence of mitochondrial sequence and nuclear allele divergence patterns, that several independently derived Timema stick-insect lineages have persisted without recombination for more than a million generations. Nuclear alleles in the asexual lineages displayed significantly higher intraindividual divergences than in related sexual species. In addition, within two asexuals, nuclear allele phylogenies suggested the presence of two clades, with sequences from the same individual appearing in both clades. These data strongly support ancient asexuality in Timema and validate the genus as an exceptional opportunity to attack the question of how asexual reproduction can be maintained over long periods of evolutionary time.

  5. Molecular Evidence for Ancient Asexuality in Timema Stick Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J.


    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual

  6. Flowering biology of three taxa of the genus Scilla L. (Hyacinthaceae and flower visitation by pollinating insects

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    Beata Żuraw


    Full Text Available Squill of the family Hyacinthaceae is a small bulb perennial. The present study on flowering and pollination of Scilla sibirica Andr., S. sibirica 'Alba', and S. bifolia L. was conducted in the years 1995, 1997, and 1999 in the Botanical Garden of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. The plants flowered from the end of March until the middle of May. The duration of flowering of individual taxa was similar and it averaged 20 days (Scilla sibirica, 21 days (S. sibirica 'Alba', and 23 days (S. bifolia. The opening of flower buds always started around 9.00 am and lasted, depending on the taxon, until 3.00 pm (Scilla sibirica 'Alba', 4.00 pm (S. bifolia, and 5.00 pm (S. sibirica. The flowers were visited by bees (Apoidea, primarily the honey bee (Apis mellifera L., bumblebee (Bombus L., and solitary bees. Numerous honey bee foragers were observed; they bit through the anther walls and even attempted to open still closed flower buds in order to reach the pollen.

  7. Insect leaf-chewing damage tracks herbivore richness in modern and ancient forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica R Carvalho

    Full Text Available The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests.

  8. Immune- and wound-dependent differential gene expression in an ancient insect. (United States)

    Johnston, Paul R; Rolff, Jens


    Two of the main functions of the immune system are to control infections and to contribute to wound closure. Here we present the results of an RNAseq study of immune- and wound-response gene expression in the damselfly Coenagrion puella, a representative of the odonates, the oldest taxon of winged insects. De novo assembly of RNAseq data revealed a rich repertoire of canonical immune pathways, as known from model insects, including recognition, transduction and effector gene expression. A shared set of immune and wound repair genes were differentially expressed in both wounded and immune-challenged larvae. Moreover 3-fold more immune genes were induced only in the immune-challenged treatment. This is consistent with the notion that the immune-system reads a balance of signals related to wounding and infection and that the response is tailored accordingly.

  9. fruitless alternative splicing and sex behaviour in insects: an ancient and unforgettable love story?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Marco Salvemini; Catello Polito; Giuseppe Saccone


    Courtship behaviours are common features of animal species that reproduce sexually. Typically, males are involved in courting females. Insects display an astonishing variety of courtship strategies primarily based on innate stereotyped responses to various external stimuli. In Drosophila melanogaster, male courtship requires proteins encoded by the fruitless (fru) gene that are produced in different sex-specific isoforms via alternative splicing. Drosophila mutant flies with loss-of-function alleles of the fru gene exhibit blocked male courtship behaviour. However, various individual steps in the courtship ritual are disrupted in fly strains carrying different fru alleles. These findings suggest that fru is required for specific steps in courtship. In distantly related insect species, various fru paralogues were isolated, which shows conservation of sex-specific alternative splicing and protein expression in neural tissues and suggests an evolutionary functional conservation of fru in the control of male-specificcourtship behaviour. In this review, we report the seminal findings regarding the fru gene, its splicing regulation and evolution in insects.

  10. Efficient Transmission of an Introduced Pathogen Via an Ancient Insect-Fungus Association (United States)

    Battisti, A.; Roques, A.; Colombari, F.; Frigimelica, G.; Guido, M.

    In Cupressus sempervirens the association between seed insects and tree pathogens has resulted in optimal exploitation of the cones. A fungus-infected cone can be inhabited by the nymphs of a true seed bug (Orsillus maculatus), the adults of which may carry a heavy spore load at emergence. Cones are infected when eggs are laid within the cone, most frequently via the emergence holes of a seed wasp (Megastigmus wachtli). This symbiotic association evolved with the nonaggressive fungus Pestalotiopsis funerea within the natural range of the cypress. When the aggressive cypress canker disease (Seiridium cardinale) was introduced into Europe, it was transmitted by O. maculatus to cones usually colonized by Pestalotiopsis funerea, with disastrous consequences for the regeneration and survival of C. sempervirens in the entire Mediterranean area.

  11. A comparative study of ancient environmental DNA to pollen and macrofossils from lake sediments reveals taxonomic overlap and additional plant taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, M.W.; Ginolhac, A.; Orlando, L.


    We use 2nd generation sequencing technology on sedimentary ancient DNA (. sedaDNA) from a lake in South Greenland to reconstruct the local floristic history around a low-arctic lake and compare the results with those previously obtained from pollen and macrofossils in the same lake. Thirty...... and Asparagaceae) are absent from the pollen and macrofossil records. An age model for the sediment based on twelve radiocarbon dates establishes a chronology and shows that the lake record dates back to 10,650calyrBP. Our results suggest that sedaDNA analysis from lake sediments, although taxonomically less...

  12. New insights into an ancient insect nose: the olfactory pathway of Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha: Machilidae). (United States)

    Missbach, Christine; Harzsch, Steffen; Hansson, Bill S


    Hexapods most likely derived from an aquatic ancestor, which they shared with crustaceans. During the transition from water to land, their sensory systems had to face the new physiological demands that terrestrial conditions impose. This process also concerns the sense of smell and, more specifically, detection of volatile, air-borne chemicals. In insects, olfaction plays an important role in orientation, mating choice, and food and host finding behavior. The first integration center of odor information in the insect brain is the antennal lobe, which is targeted by the afferents from olfactory sensory neurons on the antennae. Within the antennal lobe of most pterygote insects, spherical substructures called olfactory glomeruli are present. In order to gain insights into the evolution of the structure of the central olfactory pathway in insects, we analyzed a representative of the wingless Archaeognatha or jumping bristletails, using immunocytochemistry, antennal backfills and histological section series combined with 3D reconstruction. In the deutocerebrum of Lepismachilis y-signata, we found three different neuropil regions. Two of them show a glomerular organization, but these glomeruli differ in their shape from those in all other insect groups. The connection of the glomerular neuropils to higher brain centers remains unclear and mushroom bodies are absent as reported from other archaeognathan species. We discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings.

  13. Giant Sticks from Vietnam and China, with three new taxa including the second longest insect known to date (Phasmatodea, Phasmatidae, Clitumninae, Pharnaciini

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    Joachim Bresseel


    Full Text Available Two new species and one subspecies of Pharnaciini, belonging to two different genera, are described from Vietnam: one species and subspecies of Phryganistria Stål, 1875 and one species of Phobaeticus Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1907. Two species currently attributed to the genus Ramulus Saussure, 1862, Ramulus magnus (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1907 and R. chinensis (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1907, are transferred to Baculonistria Hennemann & Conle, 2008 comb. nov. Phobaeticus longicornis Bi & Wang, 1998 and Phobaeticus yuexiensis Chen & He, 1993 represent the male and female of Baculonistria magnus (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1907 syn. nov. A lectotype is designated for Baculonistria chinensis (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1907. The genus Baculonistria now contains three species. Nearchus bachmaensis Ta & Hoang, 2004 is transferred to Phryganistria and the new combination Phryganistria bachmaensis (Ta & Hoang, 2004 comb. nov. is proposed. The species is redescribed and the authors’ attribution corrected, the egg is described and figured for the first time. Phryganistria tamdaoensis sp. nov. is described and figured from both sexes and the egg. Females of P. tamdaoensis sp. nov. are easily recognised by the conspicuously enlarged lanceolate cerci, a character previously unknown in this tribe. The distribution range of Phryganistria heusii heusii (Hennemann & Conle, 1997 is extended to Tam Dao National Park. A new subspecies Phryganistria heusii yentuensis subsp. nov. is described from Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve from adult males and females and the eggs. Males can easily be distinguished from the nominal subspecies by their colouration. This huge subspecies represents the second longest insect recorded to date. A key to the species of the genus Phryganistria is provided. Phobaeticus trui sp. nov. is described from central Vietnam. It is the first species of Phobaeticus recorded from Vietnam. Adults of both sexes are illustrated.

  14. Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan


    ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair......ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair...

  15. Observing Insects. (United States)

    Arbel, Ilil


    Describes how to observe and study the fascinating world of insects in public parks, backyards, and gardens. Discusses the activities and habits of several common insects. Includes addresses for sources of beneficial insects, seeds, and plants. (nine references) (JJK)

  16. Ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Evers, Virginia

    This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…

  17. The respiratory proteins of insects. (United States)

    Burmester, Thorsten; Hankeln, Thomas


    For a long time, respiratory proteins have been considered unnecessary in most insects because the tracheal system was thought to be sufficient for oxygen supply. Only a few species that survive under hypoxic conditions were known exceptions. However, recently it has become evident that (1) intracellular hemoglobins belong to the standard repertoire of insects and (2) that hemocyanin is present in many "lower" insects. Intracellular hemoglobins have been identified in Drosophila, Anopheles, Apis and many other insects. In all investigated species, hemoglobin is mainly expressed in the fat body and the tracheal system. The major Drosophila hemoglobin binds oxygen with high affinity. This hemoglobin type possibly functions as a buffer system for oxygen supply at low partial pressures and/or for the protection from an excess of oxygen. Similar hemoglobins, present in much higher concentrations, store oxygen in specialized tracheal organs of the botfly and some backswimmers. The extracellular hemoglobins in the hemolymph of chironomid midges are evolutionary derivatives of the intracellular insect hemoglobins, which emerged in response to the hypoxic environment of the larvae. In addition, several hemoglobin variants of unknown functions have been discovered in insect genomes. Hemocyanins transport oxygen in the hemolymph of stoneflies, but also in the Entognatha and most hemimetabolan taxa. Apparently, hemocyanin has been lost in Holometabola. At present, no physiological or morphological character is known that could explain the presence or loss of hemocyanins in distinct taxa. Nevertheless, the occurrence of respiratory proteins in insects adds further complexity to our view on insect respiration.

  18. Ancient genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen


    by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans......, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when...

  19. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soltis, R. (ed.); Hart, D.; Nagy, T.


    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy's cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  20. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soltis, R. [ed.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.


    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy`s cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  1. Ancient genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen;


    , archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when...

  2. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants. (United States)

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J


    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  3. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

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    Michael J. Bidochka


    Full Text Available Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  4. Insect Keepers (United States)

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky


    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  5. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost. (United States)

    Bellemain, Eva; Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, Håvard; Epp, Laura S; Boessenkool, Sanne; Coissac, Eric; Geml, Jozsef; Edwards, Mary; Willerslev, Eske; Gussarova, Galina; Taberlet, Pierre; Haile, James; Brochmann, Christian


    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16 000-32 000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS. We detected 75 fungal OTUs from 21 orders representing three phyla, although rarefaction analyses suggested that the full diversity was not recovered despite generating an average of 6677 ± 3811 (mean ± SD) sequences per sample and that preservation bias likely has considerable effect on the recovered DNA. Most OTUs (75.4%) represented ascomycetes. Due to insufficient sequencing depth, DNA degradation and putative preservation biases in our samples, the recovered taxa probably do not represent the complete historic fungal community, and it is difficult to determine whether the fungal communities varied geographically or experienced a composition shift within the period of 16 000-32 000 bp. However, annotation of OTUs to functional ecological groups provided a wealth of information on the historic communities. About one-third of the OTUs are presumed plant-associates (pathogens, saprotrophs and endophytes) typical of graminoid- and forb-rich habitats. We also detected putative insect pathogens, coprophiles and keratinophiles likely associated with ancient insect and herbivore faunas. The detection of putative insect pathogens, mycoparasites, aquatic fungi and endophytes broadens our previous knowledge of the diversity of fungi present in Beringian palaeoecosystems. A large group of putatively psychrophilic/psychrotolerant fungi was also detected, most likely representing a modern, metabolically active fungal community.

  6. Insect phylogenomics. (United States)

    Behura, S K


    Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study the evolution and systematics of species. Recently, several studies employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into insect evolution. Next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phy-logenomic investigations help us to better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators and disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution.

  7. Ancient Egypt (United States)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

    This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.

  8. Indicator taxa revisited: useful for conservation planning?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper; Rahbek, Carsten


    investigate to what extent variation in species number between indicator taxa (e.g. 488 mammal spp. vs. 210 snake spp.) is causing the differences in effectiveness between indicator taxa. Second, we investigate whether indicator taxa are capable of outperforming indicator groups composed of random sets...... sets: sub-Saharan Africa (4,039 spp.), Denmark (847 spp.) and Uganda (2,822 spp.). Results:  We overall found that indicator taxa comprising a greater number of species tend to perform better than indicator taxa with fewer species (e.g. 488 mammal spp. outperform 210 snake spp.), although...

  9. Insect Data (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past temperature and environment derived from beetle and other insect fossils. Parameter keywords describe what was measured in this data set. Additional...

  10. Holocene insect remains from south-western Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bøcher, Jens Jensenius; Bennike, Ole; Wagner, Bernd


    Remains of plants and invertebrates from Holocene deposits in south-western Greenland include a number of insect fragments from Heteroptera and Coleoptera. Some of the finds extend the known temporal range of the species considerably back in time, and one of the taxa has not previously been found...... of terrestrial insects complement the scarce fossil Greenland record of the species concerned....

  11. Ecological niches of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brun, Philipp Georg; Vogt, Meike; Payne, Mark;


    We characterize the realized ecological niches of 133 phytoplankton taxa in the open ocean based on observations from the MAREDAT initiative and a statistical species distribution model (MaxEnt). The models find that the physical conditions (mixed layer depth, temperature, light) govern large...... conditions in the open ocean. Our estimates of the realized niches roughly match the predictions of Reynolds' C-S-R model for the global ocean, namely that taxa classified as nutrient stress tolerant have niches at lower nutrient and higher irradiance conditions than light stress tolerant taxa. Yet...

  12. New taxa and combinations in Rutaceae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaastra, R.C.


    New taxa and combinations are published here in anticipation of the revision of the Rutaceae-Pilocarpinae to be published in the near future (thesis, and in Flora Neotropica). Two new combinations of species excluded from subtribe Pilocarpinae are added.

  13. In vitro propagation of endangered Dianthus taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marković Marija


    Full Text Available The review of recent researches regarding the in vitro culture of 30 endangered Dianthus taxa is presented in this paper. Various in vitro protocols developed for selected rare and threatened Dianthus taxa are analysed in order to provide a useful synthesis of the data obtained with the main principles, techniques and recommendations for futher research and practice. The recapitulated data presented in this review can be used as a tool for the micropropagation of other endangered Dianthus taxa, enabling their propagation and obtaining a sufficient amount of plants for reintroduction. In addition, the obtained results represent the basis for ex situ conservation of the investigated taxa, especially for medium-term and long-term conservation (cryopreservation. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 43007

  14. The role of birds and insects in pollination shifts of Scrophularia (Scrophulariaceae). (United States)

    Navarro-Pérez, María L; López, Josefa; Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Vargas, Pablo; Ortega-Olivencia, Ana


    The mixed vertebrate-insect pollination system is rare in Holarctic plants. Phylogenetic relationships of 116 Scrophularia taxa were investigated based on two plastid (ndhF and trnL-trnF) and one nuclear (ITS) DNA regions. A wider time-calibrated analysis of ndhF sequences of the Lamiales revealed that Scrophularia diverged as early as in the Miocene (bird systems). Four origins for a mixed vertebrate-insect (MVI) pollination system were inferred, in which two western Mediterranean species (S. sambucifolia and S. grandiflora) and two island species (the Tirrenian S. trifoliata and the Canarian S. calliantha) were involved. S. calliantha is the only species in which a more complex MVI system, including pollination by the lizard Gallotia stehlini, has evolved. In addition, bird (hummingbird) floral traits found in the New Mexican S. macrantha appear to have been independently acquired. In contrast, we failed to find evidence for an ancient role of hummingbirds in the evolution of European Scrophularia. Indeed, paleontological data revealed that extinction of European hummingbirds (30-32 Ma) occurred earlier than the divergence of European MVI lineages of Scrophularia. In conclusion, our results showed that a role of birds in pollination of Scrophularia may not have been effective in the Miocene-Pliocene, but bird pollination that shows its origin in the Pliocene-Pleistocene is still operating independently in different islands and continents.

  15. Insect abatement system (United States)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)


    An insect abatement system prevents adhesion of insect debris to surfaces which must be kept substantially free of insect debris. An article is coated with an insect abatement coating comprising polyorganosiloxane with a Shore A hardness of less than 50 and a tensile strength of less than 4 MPa. A method for preventing the adhesion of insect debris to surfaces includes the step of applying an insect abatement coating to a surface which must be kept substantially free of insect debris.

  16. Insect Cell Culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oers, van M.M.; Lynn, D.E.


    Insect cell cultures are widely used in studies on insect cell physiology, developmental biology and microbial pathology. In particular, insect cell culture is an indispensable tool for the study of insect viruses. The first continuously growing insect cell cultures were established from lepidoptera

  17. Allergies to Insect Venom (United States)

    Allergies To Insect Venom Facts About Allergies The tendency to develop allergies may be inherited. If you have allergic tendencies and ... lives of those who are sensitive to it...insect venom! Although less common than pollen allergy, insect ...

  18. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia (United States)

    Parsamian, Elma S.


    The most important discovery, which enriched our knowledge of ancient astronomy in Armenia, was the complex of platforms for astronomical observations on the Small Hill of Metzamor, which may be called an ancient “observatory”. Investigations on that Hill show that the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands have left us not only pictures of celestial bodies, but a very ancient complex of platforms for observing the sky. Among the ancient monuments in Armenia there is a megalithic monument, probably, being connected with astronomy. 250km South-East of Yerevan there is a structure Zorats Kar (Karahunge) dating back to II millennium B.C. Vertical megaliths many of which are more than two meters high form stone rings resembling ancient stone monuments - henges in Great Britain and Brittany. Medieval observations of comets and novas by data in ancient Armenian manuscripts are found. In the collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan there are many manuscripts with information about observations of astronomical events as: solar and lunar eclipses, comets and novas, bolides and meteorites etc. in medieval Armenia.

  19. Book Review: Insect Virology (United States)

    Viruses that infect insects have long been of interest both as a means for controlling insect pest populations in an environmentally safe manner, and also as significant threats to beneficial insects of great value, such as honey bees and silkworms. Insect viruses also have been of intrinsic intere...

  20. Pollination biology of the urban populations of an ancient forest, spring ephemeral plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej A. Ziemiański


    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation, caused by, among all, agriculture and urbanization, is one of the most important drivers of plant biodiversity decline worldwide. One of the signs of deteriorating zoogamous plant reproduction is pollen limitation, often associated with a decline in pollinator diversity and abundance. Various authors predict that the most vulnerable taxa are outbreeding plant species characterized by specialist pollination systems. We have, therefore, focused on self-incompatible Corydalis solida, an ancient forest, spring ephemeral plant, growing in three remnant urban populations in the city of Warsaw (Poland. Over two years, we checked for pollen limitation and recorded insect diversity and abundance for C. solida flowers. Our study populations composed of self-incompatible individuals were mainly visited by generalist pollinators, and produced more seeds when supplementally pollinated. Pollen limitation, however, was greater during 1 year with an early spring onset, when we observed a decline in floral visitors diversity and activity. This was probably an effect of phenological mismatch between plants and their pollinators, in this case, mostly social bees, i.e., over-wintered bumblebee queens and Apis mellifera. We conclude that for outbreeding zoogamous spring ephemerals, such as C. solida serviced by generalist pollinators, changing climatic conditions may override the effects of habitat fragmentation and influence their reproductive success.

  1. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. (United States)

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Worthy, Trevor H; Wood, Jamie; Lee, Michael S Y; Cooper, Alan


    The evolution of the ratite birds has been widely attributed to vicariant speciation, driven by the Cretaceous breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. The early isolation of Africa and Madagascar implies that the ostrich and extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant from the basal ratite lineage of ostriches. This unexpected result strongly contradicts continental vicariance and instead supports flighted dispersal in all major ratite lineages. We suggest that convergence toward gigantism and flightlessness was facilitated by early Tertiary expansion into the diurnal herbivory niche after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  2. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S.; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes


    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects. PMID:27386568

  3. Ancient Marital Rites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Clearly defined rites governing speech and actions dominated both the social and domestic activities of ancient Chinese people. Rites not only dominated the lives of men, but were also prominent in the lives of women.

  4. Ancient Chinese Architecture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    CHINESE people have accu-mulated a great deal ofexperience in architecture,constantly improving building ma-terials and thus creating uniquebuilding styles.The history of ancient Chinesearchitechtural development can be

  5. Shifting behaviour: epigenetic reprogramming in eusocial insects. (United States)

    Patalano, Solenn; Hore, Timothy A; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian


    Epigenetic modifications are ancient and widely utilised mechanisms that have been recruited across fungi, plants and animals for diverse but fundamental biological functions, such as cell differentiation. Recently, a functional DNA methylation system was identified in the honeybee, where it appears to underlie queen and worker caste differentiation. This discovery, along with other insights into the epigenetics of social insects, allows provocative analogies to be drawn between insect caste differentiation and cellular differentiation, particularly in mammals. Developing larvae in social insect colonies are totipotent: they retain the ability to specialise as queens or workers, in a similar way to the totipotent cells of early embryos before they differentiate into specific cell lineages. Further, both differentiating cells and insect castes lose phenotypic plasticity by committing to their lineage, losing the ability to be readily reprogrammed. Hence, a comparison of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying lineage differentiation (and reprogramming) between cells and social insects is worthwhile. Here we develop a conceptual model of how loss and regain of phenotypic plasticity might be conserved for individual specialisation in both cells and societies. This framework forges a novel link between two fields of biological research, providing predictions for a unified approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying biological complexity.

  6. Neuropeptidergic regulation of reproduction in insects. (United States)

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef


    Successful animal reproduction depends on multiple physiological and behavioral processes that take place in a timely and orderly manner in both mating partners. It is not only necessary that all relevant processes are well coordinated, they also need to be adjusted to external factors of abiotic and biotic nature (e.g. population density, mating partner availability). Therefore, it is not surprising that several hormonal factors play a crucial role in the regulation of animal reproductive physiology. In insects (the largest class of animals on planet Earth), lipophilic hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones, as well as several neuropeptides take part in this complex regulation. While some peptides can affect reproduction via an indirect action (e.g. by influencing secretion of juvenile hormone), others exert their regulatory activity by directly targeting the reproductive system. In addition to insect peptides with proven activities, several others were suggested to also play a role in the regulation of reproductive physiology. Because of the long evolutionary history of many insect orders, it is not always clear to what extent functional data obtained in a given species can be extrapolated to other insect taxa. In this paper, we will review the current knowledge concerning the neuropeptidergic regulation of insect reproduction and situate it in a more general physiological context.

  7. Insect Bites and Stings (United States)

    Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, ...

  8. Insects and Scorpions (United States)

    ... and Products Programs Contact NIOSH NIOSH INSECTS AND SCORPIONS Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Stinging or biting insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. Stinging or ...

  9. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit (United States)

    Leger, Heather


    The author talks about an interdisciplinary unit on insects, and presents activities that can help students practice communication skills (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and learn about insects with hands-on activities.

  10. Respiration in Aquatic Insects. (United States)

    MacFarland, John


    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  11. Exploring Sound with Insects (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.


    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  12. Insect glutathione transferases. (United States)

    Ketterman, Albert J; Saisawang, Chonticha; Wongsantichon, Jantana


    This article is an overview of the current knowledge of insect glutathione transferases. Three major topics are discussed: the glutathione transferase contributions to insecticide resistance, the polymorphic nature of the insect glutathione transferase superfamily, and a summary of the current structure-function studies on insect glutathione transferases.

  13. Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Marcell K; Hemp, Andreas; Appelhans, Tim;


    The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies. By...

  14. Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Marcell K.; Hemp, Andreas; Appelhans, Tim


    The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies...

  15. Dentistry in ancient mesopotamia. (United States)

    Neiburger, E J


    Sumer, an empire in ancient Mesopotamia (southern Iraq), is well known as the cradle of our modern civilization and the home of biblical Abraham. An analysis of skeletal remains from cemeteries at the ancient cities of Ur and Kish (circa 2000 B.C.), show a genetically homogeneous, diseased, and short-lived population. These ancient Mesopotamians suffered severe dental attrition (95 percent), periodontal disease (42 percent), and caries (2 percent). Many oral congenital and neoplastic lesions were noted. During this period, the "local dentists" knew only a few modern dental techniques. Skeletal (dental) evidence indicates that the population suffered from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition was probably caused by famine, which is substantiated in historic cuneiform and biblical writings, geologic strata samples, and analysis of skeletal and forensic dental pathology. These people had modern dentition but relatively poor dental health. The population's lack of malocclusions, caries, and TMJ problems appear to be due to flat plane occlusion.

  16. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira


    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities.

  17. Using computational fluid dynamics to test functional and ecological hypotheses in fossil taxa (United States)

    Rahman, Imran


    Reconstructing how ancient organisms moved and fed is a major focus of study in palaeontology. Traditionally, this has been hampered by a lack of objective data on the functional morphology of extinct species, especially those without a clear modern analogue. However, cutting-edge techniques for characterizing specimens digitally and in three dimensions, coupled with state-of-the-art computer models, now provide a robust framework for testing functional and ecological hypotheses even in problematic fossil taxa. One such approach is computational fluid dynamics (CFD), a method for simulating fluid flows around objects that has primarily been applied to complex engineering-design problems. Here, I will present three case studies of CFD applied to fossil taxa, spanning a range of specimen sizes, taxonomic groups and geological ages. First, I will show how CFD enabled a rigorous test of hypothesized feeding modes in an enigmatic Ediacaran organism with three-fold symmetry, revealing previously unappreciated complexity of pre-Cambrian ecosystems. Second, I will show how CFD was used to evaluate hydrodynamic performance and feeding in Cambrian stem-group echinoderms, shedding light on the probable feeding strategy of the latest common ancestor of all deuterostomes. Third, I will show how CFD allowed us to explore the link between form and function in Mesozoic ichthyosaurs. These case studies serve to demonstrate the enormous potential of CFD for addressing long-standing hypotheses for a variety of fossil taxa, opening up an exciting new avenue in palaeontological studies of functional morphology.

  18. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations. (United States)

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  19. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives. (United States)

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  20. Cloning Ancient Trees

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    west of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, in Zhongshan Park, there stand several ancient cypress trees, each more than 1,000 years old. Their leafy crowns are all more than 20 meters high, while four have trunks that are 6 meters in circumference. The most unique of these

  1. Ancient ports of Kalinga

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Tripati, S.

    The ancient Kingdom of Kalinga mentioned in the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela (1st century B.C.) extended from the mouths of the Ganges to the estuary of Godavari river on the East Coast. Ptolemy (100 A.D.) mentions that Paluru (District...

  2. Ancient deforestation revisited. (United States)

    Hughes, J Donald


    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work.

  3. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors (United States)

    Gadecki, Victoria L.


    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  4. The distribution of soil insects across three spatial scales in agricultural grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly eBenefer


    Full Text Available The effects of specific environmental factors on abundance and distribution of some individual soil insect taxa is known, but how scale influences spatial distribution is less well evaluated, particularly at the community level. However, given that many soil insects are pests or beneficial natural enemies, and that collectively they play a role in soil processes, this information is of potential value for predictive modelling and in furthering our understanding of soil ecology and management. The objectives of this study were to characterize the spatial distribution, relative population sizes, effect of sampling scale and taxa co-occurrence on a range of soil insects at the family level over two years. Soil cores were taken from agricultural grassland soils across three different sampling scales (farm, field and core using a systematic sampling approach. Spatial distribution was assessed using the variance-to-mean (VMR ratio and taxa distribution plots and the contribution of scale, spatial (geographical location and biotic (presence-absence of other species factors determined using deviance partitioning. Tipulid larvae (leatherjackets were the most abundant taxa in both years, but the composition of other Dipteran and Coleopteran taxa varied between years. The VMRs revealed differences in spatial distribution between taxa across scales and years, showing a range of underlying distributional patterns. Scale was the most important factor influencing species distributions, but a large proportion of deviance remained unexplained and there was much variation between taxa, suggesting biological and scale-specific factors are driving distributions, in agreement with a previous study.

  5. Proteomics and insect immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Shi


    Full Text Available Insect innate immunity is both a model for vertebrate immunity as well as a key system that impactsmedically important pathogens that are transmitted by insects. Recent developments in proteomics andprotein identification techniques combined with the completion of genome sequences for Anophelesgambiae and Drosophila melanogaster provided the tools for examining insect immunity at a new level ofmolecular detail. Application of proteomics to insect immunity resulted in predictions of new roles inimmunity for proteins already known in other contexts (e.g. ferritin, transferrin, Chi-lectins and helped totarget specific members of multi-gene families that respond to different pathogens (e.g. serine proteases,thioester proteins. In addition, proteomics studies verify that post-translational modifications play a keyrole in insect immunity since many of the identified proteins are modified in some way. These studiescomplement recent work on insect transcriptomes and provide new directions for further investigation ofinnate immunity.

  6. Insects and sex


    Beukeboom, Leo


    Most organisms reproduce sexually, but the evolution of sexual reproduction is not yet well understood. Sexual reproduction leads to new variation and adaptations to the environment, but sex is also costly. Some insects reproduce without sex through parthenogenesis or paedogenesis. Almost all sexual insects have two separate sexes, male and female. There are many mechanisms of sex determination. Most insects have male heterogamety (males XY, females XX). Female heterogamety and haplodiploidy ...

  7. Ancient human microbiomes. (United States)

    Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J; Lewis, Cecil M


    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and we therefore lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today.

  8. Comets in ancient India

    CERN Document Server

    Gupta, Patrick Das


    The Indo-aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times for sacrificial rites ordained by vedas. It is but natural that they would have recounted in the vedic texts about comets. In Rigveda ($\\sim $ 1700 - 1500 BC) and Atharvaveda ($\\sim $ 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Varahamihira in 550 AD and Ballala Sena ($\\sim $ 1100 - 1200 AD) have described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, Garga, etc. In this article, I conjecture that an episode narrated in Mahabharata of a radiant king, Nahusha, ruling the heavens, and later turning into a serpent after he had kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  9. Ambrosia of Ancients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    IN 196 B.C. a Chinese philosopher observedto his ruler: "A lord's to ppriority is the welfare of his subjects; to the peopie, eating is foremost." Chinese ancients perceived clearly the essentiality of grain cultivation to the survival of the population and country as a whole. This is apparent in the premillennial term for "country" -sheji literally translated as god of land and grain.

  10. Sex Determination, Sex Chromosomes, and Karyotype Evolution in Insects. (United States)

    Blackmon, Heath; Ross, Laura; Bachtrog, Doris


    Insects harbor a tremendous diversity of sex determining mechanisms both within and between groups. For example, in some orders such as Hymenoptera, all members are haplodiploid, whereas Diptera contain species with homomorphic as well as male and female heterogametic sex chromosome systems or paternal genome elimination. We have established a large database on karyotypes and sex chromosomes in insects, containing information on over 13000 species covering 29 orders of insects. This database constitutes a unique starting point to report phylogenetic patterns on the distribution of sex determination mechanisms, sex chromosomes, and karyotypes among insects and allows us to test general theories on the evolutionary dynamics of karyotypes, sex chromosomes, and sex determination systems in a comparative framework. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that male heterogamety is the ancestral mode of sex determination in insects, and transitions to female heterogamety are extremely rare. Many insect orders harbor species with complex sex chromosomes, and gains and losses of the sex-limited chromosome are frequent in some groups. Haplodiploidy originated several times within insects, and parthenogenesis is rare but evolves frequently. Providing a single source to electronically access data previously distributed among more than 500 articles and books will not only accelerate analyses of the assembled data, but also provide a unique resource to guide research on which taxa are likely to be informative to address specific questions, for example, for genome sequencing projects or large-scale comparative studies.

  11. Insects and Bugs (United States)

    Sutherland, Karen


    They have been around for centuries. They sting, they bite. They cause intense itching or painful sores. They even cause allergic reactions and sometimes death. There are two types of insects that are pests to humans--those that sting and those that bite. The insects that bite do so with their mouths and include mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.…

  12. Insects: Bugged Out! (United States)

    Piehl, Kathy


    Insects really need no introduction. They have lived on earth much longer than humans and vastly outnumber people and all other animal species combined. People encounter them daily in their houses and yards. Yet, when children want to investigate insects, books can help them start their explorations. "Paleo Bugs" carries readers back to the time…

  13. Insect bites and stings (United States)

    ... likely to cause itching than pain. Insect and spider bites cause more deaths from venom reactions than bites from snakes. ... are harmless. If possible, bring the insect or spider that bit you with you when you go for medical treatment so it can be identified.

  14. Suicide in ancient Greece. (United States)

    Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G


    The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say

  15. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies. (United States)

    El-Tantawy, Nora L


    By definition, parasites cause harm to their hosts. But, considerable evidence from ancient traditional medicine has supported the theory of using parasites and their products in treating many diseases. Maggots have been used successfully to treat chronic, long-standing, infected wounds which failed to respond to conventional treatment by many beneficial effects on the wound including debridement, disinfection, and healing enhancement. Maggots are also applied in forensic medicine to estimate time between the death and discovery of a corpse and in entomotoxicology involving the potential use of insects as alternative samples for detecting drugs and toxins in death investigations. Leeches are segmented invertebrates, famous by their blood-feeding habits and used in phlebotomy to treat various ailments since ancient times. Leech therapy is experiencing resurgence nowadays in health care principally in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Earthworms provide a source of medicinally useful products with potential antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Lumbrokinases are a group of fibrinolytic enzymes isolated and purified from earthworms capable of degrading plasminogen-rich and plasminogen-free fibrin and so can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombotic diseases. Helminth infection has been proved to have therapeutic effects in both animal and human clinical trials with promising evidence in treating many allergic diseases and can block the induction of or reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. What is more, venomous arthropods such as scorpions, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, centipedes, snail, beetles, and caterpillars. The venoms and toxins from these arthropods provide a promising source of natural bioactive compounds which can be employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases as cancer. The possibility of using these active molecules in biotechnological processes can

  16. Achene slime content in some taxa of Matricaria L. (Asteraceae)


    Inceer, Huseyin


    The achenes of Matricaria aurea and two varieties of M. chamomilla (var. chamomilla and var. recutita) have slime cells on the surface and they are characterized by slime envelope formation during hydration. The slime in these taxa is composed of pectins and cellulose. The slime could play important role in the distribution and colonisation of new habitats in Matricaria taxa.

  17. Dance in Ancient Greek Culture


    Spalva, Rita


    The greatness and harmony of ancient Greece has had an impact upon the development of the Western European culture to this day. The ancient Greek culture has influenced contemporary literature genres and systems of philosophy, principles of architecture, sculpture and drama and has formed basis for such sciences as astronomy and mathematics. The art of ancient Greece with its penchant for beauty and clarity has been the example of the humanity’s search for an aesthetic ideal. Despite only bei...

  18. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects. (United States)

    Hebert, Paul D N; Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Zakharov, Evgeny V; Telfer, Angela C; Levesque-Beaudin, Valerie; Milton, Megan A; Pedersen, Stephanie; Jannetta, Paul; deWaard, Jeremy R


    Recent estimates suggest that the global insect fauna includes fewer than six million species, but this projection is very uncertain because taxonomic work has been limited on some highly diverse groups. Validation of current estimates minimally requires the investigation of all lineages that are diverse enough to have a substantial impact on the final species count. This study represents a first step in this direction; it employs DNA barcoding to evaluate patterns of species richness in 27 orders of Canadian insects. The analysis of over one million specimens revealed species counts congruent with earlier results for most orders. However, Diptera and Hymenoptera were unexpectedly diverse, representing two-thirds of the 46 937 barcode index numbers (=species) detected. Correspondence checks between known species and barcoded taxa showed that sampling was incomplete, a result confirmed by extrapolations from the barcode results which suggest the occurrence of at least 94 000 species of insects in Canada, a near doubling from the prior estimate of 54 000 species. One dipteran family, the Cecidomyiidae, was extraordinarily diverse with an estimated 16 000 species, a 10-fold increase from its predicted diversity. If Canada possesses about 1% of the global fauna, as it does for known taxa, the results of this study suggest the presence of 10 million insect species with about 1.8 million of these taxa in the Cecidomyiidae. If so, the global species count for this fly family may exceed the combined total for all 142 beetle families. If extended to more geographical regions and to all hyperdiverse groups, DNA barcoding can rapidly resolve the current uncertainty surrounding a species count for the animal kingdom. A newly detailed understanding of species diversity may illuminate processes important in speciation, as suggested by the discovery that the most diverse insect lineages in Canada employ an unusual mode of reproduction, haplodiploidy.This article is part of the

  19. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects (United States)

    Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Zakharov, Evgeny V.; Telfer, Angela C.; Levesque-Beaudin, Valerie; Milton, Megan A.; Pedersen, Stephanie; Jannetta, Paul; deWaard, Jeremy R.


    Recent estimates suggest that the global insect fauna includes fewer than six million species, but this projection is very uncertain because taxonomic work has been limited on some highly diverse groups. Validation of current estimates minimally requires the investigation of all lineages that are diverse enough to have a substantial impact on the final species count. This study represents a first step in this direction; it employs DNA barcoding to evaluate patterns of species richness in 27 orders of Canadian insects. The analysis of over one million specimens revealed species counts congruent with earlier results for most orders. However, Diptera and Hymenoptera were unexpectedly diverse, representing two-thirds of the 46 937 barcode index numbers (=species) detected. Correspondence checks between known species and barcoded taxa showed that sampling was incomplete, a result confirmed by extrapolations from the barcode results which suggest the occurrence of at least 94 000 species of insects in Canada, a near doubling from the prior estimate of 54 000 species. One dipteran family, the Cecidomyiidae, was extraordinarily diverse with an estimated 16 000 species, a 10-fold increase from its predicted diversity. If Canada possesses about 1% of the global fauna, as it does for known taxa, the results of this study suggest the presence of 10 million insect species with about 1.8 million of these taxa in the Cecidomyiidae. If so, the global species count for this fly family may exceed the combined total for all 142 beetle families. If extended to more geographical regions and to all hyperdiverse groups, DNA barcoding can rapidly resolve the current uncertainty surrounding a species count for the animal kingdom. A newly detailed understanding of species diversity may illuminate processes important in speciation, as suggested by the discovery that the most diverse insect lineages in Canada employ an unusual mode of reproduction, haplodiploidy. This article is part of the

  20. Mathematics in ancient Greece

    CERN Document Server

    Dantzig, Tobias


    More than a history of mathematics, this lively book traces mathematical ideas and processes to their sources, stressing the methods used by the masters of the ancient world. Author Tobias Dantzig portrays the human story behind mathematics, showing how flashes of insight in the minds of certain gifted individuals helped mathematics take enormous forward strides. Dantzig demonstrates how the Greeks organized their precursors' melange of geometric maxims into an elegantly abstract deductive system. He also explains the ways in which some of the famous mathematical brainteasers of antiquity led

  1. Ancient concrete works

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    It is commonly believed that the ancient Romans were the first to create and use concrete. This is not true, as we can easily learn from the Latin literature itself. For sure, Romans were able to prepare high-quality hydraulic cements, comparable with the modern Portland cements. In this paper, we will see that the use of concrete is quite older, ranging back to the Homeric times. For instance, it was used for the floors of some courts and galleries of the Mycenaean palace at Tiryns

  2. Climate and Ancient Societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Climate, and human responses to it, have a strongly interconnected relationship. This when climate change occurs, the result of either natural or human causes, societies should react and adapt to these. But do they? If so, what is the nature of that change, and are the responses positive...... or negative for the long-term survival of social groups? In this volume, scholars from diverse disciplines including archaeology, geology and climate sciences explore scientific and material evidence for climate changes in the past, their causes, their effects on ancient societies and how those societies...

  3. Vision in flying insects. (United States)

    Egelhaaf, Martin; Kern, Roland


    Vision guides flight behaviour in numerous insects. Despite their small brain, insects easily outperform current man-made autonomous vehicles in many respects. Examples are the virtuosic chasing manoeuvres male flies perform as part of their mating behaviour and the ability of bees to assess, on the basis of visual motion cues, the distance travelled in a novel environment. Analyses at both the behavioural and neuronal levels are beginning to unveil reasons for such extraordinary capabilities of insects. One recipe for their success is the adaptation of visual information processing to the specific requirements of the behavioural tasks and to the specific spatiotemporal properties of the natural input.

  4. Beneficial Insects and Insect Pollinators on Milkweed in South Georgia (United States)

    Insect pollinators are essential for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crops, and beneficial insects play an important role in managing pest insects in agricultural farmscapes. These insects depend on nectar for their survival in these farmscapes. The flowers of tropical milkwe...

  5. 76 FR 20558 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 44 Marine and Anadromous Taxa: Adding 10 Taxa... (United States)


    ... from Texas to Gulf of Mexico) Florida and along and the Southwest the east coast Atlantic. from Florida... Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 RIN 1018-AW09 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 44 Marine and Anadromous Taxa: Adding 10 Taxa, Delisting 1 Taxon, Reclassifying 1 Taxon, and...

  6. Exploring Ancient Skies A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H


    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers—events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Explori...

  7. Quantifying the responses of biological indices to rare macroinvertebrate taxa exclusion: Does excluding more rare taxa cause more error? (United States)

    Yu, Zhengda; Wang, Hui; Meng, Jiao; Miao, Mingsheng; Kong, Qiang; Wang, Renqing; Liu, Jian


    Including or excluding rare taxa in bioassessment is a controversial topic, which essentially affects the reliability and accuracy of the result. In the present paper, we hypothesize that biological indices such as Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson's index, Margalef index, evenness, BMWP (biological monitoring working party), and ASPT (Average Score Per Taxon) respond differently to rare taxa exclusion. To test this hypothesis, a benthic macroinvertebrate data set based on recent fifteen-year studies in China was built for suppositional plot analyses. A field research was conducted in the Nansi Lake to perform related analyses. The results of suppositional plot simulations showed that Simpson's index placed more weight on common taxa than any other studied indices, followed by Shannon-Wiener index which remained a high value with the exclusion of rare taxa. The results indicated that there was not much of effect on Simpson's index and Shannon-Wiener index when rare taxa were excluded. Rare taxa played an important role in Margalef index and BMWP than in other indices. Evenness showed an increase trend, while ASPT varied inconsistently with the exclusion of rare taxa. Results of the field study also indicated that rare taxa had few impacts on the Shannon-Wiener index. By examining the relationships between the rare taxa and biological indices in our study, it is suggested that including the rare taxa when using BMWP and excluding them in the proposed way (e.g., fixed-count subsampling) to calculate Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's index could raise the efficiency and reduce the biases in the bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.

  8. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tominaga Makoto


    Full Text Available Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. Results All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA. NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. Conclusion The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP

  9. Energetics of insect diapause. (United States)

    Hahn, Daniel A; Denlinger, David L


    Managing metabolic resources is critical for insects during diapause when food sources are limited or unavailable. Insects accumulate reserves prior to diapause, and metabolic depression during diapause promotes reserve conservation. Sufficient reserves must be sequestered to both survive the diapause period and enable postdiapause development that may involve metabolically expensive functions such as metamorphosis or long-distance flight. Nutrient utilization during diapause is a dynamic process, and insects appear capable of sensing their energy reserves and using this information to regulate whether to enter diapause and how long to remain in diapause. Overwintering insects on a tight energy budget are likely to be especially vulnerable to increased temperatures associated with climate change. Molecular mechanisms involved in diapause nutrient regulation remain poorly known, but insulin signaling is likely a major player. We also discuss other possible candidates for diapause-associated nutrient regulation including adipokinetic hormone, neuropeptide F, the cGMP-kinase For, and AMPK.

  10. Atmospheric oxygen and the evolution of insect gigantism (United States)

    Dudley, R.


    Geophysical analyses suggest the presence of a late Paleozoic oxygen pulse beginning in the late Devonian and continuing through to the late Carboniferous. During this time, atmospheric oxygen levels increased to values potentially as high as 35% relative to the contemporary value of 21%. Widespread gigantism in late Paleozoic insects and other arthropods is consistent with enhanced oxygen flux within diffusion-limited tracheal systems, and thus with relaxation of constraints on maximum insect body size. Because total atmospheric pressure increases with increased oxygen partial pressure, concurrently hyperdense conditions would have augmented aerodynamic force production in early forms of flying insects. Hyperoxia of the late Paleozoic atmosphere may also have physiologically facilitated the initial evolution of insect flight metabolism. By the late Permian, evolution of decompositional microbial and fungal communities together with disequilibrium in rates of carbon deposition gradually reduced oxygen concentrations to values possibly as low as 15%. The disappearance of giant insects by the end of the Permian is consistent with extinction of these taxa for reasons of asphyxiation on a geological time scale. In modern selection experiments with Drosophila flies, substantial plasticity in body size can be evoked under conditions of variable oxygen. In particular, moderate hyperbaria (and thus hyperoxia) evokes a 20% increase in adult body size over merely five generations, suggesting ready capacity for evolutionary responses by insects to fluctuating atmospheric oxygen.

  11. Beneficial Insects: Beetles


    Hodgson, Erin W.; Patterson, Ron


    There are many beneficial beetles in Utah besides lady beetles or ladybugs. Beetles can significantly reduce common insect and weed problems and in some cases eliminate the need for chemical control. Examples of beneficial beetles include: ground beetles, rove beetles, tiger beetles and tortoise beetles. Many of these beetles are native to Utah, while others have been purposely introduced to help control damage from exotic insect and weed pests.

  12. Exploring Insect Vision (United States)

    Damonte, Kathleen


    A fly is buzzing around in the kitchen. You sneak up on it with a flyswatter, but just as you get close to it, it flies away. What makes flies and other insects so good at escaping from danger? The fact that insects have eyesight that can easily detect moving objects is one of the things that help them survive. In this month's Science Shorts,…

  13. Insect pheromones: An overview of function, form, and discovery. (United States)

    Yew, Joanne Y; Chung, Henry


    For many species of insects, lipid pheromones profoundly influence survival, reproduction, and social organization. Unravelling the chemical language of insects has been the subject of intense research in the field of chemical ecology for the past five decades. Characterizing the forms, functions, and biosynthesis of lipid pheromones has led not only to the development of strategies for controlling agricultural pests but has also provided insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Despite the enormous variety of chemical structures that are used as pheromones, some common themes in function and biosynthetic pathways have emerged across studies of diverse taxa. This review will offer a general overview of insect lipid pheromone function and biochemical synthesis, describe analytical methods for pheromone discovery, and provide perspectives on the contribution of chemical ecology to pest control and understanding evolutionary processes.

  14. Challenges and prospects in the telemetry of insects. (United States)

    Daniel Kissling, W; Pattemore, David E; Hagen, Melanie


    Radio telemetry has been widely used to study the space use and movement behaviour of vertebrates, but transmitter sizes have only recently become small enough to allow tracking of insects under natural field conditions. Here, we review the available literature on insect telemetry using active (battery-powered) radio transmitters and compare this technology to harmonic radar and radio frequency identification (RFID) which use passive tags (i.e. without a battery). The first radio telemetry studies with insects were published in the late 1980s, and subsequent studies have addressed aspects of insect ecology, behaviour and evolution. Most insect telemetry studies have focused on habitat use and movement, including quantification of movement paths, home range sizes, habitat selection, and movement distances. Fewer studies have addressed foraging behaviour, activity patterns, migratory strategies, or evolutionary aspects. The majority of radio telemetry studies have been conducted outside the tropics, usually with beetles (Coleoptera) and crickets (Orthoptera), but bees (Hymenoptera), dobsonflies (Megaloptera), and dragonflies (Odonata) have also been radio-tracked. In contrast to the active transmitters used in radio telemetry, the much lower weight of harmonic radar and RFID tags allows them to be used with a broader range of insect taxa. However, the fixed detection zone of a stationary radar unit (insects with a body mass exceeding 1 g, but smaller species in the range 0.2-0.5 g (e.g. bumblebees and orchid bees) have now also been tracked. Current challenges of radio-tracking insects in the field are related to the constraints of a small transmitter, including short battery life (7-21 days), limited tracking range on the ground (100-500 m), and a transmitter weight that sometimes approaches the weight of a given insect (the ratio of tag mass to body mass varies from 2 to 100%). The attachment of radio transmitters may constrain insect behaviour and incur

  15. Insect succession and carrion decomposition in selected forests of Central Europe. Part 3: Succession of carrion fauna. (United States)

    Matuszewski, Szymon; Bajerlein, Daria; Konwerski, Szymon; Szpila, Krzysztof


    The succession of insects on pig carrion was monitored in spring, summer and autumn, in three forest types and 2 years in Western Poland (Central Europe). In most forensically useful taxa, significant differences between seasons, forests and years in time of appearance on carrion were found. The lowest values of appearance time were recorded in summer and the highest in spring. In alder forest insects appeared on carcasses significantly earlier than in pine-oak forest and hornbeam-oak forest. In summer periods of insect presence on carrion were significantly shorter than in spring and autumn. In most taxa no significant effect of forest type or year on length of the presence period was found. In all seasons assemblages of adult taxa were clearly more aggregated than assemblages of larval taxa. Sequence of insects' appearance on carcasses was very similar in different seasons, forests and years. General seasonal models of insect succession on carrion are proposed for forests of Central Europe. Data on appearance time and length of the presence period in particular seasons, forests and years are presented for forensically useful taxa. Implications for methods of PMI estimation (particularly the succession-based method) are discussed.

  16. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis. (United States)

    Hillyer, Julián F


    Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and activate effector pathways. Among the immune signaling pathways are the Toll, Imd, Jak/Stat, JNK, and insulin pathways. Activation of these and other pathways leads to pathogen killing via phagocytosis, melanization, cellular encapsulation, nodulation, lysis, RNAi-mediated virus destruction, autophagy and apoptosis. This review details these and other aspects of immunity in insects, and discusses how the immune and circulatory systems have co-adapted to combat infection, how hemocyte replication and differentiation takes place (hematopoiesis), how an infection prepares an insect for a subsequent infection (immune priming), how environmental factors such as temperature and the age of the insect impact the immune response, and how social immunity protects entire groups. Finally, this review highlights some underexplored areas in the field of insect immunobiology.

  17. Authenticity in ancient DNA studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske


    Ancient DNA studies represent a powerful tool that can be used to obtain genetic insights into the past. However, despite the publication of large numbers of apparently successful ancient DNA studies, a number of problems exist with the field that are often ignored. Therefore, questions exist as ...

  18. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malliya Gounder Palanichamy

    Full Text Available Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  19. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia. (United States)

    Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping


    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  20. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka (United States)

    Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.


    Tripitaka is the world's most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.

  1. A cross-taxon analysis of insect-associated bacterial diversity. (United States)

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah


    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities.

  2. Zulma Ageitos de Castellanos: Publications and status of described taxa. (United States)

    Signorelli, Javier H; Urteaga, Diego; Teso, Valeria


    Zulma Ageitos de Castellanos was an Argentinian malacologist working in the "Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo" at La Plata University where she taught invertebrate zoology between 1947 and 1990. Her scientific publications are listed in chronological order. Described genus-group and species-group taxa are listed. Information about the type locality and type material, and taxonomic remarks are also provided. Finally, type material of all described taxa was requested and, when located, illustrated.

  3. Insect bite reactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjay Singh


    Full Text Available Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods. Insect bite reactions are commonly seen in clinical practice. The present review touches upon the medically important insects and their places in the classification, the sparse literature on the epidemiology of insect bites in India, and different variables influencing the susceptibility of an individual to insect bites. Clinical features of mosquito bites, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites Epstein-Barr virus NK (HMB-EBV-NK disease, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis, Skeeter syndrome, papular pruritic eruption of HIV/AIDS, and clinical features produced by bed bugs, Mexican chicken bugs, assassin bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, black flies, Blandford flies, louse flies, tsetse flies, midges, and thrips are discussed. Brief account is presented of the immunogenic components of mosquito and bed bug saliva. Papular urticaria is discussed including its epidemiology, the 5 stages of skin reaction, the SCRATCH principle as an aid in diagnosis, and the recent evidence supporting participation of types I, III, and IV hypersensitivity reactions in its causation is summarized. Recent developments in the treatment of pediculosis capitis including spinosad 0.9% suspension, benzyl alcohol 5% lotion, dimethicone 4% lotion, isopropyl myristate 50% rinse, and other suffocants are discussed within the context of evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and key findings of a recent systematic review. We also touch upon a non-chemical treatment of head lice and the ineffectiveness of egg-loosening products. Knockdown resistance (kdr as the genetic mechanism making the lice nerves insensitive to permethrin is discussed along with the surprising contrary clinical evidence from Europe about efficacy of permethrin in children with head lice carrying kdr-like gene. The review also presents a brief account of insects as vectors of diseases and ends with discussion of prevention of insect bites and some

  4. Ecological Society of America meeting. Global warming, insects take the stage at Snowbird. (United States)

    Kaiser, J


    Despite the turmoil of not-so-distant forest fires and United Airlines troubles that threw off travel schedules, some 2600 ecologists made their way to this sun-soaked canyon last month for the Ecological Society of America's 85th annual meeting. Topics ranged from ancient droughts to photosynthesis beneath snow and how trees resist insects.

  5. The structure and function of auditory chordotonal organs in insects. (United States)

    Yack, Jayne E


    Insects are capable of detecting a broad range of acoustic signals transmitted through air, water, or solids. Auditory sensory organs are morphologically diverse with respect to their body location, accessory structures, and number of sensilla, but remarkably uniform in that most are innervated by chordotonal organs. Chordotonal organs are structurally complex Type I mechanoreceptors that are distributed throughout the insect body and function to detect a wide range of mechanical stimuli, from gross motor movements to air-borne sounds. At present, little is known about how chordotonal organs in general function to convert mechanical stimuli to nerve impulses, and our limited understanding of this process represents one of the major challenges to the study of insect auditory systems today. This report reviews the literature on chordotonal organs innervating insect ears, with the broad intention of uncovering some common structural specializations of peripheral auditory systems, and identifying new avenues for research. A general overview of chordotonal organ ultrastructure is presented, followed by a summary of the current theories on mechanical coupling and transduction in monodynal, mononematic, Type 1 scolopidia, which characteristically innervate insect ears. Auditory organs of different insect taxa are reviewed, focusing primarily on tympanal organs, and with some consideration to Johnston's and subgenual organs. It is widely accepted that insect hearing organs evolved from pre-existing proprioceptive chordotonal organs. In addition to certain non-neural adaptations for hearing, such as tracheal expansion and cuticular thinning, the chordotonal organs themselves may have intrinsic specializations for sound reception and transduction, and these are discussed. In the future, an integrated approach, using traditional anatomical and physiological techniques in combination with new methodologies in immunohistochemistry, genetics, and biophysics, will assist in

  6. Migration strategies of insects. (United States)

    Dingle, H


    Physiological and ecological results from a variety of species are consistent with what seem to be valid general statements concerning insect migration. These are as follows: (i)During migration locomotory functions are enhanced and vegetative functions such as feeding and reproduction are suppressed. (ii) Migration usually occurs prereproductively in the life of the adult insect (the oogenesis-flight syndrome). (iii)Since migrant individuals are usually prereproductive, their reproductive values, and hence colonizing abilities, are at or near maximum. (iv) Migrants usually reside in temporary habitats. (v)Migrants have a high potential for population increase, r, which is also advantageous for colonizers. (vi)Both the physiological and ecological parameters of migration are modifiable by environmental factors (that is, phenotypically modifiable)to suit the prevailing conditions. Taken together, these criteria establish a comprehensive theory and adumbrate the basic strategy for migrant insects. This basic strategy is modified to suit the ecological requirements of individual species. Comparative studies of these modifications are of considerable theoretical and practical interest, the more so since most economically important insects are migrants. No satisfactory general statements can as yet be made with respect to the genotype and migration. Certainly we expect colonizing populiations to possess genotypes favoring a high r, but genotypic variation in r depends on the heritabilities of life table statistics, and such measurements are yet to be made (10, 53). The fact that flight duration can be increased by appropriate selection in Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the demonstration of additive genetic variance for this trait in Lygaeus kalmii, suggest that heritability studies of migratory behavior would also be worth pursuing. Most interesting of course, will be possible genetic correlations between migration and life history parameters. Also, migration often

  7. Behavioral Immunity in Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Lefèvre


    Full Text Available Parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, and natural selection should favor defense mechanisms that can protect hosts against disease. Much work has focused on understanding genetic and physiological immunity against parasites, but hosts can also use behaviors to avoid infection, reduce parasite growth or alleviate disease symptoms. It is increasingly recognized that such behaviors are common in insects, providing strong protection against parasites and parasitoids. We review the current evidence for behavioral immunity in insects, present a framework for investigating such behavior, and emphasize that behavioral immunity may act through indirect rather than direct fitness benefits. We also discuss the implications for host-parasite co-evolution, local adaptation, and the evolution of non-behavioral physiological immune systems. Finally, we argue that the study of behavioral immunity in insects has much to offer for investigations in vertebrates, in which this topic has traditionally been studied.

  8. Seasonal necrophagous insect community assembly during vertebrate carrion decomposition. (United States)

    Benbow, M E; Lewis, A J; Tomberlin, J K; Pechal, J L


    Necrophagous invertebrates have been documented to be a predominant driver of vertebrate carrion decomposition; however, very little is understood about the assembly of these communities both within and among seasons. The objective of this study was to evaluate the seasonal differences in insect taxa composition, richness, and diversity on carrion over decomposition with the intention that such data will be useful for refining error estimates in forensic entomology. Sus scrofa (L.) carcasses (n = 3-6, depending on season) were placed in a forested habitat near Xenia, OH, during spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Taxon richness varied substantially among seasons but was generally lower (1-2 taxa) during early decomposition and increased (3-8 taxa) through intermediate stages of decomposition. Autumn and winter showed the highest richness during late decomposition. Overall, taxon richness was higher during active decay for all seasons. While invertebrate community composition was generally consistent among seasons, the relative abundance of five taxa significantly differed across seasons, demonstrating different source communities for colonization depending on the time of year. There were significantly distinct necrophagous insect communities for each stage of decomposition, and between summer and autumn and summer and winter, but the communities were similar between autumn and winter. Calliphoridae represented significant indicator taxa for summer and autumn but replaced by Coleoptera during winter. Here we demonstrated substantial variability in necrophagous communities and assembly on carrion over decomposition and among seasons. Recognizing this variation has important consequences for forensic entomology and future efforts to provide error rates for estimates of the postmortem interval using arthropod succession data as evidence during criminal investigations.

  9. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites (United States)

    ... Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Mosquitoes, biting ... sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Reactions to Insect Repellents If you suspect that your child is ...

  10. Layout of Ancient Maya Cities (United States)

    Aylesworth, Grant R.

    Although there is little doubt that the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica laid their cities out based, in part, on astronomical considerations, the proliferation of "cosmograms" in contemporary scholarly discourse has complicated matters for the acceptance of rigorous archaeoastronomical research.

  11. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments (United States)

    Simonia, I.


    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  12. Hunting for Ancient Rocky Shores. (United States)

    Johnson, Markes E.


    Promotes the study of ancient rocky shores by showing how they can be recognized and what directions future research may follow. A bibliography of previous research articles, arranged by geologic period, is provided in the appendix to this paper. (CW)

  13. Spatially explicit analyses of gastropod biodiversity in ancient Lake Ohrid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Hauffe


    Full Text Available Spatial heterogeneity of biodiversity arises from evolutionary processes, constraints of environmental factors and the interaction of communities. The quality of such spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of infrastructure around them. The small European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes.

    In a total of 224 locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, representatives of 68 gastropod species with 50 of them being endemic (=73.5% could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics:

    (i within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the share of endemics increases, (iv the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity and related environmental factors, (v biotic interaction due to possible spillover effects may contribute to the establishment of hotspots, and (vi eco

  14. Spatially explicit analysis of gastropod biodiversity in ancient Lake Ohrid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Hauffe


    Full Text Available The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes.

    In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5% being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors, but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal

  15. Eicosanoid actions in insect immunity (United States)

    Insects express three lines of protection from infections and invasions. Their cuticles and peritrophic membranes are physical barriers. Infections and invasions are quickly recognized within insect bodies; recognition launches two lines of innate immune reactions. Humoral reactions involve induc...

  16. Insects and sex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, Leo


    Most organisms reproduce sexually, but the evolution of sexual reproduction is not yet well understood. Sexual reproduction leads to new variation and adaptations to the environment, but sex is also costly. Some insects reproduce without sex through parthenogenesis or paedogenesis. Almost all sexual

  17. Broadening insect gastronomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halloran, Afton Marina Szasz; Münke, Christopher; Vantomme, Paul;


    In recent years there has been a trend among chefs to diversify their ingredients and techniques, drawing inspiration from other cultures and creating new foods by blending this knowledge with the flavours of their local region. Edible insects, with their plethora of taste, aromatic, textural...

  18. Recycled Insect Models (United States)

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann


    This article presents an engaging activity in which high school students use a dichotomous key to guide the creation and classification of model insects from recycled plastic lids and containers. Besides teaching the use of a dichotomous key and the effect of evolutionary descent upon groupings of organisms, this activity focuses on an…

  19. Olfactory signaling in insects. (United States)

    Wicher, Dieter


    The detection of volatile chemical information in insects is performed by three types of olfactory receptors, odorant receptors (ORs), specific gustatory receptor (GR) proteins for carbon dioxide perception, and ionotropic receptors (IRs) which are related to ionotropic glutamate receptors. All receptors form heteromeric assemblies; an OR complex is composed of an odor-specific OrX protein and a coreceptor (Orco). ORs and GRs have a 7-transmembrane topology as for G protein-coupled receptors, but they are inversely inserted into the membrane. Ligand-gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) and ORs operate as IRs activated by volatile chemical cues. ORs are evolutionarily young receptors, and they first appear in winged insects and seem to be evolved to allow an insect to follow sparse odor tracks during flight. In contrast to IRs, the ORs can be sensitized by repeated subthreshold odor stimulation. This process involves metabotropic signaling. Pheromone receptors are especially sensitive and require an accessory protein to detect the lipid-derived pheromone molecules. Signaling cascades involved in pheromone detection depend on intensity and duration of stimuli and underlie a circadian control. Taken together, detection and processing of volatile information in insects involve ionotropic as well as metabotropic mechanisms. Here, I review the cellular signaling events associated with detection of cognate ligands by the different types of odorant receptors.

  20. Sterol metabolism of insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritter, F.J.; Wientjens, W.H.J.M.


    This article surveys the present knowledge of the sterol metabolism of insects. It is emphasized that a high degree of purity of the dietary sterols and the climination of the influence of symbionts are essential to present ambiguity in interpreting results. It is pointed out that a sharp distinctio

  1. Colour constancy in insects. (United States)

    Chittka, Lars; Faruq, Samia; Skorupski, Peter; Werner, Annette


    Colour constancy is the perceptual phenomenon that the colour of an object appears largely unchanged, even if the spectral composition of the illuminating light changes. Colour constancy has been found in all insect species so far tested. Especially the pollinating insects offer a remarkable opportunity to study the ecological significance of colour constancy since they spend much of their adult lives identifying and choosing between colour targets (flowers) under continuously changing ambient lighting conditions. In bees, whose colour vision is best studied among the insects, the compensation provided by colour constancy is only partial and its efficiency depends on the area of colour space. There is no evidence for complete 'discounting' of the illuminant in bees, and the spectral composition of the light can itself be used as adaptive information. In patchy illumination, bees adjust their spatial foraging to minimise transitions between variously illuminated zones. Modelling allows the quantification of the adaptive benefits of various colour constancy mechanisms in the economy of nature. We also discuss the neural mechanisms and cognitive operations that might underpin colour constancy in insects.

  2. Investigation--Insects! (United States)

    Fay, Janice


    Presents activities on insects for second grade students. In the first activity, students build a butterfly garden. In the second activity, students observe stimuli reactions with mealworms in the larval stage. Describes the assessment process and discusses the effects of pollution on living things. (YDS)

  3. Differences in root uptake of radiocaesium by 30 plant taxa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broadley, M.R.; Willey, N.J. [University of the West of England, Bristol (United Kingdom). Faculty of Applied Sciences


    The concentration of Cs was measured in the shoots of 30 taxa of plants after exposing the roots for 6 h to 0.1 {mu}g radiolabelled Cs g{sup -1} soil. There were maximum differences between Chenopodium quinoa and Koeleria macrantha of 20-fold in Cs concentration and 100-fold in total Cs accumulated. There was a weak relationship between Rb(K) and Cs concentration across the 30 taxa, but a strong relationship within the Gramineae and Chenopodiaceae. Taxa in the Chenopodiaceae discriminated approximately nine times less between Rb and Cs during uptake than did those in the Gramineae. The lowest Cs concentrations occurred in slow growing Gramineae and the highest in fast growing Chenopodiaceae. If radiocaesium uptake by the Chenopodiaceae during chronic exposures shows similar patterns to those reported here after acute exposure, then the food contamination implications and the potential for phytoremediation of radiocaesium contaminated soils using plants in this family may be worth investigating. (author).

  4. Resistance to Insecticides in Insects



    In recent years, the frequent usage of insecticides in struggle aganist insects, has caused development of resistance to those chemicals in insects. The increase in dosage of insecticide used due to development of resistance in insects, causes important problems in terms of environment and human health. This study includes topics such as insecticides which are used frequently in insect struggle, insecticide resistant types, genetic changes posing resistance, enzymes of resistance and resistan...

  5. The promise of insect genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael


    Insects are the largest animal group in the world and are ecologically and economically extremely important. This importance of insects is reflected by the existence of currently 24 insect genome projects. Our perspective discusses the state-of-the-art of these genome projects and the impacts tha...

  6. History of introduction of Fagaceae taxa in Saint-Petersburg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Firsov Gennady


    Full Text Available During the period of introduction since the end of the XVIII сentury 80 taxa of Fagaceae have been tested in Saint-Petersburg: 5 – from genus Castanea, 9 – of Fagus and 66 – of Quercus. The modern collection numbers 24 taxa. The winter hardiness, especially the frost damaging after the abnormally cold winters, is considered to be the most serious limiting factor. The involving into cultivation of this group of important trees is connected first of all with names of such great arboriculturists and dendrologists as F. Fischer, E. Regel, C. Maximowicz, R. Schroeder, E. Wolf, N. Andronov, B. Zamyatnin and N. Bulygin.

  7. Did the ancient Egyptians migrate to ancient Nigeria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jock M. Agai


    Full Text Available Literatures concerning the history of West African peoples published from 1900 to 1970 debate�the possible migrations of the Egyptians into West Africa. Writers like Samuel Johnson and�Lucas Olumide believe that the ancient Egyptians penetrated through ancient Nigeria but Leo�Frobenius and Geoffrey Parrinder frowned at this opinion. Using the works of these early�20th century writers of West African history together with a Yoruba legend which teaches�about the origin of their earliest ancestor(s, this researcher investigates the theories that the�ancient Egyptians had contact with the ancient Nigerians and particularly with the Yorubas.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: There is an existing ideology�amongst the Yorubas and other writers of Yoruba history that the original ancestors of�the Yorubas originated in ancient Egypt hence there was migration between Egypt and�Yorubaland. This researcher contends that even if there was migration between Egypt and�Nigeria, such migration did not take place during the predynastic and dynastic period as�speculated by some scholars. The subject is open for further research.

  8. Evaluating insect-microbiomes at the plant-insect interface. (United States)

    Casteel, Clare L; Hansen, Allison K


    Plants recognize biotic challengers and respond with the appropriate defense by utilizing phytohormone signaling and crosstalk. Despite this, microbes and insects have evolved mechanisms that compromise the plant surveillance system and specific defenses, thus ensuring successful colonization. In nature, plants do not experience insect herbivores and microbes in isolation, but in combination. Over time, relationships have developed between insects and microbes, varying on a continuum from no-relationship to obligate relationships that are required for both organisms to survive. While many reviews have examined plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions and the mechanisms of plant defense, few have considered the interface where microbes and insects may overlap, and synergies may develop. In this review, we critically evaluate the requirements for insect-associated microbes to develop synergistic relationships with their hosts, and we mechanistically discuss how some of these insect-associated microbes can target or modify host plant defenses. Finally, by using bioinformatics and the recent literature, we review evidence for synergies in insect-microbe relationships at the interface of plant-insect defenses. Insect-associated microbes can influence host-plant detection and/or signaling through phytohormone synthesis, conserved microbial patterns, and effectors, however, microbes associated with insects must be maintained in the environment and located in opportunistic positions.

  9. Assessing insect responses to climate change: What are we testing for? Where should we be heading?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel R. Andrew


    Full Text Available To understand how researchers are tackling globally important issues, it is crucial to identify whether current research is comprehensive enough to make substantive predictions about general responses. We examined how research on climate change affecting insects is being assessed, what factors are being tested and the localities of studies, from 1703 papers published between 1985 and August 2012. Most published research (64% is generated from Europe and North America and being dedicated to core data analysis, with 29% of the studies analysed dedicated to Lepidoptera and 22% Diptera: which are well above their contribution to the currently identified insect species richness (estimated at 13% and 17% respectively. Research publications on Coleoptera fall well short of their proportional contribution (19% of publications but 39% of insect species identified, and to a lesser extent so do Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera. Species specific responses to changes in temperature by assessing distribution/range shifts or changes in abundance were the most commonly used methods of assessing the impact of climate change on insects. Research on insects and climate change to date is dominated by manuscripts assessing butterflies in Europe, insects of economic and/or environmental concern in forestry, agriculture, and model organisms. The research on understanding how insects will respond to a rapidly changing climate is still in its infancy, but the current trends of publications give a good basis for how we are attempting to assess insect responses. In particular, there is a crucial need for broader studies of ecological, behavioural, physiological and life history responses to be addressed across a greater range of geographic locations, particularly Asia, Africa and Australasia, and in areas of high human population growth and habitat modification. It is still too early in our understanding of taxa responses to climate change to know if charismatic taxa, such as

  10. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape. (United States)

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J


    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon.

  11. Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the palpimanoid spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wood, Hannah Marie; Matzke, Nicholas J.; Gillespie, Rosemary G.;


    Incorporation of fossils into biogeographic studies can have a profound effect on the conclusions that result, particularly when fossil ranges are nonoverlapping with extant ranges. This is the case in archaeid spiders, where there are known fossils from the Northern Hemisphere, yet all living me...

  12. Morphological study of some Euphorbia taxa in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Abstract. Talebi SM, Noori M, Davijani SS. 2016. Morphological study of some Euphorbia taxa in Iran. Nusantara Bioscience 8: 103-110. Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae has nearly 2000 species and great morphological diversity present between its members. For this reason, species of this genus are classified into different infrageneric ranks. In the present study, morphological characteristics of fifteen taxa of this genus were examined in Iran. Thirty one qualitative and quantitative morphological characteristics from the vegetative and reproductive organs of the studied taxa were examined. ANOVA test showed significant variations for all of studied quantitative features. PCA-biplot of the studied traits confirmed that some of them were very useful for identification of the treated taxa. In addition, the obtained results did not confirm species classifications in sections/subsections according to Flora Iranica as well as Flora of Turkey and proved high morphological variations between these species; therefore traditional classification of species in subsection must be changed and our results confirmed previous molecular studies.

  13. Eliciting the Functional Taxonomy from protein annotations and taxa. (United States)

    Falda, Marco; Lavezzo, Enrico; Fontana, Paolo; Bianco, Luca; Berselli, Michele; Formentin, Elide; Toppo, Stefano


    The advances of omics technologies have triggered the production of an enormous volume of data coming from thousands of species. Meanwhile, joint international efforts like the Gene Ontology (GO) consortium have worked to provide functional information for a vast amount of proteins. With these data available, we have developed FunTaxIS, a tool that is the first attempt to infer functional taxonomy (i.e. how functions are distributed over taxa) combining functional and taxonomic information. FunTaxIS is able to define a taxon specific functional space by exploiting annotation frequencies in order to establish if a function can or cannot be used to annotate a certain species. The tool generates constraints between GO terms and taxa and then propagates these relations over the taxonomic tree and the GO graph. Since these constraints nearly cover the whole taxonomy, it is possible to obtain the mapping of a function over the taxonomy. FunTaxIS can be used to make functional comparative analyses among taxa, to detect improper associations between taxa and functions, and to discover how functional knowledge is either distributed or missing. A benchmark test set based on six different model species has been devised to get useful insights on the generated taxonomic rules.

  14. Mammal taxa constituting potential coevolved reservoirs of filoviruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peterson, A.Townsend; Papes, Monica; Carroll, Darin S.;


    The virus family Filoviridae includes 2 genera, the Marburg viruses and the Ebola viruses. The ecology of the filoviruses is poorly known, and indeed their host relationships remain completely unknown. An earlier effort prioritized mammalian taxa as to their possible status as the long...

  15. RNAi: future in insect management. (United States)

    Burand, John P; Hunter, Wayne B


    RNA interference is a post- transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, environmentally sound approaches for insect pest management. Here the current understanding of the biogenesis of the two RNAi classes in insects is reviewed. These are microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Several other key approaches in RNAi -based for insect control, as well as for the prevention of diseases in insects are also reviewed. The problems and prospects for the future use of RNAi in insects are presented.

  16. Microsatellite flanking region similarities among different loci within insect species. (United States)

    Meglécz, E; Anderson, S J; Bourguet, D; Butcher, R; Caldas, A; Cassel-Lundhagen, A; d'Acier, A C; Dawson, D A; Faure, N; Fauvelot, C; Franck, P; Harper, G; Keyghobadi, N; Kluetsch, C; Muthulakshmi, M; Nagaraju, J; Patt, A; Péténian, F; Silvain, J-F; Wilcock, H R


    Although microsatellites are ubiquitous in eukaryota, the number of available markers varies strongly among taxa. This meta-analysis was conducted on 32 insect species. Sequences were obtained from two assembled whole genomes, whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences from 10 species and screening partial genomic libraries for microsatellites from 23 species. We have demonstrated: (1) strong differences in the abundance of microsatellites among species; (2) that microsatellites within species are often grouped into families based on similarities in their flanking sequences; (3) that the proportion of microsatellites grouped into families varies strongly among taxa; and (4) that microsatellite families were significantly more often associated with transposable elements - or their remnants - than unique microsatellite sequences.

  17. Cleptobiosis in Social Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Breed


    Full Text Available In this review of cleptobiosis, we not only focus on social insects, but also consider broader issues and concepts relating to the theft of food among animals. Cleptobiosis occurs when members of a species steal food, or sometimes nesting materials or other items of value, either from members of the same or a different species. This simple definition is not universally used, and there is some terminological confusion among cleptobiosis, cleptoparasitism, brood parasitism, and inquilinism. We first discuss the definitions of these terms and the confusion that arises from varying usage of the words. We consider that cleptobiosis usually is derived evolutionarily from established foraging behaviors. Cleptobionts can succeed by deception or by force, and we review the literature on cleptobiosis by deception or force in social insects. We focus on the best known examples of cleptobiosis, the ectatommine ant Ectatomma ruidum, the harvester ant Messor capitatus, and the stingless bee Lestrimellita limão. Cleptobiosis is facilitated either by deception or physical force, and we discuss both mechanisms. Part of this discussion is an analysis of the ecological implications (competition by interference and the evolutionary effects of cleptobiosis. We conclude with a comment on how cleptobiosis can increase the risk of disease or parasite spread among colonies of social insects.

  18. Polyphenism in insects. (United States)

    Simpson, Stephen J; Sword, Gregory A; Lo, Nathan


    Polyphenism is the phenomenon where two or more distinct phenotypes are produced by the same genotype. Examples of polyphenism provide some of the most compelling systems for the study of epigenetics. Polyphenisms are a major reason for the success of the insects, allowing them to partition life history stages (with larvae dedicated to feeding and growth, and adults dedicated to reproduction and dispersal), to adopt different phenotypes that best suit predictable environmental changes (seasonal morphs), to cope with temporally heterogeneous environments (dispersal morphs), and to partition labour within social groups (the castes of eusocial insects). We survey the status of research on some of the best known examples of insect polyphenism, in each case considering the environmental cues that trigger shifts in phenotype, the neurochemical and hormonal pathways that mediate the transformation, the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining the polyphenism, and the adaptive and life-history significance of the phenomenon. We conclude by highlighting some of the common features of these examples and consider future avenues for research on polyphenism.

  19. Age and size at maturity: a quantitative review of diet-induced reaction norms in insects. (United States)

    Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas


    Optimality models predict that diet-induced bivariate reaction norms for age and size at maturity can have diverse shapes, with the slope varying from negative to positive. To evaluate these predictions, we perform a quantitative review of relevant data, using a literature-derived database of body sizes and development times for over 200 insect species. We show that bivariate reaction norms with a negative slope prevail in nearly all taxonomic and ecological categories of insects as well as in some other ectotherm taxa with comparable life histories (arachnids and amphibians). In insects, positive slopes are largely limited to species, which feed on discrete resource items, parasitoids in particular. By contrast, with virtually no meaningful exceptions, herbivorous and predatory insects display reaction norms with a negative slope. This is consistent with the idea that predictable resource depletion, a scenario selecting for positively sloped reaction norms, is not frequent for these insects. Another source of such selection-a positive correlation between resource levels and juvenile mortality rates-should similarly be rare among insects. Positive slopes can also be predicted by models which integrate life-history evolution and population dynamics. As bottom-up regulation is not common in most insect groups, such models may not be most appropriate for insects.

  20. How Should Genes and Taxa be Sampled for Phylogenomic Analyses with Missing Data? An Empirical Study in Iguanian Lizards. (United States)

    Streicher, Jeffrey W; Schulte, James A; Wiens, John J


    Targeted sequence capture is becoming a widespread tool for generating large phylogenomic data sets to address difficult phylogenetic problems. However, this methodology often generates data sets in which increasing the number of taxa and loci increases amounts of missing data. Thus, a fundamental (but still unresolved) question is whether sampling should be designed to maximize sampling of taxa or genes, or to minimize the inclusion of missing data cells. Here, we explore this question for an ancient, rapid radiation of lizards, the pleurodont iguanians. Pleurodonts include many well-known clades (e.g., anoles, basilisks, iguanas, and spiny lizards) but relationships among families have proven difficult to resolve strongly and consistently using traditional sequencing approaches. We generated up to 4921 ultraconserved elements with sampling strategies including 16, 29, and 44 taxa, from 1179 to approximately 2.4 million characters per matrix and approximately 30% to 60% total missing data. We then compared mean branch support for interfamilial relationships under these 15 different sampling strategies for both concatenated (maximum likelihood) and species tree (NJst) approaches (after showing that mean branch support appears to be related to accuracy). We found that both approaches had the highest support when including loci with up to 50% missing taxa (matrices with ~40-55% missing data overall). Thus, our results show that simply excluding all missing data may be highly problematic as the primary guiding principle for the inclusion or exclusion of taxa and genes. The optimal strategy was somewhat different for each approach, a pattern that has not been shown previously. For concatenated analyses, branch support was maximized when including many taxa (44) but fewer characters (1.1 million). For species-tree analyses, branch support was maximized with minimal taxon sampling (16) but many loci (4789 of 4921). We also show that the choice of these sampling

  1. The Fossil Record of Plant-Insect Dynamics (United States)

    Labandeira, Conrad C.; Currano, Ellen D.


    Progress toward understanding the dynamics of ancient plant-insect associations has addressed major patterns in the ecology and evolution of herbivory and pollination. This advancement involves development of more analytical ways of describing plant-insect associational patterns in time and space and an assessment of the role that the environment and internal biological processes have in their control. Current issues include the deep origins of terrestrial herbivory, the spread of herbivory across late Paleozoic landscapes, recoveries from sudden major crises, reaction to and accommodation of protracted environmental perturbations, and the nature of herbivory and pollination before the appearance of angiosperms during the mid-Mesozoic. These and other exploratory research themes provide a more complete account of a great nexus of ecological activity that has been wedged between the two most diverse organismic groups on land for the past 410 million years.

  2. Neonatal medicine in ancient art. (United States)

    Yurdakök, Murat


    There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau).

  3. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept? (United States)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

    It is quite common, when reading popular books on astronomy, to see a place referred to as "the oldest observatory in the world". In addition, numerous books on archaeoastronomy, of various levels of quality, frequently refer to the existence of "prehistoric" or "ancient" observatories when describing or citing monuments that were certainly not built with the primary purpose of observing the skies. Internet sources are also guilty of this practice. In this chapter, the different meanings of the word observatory will be analyzed, looking at how their significances can be easily confused or even interchanged. The proclaimed "ancient observatories" are a typical result of this situation. Finally, the relevance of the concept of the ancient observatory will be evaluated.

  4. Skeletal dysplasia in ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira


    The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for over 3000 years and ended in 30 BCE. Many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, including the existence of skeletal dysplasias, and in particular achondroplasia, are well known through the monuments and records that survived until modern times. The hot and dry climate in Egypt allowed for the preservation of bodies and skeletal anomalies. The oldest dwarf skeleton, the Badarian skeleton (4500 BCE), possibly represents an epiphyseal disorder. Among the remains of dwarfs with achondroplasia from ancient Egypt (2686-2190 BCE), exists a skeleton of a pregnant female, believed to have died during delivery with a baby's remains in situ. British museums have partial skeletons of dwarfs with achondroplasia, humeri probably affected with mucopolysaccharidoses, and a skeleton of a child with osteogenesis imperfecta. Skeletal dysplasia is also found among royal remains. The mummy of the pharaoh Siptah (1342-1197 BCE) shows a deformity of the left leg and foot. A mummified fetus, believed to be the daughter of king Tutankhamun, has scoliosis, spina bifida, and Sprengel deformity. In 2006 I reviewed the previously existing knowledge of dwarfism in ancient Egypt. The purpose of this second historical review is to add to that knowledge with an expanded contribution. The artistic documentation of people with skeletal dysplasia from ancient Egypt is plentiful including hundreds of amulets, statues, and drawing on tomb and temple walls. Examination of artistic reliefs provides a glance of the role of people with skeletal dysplasia and the societal attitudes toward them. Both artistic evidence and moral teachings in ancient Egypt reveal wide integration of individuals with disabilities into the society.

  5. Insect-Specific Virus Discovery: Significance for the Arbovirus Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany G. Bolling


    Full Text Available Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses, especially those transmitted by mosquitoes, are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide. Recent discoveries indicate that mosquitoes are naturally infected with a wide range of other viruses, many within taxa occupied by arboviruses that are considered insect-specific. Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in the literature describing novel insect-specific virus detection in mosquitoes, which has provided new insights about viral diversity and evolution, including that of arboviruses. It has also raised questions about what effects the mosquito virome has on arbovirus transmission. Additionally, the discovery of these new viruses has generated interest in their potential use as biological control agents as well as novel vaccine platforms. The arbovirus community will benefit from the growing database of knowledge concerning these newly described viral endosymbionts, as their impacts will likely be far reaching.

  6. Insect-Specific Virus Discovery: Significance for the Arbovirus Community. (United States)

    Bolling, Bethany G; Weaver, Scott C; Tesh, Robert B; Vasilakis, Nikos


    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), especially those transmitted by mosquitoes, are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide. Recent discoveries indicate that mosquitoes are naturally infected with a wide range of other viruses, many within taxa occupied by arboviruses that are considered insect-specific. Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in the literature describing novel insect-specific virus detection in mosquitoes, which has provided new insights about viral diversity and evolution, including that of arboviruses. It has also raised questions about what effects the mosquito virome has on arbovirus transmission. Additionally, the discovery of these new viruses has generated interest in their potential use as biological control agents as well as novel vaccine platforms. The arbovirus community will benefit from the growing database of knowledge concerning these newly described viral endosymbionts, as their impacts will likely be far reaching.

  7. Climate heterogeneity modulates impact of warming on tropical insects. (United States)

    Bonebrake, Timothy C; Deutsch, Curtis A


    Evolutionary history and physiology mediate species responses to climate change. Tropical species that do not naturally experience high temperature variability have a narrow thermal tolerance compared to similar taxa at temperate latitudes and could therefore be most vulnerable to warming. However, the thermal adaptation of a species may also be influenced by spatial temperature variations over its geographical range. Spatial climate gradients, especially from topography, may also broaden thermal tolerance and therefore act to buffer warming impacts. Here we show that for low-seasonality environments, high spatial heterogeneity in temperature correlates significantly with greater warming tolerance in insects globally. Based on this relationship, we find that climate change projections of direct physiological impacts on insect fitness highlight the vulnerability of tropical lowland areas to future warming. Thus, in addition to seasonality, spatial heterogeneity may play a critical role in thermal adaptation and climate change impacts particularly in the tropics.

  8. Night blindness and ancient remedy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.A. Hajar Al Binali


    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A.

  9. Tuberculosis in ancient times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Cilliers


    Full Text Available In spite of an array of effective antibiotics, tuberculosis is still very common in developing countries where overcrowding, malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions prevail. Over the past 30 years associated HIV infection has worsened the situation by increasing the infection rate and mortality of tuberculosis. Of those diseases caused by a single organism only HIV causes more deaths internationally than tuberculosis. The tubercle bacillus probably first infected man in Neolithic times, and then via infected cattle, but the causative Mycobacteriacea have been in existence for 300 million years. Droplet infection is the most common way of acquiring tuberculosis, although ingestion (e.g. of infected cows’ milk may occur. Tuberculosis probably originated in Africa. The earliest path gnomonic evidence of human tuberculosis in man was found in osteo-archaeological findings of bone tuberculosis (Pott’s disease of the spine in the skeleton of anEgyptian priest from the 21st Dynasty (approximately 1 000 BC. Suggestive but not conclusiveevidence of tuberculotic lesions had been found in even earlier skeletons from Egypt and Europe. Medical hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt are silent on the disease, which could be tuberculosis,as do early Indian and Chinese writings. The Old Testament refers to the disease schachapeth, translated as phthisis in the Greek Septuagint. Although the Bible is not specific about this condition, tuberculosis is still called schachapeth in modern Hebrew. In pre-Hippocratic Greece Homer did not mention phthisis, a word meaning non-specific wasting of the body. However. Alexander of Tralles (6th century BC seemed to narrow the concept down to a specific disease, and in the Hippocratic Corpus (5th-4th centuries BC phthisis can be recognised as tuberculosis. It was predominantly a respiratory disease commonly seen and considered to be caused by an imbalance of bodily humours. It was commonest in autumn, winter and spring

  10. Effect of land use on the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in neotropical streams. (United States)

    Gimenez, B C G; Lansac-Tôha, F A; Higuti, J


    Streams may exhibit differences in community structure of invertebrate drift, which may be a reflex of variation in environmental factors, able to change in conditions of anthropogenic interventions. The aim of this study was to analyze the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in two neotropical streams under different land use and to identify the environmental factors involved in determining such patterns. 54 taxa of aquatic insects were identified in urban and rural streams. The results indicated significant differences in species composition due to the replacement of specialist species by generalist species in the urban stream. Higher diversity of taxa was recorded in the rural stream, with high levels of dissolved oxygen and high water flow, which favored the occurrence of sensitive groups to environmental disturbances, such as Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera taxa, that living mainly in clean and well oxygenated waters. On the other hand, a higher density of insects drifting, especially Chironomidae, was observed in the urban stream, where high values of pH, electrical conductivity and nitrogen were observed. These larvae are able to explore a wide range of environmental conditions, owing to their great capacity for physiological adaptation. Despite observing the expected patterns, there were no significant differences between streams for the diversity and abundance of species. Thus, the species composition can be considered as the best predictor of impacts on the drifting insect community.

  11. Seasonality of insect succession on exposed rabbit carrion in Guangzhou,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan-Wei Shi; Xiao-Shan Liu; Hai-Yang Wang; Run-Jie Zhang


    Succession patterns for insect fauna,spanning four seasons,on rabbit carcasses were studied in Guangzhou China from 2006 to 2008.A total of 49 taxa belonging to three orders and 15 families were collected and identified.Four decomposition stages were recognized:fresh,bloated,decay and dry stage.Taxa diversity was higher in bloated and decay stages than fresh and dry stages.Internal and ambient temperatures were measured.Maximum internal temperature arrived earlier in warmer seasons.The sequence of insect succession in this study follows the same general patterns:the Diptera peaked initially,and the Coleoptera peaked later.Chrysomya megacephala was the dominant species in four seasons.Its time point of different development stages on carrion could be the most important indicators for PMI (postmaortem interval) estimation in Guangzhou.Yearly and seasonal differences in activities of insects were compared.Alpha diversity indices were calculated.There were no significant differences in Shannon-Wiener index,evenness (J) and dominance (C) between seasons and years.From the Jaccard similarity index,the highest similarity was between winter and spring,while the lowest was between summer and winter.Some species occurring exclusively in one season may be important to characterize different seasons.A list of the insect taxa associated with above-ground rabbit carrion during the four seasons was compiled,which can be used for estimating time since death in similar bio-climate areas.

  12. The origin and evolution of social insect queen pheromones: Novel hypotheses and outstanding problems. (United States)

    Oi, Cintia A; van Zweden, Jelle S; Oliveira, Ricardo C; Van Oystaeyen, Annette; Nascimento, Fabio S; Wenseleers, Tom


    Queen pheromones, which signal the presence of a fertile queen and induce daughter workers to remain sterile, are considered to play a key role in regulating the reproductive division of labor of insect societies. Although queen pheromones were long thought to be highly taxon-specific, recent studies have shown that structurally related long-chain hydrocarbons act as conserved queen signals across several independently evolved lineages of social insects. These results imply that social insect queen pheromones are very ancient and likely derived from an ancestral signalling system that was already present in their common solitary ancestors. Based on these new insights, we here review the literature and speculate on what signal precursors social insect queen pheromones may have evolved from. Furthermore, we provide compelling evidence that these pheromones should best be seen as honest signals of fertility as opposed to suppressive agents that chemically sterilize the workers against their own best interests.

  13. Edible insects are the future? (United States)

    van Huis, Arnold


    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy.

  14. Comparison of insect biodiversity between organic and conventional plantations in Kodagu, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mone


    Full Text Available We undertook a comparative analysis of ground insects and fruit eating butterflies on 29 different plantations in Kodagu District of Karnataka which is one of the rich biodiversity zones of the Western Ghats. These included organic and conventional coffee and cardamom plantations using different levels of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A total number of 457 ground insect species were collected using pit-fall traps which included 92 species of ants and 123 species of beetles, among other insect taxa that we measured. Similarly, 25 species of butterflies belonging to the family Nymphalidae were collected using bait traps. We found a clear negative effect on the ground insect species diversity (Shannon index and evenness (Shannon evenness index in pesticide treated plantations as compared to the organic plantations. A similar negative effect was observed for butterfly diversity in plantations using pesticides. Our results corroborate the value of organic plantations in supporting higher levels of biodiversity.

  15. DNA barcodes for two scale insect families, mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and armored scales (Hemiptera: Diaspididae). (United States)

    Park, D-S; Suh, S-J; Hebert, P D N; Oh, H-W; Hong, K-J


    Although DNA barcode coverage has grown rapidly for many insect orders, there are some groups, such as scale insects, where sequence recovery has been difficult. However, using a recently developed primer set, we recovered barcode records from 373 specimens, providing coverage for 75 species from 31 genera in two families. Overall success was >90% for mealybugs and >80% for armored scale species. The G·C content was very low in most species, averaging just 16.3%. Sequence divergences (K2P) between congeneric species averaged 10.7%, while intra-specific divergences averaged 0.97%. However, the latter value was inflated by high intra-specific divergence in nine taxa, cases that may indicate species overlooked by current taxonomic treatments. Our study establishes the feasibility of developing a comprehensive barcode library for scale insects and indicates that its construction will both create an effective system for identifying scale insects and reveal taxonomic situations worthy of deeper analysis.

  16. Phylogenetic estimation of timescales using ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molak, Martyna; Lorenzen, Eline; Shapiro, Beth;


    In recent years, ancient DNA has increasingly been used for estimating molecular timescales, particularly in studies of substitution rates and demographic histories. Molecular clocks can be calibrated using temporal information from ancient DNA sequences. This information comes from the ages...

  17. Stochastic Models for Phylogenetic Trees on Higher-order Taxa

    CERN Document Server

    Aldous, David; Popovic, Lea


    Simple stochastic models for phylogenetic trees on species have been well studied. But much paleontology data concerns time series or trees on higher-order taxa, and any broad picture of relationships between extant groups requires use of higher-order taxa. A coherent model for trees on (say) genera should involve both a species-level model and a model for the classification scheme by which species are assigned to genera. We present a general framework for such models, and describe three alternate classification schemes. Combining with the species-level model of Aldous-Popovic (2005), one gets models for higher-order trees, and we initiate analytic study of such models. In particular we derive formulas for the lifetime of genera, for the distribution of number of species per genus, and for the offspring structure of the tree on genera.

  18. The eye and its diseases in Ancient Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, S. Ry


    Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification......Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification...

  19. Taxa de câmbio social e abertura comercial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Léo da Rocha Ferreira


    Full Text Available O objetivo geral deste artigo é avaliar o impacto da abertura comercial brasileira na taxa de câmbio social. O seu objetivo específico é desenvolver e calcular uma medida apropriada para a taxa de câmbio social a ser utilizada na análise de projetos de investimentos no Brasil. Utilizando um modelo de custo de oportunidade da divisa para estimar taxa de câmbio social, o estudo conclui que não houve alteração importante no ordenamento das atividades econômicas segundo o grau de proteção efetiva. A tendência declinante da taxa de câmbio social é resultado da abertura comercial iniciada no final dos anos oitenta e da mudança da política cambial brasileira de janeiro de 1999.The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the trade liberalization process on social exchange rates in Brazil. The main objective is to develop and estimate an appropriate measure for the social exchange rates to be used in the evaluation of investment projects in Brazil. Using an opportunity cost for foreign exchange model to estimate the social exchange rates, the study concludes that there were no important modifications in the ranking of economic activities according to the rates of effective protection. The impact of the trade liberalization process and the change in exchange rate policy regime will only be fully measured in the medium and long run. However, an indication of its effects on the social exchange rates can clearly be observed by the declining tendency of the social exchange rates.

  20. Endemic taxa of vascular plants in the Polish Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halina Piękoś-Mirkowa


    Full Text Available The Carpathians, particularly their highest massif, the Tatra Mountains, exhibit the greatest richness of endemics in Poland. The present paper is a critical recapitulation of existing knowledge of endemism among the vascular plants of the Polish part of the Carpathians. It comprises a list of all 110 taxa (49 species, 26 microspecies of the genus Alchemilla and 35 conspicuous subspecies that can be considered Carpathian endemics or subendemics. Their distribution, vertical ranges and habitats are characterized.

  1. Seed and germination characteristics of wild Onobrychis taxa in Turkey


    AVCI, Süleyman; KAYA, Mehmet Demir


    Turkey is of great importance for the biodiversity of genus Onobrychis Adans. and hosts 55 species that are adapted to dry and poor environments. This study was conducted to evaluate 35 Onobrychis taxa in terms of 1000-seed weight, germination percentage, mean germination time, and hard and swollen seeds and to determine the suitability of mechanical scarification for dormancy breaking in species with hard or impermeable seed coats. Seed dormancy was detected in 19 of the investigated species...

  2. The ancient art of memory. (United States)

    Hobson, Allan


    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable?

  3. Ancient medicine--a review. (United States)

    Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja


    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples.

  4. Ancient and modern environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca


    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woo...

  5. Leaf structural adaptations of two Limonium miller (Plumbaginales, Plumbaginaceae taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zorić Lana N.


    Full Text Available Limonium gmelinii (Willd. O. Kuntze 1891 subsp. hungaricum (Klokov Soó is Pannonian endemic subspecies that inhabits continental halobiomes, while Limonium anfractum (Salmon Salmon 1924 is one of the indicators of halophyte vegetation of marine rocks and its distribution is restricted to the southern parts of Mediterranean Sea coast. In this work, micromorphological and anatomical characters of leaves of these two Limonium taxa were analyzed, in order to examine their adaptations to specific environmental conditions on saline habitats. The results showed that both taxa exhibited strong xeromorphic adaptations that reflected in flat cell walls of epidermal cells, thick cuticle, high palisade/spongy tissue ratio, high index of palisade cells, the presence of sclereid idioblasts in leaf mesophyll and mechanical tissue by phloem and xylem. Both taxa are crynohalophytes and have salt glands on adaxial and abaxial epidermis for excretion of surplus salt. Relatively high dimensions of mesophyll cells, absence of non-glandular hairs and unprotected stomata slightly increased above the level of epidermal cells, are also adaptations to increased salinity. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 173002

  6. A Huge Ancient Schwannoma of the Epiglottis. (United States)

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Kim, Jo Heon; Yoon, Tae Mi; Lee, Joon Kyoo; Lim, Sang Chul


    Ancient schwannoma of the epiglottis is extremely rare. The authors report the first case of a patient with a huge ancient schwannoma of the epiglottis. Clinicians should consider the possibility that ancient schwannoma may originate in the epiglottis mimicking the other more frequently observed lesions.

  7. Timing and host plant associations in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Apioninae, Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera) indicate an ancient co-diversification pattern of beetles and flowering plants. (United States)

    Winter, Sven; Friedman, Ariel L L; Astrin, Jonas J; Gottsberger, Brigitte; Letsch, Harald


    Host plant shifts of insects can lead to a burst of diversification driven by their arrival in a new adaptive zone. In this context, our study aims to explore timing and patterns in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera), particularly in relation to affiliations with their host plants. The classification of Apionini is difficult because of their relatively uniform appearance. Most taxa live mono- or oligophagously on members of Asteraceae or Fabaceae, but many are associated with other plant families, like Lamiaceae, Malvaceae and Polygonaceae. However, a comprehensive hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Apionini is still missing. In the present study, we reconstructed trees and estimated divergence times among tribes. These results were further used to reconstruct the ancestral host plant use in Apionini weevils and to infer if the divergence timing of putative subtribes corresponds with the occurrence and radiation of their specific host plant groups. Phylogenetic analyses confirm the monophyly of most subtribes, with the exceptions of Oxystomatina, Kalcapiina and Aspidapiina. The subribe Aplemonina is inferred to be sister to all remaining Apionini. Divergence time estimates indicate the first occurrence of Apionini in the Upper Cretaceous and a simultaneous occurrence of several families of flowering plants and the occupation by Apionini weevil herbivores. These conspicuous coincidences support either an ancient co-diversification scenario or an escalating diversification in weevils induced by the radiation of flowering plants.

  8. Selective feeding by shredders on leaf-colonizing stream fungi: comparison of macroinvertebrate taxa. (United States)

    Arsuffi, T L; Suberkropp, K


    Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effects of fungal species composition of leaf detritus on the feeding of distantly related macroinvertebrate shredders. Preferences of shredders representing three orders of insects (Diptera: Tipulidae; Plecoptera: Pteronarcidae; Trichoptera: Limnephilidae and Calamatoceridae) and one each of gastropods (Basommatophora: Planorbidae) and crustaceans (Amphipoda: Gammaridae) were compared. Shredder preferences were based on consumption of leaves separately colonized by one of eight species of aquatic hyphomycetes. The feeding patterns of the invertebrates ranged from lack of feeding to heavy consumption of fungal-colonized leaves. Where consumption occurred, rank orders of preference and degree of selectivity differed among invertebrate shredders. Differences in preferences together with relationships between degree of selectivity and the relative mobility and digestive specializations exhibited by shredders suggest that the exploitation of fungal-colonized leaf detritus by different taxa is affected by phylogenetic constraints. Our results suggest that fungal species composition affects the feeding of a variety of shredders and that fungal species composition may be as important as degree of conditioning in determining food selection by shredders.

  9. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury. (United States)


    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  10. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury. (United States)


    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  11. 1977 Kansas Field Crop Insect Control Recommendations. (United States)

    Brooks, Leroy; Gates, Dell E.

    This publication is prepared to aid producers in selecting methods of insect population management that have proved effective under Kansas conditions. Topics covered include insect control on alfalfa, soil insects attacking corn, insects attacking above-ground parts of corn, and sorghum, wheat, and soybean insect control. The insecticides…

  12. Hydrodynamics of insect spermatozoa (United States)

    Pak, On Shun; Lauga, Eric


    Microorganism motility plays important roles in many biological processes including reproduction. Many microorganisms propel themselves by propagating traveling waves along their flagella. Depending on the species, propagation of planar waves (e.g. Ceratium) and helical waves (e.g. Trichomonas) were observed in eukaryotic flagellar motion, and hydrodynamic models for both were proposed in the past. However, the motility of insect spermatozoa remains largely unexplored. An interesting morphological feature of such cells, first observed in Tenebrio molitor and Bacillus rossius, is the double helical deformation pattern along the flagella, which is characterized by the presence of two superimposed helical flagellar waves (one with a large amplitude and low frequency, and the other with a small amplitude and high frequency). Here we present the first hydrodynamic investigation of the locomotion of insect spermatozoa. The swimming kinematics, trajectories and hydrodynamic efficiency of the swimmer are computed based on the prescribed double helical deformation pattern. We then compare our theoretical predictions with experimental measurements, and explore the dependence of the swimming performance on the geometric and dynamical parameters.

  13. Insect symbionts as hidden players in insect-plant interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frago, E.; Dicke, M.; Godfray, H.C.J.


    There is growing evidence of the importance of microbial mutualistic symbioses in insect-plant interactions. Mutualists may affect host plant range and enable insects to manipulate plant physiology for their own benefit. The plant can also be a route for the horizontal transfer of mutualistic microo

  14. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects. (United States)

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E; Kerstetter, Randy A; McNulty, Brian C; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R


    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism.

  15. Speciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa: insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae). (United States)

    Daïnou, K; Mahy, G; Duminil, J; Dick, C W; Doucet, J-L; Donkpégan, A S L; Pluijgers, M; Sinsin, B; Lejeune, P; Hardy, O J


    The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically.

  16. Modern freshwater microbialite analogues for ancient dendritic reef structures (United States)

    Laval, B.; Cady, S. L.; Pollack, J. C.; McKay, C. P.; Bird, J. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Ford, D. C.; Bohm, H. R.


    Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that can be constructed by a variety of metabolically distinct taxa. Consequently, microbialite structures abound in the fossil record, although the exact nature of the biogeochemical processes that produced them is often unknown. One such class of ancient calcareous structures, Epiphyton and Girvanella, appear in great abundance during the Early Cambrian. Together with Archeocyathids, stromatolites and thrombolites, they formed major Cambrian reef belts. To a large extent, Middle to Late Cambrian reefs are similar to Precambrian reefs, with the exception that the latter, including terminal Proterozoic reefs, do not contain Epiphyton or Girvanella. Here we report the discovery in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada, of a distinctive assemblage of freshwater calcite microbialites, some of which display microstructures similar to the fabrics displayed by Epiphyton and Girvanella. The morphologies of the modern microbialites vary with depth, and dendritic microstructures of the deep water (> 30 m) mounds indicate that they may be modern analogues for the ancient calcareous structures. These microbialites thus provide an opportunity to study the biogeochemical interactions that produce fabrics similar to those of some enigmatic Early Cambrian reef structures.

  17. Social-insect fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan


    Which social insects rear their own food? Growing fungi for food has evolved twice in social insects: once in new-world ants about 50 million years ago; and once in old-world termites between 24 and 34 million years ago [1] and [2] . The termites domesticated a single fungal lineage - the extant...

  18. Insect cells for human food

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkerk, M.C.; Tramper, J.; Trijp, van J.C.M.; Martens, D.E.


    There is a need for novel protein sources. Insects are a possible interesting source of protein. They are nutritious in terms of protein (40-75 g/100g dry weight) and minerals. Insect protein is of high quality and has a high digestibility (77-98%) and concentration of essential amino acids (46-96%

  19. Eicosanoids mediate insect hemocyte migration (United States)

    Hemocyte chemotaxis toward infection and wound sites is an essential component of insect defense reactions, although the biochemical signal mechanisms responsible for mediating chemotaxis in insect cells are not well understood. Here we report on the outcomes of experiments designed to test the hyp...

  20. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision (United States)

    Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.


    For several years we have included discussions about insect vision in the optics units of our introductory physics courses. This topic is a natural extension of demonstrations involving Brewster's reflection and Rayleigh scattering of polarized light because many insects heavily rely on optical polarization for navigation and communication.…

  1. Phylogeny of cockroaches (Insecta, Dictyoptera, Blattodea), with placement of aberrant taxa and exploration of out-group sampling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Djernæs, Marie; Klass, Klaus-Dieter; Picker, Mike D.


    We addressed the phylogeny of cockroaches using DNA sequence data from a broad taxon sample of Dictyoptera and other non-endopterygotan insect orders. We paid special attention to several taxa in which relationships are controversial, or where no molecular evidence has been used previously......: Nocticolidae, a family of small, often cave-dwelling cockroaches, has been suggested to be the sister group of the predaceous Mantodea or of the cockroach family Polyphagidae; Lamproblatta, traditionally placed in Blattidae, has recently been given family status and placed as sister to Polyphagidae......; and Saltoblattella montistabularis Bohn, Picker, Klass & Colville, a jumping cockroach, which has not yet been included in any phylogenetic studies. We used mitochondrial (COI + COII and 16S) and nuclear (18S and 28S) genes, and analysed the data using Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum likelihood (ML...

  2. Ancient DNA from marine mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Philip A


    such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an oppor- tunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have...... focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes...... in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such ‘presence only’ studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also...

  3. Mitogenomic analyses from ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paijmans, Johanna L.A.; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Hofreiter, Michael


    analyses (whether using modern or ancient DNA) were largely restricted to the analysis of short fragments of the mitochondrial genome. However, due to many technological advances during the past decade, a growing number of studies have explored the power of complete mitochondrial genome sequences...... (mitogenomes). Such studies were initially limited to analyses of extant organisms, but developments in both DNA sequencing technologies and general methodological aspects related to working with degraded DNA have resulted in complete mitogenomes becoming increasingly popular for ancient DNA studies as well....... To date, at least 124 partially or fully assembled mitogenomes from more than 20 species have been obtained, and, given the rapid progress in sequencing technology, this number is likely to dramatically increase in the future. The increased information content offered by analysing full mitogenomes has...

  4. Molecular analysis of ancient caries. (United States)

    Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R; Malgosa, Assumpció


    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains.

  5. Models of ancient sound vases (United States)

    Bruel, Per V.


    Models were made of vases described by Vitruvius in Rome in about the year 70 A.D. and of sound vases (lydpotter) placed in Danish churches from 1100-1300 A.D. Measurements of vase's resonant frequencies and damping (reradiation) verified that the model vases obeyed expected physical rules. It was concluded that the excellent acoustical quality of many ancient Greek and Roman theaters cannot be ascribed to the vases placed under their seats. This study also found that sound vases placed in Nordic churches could not have shortened the reverberation time because there are far too few of them. Moreover, they could not have covered a broad frequency range. It remains a mystery why vases were installed under the seats of ancient Greek theaters and why, 1000 years later, Danes placed vases in their churches.

  6. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren


    have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although......Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar....... Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight...

  7. Insect Immunity to Entomopathogenic Fungi. (United States)

    Lu, H-L; St Leger, R J


    The study of infection and immunity in insects has achieved considerable prominence with the appreciation that their host defense mechanisms share many fundamental characteristics with the innate immune system of vertebrates. Studies on the highly tractable model organism Drosophila in particular have led to a detailed understanding of conserved innate immunity networks, such as Toll. However, most of these studies have used opportunistic human pathogens and may not have revealed specialized immune strategies that have arisen through evolutionary arms races with natural insect pathogens. Fungi are the commonest natural insect pathogens, and in this review, we focus on studies using Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. that have addressed immune system function and pathogen virulence via behavioral avoidance, the use of physical barriers, and the activation of local and systemic immune responses. In particular, we highlight studies on the evolutionary genetics of insect immunity and discuss insect-pathogen coevolution.

  8. Sorghum Insect Problems and Management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunshan Guo; Wei Cui; Xue Feng; Jianzhou Zhao; Guihua Lu


    Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) has high levels of starch, sugar, and fiber and is one of the most important energy crops in the world. Insect damage is one of the challenges that impacts sorghum biomass production. There are at least 150 insect species that can infest sorghum varieties worldwide. These insects can complete several generations within a growing season, they target various parts of sorghum plants at devel- opmental stages, and they cause significant biomass losses. Genetic research has revealed the existence of resistant genetics in sorghum and insect tolerant sorghum varieties have been identified. Various control methods have been developed, yet more effective management is needed for increasing sorghum biomass production. Although there are no transgenic sorghum products on the market yet, biotechnology has been recognized as an important tool for controlling insect pests and increasing sorghum production.

  9. Cryptic species in putative ancient asexual darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isa Schön

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC. We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis, five to six (D. stevensoni and two (P. aotearoa, respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated.

  10. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae). (United States)

    Mikić, Aleksandar M


    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350-1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl(-1) of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide.

  11. Splendid Arts Fram Ancient Capitals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    IT was in the golden autumn in Beijing, when the sky was high and the air clear, that I hurried to Zhongshan Park to witness the display of the songs and dances of the seven Chinese ancient capitals. The flower beds arranged for the celebration of National Day were still there and the colorful blooms looked especially bright in the sunshine. The seven cities which have served as capitals in Chinese history are Beijing,

  12. Psychiatric Thoughts in Ancient India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravi Abhyankar


    Full Text Available A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry.

  13. Nanoscience of an ancient pigment. (United States)

    Johnson-McDaniel, Darrah; Barrett, Christopher A; Sharafi, Asma; Salguero, Tina T


    We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times.

  14. Diversity of aquatic insects and other associated macroinvertebrates in an arid wetland (Mendoza Province, Argentina)



    The goal of this work was to expand the evaluation of diversity of aquatic insects and associated macroinvertebrates along the Bañado Carilauquen using hand net for water column and Petersen dredge for benthos. Additionally, we explored seasonal and spatial differences and similarities of macro invertebrate assemblages' qualitative composition. Samplings were conducted seasonally in five reaches of the Bañado Carilauquen, from headwaters to outlet. A total of 47 taxa were identified; 37 of th...

  15. Sensitivities of extant animal taxa to ocean acidification (United States)

    Wittmann, Astrid C.; Pörtner, Hans-O.


    Anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, causing a progressive increase in ocean inorganic carbon concentrations and resulting in decreased water pH and calcium carbonate saturation. This phenomenon, called ocean acidification, is in addition to the warming effects of CO2 emissions. Ocean acidification has been reported to affect ocean biota, but the severity of this threat to ocean ecosystems (and humans depending on these ecosystems) is poorly understood. Here we evaluate the scale of this threat in the context of widely used representative concentration pathways (RCPs) by analysing the sensitivities of five animal taxa (corals, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and fishes) to a wide range of CO2 concentrations. Corals, echinoderms and molluscs are more sensitive to RCP8.5 (936 ppm in 2100) than are crustaceans. Larval fishes may be even more sensitive than the lower invertebrates, but taxon sensitivity on evolutionary timescales remains obscure. The variety of responses within and between taxa, together with observations in mesocosms and palaeo-analogues, suggest that ocean acidification is a driver for substantial change in ocean ecosystems this century, potentially leading to long-term shifts in species composition.

  16. The evolutionary reality of higher taxa in mammals. (United States)

    Humphreys, Aelys M; Barraclough, Timothy G


    Species are generally regarded as a fundamental unit of biodiversity. By contrast, higher taxa such as genera and families, while widely used as biodiversity metrics and for classification and communication, are generally not believed to be shaped by shared evolutionary processes in the same way as species. We use simulations to show that processes which are important for emergence of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) at the species level, namely geographical isolation and ecological divergence, can generate evolutionary independence above the species level and thereby lead to emergence of discrete phylogenetic clusters (higher ESUs). Extending phylogenetic approaches for delimiting evolutionarily significant species to broader phylogenetic scales, we find evidence for the existence of higher ESUs in mammals. In carnivores, euungulates and lagomorphs the hierarchical level of units detected correspond, on average, to the level of family or genus in traditional taxonomy. The units in euungulates are associated with divergent patterns of body mass, consistent with occupation of distinct ecological zones. Our findings demonstrate a new framework for studying biodiversity that unifies approaches at species and higher levels, thus potentially restoring higher taxa to their historical status as natural entities.

  17. A DNA barcode library for ground beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera, Carabidae) of Germany: The genus Bembidion Latreille, 1802 and allied taxa. (United States)

    Raupach, Michael J; Hannig, Karsten; Morinière, Jérome; Hendrich, Lars


    As molecular identification method, DNA barcoding based on partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences has been proven to be a useful tool for species determination in many insect taxa including ground beetles. In this study we tested the effectiveness of DNA barcodes to discriminate species of the ground beetle genus Bembidion and some closely related taxa of Germany. DNA barcodes were obtained from 819 individuals and 78 species, including sequences from previous studies as well as more than 300 new generated DNA barcodes. We found a 1:1 correspondence between BIN and traditionally recognized species for 69 species (89%). Low interspecific distances with maximum pairwise K2P values below 2.2% were found for three species pairs, including two species pairs with haplotype sharing (Bembidion atrocaeruleum/Bembidion varicolor and Bembidion guttula/Bembidion mannerheimii). In contrast to this, deep intraspecific sequence divergences with distinct lineages were revealed for two species (Bembidion geniculatum/Ocys harpaloides). Our study emphasizes the use of DNA barcodes for the identification of the analyzed ground beetles species and represents an important step in building-up a comprehensive barcode library for the Carabidae in Germany and Central Europe as well.

  18. Evolution of insect P450. (United States)

    Feyereisen, R


    The first fully sequenced insect genomes were those of the fruitfly and the mosquito, both from the order Diptera. Now, with an increasing number and diversity of insect genomes becoming available, the diversity of insect P450 genes can be better appreciated and tentative ideas about the evolution of the CYP (cytochrome P450) superfamily in insects can be proposed. There are four large clades of insect P450 genes that existed before the divergence of the class Insecta and that are also represented by CYP families in vertebrates: the CYP2 clade, the CYP3 clade, the CYP4 clade and the mitochondrial P450 clade. P450s with known or suspected physiological functions are present in each of these clades and only a dozen genes appear to have orthologues or very close paralogues in each insect genome. P450 enzymes from each of these clades have been linked to insecticide resistance or to the metabolism of natural products and xenobiotics. In particular, insects appear to maintain a repertoire of mitochondrial P450 paralogues devoted to the response to environmental challenges.

  19. The autoregulatory loop: A common mechanism of regulation of key sex determining genes in insects. (United States)

    Sawanth, Suresh Kumar; Gopinath, Gajula; Sambrani, Nagraj; Arunkumar, Kallare P


    Sex determination in most insects is structured as a gene cascade, wherein a primary signal is passed through a series of sex-determining genes, culminating in a downstream double-switch known as doublesex that decides the sexual fate of the embryo. From the literature available on sex determination cascades, it becomes apparent that sex determination mechanisms have evolved rapidly. The primary signal that provides the cue to determine the sex of the embryo varies remarkably, not only among taxa, but also within taxa. Furthermore, the upstream key gene in the cascade also varies between species and even among closely related species. The order Insecta alone provides examples of astoundingly complex diversity of upstream key genes in sex determination mechanisms. Besides, unlike key upstream genes, the downstream double-switch gene is alternatively spliced to form functional sex-specific isoforms. This sex-specific splicing is conserved across insect taxa. The genes involved in the sex determination cascade such as Sex-lethal (Sxl) in Drosophila melanogaster, transformer (tra) in many other dipterans, coleopterans and hymenopterans, Feminizer (fem) in Apis mellifera, and IGF-II mRNA-binding protein (Bmimp) in Bombyx mori are reported to be regulated by an autoregulatory positive feedback loop. In this review, by taking examples from various insects, we propose the hypothesis that autoregulatory loop mechanisms of sex determination might be a general strategy. We also discuss the possible reasons for the evolution of autoregulatory loops in sex determination cascades and their impact on binary developmental choices.

  20. The autoregulatory loop: A common mechanism of regulation of key sex determining genes in insects

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Suresh Kumar Kumar; Gajula Gopinath; Nagraj Sambrani; Kallare P Arunkumar


    Sex determination in most insects is structured as a gene cascade, wherein a primary signal is passed through a series of sex-determining genes, culminating in a downstream double-switch known as doublesex that decides the sexual fate of the embryo. From the literature available on sex determination cascades, it becomes apparent that sex determination mechanisms have evolved rapidly. The primary signal that provides the cue to determine the sex of the embryo varies remarkably, not only among taxa, but also within taxa. Furthermore, the upstream key gene in the cascade also varies between species and even among closely related species. The order Insecta alone provides examples of astoundingly complex diversity of upstream key genes in sex determination mechanisms. Besides, unlike key upstream genes, the downstream double-switch gene is alternatively spliced to form functional sex-specific isoforms. This sex-specific splicing is conserved across insect taxa. The genes involved in the sex determination cascade such as Sex-lethal (Sxl) in Drosophila melanogaster, transformer (tra) in many other dipterans, coleopterans and hymenopterans, Feminizer (fem) in Apis mellifera, and IGF-II mRNA-binding protein (Bmimp) in Bombyx mori are reported to be regulated by an autoregulatory positive feedback loop. In this review, by taking examples from various insects, we propose the hypothesis that autoregulatory loop mechanisms of sex determination might be a general strategy. We also discuss the possible reasons for the evolution of autoregulatory loops in sex determination cascades and their impact on binary developmental choices.

  1. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Itterbeeck Joost


    Full Text Available Abstract Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin.

  2. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective. (United States)

    Van Itterbeeck, Joost; van Huis, Arnold


    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin.

  3. Characterization of an ancient lepidopteran lateral gene transfer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Wheeler

    Full Text Available Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31 from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65-145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea. Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material.

  4. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects. (United States)

    Mitterboeck, T Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J


    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne.

  5. Bioluminescence in the ghost fungus Omphalotus nidiformis does not attract potential spore dispersing insects. (United States)

    Weinstein, Philip; Delean, Steven; Wood, Tom; Austin, Andrew D


    Bioluminescence has been known from fungi since ancient times, but little work has been done to establish its potential role. There is evidence that some bioluminescent fungi differentially attract potential spore-dispersing insects, and we aimed to establish if this was the case for the ghost fungus, Omphalotus nidiformis (Agaricales,Marasmiaceae), a widespread Australian temperate zone species. We examined three corroborative lines of evidence: circadian rhythmicity of bioluminescence; field-recorded insect abundance at the time of basidiome production; and attractiveness of glowing fungi to flying insects. Basidiomes glowed continuously day and night, and were present in winter (June-July) when insect abundance was low. To assess attractiveness, we deployed sticky-traps in open woodland in the absence of light pollution, in Treatment (baited with fresh bioluminescent O. nidiformis) and Control pairs, for 480 trap-hours on moonless nights. There was no statistical difference in mean insect abundance between Treatment and Control traps (mean 0.33 and 0.54 individuals per trap night, respectively). To interpret these results, we provide a brief review of competing hypotheses for fungal bioluminescence, and conclude that for some fungi, bioluminescence may be an incidental by-product of metabolism rather than conferring any selective advantage. It is possible that the role of bioluminescence differs among evolutionary lineages of fungi and/or with attributes of their growth environments that could affect spore dispersal, such as wind and insect abundance.

  6. Seed Germination of selected Taxa from Kachchh Desert, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinay Madhukar RAOLE


    Full Text Available The district of Kachchh contains many culturally important plants. However, their conservation status is little known due to direct and indirect human activities. This study was undertaken with the aim of contributing to the conservation of the native species of these semi-arid regions through germination trials under laboratory conditions. Mature fruits of ten selected species were collected randomly from the known habitats to obtain viable seeds. These seeds were pre-treated with growth regulators singly or in combination after acid scarification or without scarification. Seeds were found to be dormant due to presence of thick seed coat or due to low level of endogenous hormonal level. Most of these seeds required different storage period to mature. Only seeds of Capparis cartilaginea germinated without treatment while the other species required treatments. Addition of growth regulators has enhanced seed germination in few taxa singly and in some plant cases in combination.

  7. Two jasmine (Oleaceae: Jasminum L. taxa newly recorded in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bui Hong Quang


    Full Text Available Two Jasminum taxa i.e. J. hongshuihoense and Jasminum laurifolium var. brachylobum are reported as a new record for the flora of Vietnam. J. hongshuihoense was hitherto known as endemic to China. It differs from the closely related species J. eberhardtii in having more number (4-10 of primary veins and lesser (5-8 calyx lobes. J. laurifolium var. brachylobum is closely allied to J. laurifolium var. laurifolium but it differs in having more flowers in cymes (i.e.1-8 flowers and calyx lobes (i.e. 6-10. Description and color photographs are provided for species identification. Furthermore, a comparison of the diagnostic characters with those of related species is made.

  8. From Here I Walked into Ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Manman


    @@ When I was a little girl, I had heard about the eighth world wonder - terra cotta warriors in Qin Emperor Mausoleum.I have been wishing to visit there to see those magnificent scene which were created thousands of years ago.While with my age added, I gradually learned the terra cotta warriors were lust only one of many ancient marks of Xi'an, which once was capital of 13 dynasties in ancient China.Xi'an actually is a carrier of ancient China culture, where I walked from the modern world to the ancient China.

  9. Metagenomic analysis of taxa associated with Lutzomyia longipalpis, vector of visceral leishmaniasis, using an unbiased high-throughput approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina B McCarthy


    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is one of the most diverse and complex of all vector-borne diseases worldwide. It is caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, obligate intramacrophage protists characterised by diversity and complexity. Its most severe form is visceral leishmaniasis (VL, a systemic disease that is fatal if left untreated. In Latin America VL is caused by Leishmania infantum chagasi and transmitted by Lutzomyia longipalpis. This phlebotomine sandfly is only found in the New World, from Mexico to Argentina. In South America, migration and urbanisation have largely contributed to the increase of VL as a public health problem. Moreover, the first VL outbreak was recently reported in Argentina, which has already caused 7 deaths and 83 reported cases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An inventory of the microbiota associated with insect vectors, especially of wild specimens, would aid in the development of novel strategies for controlling insect vectors. Given the recent VL outbreak in Argentina and the compelling need to develop appropriate control strategies, this study focused on wild male and female Lu. longipalpis from an Argentine endemic (Posadas, Misiones and a Brazilian non-endemic (Lapinha Cave, Minas Gerais VL location. Previous studies on wild and laboratory reared female Lu. longipalpis have described gut bacteria using standard bacteriological methods. In this study, total RNA was extracted from the insects and submitted to high-throughput pyrosequencing. The analysis revealed the presence of sequences from bacteria, fungi, protist parasites, plants and metazoans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first time an unbiased and comprehensive metagenomic approach has been used to survey taxa associated with an infectious disease vector. The identification of gregarines suggested they are a possible efficient control method under natural conditions. Ongoing studies are determining the significance of the associated taxa found

  10. Ancient Indian Leaps into Mathematics

    CERN Document Server

    Yadav, B S


    This book presents contributions of mathematicians covering topics from ancient India, placing them in the broader context of the history of mathematics. Although the translations of some Sanskrit mathematical texts are available in the literature, Indian contributions are rarely presented in major Western historical works. Yet some of the well-known and universally-accepted discoveries from India, including the concept of zero and the decimal representation of numbers, have made lasting contributions to the foundation of modern mathematics. Through a systematic approach, this book examines th

  11. Chinese Ancient Football with Romanticism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    江凌; 李晓勤


    Like other traditional Chinese sports, the ancient Chinese football, which used to be called “cuju”, has some differences from several sports in western countries concerning cultural and hamanist purport as well as metal aspiration, although it was similar with modern football to some extent, such as a leather-made ball with a bladder, rectangle sports ground, referee, goal and certain competitiveness. The author tries to talk about such difference in cultural and humanist purport as well as mental aspiration by making a comparison between “cuju” and modern football.

  12. Radar Observation of Insects - Mosquitoes (United States)

    Frost, E.; Downing, J.


    Tests were conducted at several sites over the coastal lowlands of New Jersey and over a region of high plains and low mountains in Oklahoma. In one area, a salt marsh in New Jersey, extensive ground tests were combined with laboratory data on expected insect backscatter to arrive at an extremely convincing model of the insect origin of most Dot Angels. A great deal of insight was studied from radar on the buildup and dispersal of insect swarms, since radar can follow where other means of trapping and observation cannot. Data on large-scale behavior as a function of wind and topography are presented. Displayed techniques which show individual or small swarm motion within some larger cloud or mass, or which can show the overall motion over great distances were developed. The influence of wind and terrain on insect motion and dispersal is determined from radar data.

  13. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren


    Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar....... Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight......, defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce...

  14. Insect symbionts in food webs (United States)

    Henry, Lee M.


    Recent research has shown that the bacterial endosymbionts of insects are abundant and diverse, and that they have numerous different effects on their hosts' biology. Here we explore how insect endosymbionts might affect the structure and dynamics of insect communities. Using the obligate and facultative symbionts of aphids as an example, we find that there are multiple ways that symbiont presence might affect food web structure. Many symbionts are now known to help their hosts escape or resist natural enemy attack, and others can allow their hosts to withstand abiotic stress or affect host plant use. In addition to the direct effect of symbionts on aphid phenotypes there may be indirect effects mediated through trophic and non-trophic community interactions. We believe that by using data from barcoding studies to identify bacterial symbionts, this extra, microbial dimension to insect food webs can be better elucidated. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481779

  15. Eicosanoid actions in insect immunology (United States)

    In this chapter we review eicosanoid actions in insect immunity. Eicosanoids are oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic acid (AA) and two other C20 polyunsaturated polyunsaturated fatty acids. Groups of eicosanoids include prostaglandins, lipoxygenase products and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. These ...

  16. Learning and cognition in insects. (United States)

    Giurfa, Martin


    Insects possess small brains but exhibit sophisticated behavioral performances. Recent works have reported the existence of unsuspected cognitive capabilities in various insect species, which go beyond the traditional studied framework of simple associative learning. In this study, I focus on capabilities such as attention, social learning, individual recognition, concept learning, and metacognition, and discuss their presence and mechanistic bases in insects. I analyze whether these behaviors can be explained on the basis of elemental associative learning or, on the contrary, require higher-order explanations. In doing this, I highlight experimental challenges and suggest future directions for investigating the neurobiology of higher-order learning in insects, with the goal of uncovering l architectures underlying cognitive processing.

  17. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa. (United States)

    Foote, M; Raup, D M


    The incompleteness of the fossil record hinders the inference of evolutionary rates and patterns. Here, we derive relationships among true taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and observed taxonomic ranges. We use these relationships to estimate original distributions of taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and completeness (proportion of taxa preserved), given only the observed ranges. No data on occurrences within the ranges of taxa are required. When preservation is random and the original distribution of durations is exponential, the inference of durations, preservability, and completeness is exact. However, reasonable approximations are possible given non-exponential duration distributions and temporal and taxonomic variation in preservability. Thus, the approaches we describe have great potential in studies of taphonomy, evolutionary rates and patterns, and genealogy. Analyses of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician trilobite species, Paleozoic crinoid genera, Jurassic bivalve species, and Cenozoic mammal species yield the following results: (1) The preservation probability inferred from stratigraphic ranges alone agrees with that inferred from the analysis of stratigraphic gaps when data on the latter are available. (2) Whereas median durations based on simple tabulations of observed ranges are biased by stratigraphic resolution, our estimates of median duration, extinction rate, and completeness are not biased.(3) The shorter geologic ranges of mammalian species relative to those of bivalves cannot be attributed to a difference in preservation potential. However, we cannot rule out the contribution of taxonomic practice to this difference. (4) In the groups studied, completeness (proportion of species [trilobites, bivalves, mammals] or genera [crinoids] preserved) ranges from 60% to 90%. The higher estimates of completeness at smaller geographic scales support previous suggestions that the incompleteness of the fossil record reflects loss of

  18. Identification of Erythroxylum taxa by AFLP DNA analysis. (United States)

    Johnson, Emanuel L; Saunders, James A; Mischke, Sue; Helling, Charles S; Emche, Stephen D


    Erythroxylum coca, indigenous to the Andean region of South America, is grown historically as a source of homeopathic medicine. However, in the last century, cultivation of E. coca and several closely-related species for the production of illicit cocaine has become a major global problem. Two subspecies, E. coca var. coca and E. coca var. ipadu, are almost indistinguishable phenotypically; a related cocaine-bearing species also has two subspecies (E. novogranatense var. novogranatense and E. novogranatense var. truxillense) that are phenotypically similar, but morphologically distinguishable. The purpose of this research was to discover unique AFLP DNA patterns ("genetic fingerprinting") that characterize the four taxa and then, if successful, to evaluate this approach for positive identification of the various species of coca. Of seven different AFLP primer pairs tested, a combination of five proved optimal in differentiating the four taxa as well as a non-cocaine-bearing species, E. aerolatum. This method of DNA fragment separation was selective, and faster, for coca identification, compared with analyses based on flavonoid chemotaxonomy. Using the 5-primer AFLP approach, 132 known and unknown coca leaf accessions were evaluated. Of these, 38 were collected in 1997-2001 from illicit coca fields in Colombia, and all were genetically differentiated from coca originating in Peru and Bolivia. Based on the DNA profiling, we believe that the Colombian coca now represents a hybridization of E. coca var. ipadu. Geographical profiling within Colombia also seems feasible as new coca production areas are developed or new types of coca are introduced within traditional growing areas.

  19. Ultrastructural and molecular characterization of a bacterial symbiosis in the ecologically important scale insect family Coelostomidiidae. (United States)

    Dhami, Manpreet K; Turner, Adrian P; Deines, Peter; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Taylor, Michael W


    Scale insects are important ecologically and as agricultural pests. The majority of scale insect taxa feed exclusively on plant phloem sap, which is carbon rich but deficient in essential amino acids. This suggests that, as seen in the related aphids and psyllids, scale insect nutrition might also depend upon bacterial symbionts, yet very little is known about scale insect-bacteria symbioses. We report here the first identification and molecular characterization of symbiotic bacteria associated with the New Zealand giant scale Coelostomidia wairoensis, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. Dissection and FISH confirmed the location of the bacteria in large, paired, multilobate organs in the abdominal region of the insect. TEM indicated that the dominant pleomorphic bacteria were confined to bacteriocytes in the sheath-enclosed bacteriome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of three distinct bacterial types, the bacteriome-associated B-symbiont (Bacteroidetes), an Erwinia-related symbiont (Gammaproteobacteria) and Wolbachia sp. (Alphaproteobacteria). This study extends the current knowledge of scale insect symbionts and is the first microbiological investigation of the ecologically important coelostomidiid scales.

  20. Sensory neuroanatomy of stick insects highlights the evolutionary diversity of the orthopteroid subgenual organ complex. (United States)

    Strauß, Johannes; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard


    The subgenual organ is a scolopidial sense organ located in the tibia of many insects. In this study the neuroanatomy of the subgenual organ complex of stick insects is clarified for two species, Carausius morosus and Siyploidea sipylus. Neuronal tracing shows a subgenual organ complex that consists of a subgenual organ and a distal organ. There are no differences in neuroanatomy between the three thoracic leg pairs, and the sensory structures are highly similar in both species. A comparison of the neuroanatomy with other orthopteroid insects highlights two features unique in Phasmatodea. The subgenual organ contains a set of densely arranged sensory neurons in the anterior-ventral part of the organ, and a distal organ with 16-17 scolopidial sensilla in C. morosus and 20-22 scolopidial sensilla in S. sipylus. The somata of sensory neurons in the distal organ are organized in a linear array extending distally into the tibia, with only a few exceptions of closely associated neurons. The stick insect sense organs show a case of an elaborate scolopidial sense organ that evolved in addition to the subgenual organ. The neuroanatomy of stick insects is compared to that studied in other orthopteroid taxa (cockroaches, locusts, crickets, tettigoniids). The comparison of sensory structures indicates that elaborate scolopidial organs have evolved repeatedly among orthopteroids. The distal organ in stick insects has the highest number of sensory neurons known for distal organs so far.

  1. Nocturnal insect availability in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (United States)

    Loraine Ketzler,; Christopher Comer,; Twedt, Daniel J.


    Silviculture used to alter forest structure and thereby enhance wildlife habitat has been advocated for bottomland hardwood forest management on public conservation lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although some songbirds respond positively to these management actions to attain desired forest conditions for wildlife, the response of other species, is largely unknown. Nocturnal insects are a primary prey base for bats, thereby influencing trophic interactions within hardwood forests. To better understand how silviculture influences insect availability for bats, we conducted vegetation surveys and sampled insect biomass within silviculturally treated bottomland hardwood forest stands. We used passive blacklight traps to capture nocturnal flying insects in 64 treated and 64 untreated reference stands, located on 15 public conservation areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dead wood and silvicultural treatments were positively associated with greater biomass of macro-Lepidoptera, macro-Coleoptera, and all insect taxa combined. Biomass of micro-Lepidoptera was negatively associated with silvicultural treatment but comprised only a small proportion of total biomass. Understanding the response of nocturnal insects to wildlife-forestry silviculture provides insight for prescribed silvicultural management affecting bat species.

  2. Clinical Application of Insect Drugs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钟洪; 赵洁


    @@ Chinese insect drugs are drastic in nature, capable ofclearing channels and collaterals to promote a freeflow of qi and blood, and effective in someintractable and obstinate diseases due to long-termstagnation of phlegm and blood, which are hard to betreated by ordinary Chinese drugs. In clinic, properuse of insect drugs can often help raise thetherapeutic effects. Some commonly used pairs ofinsect drugs are introduced in the following.

  3. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens. (United States)


    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  4. How Do Insects Help the Environment? (United States)

    Hevel, Gary


    There are some 5 to 30 million insect species estimated in the world--and the majority of these have yet to be collected or named by science! Of course, the most well known insects are those that cause disease or compete for human agricultural products, but these insects represent only a small fraction of the world's insect population. In reality,…

  5. Shrub-inhabiting insects of the 200 Area Plateau, southcentral Washington.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, L.E.


    This study characterizes the insects (including spiders) associated with major shrubs of the 200 Area Plateau on the Hanford Site in southcentral Washington. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus sp.) and hopsage (Grayia spinosa) were the three shrubs included in the study. Hemiptera (true bugs) and homoptera (bugs) were the two groups most abundant on sagebrush. Homoptera and Araneida (spiders) were the common inhabitants of rabbitbrush, and Orthoptera (grasshoppers), Coleoptera (beetles), and Araneida the taxa most frequently collected from hopsage. A discussion of the effects of insects on western native shrubs is included. None of the insect populations appeared to threaten the stability of shrub stands, which is important because of the erodability of 200 Area soils.

  6. Issues of convection in insect respiration: Insights from synchrotron X-ray imaging and beyond

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Socha, John J.; Förster, Thomas D.; Greenlee, Kendra J. (Humboldt); (Virginia Tech); (NDSU)


    While it has long been known that in small animals, such as insects, sufficient gas transport could be provided by diffusion, it is now recognized that animals generate and control convective flows to improve oxygen delivery across a range of body sizes and taxa. However, size-based methodological limitations have constrained our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the production of these convective flows. Recently, new techniques have enabled the elucidation of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that contribute to creating and maintaining bulk flow in small animals. In particular, synchrotron X-ray imaging provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of internal functional morphology and is changing the way we understand gas exchange in insects. This symposium highlights recent efforts towards understanding the relationship between form, function, and control in the insect respiratory system.

  7. Issues of convection in insect respiration: insights from synchrotron X-ray imaging and beyond. (United States)

    Socha, John J; Förster, Thomas D; Greenlee, Kendra J


    While it has long been known that in small animals, such as insects, sufficient gas transport could be provided by diffusion, it is now recognized that animals generate and control convective flows to improve oxygen delivery across a range of body sizes and taxa. However, size-based methodological limitations have constrained our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the production of these convective flows. Recently, new techniques have enabled the elucidation of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that contribute to creating and maintaining bulk flow in small animals. In particular, synchrotron X-ray imaging provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of internal functional morphology and is changing the way we understand gas exchange in insects. This symposium highlights recent efforts towards understanding the relationship between form, function, and control in the insect respiratory system.

  8. Oviposition pheromones in haematophagous insects. (United States)

    Seenivasagan, T; Vijayaraghavan, R


    Pheromones influencing oviposition behavior in females of haematophagous insects have been the interest of recent past by many group of scientists working on oviposition pheromones. Finding and choosing a good site for oviposition is a challenging task for females of haematophagous insects, especially in those insects which does not have the parental care. Their decisions have far-reaching and profound consequences for the life history of the offspring. In such blood feeding insects, the choice of oviposition site is affected by pheromones, which may function either as deterrents or stimulants in short range, while they may also act as repellents or attractants in long range perception. During the location of a suitable oviposition site for egg laying or a potential host for blood feeding, haematophagous insects mainly use olfactory and visual cues. These pheromones are produced by the ovipositing female or by conspecific larvae co-occurring with gravid females. Adult females detect oviposition pheromones by odor receptors on the antennae, as well as by contact chemoreceptors on tarsi, mouthparts and antennae. Different cues exploited by gravid females from a diversified arena include egg, larva, habitat, microbes, infusions and plant produced volatiles influence the oviposition behavior. Traps baited with pheromones, infusions, and insecticides shall be promising tools for monitoring and control of target insect using integrated vector management strategies.

  9. Genetic tests of ancient asexuality in Root Knot Nematodes reveal recent hybrid origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lunt David H


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The existence of "ancient asexuals", taxa that have persisted for long periods of evolutionary history without sexual recombination, is both controversial and important for our understanding of the evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction. A lack of sex has consequences not only for the ecology of the asexual organism but also for its genome. Several genetic signatures are predicted from long-term asexual (apomictic reproduction including (i large "allelic" sequence divergence (ii lack of phylogenetic clustering of "alleles" within morphological species and (iii decay and loss of genes specific to meiosis and sexual reproduction. These genetic signatures can be hard to assess since it is difficult to demonstrate the allelic nature of very divergent sequences, divergence levels may be complicated by processes such as inter-specific hybridization, and genes may have secondary roles unrelated to sexual reproduction. Apomictic species of Meloidogyne root knot nematodes have been suggested previously to be ancient asexuals. Their relatives reproduce by meiotic parthenogenesis or facultative sexuality, which in combination with the abundance of nematode genomic sequence data, makes them a powerful system in which to study the consequences of reproductive mode on genomic divergence. Results Here, sequences from nuclear protein-coding genes are used to demonstrate that the first two predictions of ancient asexuality are found within the apomictic root knot nematodes. Alleles are more divergent in the apomictic taxa than in those species exhibiting recombination and do not group phylogenetically according to recognized species. In contrast some nuclear alleles, and mtDNA, are almost identical across species. Sequencing of Major Sperm Protein, a gamete-specific gene, from both meiotic and ameiotic species reveals no increase in evolutionary rate nor change in substitution pattern in the apomictic taxa, indicating that the locus

  10. Foreign Guests in Ancient Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zora Žbontar


    Full Text Available Xenía was a special relationship between a foreign guest and his host in Ancient Greece. The ritual of hosting a foreigner included an exchange of objects, feasting, and the establishment of friendship between people from different social backgrounds. This relationship implied trust, loyalty, friendship, and mutual aid between the people involved. Goods and services were also exchanged without any form of payment. There were no formal laws governing xenía – it was based entirely on a moral appeal. Mutual appreciation between the host and the guest was established during the ritual, but the host did retain a certain level of superiority over the guest. Xenía was one of the most important institutions in Ancient Greece. It had a lot of features and obligations similar to kinship and marriage. In literary sources the word xénos varies in meaning from “enemy stranger”, “friendly stranger”, “foreigner”, “guest”, “host” to “ritual friend”, and it is often hard to tell which usage is appropriate in a given passage. The paper describes the emphasis on hospitality towards foreigners. It presents an example of a depiction indicating xenía is presented, as well as several objects which were traded during the ritual. The paper also addresses the importance of hospitality in Greek drama in general, especially with examples of violations of the hospitality code.

  11. [Ancient history of Indian pharmacy]. (United States)

    Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko


    The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism.

  12. Can insects develop resistance to insect pathogenic fungi? (United States)

    Dubovskiy, Ivan M; Whitten, Miranda M A; Yaroslavtseva, Olga N; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y; Grizanova, Ekaterina V; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V; Butt, Tariq M


    Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25(th) generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host's own immune responses.

  13. Can insects develop resistance to insect pathogenic fungi?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan M Dubovskiy

    Full Text Available Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25(th generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant and non-selected (susceptible insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity. A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host's own immune responses.

  14. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia (United States)

    Bullough, Vern L.


    The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…

  15. Women--Sex Objects in Ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Mutimer, Brian T. P.

    Although it has been said that the women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed a reasonable state of social and professional equality with men, this paper presents an alternate theory--that women were second-class citizens whose physical prowess was secondary to their role as sex objects. It appears that men and women in Ancient Egypt often participated in the…

  16. The Idea of Ancient Greek Philosophy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    As the source of western philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy had a profound influence on western philosophy. Ancient philosophers were hard to reach a consensus on the existence of all the things in the world. They tried to grasp the profound understanding of the world, which is the clue of the history of philosophy.

  17. Mechanisms in ancient Chinese books with illustrations

    CERN Document Server

    Hsiao, Kuo-Hung


    This book presents a unique approach for studying mechanisms and machines with drawings that were depicted unclearly in ancient Chinese books. The historical, cultural and technical backgrounds of the mechanisms are explained, and various mechanisms described and illustrated in ancient books are introduced. By utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern mechanisms, all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically. Ancient Chinese crossbows (the original crossbow and repeating crossbows), textile mechanisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning mechanisms, and looms), and many other artisan's tool mechanisms are used as illustrated examples.  Such an approach provides a logical method for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to further identify the original structures of mechanisms...

  18. Structural recognition of ancient Chinese ideographic characters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Ning; Chen Dan


    Ancient Chinese characters, typically the ideographic characters on bones and bronze before Shang Dynasty (16th—11th century B.C.), are valuable culture legacy of history. However the recognition of Ancient Chinese characters has been the task of paleography experts for long. With the help of modern computer technique, everyone can expect to be able to recognize the characters and understand the ancient inscriptions. This research is aimed to help people recognize and understand those ancient Chinese characters by combining Chinese paleography theory and computer information processing technology. Based on the analysis of ancient character features, a method for structural character recognition is proposed. The important characteristics of strokes and basic components or radicals used in recognition are introduced in detail. A system was implemented based on above method to show the effectiveness of the method.

  19. Metal concentrations of insects associated with the South African Ni hyperaccumulator Berkheya coddii (Asteraceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The high levels of some metals in metal hyperaccumulator plants may be transferred to insect associates. We surveyed insects collected from the South African Ni hyperaccumulator Berkheya coddii to document whole-body metal concentrations (Co, Cr, Cu, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn). We also documented the concentrations of these metals in leaves, stems and inflorescences, finding extremely elevated levels of Ni (4 700-16 000 μg/g) and high values (5-34 μg/g) for Co, Cr, and Pb. Of 26 insect morphotypes collected from B. coddii, seven heteropterans, one coleopteran, and one orthopteran contained relatively high concentrations of Ni (> 500 μg/g). The large number of high-Ni heteropterans adds to discoveries of others (from California USA and New Caledonia) and suggests that members of this insect order may be particularly Ni tolerant. Nymphs of the orthopteran (Stenoscepa) contained 3 500 μg Ni/g, the greatest Ni concentration yet reported for an insect. We also found two beetles with elevated levels of Mg (> 2 800 μg/g), one beetle with elevated Cu (> 70 μg/g) and one heteropteran with an elevated level of Mn (> 200 μg/g). Our results show that insects feeding on a Ni hyperaccumulator can mobilize Ni into food webs, although we found no evidence of Ni biomagnification in either herbivore or carnivore insect taxa. We also conclude that some insects associated with hyperaccumulators can contain Ni levels that are high enough to be toxic to vertebrates.

  20. Comparative study of Passiflora taxa leaves: II. A chromatographic profile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luma Wosch

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Popularly known as passion fruit, some species of the genus Passiflora are widely used in folk medicines, such as sedatives and tranquilizers in many countries. Although these plants are employed for the same purposes, research with different species of Passiflora has indicated their heterogeneous chemical compositions. Since different chemical compositions can result in varying degrees of therapeutic efficiency, quality control based on the chemical constituents of each species is essential. To that end, the aim of this study was to compare pharmacognostically species of Passiflora in order to establish a chromatographic profile for the quality control of drugs in herbal medicines containing passion fruit. The study was conducted by collecting samples of leaves from twelve Passiflora taxa (i.e., ten species and two forms of P. edulis – P. actinia, P. alata, P. amethystina, P. capsularis, P. cincinnata, P. edulis f. flavicarpa, P. edulis f. edulis, P. incarnata, P. morifolia, P. urnifolia, P. coccinea, and P. setacea – from different locations and obtaining their chromatographic profiles via thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. Both methods used the flavonoid C-glycosides isoorientin, orientin, vitexin, and isovitexin as reference compounds and could ultimately establish specific profiles for each species. The chromatographic analyses discussed here can be used to assist in determining the quality and authenticity of herbal drugs derived from Passiflora species.

  1. DNA barcoding and taxonomy: dark taxa and dark texts. (United States)

    Page, Roderic D M


    Both classical taxonomy and DNA barcoding are engaged in the task of digitizing the living world. Much of the taxonomic literature remains undigitized. The rise of open access publishing this century and the freeing of older literature from the shackles of copyright have greatly increased the online availability of taxonomic descriptions, but much of the literature of the mid- to late-twentieth century remains offline ('dark texts'). DNA barcoding is generating a wealth of computable data that in many ways are much easier to work with than classical taxonomic descriptions, but many of the sequences are not identified to species level. These 'dark taxa' hamper the classical method of integrating biodiversity data, using shared taxonomic names. Voucher specimens are a potential common currency of both the taxonomic literature and sequence databases, and could be used to help link names, literature and sequences. An obstacle to this approach is the lack of stable, resolvable specimen identifiers. The paper concludes with an appeal for a global 'digital dashboard' to assess the extent to which biodiversity data are available online.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'.

  2. Drosophila's view on insect vision. (United States)

    Borst, Alexander


    Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.

  3. Insect Cell Culture and Biotechnology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Robert R.Granados; Guoxun Li; G.W.Blissard


    The continued development of new cell culture technology is essential for the future growth and application of insect cell and baculovirus biotechnology. The use of cell lines for academic research and for commercial applications is currently dominated by two cell lines; the Spodoptera frugiperda line, SF21 (and its clonal isolate, SF9), and the Trichoplusia ni line, BTI 5B1-4, commercially known as High Five cells. The long perceived prediction that the immense potential application of the baculovirus-insect cell system, as a tool in cell and molecular biology, agriculture, and animal health, has been achieved. The versatility and recent applications of this popular expression system has been demonstrated by both academia and industry and it is clear that this cell-based system has been widely accepted for biotechnological applications. Numerous small to midsize startup biotechnology companies in North America and the Europe are currently using the baculovirus-insect cell technology to produce custom recombinant proteins for research and commercial applications. The recent breakthroughs using the baculovirus-insect cell-based system for the development of several commercial products that will impact animal and human health will further enhance interest in this technology by pharma. Clearly, future progress in novel cell and engineering advances will lead to fundamental scientific discoveries and serve to enhance the utility and applications of this baculovirus-insect cell system.

  4. [Anomalous pregnancies in ancient medicine]. (United States)

    Gazzaniga, Valentina


    In ancient Greek medicine female physiology is determined by a particular state of non-steady equilibrium, largely based on pregnancy and lactation, presented as the only balanced and healthy periods in women's life. Nonetheless, pregnancy can be also a pathological moment, in particular referring to specific alterations of its 'normal time' ('seven-months', 'eight-months' and 'ten-months' children). The article analyzes the well-known case of myle, an abnormal pregnancy developing in three and sometimes four years, non resolving in a normal delivery, but often in a dramatic haemorrhagic flux. The author compares Hippocratic and Aristotelic testimonies about myle and abnormal pregnancies with the evidence fournished by the historical-religious recent studies about Hera and her parthenogenetic, monstrous children.

  5. Detecting hybridization using ancient DNA. (United States)

    Schaefer, Nathan K; Shapiro, Beth; Green, Richard E


    It is well established that related species hybridize and that this can have varied but significant effects on speciation and environmental adaptation. It should therefore come as no surprise that hybridization is not limited to species that are alive today. In the last several decades, advances in technologies for recovering and sequencing DNA from fossil remains have enabled the assembly of high-coverage genome sequences for a growing diversity of organisms, including many that are extinct. Thanks to the development of new statistical approaches for detecting and quantifying admixture from genomic data, genomes from extinct populations have proven useful both in revealing previously unknown hybridization events and informing the study of hybridization between living organisms. Here, we review some of the key recent statistical innovations for detecting ancient hybridization using genomewide sequence data and discuss how these innovations have revised our understanding of human evolutionary history.

  6. [Being old in ancient Hellas]. (United States)

    van Hooff, A J


    There is room for a more balanced view of old age among the ancient Greeks than is furnished by De Beauvoir's la Vieillesse and other more or less one-sided publications. The old body was despised by the Greeks of classical times; especially walking with three legs (tripous) was stressed as a mark of old age. The Hippocratic writings show some interest in the infirmities of elderly people. Specific psychic and intellectual qualities were not attributed to senescence: old age brought out good and bad qualities of a person more sharply than before. The share of old people in the population cannot be established with any certainty, but there was always a group of men in their sixties who had specific tasks in society. Old age was not an autonomous theme in art, it was solely accidental. The position of the elderly was challenged occasionally in democratic Athens, but it was never undermined. Old people were never marginated in classical Greece.

  7. Ancient Acupuncture Literature on Apoplexy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Yi-zeng; BI Zhen; Xiao Yuan-chun


    This paper reviews twenty-eight Chinese medicine books with complete prescriptions prior to the Qing Dynasty, and analyzes the characteristics of acupoint selection and needling manipulations from the perspective of apoplectic symptoms. It is concluded that,in ancient times, apoplexy is often treated on the basis of its symptoms and a great number of acupoints are employed; hemiplegia is mainly treated by the acupoints of the Large Intestine Meridian and Gallbladder Meridian,with two key acupoints; coma is mainly treated by first-aid acupoints and qi-supplementing acupoints, with seven key acupoints; wry mouth and convulsion are mainly treated by the local acupoints; as for needling manipulations, moxibustion with moxa cones is principally used, while needling is less used.

  8. Ancient hastisetae of Cretaceous carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in Myanmar amber. (United States)

    Poinar, George; Poinar, Roberta


    Hastisetae are extremely elaborate and intricate insect setae that occur solely on dermestid larvae (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). The present work characterizes hastisetae found in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar and compares them to hastisetae found on extant dermestid larvae. The presence of hastisetae in Myanmar amber shows that lineages of dermestid beetles had already developed hastisetae by the mid-Cretaceous and their presence allows us to follow the evolutionary development of this particular arthropod structure over the past 100 million years. Hastisetae attached to a parasitic wasp in the same piece of amber indicates that ancient dermestid beetles used their hastisetae for defense, similar to their function today.

  9. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts. (United States)

    Vea, Isabelle M; Grimaldi, David A


    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228-273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210-165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous.

  10. The endocrine system controlling sexual reproduction in animals: Part of the evolutionary ancient but well conserved immune system? (United States)

    De Loof, Arnold; Schoofs, Liliane; Huybrechts, Roger


    Drastic changes in hormone titers, in particular of steroid hormones, are intuitively interpreted as necessary and beneficial for optimal functioning of animals. Peaks in progesterone- and estradiol titers that accompany the estrus cycle in female vertebrates as well as in ecdysteroids at each molt and during metamorphosis of holometabolous insects are prominent examples. A recent analysis of insect metamorphosis yielded the view that, in general, a sharp rise in sex steroid hormone titer signals that somewhere in the body some tissue(s) is undergoing programmed cell death/apoptosis. Increased steroid production is part of this process. Typical examples are ovarian follicle cells in female vertebrates and invertebrates and the prothoracic gland cells, the main production site of ecdysteroids in larval insects. A duality emerges: programmed cell death-apoptosis is deleterious at the cellular level, but it may yield beneficial effects at the organismal level. Reconciling both opposites requires reevaluating the probable evolutionary origin and role of peptidic brain hormones that direct steroid hormone synthesis. Do e.g. Luteinizing Hormone in vertebrates and Prothoracicotropic Hormone (PTTH: acting through the Torso receptor) in insects still retain an ancient role as toxins in the early immune system? Does the functional link of some neuropeptides with Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis make sense in endocrine archeology? The endocrine system as a remnant of the ancient immune system is undoubtedly counterintuitive. Yet, we will argue that such paradigm enables the logical framing of many aspects, the endocrine one inclusive of both male and female reproductive physiology.

  11. Insects, infestations and nutrient fluxes (United States)

    Michalzik, B.


    Forest ecosystems are characterized by a high temporal and spatial variability in the vertical transfer of energy and matter within the canopy and the soil compartment. The mechanisms and controlling factors behind canopy processes and system-internal transfer dynamics are imperfectly understood at the moment. Seasonal flux diversities and inhomogeneities in throughfall composition have been reported from coniferous and deciduous forests, and in most cases leaf leaching has been considered as principle driver for differences in the amount and quality of nutrients and organic compounds (Tukey and Morgan 1963). Since herbivorous insects and the processes they initiate received less attention in past times, ecologists now emphasize the need for linking biological processes occurring in different ecosystem strata to explain rates and variability of nutrient cycling (Bardgett et al. 1998, Wardle et al. 2004). Consequently, herbivore insects in the canopies of forests are increasingly identified to play an important role for the (re)cycling and availability of nutrients, or, more generally, for the functioning of ecosystems not only in outbreak situations but also at endemic (non-outbreak) density levels (Stadler et al. 2001, Hunter et al. 2003). Before, little attention was paid to insect herbivores when quantifying element and energy fluxes through ecosystems, although the numerous and different functions insects fulfill in ecosystems (e.g. as pollinators, herbivores or detritivores) were unanimously recognized (Schowalter 2000). Amongst the reasons for this restraint was the argument that the total biomass of insects tends to be relatively low compared to the biomass of trees or the pool of soil organic matter (Ohmart et al. 1983). A second argument which was put forward to justify the inferior role of insects in nutrient cycling were the supposed low defoliation losses between 5-10% of the annual leaf biomass, or net primary production, due to insect herbivory under


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Mu-lin; MIAO Wen-bo; ZHONG Chang-sheng


    In the non-inertial coordinates attached to the model wing, the two-dimensional unsteady flow field triggered by the motion of the model wing, similar to the flapping of the insect wings, was numerically simulated. One of the advantages of our method is that it has avoided the difficulty related to the moving-boundary problem. Another advantage is that the model has three degrees of freedom and can be used to simulate arbitrary motions of a two-dimensional wing in plane only if the motion is known. Such flexibility allows us to study how insects control their flying. Our results show that there are two parameters that are possibly utilized by insects to control their flight: the phase difference between the wing translation and rotation, and the lateral amplitude of flapping along the direction perpendicular to the average flapping plane.

  13. Neurosecretion: peptidergic systems in insects (United States)

    Predel, R.; Eckert, Manfred

    Insect neuropeptides are produced in less than 1% of the cells of the central nervous system. Despite this, they are important messenger molecules which influence nearly all physiological processes, including behaviour. They can act as transmitters, modulators and classical hormones, and often exhibit pleiotropic functions when released into the haemolymph. The large number of neuropeptides that has been identified from some of the model organisms among insects underlines the complexity of the neurosecretory system; studies about the coordinated actions of these substances are in their preliminary stages. Recent advances in insect neuropeptide research will be reviewed here, concentrating on the distribution of multiple peptide forms in the central nervous system and adjacent neurohaemal organs, and the role of neuropeptides in eclosion behaviour.

  14. Integrative taxonomy for continental-scale terrestrial insect observations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cara M Gibson

    Full Text Available Although 21(st century ecology uses unprecedented technology at the largest spatio-temporal scales in history, the data remain reliant on sound taxonomic practices that derive from 18(th century science. The importance of accurate species identifications has been assessed repeatedly and in instances where inappropriate assignments have been made there have been costly consequences. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON will use a standardized system based upon an integrative taxonomic foundation to conduct observations of the focal terrestrial insect taxa, ground beetles and mosquitoes, at the continental scale for a 30 year monitoring program. The use of molecular data for continental-scale, multi-decadal research conducted by a geographically widely distributed set of researchers has not been evaluated until this point. The current paper addresses the development of a reference library for verifying species identifications at NEON and the key ways in which this resource will enhance a variety of user communities.

  15. Calcitonin-like diuretic hormones in insects. (United States)

    Zandawala, Meet


    Insect neuropeptides control various biological processes including growth, development, homeostasis and reproduction. The calcitonin-like diuretic hormone (CT/DH) is one such neuropeptide that has been shown to affect salt and water transport by Malpighian tubules of several insects. With an increase in the number of sequenced insect genomes, CT/DHs have been predicted in several insect species, making it easier to characterize the gene encoding this hormone and determine its function in the species in question. This mini review summarizes the current knowledge on insect CT/DHs, focusing on mRNA and peptide structures, distribution patterns, physiological roles, and receptors in insects.

  16. Sustaining salmonid populations: A caring understanding of naturalness of taxa (United States)

    Nielsen, J.L.; Regier, H.A.


    Species of the family of Salmonidae occur naturally in Northern Hemisphere waters that remain clear and cool to cold in summer. For purposes of reproduction, salmonids generally behaviorally respond to the currents of streams and lakes in recently glaciated areas. For feeding and maturation, many larger species migrate into existing systems of large lakes, seas, and oceans. The subfamilies include Salmoninae, Coregoninae, and Thymallinae. In many locales and regions of the hemisphere, numerous species of these subfamilies evolved and self-organized into species flocks or taxocenes of bewildering complexity. For example, any individual species may play different or unique ecological roles in different taxocenes. The northern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean ecosystems, with their seas and tributaries, each contained a metacomplex of such taxocenes that, in their natural state some centuries ago, resembled each other but differed in many ways. Humans have valued all species of this family for subsistence, ceremonial, naturalist, gustatory, angling, and commercial reasons for centuries. Modern progressive humans (MPHs), whose industrial and commercial enterprises have gradually spread over this hemisphere in recent time, now affect aquatic ecosystems at all scales from local to global. These human effects mingle in complex ways that together induce uniquely natural salmonid taxocenes to disintegrate with the loss of species, including those groups least tolerant to human manipulations, but extending more recently to those taxa more adapted to anthropogenic change. As we leave the modern era, dominated by MPHs, will we find ways to live sustainably with salmonid taxocenes that still exhibit self-organizational integrity, or will only individual, isolated populations of salmonid species, derived from those most tolerant of MPHs, survive? To achieve future sustainability of salmonids, we suggest implementation of a search for intuitive knowledge based on faith in the wisdom of

  17. Edible Insects in China: Utilization and Prospects. (United States)

    Feng, Ying; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Zhao, Min; He, Zhao; Sun, Long; Wang, Cheng-Ye; Ding, Wei-Feng


    The use of edible insects has a long history in China, where they have been consumed for more than two thousand years. In general, the level of acceptance is high for the consumption of insects in China. Many studies on edible insects have been conducted in the last twenty years, and the scope of the research includes the culture of entomophagy and the identification, nutritional value, farming and breeding of edible insects, in addition to food production and safety. Currently, 324 species of insects from 11 orders are documented that are either edible or associated with entomophagy in China, which include the common edible species, some less commonly consumed species, and some medicinal insects. However, only approximately 10 to 20 types of insects are consumed regularly. The nutritional values for 174 species are available in China, including edible, feed and medicinal species. Although the nutritional values vary among species, all the insects examined contain protein, fat, vitamins and minerals at levels that meet human nutritional requirements. Edible insects were, and continue to be, consumed by different ethnic groups in many parts of China. People directly consume insects or food products made from insects. The processing of products from insect protein powder, oil, and chitin and the development of health care foods has been studied in China. People also consume insects indirectly by eating livestock that were fed insects, which may be a more acceptable pathway to use insects in human diets. Although limited, the data on the food safety of insects indicate that insects are safe for food or feed. Incidences of allergic reactions after consuming silkworm pupae, cicades and crickets have been reported in China. Insect farming is a unique breeding industry in rural China and is a source of income for local people. Insects are reared and bred for human food, medicine and animal feed using two approaches in China: the insects are either fully domesticated and

  18. gargammel: a sequence simulator for ancient DNA. (United States)

    Renaud, Gabriel; Hanghøj, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic


    Ancient DNA has emerged as a remarkable tool to infer the history of extinct species and past populations. However, many of its characteristics, such as extensive fragmentation, damage and contamination, can influence downstream analyses. To help investigators measure how these could impact their analyses in silico, we have developed gargammel, a package that simulates ancient DNA fragments given a set of known reference genomes. Our package simulates the entire molecular process from post-mortem DNA fragmentation and DNA damage to experimental sequencing errors, and reproduces most common bias observed in ancient DNA datasets.

  19. Contaminants as habitat disturbers: PAH-driven drift by Andean paramo stream insects. (United States)

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Sousa, José P; Ochoa-Herrera, Valeria; Encalada, Andrea C; Ribeiro, Rui


    Contaminants can behave as toxicants, when toxic effects are observed in organisms, as well as habitat disturbers and fragmentors, by triggering avoidance responses and generating less- or uninhabited zones. Drift by stream insects has long been considered a mechanism to avoid contamination by moving to most favorable habitats. Given that exploration and transportation of crude oil represent a threat for surrounding ecosystems, the key goal of the present study was to assess the ability of autochthonous groups of aquatic insects from the Ecuadorian paramo streams to avoid by drift different concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) contained in the soluble fraction of locally transported crude oil. In the laboratory, different groups of insects were exposed to PAH for 12h. Three different assays, which varied in taxa and origin of the organisms, concentrations of PAH (0.6-38.8µgL(-1)), and environment settings (different levels of refuge and flow) were performed. For Anomalocosmoecus palugillensis (Limnephilidae), drift was a major cause of population decline in low concentration treatments but at higher concentrations mortality dominated. PAH was highly lethal, even at lower concentrations, for Chironomidae, Grypopterygidae (Claudioperla sp.) and Hydrobiosidae (Atopsyche sp.), and, therefore, no conclusion about drift can be drawn for these insects. Contamination by PAH showed to be a threat for benthic aquatic insects from Ecuadorian paramo streams as it can cause a population decline due to avoidance by drift and mortality.

  20. The first attested extraction of ancient DNA in legumes (Fabaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandar M. Mikić


    Full Text Available Ancient DNA (aDNA is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analysing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350 - 1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl-1 of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK and rbcL among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighbouring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide.

  1. Insect Evolution: The Origin of Wings. (United States)

    Ross, Andrew


    The debate on the evolution of wings in insects has reached a new level. The study of primitive fossil insect nymphs has revealed that wings developed from a combination of the dorsal part of the thorax and the body wall.

  2. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barrett A. Klein


    Full Text Available A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans’ dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream’s significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives.

  3. FAQ: Insect Repellent Use and Safety (United States)

    ... Mosquito Surveillance Software Health Education Public Service Videos Insect Repellent Use & Safety Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share ... the repellent with you. Top of Page Can insect repellents be used on children? Yes. Most products ...

  4. Insect response to plant defensive protease inhibitors. (United States)

    Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Zeng, Rensen


    Plant protease inhibitors (PIs) are natural plant defense proteins that inhibit proteases of invading insect herbivores. However, their anti-insect efficacy is determined not only by their potency toward a vulnerable insect system but also by the response of the insect to such a challenge. Through the long history of coevolution with their host plants, insects have developed sophisticated mechanisms to circumvent antinutritional effects of dietary challenges. Their response takes the form of changes in gene expression and the protein repertoire in cells lining the alimentary tract, the first line of defense. Research in insect digestive proteases has revealed the crucial roles they play in insect adaptation to plant PIs and has brought about a new appreciation of how phytophagous insects employ this group of molecules in both protein digestion and counterdefense. This review provides researchers in related fields an up-to-date summary of recent advances.

  5. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams. (United States)

    Klein, Barrett A


    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans' dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream's significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives.

  6. Allergic reactions to insect secretions. (United States)

    Pecquet, Catherine


    Some products derived from insects can induce allergic reactions. The main characteristics of some products from honeybees, cochineal and silkworms are summarised here. We review allergic reactions from honey-derived products (propolis, wax, royal jelly), from cochineal products (shellac and carmine) and from silk : clinical features, allergological investigations and allergens if they are known.

  7. Developmental constraint of insect audition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Strauß Johannes


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insect ears contain very different numbers of sensory cells, from only one sensory cell in some moths to thousands of sensory cells, e.g. in cicadas. These differences still await functional explanation and especially the large numbers in cicadas remain puzzling. Insects of the different orders have distinct developmental sequences for the generation of auditory organs. These sensory cells might have different functions depending on the developmental stages. Here we propose that constraints arising during development are also important for the design of insect ears and might influence cell numbers of the adults. Presentation of the hypothesis We propose that the functional requirements of the subadult stages determine the adult complement of sensory units in the auditory system of cicadas. The hypothetical larval sensory organ should function as a vibration receiver, representing a functional caenogenesis. Testing the hypothesis Experiments at different levels have to be designed to test the hypothesis. Firstly, the neuroanatomy of the larval sense organ should be analyzed to detail. Secondly, the function should be unraveled neurophysiologically and behaviorally. Thirdly, the persistence of the sensory cells and the rebuilding of the sensory organ to the adult should be investigated. Implications of the hypothesis Usually, the evolution of insect ears is viewed with respect to physiological and neuronal mechanisms of sound perception. This view should be extended to the development of sense organs. Functional requirements during postembryonic development may act as constraints for the evolution of adult organs, as exemplified with the auditory system of cicadas.

  8. Edible insects are the future?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van Arnold


    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of

  9. Anaphylaxis to Insect Venom Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollert, Markus; Blank, Simon


    Anaphylaxis due to Hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe consequences of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, diagnostic tests are still hampered......, and to contribute to the understanding of the immunological mechanisms elicited by insect venoms....

  10. Phylogenomic Dating-A Method of Constraining the Age of Microbial Taxa That Lack a Conventional Fossil Record (United States)

    Blank, Carrine E.


    A phylogenomic dating approach was used to identify potential age constraints for multiple archaeal groups, many of which have no fossil, isotopic, or biomarker record. First, well-resolved phylogenetic trees were inferred with the use of multiple gene sequences obtained from whole genome sequences. Next, the ability to use oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor was coded into characters, and ancestral state reconstruction was used to identify clades with taxa that metabolize oxygen and likely had an aerobic ancestor. Next, the habitat of the ancestor was inferred. If the local presence of Cyanobacteria could be excluded from the putative ancestral habitat, then these clades would have originated after the rise in atmospheric oxygen 2.32 Ga. With this method, an upper age of 2.32 Ga (an "oxygen age constraint") is proposed for four major archaeal clades: the Sulfolobales, Thermoplasmatales, Thermoproteus neutrophilus/Pyrobaculum spp., and the Thermoproteales. It was also shown that the halophilic archaea likely had an aerobic common ancestor, yet the possibility of local oxygen oases before oxygenation of the atmosphere could not be formally rejected. Thus, an oxygen age constraint was not assessed for this group. This work suggests that many archaeal groups are not as ancient as many in the research community have previously assumed, and it provides a new method for establishing upper age constraints for major microbial groups that lack a conventional fossil record.

  11. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan A. Coddington


    Full Text Available The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios “barcodes” (whether single or multiple, organelle or nuclear, loci clearly are an increasingly fast and inexpensive method of identification, especially as compared to manual identification of unknowns by increasingly rare expert taxonomists. Because most species on Earth are undescribed, a complete reference database at the species level is impractical in the near term. The question therefore arises whether unidentified species can, using DNA barcodes, be accurately assigned to more inclusive groups such as genera and families—taxonomic ranks of putatively monophyletic groups for which the global inventory is more complete and stable. We used a carefully chosen test library of CO1 sequences from 49 families, 313 genera, and 816 species of spiders to assess the accuracy of genus and family-level assignment. We used BLAST queries of each sequence against the entire library and got the top ten hits. The percent sequence identity was reported from these hits (PIdent, range 75–100%. Accurate assignment of higher taxa (PIdent above which errors totaled less than 5% occurred for genera at PIdent values >95 and families at PIdent values ≥ 91, suggesting these as heuristic thresholds for accurate generic and familial identifications in spiders. Accuracy of identification increases with numbers of species/genus and genera/family in the library; above five genera per family and fifteen species per genus all higher taxon assignments were correct. We propose that using percent sequence identity between conventional barcode sequences may be a feasible and reasonably accurate method to identify animals to family/genus. However

  12. Buckling failures in insect exoskeletons. (United States)

    Parle, Eoin; Herbaj, Simona; Sheils, Fiona; Larmon, Hannah; Taylor, David


    Thin walled tubes are often used for load-bearing structures, in nature and in engineering, because they offer good resistance to bending and torsion at relatively low weight. However, when loaded in bending they are prone to failure by buckling. It is difficult to predict the loading conditions which cause buckling, especially for tubes whose cross sections are not simple shapes. Insights into buckling prevention might be gained by studying this phenomenon in the exoskeletons of insects and other arthropods. We investigated the leg segments (tibiae) of five different insects: the locust (Schistocerca gergaria), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), death's head cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis), stick insect (Parapachymorpha zomproi) and bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax). These were tested to failure in cantilever bending and modelled using finite element analysis (FEA). The tibiae of the locust and the cockroaches were found to be approximately circular in shape. Their buckling loads were well predicted by linear elastic FEA, and also by one of the analytical solutions available in the literature for elastic buckling. The legs of the stick insect are also circular in cross section but have several prominent longitudinal ridges. We hypothesised that these ridges might protect the legs against buckling but we found that this was not the case: the loads necessary for elastic buckling were not reached in practice because yield occurred in the material, causing plastic buckling. The legs of bees have a non-circular cross section due to a pollen-carrying feature (the corbicula). We found that this did not significantly affect their resistance to buckling. Our results imply that buckling is the dominant failure mode in the tibia of insects; it likely to be a significant consideration for other arthropods and any organisms with stiff exoskeletons. The interactions displayed here between material properties and cross sectional geometry may provide insights for the

  13. Aiding the Interpretation of Ancient Documents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roued-Cunliffe, Henriette

    How can Decision Support System (DSS) software aid the interpretation process involved in the reading of ancient documents? This paper discusses the development of a DSS prototype for the reading of ancient texts. In this context the term ‘ancient documents’ is used to describe mainly Greek...... and Latin texts and the term ‘scholars’ is used to describe readers of these documents (e.g. papyrologists, epigraphers, palaeographers). However, the results from this research can be applicable to many other texts ranging from Nordic runes to 18th Century love letters. In order to develop an appropriate...... tool it is important first to comprehend the interpretation process involved in reading ancient documents. This is not a linear process but rather a recursive process where the scholar moves between different levels of reading, such as ‘understanding the meaning of a character’ or ‘understanding...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION : Schwannoma is a common benign tumour of nerve sheath. Degenerating type of schwannoma is called ancient schwannoma. Ancient schwannomas of scalp are rare and are often misdiagnosed as sebaceous cyst or dermoid cyst. CASE REPORT : We present a thirty two year old male presented with scalp swel ling of eight years duration. X - ray showed no intracranial extension. He underwent excision of the tumour and histopathology was reported as ancient schwannoma. DISCUSSION : Histopathologically , ancient schwannomas charecterised by cellular Antoni type A ar eas and less cellular Antoni type - B areas. 9 th , 7 th , 11 th , 5 th and 4 th cranial nerves are often affected and may be associated with multiple neuro fibramatosis (Von - Recklinghausen’s disease. Impact : Case is presented for its rarity and possible pre - operative misdiagnosis

  15. Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo. (United States)

    Hoffman, Kenneth A.


    Discusses the question posed by some that the earth's magnetic field may reverse. States that rocks magnetized by ancient fields may offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core. (TW)

  16. Aquatic insect assemblages associated with subalpine stream segment types in relict glaciated headwaters (United States)

    Kubo, Joshua S.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Bolton, Susan M.; Weekes, Anne A.; Gara, Robert I.


    1. Aquatic habitats and biotic assemblages in subalpine headwaters are sensitive to climate and human impacts. Understanding biotic responses to such perturbations and the contribution of high-elevation headwaters to riverine biodiversity requires the assessment of assemblage composition among habitat types. We compared aquatic insect assemblages among headwater stream segment types in relict glaciated subalpine basins in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA. 2. Aquatic insects were collected during summer and autumn in three headwater basins. In each basin, three different stream segment types were sampled: colluvial groundwater sources, alluvial lake inlets, and cascade-bedrock lake outlets. Ward's hierarchical cluster analysis revealed high β diversity in aquatic insect assemblages, and non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that spatial and temporal patterns in assemblage composition differed among headwater stream segment types. Aquatic insect assemblages showed more fidelity to stream segment types than to individual basins, and the principal environmental variables associated with assemblage structure were temperature and substrate. 3. Indicator species analyses identified specific aquatic insects associated with each stream segment type. Several rare and potentially endemic aquatic insect taxa were present, including the recently described species, Lednia borealis (Baumann and Kondratieff). 4. Our results indicate that aquatic insect assemblages in relict glaciated subalpine headwaters were strongly differentiated among stream segment types. These results illustrate the contribution of headwaters to riverine biodiversity and emphasise the importance of these habitats for monitoring biotic responses to climate change. Monitoring biotic assemblages in high-elevation headwaters is needed to prevent the potential loss of unique and sensitive biota.

  17. Spatially Heterogeneous Perturbations Homogenize the Regulation of Insect Herbivores. (United States)

    Harvey, Eric; MacDougall, Andrew S


    Anthropogenic influences on resources and consumers can affect food web regulation, with impacts on trophic structure and ecosystem processes. Identifying how these impacts unfold is challenging because alterations to one or both resources and consumers can similarly transform community structure, especially for intermediate consumers. To date, empirical testing of perturbations on trophic regulation has been limited by the difficulty in separating the direct effect of perturbations on species composition and diversity from those unfolding indirectly via altered feeding pathways. Moreover, disentangling the independent and interactive impacts of covarying stressors that characterize human-altered systems has been an ongoing analytical challenge. We used a large-scale metacommunity experiment in grasslands to test how resource inputs, stand perturbation, and spatial factors affect regulation of insect herbivores in tritrophic grassland food webs. Using path-model comparisons, we observed significant simplification of food web regulation on insect herbivores, shifting from mixed predator-resource regulation in unaltered mainland areas to strictly resource-based regulation with landscape perturbation and fragmentation. Most changes were attributed to homogenization of plant community caused by landscape fragmentation and the deterministic influence of eutrophication that reduced among-patch beta diversity. This led to a simplified food web dominated by fewer but more abundant herbivore taxa. Our work implies that anthropogenic perturbation relating to resources and spatial isolation can transform the regulation of food web diversity, structure, and function.

  18. Insect Control (1): Use of Pheromones (United States)

    Marx, Jean L.


    Discusses current research relating to the use of pheromones as a means of controlling insect pests. These chemicals, which are secreted by insects to affect the behavior of other individuals of the same species, may be used to eliminate pests without destroying their predators and other beneficial insects. (JR)

  19. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.


    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect def

  20. Perception of insect feeding by plants. (United States)

    Bonaventure, G


    The recognition of phytophagous insects by plants induces a set of very specific responses aimed at deterring tissue consumption and reprogramming metabolism and development of the plant to tolerate the herbivore. The recognition of insects by plants requires the plant's ability to perceive chemical cues generated by the insects and to distinguish a particular pattern of tissue disruption. Relatively little is known about the molecular basis of insect perception by plants and the signalling mechanisms directly associated with this perception. Importantly, the insect feeding behaviour (piercing-sucking versus chewing) is a decisive determinant of the plant's defence response, and the mechanisms used to perceive insects from different feeding guilds may be distinct. During insect feeding, components of the saliva of chewing or piercing-sucking insects come into contact with plant cells, and elicitors or effectors present in this insect-derived fluid are perceived by plant cells to initiate the activation of specific signalling cascades. Although receptor-ligand interactions controlling insect perception have yet not been molecularly described, a significant number of regulatory components acting downstream of receptors and involved in the activation of defence responses against insects has been reported. Some of these regulators mediate changes in the phytohormone network, while others directly control gene expression or the redox state of the cell. These processes are central in the orchestration of plant defence responses against insects.

  1. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be... generally accepted methods of insect control....

  2. Radar, Insect Population Ecology, and Pest Management (United States)

    Vaughn, C. R. (Editor); Wolf, W. (Editor); Klassen, W. (Editor)


    Discussions included: (1) the potential role of radar in insect ecology studies and pest management; (2) the potential role of radar in correlating atmospheric phenomena with insect movement; (3) the present and future radar systems; (4) program objectives required to adapt radar to insect ecology studies and pest management; and (5) the specific action items to achieve the objectives.

  3. Genetics of insect resistance to plant defence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeer, K.M.C.A.


      Plants are chemically defended against insect herbivory in various ways. They produce a broad range of secondary metabolites that may be toxic or deterrent to insects. Specialist insects, however, are often capable of overcoming these defences. The yellow striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta nem

  4. Surgical history of ancient China: Part 2. (United States)

    Fu, Louis


    In this second part of ancient Chinese surgical history, the practice of bone setting in China began around 3000 years ago. Throughout this period, significant progress was made, some highlights of which are cited. These methods, comparable with Western orthopaedic technique, are still being practised today. In conclusion, the possible reasons for the lack of advancement in operative surgery are discussed, within context of the cultural, social and religious background of ancient China.

  5. Radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese documents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oda, H. [Nagoya Univ., Center for Chronological Research, Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)


    History is a reconstruction of past human activity, evidence of which is remained in the form of documents or relics. For the reconstruction of historic period, the radiocarbon dating of ancient documents provides important information. Although radiocarbon age is converted into calendar age with the calibration curve, the calibrated radiocarbon age is still different from the historical age when the document was written. The difference is known as 'old wood effect' for wooden cultural property. The discrepancy becomes more serious problem for recent sample which requires more accurate age determination. Using Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometer at Nagoya University, we have measured radiocarbon ages of Japanese ancient documents, sutras and printed books written dates of which are clarified from the paleographic standpoint. The purpose is to clarify the relation between calibrated radiocarbon age and historical age of ancient Japanese document by AMS radiocarbon dating. This paper reports 23 radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese documents, sutras and printed books. The calibrated radiocarbon ages are in good agreement with the corresponding historical ages. It was shown by radiocarbon dating of the ancient documents that Japanese paper has little gap by 'old wood effect'; accordingly, ancient Japanese paper is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating of recent historic period. (author)

  6. Insect biofuel cells using trehalose included in insect hemolymph leading to an insect-mountable biofuel cell. (United States)

    Shoji, Kan; Akiyama, Yoshitake; Suzuki, Masato; Hoshino, Takayuki; Nakamura, Nobuhumi; Ohno, Hiroyuki; Morishima, Keisuke


    In this paper, an insect biofuel cell (BFC) using trehalose included in insect hemolymph was developed. The insect BFC is based on trehalase and glucose oxidase (GOD) reaction systems which oxidize β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, we confirmed by LC-MS that a sufficient amount of trehalose was present in the cockroach hemolymph (CHL). The maximum power density obtained using the insect BFC was 6.07 μW/cm(2). The power output was kept more than 10 % for 2.5 h by protecting the electrodes with a dialysis membrane. Furthermore, the maximum power density was increased to 10.5 μW/cm(2) by using an air diffusion cathode. Finally, we succeeded in driving a melody integrated circuit (IC) and a piezo speaker by connecting five insect BFCs in series. The results indicate that the insect BFC is a promising insect-mountable battery to power environmental monitoring micro-tools.

  7. New ancient DNA sequences suggest high genetic diversity for the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius )

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Partial DNA sequences of cytochrome b gene (mtDNA) were successfully retrieved from Late Pleistocene fossil bone of Mammuthus primigenius collected from the Xiguitu County (Yakeshi), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and from Zhaodong, Harbin of Heilongjiang Province in northern China. Two ancient DNA fragments ( 109 bp and 124 bp) were authenticated by reproducible experiments in two different laboratories and by phylogenetic analysis with other Elephantidae taxa. Phylogenetic analysis using these sequences and published data in either separate or combined datasets indicate unstable relationship among the woolly mammoth and the two living elephants, Elephas and Loxodonta. In addition to the short sequences used to attempt the long independent evolution of Elephantidae terminal taxa, we suggest that a high intra-specific diversity existed in Mammuthus primigenius crossing both spatial and temporal ranges, resulting in a complex and divergent genetic background for DNA sequences so far recovered. The high genetic diversity in the extinct woolly mammoth can explain the apparent instability of Elephantidae taxa on the molecular phylogenetic trees and can reconcile the apparent paradox regarding the unresolved Elephantidae trichotomy.

  8. Insect stereopsis demonstrated using a 3D insect cinema


    Vivek Nityananda; Ghaith Tarawneh; Ronny Rosner; Judith Nicolas; Stuart Crichton; Jenny Read


    Stereopsis - 3D vision – has become widely used as a model of perception. However, all our knowledge of possible underlying mechanisms comes almost exclusively from vertebrates. While stereopsis has been demonstrated for one invertebrate, the praying mantis, a lack of techniques to probe invertebrate stereopsis has prevented any further progress for three decades. We therefore developed a stereoscopic display system for insects, using miniature 3D glasses to present separate images to each ey...


    The contribution of rare taxa to bioassessments based on multispecies assemblages is the subject of continued debate. As a result, users of predictive models such as River InVertebrate Prediction and Classification System (RIVPACS) disagree on whether to exclude locally rare taxa...

  10. Studies on Barbula flavicans D.G. Long and related taxa


    Sollman, Philip


    Barbula flavicans D.G. Long replaces Barbula consanguinea (Thwaites & Mitt.) A. Jaeger sensu Eddy. This is a variable species. The types of several mainly Asian taxa were studied. Fifteen taxa are proposed as new synonyms of Barbula flavicans. Barbula (?) anceps Cardot is Barbula arcuata Griff.

  11. Triterpenes of toxic and non-toxic taxa of Lantana camara. (United States)

    Hart, N K; Lamberton, J A; Sioumis, A A; Suares, H; Seawright, A A


    The taxa of Lantana camara toxic to animals contain lantadene A lantadene B, whereas in two non-toxic taxa other triterpenes predominate. Several new triterpenes have been characterized. Contrary to earlier claims, lantadene A and to a lesser extent lantadene B are toxic when administered intraruminally to sheep.

  12. State-of-Science Approaches to Determine Sensitive Taxa for Water Quality Criteria Derivation (United States)

    Current Ambient Water Quality Criteria (AWQC) guidelines specify pre-defined taxa diversity requirements, which has limited chemical-specific criteria development in the U.S. to less than 100 chemicals. A priori knowledge of sensitive taxa to toxicologically similar groups of che...

  13. Quantitative relationships between vegetation and several pollen taxa in surface soil from North China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    According to the vegetation investigation and pollen analysis of surface samples sampled along a precipitation gradient of the Northeast China Transect (NECT), several pollen taxa, including Pinus, Betula, Quercus, Tilia, Acer, Ulmus, Artemisia, Chenopodiaceae, Gramineae and Cyperaceae, were chosen to make the regression and correlation analyses. The results indicated that there exists a close relationship between vegetation and pollen taxa in surface samples. The regression parameters for ten taxa in the forests in the eastern part of NECT were different from those in the steppes in the western part. Pinus, Betula, Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae, which have large slope and y-intercept terms, were over-representative taxa. Acer, Gramineae and Cyperaceae, which have small slope and y-intercept terms, were under-representative taxa. Quercus, Tilia and Ulmus whose slope terms have negative correlation with y-intercept terms were equi-representative taxa. The pollen taxa with large slope or large y-intercept terms have small variability coefficients, implying that the slope and y-intercept terms for these pollen taxa are of high accuracy in the estimation of plant abundance from pollen frequencies.

  14. Insect diversity in the fossil record (United States)

    Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)


    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  15. Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011 genome analysis reveals clues for colonization of the insect gut.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Bottacini

    Full Text Available Bifidobacteria are known as anaerobic/microaerophilic and fermentative microorganisms, which commonly inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of various animals and insects. Analysis of the 2,167,301 bp genome of Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011, a strain isolated from the hindgut of Apis mellifera var. ligustica, commonly known as the honey bee, revealed its predicted capability for respiratory metabolism. Conservation of the latter gene clusters in various B. asteroides strains enforces the notion that respiration is a common metabolic feature of this ancient bifidobacterial species, which has been lost in currently known mammal-derived Bifidobacterium species. In fact, phylogenomic based analyses suggested an ancient origin of B. asteroides and indicates it as an ancestor of the genus Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, the B. asteroides PRL2011 genome encodes various enzymes for coping with toxic products that arise as a result of oxygen-mediated respiration.

  16. Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011 genome analysis reveals clues for colonization of the insect gut. (United States)

    Bottacini, Francesca; Milani, Christian; Turroni, Francesca; Sánchez, Borja; Foroni, Elena; Duranti, Sabrina; Serafini, Fausta; Viappiani, Alice; Strati, Francesco; Ferrarini, Alberto; Delledonne, Massimo; Henrissat, Bernard; Coutinho, Pedro; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Margolles, Abelardo; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco


    Bifidobacteria are known as anaerobic/microaerophilic and fermentative microorganisms, which commonly inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of various animals and insects. Analysis of the 2,167,301 bp genome of Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011, a strain isolated from the hindgut of Apis mellifera var. ligustica, commonly known as the honey bee, revealed its predicted capability for respiratory metabolism. Conservation of the latter gene clusters in various B. asteroides strains enforces the notion that respiration is a common metabolic feature of this ancient bifidobacterial species, which has been lost in currently known mammal-derived Bifidobacterium species. In fact, phylogenomic based analyses suggested an ancient origin of B. asteroides and indicates it as an ancestor of the genus Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, the B. asteroides PRL2011 genome encodes various enzymes for coping with toxic products that arise as a result of oxygen-mediated respiration.

  17. Root damage by insects reverses the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on Eucalypt seedlings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott N Johnson

    Full Text Available Predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 are widely anticipated to increase biomass accumulation by accelerating rates of photosynthesis in many plant taxa. Little, however, is known about how soil-borne plant antagonists might modify the effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2, with root-feeding insects being particularly understudied. Root damage by insects often reduces rates of photosynthesis by disrupting root function and imposing water deficits. These insects therefore have considerable potential for modifying plant responses to eCO2. We investigated how root damage by a soil-dwelling insect (Xylotrupes gideon australicus modified the responses of Eucalyptus globulus to eCO2. eCO2 increased plant height when E. globulus were 14 weeks old and continued to do so at an accelerated rate compared to those grown at ambient CO2 (aCO2. Plants exposed to root-damaging insects showed a rapid decline in growth rates thereafter. In eCO2, shoot and root biomass increased by 46 and 35%, respectively, in insect-free plants but these effects were arrested when soil-dwelling insects were present so that plants were the same size as those grown at aCO2. Specific leaf mass increased by 29% under eCO2, but at eCO2 root damage caused it to decline by 16%, similar to values seen in plants at aCO2 without root damage. Leaf C:N ratio increased by >30% at eCO2 as a consequence of declining leaf N concentrations, but this change was also moderated by soil insects. Soil insects also reduced leaf water content by 9% at eCO2, which potentially arose through impaired water uptake by the roots. We hypothesise that this may have impaired photosynthetic activity to the extent that observed plant responses to eCO2 no longer occurred. In conclusion, soil-dwelling insects could modify plant responses to eCO2 predicted by climate change plant growth models.

  18. Fungal allelochemicals in insect pest management. (United States)

    Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko


    Interactions between insects and fungi are widespread, and important mediators of these interactions are fungal chemicals that can therefore be considered as allelochemicals. Numerous studies suggest that fungal chemicals can affect insects in many different ways. Here, we apply the terminology established by insect-plant ecologists for categorizing the effect of fungal allelochemicals on insects and for evaluating the application potential of these chemicals in insect pest management. Our literature survey shows that fungal volatile and non-volatile chemicals have an enormous potential to influence insect behavior and fitness. Many of them still remain to be discovered, but some recent examples of repellents and toxins could open up new ways for developing safe insect control strategies. However, we also identified shortcomings in our understanding of the chemical ecology of insect-fungus interactions and the way they have been investigated. In particular, the mode-of-action of fungal allelochemicals has often not been appropriately designated or examined, and the way in which induction by insects affects fungal chemical diversity is poorly understood. This review should raise awareness that in-depth ecological studies of insect-fungus interactions can reveal novel allelochemicals of particular benefit for the development of innovative insect pest management strategies.

  19. 75 FR 47592 - Final Test Guideline; Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other... (United States)


    ... AGENCY Final Test Guideline; Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other... Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other Arthropods Test Guidelines... ``Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insects and Other Arthropods'' (OPPTS...

  20. Insect immune resistance to parasitoids

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yves Carton; Marylène Poirié; Anthony J. Nappi


    Insect host-parasitoid interactions involve complex physiological, biochemical and genetic interactions. Against endoparasitoids, immune-competent hosts initiate a blood cell-mediated response that quickly destroys the intruders and envelops them in a multilayered melanotic capsule. During the past decade, considerable progress has been made in identifying some of the critical components of the host response, mainly because of the use of efficient molecular tools. This review examines some of the components of the innate immune response of Drosophila, an insect that has served as an exceptionally good experimental model for studying non-self recognition processes and immune cell signaling mechanisms. Topics considered in this review include hematopoiesis, proliferation and adhesion of hemocytes, melanogenesis and associated cytotoxic molecules, and the genetic aspects of the host-parasitoid interaction.

  1. Immunity in a Social Insect (United States)

    Rosengaus, Rebeca B.; Traniello, James F. A.; Chen, Tammy; Brown, Julie J.; Karp, Richard D.

    Although pathogens appear to have exerted significant selective pressure on various aspects of sociality, mechanisms of disease resistance in the social insects are poorly understood. We report here on an immune response to infection by the dampwood termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis. Nymphs immunized with an injection of 7.6×107, 7.6×105, or 7.6×104 cells/ml glutaraldehyde-killed solution of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa had significantly higher survivorship than controls following a challenge with a lethal concentration of active bacteria. Similarly, nymphs exposed to a 9×10-1 spores/ml suspension of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae had higher survivorship than controls after a challenge with a lethal concentration of spores. Prior exposure to a pathogen thus conferred upon termites a degree of protection during a subsequent encounter with the same pathogen. This represents the first demonstration of immune function in vivo in a social insect.

  2. Benzoquinolinediones: activity as insect teratogens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walton, B.T.; Ho, C.H.; Ma, C.Y.; O' Neill, E.G.; Kao, G.L.


    Morphological abnormalities including extra compound eyes, extra heads, and distally duplicated legs were generated in cricket embryos by treating eggs with single doses of either benz(g)isoquinoline-5,10-dione or benzo(h)quinoline-5,6-dione. Slight structural modifications of the molecules resulted in a loss of teratogenic activity, although embryotoxicity occurred. These potent insect teratogens can be used for analysis of developmental events during embryogenesis. 13 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  3. The Insect SNMP Gene Family (United States)


    B 1 ( b o v ) Clade 3 - SNMPs Clade 2 Clade 1 CD36 Insect (Holometabola) CD36 Gene family Holometabola Phylogeny (11 Orders) Tribolium castaneum...melanogaster genes (see Nichols and Vogt, 2008). Bootstrap support (1000 replicates) is indicated for the major clades. B. Phylogeny of holometabolous...A. aegypti eggs were graciously provided by Mark Brown (University of Georgia, Department of Entomology) and raised on a larval diet (pond fish food

  4. Biophysique environnementale des insectes endophytes.



    Physiology and life history traits of ectothermic organisms depend on microclimate temperature. In some insect - plant relationships, the herbivore manipulates physically and /or chemically its proximate environment, i.e. plant tissues. The effects of such modifications on the phytophage's microclimate are however still poorly understood. We investigated the physical modifications of apple leaf tissues made by the leaf mining moth Phyllonorycter blancardella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), and...

  5. The insect cellular immune response

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael R. Strand


    The innate immune system of insects is divided into humoral defenses that include the production of soluble effector molecules and cellular defenses like phagocytosis and encapsulation that are mediated by hemocytes. This review summarizes current understanding of the cellular immune response. Insects produce several terminally differentiated types of hemocytes that are distinguished by morphology, molecular and antigenic markers, and function. The differentiated hemocytes that circulate in larval or nymphal stage insects arise from two sources: progenitor cells produced during embryogenesis and mesodermally derived hematopoietic organs. Regulation of hematopoiesis and hemocyte differentiation also involves several different signaling pathways. Phagocytosis and encapsulation require that hemocytes first recognize a given target as foreign followed by activation of downstream signaling and effector responses. A number of humoral and cellular receptors have been identified that recognize different microbes and multicellular parasites. In turn, activation of these receptors stimulates a number of signaling pathways that regulate different hemocyte functions. Recent studies also identify hemocytes as important sources of a number of humoral effector molecules required for killing different foreign invaders.

  6. Stiffness of desiccating insect wings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mengesha, T E; Vallance, R R [Department of Mechanical Engineering, The George Washington University, 738 Phillips Hall, 801 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20052 (United States); Mittal, R, E-mail: [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 126 Latrobe Hall, 3400 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)


    The stiffness of insect wings is typically determined through experimental measurements. Such experiments are performed on wings removed from insects. However, the wings are subject to desiccation which typically leads to an increase in their stiffness. Although this effect of desiccation is well known, a comprehensive study of the rate of change in stiffness of desiccating insect wings would be a significant aid in planning experiments as well as interpreting data from such experiments. This communication presents a comprehensive experimental analysis of the change in mass and stiffness of gradually desiccating forewings of Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui). Mass and stiffness of the forewings of five butterflies were simultaneously measured every 10 min over a 24 h period. The averaged results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 21.1% over this time period with a time constant of 9.8 h, while wing stiffness increased linearly by 46.2% at a rate of 23.4 {mu}N mm{sup -1} h{sup -1}. For the forewings of a single butterfly, the experiment was performed over a period of 1 week, and the results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 52.2% with a time constant of 30.2 h until it reached a steady-state level of 2.00 mg, while wing stiffness increased exponentially by 90.7% until it reached a steady-state level of 1.70 mN mm{sup -1}. (communication)

  7. Impact of routine Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) treatment on the availability of flying insects as prey for aerial feeding predators. (United States)

    Timmermann, Ute; Becker, Norbert


    Since 1980, mosquito breeding habitats in the Upper Rhine Valley were routinely treated with Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti). Bti is considered to significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes, and - especially when used in higher dosages - to be toxic to other Nematocera species, e.g. Chironomidae, which could be food sources for aerial feeding predators. To investigate direct and indirect effects of routine Bti treatment on food sources for aerial feeding predators, the availability of flying insects in treated and untreated areas was compared. A car trap was used for insect collection, which allowed their exact spatiotemporal assignment. The statistical analysis revealed that insect taxa abundance was influenced differently by the factors season, temperature and time of day. Nematocera (Diptera) were the most frequently collected insects in all areas. Chironomidae were the predominant aquatic Nematocera. The comparison of treated and untreated sites did not show significant differences that would indicate any direct or indirect effect of routine Bti treatment on the availability of flying insects. Additional to food availability, food selection must be considered when investigating food resources for aerial feeding predators. In this study, food selection of Delichon urbicum (House Martin) as an example was investigated with the help of neck ring samples. The preferred prey of the investigated D. urbicum colony consisted of diurnal insects with terrestrial larvae (Aphidina, Brachycera, Coleoptera). Chironomidae were consumed, but not preferred.

  8. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation (United States)

    Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.


    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from 10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  9. We can't all be supermodels: the value of comparative transcriptomics to the study of non-model insects. (United States)

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Baker, Richard H; Simon, Sabrina; DeSalle, Rob


    Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Variation in gene expression lies at the heart of this biodiversity and recent advances in sequencing technology have spawned a revolution in researchers' ability to survey tissue-specific transcriptional complexity across a wide range of insect taxa. Increasingly, studies are using a comparative approach (across species, sexes and life stages) that examines the transcriptional basis of phenotypic diversity within an evolutionary context. In the present review, we summarize much of this research, focusing in particular on three critical aspects of insect biology: morphological development and plasticity; physiological response to the environment; and sexual dimorphism. A common feature that is emerging from these investigations concerns the dynamic nature of transcriptome evolution as indicated by rapid changes in the overall pattern of gene expression, the differential expression of numerous genes with unknown function, and the incorporation of novel, lineage-specific genes into the transcriptional profile.

  10. Evidence for Ancient Mesoamerican Earthquakes (United States)

    Kovach, R. L.; Garcia, B.


    Evidence for past earthquake damage at Mesoamerican ruins is often overlooked because of the invasive effects of tropical vegetation and is usually not considered as a casual factor when restoration and reconstruction of many archaeological sites are undertaken. Yet the proximity of many ruins to zones of seismic activity would argue otherwise. Clues as to the types of damage which should be soughtwere offered in September 1999 when the M = 7.5 Oaxaca earthquake struck the ruins of Monte Alban, Mexico, where archaeological renovations were underway. More than 20 structures were damaged, 5 of them seriously. Damage features noted were walls out of plumb, fractures in walls, floors, basal platforms and tableros, toppling of columns, and deformation, settling and tumbling of walls. A Modified Mercalli Intensity of VII (ground accelerations 18-34 %b) occurred at the site. Within the diffuse landward extension of the Caribbean plate boundary zone M = 7+ earthquakes occur with repeat times of hundreds of years arguing that many Maya sites were subjected to earthquakes. Damage to re-erected and reinforced stelae, walls, and buildings were witnessed at Quirigua, Guatemala, during an expedition underway when then 1976 M = 7.5 Guatemala earthquake on the Motagua fault struck. Excavations also revealed evidence (domestic pttery vessels and skeleton of a child crushed under fallen walls) of an ancient earthquake occurring about the teim of the demise and abandonment of Quirigua in the late 9th century. Striking evidence for sudden earthquake building collapse at the end of the Mayan Classic Period ~A.D. 889 was found at Benque Viejo (Xunantunich), Belize, located 210 north of Quirigua. It is argued that a M = 7.5 to 7.9 earthquake at the end of the Maya Classic period centered in the vicinity of the Chixoy-Polochic and Motagua fault zones cound have produced the contemporaneous earthquake damage to the above sites. As a consequences this earthquake may have accelerated the

  11. 昆虫滞育研究进展%Research Advance of Insect Diapause

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张晓燕; 翟一凡; 庄乾营; 林清彩; 吴文虎; 陶玫; 于毅


    从昆虫滞育虫态的角度出发,对不同滞育虫态昆虫的类群、滞育的生理生化、机理研究(神经-内分泌-激素调节、胰岛素通路、分子水平)等方面进行概括总结,以期为昆虫滞育的进一步研究提供一定参考。%Different insect diapause taxa , physiological and biochemical research and diapause mecha-nisms(nerve-endocrine -hormone regulation, insulin pathways, molecular level) were summarized in this paper.It was expected to provide references for further study of insect diapause .

  12. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations. (United States)

    Melchior, Linea; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans R; Kivisild, Toomas; Dissing, Jørgen


    Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however, the success rate varied substantially between sites; the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.

  13. Seedling Growth and Physiological Responses of Sixteen Eucalypt Taxa under Controlled Water Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo H. M. Silva


    Full Text Available We assessed growth and physiological responses of Eucalyptus and Corymbia species to water limitation aiming to widen possibilities for plantations in dry climatic conditions. We selected 16 taxa: 4 Corymbia and 12 Eucalyptus species from the Subgenera Symphyomyrtus. Seedlings were evaluated from 100 to 170 days after sowing. Growth and physiological traits showed significant differences among taxa and between two levels of water availability. Water limitation significantly impacted biomass production and physiological characteristics, however in different levels. Leaf area and biomass production decreased 15%–48% under water limitation among taxa. Eucalyptus moluccana, CCV 2, and VM1 (drought tolerant clone showed the largest decrease in leaf area. Transpiration across taxa decreased 30%–57% and photosynthesis 14%–48% under water limited condition. Taxa from cold environments were less responsive in leaf area reduction under water limitation, and taxa from Exsertaria section showed lower reduction in photosynthesis (E. camaldulensis showed the lowest reduction. Responses to water limitation are related to the environment of origin. E. molucana, the only Adnataria species from a high precipitation region (>1500 mm year−1, was one of the most sensitive in reduction of biomass production, different behavior from the other Adnataria species, originated in regions with rainfall <750 mm year−1. Water limitation increased leaf-level water use efficiency by 18% on average, 8% in E. longirostrata, and 28% in E. camaldulensis, E. brassiana, and E. crebra. Growth and physiological responses observed show the potential of different eucalypts taxa to tolerate water limited environments.

  14. Comparative evolutionary analyses of beta globin gene in eutherian, dinosaurian and neopterygii taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gauri Awasthi, Garima Srivastava & Aparup Das


    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Comparative genomics and evolutionary analyses of conserved genes have enabled usto understand the complexity of genomes of closely related species. For example: -globin gene present inhuman hemoglobin is one such gene that has experienced many genetic changes in many related taxa andproduced more than 600 variants. One of the variant, HBS causes sickle-cell anemia in humans but offersprotection against severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum. In the present study, we characterized andperformed evolutionary comparative analyses of the -globin gene in different related and unrelated taxa tohave a comprehensive view of its evolution.Methods: DNA and protein sequences of -globin gene were downloaded from NCBI and characterized in detailin nine eutherian (Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Macaca mulatta, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Bostaurus, Canis familiaris, Equus caballus, Oryctolagus cuniculus, a dinosaurian (Gallus gallus and a neopterygii(Danio rerio taxa. Three more eutherian (Papio anubis, Ovis aries and Sus scrofa taxa were included for ananalysis at the protein level but not included at the gene level owing to lack of genomic information. Computationaland phylogenetic analyses were performed using evolutionary comparative approach.Results: Results of comparative and phylogenetic analyses revealed less conservation of genetic architecture of-globin compared to its protein architecture in all eutherian taxa. Both dinosaurian and neopterygii taxa servedas outgroups and varied at gene and protein levels.Interpretation & conclusion: Most remarkably, all primates from eutherian taxa including P. anubis showedonly nine codon position differences and an absolute similarity between H. sapiens and P. troglodytes. Absoluteconservation of coding region in Equus caballus (horse was observed. The results were discussed with aninference on the role of evolutionary forces in maintaining such close similarities

  15. Ecdysteroids: the overlooked sex steroids of insects? Males: the black box

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The paradigm, still around in textbooks, that 'in insects sex is strictly genetic,thus that they do not have sex hormones', is mainly based on a wrong interpretation of the 'gynandromorph argument'. It is no longer tenable. Given the fact that vertebrates and invertebrates probably had a common, sexually reproducing ancestor, there is no reason to assume that only vertebrates need sex hormones. The major function of sex hormones is to inform the somatoplasm about developmental changes that take place in the gonads. In contrast to juvenile hormone and neuropeptides, ecdysteroids meet all criteria to act as sex hormones, which was probably their ancient role. Their much better documented role in moulting and metamorphosis was a secondary acquisition that enabled arthropods to cope with growth problems, imposed by a rigid cuticle. Female insects use 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), secreted by the follicle cells of the ovary, in a similar way as females of egg-laying vertebrates use estrogens. For a variety of reasons, the possibility that ecdysteroids, in particular ecdysone (E), might also act as sex hormones in male insects, thus as the counterpart of testosterone of vertebrates, has been very much overlooked. Thanks to the recent discovery of the molecular basis of the haploid-diploid system of sex determination in the honeybee, the characterization of Halloween genes, proteomics, RNAi and so on, it now becomes possible to verify whether in insects, as with vertebrates, males are the endocrinologically default gender form.

  16. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. (United States)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal


    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  17. Can oxygen set thermal limits in an insect and drive gigantism?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilco C E P Verberk

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Thermal limits may arise through a mismatch between oxygen supply and demand in a range of animal taxa. Whilst this oxygen limitation hypothesis is supported by data from a range of marine fish and invertebrates, its generality remains contentious. In particular, it is unclear whether oxygen limitation determines thermal extremes in tracheated arthropods, where oxygen limitation may be unlikely due to the efficiency and plasticity of tracheal systems in supplying oxygen directly to metabolically active tissues. Although terrestrial taxa with open tracheal systems may not be prone to oxygen limitation, species may be affected during other life-history stages, particularly if these rely on diffusion into closed tracheal systems. Furthermore, a central role for oxygen limitation in insects is envisaged within a parallel line of research focussing on insect gigantism in the late Palaeozoic. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we examine thermal maxima in the aquatic life stages of an insect at normoxia, hypoxia (14 kPa and hyperoxia (36 kPa. We demonstrate that upper thermal limits do indeed respond to external oxygen supply in the aquatic life stages of the stonefly Dinocras cephalotes, suggesting that the critical thermal limits of such aquatic larvae are set by oxygen limitation. This could result from impeded oxygen delivery, or limited oxygen regulatory capacity, both of which have implications for our understanding of the limits to insect body size and how these are influenced by atmospheric oxygen levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings extend the generality of the hypothesis of oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance, suggest that oxygen constraints on body size may be stronger in aquatic environments, and that oxygen toxicity may have actively selected for gigantism in the aquatic stages of Carboniferous arthropods.

  18. Environmental metabarcodes for insects: in silico PCR reveals potential for taxonomic bias. (United States)

    Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan


    Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers [16S and cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI)] and then compared their efficiency in vitro. Existing metabarcoding primers amplified in silico mitochondrial genomes available, whereas new primers targeting 16S provided >90% coverage. Furthermore, metabarcodes targeting COI appeared to introduce taxonomic PCR-amplification bias, typically amplifying a greater percentage of Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while failing to amplify certain orders in silico. To test whether bias predicted in silico was observed in vitro, we created an artificial DNA blend containing equal amounts of DNA from 14 species, representing 11 insect orders and one arachnid. We PCR-amplified the blend using five primer sets, targeting either COI or 16S, with high-throughput amplicon sequencing yielding more than 6 million reads. In vitro results typically corresponded to in silico PCR predictions, with newly designed 16S primers detecting 11 insect taxa present, thus providing equivalent or better taxonomic coverage than COI metabarcodes. Our results demonstrate that in silico PCR is a useful tool for predicting taxonomic bias in mixed template PCR and that researchers should be wary of potential bias when selecting metabarcoding markers.

  19. Monitoring change in the abundance and distribution of insects using butterflies and other indicator groups. (United States)

    Thomas, J A


    Conservative estimates suggest that 50-90% of the existing insect species on Earth have still to be discovered, yet the named insects alone comprise more than half of all known species of organism. With such poor baseline knowledge, monitoring change in insect diversity poses a formidable challenge to scientists and most attempts to generalize involve large extrapolations from a few well-studied taxa. Butterflies are often the only group for which accurate measures of change can be obtained. Four schemes, used successfully to assess change in British butterflies, that are increasingly being applied across the world are described: Red Data Books (RDB) list the best judgements of experts of the conservation status of species in their field of expertise; mapping schemes plot the changing distributions of species at scales of 1-100 km2; transect monitoring schemes generate time series of changes in abundance in sample populations of species on fixed sites across the UK; and occasional surveys measure the number, boundaries and size of all populations of a (usually RDB) species at intervals of 10-30 years. All schemes describe consistent patterns of change, but if they are to be more generally useful, it is important to understand how well butterflies are representative of other taxa. Comparisons with similarly measured changes in native bird and plant species suggest that butterflies have declined more rapidly that these other groups in Britain; it should soon be possible to test whether this pattern exists elsewhere. It is also demonstrated that extinction rates in British butterflies are similar to those in a range of other insect groups over 100 years once recording bias is accounted for, although probably lower than in aquatic or parasitic taxa. It is concluded that butterflies represent adequate indicators of change for many terrestrial insect groups, but recommended that similar schemes be extended to other popular groups, especially dragonflies, bumblebees

  20. Native Dreissena freshwater mussels in the Balkans: in and out of ancient lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Trajanovski


    Full Text Available The Balkans is a biogeographically highly diverse region and a worldwide hotspot of endemic freshwater diversity. A substantial part of this diversity is attributed to well recognized and potential ancient lakes in its southwestern part. However, despite considerable research efforts, faunal relationships among those lakes are not well understood. Therefore, genetic information from native representatives of the mussel genus Dreissena is here used to test the biogeographical zonation of the southwestern Balkans, to relate demographic changes to environmental changes, to assess the degree of eco-insularity, to reconstruct their evolutionary history, and to explore the potential of native taxa for becoming invasive. Phylogeographical and population genetic analyses indicate that most studied populations belong to two native species: D. presbensis (including the distinct genetic subgroup from Lake Ohrid, "D. stankovici" and D. blanci. In addition, the first confirmed record of invasive D. polymorpha in the southwestern Balkan is presented. The distribution of native Dreissena spp. generally coincides with the biogeographical zonations previously suggested based on fish data. However, there is disagreement on the assignment of the ancient lakes in the area to respective biogeographical regions. The data for Lake Ohrid are not conclusive. A closer biogeographical connection to lakes of the Vardar region and possibly the northern Ionian region is, however, suggested for Lake Prespa. The reconstruction of the evolutionary history of Dreissena spp. suggests that populations underwent demographic and spatial expansions in the recent past. Expansions started around 320 000–300 000 years ago in "D. stankovici", 160 000–140 000 years ago in D. blanci, and 110 000–70 000 years ago in D. presbensis. These time frames are discussed within the context of available paleogeological data for lakes Ohrid and Prespa. It is suggested that regional environmental

  1. Twins in Ancient Greece: a synopsis. (United States)

    Malamitsi-Puchner, Ariadne


    This brief outline associates twins with several aspects of life in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology twins caused ambivalent reactions and were believed to have ambivalent feelings for each other. Very often, they were viewed as the representatives of the dualistic nature of the universe. Heteropaternal superfecundation, which dominates in ancient myths, explains on one hand, the god-like qualities and, on the other hand, the mortal nature of many twins. An assumption is presented that legends referring to twins might reflect the territorial expansions of Ancient Greeks in Northern Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, in Asia Minor, as well as North East Africa. In conclusion, in Greek antiquity, twins have been used as transitional figures between myth and reality.

  2. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melchior, Linea Cecilie; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans Redlef


    the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians ( approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic...... samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least...... for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture....

  3. The Vindolanda Tablets and the Ancient Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Evers, Kasper Grønlund

    , a model is outlined which takes into account the different economic behaviours revealed by the tablets and attempts to fit them together into one coherent, economic system, whilst also relating the activities to questions of scale in the ancient economy; moreover, the conclusions drawn in the study......, the aim is to investigate how best to comprehend the economic system attested at Vindolanda and to consider the wider implications for studies of the ancient economy in general. This is accomplished by a three-step approach: first, the nature of the Vindolandan evidence is assessed, and the state...... of research on both studies of the ancient economy and the economy of early Roman Britain is accounted for, so as to highlight the value of the Vindolanda Tablets and lay the ground for the interpretations which follow. Secondly, the economic activities attested by the tablets are analysed in terms of market...

  4. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in Ancient Material. (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando


    Parasite finds in ancient material launched a new field of science: palaeoparasitology. Ever since the pioneering studies, parasites were identified in archaeological and palaeontological remains, some preserved for millions of years by fossilization. However, the palaeoparasitological record consists mainly of parasites found specifically in human archaeological material, preserved in ancient occupation sites, from prehistory until closer to 2015. The results include some helminth intestinal parasites still commonly found in 2015, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, besides others such as Amoebidae and Giardia intestinalis, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and arthropods. These parasites as a whole provide important data on health, diet, climate and living conditions among ancient populations. This chapter describes the principal findings and their importance for knowledge on the origin and dispersal of infectious diseases.

  5. The biochemistry of ancient DNA in bone. (United States)

    Tuross, N


    The amount of DNA in ancient bone was determined by ethidium bromide staining after the removal of the potent Taq inhibitor, fulvic acid. A complete decalcification and a perfusion protocol were used to recover DNA from bone. A variety of purification techniques including molecular sieve, hydroxyapatite binding and 'Magic' preparations yielded DNA that spanned from 3.4 micrograms/g of bone to below detectable limits. Fulvic acid was shown to interfere with the quantification of DNA derived from ancient human skeletal material one hundred to over seven thousand years old. Scanning UV in the 300 to 230 nm range is a simple and sensitive technique for documenting fulvic acid contamination in ancient bone extracts.

  6. Pectus excavatum in mummies from ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kwiecinski, Jakub


    Pectus excavatum is one of the common congenital anomalies, yet there seems to be a suspicious absence of any cases or descriptions of this deformity from antiquity. This could represent a real change in disease prevalence but is more likely just due to an inadequate reporting in medico-historical literature. The current study reviews reports of computed tomography (CT) scans of 217 ancient Egyptian mummies, revealing 3 presumed cases of this deformity. Therefore, pectus excavatum was in fact present already in ancient times, with prevalence roughly similar to the modern one.

  7. Symmetries in Images on Ancient Seals

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia


    In this paper, we discuss the presence of symmetries in images engraved on ancient seals, in particular on stamp seals. Mainly used to secure the containers from tampering and for owner's identification, these objects appeared during the 5th millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Usually the seals were engraved with simple images, suitable to communicate an immediate information. Rotational symmetries are already displayed by the most ancient stamp seals, whose images reach a quasi-perfect symmetry in their small circular or ovoid spaces. Bilateral symmetries are quite common in Egyptian scarab seals.

  8. Automatic indexing and reformulation of ancient dictionaries


    Belaïd, Abdel; Turcan, Isabelle; Pierrel, Jean-Marie; Belaïd, Yolande; Rangoni, Yves; Hadjamar, Hassen


    International audience; This paper is related to automatic indexing and reformu-lation of ancient dictionaries. The objective is to make easy the access to ancient printed documents from XVI to XIX century for a diversified public (historians, scien-tists, librarians, etc.). Since the facsimile mode is insuffi-cient, the aim is to look further for the use of the index-ing based on the formal structure representative of some contents in order to optimize their exploration. Starting from a firs...

  9. Mythological Emblem Glyphs of Ancient Maya Kings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helmke, Christophe


    Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles that incorp......Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles...

  10. A Modern Take on an Ancient Master

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A new English translation of The Analects gives a fresh perspective on Confucius and his philosophy by Zan Jifang Confucius(551-491 B.C.) is generally viewed as ancient China’s foremost thinker.His philosophy is probably best catalogued in The Analects,a record of the sage’s wisdom compiled after his death.This Confucian classic provides a shortcut to understanding Chinese culture. A new English edition of the ancient classic(published by the Foreign Languages Press)

  11. Evolution of medical education in ancient Greece

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Emmanouil Pikoulis; Pavlos Msaouel; Efthimios D Avgerinos; Sofia Anagnostopoulou; Christos Tsigris


    @@ The study of ancient Greece is essential for the proper understanding of the evolution of modem Western medicine.An important innovation of classical Greek medicine was the development of a body of medical theory associated with natural philosophy,i.e.a strong secular tradition of free enquiry,or what would now be called "science" (Επιστημη).Medical education rests upon the ancient Greek foundations and its history remains a fascinating topic for modem physicians and medical teachers.

  12. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades. (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Lapoint, Richard T; Whiteman, Noah K


    Insects contain more than half of all living species, but the causes of their remarkable diversity remain poorly understood. Many authors have suggested that herbivory has accelerated diversification in many insect clades. However, others have questioned the role of herbivory in insect diversification. Here, we test the relationships between herbivory and insect diversification across multiple scales. We find a strong, positive relationship between herbivory and diversification among insect orders. However, herbivory explains less variation in diversification within some orders (Diptera, Hemiptera) or shows no significant relationship with diversification in others (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera). Thus, we support the overall importance of herbivory for insect diversification, but also show that its impacts can vary across scales and clades. In summary, our results illuminate the causes of species richness patterns in a group containing most living species, and show the importance of ecological impacts on diversification in explaining the diversity of life.

  13. Insects


    Brewster, Carlyle C.; Miller, Dini M.; Polanco, Andrea M.


    Four bed bug strains (Cimex lectularius) with different levels of pyrethroid resistance were evaluated to determine their ability to survive extended periods of starvation. First instar bed bugs of all strains were the most vulnerable to starvation (13.8–36.3 days mean survival time). Fifth instars and adults survived the longest during starvation (41.5–142.6 days). Significant differences in survivorship during starvation were observed between resistant and susceptible strains of bed bugs. O...

  14. Insect Repellent Properties of Melaleuca alternifolia


    Mohamad Adib Bin Edris; Awang Soh Yusuff Mamat; Muhammad Shahzad Aslam; Muhammad Syarhabil Ahmad


    The aim of this study is to compare the use of plant-based insect repellents that are environment friendly with the use of insect repellents based on chemical substances which can be harmful to the environment and human health. The plant studied here is "tea tree"; its scientific name is Melaleuca alternifolia. Essential oil from this plant is extracted by steam distillation method. Based on the previous research, tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and insect repel...

  15. Evolutionary genetics of insect innate immunity


    Viljakainen, Lumi


    Patterns of evolution in immune defense genes help to understand the evolutionary dynamics between hosts and pathogens. Multiple insect genomes have been sequenced, with many of them having annotated immune genes, which paves the way for a comparative genomic analysis of insect immunity. In this review, I summarize the current state of comparative and evolutionary genomics of insect innate immune defense. The focus is on the conserved and divergent components of immunity with an emphasis on g...

  16. Impacts of urbanization process on insect diversity


    Shuisong Ye; Yan Fang; Kai Li


    Rapid worldwide urbanization during the last century has led to more than half the world’s population living in urban regions. Studies of how urbanization affects insect diversity have focused on the following: insect abundance, distribution, extinction, food habits and ecosystem services. Native insect populations have declined greatly in urban areas, where studies of their spatial distribution have revealed that abundance decreases along what is termed the rural–city center gradient (RCG), ...

  17. [The role of heterochrony in the establishment of archetype in higher Echinoderm taxa]. (United States)

    Rozhnov, S V


    The analysis based on paleontological data shows that the body plans of higher echinoderm taxa were established through the combination of previously developed characters. These combinations appeared due to various heterochronies and resulted in more or less complete filling of the morphological space of logical capabilities. The maximum rank of new taxa decreased with time. New body plans of higher taxa did not replace the old plans but rather overlay them, extending the hierarchy of body plans and the respective hierarchy of taxa. The macroevolution of echinoderms and other metazoans progressed from the formation of an archetype (a general body plan) to individual details, the development of structural plans of lower levels. Heterochrony resulted in mosaic evolution and obscurity of intermediate forms.

  18. Hybridization and asymmetric reproductive isolation between the closely related bryophyte taxa Polytrichum commune and P. uliginosum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Velde, M; Bijlsma, R


    Based on genetic differentiation, the haploid dioecious bryophyte taxa Polytrichum commune and P. uliginosum have been inferred to be completely reproductively isolated. However, analysing diploid sporophytes from a sympatric population for three diagnostic microsatellite markers, we show here that

  19. Bacterial taxa-area and distance-decay relationships in marine environments. (United States)

    Zinger, L; Boetius, A; Ramette, A


    The taxa-area relationship (TAR) and the distance-decay relationship (DDR) both describe spatial turnover of taxa and are central patterns of biodiversity. Here, we compared TAR and DDR of bacterial communities across different marine realms and ecosystems at the global scale. To obtain reliable global estimates for both relationships, we quantified the poorly assessed effects of sequencing depth, rare taxa removal and number of sampling sites. Slope coefficients of bacterial TARs were within the range of those of plants and animals, whereas slope coefficients of bacterial DDR were much lower. Slope coefficients were mostly affected by removing rare taxa and by the number of sampling sites considered in the calculations. TAR and DDR slope coefficients were overestimated at sequencing depth information on macroecological patterns of marine bacteria, as well as methodological and conceptual insights, at a time when biodiversity surveys increasingly make use of high-throughput sequencing technologies.

  20. A molecular analysis of the Gelechiidae (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea) with an interpretative grouping of its taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karsholt, Ole; Mutanen, Marko; Lee, Sangmi;


    , Isocitrate dehydrogenase, Cytosolic malate dehydrogenase, Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and Carbamoylphosphate synthase domain protein). Fifty-two taxa representing nearly all established subfamilies and tribes of Gelechiidae, and about 10% of described gelechiid genera, in addition to five...

  1. Converting pest insects into food

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Wiwatwittaya, Decha


    on management, 32-115 kg ant brood (mainly new queens) was harvested per ha per year without detrimental effect on colony survival and worker ant densities. This suggest that ant biocontrol and ant harvest can be sustainable integrated in plantations and double benefits derived. As ant production is fuelled...... by pest insects, problematic pests are converted into food and additional earnings. To assess the profitability of providing additional food for the ants, O. smaragdina food conversion efficiency (ECI) was estimated in the laboratory. This estimate suggests the feeding of weaver ants in ant farms...

  2. Delayed insect access alters carrion decomposition and necrophagous insect community assembly (United States)

    Vertebrate carrion in terrestrial ecosystems is an unpredictable, ephemeral resource pulse that contributes to local biodiversity and nutrient transformation dynamics. We hypothesized that delayed insect access to carrion would demonstrate marked shifts in necrophagous insect community structure, t...

  3. Os determinantes do impacto da crise financeira internacional sobre a taxa de crescimento do PIB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Guimarães


    Full Text Available Resumo O objetivo principal deste trabalho é avaliar os determinantes do impacto da crise financeira internacional sobre a mudança na taxa de crescimento do PIB (2009-2008 para 118 países, utilizando estimações por MQO. Os resultados econométricos para os modelos estimados tendo como variável dependente a diferença entre a taxa de crescimento do PIB real em 2009, e o projetado em 2008 para 2009, indicam que apreciações cambiais e uma piora na percepção dos investidores estão associadas a uma maior diferença entre a taxa de crescimento do PIB real de 2009 em relação à taxa de crescimento projetada em 2008 para 2009. Além disso, um aumento no nível de reservas internacionais e uma melhora na situação orçamentária do governo estão associados a uma diminuição na diferença entre a taxa de crescimento do PIB real de 2009 em relação à taxa de crescimento projetada em 2008 para 2009. Os resultados das estimações para os modelos com a variável dependente dada pela diferença entre a taxa de crescimento de 2009 e 2008 revelam que o nível de reservas internacionais, a medida do grau de flexibilidade do regime cambial (classificação de regime cambial e o PIB per capita são estatisticamente significativos, e países com maior montante de reservas internacionais, PIB per capita e grau de flexibilidade cambial estão associados a uma menor variação na taxa de crescimento entre 2009 e 2008.

  4. Inter- and Intra-specific Variation among Five Erythroxylum Taxa Assessed by AFLP



    • Background and Aims The four cultivated Erythroxylum taxa (E. coca var. coca, E. novogranatense var. novogranatense, E. coca var. ipadu and E. novogranatense var. truxillense) are indigenous to the Andean region of South America and have been cultivated for folk-medicine and, within the last century, for illicit cocaine production. The objective of this research was to assess the structure of genetic diversity within and among the four cultivated alkaloid-bearing taxa of Erythroxylum in the...

  5. Review on Nutritive Value of Edible Insects

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    As an importam bio-resource, insect resources have not been put into full play as healthy food. Based on study and analysis, the nutritive value of edible insects was reviewed. The results showed that insects have rich protein (20%-70%), amino acid (30%-60%),fat (10%-50%),fatty acid, carbonhydrate (2%-10%), mineral elements, vitamins and other activated elements which are good for human 's health. As protein resources, the nutritive value of edible insects is as good as animal and plant resources. Insec...

  6. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Like ancient people at other places of the world, the ancient Chinese lived in awe of the Sun. As they felt solar eclipses extremely significant events, they closely observed the occurrence of solar eclipse. Ancient astronomers further realized very early that solar eclipses were one of the important astronomical phenomena to revise and improve the ancient calendar. Interestingly, ancient emperors regarded solar eclipses as warnings from heaven that might affect the stability of their throne. Consequently, observing and recording solar eclipses became official, which dated far back to ancient China when numerous relevant descriptions were recorded in historical books. These records contribute substantially to China as an ancient civilization, as well as to the research of the long-term variation of the rotation rate of the Earth during >2000 years before the 17th century. This paper briefly reviews the perception, observations and recording of solar eclipses by ancient Chinese astronomers.

  7. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN YanBen; QIAO OiYuan


    Like ancient people at other places of the world, the ancient Chinese lived in awe of the Sun. As they felt solar eclipses extremely significant events, they closely observed the occurrence of solar eclipse. Ancient astronomers further realized very early that solar eclipses were one of the important astro-nomical phenomena to revise and improve the ancient calendar. Interestingly, ancient emperors re-garded solar eclipses as warnings from heaven that might affect the stability of their throne. Conse-quently, observing and recording solar eclipses became official, which dated far back to ancient China when numerous relevant descriptions were recorded in historical books. These records contribute substantially to China as an ancient civilization, as well as to the research of the long-term variation of the rotation rate of the Earth during >2000 years before the 17th century. This paper briefly reviews the perception, observations and recording of solar eclipses by ancient Chinese astronomers.

  8. 长白山高山草甸植物-传粉昆虫相互作用网络可视化及格局分析%Visulization and Pattern Analysis of Plant-Insect Pollinator Interaction Networks in Subalpine Meadow in Changbai Mountain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭彦林; 孟庆繁; 高文韬


    With Pajek, a program for analysis and visualization of large networks, topologies of plant-insect pollinator interaction networks were constructed at the different taxa levels, and the change in patterns of interaction networks was studied. The results showed that patterns were different at the different taxa levels. The frequency distributions of species degree for insect pollinators and flowering plants were right-skewed at the species level. The insect pollinators and flowering plants with more than 1 links accounted for high proportion, with only a few species higher links, and the mean species degree for plants was higher than that of insect pollinator in plant-insect pollinator interaction networks in subalpine meadows. There was obvious lack of super generalized species indicating that phenological or morphologic mismatching between plant and insect pollinator forbad links between them. The frequency distributions of species degree for insect pollinators at the order level were different from that at the species level, however, generalized insect orders were also dominant. It is thus clear that studies on network patterns at the different levels would contribute to uncovering organization mechanism of pollination networks, and understanding that conservation on keystone insect pollinators or flowering plants with higher links is vital to maintain pollination system in subalpine meadows in Changbai Mountain.

  9. Dialogue Genre Texts in Ancient Greek Prose: Linguostylistic Aspect


    Gita Bērziņa


    Dialogue Genre Texts in Ancient Greek Prose: Linguostylistic Aspect Doctoral thesis deals with the study of essential linguistic features of the Ancient Greek dialogue as an important ancient prose genre. The goal of the thesis is to disclose the specific linguistic characteristics of the genre of Ancient Greek dialogue on the basis of comparative analysis of the linguistic structure (on all levels as well as in style) of the texts of three most prominent authors (Plato, Xenoph...

  10. Recalibrated tree of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae indicates independent diversification of angiosperms and their insect herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Gómez-Zurita

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The great diversity of the "Phytophaga" (weevils, longhorn beetles and leaf beetles has been attributed to their co-radiation with the angiosperms based on matching age estimates for both groups, but phylogenetic information and molecular clock calibrations remain insufficient for this conclusion. METHODOLOGY: A phylogenetic analysis of the leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae was conducted based on three partial ribosomal gene markers (mitochondrial rrnL, nuclear small and large subunit rRNA including over 3000 bp for 167 taxa representing most major chrysomelid lineages and outgroups. Molecular clock calibrations and confidence intervals were based on paleontological data from the oldest (K-T boundary leaf beetle fossil, ancient feeding traces ascribed to hispoid Cassidinae, and the vicariant split of Nearctic and Palearctic members of the Timarchini. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The origin of the Chrysomelidae was dated to 73-79 Mya (confidence interval 63-86 Mya, and most subfamilies were post-Cretaceous, consistent with the ages of all confirmed body fossils. Two major monocot feeding chrysomelid lineages formed widely separated clades, demonstrating independent colonization of this ancient (early Cretaceous angiosperm lineage. CONCLUSIONS: Previous calibrations proposing a much older origin of Chrysomelidae were not supported. Therefore, chrysomelid beetles likely radiated long after the origin of their host lineages and their diversification was driven by repeated radiaton on a pre-existing diverse resource, rather than ancient host associations.

  11. Fire usage and ancient hominin detoxification genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aarts, Jac M.M.J.G.; Alink, Gerrit M.; Scherjon, Fulco; MacDonald, Katharine; Smith, Alison C.; Nijveen, Harm; Roebroeks, Wil


    Studies of the defence capacity of ancient hominins against toxic substances may contribute importantly to the reconstruction of their niche, including their diets and use of fire. Fire usage implies frequent exposure to hazardous compounds from smoke and heated food, known to affect general heal

  12. Discovering the Ancient Maya from Space (United States)

    Sever, T. L.


    The Pet6n region of northern Guatemala contains some of the most significant Mayan archeological sites in Latin America. It was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared. Remote sensing technology is helping to locate and map ancient Maya sites that are threatened today by accelerating deforestation and looting. Thematic Mapper, IKONOS, and QuickBird satellite, and airborne STAR-3i and AIRSAR radar data, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, are successfully detecting ancient Maya features such as sites, roadways, canals, and water reservoirs. Satellite imagery is also being used to map the bajos, which are seasonally flooded swamps that cover over 40% of the land surface. Through the use of various airborne and satellite sensor systems we have been able to detect and map ancient causeways, temples, reservoirs, and land forms, and locate these features on the ground through GPS technology. Recently, we have discovered that there is a strong relationship between a tropical forest vegetation signature in satellite imagery and the location of archeological sites. We believe that the use of limestone and lime plasters in ancient Maya construction affects the moisture, nutrition, and plant species of the surface vegetation. We have mapped these vegetation signatures in the imagery and verified through field survey that they are indicative of archeological sites. Through the use of remote sensing and GIS technology it is possible to identify unrecorded archeological features in a dense tropical forest environment and monitor these cultural features for their protection.

  13. Ancient Human Parasites in Ethnic Chinese Populations (United States)

    Yeh, Hui-Yuan; Mitchell, Piers D.


    Whilst archaeological evidence for many aspects of life in ancient China is well studied, there has been much less interest in ancient infectious diseases, such as intestinal parasites in past Chinese populations. Here, we bring together evidence from mummies, ancient latrines, and pelvic soil from burials, dating from the Neolithic Period to the Qing Dynasty, in order to better understand the health of the past inhabitants of China and the diseases endemic in the region. Seven species of intestinal parasite have been identified, namely roundworm, whipworm, Chinese liver fluke, oriental schistosome, pinworm, Taenia sp. tapeworm, and the intestinal fluke Fasciolopsis buski. It was found that in the past, roundworm, whipworm, and Chinese liver fluke appear to have been much more common than the other species. While roundworm and whipworm remained common into the late 20th century, Chinese liver fluke seems to have undergone a marked decline in its prevalence over time. The iconic transport route known as the Silk Road has been shown to have acted as a vector for the transmission of ancient diseases, highlighted by the discovery of Chinese liver fluke in a 2,000 year-old relay station in northwest China, 1,500 km outside its endemic range. PMID:27853113

  14. Ancient bronze disks, decorations and calendars

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    Recently, it was published that some ancient bronze disks could had been calendars, that is, that their decorations had this function. Here I am discussing an example, the disk of the Trundholm Sun Chariot, proposing a new interpretation of it, giving a calendar of 360 days. Some geometric diagrams concerning the decoration layout are also proposed.

  15. Ancient DNA analysis of dental calculus. (United States)

    Weyrich, Laura S; Dobney, Keith; Cooper, Alan


    Dental calculus (calcified tartar or plaque) is today widespread on modern human teeth around the world. A combination of soft starchy foods, changing acidity of the oral environment, genetic pre-disposition, and the absence of dental hygiene all lead to the build-up of microorganisms and food debris on the tooth crown, which eventually calcifies through a complex process of mineralisation. Millions of oral microbes are trapped and preserved within this mineralised matrix, including pathogens associated with the oral cavity and airways, masticated food debris, and other types of extraneous particles that enter the mouth. As a result, archaeologists and anthropologists are increasingly using ancient human dental calculus to explore broad aspects of past human diet and health. Most recently, high-throughput DNA sequencing of ancient dental calculus has provided valuable insights into the evolution of the oral microbiome and shed new light on the impacts of some of the major biocultural transitions on human health throughout history and prehistory. Here, we provide a brief historical overview of archaeological dental calculus research, and discuss the current approaches to ancient DNA sampling and sequencing. Novel applications of ancient DNA from dental calculus are discussed, highlighting the considerable scope of this new research field for evolutionary biology and modern medicine.

  16. Tapping Ancient Roots: Plaited Paper Baskets (United States)

    Patrick, Jane


    With ancient roots, basket making has been practiced since the earliest civilizations, and according to textile experts, probably pre-dates pottery. This is partly conjecture since few baskets remain. It is through evidence found in clay impressions that the earliest baskets reveal themselves. Basically, basketry construction is like flat weaving.…

  17. Ancient Pyramids Help Students Learn Math Concepts (United States)

    Smith, Courtney D.; Stump, Amanda M.; Lazaros, Edward J.


    This article presents an activity that allows students to use mathematics and critical-thinking skills to emulate processes used by the ancient Egyptians to prepare the site for the Pyramids of Giza. To accomplish this, they use three different methods. First, they create a square using only simple technological tools that were available to the…

  18. Defining Astrology in Ancient and Classical History (United States)

    Campion, Nicholas


    Astrology in the ancient and classical worlds can be partly defined by its role, and partly by the way in which scholars spoke about it. The problem is complicated by the fact that the word is Greek - it has no Babylonian or Egyptian cognates - and even in Greece it was interchangeable with its cousin, 'astronomy'. Yet if we are to understand the role of the sky, stars and planets in culture, debates about the nature of ancient astrology, by both classical and modern scholars, must be taken into account. This talk will consider modern scholars' typologies of ancient astrology, together with ancient debates from Cicero in the 1st century BC, to Plotinus (204/5-270 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 4 April 636). It will consider the implications for our understanding of astronomy's role in culture, and conclude that in the classical period astrology may be best understood through its diversity and allegiance to competing philosophies, and that its functions were therefore similarly varied.

  19. Ancient whole grain gluten-free flatbreads (United States)

    The USDA food guide recommends that at least ½ of all the grains eaten should be whole grains. The FDA allows food Health Claim labels for food containing 51% whole gains and 11 g of dietary fiber. This is the only report demonstrating innovative ancient whole grain gluten-free (no yeast or chemical...

  20. An ancient musical instrument returns home

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    After 300 years abroad, an ancient Chinese musical instrument returned home with its face lifted and a Japanese name. Originally a one-stringed plucker, the Daisho Modo now features a whole family of electric high-, medium-pitched and bass instruments. With crisp tone and wide range, the Daisho Modo is

  1. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma


    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...

  2. The Study of Women in Ancient Society. (United States)

    Moscovich, M. James


    Presents ideas for teaching about the roles of women in ancient Greek and Roman societies for undergraduate history and sociology classes. The discussion covers the roots of misogyny in Western culture, parallels between mythologies and sociocultural patterns, and the legal status of women in antiquity. (AM)

  3. [Ancient tattooing from today's point of view]. (United States)

    Zimmermann, R; Zimmermann, K


    Both literary and arachaeological evidence indicates that, up to now, ancient tattoos can be traced with certainty in painting only among Thracians. A comparison with modern tattoos reveals differences of motivation and motifs, whereas localization, technique, and removal show similarities. The illustrations demonstrate some tattoos typical for Thracians on Greek vases.

  4. Case report 872. "Ancient" schwannoma (degenerated neurilemoma). (United States)

    Schultz, E; Sapan, M R; McHeffey-Atkinson, B; Naidich, J B; Arlen, M


    A case of an ancient schwannoma was presented. The rare occurrence of this tumor has resulted in only a few reported cases with descriptions of its features on imaging. Our patient's tumor, like one previously reported case, demonstrated calcification on the plain film - a finding not associated with other histologic types of schwannomas. Angiography revealed the tumor to be hypervascular. Evaluation by MRI demonstrated a lobulated, encapsulated soft tissue mass containing several cystic areas that corresponded histologically to areas of necrosis. Hypertrophied blood vessels were seen in the periphery of the tumoral mass. Too few ancient schwannomas have been reported to conclude whether or not radiographic evidence of soft tissue calcification is characteristic of this histologically distinctive subtype of schwannoma. However, since calcification is seen histologically as part of the degenerating process, its presence on plain films could be a feature of this tumor. Furthermore, the presence of cystic areas on MRI is not surprising given the pathological changes that occur in this tumor. We suggest that a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma be considered when a patient presents with a hypervascular soft tissue mass containing amorphous calcification on plain films and cystic areas on MRI. Despite the nonspecificity of these imaging findings, this point is relevant because each of these features suggests the presence of a malignant mass. Awareness of the possibility of a benign ancient schwannoma could obviate unnecessary radical surgery.

  5. Communication Arts in the Ancient World. (United States)

    Havelock, Eric A., Ed.; Hershbell, Jackson P., Ed.

    Intended for both classicists and nonclassicists, this volume explores the beginnings of literacy in ancient Greece and Rome and examines the effects of written communication on these cultures. The nine articles, written by classical scholars and educators in the field of communication, discuss the following: the superiority of the alphabet over…

  6. Paragons of Education in Ancient Times

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    MOTHERS contributed greatly to children’s education in ancient China long before schools took shape. Behind many prominent figures lay greatmothers whose personal example and verbal instruction benefited their children throughout life. There is an old sayingabout the "stern father and compassionate mother."However, you will always

  7. The Roots of Science in Ancient China. (United States)

    Fisher, Arthur


    A 45-year-old research project (culminating in the multivolume "Science and Civilization in China") is examining major scientific innovations in ancient China and attempting to explain why, although the Chinese gained a technological edge in the past, they did not make the forward leap into modern science. (JN)

  8. The Challenges of Qualitatively Coding Ancient Texts (United States)

    Slingerland, Edward; Chudek, Maciej


    We respond to several important and valid concerns about our study ("The Prevalence of Folk Dualism in Early China," "Cognitive Science" 35: 997-1007) by Klein and Klein, defending our interpretation of our data. We also argue that, despite the undeniable challenges involved in qualitatively coding texts from ancient cultures, the standard tools…

  9. Mitochondrial phylogenomics of modern and ancient equids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vilstrup, Julia T; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias;


    to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far...

  10. Genomic correlates of atherosclerosis in ancient humans. (United States)

    Zink, Albert; Wann, L Samuel; Thompson, Randall C; Keller, Andreas; Maixner, Frank; Allam, Adel H; Finch, Caleb E; Frohlich, Bruno; Kaplan, Hillard; Lombardi, Guido P; Sutherland, M Linda; Sutherland, James D; Watson, Lucia; Cox, Samantha L; Miyamoto, Michael I; Narula, Jagat; Stewart, Alexandre F R; Thomas, Gregory S; Krause, Johannes


    Paleogenetics offers a unique opportunity to study human evolution, population dynamics, and disease evolution in situ. Although histologic and computed x-ray tomographic investigations of ancient mummies have clearly shown that atherosclerosis has been present in humans for more than 5,000 years, limited data are available on the presence of genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease in ancient human populations. In a previous whole-genome study of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy from the Alps, an increased risk for coronary heart disease was detected. The Iceman's genome revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms that are linked with cardiovascular disease in genome-wide association studies. Future genetic studies of ancient humans from various geographic origins and time periods have the potential to provide more insights into the presence and possible changes of genetic risk factors in our ancestors. The study of ancient humans and a better understanding of the interaction between environmental and genetic influences on the development of heart diseases may lead to a more effective prevention and treatment of the most common cause of death in the modern world.

  11. The Ancient stellar population of Leo A.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saha, Abhijit; Fiorentino, Giuliana; Tolstoy, Eline; Cole, Andrew


    The primary goal of our proposal is the characterisation of the oldest stellar populations in Leo A using the properties of ancient RR Lyrae variable stars as tracers. Well known and long established correlations exist between the periods and luminosities of RR Lyrae variable stars and their ages an

  12. Scale Insects, edition 2, a tool for the identification of potential pest scales at U.S.A. ports-of-entry (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccoidea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dug Miller


    Full Text Available We provide a general overview of features and technical specifications of an online, interactive tool for the identification of scale insects of concern to the U.S.A. ports-of-entry. Full lists of terminal taxa included in the keys (of which there are four, a list of features used in them, and a discussion of the structure of the tool are provided. We also briefly discuss the advantages of interactive keys for the identification of potential scale insect pests. The interactive key is freely accessible on

  13. Scale Insects, edition 2, a tool for the identification of potential pest scales at U.S.A. ports-of-entry (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccoidea). (United States)

    Miller, Douglass R; Rung, Alessandra; Parikh, Grishma


    We provide a general overview of features and technical specifications of an online, interactive tool for the identification of scale insects of concern to the U.S.A. ports-of-entry. Full lists of terminal taxa included in the keys (of which there are four), a list of features used in them, and a discussion of the structure of the tool are provided. We also briefly discuss the advantages of interactive keys for the identification of potential scale insect pests. The interactive key is freely accessible on

  14. Ancient Egyptian Medicine: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Adu-Gyamfi


    Full Text Available Our present day knowledge in the area of medicine in Ancient Egypt has been severally sourced from medical papyri several of which have been deduced and analyzed by different scholars. For educational purposes it is always imperative to consult different literature or sources in the teaching of ancient Egypt and medicine in particular. To avoid subjectivity the author has found the need to re-engage the efforts made by several scholars in adducing evidences from medical papyri. In the quest to re-engage the efforts of earlier writers and commentaries on the medical papyri, we are afforded the opportunity to be informed about the need to ask further questions to enable us to construct or reconstruct both past and modern views on ancient Egyptian medical knowledge. It is this vocation the author sought to pursue in the interim, through a preliminary review, to highlight, comment and reinvigorate in the reader or researcher the need for a continuous engagement of some pertinent documentary sources on Ancient Egyptian medical knowledge for educational and research purposes. The study is based on qualitative review of published literature. The selection of those articles as sources was based on the focus of the review, in order to purposively select and comment on articles that were published based either on information from a medical papyrus or focused on medical specialization among the ancient Egyptians as well as ancient Egyptian knowledge on diseases and medicine. It was found that the Egyptians developed relatively sophisticated medical practices covering significant medical fields such as herbal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, anatomy and physiology, mummification and even the preliminary form of surgery. These practices, perhaps, were developed as remedies for the prevailing diseases and the accidents that might have occurred during the construction of their giant pyramids. It must be stated that they were not without flaws. Also, the

  15. Drosophila as a genetically tractable model for social insect behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison L Camiletti


    Full Text Available The relatively simple communication, breeding and egg-making systems that govern reproduction in female Drosophila retain homology to eusocial species in which these same systems are modified to the social condition. Despite having no parental care, division of labour or subfertile caste, Drosophila may nonetheless offer a living test of certain sociobiological hypotheses framed around gene function. In this review, we make this case, and do so around the recent discovery that the non-social fly, Drosophila melanogaster, can respond to the ovary-suppressing queen pheromone of the honey bee Apis meliffera. Here, we first explain the sociobiological imperative to reconcile kin theory with molecular biology, and qualify a potential role for Drosophila. Then, we offer three applications for the fly-pheromone assay. First, the availability and accessibility of massive mutant libraries makes immediately feasible any number of open or targeted gene screens against the ovary-inhibiting response. The sheer tractability of Drosophila may therefore help to accelerate the search for genes in pheromone-responsive pathways that regulate female reproduction, including potentially any that are preserved with modification to regulate worker sterility in response to queen pheromones in eusocial taxa. Secondly, Drosophila’s powerful Gal4/UAS expression system can complement the pheromone assay by driving target gene expression into living tissue, which could be well applied to the functional testing of genes presumed to drive ovary activation or de-activation in the honey bee or other eusocial taxa. Finally, coupling Gal4 with UAS-RNAi lines can facilitate loss-of-function experiments against perception and response to the ovary inhibiting pheromone, and do so for large numbers of candidates in systematic fashion. Drosophila's utility as an adjunct to the field of insect sociobiology is not ideal, but retains surprising potential.

  16. Insects diversity in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus is a vegetable which usually made as a home yard plant for Indonesian people to fulfill their daily needs. This plant has not been produced in the large number by the farmer. So it is hard to find in the market. Lima bean is light by many kind of insect. Inventory, identification and the study of insect taxon to this plant is being done to collect some information about the insect who life in the plant. The research was done in Balitsa experiment garden in the district of Lembang in Bandung regency on November 2003-February 2004, the experiment start at 4 weeks age, at the height of 1260 m over the sea level. The observation was made systematically by absolute method (D-vac macine and relative method (sweeping net. The research so that there were 26 species of phytofagous insect, 9 species of predator insect, 6 species of parasitoid insect, 4 species of pollinator and 14 species of scavenger insect. According to the research the highest species number was got in the 8th week (3rd sampling, which had 27 variety of species, so the highest diversity was also got in this with 2,113 point. Aphididae and Cicadellidae was the most insect found in roay plant. The research also had high number of species insect so the diversity of insect and evenness become high. A community will have the high stability if it is a long with the high diversity. High evenness in community that has low species dominance and high species number of insect so the high of species richness.

  17. The Ancient Kemetic Roots of Library and Information Science. (United States)

    Zulu, Itibari M.

    This paper argues that the ancient people of Kemet (Egypt), "the black land," built and operated the first major libraries and institutions of higher education in the world. Topics of discussion include the Ancient Egyptians as an African people; a chronology of Ancient Kemet; literature in Kemet; a history of Egyptian Librarianship; the…

  18. Deep sequencing of RNA from ancient maize kernels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fordyce, Sarah Louise; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen; Rasmussen, Morten;


    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We...... maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication....

  19. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linea Melchior

    Full Text Available Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however, the success rate varied substantially between sites; the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13% than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (approximately 2.5% as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.

  20. Ancient Egypt in our Cultural Heritage?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Vasiljević


    Full Text Available Inspiration derived from ancient Egypt is usually expressed through the Egyptian motifs in arts and popular culture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as through the non-scientific interpretations of the culture, very much based upon the Renaissance ones. The number and variety of material and non-material traces of this fascination are most expressed in the countries where, along with the early support for the institutional development of Egyptology, there existed economically potent educated middle classes (Western and Central Europe, USA, but may also be traced elsewhere. The public fascination by ancient Egypt has not ceased by the times of foundation of Egyptology, marked by the decipherment of the hieroglyphic script in 1822. Until the end of the 20th century Egyptologists have rarely dealt with the prelude to their discipline, limiting their interest to the critical approach to ancient sources and to noting the attempts to interpret the hieroglyphic script and the function of pyramids. However, the rising importance of the reception studies in other disciplines raised the interest of Egyptologists for the "fascination of Egypt", thus changing the status of various modes of expressing "Egyptomania" – they have thus become a part of the cultural heritage, registered, documented, preserved and studied. The research of this kind is only beginning in Serbia. The line of inquiry enhances the knowledge of the scope, manifestations and roles of the interest in Egypt, not limited by the national or political borders. On the other hand, the existence of the cultural heritage similar to the wider European view of ancient Egypt – short remarks by Jerotej Račanin, Kandor by Atanasije Stojković, the usage of architectural motifs derived from Egypt, the emergence of small private collections, to mention several early examples – all show that the research into the reception of ancient Egypt may contribute to the knowledge about the history

  1. Ancient and Medieval Cosmology in Armenian Highland (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.


    Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. It is especially vivid in ancient cultures, many of which are related to the Middle East. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenian's pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs. By this study we answer the question "How did the Universe work in Ancient Armenian Highland?" The paper focuses on the structure of the Universe and many phenomena of nature that have always had major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. Here we weave together astronomy, anthropology and mythology of Armenia, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions. The initial review of the study covers Moses of Khoren, Yeznik of Koghb, Anania Shirakatsi and other 5th-7th centuries historians' and scientists' records about the Universe related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across "seven worlds", "seven earths" and "seven layers" concepts. We draw parallels between scientific and mythological Earth and Heaven and thus find similar number of layers on both of the ancient and modern thinking. In the article we also give some details about the tripartite structure of the Universe and how these parts are connected with axis. This axis is either a column or a Cosmic Tree (Kenatz Tsar). In Armenian culture the preliminary meanings of the Kenatz Tsar are more vivid in folk songs (Jan gyulums), plays, epic, and so on, which was subsequently mixed with religious and spiritual views. We conclude that the perception of the Universe structure and celestial objects had a significant impact on culture and worldview of the people of the Armenian Highland; particularly it was one of the bases of the regional cultural diversity.

  2. Insect prey characteristics affecting regional variation in chimpanzee tool use. (United States)

    Sanz, Crickette M; Deblauwe, Isra; Tagg, Nikki; Morgan, David B


    It is an ongoing interdisciplinary pursuit to identify the factors shaping the emergence and maintenance of tool technology. Field studies of several primate taxa have shown that tool using behaviors vary within and between populations. While similarity in tools over spatial and temporal scales may be the product of socially learned skills, it may also reflect adoption of convergent strategies that are tailored to specific prey features. Much has been claimed about regional variation in chimpanzee tool use, with little attention to the ecological circumstances that may have shaped such differences. This study examines chimpanzee tool use in termite gathering to evaluate the extent to which the behavior of insect prey may dictate chimpanzee technology. More specifically, we conducted a systematic comparison of chimpanzee tool use and termite prey between the Goualougo Triangle in the Republic of Congo and the La Belgique research site in southeast Cameroon. Apes at both of these sites are known to use tool sets to gather several species of termites. We collected insect specimens and measured the characteristics of their nests. Associated chimpanzee tool assemblages were documented at both sites and video recordings were conducted in the Goualougo Triangle. Although Macrotermitinae assemblages were identical, we found differences in the tools used to gather these termites. Based on measurements of the chimpanzee tools and termite nests at each site, we concluded that some characteristics of chimpanzee tools were directly related to termite nest structure. While there is a certain degree of uniformity within approaches to particular tool tasks across the species range, some aspects of regional variation in hominoid technology are likely adaptations to subtle environmental differences between populations or groups. Such microecological differences between sites do not negate the possibility of cultural transmission, as social learning may be required to transmit

  3. Temperature influences on water permeability and chlorpyrifos uptake in aquatic insects with differing respiratory strategies (United States)

    Buchwalter, D.B.; Jenkins, J.J.; Curtis, L.R.


    Aquatic insects have evolved diverse respiratory strategies that range from breathing atmospheric air to breathing dissolved oxygen. These strategies result in vast morphological differences among taxa in terms of exchange epithelial surface areas that are in direct contact with the surrounding water that, in turn, affect physiological processes. This paper examines the effects of acute temperature shifts on water permeability and chlorpyrifos uptake in aquatic insects with different respiratory strategies. While considerable differences existed in water permeability among the species tested, acute temperature shifts raised water influx rates similarly in air-breathing and gill-bearing taxa. This contrasts significantly with temperature-shift effects on chlorpyrifos uptake. Temperature shifts of 4.5??C increased 14C-chlorpyrifos accumulation rates in the gill-bearing mayfly Cinygma sp. and in the air-breathing hemipteran Sigara washingtonensis. However, the temperature-induced increase in 14C-chlorpyrifos uptake after 8 h of exposure was 2.75-fold higher in Cinygma than in Sigara. Uptake of 14C-chlorpyrifos was uniformly higher in Cinygma than in Sigara in all experiments. These findings suggest that organisms with relatively large exchange epithelial surface areas are potentially more vulnerable to both osmoregulatory distress as well as contaminant accumulation. Temperature increases appear more likely to impact organisms that have relatively large exchange epithelial surface areas, both as an individual stressor and in combination with additional stressors such as contaminants.

  4. Testing the potential of a ribosomal 16S marker for DNA metabarcoding of insects

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    Vasco Elbrecht


    Full Text Available Cytochrome c oxidase I (COI is a powerful marker for DNA barcoding of animals, with good taxonomic resolution and a large reference database. However, when used for DNA metabarcoding, estimation of taxa abundances and species detection are limited due to primer bias caused by highly variable primer binding sites across the COI gene. Therefore, we explored the ability of the 16S ribosomal DNA gene as an alternative metabarcoding marker for species level assessments. Ten bulk samples, each containing equal amounts of tissue from 52 freshwater invertebrate taxa, were sequenced with the Illumina NextSeq 500 system. The 16S primers amplified three more insect species than the Folmer COI primers and amplified more equally, probably due to decreased primer bias. Estimation of biomass might be less biased with 16S than with COI, although variation in read abundances of two orders of magnitudes is still observed. According to these results, the marker choice depends on the scientific question. If the goal is to obtain a taxonomic identification at the species level, then COI is more appropriate due to established reference databases and known taxonomic resolution of this marker, knowing that a greater proportion of insects will be missed using COI Folmer primers. If the goal is to obtain a more comprehensive survey the 16S marker, which requires building a local reference database, or optimised degenerated COI primers could be more appropriate.

  5. Modeling resistance to genetic control of insects. (United States)

    Alphey, Nina; Bonsall, Michael B; Alphey, Luke


    The sterile insect technique is an area-wide pest control method that reduces pest populations by releasing mass-reared sterile insects which compete for mates with wild insects. Modern molecular tools have created possibilities for improving and extending the sterile insect technique. As with any new insect control method, questions arise about potential resistance. Genetic RIDL(®)(1) (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal) technology is a proposed modification of the technique, releasing insects that are homozygous for a repressible dominant lethal genetic construct rather than being sterilized by irradiation. Hypothetical resistance to the lethal mechanism is a potential threat to RIDL strategies' effectiveness. Using population genetic and population dynamic models, we assess the circumstances under which monogenic biochemically based resistance could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of releases for population control. We assume that released insects would be homozygous susceptible to the lethal genetic construct and therefore releases would have a built-in element of resistance dilution. We find that this effect could prevent or limit the spread of resistance to RIDL constructs; the outcomes are subject to competing selective forces deriving from the fitness properties of resistance and the release ratio. Resistance that is spreading and capable of having a significant detrimental impact on population reduction is identifiable, signaling in advance a need for mitigating action.

  6. Towards the elements of successful insect RNAi. (United States)

    Scott, Jeffrey G; Michel, Kristin; Bartholomay, Lyric C; Siegfried, Blair D; Hunter, Wayne B; Smagghe, Guy; Zhu, Kun Yan; Douglas, Angela E


    RNA interference (RNAi), the sequence-specific suppression of gene expression, offers great opportunities for insect science, especially to analyze gene function, manage pest populations, and reduce disease pathogens. The accumulating body of literature on insect RNAi has revealed that the efficiency of RNAi varies between different species, the mode of RNAi delivery, and the genes being targeted. There is also variation in the duration of transcript suppression. At present, we have a limited capacity to predict the ideal experimental strategy for RNAi of a particular gene/insect because of our incomplete understanding of whether and how the RNAi signal is amplified and spread among insect cells. Consequently, development of the optimal RNAi protocols is a highly empirical process. This limitation can be relieved by systematic analysis of the molecular physiological basis of RNAi mechanisms in insects. An enhanced conceptual understanding of RNAi function in insects will facilitate the application of RNAi for dissection of gene function, and to fast-track the application of RNAi to both control pests and develop effective methods to protect beneficial insects and non-insect arthropods, particularly the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and cultured Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from viral and parasitic diseases.

  7. Edible insects contributing to food security?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van Arnold


    Because of growing demand for meat and declining availability of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternative protein sources. Edible insects can be produced with less environmental impact than livestock. Insect meal can replace scarce fishmeal as feed ingredient, in particular

  8. Notes on collecting flower-visiting insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.


    Flower-visiting insects may play a role in the pollination of the flowers they visit. An important indication for this is the pollen they carry on their body. The transport of pollen does not prove pollination without observations of the behaviour of the insects on the flowers, but at least it offer

  9. Applications of genome editing in insects (United States)

    Insect genome editing was first reported 1991 in Drosophila melanogaster but the technology used was not portable to other species. Not until the recent development of facile, engineered DNA endonuclease systems has gene editing become widely available to insect scientists. Most applications in inse...

  10. Eicosanoids: Progress Toward Manipulating Insect Immunity (United States)

    Insect immunity is exclusively innate, lacking the antibody-based adaptive immunity of vertebrates. Innate immunity is a naturally occurring, non-specific system that does not require previous infectious experience. In this essay I describe insect immunity and review the roles of prostaglandins an...

  11. Testing mechanistic models of growth in insects. (United States)

    Maino, James L; Kearney, Michael R


    Insects are typified by their small size, large numbers, impressive reproductive output and rapid growth. However, insect growth is not simply rapid; rather, insects follow a qualitatively distinct trajectory to many other animals. Here we present a mechanistic growth model for insects and show that increasing specific assimilation during the growth phase can explain the near-exponential growth trajectory of insects. The presented model is tested against growth data on 50 insects, and compared against other mechanistic growth models. Unlike the other mechanistic models, our growth model predicts energy reserves per biomass to increase with age, which implies a higher production efficiency and energy density of biomass in later instars. These predictions are tested against data compiled from the literature whereby it is confirmed that insects increase their production efficiency (by 24 percentage points) and energy density (by 4 J mg(-1)) between hatching and the attainment of full size. The model suggests that insects achieve greater production efficiencies and enhanced growth rates by increasing specific assimilation and increasing energy reserves per biomass, which are less costly to maintain than structural biomass. Our findings illustrate how the explanatory and predictive power of mechanistic growth models comes from their grounding in underlying biological processes.

  12. What Do Elementary Students Know about Insects? (United States)

    Barrow, Lloyd H.


    Presents an interview-based study of (n=56) elementary school students. Determines students' understanding about insect characteristics, life cycles, environmental conditions, and impact on humans. Suggests building units of instruction based on students' personal questions about insects. (Contains 16 references.) (Author/YDS)

  13. The Evolution of Agriculture in Insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, Ulrich G.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Aanen, Duur Kornelis


    Agriculture has evolved independently in three insect orders: once in ants, once in termites, and seven times in ambrosia beetles. Although these insect farmers are in some ways quite different from each other, in many more ways they are remarkably similar, suggesting convergent evolution. All...

  14. Potential applications of insect symbionts in biotechnology. (United States)

    Berasategui, Aileen; Shukla, Shantanu; Salem, Hassan; Kaltenpoth, Martin


    Symbiotic interactions between insects and microorganisms are widespread in nature and are often the source of ecological innovations. In addition to supplementing their host with essential nutrients, microbial symbionts can produce enzymes that help degrade their food source as well as small molecules that defend against pathogens, parasites, and predators. As such, the study of insect ecology and symbiosis represents an important source of chemical compounds and enzymes with potential biotechnological value. In addition, the knowledge on insect symbiosis can provide novel avenues for the control of agricultural pest insects and vectors of human diseases, through targeted manipulation of the symbionts or the host-symbiont associations. Here, we discuss different insect-microbe interactions that can be exploited for insect pest and human disease control, as well as in human medicine and industrial processes. Our aim is to raise awareness that insect symbionts can be interesting sources of biotechnological applications and that knowledge on insect ecology can guide targeted efforts to discover microorganisms of applied value.

  15. Estimating Aquatic Insect Populations. Introduction to Sampling. (United States)

    Chihuahuan Desert Research Inst., Alpine, TX.

    This booklet introduces high school and junior high school students to the major groups of aquatic insects and to population sampling techniques. Chapter 1 consists of a short field guide which can be used to identify five separate orders of aquatic insects: odonata (dragonflies and damselflies); ephemeroptera (mayflies); diptera (true flies);…

  16. Diversity in protein glycosylation among insect species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianni Vandenborre

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A very common protein modification in multicellular organisms is protein glycosylation or the addition of carbohydrate structures to the peptide backbone. Although the Class of the Insecta is the largest animal taxon on Earth, almost all information concerning glycosylation in insects is derived from studies with only one species, namely the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, the differences in glycoproteomes between insects belonging to several economically important insect orders were studied. Using GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin affinity chromatography, different sets of glycoproteins with mannosyl-containing glycan structures were purified from the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum, the silkworm (Bombyx mori, the honeybee (Apis mellifera, the fruit fly (D. melanogaster and the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum. To identify and characterize the purified glycoproteins, LC-MS/MS analysis was performed. For all insect species, it was demonstrated that glycoproteins were related to a broad range of biological processes and molecular functions. Moreover, the majority of glycoproteins retained on the GNA column were unique to one particular insect species and only a few glycoproteins were present in the five different glycoprotein sets. Furthermore, these data support the hypothesis that insect glycoproteins can be decorated with mannosylated O-glycans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results presented here demonstrate that oligomannose N-glycosylation events are highly specific depending on the insect species. In addition, we also demonstrated that protein O-mannosylation in insect species may occur more frequently than currently believed.

  17. Insect vision: controlling actions through optic flow. (United States)

    Collett, Thomas S


    Insects depend upon optic flow to supply much of their information about the three-dimensional structure of the world. Many insects use translational flow to measure the distance of objects from themselves. A recent study has provided new insights into the way Drosophila use optic flow to pick out a close target to approach.

  18. Reconstructing the genomic content of microbiome taxa through shotgun metagenomic deconvolution. (United States)

    Carr, Rogan; Shen-Orr, Shai S; Borenstein, Elhanan


    Metagenomics has transformed our understanding of the microbial world, allowing researchers to bypass the need to isolate and culture individual taxa and to directly characterize both the taxonomic and gene compositions of environmental samples. However, associating the genes found in a metagenomic sample with the specific taxa of origin remains a critical challenge. Existing binning methods, based on nucleotide composition or alignment to reference genomes allow only a coarse-grained classification and rely heavily on the availability of sequenced genomes from closely related taxa. Here, we introduce a novel computational framework, integrating variation in gene abundances across multiple samples with taxonomic abundance data to deconvolve metagenomic samples into taxa-specific gene profiles and to reconstruct the genomic content of community members. This assembly-free method is not bounded by various factors limiting previously described methods of metagenomic binning or metagenomic assembly and represents a fundamentally different approach to metagenomic-based genome reconstruction. An implementation of this framework is available at We first describe the mathematical foundations of our framework and discuss considerations for implementing its various components. We demonstrate the ability of this framework to accurately deconvolve a set of metagenomic samples and to recover the gene content of individual taxa using synthetic metagenomic samples. We specifically characterize determinants of prediction accuracy and examine the impact of annotation errors on the reconstructed genomes. We finally apply metagenomic deconvolution to samples from the Human Microbiome Project, successfully reconstructing genus-level genomic content of various microbial genera, based solely on variation in gene count. These reconstructed genera are shown to correctly capture genus-specific properties. With the accumulation of metagenomic

  19. Insect community responses to climate and weather across elevation gradients in the Sagebrush Steppe, eastern Oregon (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Rohde, Ashley T.


    Executive SummaryIn this study, the U.S. Geological Survey investigated the use of insects as bioindicators of climate change in sagebrush steppe shrublands and grasslands in the Upper Columbia Basin. The research was conducted in the Stinkingwater and Pueblo mountain ranges in eastern Oregon on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.We used a “space-for-time” sampling design that related insect communities to climate and weather along elevation gradients. We analyzed our insect dataset at three levels of organization: (1) whole-community, (2) feeding guilds (detritivores, herbivores, nectarivores, parasites, and predators), and (3) orders within nectarivores (i.e., pollinators). We captured 59,517 insects from 176 families and 10 orders at the Pueblo Mountains study area and 112,305 insects from 185 families and 11 orders at the Stinkingwater Mountains study area in 2012 and 2013. Of all the individuals captured at the Stinkingwater Mountains study area, 77,688 were from the family Cecidomyiidae (Diptera, gall gnats).We found that the composition of insect communities was associated with variability in long-term (30-yr) temperature and interannual fluctuations in temperature. We found that captures of certain fly, bee, moth, and butterfly pollinators were more strongly associated with some climate and vegetation variables than others. We found that timing of emergence, as measured by first detection of families, was associated with elevation. When analyzed by feeding guilds, we found that all guilds emerged later at high elevations except for detritivores, which emerged earlier at high elevations. The abundance of most taxa varied through time, mostly in response to temperature and precipitation. Of the pollinators, bees (particularly, Halictidae and Megachilidae) peaked in abundance in late June and early July, whereas butterflies and moths peaked in August. Flies peaked in abundance in July.Overall, our interpretation of these patterns is that

  20. Insect Vectors of Rice Yellow Mottle Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augustin Koudamiloro


    Full Text Available Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV is the major viral constraint to rice production in Africa. RYMV was first identified in 1966 in Kenya and then later in most African countries where rice is grown. Several studies have been conducted so far on its evolution, pathogenicity, resistance genes, and especially its dissemination by insects. Many of these studies showed that, among RYMV vectors, insects especially leaf-feeders found in rice fields are the major source of virus transmission. Many studies have shown that the virus is vectored by several insect species in a process of a first ingestion of leaf material and subsequent transmission in following feedings. About forty insect species were identified as vectors of RYMV since 1970 up to now. They were essentially the beetles, grasshoppers, and the leafhoppers. For this review, we presented the chronology of their identification. Also, the biology, ecology, host range, distribution, and caused damage of these insects were briefly summarized.

  1. Endocrine disruption in aquatic insects: a review. (United States)

    Soin, Thomas; Smagghe, Guy


    There is mounting evidence that a wide variety of compounds can have endocrine disrupting effects on humans and wildlife. However, investigations so far have focused primarily on exposure to human and other vertebrates, with invertebrate findings largely restricted to marine mollusks or to the ecdysteroid and juvenile hormone agonists as purposely synthesized endocrine disrupters for the pest management of insects. This article provides a brief description of the insect hormone system, a short sum-up of the relevant insect groups with aquatic life stages, and an overview of the additional evidence for endocrine disruption in aquatic insects from laboratory and field studies since 1999. In addition, the suitability of insects as sentinels for endocrine disrupting chemicals in aquatic ecosystems is discussed. Conclusions are drawn and research needs are defined.

  2. A call to insect scientists: Challenges and opportunities of managing insect communities under climate change (United States)

    Hellmann, Jessica J.; Grundel, Ralph; Hoving, Chris; Schuurman, Gregor W.


    As climate change moves insect systems into uncharted territory, more knowledge about insect dynamics and the factors that drive them could enable us to better manage and conserve insect communities. Climate change may also require us revisit insect management goals and strategies and lead to a new kind of scientific engagement in management decision-making. Here we make five key points about the role of insect science in aiding and crafting management decisions, and we illustrate those points with the monarch butterfly and the Karner blue butterfly, two species undergoing considerable change and facing new management dilemmas. Insect biology has a strong history of engagement in applied problems, and as the impacts of climate change increase, a reimagined ethic of entomology in service of broader society may emerge. We hope to motivate insect biologists to contribute time and effort toward solving the challenges of climate change.

  3. Tin compounds and insect fauna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butovskiy, R.O.


    A review of the literature of tin compounds serving as pesticides has resulted in the identification of 11 widely used compounds, both organic and inorganic, with largely fungicidal activity. Organotin compounds seem to be limited in use to the control of insect pests, with the majority of the compounds consisting of Sn(IV) and falling into the following four categories: R/sub 4/Sn, R/sub 3/SNX, R/sub 2/SnX/sub 2/, and RSnX/sub 3/, where R = aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbon radicals, and X = organic or inorganic substituent. The insecticidal activity of these compounds appears to rest on inhibition of ATPase and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. As a result, these compounds act as larvicides, ovicides and imagocides. 77 references.

  4. [Insect antimicrobial peptides: structures, properties and gene regulation]. (United States)

    Wang, Yi-Peng; Lai, Ren


    Insect antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important group of insect innate immunity effectors. Insect AMPs are cationic and contain less than 100 amino acid residues. According to structure, insect AMPs can be divided into a limited number of families. The diverse antimicrobial spectrum of insect AMPs may indicate different modes of action. Research on the model organism Drosophila indicate that insect AMPs gene regulation involves multiple signaling pathways and a large number of signaling molecules.

  5. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs, each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2 that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  6. The "most wanted" taxa from the human microbiome for whole genome sequencing.

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    Anthony A Fodor

    Full Text Available The goal of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP is to generate a comprehensive catalog of human-associated microorganisms including reference genomes representing the most common species. Toward this goal, the HMP has characterized the microbial communities at 18 body habitats in a cohort of over 200 healthy volunteers using 16S rRNA gene (16S sequencing and has generated nearly 1,000 reference genomes from human-associated microorganisms. To determine how well current reference genome collections capture the diversity observed among the healthy microbiome and to guide isolation and future sequencing of microbiome members, we compared the HMP's 16S data sets to several reference 16S collections to create a 'most wanted' list of taxa for sequencing. Our analysis revealed that the diversity of commonly occurring taxa within the HMP cohort microbiome is relatively modest, few novel taxa are represented by these OTUs and many common taxa among HMP volunteers recur across different populations of healthy humans. Taken together, these results suggest that it should be possible to perform whole-genome sequencing on a large fraction of the human microbiome, including the 'most wanted', and that these sequences should serve to support microbiome studies across multiple cohorts. Also, in stark contrast to other taxa, the 'most wanted' organisms are poorly represented among culture collections suggesting that novel culture- and single-cell-based methods will be required to isolate these organisms for sequencing.

  7. The influence of invasive Fallopia taxa on resident plant species in two river valleys (southern Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Chmura


    Full Text Available Riparian zones in two rivers in southern Poland were studied in terms of species composition and soil parameters in patches dominated by three knotweed taxa (Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis and the hybrid F. ×bohemica. The main purpose was to detect any differences in species diversity, environmental conditions and in the impact of the three Fallopia spp. on resident species. Fieldwork was conducted in spring and summer in 30 invaded plots (in total 90 subplots. It was demonstrated that vegetation dominated by particular knotweed taxa differed in response to soil pH and ammonium, nitrate, and magnesium content. Fallopia spp. (living plants and necromass had a stronger negative impact on the cover and species diversity of the resident species in summer in comparison with spring. Vegetation patches differed significantly in species composition in relation to the knotweed taxa present. These differences may be the consequence of the differentiated biotopic requirements of Fallopia taxa and the coexisting plants, or to the different impact of the knotweed taxa on the resident species.

  8. Differences among major taxa in the extent of ecological knowledge across four major ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Fisher

    Full Text Available Existing knowledge shapes our understanding of ecosystems and is critical for ecosystem-based management of the world's natural resources. Typically this knowledge is biased among taxa, with some taxa far better studied than others, but the extent of this bias is poorly known. In conjunction with the publically available World Registry of Marine Species database (WoRMS and one of the world's premier electronic scientific literature databases (Web of Science®, a text mining approach is used to examine the distribution of existing ecological knowledge among taxa in coral reef, mangrove, seagrass and kelp bed ecosystems. We found that for each of these ecosystems, most research has been limited to a few groups of organisms. While this bias clearly reflects the perceived importance of some taxa as commercially or ecologically valuable, the relative lack of research of other taxonomic groups highlights the problem that some key taxa and associated ecosystem processes they affect may be poorly understood or completely ignored. The approach outlined here could be applied to any type of ecosystem for analyzing previous research effort and identifying knowledge gaps in order to improve ecosystem-based conservation and management.

  9. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  10. Effects of global warming on ancient mammalian communities and their environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Current global warming affects the composition and dynamics of mammalian communities and can increase extinction risk; however, long-term effects of warming on mammals are less understood. Dietary reconstructions inferred from stable isotopes of fossil herbivorous mammalian tooth enamel document environmental and climatic changes in ancient ecosystems, including C(3/C(4 transitions and relative seasonality. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we use stable carbon and oxygen isotopes preserved in fossil teeth to document the magnitude of mammalian dietary shifts and ancient floral change during geologically documented glacial and interglacial periods during the Pliocene (approximately 1.9 million years ago and Pleistocene (approximately 1.3 million years ago in Florida. Stable isotope data demonstrate increased aridity, increased C(4 grass consumption, inter-faunal dietary partitioning, increased isotopic niche breadth of mixed feeders, niche partitioning of phylogenetically similar taxa, and differences in relative seasonality with warming. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data show that global warming resulted in dramatic vegetation and dietary changes even at lower latitudes (approximately 28 degrees N. Our results also question the use of models that predict the long term decline and extinction of species based on the assumption that niches are conserved over time. These findings have immediate relevance to clarifying possible biotic responses to current global warming in modern ecosystems.

  11. Methods for Assessing the Impact of Fog Oil Smoke on Availability, Palatability, & Food Quality of Relevant Life Stages of Insects for Threatened and Endangered Species (United States)


    which encompass the listed TES, commonly prey on this life stage of insects (Holmes and Schultz 1988). Beetle and lepidoptera larvae are the taxa...Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics . 18:453-487. Matsumura, F. 1985. Toxicology of Insecticides (2nd ed.), Plenum Press, New York. Ramsey...NJ. Strenge, D. L., C. J. Driver, R. S. Herrington, and R. S. Zack. 2006. Notes on the life history of Macaria curvata ( Lepidoptera : Geometridae

  12. Taxonomic survey and characterization of the habitat of aquatic insects in protected areas in a subtropical island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica da Rosa Pires


    Full Text Available Taxonomic inventories are the basis of several ecological studies and they enable a better understanding of the local and regional biodiversity. This paper aimed to survey the aquatic insect fauna in a subtropical island, as well as to generate information on the habitats used by the taxa found. Two regions showing a good state of environmental conservation in the Santa Catarina Island, in Santa Catarina, Brazil, were selected: “Lagoa do Peri” Municipal Park and “Desterro” Environmental Protected Area. Aquatic invertebrates were collected by using a Surber sampler (in a lotic environment and an Eckman-Birge dredger (in a lentic environment between 2009 and 2012. Sixty taxa were found, belonging to eight taxonomic orders. Thus, there were 19 new registers of aquatic insect families for Santa Catarina. At the sites of this study, 13 families already known for Santa Catarina were not observed, according to a comparison with articles published until July 2014. As for the habitat, richness differed between the types of the habitats sampled, with lower richness in the substrate “sand”. The study represents a significant contribution to knowledge on aquatic insects in Santa Catarina, especially regarding the biodiversity in islands.

  13. Successional colonization of temporary streams: An experimental approach using aquatic insects (United States)

    Godoy, Bruno Spacek; Queiroz, Luciano Lopes; Lodi, Sara; Nascimento de Jesus, Jhonathan Diego; Oliveira, Leandro Gonçalves


    The metacommunity concept studies the processes that structure communities on local and regional scales. This concept is useful to assess spatial variability. However, temporal patterns (e.g., ecological succession and colonization) are neglected in metacommunity studies, since such patterns require temporally extensive, and hard to execute studies. We used experimental habitats in temporary streams located within the Brazilian Cerrado to evaluate the importance of succession for the aquatic insect metacommunity. Five artificial habitats consisting of wrapped crushed rock were set transversally to the water flow in five streams. The habitats were sampled weekly to assess community composition, and replaced after sampling to identify new potential colonizers. We analyzed the accumulation of new colonizers after each week using a logistic model. We selected pairs of experimental habitats and estimated the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity index to assess the community composition trajectory during the experiment. We used the dissimilarity values in ANOVA tests, identifying the importance of time and space for the community. The number of new taxa stabilized in the third week, and we estimated a weekly increase of 1.61 new taxa in the community after stabilization. The overall pattern was a small change on community composition, but one stream had a higher weekly turnover. Our results showed a relevant influence of time in the initial communities of aquatic insects of temporary streams. However, we must observe the temporal pattern in a spatial context, once different streams have different successional history regarding number of taxa and community turnover. We highlight the importance of aerial dispersal and movement to seek oviposition sites as an important factor in determining colonization patterns.

  14. A molecular phylogeny of bivalve mollusks: ancient radiations and divergences as revealed by mitochondrial genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Plazzi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bivalves are very ancient and successful conchiferan mollusks (both in terms of species number and geographical distribution. Despite their importance in marine biota, their deep phylogenetic relationships were scarcely investigated from a molecular perspective, whereas much valuable work has been done on taxonomy, as well as phylogeny, of lower taxa. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we present a class-level bivalve phylogeny with a broad sample of 122 ingroup taxa, using four mitochondrial markers (MT-RNR1, MT-RNR2, MT-CO1, MT-CYB. Rigorous techniques have been exploited to set up the dataset, analyze phylogenetic signal, and infer a single final tree. In this study, we show the basal position of Opponobranchia to all Autobranchia, as well as of Palaeoheterodonta to the remaining Autobranchia, which we here propose to call Amarsipobranchia. Anomalodesmata were retrieved as monophyletic and basal to (Heterodonta + Pteriomorphia. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Bivalve morphological characters were traced onto the phylogenetic trees obtained from the molecular analysis; our analysis suggests that eulamellibranch gills and heterodont hinge are ancestral characters for all Autobranchia. This conclusion would entail a re-evaluation of bivalve symplesiomorphies.

  15. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria associated with ancient clones of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). (United States)

    Jorquera, Milko A; Shaharoona, Baby; Nadeem, Sajid M; de la Luz Mora, María; Crowley, David E


    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are common components of the rhizosphere, but their role in adaptation of plants to extreme environments is not yet understood. Here, we examined rhizobacteria associated with ancient clones of Larrea tridentata in the Mohave desert, including the 11,700-year-old King Clone, which is oldest known specimen of this species. Analysis of unculturable and culturable bacterial community by PCR-DGGE revealed taxa that have previously been described on agricultural plants. These taxa included species of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes that commonly carry traits associated with plant growth promotion, including genes encoding aminocyclopropane carboxylate deaminase and β-propeller phytase. The PGPR activities of three representative isolates from L. tridentata were further confirmed using cucumber plants to screen for plant growth promotion. This study provides an intriguing first view of the mutualistic bacteria that are associated with some of the world's oldest living plants and suggests that PGPR likely contribute to the adaptation of L. tridentata and other plant species to harsh environmental conditions in desert habitats.

  16. AMS radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese sutras

    CERN Document Server

    Oda, H; Nakamura, T; Fujita, K


    Radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese sutras whose historical ages were known paleographically were measured by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Calibrated radiocarbon ages of five samples were consistent with the corresponding historical ages; the 'old wood effect' is negligible for ancient Japanese sutras. Japanese paper has been made from fresh branches grown within a few years and the interval from trimming off the branches to writing sutra on the paper is within one year. The good agreement between the calibrated radiocarbon ages and the historical ages is supported by such characteristics of Japanese paper. It is indicated in this study that Japanese sutra is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating in the historic period because of little gap by 'old wood effect'.

  17. Paleo-Environmental Reconstruction Using Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther

    The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and expand the methodology and applicability for using ancient DNA deposited in lake sediments to detect and determine its genetic sources for paleo-environmental reconstruction. The aim was furthermore to put this tool into an applicable context...... solving other scientifically interesting questions. Still in its childhood, ancient environmental DNA research has a large potential for still developing, improving and discovering its possibilities and limitations in different environments and for identifying various organisms, both in terms...... of the sampling methods and strategies (taphonomic processes), the more fundamental molecular methodologies (e.g. extraction and sequencing) and eventually the bioinformatic processing. In the enclosed studies we have tried to take some principal steps towards improving this, firstly by reviewing previous...

  18. Human evolution: a tale from ancient genomes. (United States)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic


    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct hominins, and true population genomic studies of Bronze Age populations. Among the emerging areas of aDNA research, the analysis of past epigenomes is set to provide more new insights into human adaptation and disease susceptibility through time. Starting as a mere curiosity, ancient human genetics has become a major player in the understanding of our evolutionary history.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity'.

  19. Lipids of aquatic sediments, recent and ancient (United States)

    Eglinton, G.; Hajibrahim, S. K.; Maxwell, J. R.; Quirke, J. M. E.; Shaw, G. J.; Volkman, J. K.; Wardroper, A. M. K.


    Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is now an essential tool in the analysis of the complex mixtures of lipids (geolipids) encountered in aquatic sediments, both 'recent' (less than 1 million years old) and ancient. The application of MS, and particularly GC-MS, has been instrumental in the rapid development of organic geochemistry and environmental organic chemistry in recent years. The techniques used have resulted in the identification of numerous compounds of a variety of types in sediments. Most attention has been concentrated on molecules of limited size, mainly below 500 molecular mass, and of limited functionality, for examples, hydrocarbons, fatty acids and alcohols. Examples from recent studies (at Bristol) of contemporary, 'recent' and ancient sediments are presented and discussed.

  20. Putative ancient microorganisms from amber nuggets. (United States)

    Veiga-Crespo, Patricia; Blasco, Lucía; Poza, Margarita; Villa, Tomás G


    Evolutionary microbiology studies based on the isolation of ancient DNA and/or microbial samples are scarce due to the difficulty of finding well preserved biological specimens. However, amber is a fossil resin with natural preserving properties for microbial cells and DNA. The visualization by transmission electron microscopy of different microorganism-like specimens found in amber nuggets from both the Miocene and the Cretaceous periods was accompanied by studies of ancient DNA obtained from the nuggets. After the design of specific primers based on the present sequences of both genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the ancestral AGP2 sequence from the Miocene, as well as the 18S rRNA from the Cretaceous, were amplified.

  1. Rangifer and man: An ancient relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan Gordon


    Full Text Available A long-term relationship between Rangifer and humans is documented in three case studies: the Canadian Barrenlands (8000 years ago to Historic period, Ice-Age France (11 000-19 000 years ago and Mesolithic Russia (7000¬10 000 years ago. Ancient human and herd migration occurred in all areas, based upon Rangifer remains and seasonal variations in tools along reconstructed migration routes, with few if any hunting camps outside the routes. An April peak of ancient human births is inferred from the historic record where we see births occurring nine months after peak nutritional states in herds and people. The origin of reindeer domestication and breeding in Eurasia is discussed.

  2. Segmentation of Ancient Telugu Text Documents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasa Rao A.V


    Full Text Available OCR of ancient document images remains a challenging task till date. Scanning process itself introduces deformation of document images. Cleaning process of these document images will result in information loss. Segmentation contributes an invariance process in OCR. Complex scripts, like derivatives of Brahmi, encounter many problems in the segmentation process. Segmentation of meaningful units, (instead of isolated patterns, revealed interesting trends. A segmentation technique for the ancient Telugu document image into meaningful units is proposed. The topological features of the meaningful units within the script line are adopted as a basis, while segmenting the text line. Horizontal profile pattern is convolved with Gaussian kernel. The statistical properties of meaningful units are explored by extensively analyzing the geometrical patterns of the meaningful unit. The efficiency of the proposed algorithm involving segmentation process is found to be 73.5% for the case of uncleaned document images.

  3. Pollen-climate response surfaces of selected taxa from Northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙湘君; 王琫瑜; 宋长青


    Pollen-climate response surfaces of major taxa from surface pollen data of Northern China is studied. Response surfaces are nonlinear functions that describe the way in which each taxon’s expected abundance (the response variables) depends on the combined effects of several environmental variables(prediction variables). Response surfaces for 8 major taxa--Pinus, Picea, Betuta, Artemisia, Ephedra,Chenopodiaceae, Asteraceae and Poaceae--from 215 surface pollen samples and related climatic data(mean July temperature and annual precipitation) have been generated by analysis of second- or third-degree polynomial regression. Surface samples were collected from surface soil under natural vegetation of Northern China. The results can be used to re-evaluate the ecological significance of abundances of some taxa by quantifying the paleoclimatic variables from fossil pollen abundances.

  4. Contribution to the diatom flora of Cambodia: Five new recent freshwater taxa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Cambodian aquatic ecosystems are extremely diversified and constitute major preservation targets.However,the species composition,diversity,and distribution of the inhabiting algal communities are largely unknown.During a sample collection carried out in the Angkor and Banteay Srei monuments area in 2010,several unknown diatom taxa were found in various population densities in the artificial lakes surrounding these temples.Detailed light and scanning electron microscopy observations allowed the description of five of them (Pinnularia cambodiana,P.shivae,Gomphonema angkoricum,G.paradaphnoides,and Frustulia lacus-templi) as taxa new to science.Differential diagnostic criteria with respect to similar taxa,together with the ecological and environmental implications of these findings,are briefly discussed.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The Mentha L. genus has many aromatic and medicinal taxa with a large area in our country. These taxa prefer flooded, swampy areas and wetlands, but they can also grow in moderate dry areas. Biochemical characteristics were obtained for 7 taxa from Mentha L. genus, wild or cultivated plants. The studies concerning the assimilative pigments, the hydric content, and the dry matter were determined for each vegetation stage. We used the gravimetric method for the hydric content and dry matter and the spectrophotometric method for estimation of the assimilative pigments. The results of the experiments are not the same for each taxon because of different harvesting periods and the ecological conditions of each taxon area.

  6. Understanding the formation of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions using Asian and Neotropical hinged-teeth snakes (Sibynophis and Scaphiodontophis: Serpentes: Colubridae). (United States)

    Chen, Xin; Huang, Song; Guo, Peng; Colli, Guarino R; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Vitt, Laurie J; Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T


    Numerous taxa show ancient intertropical disjunct distributions. Many can be explained by well-known processes of historical vicariance, such as the breakup of Gondwanaland. Others, such as Asian-Neotropical divergences are not as well understood. To clarify the phylogenetic position and understand biogeographic and temporal origins of the geographically disjunct and morphologically unique genera of hinged-teeth snakes, Scaphiodontophis (n=1) and Sibynophis (n=9; Colubridae), we inferred a time-calibrated phylogeny with additional 107 taxa representing the superfamily Colubroidea using four genes (c-mos, cyt-b, ND2, RAG-1; 3085 bp). We used this tree to estimate ancestral areas for the group. The results show that Scaphiodontophis is sister to Sibynophis, both originated in the late Eocene/Oligocene in Asia and likely dispersed through Beringia to the New World, but unlike other snake groups left no extant species in temperate North America. Current recognition of Scaphiodontophiinae renders Colubrinae paraphyletic, and we resurrect the previously named subfamily Sibynophiinae to encompass both genera and use the tribes Sibynophiini (Sibynophis) and Scaphiodontophiini (Scaphiodontophis) to highlight the geographically distinct areas occupied by these taxa. These results suggest that intercontinental dispersal with extinction in intermediate areas can explain puzzling patterns of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions.

  7. The ancient Greeks present: Rational Trigonometry

    CERN Document Server

    Wildberger, N J


    Pythagoras' theorem, the area of a triangle as one half the base times the height, and Heron's formula are amongst the most important and useful results of ancient Greek geometry. Here we look at all three in a new and improved light, using quadrance not distance. This leads to a simpler and more elegant trigonometry, in which angle is replaced by spread, and which extends to arbitrary fields and more general quadratic forms.

  8. Computed tomography of ancient Egyptian mummies. (United States)

    Harwood-Nash, D C


    This first report of the application of computed tomography (CT) to the study of ancient mummies, the desiccated brain of a boy and the body of a young woman within her cartonnage, shows that CT is uniquely suitable for the study of such antiquities, a study that does not necessitate destruction of the mummy or its cartonnage. Exquisite images result that are of great paleoanatomical, paleopathological, and archeological significance.

  9. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.


    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  10. Chemistry Progress and Civilization in Ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Yu-Qian; RUAN Shu-Xiang; TANG Shan; SHUAI Zhi-Gang


    @@ During the 6,000 years of Chinese civilization, chemistry has played an essential role.The bronzed chime bells of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) unearthed in Hubei Province shows not only the excellence in musical instruments in ancient China, but also the technological advances in metallurgy.Chinese alchemy was not originated from the quest to turn common metals to gold, instead, it was for searching medicines for longevity of human beings, mostly practised by Taoists.

  11. Ancient News: HMGBs are Universal Sentinels

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marco E. Bianchi; Barbara Celona


    @@ Yanai et al. (2009, Nature 462, 99-103) have shown that high mobility group boxs (HMGBs) are universal sensors of viral nucleic acids, and thus of cell infection. This appears to be an evolutionary ancient mechanism of virus detection, and possibly might be a facet of a more general propensity of HMGBs to act as integrators of signals that pertain to peace and stress, life and death.

  12. Induced resistance in rice against insects. (United States)

    Karban, R; Chen, Y


    Vaccinations are the mainstay of western preventive medicine, and they have been used to protect some crops against disease and insect pests. We consider rice as a model for protection using induced resistance since it is one of the most important staple crops and there have been significant new developments in: cross-resistance among rice insects, chemical pathways involved in induced resistance, sequencing the rice genome and expression of genes conferring resistance against rice insect pests. Insect attack has been found to cause lesions that kill planthopper eggs and early stages of gall midges. Damaged plants released volatiles that made them less likely to be chosen by planthoppers and more attractive to parasitoids. Chemical elicitors have been developed for dicotyledonous plants and these can induce resistance in rice, although rice does not fit models developed to explain signalling in dicots. For example, salicylic acid did not increase in rice after infection by pathogens and did not appear to be the mobile signal for induced resistance against pathogens although it was involved in induced responses to phloem-feeding insects. Jasmonic acid acted as a signal in some induced responses to pathogens as well as chewing insects. Many of the genes associated with induced resistance in rice have recently been mapped, and techniques are being developed to incorporate them into the genome of cultivated varieties. Attempts to control insect pests of rice will affect interactions with pathogens, predators and parasites, and other organisms in this agroecosystem.

  13. Insect prophenoloxidase: the view beyond immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anrui eLu


    Full Text Available Insect prophenoloxidase (PPO is an important innate immunity protein due to its involvement in cellular and humoral defense. It belongs to a group of type-3 copper-containing proteins that occurs in almost all organisms. Insect PPO has been studied for over a century, and the PPO activation cascade is becoming clearer. The insect PPO activation pathway incorporates several important proteins, including pattern-recognition receptors (PGRP, βGRP and C-type lectins, serine proteases, and serine protease inhibitors (serpins. Due to their complexity, PPO activation mechanisms vary among insect species. Activated phenoloxidase (PO oxidizes phenolic molecules to produce melanin around invading pathogens and wounds. The crystal structure of Manduca sexta PPO shows that a conserved amino acid, phenylalanine (F, can block the active site pocket. During activation, this blocker must be dislodged or even cleaved at the N-terminal sequence to expose the active site pockets and allow substrates to enter. Thanks to the crystal structure of M. sexta PPO, some domains and specific amino acids that affect PPO activities have been identified. Further studies of the relationship between PPO structure and enzyme activities will provide an opportunity to examine other type-3 copper proteins, and trace when and why their various physiological functions evolved. Recent researches show that insect PPO has a relationship with neuron activity, longevity, feces melanization (phytophagous insects and development, which suggests that it is time for us to look back on insect PPO beyond the view of immunity in this review.

  14. Modern Stored-Product Insect Pest Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hagstrum David William


    Full Text Available Stored-product entomologists have a variety of new monitoring, decision-making, biological, chemical, and physical pest management tools available to them. Two types of stored-product insect populations are of interest: insects of immediate economic importance infesting commodities, and insects that live in food residues in equipment and facilities. The sampling and control methods change as grain and grain products move from field to consumer. There are also some changes in the major insect pest species to take into consideration. In this review, we list the primary insect pests at each point of the marketing system, and indicate which sampling methods and control strategies are most appropriate. Economic thresholds for insect infestation levels developed for raw commodity storage, processing plants, and retail business allow sampling-based pest management to be done before insect infestations cause economic injury. Taking enough samples to have a representative sample (20-30 samples will generally provide enough information to classify a population as above or below an economic threshold.

  15. Lifespan behavioural and neural resilience in a social insect. (United States)

    Giraldo, Ysabel Milton; Kamhi, J Frances; Fourcassié, Vincent; Moreau, Mathieu; Robson, Simon K A; Rusakov, Adina; Wimberly, Lindsey; Diloreto, Alexandria; Kordek, Adrianna; Traniello, James F A


    Analyses of senescence in social species are important to understanding how group living influences the evolution of ageing in society members. Social insects exhibit remarkable lifespan polyphenisms and division of labour, presenting excellent opportunities to test hypotheses concerning ageing and behaviour. Senescence patterns in other taxa suggest that behavioural performance in ageing workers would decrease in association with declining brain functions. Using the ant Pheidole dentata as a model, we found that 120-day-old minor workers, having completed 86% of their laboratory lifespan, showed no decrease in sensorimotor functions underscoring complex tasks such as alloparenting and foraging. Collaterally, we found no age-associated increases in apoptosis in functionally specialized brain compartments or decreases in synaptic densities in the mushroom bodies, regions associated with integrative processing. Furthermore, brain titres of serotonin and dopamine--neuromodulators that could negatively impact behaviour through age-related declines--increased in old workers. Unimpaired task performance appears to be based on the maintenance of brain functions supporting olfaction and motor coordination independent of age. Our study is the first to comprehensively assess lifespan task performance and its neurobiological correlates and identify constancy in behavioural performance and the absence of significant age-related neural declines.

  16. Phylogeny of the Insect Homeobox Gene (Hox) Cluster

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sangeeta Dhawan; K. P. Gopinathan


    The homeobox (Hox) genes form an evolutionarily conserved family encoding transcription factors that play major roles in segmental identity and organ specification across species. The canonical grouping of Hox genes present in the HOM-C cluster of Drosophila or related clusters in other organisms includes eight "typical" genes,which are localized in the order labial (lab), proboscipedia (pb), Deformed (Dfd),Sex combs reduced ( Scr), Antennapedia (Antp), Ultrabithorax (Ubx), abdominalA (abdA), and AbdominalB (AbdB). The members of Hox cluster are expressed in a distinct anterior to posterior order in the embryo. Analysis of the relatedness of different members of the Hox gene cluster to each other in four evolutionarily diverse insect taxa revealed that the loci pb/Dfd and AbdB, which are farthest apart in linkage, had a high degree of evolutionary relatedness, indicating that pb/Dfd type anterior genes and AbdB are closest to the ancestral anterior and posterior Hox genes, respectively. The greater relatedness of other posterior genes Ubx and abdA to the more anterior genes such as Antp and Scr suggested that they arose by gene duplications in the more anterior members rather than the posterior AbdB.

  17. High-throughput sequencing of fecal DNA to identify insects consumed by wild Weddell's saddleback tamarins (Saguinus weddelli, Cebidae, Primates) in Bolivia. (United States)

    Mallott, E K; Malhi, R S; Garber, P A


    The genus Saguinus represents a successful radiation of over 20 species of small-bodied New World monkeys. Studies of the tamarin diet indicate that insects and small vertebrates account for ∼16-45% of total feeding and foraging time, and represent an important source of lipids, protein, and metabolizable energy. Although tamarins are reported to commonly consume large-bodied insects such as grasshoppers and walking sticks (Orthoptera), little is known concerning the degree to which smaller or less easily identifiable arthropod prey comprises an important component of their diet. To better understand tamarin arthropod feeding behavior, fecal samples from 20 wild Bolivian saddleback tamarins (members of five groups) were collected over a 3 week period in June 2012, and analyzed for the presence of arthropod DNA. DNA was extracted using a Qiagen stool extraction kit, and universal insect primers were created and used to amplify a ∼280 bp section of the COI mitochondrial gene. Amplicons were sequenced on the Roche 454 sequencing platform using high-throughput sequencing techniques. An analysis of these samples indicated the presence of 43 taxa of arthropods including 10 orders, 15 families, and 12 identified genera. Many of these taxa had not been previously identified in the tamarin diet. These results highlight molecular analysis of fecal DNA as an important research tool for identifying anthropod feeding patterns in primates, and reveal broad diversity in the taxa, foraging microhabitats, and size of arthropods consumed by tamarin monkeys.

  18. Prostaglandins and their receptors in insect biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eStanley


    Full Text Available We treat the biological significance of prostaglandins (PGs and their known receptors in insect biology. PGs and related eicosanoids are oxygenated derivatives of arachidonic acid (AA and two other C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids. PGs are mostly appreciated in the context of biomedicine, but a growing body of literature indicates the biological significance of these compounds extends throughout the animal kingdom, and possibly beyond. PGs act in several crucial areas of insect biology. In reproduction, a specific PG, PGE2, releases oviposition behavior in most crickets and a few other insect species; PGs also mediate events in egg development in some species, which may represent all insects. PGs play major roles in modulating fluid secretion in Malpighian tubules, rectum and salivary glands, although, again, this has been studied in only a few insect species that may represent the Class. Insect immunity is a very complex defense system. PGs and other eicosanoids mediate a large number of immune reactions to infection and invasion. The actions of most PGs are mediated by specific receptors. Biomedical research has discovered a great deal of knowledge about PG receptors in mammals, including their structures, pharmacology, molecular biology and cellular locations. Studies of PG receptors in insects lag behind the biomedical background, however, recent results hold the promise of accelerated research in this area. A PG receptor has been identified in a class of lepidopteran hemocytes and experimentally linked to the release of prophenoloxidase. We conclude that research into PGs and their receptors in insects will lead to important advances in our understanding of insect biology.

  19. Automatic selection of reference taxa for protein-protein interaction prediction with phylogenetic profiling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Martin; Maetschke, S.R.; Ragan, M.A.


    Motivation: Phylogenetic profiling methods can achieve good accuracy in predicting protein–protein interactions, especially in prokaryotes. Recent studies have shown that the choice of reference taxa (RT) is critical for accurate prediction, but with more than 2500 fully sequenced taxa publicly......: We present three novel methods for automating the selection of RT, using machine learning based on known protein–protein interaction networks. One of these methods in particular, Tree-Based Search, yields greatly improved prediction accuracies. We further show that different methods for constituting...

  20. On the Occurrence of Four Diatom Taxa from Eastern India with a Taxonomic Note

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jai Prakash Keshri


    Full Text Available Diatoms were collected from the Kotulpur area of West Bengal. Four diatom taxa, namely, Eunotia minor (Kützing Grunow, Achnanthidium minutissimum (Kützing Czarnecki, Lemnicola hungarica (Grunow Round and Basson, and Navicula radiosa Kützing were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM and identified in light of modern diatom taxonomic trends. Except Eunotia minor, all these taxa are new records to Eastern India. A note on the taxonomy of Achnanthes pseudobiasolletiana as described by Gandhi and Eunotia serrata var. diadema (Ehr. R. M. Patrick as reported by Dwivedi and Misra has been added.

  1. New taxa, new records and name changes for southern African plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. de Wet


    Full Text Available Alterations to the inventory of about 24 000 species and infraspecific taxa of bryophytes and vascular plants in southern Africa are reported for the year 1988. The inventory, as currently maintained in the Taxon component of the PRECIS system, contains the accepted name for each taxon, synonyms previously in use as accepted names during the past half-century, and literature references necessary to identify species in each genus and to establish the synonymy. The inventory is updated as new research affecting plant classification in southern Africa is published. During 1988 there were 744 alterations, affecting about 3% of the total number of taxa.

  2. New taxa, new records and name changes for southern African plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. E. Gibbs Russell


    Full Text Available Alterations to the inventory of about 24 000 species and infraspecific taxa of bryophytes and vascular plants in southern Africa are reported for the year 1987. The inventory, as presently maintained in the Taxon component of the PRECIS system, contains the accepted name for each taxon, synonyms previously in use as accepted names during the past half-century, and literature references necessary to identify species in each genus and to establish the synonymy. The inventory is updated as new research affecting plant classification in southern Africa is published. During 1987 there were 678 alterations, representing about 2,8% of the total number of taxa.a

  3. Effects of forest conversion on the assemblages' structure of aquatic insects in subtropical regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago R.N. Bertaso


    Full Text Available The effects of forest conversion to agricultural land uses on assemblages of aquatic insects were analyzed in subtropical streams. Organisms and environmental variables were collected in six low-order streams: three streams located in a forested area, and three in areas converted to agricultural land uses. We expected that the aquatic insects' assemblage attributes would be significantly affected by forest conversion, as well as by environmental variables. Streams in converted areas presented lower species richness, abundance and proportion of sensitive insect taxa. The ANOSIM test evidenced strong difference in EPT assemblage structure between streams of forested and converted areas. The ISA test evidenced several EPT genera with high specificity to streams in forested areas and only one genus related to streams in converted areas. Thus, the impacts of the conversion of forested area to agricultural land uses have significantly affected the EPT assemblages, while environmental variables were not affected. We suggest that the effects detected can be influenced by two processes related to vegetation cover: i lower input of allochthonous material, and ii increased input of fine sediments in streams draining converted areas.

  4. Insect-Like Organization of the Stomatopod Central Complex: Functional and Phylogenetic Implications (United States)

    Thoen, Hanne H.; Marshall, Justin; Wolff, Gabriella H.; Strausfeld, Nicholas J.


    One approach to investigating functional attributes of the central complex is to relate its various elaborations to pancrustacean phylogeny, to taxon-specific behavioral repertoires and ecological settings. Here we review morphological similarities between the central complex of stomatopod crustaceans and the central complex of dicondylic insects. We discuss whether their central complexes possess comparable functional properties, despite the phyletic distance separating these taxa, with mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda) belonging to the basal branch of Eumalacostraca. Stomatopods possess the most elaborate visual receptor system in nature and display a fascinating behavioral repertoire, including refined appendicular dexterity such as independently moving eyestalks. They are also unparalleled in their ability to maneuver during both swimming and substrate locomotion. Like other pancrustaceans, stomatopods possess a set of midline neuropils, called the central complex, which in dicondylic insects have been shown to mediate the selection of motor actions for a range of behaviors. As in dicondylic insects, the stomatopod central complex comprises a modular protocerebral bridge (PB) supplying decussating axons to a scalloped fan-shaped body (FB) and its accompanying ellipsoid body (EB), which is linked to a set of paired noduli and other recognized satellite regions. We consider the functional implications of these attributes in the context of stomatopod behaviors, particularly of their eyestalks that can move independently or conjointly depending on the visual scene. PMID:28223924

  5. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future. (United States)

    Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S


    The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens

  6. 2000 Year-old ancient equids: an ancient-DNA lesson from pompeii remains. (United States)

    Di Bernardo, Giovanni; Del Gaudio, Stefania; Galderisi, Umberto; Cipollaro, Marilena


    Ancient DNA extracted from 2000 year-old equine bones was examined in order to amplify mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments. A specific equine satellite-type sequence representing 3.7%-11% of the entire equine genome, proved to be a suitable target to address the question of the presence of aDNA in ancient bones. The PCR strategy designed to investigate this specific target also allowed us to calculate the molecular weight of amplifiable DNA fragments. Sequencing of a 370 bp DNA fragment of mitochondrial control region allowed the comparison of ancient DNA sequences with those of modern horses to assess their genetic relationship. The 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene was also examined to unravel the post-mortem base modification feature and to test the status of Pompeian equids taxon on the basis of a Mae III restriction site polymorphism.

  7. Reconstructing Ancient History-- Historiographical Review of the Ancient History of Korea, 1950s-2000s

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Xu


    Full Text Available The ancient history of Korea has been one of the most controversial and difficult phases to incorporate into an East Asian history survey class, not only because there are indeed quite a number of contested issues, but also because very few updated materials are available in English. This essay aims to provide a comprehensive and critical overview of research on the topic of Korean ancient history in the past six decades (mainly in South Korea, so that the ancient history of Korea can be understood first within the broader frame of East Asian history, and then in relation to the intellectual and ideological evolution which has significantly impacted historical interpretations in South Korea.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kereša


    Full Text Available Proteinase inhibitors are secondary metabolites present in all plants and it seems that their major role is protection of plants against attacks of animals, insects and microorganisms. One of the family of proteinase inhibitors are squash inhibitors of serine proteinases purified from seeds belonging to genera Cucurbita, Cucumis and Momordica. Squash inhibitors consist of 29-32 amino acid residues and are considered to be the smallest inhibitors of the serine proteinases known. Because of shortness, genes for these inhibitors could be synthesised and modified at different ways. Modifications could lead to changes in inhibitor activity. Tobacco as a model plant was transformed with 12 different genes of squash inhibitors. Stable integration of transgenes in putative transgenic plants was determined by PCR analysis using genomic DNA and primers that anneal to promoter and terminator region. The first step of proteinase inhibitor gene expression in transgenic plants was revealed by RT-PCR analysis. In entomological tests where larvae were fed with leaves, influence of transgenic T0 plants, as well as non-transgenic control plants on retardation of larval growth of S. littoralis was examined. Results of entomological tests showed that it is possible to express squash proteinase inhibitors in plants at level that significantly reduces S. littoralis larval growth.

  9. Associations of Two Ecologically Significant Social Insect Taxa in the Litter of an Amazonian Rainforest: Is There a Relationship between Ant and Termite Species Richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl


    Full Text Available In spite of the ecological dominance of Neotropical ants and termites, little is understood about how their interactions influence their species richness and distribution. We surveyed ground-dwelling termite and ant species in a primary rainforest in Ecuador and analyzed ecological correlates of diversity. Termite richness was positively correlated with ant richness and abundance of twig-nesting ants. We found no evidence of competition for twigs between termites and ants. No ecological factors were correlated with termite diversity although elevation and twig and log abundance influenced ant diversity. When ant richness was compared to the richness of termites employing different predator defenses, a positive correlation was found with soldierless termites, but not genera employing chemical or mechanical defense. Our results suggest that multiple ecological factors influence ant and termite diversity, and that ant predation on termites may have a greater effect than competition between ant and termites for nest sites and food sources.

  10. Association mapping of plant resistance to insects. (United States)

    Kloth, Karen J; Thoen, Manus P M; Bouwmeester, Harro J; Jongsma, Maarten A; Dicke, Marcel


    Association mapping is rapidly becoming an important method to explore the genetic architecture of complex traits in plants and offers unique opportunities for studying resistance to insect herbivores. Recent studies indicate that there is a trade-off between resistance against generalist and specialist insects. Most studies, however, use a targeted approach that will easily miss important components of insect resistance. Genome-wide association mapping provides a comprehensive approach to explore the whole array of plant defense mechanisms in the context of the generalist-specialist paradigm. As association mapping involves the screening of large numbers of plant lines, specific and accurate high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) methods are needed. Here, we discuss the prospects of association mapping for insect resistance and HTP requirements.

  11. Insect food aiming at Mars emigration (United States)

    Katayama, Naomi; Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Nagasaka, Sanako; Kuwayama, Akemi; Sofue, Megumi


    We study insect food aiming at Mars emigration.In space agriculture, insect is the important creature which we cannot miss.It is necessary for the pollination of the plant, and it is rich to protein and lipid as food.I reported that silkworm is an insect necessary for astroponics in particular last time.We make clothes using silk thread, and the pupa becomes the food.In addition, the clothes can make food as protein when we need not to use it. The bee is a very important insect in the space agriculture,too.We examined nutrition of silkworm, bee, grasshopper, snail and the white ant which are necessary for Mars emigration.We will introduce of good balance space foods.We will report many meal menu for Mars emigration.

  12. Cathepsins of lepidopteran insects: Aspects and prospects. (United States)

    Saikhedkar, Nidhi; Summanwar, Aarohi; Joshi, Rakesh; Giri, Ashok


    Molecular understanding of lepidopteran physiology has revealed that proteases consist of one of the central regulatory/reacting system for insect growth and survival. Among the various proteases, cathepsins are the most crucial cellular proteases, which play vital roles during insect development. In the present review, we have discussed various aspects of the lepidopteran insect cathepsins, emphasizing their roles in processes like development, growth, metamorphosis, apoptosis and immunity. Cathepsins are categorized into different types on the basis of their sequence diversification, leading to variation in structure and catalytic function. Cathepsins exhibit tissue and stage specific expression pattern which is fine-tuned by a delicate balance of expression, compartmentalization, zymogen activation, inhibition by protein inhibitors and degradation. The indispensability of cathepsins as cellular proteases in the above mentioned processes proposes them as novel targets for designing effective and specific insect controlling strategies.

  13. Symbiont-mediated RNA interference in insects. (United States)

    Whitten, Miranda M A; Facey, Paul D; Del Sol, Ricardo; Fernández-Martínez, Lorena T; Evans, Meirwyn C; Mitchell, Jacob J; Bodger, Owen G; Dyson, Paul J


    RNA interference (RNAi) methods for insects are often limited by problems with double-stranded (ds) RNA delivery, which restricts reverse genetics studies and the development of RNAi-based biocides. We therefore delegated to insect symbiotic bacteria the task of: (i) constitutive dsRNA synthesis and (ii) trauma-free delivery. RNaseIII-deficient, dsRNA-expressing bacterial strains were created from the symbionts of two very diverse pest species: a long-lived blood-sucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus, and a short-lived globally invasive polyphagous agricultural pest, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). When ingested, the manipulated bacteria colonized the insects, successfully competed with the wild-type microflora, and sustainably mediated systemic knockdown phenotypes that were horizontally transmissible. This represents a significant advance in the ability to deliver RNAi, potentially to a large range of non-model insects.

  14. RNAi-mediated crop protection against insects. (United States)

    Price, Daniel R G; Gatehouse, John A


    Downregulation of the expression of specific genes through RNA interference (RNAi), has been widely used for genetic research in insects. The method has relied on the injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which is not possible for practical applications in crop protection. By contrast, specific suppression of gene expression in nematodes is possible through feeding with dsRNA. This approach was thought to be unfeasible in insects, but recent results have shown that dsRNA fed as a diet component can be effective in downregulating targeted genes. More significantly, expression of dsRNA directed against suitable insect target genes in transgenic plants has been shown to give protection against pests, opening the way for a new generation of insect-resistant crops.

  15. Middle-scale navigation: the insect case


    Wehner, R


    What is the large-scale spatial representation that insect foragers such as bees and ants form of their wider nest environs? This is the principal question which the following contributions aim to answer.

  16. Insect contamination protection for laminar flow surfaces (United States)

    Croom, Cynthia C.; Holmes, Bruce J.


    The ability of modern aircraft surfaces to achieve laminar flow was well-accepted in recent years. Obtaining the maximum benefit of laminar flow for aircraft drag reduction requires maintaining minimum leading-edge contamination. Previously proposed insect contamination prevention methods have proved impractical due to cost, weight, or inconvenience. Past work has shown that insects will not adhere to water-wetted surfaces, but the large volumes of water required for protection rendered such a system impractical. The results of a flight experiment conducted by NASA to evaluate the performance of a porous leading-edge fluid discharge ice protection system operated as an insect contamination protections system are presented. In addition, these flights explored the environmental and atmospheric conditions most suitable for insect accumulation.

  17. Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid (United States)

    ... wasp, a hornet, a fire ant or a scorpion, can result in severe reactions. Some insects also ... Rapid heartbeat Hives Nausea, cramps or vomiting A scorpion sting and is a child Take these actions ...

  18. Principles of Insect Identification. MP-20. (United States)

    Lawson, Fred A.; Burkhardt, Chris C.

    This document provides information for the complete classification of members of the phylum Arthropoda. Both major and minor insect orders are discussed relative to their anatomical characteristics and importance. (CS)

  19. Biology of the CAPA peptides in insects. (United States)

    Predel, R; Wegener, C


    CAPA peptides have been isolated from a broad range of insect species as well as an arachnid, and can be grouped into the periviscerokinin and pyrokinin peptide families. In insects, CAPA peptides are the characteristic and most abundant neuropeptides in the abdominal neurohemal system. In many species, CAPA peptides exert potent myotropic effects on different muscles such as the heart. In others, including blood-sucking insects able to transmit serious diseases, CAPA peptides have strong diuretic or anti-diuretic effects and thus are potentially of medical importance. CAPA peptides undergo cell-type-specific sorting and packaging, and are the first insect neuropeptides shown to be differentially processed. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the structure, distribution, receptors and physiological actions of the CAPA peptides.

  20. Comparative psychoneuroimmunology: evidence from the insects. (United States)

    Adamo, Shelley A


    Interactions between immune systems, nervous systems, and behavior are well established in vertebrates. A comparative examination of these interactions in other animals will help us understand their evolution and present adaptive functions. Insects show immune-behavioral interactions similar to those seen in vertebrates, suggesting that many of them may have a highly conserved function. Activation of an immune response in insects results in illness-induced anorexia, behavioral fever, changes in reproductive behavior, and decreased learning ability in a broad range of species. Flight-or-fight behaviors result in a decline in disease resistance. In insects, illness-induced anorexia may enhance immunity. Stress-induced immunosuppression is probably due to physiological conflicts between the immune response and those of other physiological processes. Because insects occupy a wide range of ecological niches, they will be useful in examining how some immune-behavioral interactions are sculpted by an animal's behavioral ecology.

  1. Effects of single-tree selection harvesting on hymenopteran and saproxylic insect assemblages in the canopy and understory of northern temperate forests

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sandy M.Smith; Nurul Islam; M.Isabel Bellocq


    Insects respond to changes in microhabitat caused by canopy disturbance,and thus can be used to examine the ecological impacts of harvesting.Single-tree selection harvesting is the most common silvicultural system used to emulate local small-scale natural disturbance and maintain uneven-aged forest structure in temperate forests.Here,we test for differences in richness,abundance,and composition of hymenopteran and saproxylic insect assemblages at four different taxon levels (selected insect orders; and all hymenopteran families,and braconid subfamilies and morphospecies) between the canopy and understory of unharvested and single-tree selection harvested sites in a northern temperate forest from central Canada.Harvesting had no effect on insect assemblage richness,composition or abundance at the three highest taxon levels (order,family and subfamily).Similarly,richness and abundance at the lowest-taxon level (braconid morphospecies) were similar,although composition differed slightly between unharvested and harvested stands.Insect assemblages were vertically stratified,with generally higher abundance (for Diptera,Hymenoptera,some hymenopteran families and braconid subfamilies) and richness (for braconid morphospecies) in the understory than the canopy.In particular,composition of the braconid morphospecies assemblage showed relatively low similarity between the understory and canopy.Single-tree selection harvesting appears to influence wood-associated insect taxa only subtly through small changes in community composition at the lowest taxon level,and thus is recommended as a conservative approach for managing these northern temperate forests.

  2. Mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight control. (United States)

    Taylor, G K


    Insects have evolved sophisticated fight control mechanisms permitting a remarkable range of manoeuvres. Here, I present a qualitative analysis of insect flight control from the perspective of flight mechanics, drawing upon both the neurophysiology and biomechanics literatures. The current literature does not permit a formal, quantitative analysis of flight control, because the aerodynamic force systems that biologists have measured have rarely been complete and the position of the centre of gravity has only been recorded in a few studies. Treating the two best-known insect orders (Diptera and Orthoptera) separately from other insects, I discuss the control mechanisms of different insects in detail. Recent experimental studies suggest that the helicopter model of flight control proposed for Drosophila spp. may be better thought of as a facultative strategy for flight control, rather than the fixed (albeit selected) constraint that it is usually interpreted to be. On the other hand, the so-called 'constant-lift reaction' of locusts appears not to be a reflex for maintaining constant lift at varying angles of attack, as is usually assumed, but rather a mechanism to restore the insect to pitch equilibrium following a disturbance. Differences in the kinematic control mechanisms used by the various insect orders are related to differences in the arrangement of the wings, the construction of the flight motor and the unsteady mechanisms of lift production that are used. Since the evolution of insect flight control is likely to have paralleled the evolutionary refinement of these unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms, taxonomic differences in the kinematics of control could provide an assay of the relative importance of different unsteady mechanisms. Although the control kinematics vary widely between orders, the number of degrees of freedom that different insects can control will always be limited by the number of independent control inputs that they use. Control of the moments

  3. Sequence Analysis of SSR-Flanking Regions Identifies Genome Affinities between Pasture Grass Fungal Endophyte Taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eline van Zijll de Jong


    Full Text Available Fungal species of the Neotyphodium and Epichloë genera are endophytes of pasture grasses showing complex differences of life-cycle and genetic architecture. Simple sequence repeat (SSR markers have been developed from endophyte-derived expressed sequence tag (EST collections. Although SSR array size polymorphisms are appropriate for phenetic analysis to distinguish between taxa, the capacity to resolve phylogenetic relationships is limited by both homoplasy and heteroploidy effects. In contrast, nonrepetitive sequence regions that flank SSRs have been effectively implemented in this study to demonstrate a common evolutionary origin of grass fungal endophytes. Consistent patterns of relationships between specific taxa were apparent across multiple target loci, confirming previous studies of genome evolution based on variation of individual genes. Evidence was obtained for the definition of endophyte taxa not only through genomic affinities but also by relative gene content. Results were compatible with the current view that some asexual Neotyphodium species arose following interspecific hybridisation between sexual Epichloë ancestors. Phylogenetic analysis of SSR-flanking regions, in combination with the results of previous studies with other EST-derived SSR markers, further permitted characterisation of Neotyphodium isolates that could not be assigned to known taxa on the basis of morphological characteristics.

  4. Neue Taxa von Lunatipula Edwards aus der mediterranen Subregion der Palaearktis (Diptera, Tipulidae, Tipula Linnaeus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theischinger, Günther


    12 new species and 3 new subspecies of Lunatipula Edwards from Greece and Turkey are described or defined. The new taxa are: T. (L.) montifer tasucuensis, T. (L.) musensis, T. (L.) vermooleni, T. (L.) lyrion, Tipula (Lunatipula) paravelox, T. (L.) soosi izmirensis, T. (L.) brinki, T. (L.) canakkalen

  5. Life history strategies of cladocerans: comparisons of tropical and temperate taxa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sarma, S.S.S.; Nandini, S.; Gulati, R.D.


    We review recent works on different life history variables of cladoceran taxa in tropical and temperate freshwater bodies, comparing the strategies that cladocerans have evolved to adapt to contrasting environmental conditions in the two geographical regions. These life-history parameters relate to


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Although in the neighbouring countries several perennial Helianthus taxa have been recorded in the last decade, in Romania only three have been identified so far. The literature and herbaria data of Târgu-Mures date back to the end of the XIXth century, and only refer to H. × multiflorus and H. tuberosus. The aim of this study was to identify the perennial Helianthus taxa in this region and to prepare their current distribution map. The survey was conducted in Târgu Mures city and the neighbouring villages: Livezeni, Sântana de Mures, Sâncraiu de Mures, Sângeorgiu de Mures, and Corunca. Four taxa were identified: H. pauciflorus Nutt., H. × laetiflorus Pers., H. tuberosus L. s.str., and Helianthus tuberosus L. s.l. The first two taxa are cultivated as ornamental plants, H. tuberosus s. str. is cultivated in a few farms, whereas H. tuberosus s. l. is an invasive species that spreads along the rivers.

  7. A Clarification of the Status of Four Taxa in the Ectoedemia Angulifasciella Group (Nepticulidae: Lepidoptera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilkinson, C.; Bryan, G.; Menken, S.B.J.; Nieukerken, van E.J.


    The status of the four taxa Ectoedemia angulifasciella, E. atricollis, E. rubivora and E. arcuatella, has always been in debate. They have now been studied using several different systematic methods, relating to morphology, gel electrophoresis, host plant differentiation, life histories and distribu

  8. Spatial structure of a natural mixed topodeme of subalpine Sorbus taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dušan Gömöry


    Full Text Available Spatial distribution and genetic variation of a population of Sorbus chamaemespilus (L. Crantz and putative hybrids between S. chamaemespilus, S. aria and S. aucuparia growing in the nature reserve Skalnä Alpa (central Slovakia were studied. The analysis of spatial patterns using Ripley's K-function revealed a significant clustering of the adults of both S. chamaemespilus and hybrid taxa at distances up to ~15 m and a strong affinity between both taxonomical groups, indicating similar ecological requirements. Bivariate point-pattern analysis considering cardinal direction showed that juvenile individuals of S. chamaemespilus are clustered around the adults up to the distance of ~2 m, whereas in hybrid taxa with larger and more dense crowns, juveniles are clustered at distances more than ~3 m from the adults. The analysis of genetic variation in a subset of adult shrubs using 4 nuclear microsatellite loci revealed that unlike expected, there was no variation in S. chamaemespilus but several genotypes were found in the group of hybrid taxa. Implications for the reproduction system and conservation of the investigated taxa are discussed.

  9. Sur la presence du genre Gammarus au Liban, avec description de deux nouveaux taxa (Crustacea, Amphipoda)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alouf, N.J.


    Description of two new taxa, Gammarus oronticus n.sp. and G. laticoxalis libanicus n.ssp., both related to the Gammarus pulex-group, from the Lebanon. Data about their ecology and new data on G. syriacus Chevreux are given.

  10. Selectivity of Odorant Receptors in Insects (United States)


    repellents do not elicit evolutionary adaptive behaviors in mosquitoes , but rather disrupt the final stages of host attraction (Figure 1B). It is...Dickens, J. C. (2010). Insect repellents : mod- ulators of mosquito odorant receptor activity. PLoS ONE 5, e12138. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone. 0012138...Multiple activities of insect repellents on odorant receptors in mosquitoes . Med. Vet. Entomol. 25, 436–444. Bohbot, J. D., Jones, P. L., Wang, G

  11. IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steen Dupont


    Full Text Available We present a pinned insect manipulator (IMp constructed of LEGO® building bricks with two axes of movement and two axes of rotation. In addition we present three variants of the IMp to emphasise the modular design, which facilitates resizing to meet the full range of pinned insect specimens, is fully customizable, collapsible, affordable and does not require specialist tools or knowledge to assemble.

  12. Laboratory and Modeling Studies of Insect Swarms (United States)


    along three broad themes : studies of the interactions between individual insects in a swarm; studies of the swarm as a whole; and swarm modeling. At the...P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park , NC 27709-2211 Insect swarms; Collective Behavior; Self-Organization REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11. SPONSOR...control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. Yale University Office of Sponsored Projects 25 Science Park - 3rd Floor New Haven

  13. Ancient pinnate leaf mimesis among lacewings. (United States)

    Wang, Yongjie; Liu, Zhiqi; Wang, Xin; Shih, Chungkun; Zhao, Yunyun; Engel, Michael S; Ren, Dong


    Insects have evolved diverse methods of predator avoidance, many of which implicate complex adaptations of their wings (e.g., Phylliidae, Nymphalidae, Notodontidae). Among these, angiosperm leaf mimicry is one of the most dramatic, although the historical origins of such modifications are unclear owing to a dearth of paleontological records. Here, we report evidence of pinnate leaf mimesis in two lacewings (Neuroptera): Bellinympha filicifolia Y. Wang, Ren, Liu & Engel gen. et sp. nov. and Bellinympha dancei Y. Wang, Ren, Shih & Engel, sp. nov., from the Middle Jurassic, representing a 165-million-year-old specialization between insects and contemporaneous gymnosperms of the Cycadales or Bennettitales. Furthermore, such lacewings demonstrate a preangiosperm origin for leaf mimesis, revealing a lost evolutionary scenario of interactions between insects and gymnosperms. The current fossil record suggests that this enigmatic lineage became extinct during the Early Cretaceous, apparently closely correlated with the decline of Cycadales and Bennettitales at that time, and perhaps owing to the changing floral environment resulted from the rise of flowering plants.

  14. Insect Repellent Properties of Melaleuca alternifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Adib Bin Edris


    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to compare the use of plant-based insect repellents that are environment friendly with the use of insect repellents based on chemical substances which can be harmful to the environment and human health. The plant studied here is "tea tree"; its scientific name is Melaleuca alternifolia. Essential oil from this plant is extracted by steam distillation method. Based on the previous research, tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and insect repellent properties. Some experiments were done on tea tree oil to determine its insect repellent properties and the suitable concentration that can be used to make sure its repelling effect is optimum. The purpose of this determination is to avoid its harmful effect on humans because it can be toxic if it is used at high concentration. The results showed that tea tree oil repelled Tribolium castaneum. Furthermore, the toxicity assays also gave positive result where the tea tree oil has toxic properties against Solenopsis invicta. The lethal dose (LD of tea tree oil to kill 50% of a group of S. invicta is 23.52 µL/mL. This LD50 is determined by using the arithmetic method of Karber. Broadly, the results showed that M. alternifolia has insect repellent properties and shows toxicity against certain insects.

  15. Transgenic Tobacco Plants With Efficient Insect Resistance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李太元; 田颖川; 秦晓峰; 莽克强; 李文谷; 何永刚; 沈蕾


    Insecticidal protein gene CryIA(c)from Bacillus thuringiensis HD-1(B.t.toxin gene)with 5’-end modified and 3’-end deleted to 4 different lengths were inserted downstream of 35S promoterwith double enhancer and"Ω’"fragment of TMV-RNA cDNA in the binary vector pBin438 to constructthe chimeric expression vector of B.t.toxin gene.Leave stripes of tobacco plant var.NC89 widelygrown in China were transformed with A.tumefaciens LBA4404 harbouring the above expression vectorsrespectively,and kanamycin resistant tobacco plants were regenerated.Insect test with tobacco budwormH.assulta showed that insect-resistant transform.ants could be obtained from the regenerated plantstransformed with B.t.genes of different lengths though highest percentage(~50%)of plants with ahigh morality(90%-100%)to the testing insects is among those transformed with 1.8-kb toxin gene.Genetic,molecular and biological analyses of T1 and T2 progenies of plants with high efficient insect re-sistance showed that B.t.toxin gene and the character of insect resistance have been inherited in the pro-genies.Insect-resistant homozygotes D8-14 and D19-8 have been selected for small-scale field tests.

  16. Wetting Characteristics of Insect Wing Surfaces

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Doyoung Byun; Jongin Hong; Saputra; Jin Hwan Ko; Young Jong Lee; Hoon Cheol Park; Bong-Kyu Byun; Jennifer R. Lukes


    Biological tiny structures have been observed on many kinds of surfaces such as lotus leaves, which have an effect on the coloration of Morpho butterflies and enhance the hydrophobicity of natural surfaces. We investigated the micro-scale and nano-scale structures on the wing surfaces of insects and found that the hierarchical multiple roughness structures help in enhancing the hydrophobicity. After examining 10 orders and 24 species of flying Pterygotan insects, we found that micro-scale and nano-scale structures typically exist on both the upper and lower wing surfaces of flying insects. The tiny structures such as denticle or setae on the insect wings enhance the hydrophobicity, thereby enabling the wings to be cleaned more easily. And the hydrophobic insect wings undergo a transition from Cassie to Wenzel states at pitch/size ratio of about 20. In order to examine the wetting characteristics on a rough surface, a biomimetic surface with micro-scale pillars is fabricated on a silicon wafer,which exhibits the same behavior as the insect wing, with the Cassie-Wenzel transition occurring consistently around a pitch/width value of 20.

  17. Linking energetics and overwintering in temperate insects. (United States)

    Sinclair, Brent J


    Overwintering insects cannot feed, and energy they take into winter must therefore fuel energy demands during autumn, overwintering, warm periods prior to resumption of development in spring, and subsequent activity. Insects primarily consume lipids during winter, but may also use carbohydrate and proteins as fuel. Because they are ectotherms, the metabolic rate of insects is temperature-dependent, and the curvilinear nature of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship means that warm temperatures are disproportionately important to overwinter energy use. This energy use may be reduced physiologically, by reducing the slope or elevation of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship, or because of threshold changes, such as metabolic suppression upon freezing. Insects may also choose microhabitats or life history stages that reduce the impact of overwinter energy drain. There is considerable capacity for overwinter energy drain to affect insect survival and performance both directly (via starvation) or indirectly (for example, through a trade-off with cryoprotection), but this has not been well-explored. Likewise, the impact of overwinter energy drain on growing-season performance is not well understood. I conclude that overwinter energetics provides a useful lens through which to link physiology and ecology and winter and summer in studies of insect responses to their environment.

  18. Extracellular ice phase transitions in insects. (United States)

    Hawes, T C


    At temperatures below their temperature of crystallization (Tc), the extracellular body fluids of insects undergo a phase transition from liquid to solid. Insects that survive the transition to equilibrium (complete freezing of the body fluids) are designated as freeze tolerant. Although this phenomenon has been reported and described in many Insecta, current nomenclature and theory does not clearly delineate between the process of transition (freezing) and the final solid phase itself (the frozen state). Thus freeze tolerant insects are currently, by convention, described in terms of the temperature at which the crystallization of their body fluids is initiated, Tc. In fact, the correct descriptor for insects that tolerate freezing is the temperature of equilibrium freezing, Tef. The process of freezing is itself a separate physical event with unique physiological stresses that are associated with ice growth. Correspondingly there are a number of insects whose physiological cryo-limits are very specifically delineated by this transitional envelope. The distinction also has considerable significance for our understanding of insect cryobiology: firstly, because the ability to manage endogenous ice growth is a fundamental segregator of cryotype; and secondly, because our understanding of internal ice management is still largely nascent.

  19. International Symposium on Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    @@ We are building on the success of the Sixth Chinese Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Symposium, Beijing, held in 2005. The 2005 symposium saw many Chinese and international authorities share their expertise in a broad range of insect science, including analyses of insect genomes and proteomes, functional gene expression and regulation during development, insect immunity, insect neurobiology, insect-host interactions and insect chemical communication. The coming symposium, which will be held in Shandong University,Jinan, Shandong province, September 19-22, 2007, will offer material along similar lines.

  20. Differential growth responses of soil bacterial taxa to carbon substrates of varying chemical recalcitrance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldfarb, K.C.; Karaoz, U.; Hanson, C.A.; Santee, C.A.; Bradford, M.A.; Treseder, K.K.; Wallenstein, M.D.; Brodie, E.L.


    Soils are immensely diverse microbial habitats with thousands of co-existing bacterial, archaeal, and fungal species. Across broad spatial scales, factors such as pH and soil moisture appear to determine the diversity and structure of soil bacterial communities. Within any one site however, bacterial taxon diversity is high and factors maintaining this diversity are poorly resolved. Candidate factors include organic substrate availability and chemical recalcitrance, and given that they appear to structure bacterial communities at the phylum level, we examine whether these factors might structure bacterial communities at finer levels of taxonomic resolution. Analyzing 16S rRNA gene composition of nucleotide analog-labeled DNA by PhyloChip microarrays, we compare relative growth rates on organic substrates of increasing chemical recalcitrance of >2,200 bacterial taxa across 43 divisions/phyla. Taxa that increase in relative abundance with labile organic substrates (i.e., glycine, sucrose) are numerous (>500), phylogenetically clustered, and occur predominantly in two phyla (Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria) including orders Actinomycetales, Enterobacteriales, Burkholderiales, Rhodocyclales, Alteromonadales, and Pseudomonadales. Taxa increasing in relative abundance with more chemically recalcitrant substrates (i.e., cellulose, lignin, or tannin-protein) are fewer (168) but more phylogenetically dispersed, occurring across eight phyla and including Clostridiales, Sphingomonadalaes, Desulfovibrionales. Just over 6% of detected taxa, including many Burkholderiales increase in relative abundance with both labile and chemically recalcitrant substrates. Estimates of median rRNA copy number per genome of responding taxa demonstrate that these patterns are broadly consistent with bacterial growth strategies. Taken together, these data suggest that changes in availability of intrinsically labile substrates may result in predictable shifts in soil bacterial composition.

  1. Trait-based diversification shifts reflect differential extinction among fossil taxa. (United States)

    Wagner, Peter J; Estabrook, George F


    Evolution provides many cases of apparent shifts in diversification associated with particular anatomical traits. Three general models connect these patterns to anatomical evolution: (i) elevated net extinction of taxa bearing particular traits, (ii) elevated net speciation of taxa bearing particular traits, and (iii) elevated evolvability expanding the range of anatomies available to some species. Trait-based diversification shifts predict elevated hierarchical stratigraphic compatibility (i.e., primitive→derived→highly derived sequences) among pairs of anatomical characters. The three specific models further predict (i) early loss of diversity for taxa retaining primitive conditions (elevated net extinction), (ii) increased diversification among later members of a clade (elevated net speciation), and (iii) increased disparity among later members in a clade (elevated evolvability). Analyses of 319 anatomical and stratigraphic datasets for fossil species and genera show that hierarchical stratigraphic compatibility exceeds the expectations of trait-independent diversification in the vast majority of cases, which was expected if trait-dependent diversification shifts are common. Excess hierarchical stratigraphic compatibility correlates with early loss of diversity for groups retaining primitive conditions rather than delayed bursts of diversity or disparity across entire clades. Cambrian clades (predominantly trilobites) alone fit null expectations well. However, it is not clear whether evolution was unusual among Cambrian taxa or only early trilobites. At least among post-Cambrian taxa, these results implicate models, such as competition and extinction selectivity/resistance, as major drivers of trait-based diversification shifts at the species and genus levels while contradicting the predictions of elevated net speciation and elevated evolvability models.

  2. The Ancient City of Pinqyao:Where the Time Stops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lily Wang


    @@ It is a common night in May, I found myself wandering in the Ancient City of Pingyao.If not those neon light, I would even doubt that I had gone back to the ancient times.Located on the eastern banks of the Fen River, and in the southwestern edge of the Taiyuan basin, Pingyao Ancient City is the outstanding example of Chinese Han nationality cities during Ming and Qing Dynasties.

  3. Advances in structural mechanics of Chinese ancient architectures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Maohong YU; Yoshiya ODA; Dongping FANG; Junhai ZHAO


    Chinese ancient architectures are valuable heritage of ancient culture of China. Many historical building have been preserved up to now. The researches on the structural mechanics of ancient architectures show the different aspects of structure and mechanics. Systematical studies on the structural mechanics of ancient architectures have been carried out at Xi'an Jiaotong University since 1982. It is related with the need of repair of some national preservation relics in Xi'an. These studies include: 1) Ancient wooden structures including three national preservation relics Arrow Tower at North City Gate, City Tower at East City Gate, and Baogao Temple in Ningbao, Zhejiang province. 2) Ancient tall masonry building, the Big Goose Pagoda and Small Goose Pagoda in Xi'an. 3) Mechanical characteristics of ancient soil under foundation and city wall; the influence of caves in and under the ancient City Wall on the stability of the wall. 4) The typical Chinese ancient building at the center of city: the Bell Tower and Drum tower. 5) The behavior of Dou-Gong and Joggle joint of Chinese ancient wooden structure. 6) The mechanical behavior of ancient soils under complex stress state. A new systematical strength theory, the unified strength theory, is used to analyze the stability of ancient city wall in Xi'an and foundation of tall pagoda built in Tang dynasty. These researches also concern differential settlements of Arrow Tower and resistance to earthquake of these historical architecture heritages. Some other studies are also introduced. This paper gives a summary of these researches. Preservation and research are nowadays an essential requirement for the famous monuments, buildings, towers and others. Our society is more and more conscious of this necessity, which involves increasing activities of restoration, and then sometimes also of repair, mechanical strengthening and seismic retrofitting. Many historical buildings have in fact problems of structural strength and

  4. Mapping the Ancient Maya Landscape from Space (United States)

    Sever, Tom


    This project uses new satellite and airborne imagery in combination with remote sensing, GIS, and GPS technology to understand the dynamics of how the Maya successfully interacted with their karst topographic landscape for several centuries in the northern Peten region of Guatemala. The ancient Maya attained one of the greatest population densities in human history in the tropical forest of the Peten, Guatemala, and it was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared for unknown reasons around AD 800. How the Maya were able to successfully manage water and feed this dense population is not known at this time. However, a recent NASA-funded project was the first to investigate large seasonal swamps (bajos) that make up 40 percent of the landscape. Through the use of remote sensing, ancient Maya features such as cities, roadways, canals and water reservoirs have been detected and verified through ground reconnaissance. The results of this research cast new light on the adaptation of the ancient Maya to their environment. Micro-environmental variation within the wetlands was elucidated and the different vegetational associations identified in the satellite imagery. More than 70 new archeological sites within and at the edges of the bajo were mapped and tested. Modification of the landscape by the Maya in the form of dams and reservoirs in the Holmul River and its tributaries and possible drainage canals in bajos was demonstrated. The recent acquisition of one-meter IKONOS imagery and high resolution STAR-3i radar imagery (2.5m backscatter/ 10m DEM), opens new possibilities for understanding how a civilization was able to survive for centuries upon a karst topographic landscape and their human-induced effects upon the local climate. This understanding is critical for the current population that is presently experiencing rapid population growth and destroying the landscape through non-traditional farming and grazing techniques

  5. [Bow legged adjectives in ancient literature]. (United States)

    Simon, Frantisek; Steger, Florian


    This article addresses the issue of capturing the medical entity called 'curved legs' in a terminologically exact way. In so doing, it refers to the long-lasting process of differentiation of exact nuances of meaning in Ancient Greek and Latin. In the chronological perusal of ancient Greek literature, it becomes evident that the various adjectives employed are often vague when looking at non-medical literature. By contrast, in the Hippocratic corpus these terms are for the first time annotated with explanations intended to lead to a more precise understanding of the described deformity. Further attempts of differentiation can be found in the writings of Galen, who not only distinguishes between outward and inward curvatures, but also between deformities of the thigh and lower leg as well as between pathological and natural curvatures. Latin literature also provides a series of adjectives that were initially often used in the meaning of 'curved' but it was not until Celsus that these were differentiated with respect to the type and direction of the curvature. When comparing Greek and Latin adjectives, it turns out that though the Latin term blaesus can be traced back etymologically to the Greek word beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta, the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta does not fully correspond to that of the Latin word. It is not before the later common transliteration of Greek words that this adjective took on the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta; however, this was finally lost again. In summary, the article concludes that exact word meanings in ancient literature are often unclear and precise ascriptions of meanings are inconsistent. In the case of "curved legs," this has led to misunderstandings regarding the respective types and directions of the curvature.

  6. Dance Poem presents Ancient Northwestern Settings and Folle Customs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    WEST of the Yang Pass, a dance poem created and performed by the Lanzhou Song and Dance Troupe, presents the audience with a picture of ancient times and folk customs on the Loess Plateau in Northwestern China. It depicts our ancestors’ staunch will to live, and their pioneering spirit, as well as the splendid traditional culture. The dance poem includes 11 sections: "Prelude," "Ancient Road," "Desert," "Camel Station," "Crescent Moon Spring," "Ancient Castle," "Temple Oil Lamps," "Mogao Grottoes," "Red Willows," "Market," "Ancient Battle Fields," and "Fields." West of the Yang Pass is a dance without particular characters or coherent plot. A group

  7. The Ancient Maya Landscape from Space (United States)

    Sever, T.; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)


    The Peten, once inhabited by a population of several million before the collapse of the ancient Maya in the 10th and 11th centuries, is being repopulated toward its former demographic peak. Environmental dynamics, however, impose severe constraints to further development. Current practices in subsistence, commercial agriculture, and cattle raising are causing rapid deforestation resulting in the destruction of environmental and archeological resources. The use of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is a cost-effective methodology for addressing issues in Maya archeology as well as monitoring the environmental impacts being experienced by the current population.

  8. Conserved intron positions in ancient protein modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Roos Albert DG


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The timing of the origin of introns is of crucial importance for an understanding of early genome architecture. The Exon theory of genes proposed a role for introns in the formation of multi-exon proteins by exon shuffling and predicts the presence of conserved splice sites in ancient genes. In this study, large-scale analysis of potential conserved splice sites was performed using an intron-exon database (ExInt derived from GenBank. Results A set of conserved intron positions was found by matching identical splice sites sequences from distantly-related eukaryotic kingdoms. Most amino acid sequences with conserved introns were homologous to consensus sequences of functional domains from conserved proteins including kinases, phosphatases, small GTPases, transporters and matrix proteins. These included ancient proteins that originated before the eukaryote-prokaryote split, for instance the catalytic domain of protein phosphatase 2A where a total of eleven conserved introns were found. Using an experimental setup in which the relation between a splice site and the ancientness of its surrounding sequence could be studied, it was found that the presence of an intron was positively correlated to the ancientness of its surrounding sequence. Intron phase conservation was linked to the conservation of the gene sequence and not to the splice site sequence itself. However, no apparent differences in phase distribution were found between introns in conserved versus non-conserved sequences. Conclusion The data confirm an origin of introns deep in the eukaryotic branch and is in concordance with the presence of introns in the first functional protein modules in an 'Exon theory of genes' scenario. A model is proposed in which shuffling of primordial short exonic sequences led to the formation of the first functional protein modules, in line with hypotheses that see the formation of introns integral to the origins of genome evolution

  9. Extinct 244Pu in Ancient Zircons (United States)

    Turner, Grenville; Harrison, T. Mark; Holland, Greg; Mojzsis, Stephen J.; Gilmour, Jamie


    We have found evidence, in the form of fissiogenic xenon isotopes, for in situ decay of 244Pu in individual 4.1- to 4.2-billion-year-old zircons from the Jack Hills region of Western Australia. Because of its short half-life, 82 million years, 244Pu was extinct within 600 million years of Earth's formation. Detrital zircons are the only known relics to have survived from this period, and a study of their Pu geochemistry will allow us to date ancient metamorphic events and determine the terrestrial Pu/U ratio for comparison with the solar ratio.

  10. Archaeological sites as indicators of ancient shorelines

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vora, K.H.; Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh; Tripati, S.

    -Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Archaeological Sites as Indicators of Ancient Shorelines K H Vora, A. S. Gnur. Sundaresh and S. Tripati National Institute of Oceanogr-aplzy, Dona Paula, Goa Ernail: Abstract During the late... Coastal areas of the continents have been the focal points of the emergence of the civilization. For in- stance, the Indian Ocean witnessed the rise of 3 major the Bronze Age Civilizations around it during the mid- Holocene period. Ocean has played...

  11. The Charm of An Ancient Southern City

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    AN artistic narrow bridge winds into a place of pavilions, terraces and open halls, all under the pleasant shade of green trees. This is Mist-Water Pavilion Park in Gantang Lake in the city of Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province. When you stand here in the quiet and elegant historic garden and look out over the water on all four sides, you can’t help but think of the ancient war that took place on this very spot 1,700 years ago. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), this was

  12. The astronomical orientation of ancient Greek temples. (United States)

    Salt, Alun M


    Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity.

  13. Surgical history of ancient China: part 1. (United States)

    Fu, Louis


    Although surgery was an accepted and quite proficient craft very early on in Chinese history, it has deteriorated through the ages. Despite the fact that anaesthetic agents in major surgery were employed during the third century, Chinese surgery is conspicuous by its stagnation. Reverence for the dead, filial piety, abhorrence of shedding blood and other conservative attitudes make it impossible for any accurate knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, without which surgery cannot progress. This article surveys some highlights in the history of surgery in ancient China and examines the factors responsible for its decline. The second concluding part deals with orthopaedics.

  14. Human Nature Evil in Ancient Western Literature

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Whether man is good or evil by nature is a constant topic tophilosophers and writers. Is a man born virtuous or evil? What onearth is human nature? Is the origin of human nature kind or wicked?People have been debating over this topic for centuries. Theseseemingly simple questions have perplexed those Great Minds forthousands of years in European countries and are the constant themesof literary works as well. The problem of human nature is the deepestof the issues regarding human beings which have long been underdiscussion since ancient time.

  15. PIXE analysis of ancient Chinese Changsha porcelain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, E.K.; Yu, Y.C.; Wang, C.W.; Liu, T.Y.; Wu, C.M.; Chen, K.M.; Lin, S.S


    In this work, proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) method was applied for the analysis of ancient Chinese Changsha porcelain produced in the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907). A collection of glazed potsherds was obtained in the complex of the famous kiln site at Tongguan, Changsha city, Hunan province. Studies of elemental composition were carried out on ten selected Changsha potsherds. Minor and trace elements such as Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Rb, Sr, and Zr in the material of the porcelain glaze were determined. Variation of these elements from sample to sample was investigated. Details of results are presented and discussed.

  16. Effect of biotic and abiotic factors on diversity patterns of anthophyllous insect communities in a tropical mountain forest. (United States)

    Cuartas-Hernández, S E; Gómez-Murillo, L


    The determinants of diversity are a central issue in ecology, particularly in Andean forests that are known to be a major diversity hotspot for several taxa. We examined the effect of abiotic (elevation and precipitation) and biotic (flowering plant diversity) factors considered to be decisive causal factors of diversity patterns on anthophyllous insect communities on mountain forest. Sampling was carried out in 100-m transects at eight elevational levels and during a period of 8 months. All flowering plants in the understory and their flowering visitors were recorded. Species richness and diversity were estimated for each elevation and month. Diversity of flowering plants, elevation, and precipitation were used as independent variables in multiple regressions against insect diversity. The evaluated abiotic and biotic factors had contrasting effects on insect diversity: a significant decrease on insect diversity occurred at high elevation and dry months (i.e., threshold effect), while it showed a positive relationship with flowering plant diversity through time (i.e., linear effect), but not along elevation. Rapid turnover of species of both interacting guilds was observed every 100-m altitude and month. Local insect communities were also divided functionally depending on the plant family they visit. These results indicate that each insect community is distinctive among elevations and months and that diversity of flowering plants, precipitation, and elevation influence their structure and composition. Thus, conservation strategies should involve protection of forest cover at the whole elevation gradient, in order to preserve common and exclusive components of diversity and consequently, the mosaic of plant-pollinator interactions.

  17. Origin of Chinese ancient glasses——study on the earliest Chinese ancient glasses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAN Fuxi; CHENG Huansheng; LI Qinghui


    The earliest Chinese ancient glasses before the West Han Dynasty (200 BC) from different regions are studied. The glass samples were unearthed from Hunan, Hubei, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangdong and Xinjiang of China. The chemical composition of these glasses samples is analyzed by proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) method and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). It is shown that the glass chemical compositions belong to barium-lead silicate BaO-PbO-SiO2, potash soda lime silicate K2O (Na2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O>1), soda potash lime silicate Na2O (K2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O<1) and potash silicate K2O-SiO2 glass systems, respectively. The origins of the earliest Chinese ancient glasses are discussed from the archaeological and historical points of view. These four types of Chinese ancient glasses were all made in Chinese territory using local raw materials. The glass preparation technology was related to the Chinese ancient bronze metallurgy and proto-porcelain glaze technology. The glass technology relationship between the East and the West is analyzed at the same time.

  18. Phylogenomic analyses resolve an ancient trichotomy at the base of Ischyropsalidoidea (Arachnida, Opiliones) despite high levels of gene tree conflict and unequal minority resolution frequencies. (United States)

    Richart, Casey H; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Hedin, Marshal


    Phylogenetic resolution of ancient rapid radiations has remained problematic despite major advances in statistical approaches and DNA sequencing technologies. Here we report on a combined phylogenetic approach utilizing transcriptome data in conjunction with Sanger sequence data to investigate a tandem of ancient divergences in the harvestmen superfamily Ischyropsalidoidea (Arachnida, Opiliones, Dyspnoi). We rely on Sanger sequences to resolve nodes within and between closely related genera, and use RNA-seq data from a subset of taxa to resolve a short and ancient internal branch. We use several analytical approaches to explore this succession of ancient diversification events, including concatenated and coalescent-based analyses and maximum likelihood gene trees for each locus. We evaluate the robustness of phylogenetic inferences using a randomized locus sub-sampling approach, and find congruence across these methods despite considerable incongruence across gene trees. Incongruent gene trees are not recovered in frequencies expected from a simple multispecies coalescent model, and we reject incomplete lineage sorting as the sole contributor to gene tree conflict. Using these approaches we attain robust support for higher-level phylogenetic relationships within Ischyropsalidoidea.

  19. Mitochondrial phylogenomics of modern and ancient equids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vilstrup, Julia T; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias


    The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial...... the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga). Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific...

  20. Group-specific multiplex PCR detection systems for the identification of flying insect prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Sint

    Full Text Available The applicability of species-specific primers to study feeding interactions is restricted to those ecosystems where the targeted prey species occur. Therefore, group-specific primer pairs, targeting higher taxonomic levels, are often desired to investigate interactions in a range of habitats that do not share the same species but the same groups of prey. Such primers are also valuable to study the diet of generalist predators when next generation sequencing approaches cannot be applied beneficially. Moreover, due to the large range of prey consumed by generalists, it is impossible to investigate the breadth of their diet with species-specific primers, even if multiplexing them. However, only few group-specific primers are available to date and important groups of prey such as flying insects have rarely been targeted. Our aim was to fill this gap and develop group-specific primers suitable to detect and identify the DNA of common taxa of flying insects. The primers were combined in two multiplex PCR systems, which allow a time- and cost-effective screening of samples for DNA of the dipteran subsection Calyptratae (including Anthomyiidae, Calliphoridae, Muscidae, other common dipteran families (Phoridae, Syrphidae, Bibionidae, Chironomidae, Sciaridae, Tipulidae, three orders of flying insects (Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Plecoptera and coniferous aphids within the genus Cinara. The two PCR assays were highly specific and sensitive and their suitability to detect prey was confirmed by testing field-collected dietary samples from arthropods and vertebrates. The PCR assays presented here allow targeting prey at higher taxonomic levels such as family or order and therefore improve our ability to assess (trophic interactions with flying insects in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.