WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological diversity assessment

  1. Managing biological diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Fred B.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1993-01-01

    Biological diversity is the variety of life and accompanying ecological processes (Off. Technol. Assess. 1987, Wilcove and Samson 1987, Keystone 1991). Conservation of biological diversity is a major environmental issue (Wilson 1988, Counc. Environ. Quality 1991). The health and future of the earth's ecological systems (Lubchenco et al. 1991), global climate change (Botkin 1990), and an ever-increasing rate in loss of species, communities, and ecological systems (Myers 1990) are among issues drawing biological diversity to the mainstream of conservation worldwide (Int. Union Conserv. Nat. and Nat. Resour. [IUCN] et al. 1991). The legal mandate for conserving biological diversity is now in place (Carlson 1988, Doremus 1991). More than 19 federal laws govern the use of biological resources in the United States (Rein 1991). The proposed National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act (H.R. 585 and S.58) notes the need for a national biological diversity policy, would create a national center for biological diversity research, and recommends a federal interagency strategy for ecosystem conservation. There are, however, hard choices ahead for the conservation of biological diversity, and biologists are grappling with how to set priorities in research and management (Roberts 1988). We sense disillusion among field biologists and managers relative to how to operationally approach the seemingly overwhelming charge of conserving biological diversity. Biologists also need to respond to critics like Hunt (1991) who suggest a tree farm has more biological diversity than an equal area of old-growth forest. At present, science has played only a minor role in the conservation of biological diversity (Weston 1992) with no unified approach available to evaluate strategies and programs that address the quality and quantity of biological diversity (Murphy 1990, Erwin 1992). Although actions to conserve biological diversity need to be clearly defined by

  2. Diversity in Biological Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbury, H. John

    2010-01-01

    One of the striking characteristics of fundamental biological processes, such as genetic inheritance, development and primary metabolism, is the limited amount of variation in the molecules involved. Natural selective pressures act strongly on these core processes and individuals carrying mutations and producing slightly sub-optimal versions of…

  3. Assessing the Attitudes and Beliefs of Preservice Middle School Science Teachers toward Biologically Diverse Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between United States (US) preservice middle school science teacher characteristics, their attitude toward a specific animal and their belief concerning the likelihood of incorporating information about that specific animal into their future science classroom. The study participants…

  4. Commentary India's Biological Diversity Act 2002

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    result of new developments in technology, in particular, biotechnology and information technology, and, secondly, the ongoing ... may render the act toothless. For example, any biological resource ... been arrived at as to how to put into effect the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological. Diversity. Even if such an ...

  5. Conservation businesses and conservation planning in a biological diversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Minin, Enrico; Macmillan, Douglas Craig; Goodman, Peter Styan; Escott, Boyd; Slotow, Rob; Moilanen, Atte

    2013-08-01

    The allocation of land to biological diversity conservation competes with other land uses and the needs of society for development, food, and extraction of natural resources. Trade-offs between biological diversity conservation and alternative land uses are unavoidable, given the realities of limited conservation resources and the competing demands of society. We developed a conservation-planning assessment for the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, which forms the central component of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biological diversity hotspot. Our objective was to enhance biological diversity protection while promoting sustainable development and providing spatial guidance in the resolution of potential policy conflicts over priority areas for conservation at risk of transformation. The conservation-planning assessment combined spatial-distribution models for 646 conservation features, spatial economic-return models for 28 alternative land uses, and spatial maps for 4 threats. Nature-based tourism businesses were competitive with other land uses and could provide revenues of >US$60 million/year to local stakeholders and simultaneously help meeting conservation goals for almost half the conservation features in the planning region. Accounting for opportunity costs substantially decreased conflicts between biological diversity, agricultural use, commercial forestry, and mining. Accounting for economic benefits arising from conservation and reducing potential policy conflicts with alternative plans for development can provide opportunities for successful strategies that combine conservation and sustainable development and facilitate conservation action. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Indicator-based assessment of marine biological diversity – lessons from 10 case studies across the European Seas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Uusitalo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the environmental status of European marine waters to be assessed using biodiversity as one out of 11 descriptors, but the complexity of marine biodiversity and its large span across latitudinal and salinity gradients have been a challenge to the scientific community aiming to produce approaches for integrating information from a broad range of indicators. The Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool (NEAT, developed for the integrated assessment of the status of marine waters, was applied to ten marine ecosystems to test its applicability and compare biodiversity assessments across the four European regional seas. We evaluate the assessment results as well as the assessment designs of the ten cases, and how the assessment design, particularly the choices made regarding the area and indicator selection, affected the results. The results show that only 2 out of the 10 case study areas show more than 50 % probability of being in good status in respect of biodiversity. No strong pattern among the ecosystem components across the case study areas could be detected, but marine mammals, birds, and benthic vegetation indicators tended to indicate poor status while zooplankton indicators indicated good status when included into the assessment. The analysis shows that the assessment design, including the selection of indicators, their target values, geographical resolution and habitats to be assessed, has potentially a high impact on the result, and the assessment structure needs to be understood in order to make an informed assessment. Moreover, recommendations are provided for the best practice of using NEAT for marine status assessments.

  7. An ecologically-based method for selecting ecological indicators for assessing risks to biological diversity from genetically-engineered plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andow, D. A.; Lövei, Gabor L; Arpaia, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    The environmental risks associated with genetically-engineered (GE) organisms have been controversial, and so have the models for the assessment of these risks. We propose an ecologically-based environmental risk assessment (ERA) model that follows the 1998 USEPA guidelines, focusing on potential...

  8. Biotic prognostications: Global warming and biological diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peters, R.L.; Lovejoy, T.E. [eds.

    1992-12-31

    This book focuses on the impacts of the greenhouse effect on biological diversity and on natural ecosystems. Included are chapters which include the following topics: government attitudes to climate change problems; general conclusions and deficiencies of general circulation models; impacts of past climate changes on global biota; effects of climate on vegetation, soils, wildlife diversity, animal physiology, ecology, behavior, migration, and parasites and diseases; arctic mariene ecosystems and coasta marine zones; tropical forests; arctic tundra; western North American forests, etc.; indirect linkages and snyergisms among climate change, biodiversity, geosphere, and anthropogenic stresses.

  9. Biological diversity in the patent system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Oldham

    Full Text Available Biological diversity in the patent system is an enduring focus of controversy but empirical analysis of the presence of biodiversity in the patent system has been limited. To address this problem we text mined 11 million patent documents for 6 million Latin species names from the Global Names Index (GNI established by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL. We identified 76,274 full Latin species names from 23,882 genera in 767,955 patent documents. 25,595 species appeared in the claims section of 136,880 patent documents. This reveals that human innovative activity involving biodiversity in the patent system focuses on approximately 4% of taxonomically described species and between 0.8-1% of predicted global species. In this article we identify the major features of the patent landscape for biological diversity by focusing on key areas including pharmaceuticals, neglected diseases, traditional medicines, genetic engineering, foods, biocides, marine genetic resources and Antarctica. We conclude that the narrow focus of human innovative activity and ownership of genetic resources is unlikely to be in the long term interest of humanity. We argue that a broader spectrum of biodiversity needs to be opened up to research and development based on the principles of equitable benefit-sharing, respect for the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, human rights and ethics. Finally, we argue that alternative models of innovation, such as open source and commons models, are required to open up biodiversity for research that addresses actual and neglected areas of human need. The research aims to inform the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and international debates directed to the governance of genetic resources. Our research also aims to inform debates under the Intergovernmental Committee on

  10. Biological Diversity in the Patent System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Paul; Hall, Stephen; Forero, Oscar

    2013-01-01

    Biological diversity in the patent system is an enduring focus of controversy but empirical analysis of the presence of biodiversity in the patent system has been limited. To address this problem we text mined 11 million patent documents for 6 million Latin species names from the Global Names Index (GNI) established by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). We identified 76,274 full Latin species names from 23,882 genera in 767,955 patent documents. 25,595 species appeared in the claims section of 136,880 patent documents. This reveals that human innovative activity involving biodiversity in the patent system focuses on approximately 4% of taxonomically described species and between 0.8–1% of predicted global species. In this article we identify the major features of the patent landscape for biological diversity by focusing on key areas including pharmaceuticals, neglected diseases, traditional medicines, genetic engineering, foods, biocides, marine genetic resources and Antarctica. We conclude that the narrow focus of human innovative activity and ownership of genetic resources is unlikely to be in the long term interest of humanity. We argue that a broader spectrum of biodiversity needs to be opened up to research and development based on the principles of equitable benefit-sharing, respect for the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, human rights and ethics. Finally, we argue that alternative models of innovation, such as open source and commons models, are required to open up biodiversity for research that addresses actual and neglected areas of human need. The research aims to inform the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and international debates directed to the governance of genetic resources. Our research also aims to inform debates under the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual

  11. Neglect of genetic diversity in implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Laikre; Fred W. Allendorf; Laurel C. Aroner; C. Scott Baker; David P. Gregovich; Michael M. Hansen; Jennifer A. Jackson; Katherine C. Kendall; Kevin Mckelvey; Maile C. Neel; Isabelle Olivieri; Nils Ryman; Michael K. Schwartz; Ruth Short Bull; Jeffrey B. Stetz; David A. Tallmon; Barbara L. Taylor; Christina D. Vojta; Donald M. Waller; Robin S. Waples

    2009-01-01

    Genetic diversity is the foundation for all biological diversity; the persistence and evolutionary potential of species depend on it. World leaders have agreed on the conservation of genetic diversity as an explicit goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Nevertheless, actions to protect genetic diversity are largely lacking. With only months left to the...

  12. Global biological diversity, forests and ecosystem approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corona P

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent international reports and a paper published on Science stresses the lack of evidence about the reduction in the rate of biodiversity decline as expected as a consequence of political agreements on global environment. This decline is of particular concern not only with respect to the intrinsic value of the nature as such but also because it involves the reduction or loss of ecosystem services. This issue is distinctively relevant for forest ecosystems. The Ecosystem Approach proposed by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity might be a strategy to reverse the negative trend, promoting a fair conservation and sustainable use of natural resources on an operational level.

  13. Study of primary biological aerosols to characterize their diversity in particulate matter over the Indian tropical region: assessment for climatic and health impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priyamvada R, H.; Muthalagu, A.; R, R.; Verma, R. S.; Philip, L.; Desprès, V.; Poeschl, U.; Gunthe, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    Primary Biological Aerosol Particles (PBAPs) are ubiquitous in the Earth's atmosphere and can influence the biosphere, climate, and public health (Després et al., 2012).To study the importance of the PBAPs, it is important to have an understanding about their origin, seasonal abundance and diversity. The study of PBAPs over the Indian tropical region becomes important as it hosts ~ 18% of the world population and has a distinct climate with a systematic and cyclic monsoon season which is different from the continental climates in Europe and America. In this study, the PBAPs were characterized by the application of molecular genetic techniques involving DNA extraction, PCR amplifications, cloning and DNA sequencing. In addition, characterization of the fungal source emissions was performed to better understand the diversity, abundance, and relative contribution of the fungal aerosols. For the present study, DNA analysis was performed on a one-year air filter set of PM10 (particulate matter ≤10 mm) covering three distinct meteorological seasons, i.e. summer, monsoon, and winter. The results from DNA analysis revealed the presence of bacteria and fungi in the filter samples. The fungal source characterization performed by the DNA analysis revealed the ratio of Basidiomycota to Ascomycota to be 96:4, which is consistent with previously reported studies from airborne fungal communities in the European continental boundary layer air (Fröhlich-Nowoisky et al., 2009). In the study region, the highest species richness was found to be present in the family Agaricaceae (25.3%) followed by Polyporaceae (15.3%) and Marasmiaceae (10.81%). Agaricaceae, Polyporaceae and Psathyrellaceae were dominant families in the study region and the families like Clavariaceae, Nectriaceae, Phanerochaetachae, Pleurotaceae and Strophariaceae were found to be rare. The results will next be compared with the diversity and types of the fungi found in ambient PM10. More details will be presented.

  14. Biological Environmental Sampling Technologies Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    assay performance for the detection of target pathogens or protein biomarkers in liquid matrices. The nanomanipulation technology provides a dramatic...personal protective equipment qPCR quantitative polymerase chain reaction RAID Rapid Assessment Initial Detection kit RFI request for information RT...Carrie Poore Robert Dorsey RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE Aaron Chonko David Grieco JOINT BIOLOGICAL TACTICAL DETECTION SYSTEM

  15. Increasing Diversity of Biological Membrane Fission Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renard, Henri-François; Johannes, Ludger; Morsomme, Pierre

    2018-01-04

    Membrane fission is essential to life. It is required for many fundamental cellular processes, as diverse as cyto- and karyokinesis, organelle division, membrane repair, and membrane trafficking and endocytosis. While membrane fission was originally seen as resulting from the action of mechanoenzymes such as dynamin, it is clear that the reality is more complex. In this review, we propose an updated overview of fission mechanisms, and try to extract essential requirements for each. We also present examples of cellular processes that involve these fission mechanisms. Finally, we list pending questions, whether they are specific to a peculiar fission mechanism or more general to the field. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Strategy Diversity and Cognitive Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegler, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the problems of using chronometric analysis, a common cognitive psychological method, for educational assessment. Suggests that cognitive assessment has not reached the precision needed to analyze individual differences. (FMW)

  17. Biolog for the determination of diversity in microbial communities ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, different carbon source profiles were generated by inoculating Biolog GN and GP microtitre plates, with different dilutions of microbial communities. The high number of substrates utilised at the lower dilutions (10-1 and 10-2) indicated a high functional diversity in the communities tested. This, however, did not ...

  18. Will the Convention on Biological Diversity put an end to biological control?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joop C. van Lenteren

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Will the Convention on Biological Diversity put an end to biological control? Under the Convention on Biological Diversity countries have sovereign rights over their genetic resources. Agreements governing the access to these resources and the sharing of the benefits arising from their use need to be established between involved parties. This also applies to species collected for potential use in biological control. Recent applications of access and benefit sharing principles have already made it difficult or impossible to collect and export natural enemies for biological control research in several countries. If such an approach is widely applied it would impede this very successful and environmentally safe pest management method based on the use of biological diversity. The International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants has, therefore, created the "Commission on Biological Control and Access and Benefit Sharing". This commission is carrying out national and international activities to make clear how a benefit sharing regime might seriously frustrate the future of biological control. In addition, the IOBC Commission members published information on current regulations and perceptions concerning exploration for natural enemies and drafted some 30 case studies selected to illustrate a variety of points relevant to access and benefit sharing. In this article, we summarize our concern about the effects of access and benefit sharing systems on the future of biological control.

  19. Opportunities for synthetic biology in antibiotics: expanding glycopeptide chemical diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaker, Maulik N; Wright, Gerard D

    2015-03-20

    Synthetic biology offers a new path for the exploitation and improvement of natural products to address the growing crisis in antibiotic resistance. All antibiotics in clinical use are facing eventual obsolesce as a result of the evolution and dissemination of resistance mechanisms, yet there are few new drug leads forthcoming from the pharmaceutical sector. Natural products of microbial origin have proven over the past 70 years to be the wellspring of antimicrobial drugs. Harnessing synthetic biology thinking and strategies can provide new molecules and expand chemical diversity of known antibiotic scaffolds to provide much needed new drug leads. The glycopeptide antibiotics offer paradigmatic scaffolds suitable for such an approach. We review these strategies here using the glycopeptides as an example and demonstrate how synthetic biology can expand antibiotic chemical diversity to help address the growing resistance crisis.

  20. Access and benefit sharing (ABS) under the convention on biological diversity (CBD): implications for microbial biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers and implementers of biological control are confronted with a variety of scientific, regulatory and administrative challenges to their biological control programs. One developing challenge will arise from the implementation of provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) co...

  1. National report on sustainable forests—2015: conservation of biological diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Curtis Flather; Kurt H. Riitters; Carolyn Sieg; James D. Garner

    2015-01-01

    The National Report on Sustainable Forests—2015 relies on Montrèal Process Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Forest Sustainability to organize and present data relevant to U.S. forests. The 2015 report addresses seven criteria, the first of which is Conservation of Biological Diversity, which is organized into nine indicators that address three sub-criteria:...

  2. Expanding Kenya's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity to maximize coverage of plant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Curran, Michael; Alvarez, Miguel

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is highly valuable and critically threatened by anthropogenic degradation of the natural environment. In response, governments have pledged enhanced protected-area coverage, which requires scarce biological data to identify conservation priorities. To assist this effort, we mapped conservation priorities in Kenya based on maximizing alpha (species richness) and beta diversity (species turnover) of plant communities while minimizing economic costs. We used plant-cover percentages from vegetation surveys of over 2000 plots to build separate models for each type of diversity. Opportunity and management costs were based on literature data and interviews with conservation organizations. Species richness was predicted to be highest in a belt from Lake Turkana through Mount Kenya and in a belt parallel to the coast, and species turnover was predicted to be highest in western Kenya and along the coast. Our results suggest the expanding reserve network should focus on the coast and northeastern provinces of Kenya, where new biological surveys would also fill biological data gaps. Meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity target of 17% terrestrial coverage by 2020 would increase representation of Kenya's plant communities by 75%. However, this would require about 50 times more funds than Kenya has received thus far from the Global Environment Facility. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  4. On the Biological and Genetic Diversity in Neospora caninum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T. Ellis

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Neospora caninum is a parasite regarded a major cause of foetal loss in cattle. A key requirement to an understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenicity of N. caninum is knowledge of the biological characteristics of the species and the genetic diversity within it. Due to the broad intermediate host range of the species, worldwide geographical distribution and its capacity for sexual reproduction, significant biological and genetic differences might be expected to exist. N. caninum has now been isolated from a variety of different host species including dogs and cattle. Although isolates of this parasite show only minor differences in ultrastructure, considerable differences have been reported in pathogenicity using mainly mouse models. At the DNA level, marked levels of polymorphism between isolates were detected in mini- and microsatellites found in the genome of N. caninum. Knowledge of what drives the biological differences that have been observed between the various isolates at the molecular level is crucial in aiding our understanding of the epidemiology of this parasite and, in turn, the development of efficacious strategies, such as live vaccines, for controlling its impact. The purpose of this review is to document and discuss for the first time, the nature of the diversity found within the species Neospora caninum.

  5. Race and diversity in U.S. Biological Anthropology: A decade of AAPA initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antón, Susan C; Malhi, Ripan S; Fuentes, Agustín

    2018-01-01

    Biological Anthropology studies the variation and evolution of living humans, non-human primates, and extinct ancestors and for this reason the field should be in an ideal position to attract scientists from a variety of backgrounds who have different views and experiences. However, the origin and history of the discipline, anecdotal observations, self-reports, and recent surveys suggest the field has significant barriers to attracting scholars of color. For a variety of reasons, including quantitative research that demonstrates that diverse groups do better science, the discipline should strive to achieve a more diverse composition. Here we discuss the background and underpinnings of the current and historical dearth of diversity in Biological Anthropology in the U.S. specifically as it relates to representation of minority and underrepresented minority (URM) (or racialized minority) scholars. We trace this lack of diversity to underlying issues of recruitment and retention in the STEM sciences generally, to the history of Anthropology particularly around questions of race-science, and to the absence of Anthropology at many minority-serving institutions, especially HBCUs, a situation that forestalls pathways to the discipline for many minority students. The AAPA Committee on Diversity (COD) was conceived as a means of assessing and improving diversity within the discipline, and we detail the history of the COD since its inception in 2006. Prior to the COD there were no systematic AAPA efforts to consider ethnoracial diversity in our ranks and no programming around questions of diversity and inclusion. Departmental survey data collected by the COD indicate that undergraduate majors in Biological Anthropology are remarkably diverse, but that the discipline loses these scholars between undergraduate and graduate school and systematically up rank. Our analysis of recent membership demographic survey data (2014 and 2017) shows Biological Anthropology to have less

  6. Assessing functional diversity by program slicing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, D.R.; Lyle, J.R.; Gallagher, K.B.; Ippolito, L.M.

    1994-01-01

    A responsibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission auditors is to provide assessments of the quality of the safety systems. For software, the audit process as currently implemented is a slow, tedious, manual process prone to human errors. While auditors cannot possibly examine all components of the system in complete detail, they do check for implementation of specific principles like functional diversity. This paper describes an experimental prototype Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool, UNRAVEL, designed to enable auditors to check for functional diversity and aid an auditor in examining software by extracting all code relevant to a computation identified for detailed inspection

  7. Functional annotation of chemical libraries across diverse biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrowski, Jeff S; Li, Sheena C; Deshpande, Raamesh; Simpkins, Scott W; Nelson, Justin; Yashiroda, Yoko; Barber, Jacqueline M; Safizadeh, Hamid; Wilson, Erin; Okada, Hiroki; Gebre, Abraham A; Kubo, Karen; Torres, Nikko P; LeBlanc, Marissa A; Andrusiak, Kerry; Okamoto, Reika; Yoshimura, Mami; DeRango-Adem, Eva; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Brown, Grant W; Hirano, Hiroyuki; Costanzo, Michael; Andrews, Brenda; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Osada, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Minoru; Myers, Chad L; Boone, Charles

    2017-09-01

    Chemical-genetic approaches offer the potential for unbiased functional annotation of chemical libraries. Mutations can alter the response of cells in the presence of a compound, revealing chemical-genetic interactions that can elucidate a compound's mode of action. We developed a highly parallel, unbiased yeast chemical-genetic screening system involving three key components. First, in a drug-sensitive genetic background, we constructed an optimized diagnostic mutant collection that is predictive for all major yeast biological processes. Second, we implemented a multiplexed (768-plex) barcode-sequencing protocol, enabling the assembly of thousands of chemical-genetic profiles. Finally, based on comparison of the chemical-genetic profiles with a compendium of genome-wide genetic interaction profiles, we predicted compound functionality. Applying this high-throughput approach, we screened seven different compound libraries and annotated their functional diversity. We further validated biological process predictions, prioritized a diverse set of compounds, and identified compounds that appear to have dual modes of action.

  8. MYC Cofactors: Molecular Switches Controlling Diverse Biological Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hann, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor MYC has fundamental roles in proliferation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and stem cell pluripotency. Over the last 30 years extensive information has been gathered on the numerous cofactors that interact with MYC and the target genes that are regulated by MYC as a means of understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling its diverse roles. Despite significant advances and perhaps because the amount of information learned about MYC is overwhelming, there has been little consensus on the molecular functions of MYC that mediate its critical biological roles. In this perspective, the major MYC cofactors that regulate the various transcriptional activities of MYC, including canonical and noncanonical transactivation and transcriptional repression, will be reviewed and a model of how these transcriptional mechanisms control MYC-mediated proliferation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis will be presented. The basis of the model is that a variety of cofactors form dynamic MYC transcriptional complexes that can switch the molecular and biological functions of MYC to yield a diverse range of outcomes in a cell-type- and context-dependent fashion. PMID:24939054

  9. Synthesis and assessment of date palm genetic diversity studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    A thorough assessment of genetic diversity and population differentiation of Phoenix dactylifera are critical for its dynamic conservation and sustainable utilization of its genetic diversity. Estimates of genetic diversity based on phenotypic, biochemical and molecular markers; and fruit quality tr...

  10. Questions of importance to the conservation of biological diversity: answers from the past

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. J. Willis

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Paleoecological records are replete with examples of biotic responses to past climate change and human impact, but how can we use these records in the conservation of current and future biodiversity? A recently published list of (One Hundred Questions of Importance to the Conservation of Global Biological Diversity (Sutherland et al., 2009 highlights a number of key research questions that need a temporal perspective. Many of these questions are related to the determination of ecological processes in order to assess ecosystem function and services, climate change-integrated conservation strategies, and ecosystem management and restoration. However, it is noticeable that not a single contributor to this list was from the paleo-research community and that extremely few paleo-records are ever used in the development of terrestrial conservation management plans. This lack of dialogue between conservationists and the paleo-community is partially driven by a perception that the data provided by paleoecological records are purely descriptive and not of relevance to the day-to-day management and conservation of biological diversity. This paper illustrates, through a series of case-studies, how long-term ecological records (>50 years can provide a test of predictions and assumptions of ecological processes that are directly relevant to management strategies necessary to retain biological diversity in a changing climate. This discussion paper includes information on diversity baselines, thresholds, resilience, and restoration of ecological processes.

  11. Actinobacteria from arid and desert habitats: diversity and biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim eWink

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability.At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria

  12. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  13. Diverse biological effects of electromagnetic-treated water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamabhai, Montarop; Chumseng, Suchintana; Yoohat, Kirana; Srila, Witsanu

    2014-07-01

    The effects of water treated with an electromagnetic field (EMF) were investigated on two biological systems, humans and plants. Purified de-ionised water was treated by (1) boiling, (2) exposure to microwave radiation, and (3) low frequency electromagnetic oscillation molecular resonance effect technology (MRET), before being used to prepare media for culturing human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from three healthy females. Our results indicated that PBMC culture in MRET-activated medium showed significantly less oxidative metabolism when compared to media prepared from other types of water. As for the effects on soybean, our results indicated that both MRET- and microwave-treated water greatly enhanced the length of the root. These results suggested that electromagnetic-treated water can have diverse biological effects on both animal and plant cells. Since these effects are related to the 'Memory of Water', hypothesis which has been suggested as an explanation of the action of high homeopathic dilutions, our finding warrant a further investigation on the mechanisms of various types of physically conditioned water on specific cellular activities. Copyright © 2013 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in…

  15. Conserving forest biological diversity: How the Montreal Process helps achieve sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Nelson; Guy Robertson; Kurt. Riitters

    2015-01-01

    Forests support a variety of ecosystems, species and genes — collectively referred to as biological diversity — along with important processes that tie these all together. With the growing recognition that biological diversity contributes to human welfare in a number of important ways such as providing food, medicine and fiber (provisioning services...

  16. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  17. Progress towards the Conventionon Biological Diversity terrestrial2010 and marine 2012 targets forprotected area coverage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coad, Lauren; Burgess, Neil David; Fish, Lucy

    2010-01-01

    Protected area coverage targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for both terrestrial and marine environments provide a major incentive for governments to review and upgrade their protected area systems. Assessing progress towards these targets will form an important component...... of the work of the Xth CBD Conference of Parties meeting to be held in Japan in 2010. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the largest assembly of data on the world's terrestrial and marine protected areas and, as such, represents a fundamental tool in tracking progress towards protected area...

  18. Biological Based Risk Assessment for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2011-01-01

    Exposures from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) - made up of high-energy protons and high-energy and charge (HZE) nuclei, and solar particle events (SPEs) - comprised largely of low- to medium-energy protons are the primary health concern for astronauts for long-term space missions. Experimental studies have shown that HZE nuclei produce both qualitative and quantitative differences in biological effects compared to terrestrial radiation, making risk assessments for cancer and degenerative risks, such as central nervous system effects and heart disease, highly uncertain. The goal for space radiation protection at NASA is to be able to reduce the uncertainties in risk assessments for Mars exploration to be small enough to ensure acceptable levels of risks are not exceeded and to adequately assess the efficacy of mitigation measures such as shielding or biological countermeasures. We review the recent BEIR VII and UNSCEAR-2006 models of cancer risks and their uncertainties. These models are shown to have an inherent 2-fold uncertainty as defined by ratio of the 95% percent confidence level to the mean projection, even before radiation quality is considered. In order to overcome the uncertainties in these models, new approaches to risk assessment are warranted. We consider new computational biology approaches to modeling cancer risks. A basic program of research that includes stochastic descriptions of the physics and chemistry of radiation tracks and biochemistry of metabolic pathways, to emerging biological understanding of cellular and tissue modifications leading to cancer is described.

  19. Biolog for the determination of diversity in microbial communities

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    drinie

    2002-01-01

    Jan 1, 2002 ... be related to the functional diversity of the species present in the community. ... The hypothesis is that the more substrates utilised, the higher the diversity, due to the collective action of individual species. Any one organism will not necessarily utilise all the ..... biofouling control in industrial water systems.

  20. The distribution of cultural and biological diversity in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, Joslin L; Manne, Lisa; Brooks, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    sub-Saharan Africa, cultural diversity and vertebrate species diversity exhibit marked similarities in their overall distribution. In addition, we show that 71% of the observed variation in species richness and 36% in language richness can be explained on the basis of environmental factors, suggesting...

  1. Teaching quantitative biology: goals, assessments, and resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L; Dolan, Erin L

    2014-11-05

    More than a decade has passed since the publication of BIO2010, calling for an increased emphasis on quantitative skills in the undergraduate biology curriculum. In that time, relatively few papers have been published that describe educational innovations in quantitative biology or provide evidence of their effects on students. Using a "backward design" framework, we lay out quantitative skill and attitude goals, assessment strategies, and teaching resources to help biologists teach more quantitatively. Collaborations between quantitative biologists and education researchers are necessary to develop a broader and more appropriate suite of assessment tools, and to provide much-needed evidence on how particular teaching strategies affect biology students' quantitative skill development and attitudes toward quantitative work. © 2014 Aikens and Dolan. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  2. Biological Assessment on Impacts to Peregrine Falcons

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-03-15

    George W. Ploudre, P.E. Assistant Chief, Engineering Division NPSEN-PL-ER 15 March 1984 LUMMI BAY MARINA, WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT...Randall K. Knapp, and James K. Fackler, .1984. "The Behavior and Ecology of Fall Peregrine Falcons at Lummi Bay and Vicinity, Whatcom County...impacts of the proposed Lummi Bay Marina project, Whatcom County, Washington on the Federally endangered peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus

  3. The Biological Diversity and Production of Volatile Organic Compounds by Stem-Inhabiting Endophytic Fungi of Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan M. Rundell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Fungal endophytes colonize every major lineage of land plants without causing apparent harm to their hosts. Despite their production of interesting and potentially novel compounds, endophytes—particularly those inhabiting stem tissues—are still a vastly underexplored component of microbial diversity. In this study, we explored the diversity of over 1500 fungal endophyte isolates collected from three Ecuadorian ecosystems: lowland tropical forest, cloud forest, and coastal dry forest. We sought to determine whether Ecuador’s fungal endophytes are hyperdiverse, and whether that biological diversity is reflected in the endophytes’ chemical diversity. To assess this chemical diversity, we analyzed a subset of isolates for their production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs, a representative class of natural products. This study yielded a total of 1526 fungal ITS sequences comprising some 315 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, resulting in a non-asymptotic OTU accumulation curve and characterized by a Fisher’s α of 120 and a Shannon Diversity score of 7.56. These figures suggest that the Ecuadorian endophytes are hyperdiverse. Furthermore, the 113 isolates screened for VOCs produced more than 140 unique compounds. These results present a mere snapshot of the remarkable biological and chemical diversity of stem-inhabiting endophytic fungi from a single neotropical country.

  4. Assessment of genetic diversity among sixty bread wheat ( Triticum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of genetic diversity among wheat cultivars is important to ensure that a continuous pool of cultivars with varying desirable traits is maintained. In view of this, a molecular study was conducted to assess the genetic diversity of sixty wheat cultivars using sixty microsatellite markers. Amplified alleles from each ...

  5. Accessing Nature's diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jason R; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through "scaffold diversification", and subsequent "derivatization" of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the "privileged" chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents.

  6. Biologically Inspired Waveform Diversity for Synthetic Autonomous Navigation Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    navigation, collision avoidance, ambiguity SUMMARY Echolocating mammals such as bats , whales and dolphins have been using waveform diversity for...we have adopted. Mammals such as bats use echolocation to perform autonomous navigation (or more strictly orientation), detection and classification...understand how bats exploit echolocation for autonomous navigation and collision avoidance we can then begin to build this into synthetic systems

  7. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, J. R.; Mantovani, W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic “functional diversity” and then refined our search using the key-word “conservation”. We have identified the conservation strategies addressed,...

  8. Modeling and analysis of modular structure in diverse biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Anzi, Bader; Gerges, Sherif; Olsman, Noah; Ormerod, Christopher; Piliouras, Georgios; Ormerod, John; Zinn, Kai

    2017-06-07

    Biological networks, like most engineered networks, are not the product of a singular design but rather are the result of a long process of refinement and optimization. Many large real-world networks are comprised of well-defined and meaningful smaller modules. While engineered networks are designed and refined by humans with particular goals in mind, biological networks are created by the selective pressures of evolution. In this paper, we seek to define aspects of network architecture that are shared among different types of evolved biological networks. First, we developed a new mathematical model, the Stochastic Block Model with Path Selection (SBM-PS) that simulates biological network formation based on the selection of edges that increase clustering. SBM-PS can produce modular networks whose properties resemble those of real networks. Second, we analyzed three real networks of very different types, and showed that all three can be fit well by the SBM-PS model. Third, we showed that modular elements within the three networks correspond to meaningful biological structures. The networks chosen for analysis were a proteomic network composed of all proteins required for mitochondrial function in budding yeast, a mesoscale anatomical network composed of axonal connections among regions of the mouse brain, and the connectome of individual neurons in the nematode C. elegans. We find that the three networks have common architectural features, and each can be divided into subnetworks with characteristic topologies that control specific phenotypic outputs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Sampling effects on the assessment of genetic diversity of rhizobia associated with soybean and common bean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alberton, O.; Kaschuk, G.; Hungria, M.

    2006-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation plays a key role in agriculture sustainability, and assessment of rhizobial diversity contributes to worldwide knowledge of biodiversity of soil microorganisms, to the usefulness of rhizobial collections and to the establishment of long-term strategies aimed at

  10. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Mantovani, W

    2017-10-23

    Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic "functional diversity" and then refined our search using the key-word "conservation". We have identified the conservation strategies addressed, the organism studied, and the continent of study site in each paper. Thirteen classes of conservation strategies were identified. Plants were the most commonly studied organism group and most study-sites were located in Europe. The functional diversity approach was introduced in the Biological Conservation field in the early 2000's and its inclusion in conservation strategies is broadly advised. However, the number of papers that operationalise such inclusion by developing models and systems is still low. Functional diversity responds differently and eventually better than other measures to changes in land use and management, which suggests that this approach can potentially better predict the impacts. More studies are needed to corroborate this hypothesis. We pointed out knowledge gaps regarding identification of the responses for functional diversity about urban impacts and in research on the level of management intensity of land needed to maintain functional diversity. We recommend the use of functional diversity measures to find ecological indicators. Future studies should focus on the development of functional diversity measures of other taxa beyond plants as well as test hypothesis in tropical ecosystems.

  11. Conservation biological control and enemy diversity on a landscape scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tscharntke, T.; Bommarco, R.; Clough, Y.; Crist, T.O.; Kleijn, D.; Rand, T.A.; Tylianakis, J.M.; Nouhuys, S.; Vidal, S.

    2007-01-01

    Conservation biological control in agroecosystems requires a landscape management perspective, because most arthropod species experience their habitat at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and there is spillover of natural enemies across the crop–noncrop interface. The species pool in the

  12. Scientists' opinions on the global status and management of biological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudd, Murray A

    2011-12-01

    The large investments needed if loss of biological diversity is to be stemmed will likely lead to increased public and political scrutiny of conservation strategies and the science underlying them. It is therefore crucial to understand the degree of consensus or divergence among scientists on core scientific perceptions and strategies most likely to achieve given objectives. I developed an internet survey designed to elucidate the opinions of conservation scientists. Conservation scientists (n =583) were unanimous (99.5%) in their view that a serious loss of biological diversity is likely, very likely, or virtually certain. Scientists' agreement that serious loss is very likely or virtually certain ranged from 72.8% for Western Europe to 90.9% for Southeast Asia. Tropical coral ecosystems were perceived as the most seriously affected by loss of biological diversity; 88.0% of respondents familiar with that ecosystem type agreed that a serious loss is very likely or virtually certain. With regard to conservation strategies, scientists most often viewed understanding how people and nature interact in certain contexts and the role of biological diversity in maintaining ecosystem function as their priorities. Protection of biological diversity for its cultural and spiritual values and because of its usefulness to humans were low priorities, which suggests that many scientists do not fully support the utilitarian concept of ecosystem services. Many scientists expressed a willingness to consider conservation triage, engage in active conservation interventions, and consider reframing conservation goals and measures of success for conservation of biological diversity in an era of climate change. Although some heterogeneity of opinion is evident, results of the survey show a clear consensus within the scientific community on core issues of the extent and geographic scope of loss of biological diversity and on elements that may contribute to successful conservation strategies

  13. Biological diversity, ecological integrity, and neotropical migrants: New perspectives for wildlife management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian A. Maurer

    1993-01-01

    New initiatives in wildlife management have come from the realization that birds can be used as indicators of ecosystem health. Conceptually, biological diversity includes processes working at all scales in biological hierarchies that compose the natural world. Recent advances in the understanding of ecological systems suggest they are nonequilibrium systems, and must...

  14. Applicability of Montreal Process Criterion 1 - conservation of biological diversity - to rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis H. Flather; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2000-01-01

    Nine indicators of biodiversity conservation have been defined by the nations participating in the Montreal Process for assessing sustainability of temperate and boreal forests. Five of these indicators address compositional and spatial diversity of ecosystems; two address species diversity; and two are indirect measures of genetic diversity. Our objective was to...

  15. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of Cyclic Depsipeptides from Fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohan Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyclic depsipeptides (CDPs are cyclopeptides in which amide groups are replaced by corresponding lactone bonds due to the presence of a hydroxylated carboxylic acid in the peptide structure. These peptides sometimes display additional chemical modifications, including unusual amino acid residues in their structures. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of the fungal CDPs reported until October 2017. About 352 fungal CDPs belonging to the groups of cyclic tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-, and tridecadepsipeptides have been isolated from fungi. These metabolites are mainly reported from the genera Acremonium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Beauveria, Fusarium, Isaria, Metarhizium, Penicillium, and Rosellina. They are known to exhibit various biological activities such as cytotoxic, phytotoxic, antimicrobial, antiviral, anthelmintic, insecticidal, antimalarial, antitumoral and enzyme-inhibitory activities. Some CDPs (i.e., PF1022A, enniatins and destruxins have been applied as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

  16. Propolis volatile compounds: chemical diversity and biological activity: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Bankova, Vassya; Popova, Milena; Trusheva, Boryana

    2014-01-01

    Propolis is a sticky material collected by bees from plants, and used in the hive as building material and defensive substance. It has been popular as a remedy in Europe since ancient times. Nowadays, propolis use in over-the-counter preparations, “bio”-cosmetics and functional foods, etc., increases. Volatile compounds are found in low concentrations in propolis, but their aroma and significant biological activity make them important for propolis characterisation. Propolis is a plant-derived...

  17. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of Cyclic Depsipeptides from Fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Xiaohan Wang; Xiao Gong; Peng Li; Daowan Lai; Ligang Zhou

    2018-01-01

    Cyclic depsipeptides (CDPs) are cyclopeptides in which amide groups are replaced by corresponding lactone bonds due to the presence of a hydroxylated carboxylic acid in the peptide structure. These peptides sometimes display additional chemical modifications, including unusual amino acid residues in their structures. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of the fungal CDPs reported until October 2017. About 352 fungal CDPs belonging to the groups of cycli...

  18. A Creek to Bay Biological Assessment in Oakland, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahumada, E.; Ramirez, N.; Lopez, A.; Avila, M.; Ramirez, J.; Arroyo, D.; Bracho, H.; Casanova, A.; Pierson, E.

    2011-12-01

    In 2007, the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) assessed the impact of trash on water quality in the Peralta Creek which is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, CA. This 2011 follow-up study will take further steps in evaluating the physical and biological impacts of pollution and human development on Peralta Creek and in the San Leandro Bay, where the Creek empties into the larger San Francisco Bay estuary. This study will utilize two forms of biological assessment in order to determine the level of water quality and ecosystem health of Peralta Creek and San Leandro Bay in Oakland, California. A Rapid Bioassesment Protocal (RBP) will be used as the method of biological assessment for Peralta Creek. RBP uses a biotic index of benthic macroinvertebrates to provide a measure of a water body's health. Larval trematodes found in two mud snails (Ilynassa obsoleta and Cerithidea californica) will be used to evaluate the health of the San Leandro Bay. Due to the complex life cycle of trematodes, the measure of trematode diversity and richness in host species serves as an indicator of estuarine health (Huspeni 2005). We have completed the assessment of one section of Peralta Creek, located at 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601. Abundance results indicate a moderately healthy creek because there were high levels of pollution tolerant benthic macroinvertebrates. The tolerant group of benthic macroinvertebrates includes such organisms as flatworms, leeches, and scuds. This is possibly due to this section of the creek being pumped up to the surface from culverts impacting the macroinvertebrate's life cycle. Another contributing factor to creek health is the amount of organic debris found in the creek, which inhibits the flow and oxygenation of the water, allowing for more pollution tolerant aquatic insects to persist. Further investigation is being conducted to fully assess the Peralta Creek watershed; from the preliminary results one can surmise that

  19. Assessing the genetic diversity of five Tanzanian chicken ecotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Diversity was assessed based on morphological measurements and 29 microsatellite markers recommended by ISAG/FAO advisory group on animal genetic diversity. A principal component analysis (PCA) of morphological measures distinguished individuals most by body sizes and body weight. Morogoro Medium, Pemba ...

  20. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    jai ganesha

    2013-07-17

    Jul 17, 2013 ... Grain proteins from 20 Indian wheat genotypes were evaluated for diversity assessment based seed storage protein profiling on sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Genetic diversity was evaluated using Nei's index, Shannon index and Unweighted pair group method.

  1. assessment of common bean cultivar diversity in selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prof. Adipala Ekwamu

    Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) diversity has been nurtured by Uganda's farming communities and in return it has sustained their ... amount and status of the cultivar diversity in selected rural and peri-urban communities of central Uganda. Data ..... on board other challenges like the need to assess the lower limits in ...

  2. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Grain proteins from 10 Pakistani registered wheat genotypes were evaluated for diversity assessment based on sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Genetic diversity was evaluated via UPGMA cluster analysis by constructing dendrogram of fractions of proteins, which were used for the ...

  3. Assessment of benthic molluscs diversity and distribution in urban ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The urban reservoirs n° 2 and n°3 of Ouagadougou, located in the middle of the city are subject to multiple anthropogenic pressures which threaten the diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates community group like molluscs. This study was initiated to assess the diversity and distribution of benthic molluscs in these ...

  4. Assessment of genetic diversity in Indian rice germplasm (Oryza ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    DNA markers such as microsatellite or simple sequence repeat markers have been widely used to estimate the genetic diversity in rice. The present study was carried out to decipher the pattern of genetic diversity in terms of both phenotypic and genotypic variability, and to assess the efficiency of random vis-à-vis QTL ...

  5. Assessment of microbial diversity under arid plants by culture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr. R. K. Jain

    2013-10-02

    Oct 2, 2013 ... Key words: Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), ribotyping, Thar Desert, microbial diversity, 16S. rRNA. INTRODUCTION. Soil is a ... use of molecular biological methods includes isolation of the total DNA, amplification ... Since desert soils are poor in microbial population, this kit recommended for ...

  6. The functions of biological diversity in an age of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, Shahid; Duffy, J Emmett; Zavaleta, Erika

    2012-06-15

    Ecosystems worldwide are rapidly losing taxonomic, phylogenetic, genetic, and functional diversity as a result of human appropriation of natural resources, modification of habitats and climate, and the spread of pathogenic, exotic, and domestic plants and animals. Twenty years of intense theoretical and empirical research have shown that such biotic impoverishment can markedly alter the biogeochemical and dynamic properties of ecosystems, but frontiers remain in linking this research to the complexity of wild nature, and in applying it to pressing environmental issues such as food, water, energy, and biosecurity. The question before us is whether these advances can take us beyond merely invoking the precautionary principle of conserving biodiversity to a predictive science that informs practical and specific solutions to mitigate and adapt to its loss.

  7. The molecular biology capstone assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A; Wood, William B; Knight, Jennifer K

    2015-03-02

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α=0.80) and test-retest stability (r=0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs. © 2015 B. A. Couch et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  8. A review on biological and chemical diversity in Berberis (Berberidaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Sharad; Srivastava, Manjoosha; Misra, Ankita; Pandey, Garima; Rawat, AKS

    2015-01-01

    Berberis is an important genus and well known in the Indian as well as European systems of traditional medicine. It is used since ancient times for curing eye disease, fever, jaundice, rheumatism, vomiting during pregnancy, kidney and gall balder stones and various other ailments due to the presence of biologically active alkaloid berberine. Action of the root extracts of few species are believed to be as powerful as quinine in the treatment of malarial fever. A plethora of literature pertaining to the taxonomy, biology, chemistry, traditional and ethnic uses of Berberis in different countries and indigenous cultures was collected by both offline (library, journals, textbooks etc.) and online mode (electronic search of available databases). In addition to this, books on traditional medicine and ethno pharmacological knowledge were also referred to extract ancient uses of Berberis in different traditional medicine systems. Most of the folklore, traditional and ethno botanical claims about Berberis species were validated by broad spectrum in vitro and vivo pharmacological studies. The present article summarizes its usage in eye and liver disorder, fever, kidney and gall stones along with anticancer activity. This comprehensive review will not only help researchers for further evaluation but also provide substantial information for future exploitation of species to develop novel herbal formulations. PMID:26535033

  9. Genetic diversity assessment of farmers' and improved potato ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic diversity assessment of farmers' and improved potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivars from Eritrea using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Biniam Mesfin Ghebreslassie, S. Mwangi Githiri, Tadesse Mehari, Remmy W. Kasili, Marc Ghislain, Eric Magembe ...

  10. Assessment of genetic diversity among sugarcane cultivars using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of genetic diversity among sugarcane cultivars using novel microsatellite markers. Manish Dev Sharma, Upma Dobhal, Prashant Singh, Shailender Kumar, AK Gaur, SP Singh, AS Jeena, Eapon P Koshy, S Kumar ...

  11. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of the Cyclodipeptides from Fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohan Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Cyclodipeptides, called 2,5-diketopiperazines (2,5-DKPs, are obtained by the condensation of two amino acids. Fungi have been considered to be a rich source of novel and bioactive cyclodipeptides. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of the fungal cyclodipeptides with the literature covered up to July 2017. A total of 635 fungal cyclodipeptides belonging to the groups of tryptophan-proline, tryptophan-tryptophan, tryptophan–Xaa, proline–Xaa, non-tryptophan–non-proline, and thio-analogs have been discussed and reviewed. They were mainly isolated from the genera of Aspergillus and Penicillium. More and more cyclodipeptides have been isolated from marine-derived and plant endophytic fungi. Some of them were screened to have cytotoxic, phytotoxic, antimicrobial, insecticidal, vasodilator, radical scavenging, antioxidant, brine shrimp lethal, antiviral, nematicidal, antituberculosis, and enzyme-inhibitory activities to show their potential applications in agriculture, medicinal, and food industry.

  12. Molecular and biological diversity of HIV-1 in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Carlos Couto-Fernandez

    1992-06-01

    Full Text Available To determine the genomic polymorphism and biological properties present in HIV-1 Brazilian isolates, were analyzed five viral isolates obtained from patients residing in Rio de Janeiro (P1 and P5, São Paulo (P3 and Bahia (P2 and P4 states. For each viral isolate in vitro characteristics such as replication rate, syncytium-inducing capacity and cell death were observed in lymphoblastoid (H9, CEM and peripheral blood mononuclear cells as well as monocytoid (U937 cells. In addition, the evaluation of the restriction fragment lenght polymorphism of these isolates was also performed using a panel of endonucleases such as Hind III, Bgl II, Sac I, Pst I, Kpn I and Eco RI. One of the isolates (P1, showed the highest phenotypic and genotypic divergence, when compared to others. The results found suggest a HIV heterogeneity in Brazil similar to that already described in other regions of the world.

  13. Synthetic biology ethics: a deontological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavey, Patrick

    2013-10-01

    In this article I discuss the ethics of synthetic biology from a broadly deontological perspective, evaluating its morality in terms of the integrity of nature, the dignity of life and the relationship between God and his creation. Most ethical analyses to date have been largely consequentialist in nature; they reveal a dual use dilemma, showing that synbio has potential for great good and great evil, possibly more so than any step humanity has taken before. A deontological analysis may help to resolve this dilemma, by evaluating whether synbio is right or wrong in itself. I also assess whether deontology alone is a sufficient methodological paradigm for the proper evaluation of synbio ethics. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Macroevolution and the biological diversity of plants and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futuyma, Douglas J; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2009-10-27

    Terrestrial biodiversity is dominated by plants and the herbivores that consume them, and they are one of the major conduits of energy flow up to higher trophic levels. Here, we address the processes that have generated the spectacular diversity of flowering plants (>300,000 species) and insect herbivores (likely >1 million species). Long-standing macroevolutionary hypotheses have postulated that reciprocal evolution of adaptations and subsequent bursts of speciation have given rise to much of this biodiversity. We critically evaluate various predictions based on this coevolutionary theory. Phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states has revealed evidence for escalation in the potency or variety of plant lineages' chemical defenses; however, escalation of defense has been moderated by tradeoffs and alternative strategies (e.g., tolerance or defense by biotic agents). There is still surprisingly scant evidence that novel defense traits reduce herbivory and that such evolutionary novelty spurs diversification. Consistent with the coevolutionary hypothesis, there is some evidence that diversification of herbivores has lagged behind, but has nevertheless been temporally correlated with that of their host-plant clades, indicating colonization and radiation of insects on diversifying plants. However, there is still limited support for the role of host-plant shifts in insect diversification. Finally, a frontier area of research, and a general conclusion of our review, is that community ecology and the long-term evolutionary history of plant and insect diversification are inexorably intertwined.

  15. [Vectors of malaria: biology, diversity, prevention, and individual protection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pages, F; Orlandi-Pradines, E; Corbel, V

    2007-03-01

    Only the Anopheles mosquitoes are implicated in the transmission of malaria. Among the numerous species of anopheles, around fifty are currently involved in the transmission. 20 are responsible for most of the transmission in the world. The diversity of behavior between species and in a single species of anopheles as well as climatic and geographical conditions along with the action of man on the environment condition the man vector contact level and the various epidemiological aspects of malaria. The anopheles are primarily rural mosquitoes and are less likely to be found in city surroundings in theory. But actually, the adaptation of some species to urban surroundings and the common habit of market gardening in big cities or in the suburbs is responsible for the de persistence of Anopheles populations in town. Except for South-East Asia, urban malaria has become a reality. The transmission risk of malaria is heterogeneous and varies with time. There is a great variation of risk within a same country, a same zone, and even within a few kilometers. The transmission varies in time according to seasons but also according to years and to the level of climatic events. For the traveler, prevention at any time relies on the strict application of individual protection, as well in rural than in urban surroundings.

  16. Essential oils from neotropical Myrtaceae: chemical diversity and biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanello, Maria Élida Alves; Pascoal, Aislan C R F; Salvador, Marcos J

    2011-01-01

    Myrtaceae family (121 genera, 3800-5800 spp.) is one of the most important families in tropical forests. They are aromatic trees or shrubs, which frequently produce edible fruits. In the neotropics, ca. 1000 species were found. Several members of this family are used in folk medicine, mainly as an antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, cleanser, antirheumatic, and anti-inflammatory agent and to decrease the blood cholesterol. In addition, some fruits are eaten fresh or used to make juices, liqueurs, and sweets very much appreciated by people. The flavor composition of some fruits belonging to the Myrtaceae family has been extensively studied due to their pleasant and intense aromas. Most of the essential oils of neotropical Myrtaceae analyzed so far are characterized by predominance of sesquiterpenes, some with important biological properties. In the present work, chemical and pharmacological studies carried out on neotropical Myrtaceae species are reviewed, based on original articles published since 1980. The uses in folk medicine and chemotaxonomic importance of secondary metabolites are also briefly discussed. Copyright © 2011 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  17. Spatial landscape model to characterize biological diversity using R statistical computing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Hariom; Garg, R D; Karnatak, Harish C; Roy, Arijit

    2018-01-15

    Due to urbanization and population growth, the degradation of natural forests and associated biodiversity are now widely recognized as a global environmental concern. Hence, there is an urgent need for rapid assessment and monitoring of biodiversity on priority using state-of-art tools and technologies. The main purpose of this research article is to develop and implement a new methodological approach to characterize biological diversity using spatial model developed during the study viz. Spatial Biodiversity Model (SBM). The developed model is scale, resolution and location independent solution for spatial biodiversity richness modelling. The platform-independent computation model is based on parallel computation. The biodiversity model based on open-source software has been implemented on R statistical computing platform. It provides information on high disturbance and high biological richness areas through different landscape indices and site specific information (e.g. forest fragmentation (FR), disturbance index (DI) etc.). The model has been developed based on the case study of Indian landscape; however it can be implemented in any part of the world. As a case study, SBM has been tested for Uttarakhand state in India. Inputs for landscape ecology are derived through multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques in an interactive command line environment. MCDM with sensitivity analysis in spatial domain has been carried out to illustrate the model stability and robustness. Furthermore, spatial regression analysis has been made for the validation of the output. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Biological and cultural diversity in the context of botanic garden conservation strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. Dunn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Impacts of global climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental changes on the world's biota and peoples continue to increase, especially on islands and in high elevation areas. Just as floristic diversity is affected by environmental change, so too are cultural and linguistic diversity. Of the approximately 7000 extant languages in the world, fully 50% are considered to be at risk of extinction, which is considerably higher than most estimates of extinction risks to plants and animals. To maintain the integrity of plant life, it is not enough for botanic gardens to consider solely the effects of environmental change on plants within the context of major conservation strategies such as the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Rather, botanic gardens should actively engage in understanding and communicating the broader impacts of environmental change to biological and cultural diversity.

  19. Explorations: A Research-Based Program Introducing Undergraduates to Diverse Biology Research Topics Taught by Grad Students and Postdocs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E.; Khalfan, Waheeda; Bergmann, Dominique; Simoni, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Undergraduate biology majors are often overwhelmed by and underinformed about the diversity and complexity of biological research that is conducted on research-intensive campuses. We present a program that introduces undergraduates to the diversity and scope of biological research and also provides unique teaching opportunities for graduate…

  20. Application and Optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in Functional Diversity Studies of Soil Microbial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wenhuan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological diversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being and ecosystem function, however, we have known very little about microbial diversity due to the limitations of appropriate methodology underneath it. The development of biotech have brought revolutionary progress in the study of microbial diversity in which Biolog required to pay a lot of attention due to its ability of reflecting the metabolic situation of living microbial communities and have used widely in the study of soil microbial communities. However, there are some controversies during its operation procedure and incubation process, handling large data during the analysis might have also caused trouble in the overall process. The approach based on uses of “absolute used”, “INDIRECT” function in Excel could greatly optimize the data analysis, and the increase of principle components in Principle Component Analysis (PCA were able to extract more information from original data. Besides, the method that through “Taylor” and “logic” transformation for original data before PCA analysis could achieve data analysis optimization. This paper have presented the applications and optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in studies of functional diversity of microbial communities, presented its inherent biases and prospects, provided some reference for the applications and popularization of Biolog EcoPlates for microbial study and finally, the results imply improving the knowledge of biotech in study of soil microbial functional diversity.

  1. Assessment of microbial diversity under arid plants by culture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of microbial diversity under arid plants by culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... In this work, microbial community structure of two distinct arid plants like ker (Capparis deciduas) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) was assessed and defined by ...

  2. Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roseline Remans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD, has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. CONCLUSION: This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are

  3. Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remans, Roseline; Flynn, Dan F B; DeClerck, Fabrice; Diru, Willy; Fanzo, Jessica; Gaynor, Kaitlyn; Lambrecht, Isabel; Mudiope, Joseph; Mutuo, Patrick K; Nkhoma, Phelire; Siriri, David; Sullivan, Clare; Palm, Cheryl A

    2011-01-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are generated and strategies for future research are suggested calling for

  4. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Leyla V; Wright, Mark G

    2017-07-07

    The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in Hawaii to validate a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) procedure for non-target impacts. We use data on known host range and habitat use in the place of origin of the parasitoids to determine whether contemporary levels of non-target parasitism could have been predicted using PRA. Our results show that reasonable predictions of potential non-target impacts may be made if comprehensive data are available from places of origin of biological control agents, but scant data produce poor predictions. Using apparent mortality data rather than marginal attack rate estimates in PRA resulted in over-estimates of predicted non-target impact. Incorporating ecological data into PRA models improved the predictive power of the risk assessments.

  5. A small-scale land-sparing approach to conserving biological diversity in tropical agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Chandler; David I. King; Raul Raudales; Richard Trubey; Carlin Chandler; Víctor Julio. Arce Chávez

    2013-01-01

    Two contrasting strategies have been proposed for conserving biological diversity while meeting the increasing demand for agricultural products: land sparing and land sharing production systems. Land sparing involves increasing yield to reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture, whereas land-sharing agricultural practices incorporate elements of native...

  6. Landscape ecosystems of the University of Michigan Biological Station: Ecosystem diversity and ground-cover diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearsall, D.R.

    1995-12-31

    The aim of this research is to provide an understanding of the three-dimensional (air-earth-organism) units of the landscape of the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) that the author calls landscape ecosystem types, or simply ecosystems. Specifically, he has focused on the kinds, spatial location and patterns, and composition (physiography, soil, vegetation) of the local landscape ecosystem types of UMBS and Colonial Point. Future research on the functioning of these ecosystems together with inventories of their plant and animal life will add significantly to the landscape ecology research that has been initiated. A major reason for this research is to provide the conceptual basis and baseline data for understanding ecosystem change. Although it is popular to speak of climate change, entire ecosystems change; some components change faster than others.

  7. Assessing Species Diversity Using Metavirome Data: Methods and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damayanthi Herath

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Assessing biodiversity is an important step in the study of microbial ecology associated with a given environment. Multiple indices have been used to quantify species diversity, which is a key biodiversity measure. Measuring species diversity of viruses in different environments remains a challenge relative to measuring the diversity of other microbial communities. Metagenomics has played an important role in elucidating viral diversity by conducting metavirome studies; however, metavirome data are of high complexity requiring robust data preprocessing and analysis methods. In this review, existing bioinformatics methods for measuring species diversity using metavirome data are categorised broadly as either sequence similarity-dependent methods or sequence similarity-independent methods. The former includes a comparison of DNA fragments or assemblies generated in the experiment against reference databases for quantifying species diversity, whereas estimates from the latter are independent of the knowledge of existing sequence data. Current methods and tools are discussed in detail, including their applications and limitations. Drawbacks of the state-of-the-art method are demonstrated through results from a simulation. In addition, alternative approaches are proposed to overcome the challenges in estimating species diversity measures using metavirome data.

  8. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  9. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T. Matthew

    2007-01-01

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology. PMID:18093933

  10. Application of diversity to regional ecological assessment: a review with recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levenson, J.B.; Stearns, F.W.

    1980-03-01

    Species diversity is frequently considered a primary indicator of ecosystem health, stability, and resilience. As such, species diversity is commonly the major criterion upon which environmental impact statements and ecological assessments are based. This report describes the theoretical development and refinement of the concept of ecological diversity and the various mathematical expressions of diversity. Advantages and disadvantages of each diversity expression are discussed. The application and interpretation of diversity indices for different spatial scales (e.g., specific sites and regional assessments) and variables (e.g., species diversity, habitat diversity, landscape diversity) are contrasted. Recommendations indicate the appropriate diversity indices for regional ecological assessments.

  11. Assessment of genetic diversity of sweet potato in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is the seventh most important food crop due to its distinct advantages, such as adaptability to different environmental conditions and high nutritional value. Assessing the genetic diversity of this important crop is necessary due to the constant increase of demand ...

  12. Genetic diversity assessment of wild and cultivated varieties of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study deals with evaluation of genetic diversity and pedigree analysis through RAPD analysis. A total number of 40 Jatropha curcas accessions collected from different geographical regions and 43 random decamer primers were screened to assess polymorphism. 10 primers were amplified and 94 polymorphic ...

  13. Assessment of genetic diversity in Sudanese maize (Zea mays L ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-08-08

    Aug 8, 2011 ... 3Commission for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, National Centre for Research, P.O. Box 2404, Khartoum,. Sudan. Accepted 17 June, 2011. The randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used to assess genetic diversity in 27 Sudanese maize genotypes. Ten primers ...

  14. Characterization and diversity assessment in coconut collections of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Characterization and genetic diversity assessment among 30 conserved coconut accessions collected from Pacific Ocean Islands and Nicobar Islands for morphological traits, physico-chemical traits of tender nut water, leaf biochemical parameters and molecular characterization by using random amplified polymorphic ...

  15. Assessment of genetic diversity among maize accessions using inter ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of genetic diversity among maize accessions using inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers. AT do Amaral Júnior, EC de Oliveira, LSA Gonçalves, CA Scapim, LS Candido, TR da Conceição Silva, C Vittorazzi, KS da Cunha ...

  16. Characterization and diversity assessment in coconut collections of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SUBDIC

    conservation. Therefore, the present study was undertaken with the aim to characterize morphological, biochemical and nut component traits and to assess the diversity among 24 exotic and six indigenous in coconut accessions conserved at World Coconut Germplasm. Centre (WCGC) in Andaman and Nicobar Islands ...

  17. Assessing genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure of duck ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, the maternal genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship of Nigerian duck populations were assessed. A total of 591 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop region of 87 indigenous ducks from two populations in Nigeria were analyzed. Seven haplotypes and 70 polymorphic sites were ...

  18. Assessment of genetic diversity in Indian rice germplasm (Oryza ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Assessment of genetic diversity in Indian rice germplasm. (Oryza sativa L.): use of random versus trait linked microsatellite markers. Sheel Yadav, Ashutosh Singh, ..... Supplementary data, J. Genet. 92, 545–557. Table 3. Details of markers for yield related functional genes in rice. SSR marker. Chromosome. Forward primer.

  19. The use of microsatellite markers for genetic diversity assessment of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, gene diversity and genetic relationships among 30 genotypes of genus Hordeum from Kerman province (Iran) were assessed using 10 simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers. Seven of these markers were highly polymorphic. A total of 96 alleles were detected. The number of alleles per microsatellite marker ...

  20. Assessment of genetic diversity of rice ( Oryza sativa ) cultivars using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A set of 36 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers well distributed on all the 12 rice chromo-somes have been used to assess the genetic diversity among the rice varieties. A total of 98 alleles were detected with an average of 2.78 alleles per locus across 39 genotypes. The number of alleles varied from two to ...

  1. Assessment of genetic diversity in sorghum accessions using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    uwerhiavwe

    3Agricultural Research Council - Grain Crops Institute, Private Bag X1251, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa. Accepted 21 February, 2013. Amplified ... the main areas of sorghum domestication (Deu et al.,. 1994). Assessment of sorghum ... characterise genetic diversity within and among crop species and these will help in ...

  2. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Grain proteins from 20 Indian wheat genotypes were evaluated for diversity assessment based seed storage protein profiling on sodium dodecylsulphate ... to plant protection regulatory systems, especially for plant variety identification and registration of new plant varieties, breeding programs and protection purposes.

  3. Assessment of morphological and molecular diversity among okra ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cophenetic r correlation value was found to be 0.94 suggesting that the cluster analysis strongly represents the similarity matrix. Genetic diversity as assessed by DARwin (based on quantitative morphological data) revealed that grouping of genotypes into different constellations did not follow any specific pattern suggesting ...

  4. Assessment of a Diversity Assignment in a PR Principles Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallicano, Tiffany Derville; Stansberry, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

    This study assesses an assignment for incorporating diversity into the principles of public relations course. The assignment is tailored to the challenges of using an active learning approach in a large lecture class. For the assignment, students write a goal, objectives, strategies, an identification of tactics, and evaluation plans for either…

  5. Assessment of the genetic diversity conservation in three tall coconut

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of the genetic diversity conservation in three tall coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) accessions regenerated by controlled pollination, using microsatellite markers. Saraka Didier Martial Yao, Konan Jean Louis Konan, N'Da Désiré Pokou, Kouamé Jean Noel Konan, Auguste Emmanuel Issali, Raoul Sylvère Sie, Bi Irié ...

  6. Assessment of genetic diversity in Sudanese maize ( Zea mays L ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used to assess genetic diversity in 27 Sudanese maize genotypes. Ten primers were used, resulting in the amplification of 59 fragments, of which 53 (89.33) were polymorphic. The maximum number of fragment bands (10) were produced by the ...

  7. Assessment of genetic diversity among accessions of two traditional ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of genetic diversity among accessions of two traditional leafy vegetables (Acmella uliginosa (L.) and Justicia tenella (Nees) T.) consumed in Benin using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. K Adéoti, A Rival, A Dansi, BS Ahohuendo, S Santoni, T Beule, A Nato, Y Henry, A Ahanchédé, ...

  8. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  9. Assessing diversity of prairie plants using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystem services and is considered as a global change that may generate unacceptable environmental consequences for the Earth system. Global biodiversity observations are needed to provide a better understanding of biodiversity - ecosystem services relationships and to provide a stronger foundation for conserving the Earth's biodiversity. While remote sensing metrics have been applied to estimate α biodiversity directly through optical diversity, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the optical diversity-biodiversity relationship is needed. We designed a series of experiments at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, MN, to investigate the scale dependence of optical diversity and explore how species richness, evenness, and composition affect optical diversity. We collected hyperspectral reflectance of 16 prairie species using both a full-range field spectrometer fitted with a leaf clip, and an imaging spectrometer carried by a tram system to simulate plot-level images with different species richness, evenness, and composition. Two indicators of spectral diversity were explored: the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectral reflectance in space, and spectral classification using a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Our results showed that sampling methods (leaf clip-derived data vs. image-derived data) affected the optical diversity estimation. Both optical diversity indices were affected by species richness and evenness (P<0.001 for each case). At fine spatial scales, species composition also had a substantial influence on optical diversity. CV was sensitive to the background soil influence, but the spectral classification method was insensitive to background. These results provide a critical foundation for assessing biodiversity using imaging spectrometry and these findings can be used to guide regional studies of biodiversity estimation using high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing.

  10. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    D?az-P?rez, Leopoldo; Rodr?guez-Zaragoza, Fabi?n Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Maga?a, Am?lcar Lev?; Carriquiry, Jose D.; R?os-Jara, Eduardo; Rodr?guez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; Garc?a-Rivas, Mar?a del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity...

  11. N deposition as a threat to the World's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bleeker, A.; Hicks, W.K.; Dentener, F.; Galloway, J.; Erisman, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    This paper combines the world's protected areas (PAs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), common classification systems of ecosystem conservation status, and current knowledge on ecosystem responses to nitrogen (N) deposition to determine areas most at risk. The results show that 40% (approx. 11% of total area) of PAs currently receive >10 kg N/ha/yr with projections for 2030 indicating that this situation is not expected to change. Furthermore, 950 PAs are projected to receive >30 kg N/ha/yr by 2030 (approx. twice the 2000 number), of which 62 (approx. 11,300 km 2 ) are also Biodiversity Hotspots and G200 ecoregions; with forest and grassland ecosystems in Asia particularly at risk. Many of these sites are known to be sensitive to N deposition effects, both in terms of biodiversity changes and ecosystem services they provide. Urgent assessment of high risk areas identified in this study is recommended to inform the conservation efforts of the CBD. - Highlights: → Significant areas of the Protected Areas Programme under the CBD will likely be under threat of high N deposition levels by the year 2030.→ Approx. 950 PAs are projected to receive N deposition levels of more than 30 kg N/ha/yr by 2030.→ 62 of these sites are also Biodiversity Hotspots and G200 ecoregions, where forest and grassland ecosystems in Asia will be particularly at risk.→ Many of these sites are known to be sensitive to N deposition effects, both in terms of biodiversity changes and ecosystem services they provide → Urgent assessment of high risk areas identified in this study is recommended to inform the conservation efforts of the CBD. - Significant areas of the UNEP Protected Areas Programme under the CBD receive high N deposition rates that are likely to increase in the future, especially in Asia, and may pose a significant threat to biodiversity.

  12. Structural diversity and biological importance of ABO, H, Lewis and secretor histo-blood group carbohydrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Carlos de Mattos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT ABO, H, secretor and Lewis histo-blood system genes control the expression of part of the carbohydrate repertoire present in areas of the body occupied by microorganisms. These carbohydrates, besides having great structural diversity, act as potential receptors for pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms influencing susceptibility and resistance to infection and illness. Despite the knowledge of some structural variability of these carbohydrate antigens and their polymorphic levels of expression in tissue and exocrine secretions, little is known about their biological importance and potential applications in medicine. This review highlights the structural diversity, the biological importance and potential applications of ABO, H, Lewis and secretor histo-blood carbohydrates.

  13. Microbialites and microbial communities: Biological diversity, biogeochemical functioning, diagenetic processes, tracers of environmental changes

    OpenAIRE

    Camoin, Gilbert; Gautret, Pascale

    2006-01-01

    Editorial; This special issue is dedicated to microbialites and microbial communities and addresses their biological diversity, their biogeochemical functioning, their roles in diagenetic processes and their environmental significance. It is the logical successor of the special issue that one of us edited after the workshop on “Microbial mediation in carbonate diagenesis” which was held in Chichilianne (France) in 1997 (Camoin, G., Ed., 1999. Microbial mediation in carbonate diagenesis. Sedim...

  14. Assessment of genetic diversity of sweet potato in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Bonilla, Lorraine; Cuevas, Hugo E; Montero-Rojas, Milly; Bird-Pico, Fernando; Luciano-Rosario, Dianiris; Siritunga, Dimuth

    2014-01-01

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is the seventh most important food crop due to its distinct advantages, such as adaptability to different environmental conditions and high nutritional value. Assessing the genetic diversity of this important crop is necessary due to the constant increase of demand for food and the need for conservation of agricultural and genetic resources. In Puerto Rico (PR), the genetic diversity of sweet potato has been poorly understood, although it has been part of the diet since Pre-Columbus time. Thus, 137 landraces from different localities around PR were collected and subjected to a genetic diversity analysis using 23 SSR-markers. In addition, 8 accessions from a collection grown in Gurabo, PR at the Agricultural Experimental Station (GAES), 10 US commercial cultivars and 12 Puerto Rican accessions from the USDA repository collection were included in this assessment. The results of the analysis of the 23 loci showed 255 alleles in the 167 samples. Observed heterozygosity was high across populations (0.71) while measurements of total heterozygosity revealed a large genetic diversity throughout the population and within populations. UPGMA clustering method revealed two main clusters. Cluster 1 contained 12 PR accessions from the USDA repository collection, while cluster 2 consisted of PR landraces, US commercial cultivars and the PR accessions from GAES. Population structure analysis grouped PR landraces in five groups including four US commercial cultivars. Our study shows the presence of a high level of genetic diversity of sweet potato across PR which can be related to the genetic makeup of sweet potato, human intervention and out-crossing nature of the plant. The history of domestication and dispersal of sweet potato in the Caribbean and the high levels of genetic diversity found through this study makes sweet potato an invaluable resource that needs to be protected and further studied.

  15. Ethical Values and Biological Diversity: A Preliminary Assessment Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel I. Cohen

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available There have been five major extinction events over geological time. However, the current rate of extinction or reduction of species and their habitats is directly related to anthropomorphic causes. For seventh grade students, biodiversity and its ethical considerations were introduced in a life sciences curriculum, following lessons on evolution, natural selection, and decent from common ancestry. This paper takes a preliminary look at the approach used in this unit, the ethical survey developed, and improvements to be made in subsequent years.

  16. Assessing biological invasions in European Seas: Biological traits of the most widespread non-indigenous species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardeccia, Alice; Marchini, Agnese; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Galil, Bella; Gollasch, Stephan; Minchin, Dan; Narščius, Aleksas; Olenin, Sergej; Ojaveer, Henn

    2018-02-01

    The biological traits of the sixty-eight most widespread multicellular non-indigenous species (MWNIS) in European Seas: Baltic Sea, Western European Margin of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea were examined. Data for nine biological traits was analyzed, and a total of 41 separate categories were used to describe the biological and ecological functions of these NIS. Our findings show that high dispersal ability, high reproductive rate and ecological generalization are the biological traits commonly associated with MWNIS. The functional groups that describe most of the 68 MWNIS are: photoautotrophic, zoobenthic (both sessile and motile) and nektonic predatory species. However, these 'most widespread' species comprise a wide range of taxa and biological trait profiles; thereby a clear "identikit of a perfect invader" for marine and brackish environments is difficult to define. Some traits, for example: "life form", "feeding method" and "mobility", feature multiple behaviours and strategies. Even species introduced by a single pathway, e.g. vessels, feature diverse biological trait profiles. MWNIS likely to impact community organization, structure and diversity are often associated with brackish environments. For many traits ("life form", "sociability", "reproductive type", "reproductive frequency", "haploid and diploid dispersal" and "mobility"), the categories mostly expressed by the impact-causing MWNIS do not differ substantially from the whole set of MWNIS.

  17. Diversity Generator Mechanisms Are Essential Components of Biological Systems: The Two Queen Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Muraille

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Diversity is widely known to fuel adaptation and evolutionary processes and increase robustness at the population, species and ecosystem levels. The Neo-Darwinian paradigm proposes that the diversity of biological entities is the consequence of genetic changes arising spontaneously and randomly, without regard for their usefulness. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that the evolutionary process has shaped mechanisms, such as horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, meiosis and the adaptive immune system, which has resulted in the regulated generation of diversity among populations. Though their origins are unrelated, these diversity generator (DG mechanisms share common functional properties. They (i contribute to the great unpredictability of the composition and/or behavior of biological systems, (ii favor robustness and collectivism among populations and (iii operate mainly by manipulating the systems that control the interaction of living beings with their environment. The definition proposed here for DGs is based on these properties and can be used to identify them according to function. Interestingly, prokaryotic DGs appear to be mainly reactive, as they generate diversity in response to environmental stress. They are involved in the widely described Red Queen/arms race/Cairnsian dynamic. The emergence of multicellular organisms harboring K selection traits (longer reproductive life cycle and smaller population size has led to the acquisition of a new class of DGs that act anticipatively to stress pressures and generate a distinct dynamic called the “White Queen” here. The existence of DGs leads to the view of evolution as a more “intelligent” and Lamarckian-like process. Their repeated selection during evolution could be a neglected example of convergent evolution and suggests that some parts of the evolutionary process are tightly constrained by ecological factors, such as the population size, the generation time and

  18. Diversity Generator Mechanisms Are Essential Components of Biological Systems: The Two Queen Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraille, Eric

    2018-01-01

    Diversity is widely known to fuel adaptation and evolutionary processes and increase robustness at the population, species and ecosystem levels. The Neo-Darwinian paradigm proposes that the diversity of biological entities is the consequence of genetic changes arising spontaneously and randomly, without regard for their usefulness. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that the evolutionary process has shaped mechanisms, such as horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, meiosis and the adaptive immune system, which has resulted in the regulated generation of diversity among populations. Though their origins are unrelated, these diversity generator (DG) mechanisms share common functional properties. They (i) contribute to the great unpredictability of the composition and/or behavior of biological systems, (ii) favor robustness and collectivism among populations and (iii) operate mainly by manipulating the systems that control the interaction of living beings with their environment. The definition proposed here for DGs is based on these properties and can be used to identify them according to function. Interestingly, prokaryotic DGs appear to be mainly reactive, as they generate diversity in response to environmental stress. They are involved in the widely described Red Queen/arms race/Cairnsian dynamic. The emergence of multicellular organisms harboring K selection traits (longer reproductive life cycle and smaller population size) has led to the acquisition of a new class of DGs that act anticipatively to stress pressures and generate a distinct dynamic called the "White Queen" here. The existence of DGs leads to the view of evolution as a more "intelligent" and Lamarckian-like process. Their repeated selection during evolution could be a neglected example of convergent evolution and suggests that some parts of the evolutionary process are tightly constrained by ecological factors, such as the population size, the generation time and the intensity of

  19. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment Final Report 2006.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher W.; McGrath, Kathleen E.; Geist, David R. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Abbe, Timothy; Barton, Chase [Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc.

    2008-02-04

    habitat conditions, and biological integrity. In addition, human land-use impacts are factored into the conceptual model because they can alter habitat quality and can disrupt natural habitat-forming processes. In this model (Figure S.1), aquatic habitat--both instream and riparian--is viewed as the link between watershed conditions and biologic responses. Based on this conceptual model, assessment of habitat loss and the resultant declines in salmonid populations can be conducted by relating current and historical (e.g., natural) habitat conditions to salmonid utilization, diversity, and abundance. In addition, assessing disrupted ecosystem functions and processes within the watershed can aid in identifying the causes of habitat change and the associated decline in biological integrity. In this same way, restoration, enhancement, and conservation projects can be identified and prioritized. A watershed assessment is primarily a landscape-scale evaluation of current watershed conditions and the associated hydrogeomorphic riverine processes. The watershed assessment conducted for this project focused on watershed processes that form and maintain salmonid habitat. Landscape metrics describing the level of human alteration of natural ecosystem attributes were used as indicators of water quality, hydrology, channel geomorphology, instream habitat, and biotic integrity. Ecological (watershed) processes are related to and can be predicted based on specific aspects of spatial pattern. This study evaluated the hydrologic regime, sediment delivery regime, and riparian condition of the sub-watersheds that comprise the upper Grays River watershed relative to their natural range of conditions. Analyses relied primarily on available geographic information system (GIS) data describing landscape characteristics such as climate, vegetation type and maturity, geology and soils, topography, land use, and road density. In addition to watershed-scale landscape characteristics, the study area

  20. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment, 2006 Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher; Geist, David [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2007-04-01

    habitat conditions, and biological integrity. In addition, human land-use impacts are factored into the conceptual model because they can alter habitat quality and can disrupt natural habitat forming processes. In this model (Figure S.1), aquatic habitat--both instream and riparian--is viewed as the link between watershed conditions and biologic responses. Based on this conceptual model, assessment of habitat loss and the resultant declines in salmonid populations can be conducted by relating current and historical (e.g., natural) habitat conditions to salmonid utilization, diversity, and abundance. In addition, assessing disrupted ecosystem functions and processes within the watershed can aid in identifying the causes of habitat change and the associated decline in biological integrity. In this same way, restoration, enhancement, and conservation projects can be identified and prioritized. A watershed assessment is primarily a landscape-scale evaluation of current watershed conditions and the associated hydrogeomorphic riverine processes. The watershed assessment conducted for this project focused on watershed processes that form and maintain salmonid habitat. Landscape metrics describing the level of human alteration of natural ecosystem attributes were used as indicators of water quality, hydrology, channel geomorphology, instream habitat, and biotic integrity. Ecological (watershed) processes are related to and can be predicted based on specific aspects of spatial pattern. This study evaluated the hydrologic regime, sediment delivery regime, and riparian condition of the sub-watersheds that comprise the upper Grays River watershed relative to their natural range of conditions. Analyses relied primarily on available geographic information system (GIS) data describing landscape characteristics such as climate, vegetation type and maturity, geology and soils, topography, land use, and road density. In addition to watershed-scale landscape characteristics, the study area

  1. Challenges posed by diversity: looking at language and assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Smith

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available It is common in many institutions of higher education to have a diverse student population with respect to language and culture in addition to diversity in ability and talent. For many students the language of instruction is not their first language, a situation which offers numerous challenges for the students as well as for the hosting universities. Students have different reasons to undertake an education in a foreign language, a fact which requires higher education institutions to be flexible in addressing the needs of these students. Thus assessment becomes a major challenge. This presentation discusses gains and losses related to studying in an additional language with a special focus on assessment issues. A small study carried out in Israel among Arab and Jewish students of English as a foreign language is presented to illustrate issues discussed. The presentation concludes with a few recommendations.

  2. The biological diversity conservation district: A rain forest conservation tool for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simons, M. [Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Over the next twenty years, the Earth`s rain forests may decrease by forty percent! This paper presents a revolutionary corporate entity for the protection of those forests, the biological diversity conservation district (biodistricts). The underlying cause of rain forest destruction is unfettered competition for limited resources. The competitors are many: farmers, business, local and national governments, the biotechnology and ecotourism industries, multinational companies, public utilities, and indigenous groups. To varying degrees, all compete within the marketplace. biodistricts will bring together two forces once thought to be antithetical: conservation an development. They will be set up in corporate form, owned and controlled by groups claiming access to the forest resources. Because the various groups will fight for the same resources habitats, ecosystems, and genetic diversity-each will prevent the others from destroying them. The district members will ensure that all businesses maintain sustainable development practices because the economic success of the district depends upon the area`s natural beauty and biological diversity. This paper analyzes the effects on the culture, politics, economy and conservation there. It will conclude that the comprehensive approach taken by biodistricts is the only method for solving the problem of rain forest destruction; that it is economically feasible, culturally viable, and ethically defensible. By March 1, 1995, the paper will represent not only the culmination of eighteen months of research, writing and interviews regarding biological diversity conservation, but also the impetus to push the thinking of environmentalists and business persons in a new direction, perhaps the only direction that will allow the nations of the world to protect their forests for the next twenty years and beyond.

  3. Scientific Opinion on Risk Assessment of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Michelle M; Vermeire, Theo

    2016-08-01

    In 2013, three Scientific Committees of the European Commission (EC) drafted Scientific Opinions on synthetic biology that provide an operational definition and address risk assessment methodology, safety aspects, environmental risks, knowledge gaps, and research priorities. These Opinions contribute to the international discussions on the risk governance for synthetic biology developments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Can we manage for biological diversity in the absence of science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trauger, D.L.; Hall, R.J.

    1995-01-01

    Conservation of biological diversity is dependent on sound scientific information about underlying ecological processes. Current knowledge of the composition, distribution, abundance and life cycles of most species of plants and animals is incomplete, insufficient, unreliable, or nonexistent. Contemporary managers are also confronted with additional levels of complexity related to varying degrees of knowledge and understanding about interactions of species and ecosystems. Consequently, traditional species-oriented management schemes may have unintended consequences and ecosystem-oriented management initiatives may fail in the face of inadequate or fragmentary information on the structure, function, and dynamics of biotic communities and ecological systems. Nevertheless, resource managers must make decisions and manage based on the best biological information currently available. Adaptive resource management may represent a management paradigm that allows managers to learn something about the species or systems that they are managing while they are managing, but potential pitfalls lurk for such approaches. In addition to lack of control over the primary physical, chemical, and ecological processes, managers also lack control over social, economic, and political parameters affecting resource management options. Moreover, appropriate goals may be difficult to identify and criteria for determining success may be elusive. Some management responsibilities do not lend themselves to adaptive strategies. Finally, the lessons learned from adaptive management are usually obtained from a highly situational context that may limit applicability in a wider range of situations or undermine confidence that problems and solutions were properly diagnosed and addressed. Several scenarios are critically examined where adaptive management approaches may be inappropriate or ineffective and where management for biological diversity may be infeasible or inefficient without a sound

  5. Assessing the Biological Threat Posed by Suicide Bombers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-01

    ASSESSING THE BIOLOGICAL THREAT POSED BY SUICIDE BOMBERS ECBC-TR-1363 Jerry B. Cabalo Jana Kesavan David W...Assessing the Biological Threat Posed by Suicide Bombers 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Cabalo ...RDCB-DRI-T ATTN: J. Cabalo J. Kesavan D. Sickenberger A. Goad RDCB-DEJ-P ATTN: G. Diviacchi Defense

  6. The biological basis for environmental quality assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karpov, V.I.; Kudritsky, Y.K.; Georgievsky, A.B.

    1991-01-01

    A systematic approach is required to environmental quality assessments with regard to the Baltic regions in order to address the problem of pollution abatement. The proposed systematization of adaptive states stems from the general theory of adaptation. The various types of adaption are described. (AB)

  7. Assessing Biological Samples with Scanning Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, A.

    Scanning probe microscopes raster-scan an atomic scale sensor across an object. The scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) uses an electron beam focused on a few Å, and measures the electron scattering power of the irradiated column of sample matter. Not only does the STEM create dark-filed images of superb clarity, but it also delivers the mass of single protein complexes within a range of 100 kDa to 100 MDa. The STEM appears to be the tool of choice to achieve high-throughput visual proteomics of single cells. In contrast, atomically sharp tips sample the object surface in the scanning tunneling microscope as well as the atomic force microscopes (AFM). Because the AFM can be operated on samples submerged in a physiological salt solution, biomacromolecules can be observed at work. Recent experiments provided new insights into the organization of different native biological membranes, and allowed molecular interaction forces, that determine protein folds and ligand binding, to be measured.

  8. Genetic diversity assessed by microsatellite markers in sweet corn cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Daniela Lopes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Information on genetic diversity is essential to the characterization and utilization of germplasm. The genetic diversity of twenty-two sweet corn cultivars (seventeen open-pollinated varieties, OPV, and five hybrids, H was investigated by applying simple sequence repeat markers. A total of 257 primers were tested, of which 160 were found to be usable in terms of high reproducibility for all the samples tested; 45 were polymorphic loci, of which 30 were used to assess the genetic diversity of sweet corn cultivars. We detected a total of 86 alleles using 30 microsatellite primers. The mean polymorphism was 82 %. The highest heterozygosity values (Ho = 0.20 were found in the PR030-Doce Flor da Serra and BR427 III OPVs, whereas the lowest values (0.14 were recorded in the MG161-Branco Doce and Doce Cubano OPVs. The polymorphism information content ranged from 0.19 (Umc2319 to 0.71 (Umc2205. The analysis of molecular variance revealed that most of the genetic variability was concentrated within the cultivars of sweet corn (75 %, with less variability between them (25 %. The consensus tree derived from the neighbor-joining (NJ algorithm using 1,000 bootstrapping replicates revealed seven genetically different groups. Nei’s diversity values varied between 0.103 (Doce do Hawai × CNPH-1 cultivars and 0.645 (Amarelo Doce × Lili cultivars, indicating a narrow genetic basis. The Lili hybrid was the most distant cultivar, as revealed by Principal Coordinates Analysis and the NJ tree. This study on genetic diversity will be useful for planning future studies on sweet corn genetic resources and can complement the breeding programs for this crop.

  9. Species diversity vs. morphological disparity in the light of evolutionary developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Two indicators of a clade's success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often characterized by key innovations that often, but not necessarily, coincide with their diagnostic apomorphies. In terms of their contribution to speciation, apomorphies are either permissive (e.g. flightlessness) or generative (e.g. nectariferous spurs). Except for Drosophila, virtually no genus among those with the highest diversity or disparity includes species currently studied as model species in developmental genetics or evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). An evo-devo approach is, however, potentially important to understand how diversity and disparity could rapidly increase in the largest genera currently accepted by taxonomists. The most promising directions for future research and a set of key questions to be addressed are presented in this review. From an evo-devo perspective, the evolution of clades with high diversity and/or disparity can be addressed from three main perspectives: (1) evolvability, in terms of release from previous constraints and of the presence of genetic or developmental conditions favouring multiple parallel occurrences of a given evolutionary transition and its reversal; (2) phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of speciation; and (3) modularity, heterochrony and a coupling between the complexity of the life cycle and the evolution of diversity and disparity in a clade. This simple preliminary analysis suggests a set of topics that deserve priority for scrutiny, including the possible role of saltational evolution in the origination of high diversity and/or disparity, the predictability of morphological evolution following release from a former constraint, and the extent and the possible

  10. A 2018 Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation and Biological Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, William J; Butchart, Stuart H M; Connor, Ben; Culshaw, Caroline; Dicks, Lynn V; Dinsdale, Jason; Doran, Helen; Entwistle, Abigail C; Fleishman, Erica; Gibbons, David W; Jiang, Zhigang; Keim, Brandon; Roux, Xavier Le; Lickorish, Fiona A; Markillie, Paul; Monk, Kathryn A; Mortimer, Diana; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Peck, Lloyd S; Pretty, Jules; Seymour, Colleen L; Spalding, Mark D; Tonneijck, Femke H; Gleave, Rosalind A

    2018-01-01

    This is our ninth annual horizon scan to identify emerging issues that we believe could affect global biological diversity, natural capital and ecosystem services, and conservation efforts. Our diverse and international team, with expertise in horizon scanning, science communication, as well as conservation science, practice, and policy, reviewed 117 potential issues. We identified the 15 that may have the greatest positive or negative effects but are not yet well recognised by the global conservation community. Themes among these topics include new mechanisms driving the emergence and geographic expansion of diseases, innovative biotechnologies, reassessments of global change, and the development of strategic infrastructure to facilitate global economic priorities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A 2017 Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation and Biological Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, William J; Barnard, Phoebe; Broad, Steven; Clout, Mick; Connor, Ben; Côté, Isabelle M; Dicks, Lynn V; Doran, Helen; Entwistle, Abigail C; Fleishman, Erica; Fox, Marie; Gaston, Kevin J; Gibbons, David W; Jiang, Zhigang; Keim, Brandon; Lickorish, Fiona A; Markillie, Paul; Monk, Kathryn A; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Peck, Lloyd S; Pretty, Jules; Spalding, Mark D; Tonneijck, Femke H; Wintle, Bonnie C; Ockendon, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    We present the results of our eighth annual horizon scan of emerging issues likely to affect global biological diversity, the environment, and conservation efforts in the future. The potential effects of these novel issues might not yet be fully recognized or understood by the global conservation community, and the issues can be regarded as both opportunities and risks. A diverse international team with collective expertise in horizon scanning, science communication, and conservation research, practice, and policy reviewed 100 potential issues and identified 15 that qualified as emerging, with potential substantial global effects. These issues include new developments in energy storage and fuel production, sand extraction, potential solutions to combat coral bleaching and invasive marine species, and blockchain technology. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Access to genetic resources in indigenous peoples and the Convention on Biological Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Rocío Bernal Camargo

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available After the Convention on Biological Diversity a deepening debate is taking place concerning the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, which involves a discussion about the application of biotechnology and its impact on the protection of life and environment, and an analysis of the participation of these in the process of developing strategies to protect their resources and traditional knowledge, which gives rise to legal pluralism from the development of the different Conferences of the Parties, which today allows for a more comprehensive regulatory framework and a possibility of its strengthening.

  13. Diversity of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in the Boraginaceae Structures, Distribution, and Biological Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assem El-Shazly

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Among the diversity of secondary metabolites which are produced by plants as means of defence against herbivores and microbes, pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs are common in Boraginaceae, Asteraceae and some other plant families. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are infamous as toxic compounds which can alkylate DNA und thus cause mutations and even cancer in herbivores and humans. Almost all genera of the family Boraginaceae synthesize and store this type of alkaloids. This review reports the available information on the present status (literature up to early 2014 of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the Boraginaceae and summarizes the topics structure, distribution, chemistry, chemotaxonomic significance, and biological properties.

  14. Exploring the potential of second-generation sequencing in diverse biological contexts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fordyce, Sarah Louise

    studies, and thus the principle aim of this thesis research was to explore and improve methods for SGS of non-conventional and/or challenging templates. These templates include forensic blood samples for short tandem repeat characterization, ancient RNA from maize kernels, and predominantly 2009 pandemic...... H1N1 influenza A virus genomes. The results of these studies demonstrate the power of SGS for gaining insight into the genetic variation of diverse biological samples and highlight the importance of using optimized protocols for sequencing non-conventional samples....

  15. Psychometric Evaluation of Lexical Diversity Indices: Assessing Length Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fergadiotis, Gerasimos; Wright, Heather Harris; Green, Samuel B

    2015-06-01

    Several novel techniques have been developed recently to assess the breadth of a speaker's vocabulary exhibited in a language sample. The specific aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the validity of the scores generated by different lexical diversity (LD) estimation techniques. Four techniques were explored: D, Maas, measure of textual lexical diversity, and moving-average type-token ratio. Four LD indices were estimated for language samples on 4 discourse tasks (procedures, eventcasts, story retell, and recounts) from 442 adults who are neurologically intact. The resulting data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The scores for measure of textual lexical diversity and moving-average type-token ratio were stronger indicators of the LD of the language samples. The results for the other 2 techniques were consistent with the presence of method factors representing construct-irrelevant sources. These findings offer a deeper understanding of the relative validity of the 4 estimation techniques and should assist clinicians and researchers in the selection of LD measures of language samples that minimize construct-irrelevant sources.

  16. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

    This study explored a new strategy of assessing laboratory skills in a molecular biology course to improve: student effort in preparation for and participation in laboratory work; valid evaluation of learning outcomes; and students' employment prospects through provision of evidence of their skills. Previously, assessment was based on written…

  17. The genus Scrophularia: a source of iridoids and terpenoids with a diverse biological activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasdaran, Ardalan; Hamedi, Azadeh

    2017-12-01

    Scrophularia genus (Scrophulariaceae) includes about 350 species commonly known as figwort. Many species of this genus grow wild in nature and have not been cultivated yet. However, some species are in danger of extinction. This paper reviews the chemical compounds, biological activities and the ethnopharmacology of some Scrophularia species. All information was obtained through reported data on bibliographic database such as Scopus, United States National Agricultural Library, Biological Abstracts, EMBASE, PubMed, MedlinePlus, PubChem and Springer Link (1934-2017). The information in different Pharmacopoeias on this genus was also gathered from 1957 to 2007. The structures of 204 compounds and their biological activity were presented in the manuscript: glycoside esters, iridoid glycosides and triterpenoids are the most common compounds in this genus. Among them, scropolioside like iridoids have shown potential for anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and wound healing activity. Among the less frequently isolated compounds, resin glycosides such as crypthophilic acids have shown potent antiprotozoal and antimicrobial activities. The Scrophularia genus seems to be a rich source of iridoids and terpenoids, but isolation and identification of its alkaloids have been a neglected area of scientific study. The diverse chemical compounds and biological activities of this genus will motivate further investigation on Scrophularia genus as a source of new therapeutic medications.

  18. Frequent fire promotes diversity and cover of biological soil crusts in a derived temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Bryan, Katharine E; Prober, Suzanne Mary; Lunt, Ian D; Eldridge, David J

    2009-04-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts that species diversity is maximized at moderate disturbance levels. This model is often applied to grassy ecosystems, where disturbance can be important for maintaining vascular plant composition and diversity. However, effects of disturbance type and frequency on cover and diversity of non-vascular plants comprising biological soil crusts are poorly known, despite their potentially important role in ecosystem function. We established replicated disturbance regimes of different type (fire vs. mowing) and frequency (2, 4, 8 yearly and unburnt) in a high-quality, representative Themeda australis-Poa sieberiana derived grassland in south-eastern Australia. Effects on soil crust bryophytes and lichens (hereafter cryptogams) were measured after 12 years. Consistent with expectations under IDH, cryptogam richness and abundance declined under no disturbance, likely due to competitive exclusion by vascular plants as well as high soil turnover by soil invertebrates beneath thick grass. Disturbance type was also significant, with burning enhancing richness and abundance more than mowing. Contrary to expectations, however, cryptogam richness increased most dramatically under our most frequent and recent (2 year) burning regime, even when changes in abundance were accounted for by rarefaction analysis. Thus, from the perspective of cryptogams, 2-year burning was not an adequately severe disturbance regime to reduce diversity, highlighting the difficulty associated with expression of disturbance gradients in the application of IDH. Indeed, significant correlations with grassland structure suggest that cryptogam abundance and diversity in this relatively mesic (600 mm annual rainfall) grassland is maximised by frequent fires that reduce vegetation and litter cover, providing light, open areas and stable soil surfaces for colonisation. This contrasts with detrimental effects of 2-year burning on native perennial grasses

  19. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions

    OpenAIRE

    Kaufman, Leyla V.; Wright, Mark G.

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in H...

  20. Preserving biological diversity in the face of large-scale demands for biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, J.J.; Beyea, J.; Keeler, K.H.

    1991-01-01

    Large-scale production and harvesting of biomass to replace fossil fuels could reduce biological diversity by eliminating habitat for native species. Forests would be managed and harvested more intensively, and virtually all arable land unsuitable for high-value agriculture or silviculture might be used to grow crops dedicated to energy. Given the prospects for a potentially large increase in biofuel production, it is time now to develop strategies for mitigating the loss of biodiversity that might ensue. Planning at micro to macro scales will be crucial to minimize the ecological impacts of producing biofuels. In particular, cropping and harvesting systems will need to provide the biological, spatial, and temporal diversity characteristics of natural ecosystems and successional sequences, if we are to have this technology support the environmental health of the world rather than compromise it. Incorporation of these ecological values will be necessary to forestall costly environmental restoration, even at the cost of submaximal biomass productivity. It is therefore doubtful that all managers will take the longer view. Since the costs of biodiversity loss are largely external to economic markets, society cannot rely on the market to protect biodiversity, and some sort of intervention will be necessary. 116 refs., 1 tab

  1. Chemical Diversity and Biological Properties of Secondary Metabolites from Sea Hares of Aplysia Genus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato B. Pereira

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The marine environment is an important source of structurally-diverse and biologically-active secondary metabolites. During the last two decades, thousands of compounds were discovered in marine organisms, several of them having inspired the development of new classes of therapeutic agents. Marine mollusks constitute a successful phyla in the discovery of new marine natural products (MNPs. Over a 50-year period from 1963, 116 genera of mollusks contributed innumerous compounds, Aplysia being the most studied genus by MNP chemists. This genus includes 36 valid species and should be distinguished from all mollusks as it yielded numerous new natural products. Aplysia sea hares are herbivorous mollusks, which have been proven to be a rich source of secondary metabolites, mostly of dietary origin. The majority of secondary metabolites isolated from sea hares of the genus Aplysia are halogenated terpenes; however, these animals are also a source of compounds from other chemical classes, such as macrolides, sterols and alkaloids, often exhibiting cytotoxic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and/or antifeedant activities. This review focuses on the diverse structural classes of secondary metabolites found in Aplysia spp., including several compounds with pronounced biological properties.

  2. Biological characterization of chemically diverse compounds targeting the Plasmodium falciparum coenzyme A synthesis pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Fletcher

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the fight against malaria, the discovery of chemical compounds with a novel mode of action and/or chemistry distinct from currently used drugs is vital to counteract the parasite’s known ability to develop drug resistance. Another desirable aspect is efficacy against gametocytes, the sexual developmental stage of the parasite which enables the transmission through Anopheles vectors. Using a chemical rescue approach, we previously identified compounds targeting Plasmodium falciparum coenzyme A (CoA synthesis or utilization, a promising target that has not yet been exploited in anti-malarial drug development. Results We report on the outcomes of a series of biological tests that help to define the species- and stage-specificity, as well as the potential targets of these chemically diverse compounds. Compound activity against P. falciparum gametocytes was determined to assess stage-specificity and transmission-reducing potential. Against early stage gametocytes IC50 values ranging between 60 nM and 7.5 μM were obtained. With the exception of two compounds with sub-micromolar potencies across all intra-erythrocytic stages, activity against late stage gametocytes was lower. None of the compounds were specific pantothenate kinase inhibitors. Chemical rescue profiling with CoA pathway intermediates demonstrated that most compounds acted on either of the two final P. falciparum CoA synthesis enzymes, phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase (PPAT or dephospho CoA kinase (DPCK. The most active compound targeted either phosphopantothenoylcysteine synthetase (PPCS or phosphopantothenoylcysteine decarboxylase (PPCDC. Species-specificity was evaluated against Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei brucei. No specific activity against T. cruzi amastigotes was observed; however three compounds inhibited the viability of trypomastigotes with sub-micromolar potencies and were confirmed to act on T. b. brucei CoA synthesis. Conclusions

  3. Diversity, variation and fairness: Equivalence in national level language assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert Weideman

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The post-1994 South African constitution proudly affirms the language diversity of the country, as do subsequent laws, while ministerial policies, both at further and higher education level, similarly promote the use of all 11 official languages in education. However, such recognition of diversity presents several challenges to accommodate potential variation. In language education at secondary school, which is nationally assessed, the variety being promoted immediately raises issues of fairness and equivalence. The final high-stakes examination of learners’ ability in home language at the exit level of their pre-tertiary education is currently contentious in South Africa. It is known, for example, that in certain indigenous languages, the exit level assessments barely discriminate among learners with different abilities, while in other languages they do. For that reason, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education, Umalusi, has commissioned several reports to attempt to understand the nature of the problem. This article will deal with a discussion of a fourth attempt by Umalusi to solve the problem. That attempt, undertaken by a consortium of four universities, has already delivered six interim reports to this statutory body, and the article will consider some of their content and methodology. In their reconceptualisation of the problem, the applied linguists involved first sought to identify the theoretical roots of the current curriculum in order to articulate more sharply the construct being assessed. That provides the basis for a theoretical justification of the several solutions being proposed, as well as for the preliminary designs of modifications to current, and the introduction of new assessments. The impact of equivalence of measurement as a design requirement will be specifically discussed, with reference to the empirical analyses of results of a number of pilots of equivalent tests in different languages.

  4. RNA damage in biological conflicts and the diversity of responding RNA repair systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughs, A. Maxwell; Aravind, L.

    2016-01-01

    RNA is targeted in biological conflicts by enzymatic toxins or effectors. A vast diversity of systems which repair or ‘heal’ this damage has only recently become apparent. Here, we summarize the known effectors, their modes of action, and RNA targets before surveying the diverse systems which counter this damage from a comparative genomics viewpoint. RNA-repair systems show a modular organization with extensive shuffling and displacement of the constituent domains; however, a general ‘syntax’ is strongly maintained whereby systems typically contain: a RNA ligase (either ATP-grasp or RtcB superfamilies), nucleotidyltransferases, enzymes modifying RNA-termini for ligation (phosphatases and kinases) or protection (methylases), and scaffold or cofactor proteins. We highlight poorly-understood or previously-uncharacterized repair systems and components, e.g. potential scaffolding cofactors (Rot/TROVE and SPFH/Band-7 modules) with their respective cognate non-coding RNAs (YRNAs and a novel tRNA-like molecule) and a novel nucleotidyltransferase associating with diverse ligases. These systems have been extensively disseminated by lateral transfer between distant prokaryotic and microbial eukaryotic lineages consistent with intense inter-organismal conflict. Components have also often been ‘institutionalized’ for non-conflict roles, e.g. in RNA-splicing and in RNAi systems (e.g. in kinetoplastids) which combine a distinct family of RNA-acting prim-pol domains with DICER-like proteins. PMID:27536007

  5. YAGM: a web tool for mining associated genes in yeast based on diverse biological associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wei-Sheng; Wang, Chung-Ching; Jhou, Meng-Jhun; Wang, Yu-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Investigating association between genes can be used in understanding the relations of genes in biological processes. STRING and GeneMANIA are two well-known web tools which can provide a list of associated genes of a query gene based on diverse biological associations such as co-expression, co-localization, co-citation and so on. However, the transcriptional regulation association and mutant phenotype association have not been used in these two web tools. Since the comprehensive transcription factor (TF)-gene binding data, TF-gene regulation data and mutant phenotype data are available in yeast, we developed a web tool called YAGM (Yeast Associated Genes Miner) which constructed the transcriptional regulation association, mutant phenotype association and five commonly used biological associations to mine a list of associated genes of a query yeast gene. In YAGM, we collected seven kinds of datasets including TF-gene binding (TFB) data, TF-gene regulation (TFR) data, mutant phenotype (MP) data, functional annotation (FA) data, physical interaction (PI) data, genetic interaction (GI) data, and literature evidence (LE) data. Then by using the hypergeometric test to calculate the association scores of all gene pairs in yeast, we constructed seven biological associations including two transcriptional regulation associations (TFB association and TFR association), MP association, FA association, PI association, GI association, and LE association. Moreover, the expression profile association from SPELL database was also included in YAGM. When using YAGM, users can input a query gene and choose any possible subsets of the eight biological associations, then a list of associated genes of the query gene will be returned based on the chosen biological associations. In this study, we presented the YAGM which provides eight biological associations for mining associated genes of a query gene in yeast. Among the eight biological associations constructed in YAGM, three (TFB

  6. Legume diversity patterns in West Central Africa: influence of species biology on distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Estrella, Manuel; Mateo, Rubén G; Wieringa, Jan J; Mackinder, Barbara; Muñoz, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are used to produce predictions of potential Leguminosae diversity in West Central Africa. Those predictions are evaluated subsequently using expert opinion. The established methodology of combining all SDMs is refined to assess species diversity within five defined vegetation types. Potential species diversity is thus predicted for each vegetation type respectively. The primary aim of the new methodology is to define, in more detail, areas of species richness for conservation planning. Using Maxent, SDMs based on a suite of 14 environmental predictors were generated for 185 West Central African Leguminosae species, each categorised according to one of five vegetation types: Afromontane, coastal, non-flooded forest, open formations, or riverine forest. The relative contribution of each environmental variable was compared between different vegetation types using a nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis analysis followed by a post-hoc Kruskal-Wallis Paired Comparison contrast. Legume species diversity patterns were explored initially using the typical method of stacking all SDMs. Subsequently, five different ensemble models were generated by partitioning SDMs according to vegetation category. Ecological modelers worked with legume specialists to improve data integrity and integrate expert opinion in the interpretation of individual species models and potential species richness predictions for different vegetation types. Of the 14 environmental predictors used, five showed no difference in their relative contribution to the different vegetation models. Of the nine discriminating variables, the majority were related to temperature variation. The set of variables that played a major role in the Afromontane species diversity model differed significantly from the sets of variables of greatest relative important in other vegetation categories. The traditional approach of stacking all SDMs indicated overall centers of diversity in the region but the

  7. Legume Diversity Patterns in West Central Africa: Influence of Species Biology on Distribution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Estrella, Manuel; Mateo, Rubén G.; Wieringa, Jan J.; Mackinder, Barbara; Muñoz, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are used to produce predictions of potential Leguminosae diversity in West Central Africa. Those predictions are evaluated subsequently using expert opinion. The established methodology of combining all SDMs is refined to assess species diversity within five defined vegetation types. Potential species diversity is thus predicted for each vegetation type respectively. The primary aim of the new methodology is to define, in more detail, areas of species richness for conservation planning. Methodology Using Maxent, SDMs based on a suite of 14 environmental predictors were generated for 185 West Central African Leguminosae species, each categorised according to one of five vegetation types: Afromontane, coastal, non-flooded forest, open formations, or riverine forest. The relative contribution of each environmental variable was compared between different vegetation types using a nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis analysis followed by a post-hoc Kruskal-Wallis Paired Comparison contrast. Legume species diversity patterns were explored initially using the typical method of stacking all SDMs. Subsequently, five different ensemble models were generated by partitioning SDMs according to vegetation category. Ecological modelers worked with legume specialists to improve data integrity and integrate expert opinion in the interpretation of individual species models and potential species richness predictions for different vegetation types. Results/Conclusions Of the 14 environmental predictors used, five showed no difference in their relative contribution to the different vegetation models. Of the nine discriminating variables, the majority were related to temperature variation. The set of variables that played a major role in the Afromontane species diversity model differed significantly from the sets of variables of greatest relative important in other vegetation categories. The traditional approach of stacking all SDMs indicated overall

  8. Use of inverse spatial conservation prioritization to avoid biological diversity loss outside protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kareksela, Santtu; Moilanen, Atte; Tuominen, Seppo; Kotiaho, Janne S

    2013-12-01

    Globally expanding human land use sets constantly increasing pressure for maintenance of biological diversity and functioning ecosystems. To fight the decline of biological diversity, conservation science has broken ground with methods such as the operational model of systematic conservation planning (SCP), which focuses on design and on-the-ground implementation of conservation areas. The most commonly used method in SCP is reserve selection that focuses on the spatial design of reserve networks and their expansion. We expanded these methods by introducing another form of spatial allocation of conservation effort relevant for land-use zoning at the landscape scale that avoids negative ecological effects of human land use outside protected areas. We call our method inverse spatial conservation prioritization. It can be used to identify areas suitable for economic development while simultaneously limiting total ecological and environmental effects of that development at the landscape level by identifying areas with highest economic but lowest ecological value. Our method is not based on a priori targets, and as such it is applicable to cases where the effects of land use on, for example, individual species or ecosystem types are relatively small and would not lead to violation of regional or national conservation targets. We applied our method to land-use allocation to peat mining. Our method identified a combination of profitable production areas that provides the needed area for peat production while retaining most of the landscape-level ecological value of the ecosystem. The results of this inverse spatial conservation prioritization are being used in land-use zoning in the province of Central Finland. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. 2-Aminothiophene scaffolds: Diverse biological and pharmacological attributes in medicinal chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozorov, Khurshed; Nie, Li Fei; Zhao, Jiangyu; Aisa, Haji A

    2017-11-10

    2-Aminothiophenes are important five-membered heterocyclic building blocks in organic synthesis, and the chemistry of these small molecules is still developing based on the discovery of cyclization by Gewald. Another attractive feature of 2-aminothiophene scaffolds is their ability to act as synthons for the synthesis of biological active thiophene-containing heterocycles, conjugates and hybrids. Currently, the biological actions of 2-aminothiophenes or their 2-N-substituted analogues are still being investigated because of their various mechanisms of action (e.g., pharmacophore and pharmacokinetic properties). Likewise, the 2-aminothiophene family is used as diverse promising selective inhibitors, receptors, and modulators in medicinal chemistry, and these compounds even exhibit effective pharmacological properties in the various clinical phases of appropriate diseases. In this review, major biological and pharmacological reports on 2-aminothiophenes and related compounds have been highlighted; most perspective drug-candidate hits were selected for discussion and described, along with additional synthetic pathways. In addition, we focused on the literature dedicated to 2-aminothiophenes and 2-N-substituted derivatives, which have been published from 2010 to 2017. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. The composite insect trap: an innovative combination trap for biologically diverse sampling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Russo

    Full Text Available Documentation of insect diversity is an important component of the study of biodiversity, community dynamics, and global change. Accurate identification of insects usually requires catching individuals for close inspection. However, because insects are so diverse, most trapping methods are specifically tailored to a particular taxonomic group. For scientists interested in the broadest possible spectrum of insect taxa, whether for long term monitoring of an ecosystem or for a species inventory, the use of several different trapping methods is usually necessary. We describe a novel composite method for capturing a diverse spectrum of insect taxa. The Composite Insect Trap incorporates elements from four different existing trapping methods: the cone trap, malaise trap, pan trap, and flight intercept trap. It is affordable, resistant, easy to assemble and disassemble, and collects a wide variety of insect taxa. Here we describe the design, construction, and effectiveness of the Composite Insect Trap tested during a study of insect diversity. The trap catches a broad array of insects and can eliminate the need to use multiple trap types in biodiversity studies. We propose that the Composite Insect Trap is a useful addition to the trapping methods currently available to ecologists and will be extremely effective for monitoring community level dynamics, biodiversity assessment, and conservation and restoration work. In addition, the Composite Insect Trap will be of use to other insect specialists, such as taxonomists, that are interested in describing the insect taxa in a given area.

  11. Biological methods used to assess surface water quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szczerbiñska Natalia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In accordance with the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 (WFD, both ecological and chemical statuses determine the assessment of surface waters. The profile of ecological status is based on the analysis of various biological components, and physicochemical and hydromorphological indicators complement this assessment. The aim of this article is to present the biological methods used in the assessment of water status with a special focus on bioassay, as well as to provide a review of methods of monitoring water status. Biological test methods include both biomonitoring and bioanalytics. Water biomonitoring is used to assess and forecast the status of water. These studies aim to collect data on water pollution and forecast its impact. Biomonitoring uses organisms which are characterized by particular vulnerability to contaminants. Bioindicator organisms are algae, fungi, bacteria, larval invertebrates, cyanobacteria, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Bioanalytics is based on the receptors of contaminants that can be biologically active substances. In bioanalytics, biosensors such as viruses, bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and biotests are used to assess degrees of pollution.

  12. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  13. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldo Díaz-Pérez

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  14. Biological dosimetry: chromosomal aberration analysis for dose assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    In view of the growing importance of chromosomal aberration analysis as a biological dosimeter, the present report provides a concise summary of the scientific background of the subject and a comprehensive source of information at the technical level. After a review of the basic principles of radiation dosimetry and radiation biology basic information on the biology of lymphocytes, the structure of chromosomes and the classification of chromosomal aberrations are presented. This is followed by a presentation of techniques for collecting blood, storing, transporting, culturing, making chromosomal preparations and scaring of aberrations. The physical and statistical parameters involved in dose assessment are discussed and examples of actual dose assessments taken from the scientific literature are given

  15. Criterion 1: Conservation of biological diversity - Indicator 9: Population levels of representative species from diverse habitats monitored across their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg; Curtis H. Flather; Noah Barstatis

    2003-01-01

    This indicator estimates population trends of selected species as a surrogate measure of genetic diversity. Decreases in genetic diversity as populations decline, particularly if associated with small populations, contribute to increased risk of extinction. This indicator also provides an important measure of general biodiversity, as changes in species abundances are a...

  16. BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WATER QUALITY: A STUDY OF ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMIN

    ABSTRACT. This study was carried out to survey the biotic community of Challawa river water in Kano, Nigeria, using Biological Monitoring Working Party Score (BMWP) and Average Score Per Taxa (ASPT) assessment tools to evaluate the water quality in the field. Using standardized sampling technique insects, insects' ...

  17. Rapid biological assessment of the fishery potential of Xonxa Dam ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rapid biological assessments have been proposed as the most cost-effective approach to identify suitable target species and to set initial catch and fishing effort levels for new fisheries. Xonxa Dam, a turbid irrigation dam situated in the White Kei catchment, rural Eastern Cape, is shown to provide fisheries potential for two ...

  18. Assessment of biological Nitrogen fixing potentials of Pigeonpea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In a 2-year field/laboratory study, the biological nitrogen fixing potentials of 14 newly introduced pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) genotypes from ICRISAT along with a local check were assessed under intercropping with sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench.) in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.

  19. Archival Collections are Important in the Study of the Biology, Diversity, and Evolution of Arboviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Alyssa T; Warrilow, David

    2016-01-01

    Historically, classifications of arboviruses were based on serological techniques. Hence, collections of arbovirus isolates have been central to this process by providing the antigenic reagents for these methods. However, with increasing concern about biosafety and security, the introduction of molecular biology techniques has led to greater emphasis on the storage of nucleic acid sequence data over the maintenance of archival material. In this commentary, we provide examples of where archival collections provide an important source of genetic material to assist in confirming the authenticity of reference strains and vaccine stocks, to clarify taxonomic relationships particularly when isolates of the same virus species have been collected across a wide expanse of time and space, for future phenotypic analysis, to determine the historical diversity of strains, and to understand the mechanisms leading to changes in genome structure and virus evolution.

  20. The Biological Contributions to Gender Identity and Gender Diversity: Bringing Data to the Table.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polderman, Tinca J C; Kreukels, Baudewijntje P C; Irwig, Michael S; Beach, Lauren; Chan, Yee-Ming; Derks, Eske M; Esteva, Isabel; Ehrenfeld, Jesse; Heijer, Martin Den; Posthuma, Danielle; Raynor, Lewis; Tishelman, Amy; Davis, Lea K

    2018-03-01

    The American Psychological Association defines gender identity as, "A person's deeply-felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or a male; a girl, a woman, or a female; or an alternative gender (e.g., genderqueer, gender nonconforming, gender neutral) that may or may not correspond to a person's sex assigned at birth or to a person's primary or secondary sex characteristics" (American Psychological Association, Am Psychol 70(9):832-864, 2015). Here we review the evidence that gender identity and related socially defined gender constructs are influenced in part by innate factors including genes. Based on the data reviewed, we hypothesize that gender identity is a multifactorial complex trait with a heritable polygenic component. We argue that increasing the awareness of the biological diversity underlying gender identity development is relevant to all domains of social, medical, and neuroscience research and foundational for reducing health disparities and promoting human-rights protections for gender minorities.

  1. Can the natural diversity of quorum-sensing advance synthetic biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, René Michele; Muller, Ryan Yue; Haynes, Karmella Ann

    2015-01-01

    Quorum-sensing networks enable bacteria to sense and respond to chemical signals produced by neighboring bacteria. They are widespread: over 100 morphologically and genetically distinct species of eubacteria are known to use quorum sensing to control gene expression. This diversity suggests the potential to use natural protein variants to engineer parallel, input-specific, cell-cell communication pathways. However, only three distinct signaling pathways, Lux, Las, and Rhl, have been adapted for and broadly used in engineered systems. The paucity of unique quorum-sensing systems and their propensity for crosstalk limits the usefulness of our current quorum-sensing toolkit. This review discusses the need for more signaling pathways, roadblocks to using multiple pathways in parallel, and strategies for expanding the quorum-sensing toolbox for synthetic biology.

  2. Phylogenetic diversity and biological activity of culturable Actinobacteria isolated from freshwater fish gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jami, Mansooreh; Ghanbari, Mahdi; Kneifel, Wolfgang; Domig, Konrad J

    2015-06-01

    biosynthetic genes, one-fourth of them harbours more than four. This study demonstrates the significant diversity of Actinobacteria in the fish gut microbiota and it's potential to produce biologically active compounds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Flexible mechanisms: the diverse roles of biological springs in vertebrate movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Thomas J; Azizi, Emanuel

    2011-02-01

    The muscles that power vertebrate locomotion are associated with springy tissues, both within muscle and in connective tissue elements such as tendons. These springs share in common the same simple action: they stretch and store elastic strain energy when force is applied to them and recoil to release energy when force decays. Although this elastic action is simple, it serves a diverse set of functions, including metabolic energy conservation, amplification of muscle power output, attenuation of muscle power input, and rapid mechanical feedback that may aid in stability. In recent years, our understanding of the mechanisms and importance of biological springs in locomotion has advanced significantly, and it has been demonstrated that elastic mechanisms are essential for the effective function of the muscle motors that power movement. Here, we review some recent advances in our understanding of elastic mechanisms, with an emphasis on two proposed organizing principles. First, we review the evidence that the various functions of biological springs allow the locomotor system to operate beyond the bounds of intrinsic muscle properties, including metabolic and mechanical characteristics, as well as motor control processes. Second, we propose that an energy-based framework is useful for interpreting the diverse functions of series-elastic springs. In this framework, the direction and timing of the flow of energy between the body, the elastic element and the contracting muscle determine the function served by the elastic mechanism (e.g. energy conservation vs power amplification). We also review recent work demonstrating that structures such as tendons remodel more actively and behave more dynamically than previously assumed.

  4. Remotely sensed indicators of habitat heterogeneity and biological diversity: A preliminary report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhoff, Marc; Sisk, Thomas; Milne, Anthony; Morgan, Garth; Orr, Tony

    1995-01-01

    The relationship between habitat area, spatial dynamics of the landscape, and species diversity is an important theme in population and conservation biology. Of particular interest is how populations of various species are affected by increasing habitat edges due to fragmentation. Over the last decade, assumptions regarding the effects of habitat edges on biodiversity have fluctuated wildly, from the belief that they have a positive effect to the belief that they have a clearly negative effect. This change in viewpoint has been brought about by an increasing recognition of the importance of geographic scale and a reinterpretation of natural history observations. In this preliminary report from an ongoing project, we explore the use of remote sensing technology and geographic information systems to further our understanding of how species diversity and population density are affected by habitat heterogeneity and landscape composition. A primary feature of this study is the investigation of SAR for making more rigorous investigations of habitat structure by exploiting the interaction between radar backscatter and vegetation structure and biomass. A major emphasis will be on the use of SAR data to define relative structural types based on measures of structural consolidation using the vegetation surface area to volume ratio (SA/V). Past research has shown that SAR may be sensitive to this form of structural expression which may affect biodiversity.

  5. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Biological Soil Crusts along a Precipitation Gradient, Northwest Negev Desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Martin; Henneberg, Manja; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Drahorad, Sylvie L; Berkowicz, Simon M; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Kaplan, Aaron

    2015-07-01

    Cyanobacteria occur worldwide but play an important role in the formation and primary activity of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cyanobacterial diversity in BSCs of the northwest Negev desert of Israel was surveyed at three fixed sampling stations situated along a precipitation gradient in the years 2010 to 2012. The three stations also are characterized by marked differences in soil features such as soil carbon, nitrogen, or electrical conductivity. The cyanobacterial biodiversity was analyzed by sequencing inserts of clone libraries harboring partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained with cyanobacteria-specific primers. Filamentous, non-diazotrophic strains (subsection III), particularly Microcoleus-like, dominated the cyanobacterial community (30% proportion) in all years. Specific cyanobacterial groups showed increased (e.g., Chroococcidiopsis, Leptolyngbya, and Nostoc strains) or decreased (e.g., unicellular strains belonging to the subsection I and Scytonema strains) abundances with declining water availability at the most arid, southern station, whereas many cyanobacterial strains were frequently found in the soils of all three stations. The cyanobacterial diversity at the three sampling stations appears dependent on the available precipitation, whereas the differences in soil chemistry were of lower importance.

  6. Molluscan biological and chemical diversity: secondary metabolites and medicinal resources produced by marine molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkendorff, Kirsten

    2010-11-01

    The phylum Mollusca represents an enormous diversity of species with eight distinct classes. This review provides a taxonomic breakdown of the published research on marine molluscan natural products and the medicinal products currently derived from molluscs, in order to identify priority targets and strategies for future research. Some marine gastropods and bivalves have been of great interest to natural products chemists, yielding a diversity of chemical classes and several drug leads currently in clinical trials. Molluscs also feature prominently in a broad range of traditional natural medicines, although the active ingredients in the taxa involved are typically unknown. Overall secondary metabolites have only been investigated from a tiny proportion (molluscs. Conversely, most molluscan medicines are derived from shelled gastropods and bivalves. The complete disregard for several minor classes of molluscs is unjustified based on their evolutionary history and unique life styles, which may have led to novel pathways for secondary metabolism. The Polyplacophora, in particular, have been identified as worthy of future investigation given their use in traditional South African medicines and their abundance in littoral ecosystems. As bioactive compounds are not always constitutively expressed in molluscs, future research should be targeted towards biosynthetic organs and inducible defence reactions for specific medicinal applications. Given the lack of an acquired immune system, the use of bioactive secondary metabolites is likely to be ubiquitous throughout the Mollusca and broadening the search field may uncover interesting novel chemistry. © 2010 The Author. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Genetic structure and diversity of a soybean germplasm considering biological nitrogen fixation and protein content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adalgisa Ribeiro Torres

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF has global economic and environmental importance, but has often not been considered in soybean [Glycine max (L. Merrill] breeding programs. Knowing the genetic diversity and structure of a population within a germoplasm represent a key step for breeding programs. This study aimed at determining the structure of the population and diversity of soybean with regard to BNF and protein content in grain. In total, 191 accessions were evaluated, including 171 commercial soybean cultivars, developed and released by public institutions and private companies in Brazil, and 20 ancestral lines. The genotypes were chosen to represent four genetic groups: 128 Brazilian public genotypes, 20 exotic, and 43 genotypes from private companies. Soybeans were genotyped with 22 SSR markers, previously described as associated with BNF and protein content. Genetic diversity was evaluated using the DARwin 5.0 software. Population structure was inferred by principal component analysis and by the STRUCTURE software. The accessions were distributed in two groups: one clustering approximately 50 % of the accessions, from Brazilian public and private companies; the other one clustering 45 % of the accessions, including Brazilian, exotic and private germoplasms. Some accessions (5 % were not grouped in any cluster. Principal component analysis explained 29 % of the total variance and there was a tendency to cluster the accessions into two groups. Similar results were obtained with the STRUCTURE, clearly showing two subpopulations. There is variability for BNF and protein content amongst both modern germoplasms cultivated in Brazil and ancestral lines. This variability could be better explored in soybean breeding programs to improve these traits.

  8. Assessment of the genetic diversity of Kenyan coconut germplasm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic diversity and relationship among 48 coconut individuals (Cocos nucifera L.) collections from the Coastal lowland of Kenya were analyzed using 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) primer pairs. Diversity parameters were calculated using Popgene Software version 1.31. The gene diversity values ranged from 0.0408 ...

  9. Deciphering genetic diversity and inheritance of tomato fruit weight and composition through a systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, Laura; Xu, Jiaxin; Biais, Benoît; Maucourt, Mickaël; Ballias, Patricia; Bernillon, Stéphane; Deborde, Catherine; Jacob, Daniel; Desgroux, Aurore; Faurobert, Mireille; Bouchet, Jean-Paul; Gibon, Yves; Moing, Annick; Causse, Mathilde

    2013-12-01

    Integrative systems biology proposes new approaches to decipher the variation of phenotypic traits. In an effort to link the genetic variation and the physiological and molecular bases of fruit composition, the proteome (424 protein spots), metabolome (26 compounds), enzymatic profile (26 enzymes), and phenotypes of eight tomato accessions, covering the genetic diversity of the species, and four of their F1 hybrids, were characterized at two fruit developmental stages (cell expansion and orange-red). The contents of metabolites varied among the genetic backgrounds, while enzyme profiles were less variable, particularly at the cell expansion stage. Frequent genotype by stage interactions suggested that the trends observed for one accession at a physiological level may change in another accession. In agreement with this, the inheritance modes varied between crosses and stages. Although additivity was predominant, 40% of the traits were non-additively inherited. Relationships among traits revealed associations between different levels of expression and provided information on several key proteins. Notably, the role of frucktokinase, invertase, and cysteine synthase in the variation of metabolites was highlighted. Several stress-related proteins also appeared related to fruit weight differences. These key proteins might be targets for improving metabolite contents of the fruit. This systems biology approach provides better understanding of networks controlling the genetic variation of tomato fruit composition. In addition, the wide data sets generated provide an ideal framework to develop innovative integrated hypothesis and will be highly valuable for the research community.

  10. Molecular Diversity of Sea Spray Aerosol Particles: Impact of Ocean Biology on Particle Composition and Hygroscopicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cochran, Richard E.; Laskina, Olga; Trueblood, Jonathan; Estillore, Armando D.; Morris, Holly S.; Jayarathne, Thilina; Sultana, Camile M.; Lee, Christopher; Lin, Peng; Laskin, Julia; Laskin, Alexander; Dowling, Jackie; Qin, Zhen; Cappa, Christopher; Bertram, Timothy; Tivanski, Alexei V.; Stone, Elizabeth; Prather, Kimberly; Grassian, Vicki H.

    2017-05-01

    The impact of sea spray aerosol (SSA) on climate depends on the size and chemical composition of individual particles that make-up the total SSA ensemble. While the organic fraction of SSA has been characterized from a bulk perspective, there remains a lack of understanding as to the composition of individual particles within the SSA ensemble. To better understand the molecular components within SSA particles and how SSA composition changes with ocean biology, simultaneous measurements of seawater and SSA were made during a month-long mesocosm experiment performed in an ocean-atmosphere facility. Herein, we deconvolute the composition of freshly emitted SSA devoid of anthropogenic and terrestrial influences by characterizing classes of organic compounds as well as specific molecules within individual SSA particles. Analysis of SSA particles show that the diversity of molecules within the organic fraction varies between two size fractions (submicron and supermicron) with contributions from fatty acids, monosaccharides, polysaccharides and siliceous material. Significant changes in the distribution of these compounds within individual particles are observed to coincide with the rise and fall of phytoplankton and bacterial populations within the seawater. Furthermore, water uptake is impacted as shown by hygroscopicity measurements of model systems composed of representative organic compounds. Thus, the how changes in the hygroscopic growth of SSA evolves with composition can be elucidated. Overall, this study provides an important connection between biological processes that control the composition of seawater and changes in single particle composition which will enhances our ability to predict the impact of SSA on climate.

  11. Anthraquinones and Derivatives from Marine-Derived Fungi: Structural Diversity and Selected Biological Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouillaud, Mireille; Venkatachalam, Mekala; Girard-Valenciennes, Emmanuelle; Caro, Yanis; Dufossé, Laurent

    2016-03-25

    Anthraquinones and their derivatives constitute a large group of quinoid compounds with about 700 molecules described. They are widespread in fungi and their chemical diversity and biological activities recently attracted attention of industries in such fields as pharmaceuticals, clothes dyeing, and food colorants. Their positive and/or negative effect(s) due to the 9,10-anthracenedione structure and its substituents are still not clearly understood and their potential roles or effects on human health are today strongly discussed among scientists. As marine microorganisms recently appeared as producers of an astonishing variety of structurally unique secondary metabolites, they may represent a promising resource for identifying new candidates for therapeutic drugs or daily additives. Within this review, we investigate the present knowledge about the anthraquinones and derivatives listed to date from marine-derived filamentous fungi's productions. This overview highlights the molecules which have been identified in microorganisms for the first time. The structures and colors of the anthraquinoid compounds come along with the known roles of some molecules in the life of the organisms. Some specific biological activities are also described. This may help to open doors towards innovative natural substances.

  12. Anthraquinones and Derivatives from Marine-Derived Fungi: Structural Diversity and Selected Biological Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mireille Fouillaud

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Anthraquinones and their derivatives constitute a large group of quinoid compounds with about 700 molecules described. They are widespread in fungi and their chemical diversity and biological activities recently attracted attention of industries in such fields as pharmaceuticals, clothes dyeing, and food colorants. Their positive and/or negative effect(s due to the 9,10-anthracenedione structure and its substituents are still not clearly understood and their potential roles or effects on human health are today strongly discussed among scientists. As marine microorganisms recently appeared as producers of an astonishing variety of structurally unique secondary metabolites, they may represent a promising resource for identifying new candidates for therapeutic drugs or daily additives. Within this review, we investigate the present knowledge about the anthraquinones and derivatives listed to date from marine-derived filamentous fungi′s productions. This overview highlights the molecules which have been identified in microorganisms for the first time. The structures and colors of the anthraquinoid compounds come along with the known roles of some molecules in the life of the organisms. Some specific biological activities are also described. This may help to open doors towards innovative natural substances.

  13. Oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320 regulates glycolysis in diverse biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Huibin; Lee, Myung; Sharpe, Orr; Salamone, Louis; Noonan, Emily J.; Hoang, Chuong D.; Levine, Sanford; Robinson, William H.; Shrager, Joseph B.

    2012-01-01

    Glycolysis is the initial step of glucose catabolism and is up-regulated in cancer cells (the Warburg Effect). Such shifts toward a glycolytic phenotype have not been explored widely in other biological systems, and the molecular mechanisms underlying the shifts remain unknown. With proteomics, we observed increased glycolysis in disused human diaphragm muscle. In disused muscle, lung cancer, and H2O2-treated myotubes, we show up-regulation of the rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme muscle-type phosphofructokinase (PFKm, >2 fold, P150%, Pglycolysis in response to H2O2 treatment. We show that this microRNA-mediated regulation occurs through PFKm's 3′ untranslated region and that Ets proteins are involved in the regulation of PFKm via miR-320a. These findings suggest that oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320a may regulate glycolysis broadly within nature.—Tang, H., Lee, M., Sharpe, O., Salamone, L., Noonan, E. J., Hoang, C. D., Levine, S., Robinson, W. H., Shrager, J. B. Oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320 regulates glycolysis in diverse biological systems. PMID:22767230

  14. Ontology- and graph-based similarity assessment in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haiying; Zheng, Huiru; Azuaje, Francisco

    2010-10-15

    A standard systems-based approach to biomarker and drug target discovery consists of placing putative biomarkers in the context of a network of biological interactions, followed by different 'guilt-by-association' analyses. The latter is typically done based on network structural features. Here, an alternative analysis approach in which the networks are analyzed on a 'semantic similarity' space is reported. Such information is extracted from ontology-based functional annotations. We present SimTrek, a Cytoscape plugin for ontology-based similarity assessment in biological networks. http://rosalind.infj.ulst.ac.uk/SimTrek.html francisco.azuaje@crp-sante.lu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  15. Biological Diversity and Resilience: Lessons from the Recovery of Cichlid Species in Lake Victoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex O. Awiti

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental feature of the Anthropocene is the inexorable erosion of the self-repairing capacity or adaptive renewal of natural systems because of natural perturbation, exploitation, or management failure. The concept of resilience offers a systematic framework for understanding the dynamics and variables that govern response dynamics of ecosystems. Resilience of haplochromine cichlids is assessed using limnological and biodiversity changes in Lake Victoria, the world's second largest freshwater lake, over the last five decades. The review explores the resurgence of the haplochromine cichlids using Holling's adaptive renewal cycle and attempts to illustrate how resilience-based management approaches might learn from an inadvertent management experiment. The introduction in the 1980s of the Nile perch (Lates niloticus, a fecund and voracious predator of the endemic phytoplankton feeding haplochromine cichlids, anthropogenic eutrophication, and deep water hypoxia have combined in a synergistic way to increase the vulnerability of the lake ecosystem to perturbations that were hitherto absorbed. However, the upsurge in commercial Nile perch fishing appears to be enabling the resurgence of the haplochromine cichlids. The resurgence of haplochromine cichlids is characterized by phenotypic plasticity, ecological and life history traits and demonstrates the critical role of response diversity in the maintenance of systems resilience. Resilience of the haplochromine cichlids resides in the requisite functional response diversity and habitat diversity that provide the resources for renewal and regeneration. This paper concludes that management of Nile perch fisheries and control of nutrient loading into Lake Victoria could halt or reverse eutrophication, hence offer the best promise for a diverse, productive, and resilient social-ecological system.

  16. Assessing Racial Microaggression Distress in a Diverse Sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Harding, Susan; Turner, Tasha

    2015-12-01

    Racial microaggressions are everyday subtle or ambiguous racially related insults, slights, mistreatment, or invalidations. Racial microaggressions are a type of perceived racism that may negatively impact the health and well-being of people of color in the United States. This study examined the reliability and validity of the Racial Microaggression Scale distress subscales, which measure the perceived stressfulness of six types of microaggression experiences in a racially and ethnically diverse sample. These subscales exhibited acceptable to good internal consistency. The distress subscales also evidenced good convergent validity; the distress subscales were positively correlated with additional measures of stressfulness due to experiencing microaggressions or everyday discrimination. When controlling for the frequency of one's exposure to microaggression incidents, some racial/ethnic group differences were found. Asian Americans reported comparatively lower distress and Latinos reporting comparatively higher distress in response to Foreigner, Low-Achieving, Invisibility, and Environmental microaggressions. African Americans reported higher distress than the other groups in response to Environmental microaggressions. Results suggest that the Racial Microaggressions Scale distress subscales may aid health professionals in assessing the distress elicited by different types of microaggressions. In turn, this may facilitate diagnosis and treatment planning in order to provide multiculturally competent care for African American, Latino, and Asian American clients. © The Author(s) 2014.

  17. Molecular characterization and assessment of genetic diversity of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    R Madhusudhana

    Selecting parents of diverse genetic base with contrasting phenotype is an important step in developing mapping populations for quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection and marker-assisted selection. We studied genetic diversity in 31 sorghum parents using 413 sorghum simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers.

  18. assessment of common bean cultivar diversity in selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prof. Adipala Ekwamu

    Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) diversity has been nurtured by Uganda's farming communities and in return it has sustained their livelihoods for over 40 decades. Despite the farmers' invaluable effort in perpetuating this diversity, there is limited overall understanding of its status and dynamics on-farm. This study ...

  19. Assessment of the genetic diversity of Kenyan coconut germplasm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP-PROBOOK

    2016-10-05

    Oct 5, 2016 ... Genetic diversity and relationship among 48 coconut individuals (Cocos nucifera L.) collections from the Coastal lowland of ... Marker. CAC23 had the highest PIC and revealed highest gene diversity values in this study. Analysis of the ..... and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. pp. 1-350.

  20. DNA landmarks for genetic diversity assessment in tea genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most important non-alcoholic beverages of the world. Natural genetic diversity in tea has been reduced due to continue selection in favor of desirable traits. The present study was conducted to estimate genetic diversity in tea genotypes cultivated in Pakistan using 20 randomly amplified ...

  1. Assessment of genetic diversity among wheat somaclonal variants ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use

    2011-10-26

    Oct 26, 2011 ... yield potential, wide adaptation, and durable resistance to important diseases such as the rusts. ... diversity levels among adapted, wheat germplasm can provide predictive estimates of genetic ..... diversity among Tibetan wheat, common wheat and European spelt wheat revealed by RAPD markers, ...

  2. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic diversity was evaluated using Nei's index, Shannon index and Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) cluster analysis by constructing dendrogram of fractions of proteins, which were used for the calculation of similarity coefficients between these varieties. Diversity analysis attributes ...

  3. Assessing the genetic diversity of cultivars and wild soybeans using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Increasing the diversity of the soybean germplasm base could introduce new genes affecting agronomic traits. In this study, we demonstrated the differences of genetic diversity level among 40 soybean accessions of cultivars, landraces and wild soybeans collected in the Shanxi Agricultural University using 40 simple ...

  4. DNA landmarks for genetic diversity assessment in tea genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bilal

    2011-11-07

    Nov 7, 2011 ... Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most important non-alcoholic beverages of the world. Natural ... present study was conducted to estimate genetic diversity in tea genotypes cultivated in Pakistan using. 20 randomly ..... genetic diversity in Oolong tea germplasms by AFLP fingerprinting. J. Tea Sci.

  5. Molecular assessment of genetic diversity in mung bean germplasm

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2008-04-02

    Apr 2, 2008 ... wider range of diversity but also groups the accessions ac- cording to their field performance for ... minous out group for all studies to test whether our reaction conditions were optimized to resolve it as a ...... Mignouna H. D., Ng N. Q., Ikea J. and Thotapilly G. 1998 Genetic diversity in cowpea as revealed by ...

  6. The role of fire in managing for biological diversity on native rangelands of the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg

    1997-01-01

    A strategy for using fire to manage for biological diversity on native rangelands in the Northern Great Plains incorporates an understanding of its past frequency, timing and intensity. Historically, lightning and humans were the major fire setters, and the role of fire varied both in space and time. A burning regime that includes fires at various intervals, seasons...

  7. Communication, Education and Public Awareness in Support of Living in Harmony with Nature: The Convention on Biological Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which came into force in 1993, encourages actions that will guide the way to a sustainable future. It pursues three main goals: (1) conservation of biodiversity; (2) sustainable use of biodiversity; and (3) fair and equitable sharing arising from the use of genetic resources. Article 13…

  8. Equitably sharing benefits from the utilization of natural genetic resources: the Brazilian interpretation of the Convention of Biological Diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pena-Neira, S.; Dieperink, C.; Addink, G.H.

    2002-01-01

    The utilization of natural genetic resources could yield great benefits. The Convention on Biological Diversity introduced a number of rules concerning the sharing of these benefits. However, the interpretation and application (legal implementation) of these rules is a matter of discussion among

  9. Application of molecular techniques for the assessment of microorganism diversity on cultural heritage objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otlewska, Anna; Adamiak, Justyna; Gutarowska, Beata

    2014-01-01

    As a result of their unpredictable ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions, microorganisms inhabit different types of biological niches on Earth. Owing to the key role of microorganisms in many biogeochemical processes, trends in modern microbiology emphasize the need to know and understand the structure and function of complex microbial communities. This is particularly important if the strategy relates to microbial communities that cause biodeterioration of materials that constitute our cultural heritage. Until recently, the detection and identification of microorganisms inhabiting objects of cultural value was based only on cultivation-dependent methods. In spite of many advantages, these methods provide limited information because they identify only viable organisms capable of growth under standard laboratory conditions. However, in order to carry out proper conservation and renovation, it is necessary to know the complete composition of microbial communities and their activity. This paper presents and characterizes modern techniques such as genetic fingerprinting and clone library construction for the assessment of microbial diversity based on molecular biology. Molecular methods represent a favourable alternative to culture-dependent methods and make it possible to assess the biodiversity of microorganisms inhabiting technical materials and cultural heritage objects.

  10. Functional and biological diversity of foliar spectra in tree canopies throughout the Andes to Amazon region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E; Carranza-Jiménez, Loreli; Sinca, Felipe; Tupayachi, Raul; Anderson, Christopher B; Martinez, Paola

    2014-10-01

    Spectral properties of foliage express fundamental chemical interactions of canopies with solar radiation. However, the degree to which leaf spectra track chemical traits across environmental gradients in tropical forests is unknown. We analyzed leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra in 2567 tropical canopy trees comprising 1449 species in 17 forests along a 3400-m elevation and soil fertility gradient from the Amazonian lowlands to the Andean treeline. We developed quantitative links between 21 leaf traits and 400-2500-nm spectra, and developed classifications of tree taxa based on spectral traits. Our results reveal enormous inter-specific variation in spectral and chemical traits among canopy trees of the western Amazon. Chemical traits mediating primary production were tightly linked to elevational changes in foliar spectral signatures. By contrast, defense compounds and rock-derived nutrients tracked foliar spectral variation with changing soil fertility in the lowlands. Despite the effects of abiotic filtering on mean foliar spectral properties of tree communities, the spectra were dominated by phylogeny within any given community, and spectroscopy accurately classified 85-93% of Amazonian tree species. Our findings quantify how tropical tree canopies interact with sunlight, and indicate how to measure the functional and biological diversity of forests with spectroscopy. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Synthetic biology to access and expand nature’s chemical diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smanski, Michael J.; Zhou, Hui; Claesen, Jan; Shen, Ben; Fischbach, Michael; Voigt, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial genomes encode the biosynthetic potential to produce hundreds of thousands of complex molecules with diverse applications, from medicine to agriculture and materials. Economically accessing the potential encoded within sequenced genomes promises to reinvigorate waning drug discovery pipelines and provide novel routes to intricate chemicals. This is a tremendous undertaking, as the pathways often comprise dozens of genes spanning as much as 100+ kiliobases of DNA, are controlled by complex regulatory networks, and the most interesting molecules are made by non-model organisms. Advances in synthetic biology address these issues, including DNA construction technologies, genetic parts for precision expression control, synthetic regulatory circuits, computer aided design, and multiplexed genome engineering. Collectively, these technologies are moving towards an era when chemicals can be accessed en mass based on sequence information alone. This will enable the harnessing of metagenomic data and massive strain banks for high-throughput molecular discovery and, ultimately, the ability to forward design pathways to complex chemicals not found in nature. PMID:26876034

  12. American Institute of Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Biology Classifieds Get Involved AIBS on Diversity Diversity Diversity Leadership Award Diversity Scholars Outreach Directory News Newsroom Peer ... Biology Classifieds Get Involved AIBS on Diversity Diversity Diversity Leadership Award Diversity Scholars Outreach Directory News Newsroom Contact ...

  13. Merging metagenomics and geochemistry reveals environmental controls on biological diversity and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsop, Eric B; Boyd, Eric S; Raymond, Jason

    2014-05-28

    The metabolic strategies employed by microbes inhabiting natural systems are, in large part, dictated by the physical and geochemical properties of the environment. This study sheds light onto the complex relationship between biology and environmental geochemistry using forty-three metagenomes collected from geochemically diverse and globally distributed natural systems. It is widely hypothesized that many uncommonly measured geochemical parameters affect community dynamics and this study leverages the development and application of multidimensional biogeochemical metrics to study correlations between geochemistry and microbial ecology. Analysis techniques such as a Markov cluster-based measure of the evolutionary distance between whole communities and a principal component analysis (PCA) of the geochemical gradients between environments allows for the determination of correlations between microbial community dynamics and environmental geochemistry and provides insight into which geochemical parameters most strongly influence microbial biodiversity. By progressively building from samples taken along well defined geochemical gradients to samples widely dispersed in geochemical space this study reveals strong links between the extent of taxonomic and functional diversification of resident communities and environmental geochemistry and reveals temperature and pH as the primary factors that have shaped the evolution of these communities. Moreover, the inclusion of extensive geochemical data into analyses reveals new links between geochemical parameters (e.g. oxygen and trace element availability) and the distribution and taxonomic diversification of communities at the functional level. Further, an overall geochemical gradient (from multivariate analyses) between natural systems provides one of the most complete predictions of microbial taxonomic and functional composition. Clustering based on the frequency in which orthologous proteins occur among metagenomes

  14. Genetic Diversity Of Plukenetia Volubilis L. Assessed By ISSR Markers*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ocelák M.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The diversity and genetic relationships in 173 sacha inchi samples were analyzed using ISSR markers. Thirty ISSR primers were used, only 8 showed variability in tested samples. ISSR fragments ranged from 200 to 2500 bp. The mean number of bands per primer was 12 and the average number of polymorphic bands per primer was 11. The lowest percentages of polymorphic bands (27%, gene diversity (0.103, and Shannon’s information index (0.15 were exhibited by the Santa Lucia population, which was also geographically most distant. This fact may be attributed to a very small size of this group. In contrast, the Dos de Mayo population exhibited the highest percentage of polymorphic bands (78%, and the Santa Cruz population the highest Nei’s gene diversity index (0.238 and Shannon’s information index (0.357. The obtained level of genetic variability was 36% among tested populations and 64% within populations. Although the diversity indices were low, a cluster analysis revealed 8 clusters containing mainly samples belonging to individual populations. Principal coordinate analysis clearly distinguished Chumbaquihui, Pucallpa, Dos de Mayo, and Aguas de Oro populations, the others were intermixed. The obtained results indicated the level of genetic diversity present in this location of Peru, although it is influenced by anthropological aspects and independent on the geographical distances.

  15. Photoautotrophic organisms control microbial abundance and diversity in biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Alexandra; Maier, Stefanie; Wu, Dianming; Caesar, Jennifer; Hoffman, Timm; Grube, Martin; Weber, Bettina

    2017-04-01

    Vascular vegetation is typically quite sparse or even absent in dryland ecosystems all over the world, but the ground surface is not bare and largely covered by biological soil crusts (referred to as biocrusts hereafter). These biocrust communities generally comprise poikilohydric organisms. They are usually dominated by photoautotrophic cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses, growing together with heterotrophic fungi, bacteria and archaea in varying composition. Cyanobacteria-, lichen- and moss-dominated biocrusts are known to stabilize the soil and to influence the water budgets and plant establishment. The autotrophic organisms take up atmospheric CO2, and (cyano-)bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen. The intention of the present project was to study the relevance of the dominating photoautotrophic organisms for biocrust microbial composition and physiology. High-throughput sequencing revealed that soil microbiota of biocrusts largely differ from the bacterial community in bare soil. We observed that bacterial and fungal abundance (16S and 18S rRNA gene copy numbers) as well as alpha diversity was lowest in bare soil, and increasing from cyanobacteria-, and chlorolichen- to moss-dominated biocrusts. CO2 gas exchange measurements revealed large respiration rates of the soil in moss-dominated biocrusts, which was not observed for cyanobacteria- and chlorolichen-dominated biocrusts. Thus, soil respiration of moss-dominated biocrusts is mainly due to the activity of the microbial communities, whereas the microorganisms in the other biocrust types are either dormant or feature functionally different microbial communities. Our results indicate that biocrust type determines the pattern of microbial communities in the underlying soil layer.

  16. Isolation of a significant fraction of non-phototroph diversity from a desert Biological Soil Crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulisses eNunes da Rocha

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs are organosedimentary assemblages comprised of microbes and minerals in topsoil of terrestrial environments. BSCs strongly impact soil quality in dryland ecosystems (e.g., soil structure and nutrient yields due to pioneer species such as Microcoleus vaginatus; phototrophs that produce filaments that bind the soil together, and support an array of heterotrophic microorganisms. These microorganisms in turn contribute to soil stability and biogeochemistry of BSCs. Non-cyanobacterial populations of BSCs are less well known than cyanobacterial populations. Therefore, we attempted to isolate a broad range of numerically significant and phylogenetically representative BSC aerobic heterotrophs. Combining simple pre-treatments (hydration of BSCs under dark and light and isolation strategies (media with varying nutrient availability and protection from oxidative stress we recovered 402 bacterial and one fungal isolate in axenic culture, which comprised 116 phylotypes (at 97% 16S rRNA gene sequence homology, 115 bacterial and one fungal. Each medium enriched a mostly distinct subset of phylotypes, and cultivated phylotypes varied due to the BSC pre-treatment. The fraction of the total phylotype diversity isolated, weighted by relative abundance in the community, was determined by the overlap between isolate sequences and OTUs reconstructed from metagenome or metatranscriptome reads. Together, more than 8% of relative abundance of OTUs in the metagenome was represented by our isolates, a cultivation efficiency much larger than typically expected from most soils. We conclude that simple cultivation procedures combined with specific pre-treatment of samples afford a significant reduction in the culturability gap, enabling physiological and metabolic assays that rely on ecologically relevant axenic cultures.

  17. Welcome to the revolution: integrative biology and assessing the impact of endocrine disruptors on environmental and public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Tyrone B

    2005-04-01

    Concern continues to grow over the negative impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on environmental and public health. The number of identified endocrine disrupting chemicals is increasing, but biological endpoints, experimental design, and approaches for examining and assessing the impact of these chemicals are still debated. Although some workers consider endocrine disruption an "emerging science," I argue here that it is equally, a "merging science" developing in the tradition of integrative biology. Understanding the impact of endocrine disruptors on humans and wildlife is an examination of "context dependent development" and one that Scott Gilbert predicted would require a "new synthesis" or a "revolution" in the biological sciences. Here, I use atrazine as an example to demonstrate the importance of an integrative approach in understanding endocrine disruptors.Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that chemically castrates and feminizes amphibians and other wildlife. These effects are the result of the induction of aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens, and this mechanism has been confirmed in all vertebrate classes examined (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans). To truly assess the impact of atrazine on amphibians in the wild, diverse fields of study including endocrinology, developmental biology, molecular biology, cellular biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology need to be invoked. To understand fully the long-term impacts on the environment, meteorology, geology, hydrology, chemistry, statistics, mathematics and other disciplines well outside of the biological sciences are required.

  18. Assessing Student Behaviors and Motivation for Actively Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Michael Edward

    Vision and Change states that one of the major changes in the way we design biology courses should be a switch in approach from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning and identifies active learning as a recommended methods. Studies show performance benefits for students taking courses that use active learning. What is unknown is why active learning is such an effective instructional tool and the limits of this instructional method’s ability to influence performance. This dissertation builds a case in three steps for why active learning is an effective instructional tool. In step one, I assessed the influence of different types of active learning (clickers, group activities, and whole class discussions) on student engagement behavior in one semester of two different introductory biology courses and found that active learning positively influenced student engagement behavior significantly more than lecture. For step two, I examined over four semesters whether student engagement behavior was a predictor of performance and found participation (engagement behavior) in the online (video watching) and in-class course activities (clicker participation) that I measure were significant predictors of performance. In the third, I assessed whether certain active learning satisfied the psychological needs that lead to students’ intrinsic motivation to participate in those activities when compared over two semesters and across two different institutions of higher learning. Findings from this last step show us that student’s perceptions of autonomy, competency, and relatedness in doing various types of active learning are significantly higher than lecture and consistent across two institutions of higher learning. Lastly, I tie everything together, discuss implications of the research, and address future directions for research on biology student motivation and behavior.

  19. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    OpenAIRE

    KALYA SUBASINGHE; AMILA P. SUMANAPALA

    2014-01-01

    Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR) has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five ...

  20. Phylogenetics and genetic diversity of the Cotesia flavipes complex of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), biological control agents of lepidopteran stemborers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muirhead, Kate A; Murphy, Nicholas P; Sallam, Nader; Donnellan, Stephen C; Austin, Andrew D

    2012-06-01

    The Cotesia flavipes complex of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are economically important for the biological control of lepidopteran stemboring pests associated with gramineous crops. Some members of the complex successfully parasitize numerous stemborer pest species, however certain geographic populations have demonstrated variation in the range of hosts that they parasitize. In addition, the morphology of the complex is highly conserved and considerable confusion surrounds the identity of species and host-associated biotypes. We generated nucleotide sequence data for two mtDNA genes (COI, 16S) and three anonymous nuclear loci (CfBN, CfCN, CfEN) for the C. flavipes complex. To analyze genetic variation and relationships among populations we used (1) concatenated mtDNA and nDNA data, (2) a nDNA multilocus network approach, and (3) two species tree inference methods, i.e. Bayesian estimation of species trees (BEST) and Bayesian inference of species trees from multilocus data with (*)BEAST. All phylogenetic analyses provide strong support for monophyly of the complex and the presence of at least four species, C. chilonis (from China and Japan), C. sesamiae (from Africa), C. flavipes (originating from the Indo-Asia region but introduced into Africa and the New World), and C. nonagriae (from Australia and Papua New Guinea). Haplotype diversity of geographic populations relates to historical biogeographic barriers and biological control introductions, and reflects previous reports of ecological variation in these species. Strong discordance was found between the mitochondrial and nuclear markers in the Papua New Guinea haplotypes, which may be an outcome of hybridization and introgression of C. flavipes and C. nonagriae. The position of Cotesia flavipes from Japan was not well supported in any analysis and was the sister taxon to C. nonagriae (mtDNA, (*)BEAST), C. flavipes (nDNA) or C. flavipes+C. nonagriae (BEST) and, may represent a cryptic species. The

  1. Assessment of genetic diversity in Triticum spp. and Aegilops spp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic diversity among some wild relatives of wheat was estimated using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and morphological markers. Thirty one Triticum and Aegilops genotypes including twenty-four Triticum and Aegilops accessions belonging to five diploid (Triticum baeoticum, Triticum monococcum, ...

  2. Assessment of genetic diversity in French bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    RAPD molecular markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity in the fourteen varieties of French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) of three eco-geographical regions of Bangladesh. Out of the 20 primers only, 6 yielded polymorphic banding patterns. In total, 40 different DNA bands were reproducibly obtained, out of which ...

  3. Assessment of genetic diversity in French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ONOS

    2010-08-09

    Aug 9, 2010 ... RAPD molecular markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity in the fourteen varieties of French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) of three eco-geographical regions of Bangladesh. Out of the 20 primers only,. 6 yielded polymorphic banding patterns. In total, 40 different DNA bands were reproducibly ...

  4. Assessment and characterization of genetic diversity in Withania ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... transfer of useful genes, thus maximizing the use of such available germplasms as genetic resource materials for breeders. The present input, first of its kind in Ashwagandha, will thus assist the marker assisted crop improvement programme. Key words: Withania somnifera, genetic diversity, RAPD, AFLP, polymorphism, ...

  5. Assessment of genetic diversity analysis in contrasting sugarcane ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sugarcane is an important crop in the country economically, politically and sociologically. It is the second largest agro-industry next to textiles. The selection and combination of parents for crossing rely on an understanding of their genetic structures and molecular diversity. In the present study, 28 sugarcane genotypes were ...

  6. Assessment of genetic diversity in sorghum accessions using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic polymorphism present among sorghum accessions was low, as evidenced by the high level of similarity in the AFLP marker profiles of different sorghum accessions. Pair-wise genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.87 to 0.99, with an average of 0.92. This indicates low levels of genetic diversity among tested ...

  7. Assessment of Mosquito Diversity and Evaluation of Impact of House ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Malaria, a disease that has increasingly been ravaging human population still has no sustainable remedy. Therefore, mosquito diversity and impact of house treatment with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) on their population were investigated by the use of miniature Centre for Disease Control light trap (model 512) ...

  8. Assessment of Vegetation Structural Diversity and Similarity Index of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, relative density, diversity and similarity indices. The result showed that the forest reserve has one hundred and ninety species of plants belonging to sixty three families. The dominant plant families recorded in the forest are Leguminosae (12.63%), Rubiaceae (8.42%), ...

  9. Molecular assessment of genetic diversity in mung bean germplasm

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2008-04-02

    Apr 2, 2008 ... RAPD profiles were used to identify the extent of diversity among 54 accessions of mung bean that included both improved and local land races. Out of the 40 primers screened, seven primers generated 174 amplification products with an average of. 24.85 bands per primer. The RAPD profiles were ...

  10. Assessment of the genetic diversity in five generations of a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    time, and genetic similarity could reach closer to 100% at 18-19 generation of this line. Key words: Litopenaeus vannamei, genetic diversity, genetic drift, ... of exotic pathogens (Batalha et al., 2002). Apart from the remarkable development of shrimp culture in ..... distance among the stocks (Table 4). y = 0.2948Ln(x) + 0.1385.

  11. Assessing How Diversity Affects Students' Interest in Social Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaney, Gary D.; Berger, Joseph B.

    2005-01-01

    As the country's racial/ethnic minority representation increases, colleges and universities have increasingly sought to diversify their enrollments in order to better prepare all students to live and work in a diverse democracy. However, diversification may negatively affect campus climate and undergraduate peer relations leading to both increased…

  12. Assessment of diversity and plant growth promoting attributes of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Eight (8) strains of rhizobia from Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) were isolated and identified based on their physiological and biochemical characteristics using standard methods. Five (5) of the isolates (KCC1 to. KCC5) were subjected to partial 16S rDNA gene sequencing for phylogenetic analysis. Genetic diversity was ...

  13. Assessment of genetic diversity for some Iraqi date palms ( Phoenix ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) were used to evaluate the genetic diversity between 18 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties (11 females and 7 males) collected from the center of Iraq. Six primer pairs were applied to detect polymorphism between varieties. A total of 83 polymorphic AFLP fragments ...

  14. Molecular based assessment of genetic diversity of xoconostle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    aghomotsegin

    2014-01-08

    Jan 8, 2014 ... Xoconostle or acidic prickly pear is an important fruit in Mexico; it is produced by a group of Opuntia plants known for their nutritional qualities and adapted to harsh environmental conditions. In this study, we report for the first time the estimation of genetic diversity within a set of 24 xoconostle accessions ...

  15. Assessment of genetic diversity in Triticum spp. and Aegilops spp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2008-03-04

    Mar 4, 2008 ... polymorphism (AFLP) and morphological markers. Thirty one Triticum and Aegilops genotypes ..... modern breeding would go hand in hand with a large decrease in diversity, which could threaten ... Aegilops tauschii genepool and the evolution of hexaploid wheat. Theor. Appl. Genet. 97: 657–670. Friebe B ...

  16. Assessment of the genetic diversity of geographically unrelated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    JOHN

    2005-05-05

    May 5, 2005 ... for the identification of genetic diversity of geographical unrelated strains and analysis of M. aeruginosa strains. AFLPs seem to overcome the major pitfalls present in other PCR based methods, e.g. DAF or RAPD analysis, and appear to be as reproducible, heritable and intraspecific as RFLPs (Law et al., ...

  17. Assessment of limnological variables and algal diversity of Shagari ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim was to determine the level of limnological variables at two depths (0.5m and 1m) and to survey diversity of algal species in the reservoir. Among the physicochemical variables studied, temperature was slightly higher at 0.5 m than at 1 metre depth. Phosphate concentration tends to be higher at 1 meter depth.

  18. Molecular assessment of genetic diversity in mung bean germplasm

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    RAPD profiles were used to identify the extent of diversity among 54 accessions of mung bean that included both improved and local land races. Out of the 40 primers screened, seven primers generated 174 amplification products with an average of 24.85 bands per primer. The RAPD profiles were analysed for Jaccard's ...

  19. Assessing genetic diversity of perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to compare genetic diversity between commercial cultivars and natural germplasm which were obtained from Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. There was a relatively high genetic variation in the whole collection judged by the polymorphism rate ...

  20. Assessment of genetic diversity among Capsicum annuum L ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Vast genetic diversity is available in chilli which may facilitate the breeder to develop new varieties, provided the genetic distance between the accessions is properly understood. In this study, 45 accessions of chilli collected from Chilli Research Station, Devihosur, Haveri district of Karnataka State were subjected for RAPD ...

  1. Molecular based assessment of genetic diversity of xoconostle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Xoconostle or acidic prickly pear is an important fruit in Mexico; it is produced by a group of Opuntia plants known for their nutritional qualities and adapted to harsh environmental conditions. In this study, we report for the first time the estimation of genetic diversity within a set of 24 xoconostle accessions using inter simple ...

  2. Assessment of genetic diversity in different clones of Dalbergia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic diversity of forty (40) clones of Dalbergia sissoo Roxb was analyzed using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers by selecting 30 decamer primers, which were later reduced to 10 based on the preliminary PCR amplification. A total of 129 distinct DNA fragments (bands) were amplified, of which 104 ...

  3. Preliminary documentation and assessment of fish diversity in sub ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Eastern and western tropical estuaries had similar numbers of species and families. The ratio of species to families increased from temperate to tropical systems. In terms of the top five most diverse families, Gobiidae and Mugilidae featured in all the biogeographic regions. Species and family composition comparisons ...

  4. Speaking of Health: Assessing Health Communication Strategies for Diverse Populations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    ... for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Institute of Medicine. The views presented in this report are those of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Communication for Behavior Change in the 21st Century: Improving the Health of Diverse Populations and are not necessarily those of ...

  5. Molecular assessment of genetic diversity in cluster bean ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    pestle in a 1.5 mL conical micro-centrifuge tubes with liquid nitrogen. Dneasy. ® plant mini kit protocols ... products was drawn using unweighted pair group method us- ing arithmetic averages algorithm (UPGMA) .... Mignouna H. D., Ng N. Q., Ikea J. and Thotapilly G. 1998 Genetic diversity in cowpea as revealed by random ...

  6. Phytochemical and biological assessment of medicinally important plant ochradenus arabicus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, J.

    2014-01-01

    Jabal Al-Akhdar (Oman) is one of diverse floral region of Arabian Peninsula. Ochradenus arabicus, is an important medicinal plant to local people of the area. However, little is known about its potential role in biological activities against various emerging ailments. The collected plant samples were extracted with methanol and fractionated into n-hexane (JOAH), ethyl acetate (JOAE), chloroform (JOAC), n-butanol (JOAB) and water (JOAAQ). Various concentrations of these fractions were tested for their antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, antidiabetic, phenolics, flavonoids, allopathic and nutrition quality properties. The results showed that fruits and leaves of O. arabicus have higher levels of carbohydrate, crude fats, fibres, proteins, moisture, ash and energy values. In phytotoxic activities, JOAAQ inhibited the lettuce seed germination and growth. The anticancer activities of fractions showed that JOAE, JOAB and JOAAQ are potent to reduce the cancer cell viability of HT29, HCT116, HepG2 and MCF-7 lines with a concentration of 1000 micro g/ml. JOAB showed a meagre activity of 12% in Glucosidase inhibition assay. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents were significantly higher in JOAE, which also resulted in higher DPPH radical scavenging activity as compared to other fractions and control. JOAE also exhibited higher antibacterial and antifungal activities. The results of current findings suggest that O. arabicus is a potential medicinal plants, which could be subjected to advance column chromatography for lead compounds using a bioassay guided approach. (author)

  7. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen Krauss

    Full Text Available Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short

  8. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  9. Structural diversity and biological significance of lipoteichoic acid in Gram-positive bacteria: focusing on beneficial probiotic lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraishi, Tsukasa; Yokota, Shinichi; Fukiya, Satoru; Yokota, Atsushi

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial cell surface molecules are at the forefront of host-bacterium interactions. Teichoic acids are observed only in Gram-positive bacteria, and they are one of the main cell surface components. Teichoic acids play important physiological roles and contribute to the bacterial interaction with their host. In particular, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) anchored to the cell membrane has attracted attention as a host immunomodulator. Chemical and biological characteristics of LTA from various bacteria have been described. However, most of the information concerns pathogenic bacteria, and information on beneficial bacteria, including probiotic lactic acid bacteria, is insufficient. LTA is structurally diverse. Strain-level structural diversity of LTA is suggested to underpin its immunomodulatory activities. Thus, the structural information on LTA in probiotics, in particular strain-associated diversity, is important for understanding its beneficial roles associated with the modulation of immune response. Continued accumulation of structural information is necessary to elucidate the detailed physiological roles and significance of LTA. In this review article, we summarize the current state of knowledge on LTA structure, in particular the structure of LTA from lactic acid bacteria. We also describe the significance of structural diversity and biological roles of LTA.

  10. Assessment of genetic diversity among sixty bread wheat (Triticum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mwale

    2State Key Laboratory of Biology for Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of. Agricultural Sciences .... from parts of main wheat growing regions of China and 3 cultivars collected from USA and Italy ..... locus while higher PIC value indicates the high ability of the marker to express ...

  11. Sensitivity assessment of freshwater macroinvertebrates to pesticides using biological traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, A; Todeschini, R; Vighi, M

    2012-03-01

    Assessing the sensitivity of different species to chemicals is one of the key points in predicting the effects of toxic compounds in the environment. Trait-based predicting methods have proved to be extremely efficient for assessing the sensitivity of macroinvertebrates toward compounds with non specific toxicity (narcotics). Nevertheless, predicting the sensitivity of organisms toward compounds with specific toxicity is much more complex, since it depends on the mode of action of the chemical. The aim of this work was to predict the sensitivity of several freshwater macroinvertebrates toward three classes of plant protection products: organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids. Two databases were built: one with sensitivity data (retrieved, evaluated and selected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ECOTOX database) and the other with biological traits. Aside from the "traditional" traits usually considered in ecological analysis (i.e. body size, respiration technique, feeding habits, etc.), multivariate analysis was used to relate the sensitivity of organisms to some other characteristics which may be involved in the process of intoxication. Results confirmed that, besides traditional biological traits, related to uptake capability (e.g. body size and body shape) some traits more related to particular metabolic characteristics or patterns have a good predictive capacity on the sensitivity to these kinds of toxic substances. For example, behavioral complexity, assumed as an indicator of nervous system complexity, proved to be an important predictor of sensitivity towards these compounds. These results confirm the need for more complex traits to predict effects of highly specific substances. One key point for achieving a complete mechanistic understanding of the process is the choice of traits, whose role in the discrimination of sensitivity should be clearly interpretable, and not only statistically significant.

  12. Changing Attitudes over Time: Assessing the Effectiveness of a Workplace Diversity Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Probst, Tahira M.

    2003-01-01

    Diversity is increasing within the United States, and higher education will likely play a key role in preparing people to function in this new environment. This study assessed the effectiveness of a semester-long psychology workplace diversity course at changing student levels of ethnocentrism and attitudes regarding gender roles; the disabled;…

  13. Global assessment of nitrogen deposition effects on terrestrial plant diversity: a synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Bobbink; K. Hicks; J. Galloway; T. Spranger; R. Alkemade; M. Ashmore; M. Bustamante; S. Cinderby; E. Davidson; F. Dentener; B. Emmett; J.-W. Erisman; M. Fenn; F. Gilliam; A. Nordin; L. Pardo; W. De Vries

    2010-01-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is a recognized threat to plant diversity in temperate and northern parts of Europe and North America. This paper assesses evidence from field experiments for N deposition effects and thresholds for terrestrial plant diversity protection across a latitudinal range of main categories of ecosystems, from arctic and boreal systems to...

  14. Assessment of Tree Diversities in Oban Division of the Cross River ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many tropical forests are under great anthropogenic pressure and require management intervention to maintain the overall biodiversity, productivity and sustainability. This cannot be possible without proper understanding of their structure and species diversities. Tree diversity in Oban Division of the CRNP was assessed.

  15. Raising White Privilege Awareness and Reducing Racial Prejudice: Assessing Diversity Course Effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Kim A.

    2007-01-01

    Many diversity courses in psychology originally aimed to reduce student racial bias and raise their awareness of racism. However, quantitative data testing the effectiveness of such courses are lacking. This study assessed a required diversity course's effectiveness in raising awareness of White privilege and racism; increasing support for…

  16. Assessment of the biological effects of 'strange' radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pryakhin, E.A.; Tryapitsina, G.A.; Urutskoyev, L.I.; Akleyev, A.V.

    2006-01-01

    from explosion of Ti foils in water and aqueous solutions has the capacity to produce a biological effect. 2. The biological effect of 'strange' radiation is manifested by a 13% increase in the number of nucleated cells in the bone marrow, as compared to that in controls, after exposure of the animals to 10 explosions within 3 days of the experiment. 3. The assessment of micronucleus rate in the bone marrow erythrocytes did not reveal the genotoxic effect of 'strange' radiation. 4. The exposure of mice to 'strange' radiation resulting from 10 explosions carried out within 3 days leads to 1.5 fold decrease of genotoxic effect resulting from additional gamma-irradiation (2 Gy). Such reaction may be described as an adaptive response. 5. 'strange' radiation resulting from 10 explosions carried out within 3 days after the gamma irradiation (6 Gy) leads to decrease of bone marrow repopulation. 6. The exposure to 'strange' radiation can bring about an increase in the proportion of neutrophils in the peripheral blood of experimental animals. 7. It can be suggested by the results of the test exposures that 'strange' radiation can affect human health. 8. It has been shown by these preliminary studies that in order to gain an insight into the biological effects of 'strange' radiation further investigation would be necessary. (authors)

  17. Can mixed assessment methods make biology classes more equitable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Ballen, Cissy J

    2017-01-01

    Many factors have been proposed to explain the attrition of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, among them the lower performance of women in introductory courses resulting from deficits in incoming preparation. We focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards other methods of assessment such as group participation, low-stakes quizzes and assignments, and in-class activities. We hypothesized that these mixed methods would benefit individuals who otherwise underperform on high-stakes tests. Here, we analyze gender-based performance trends in nine large (N > 1000 students) introductory biology courses in fall 2016. Females underperformed on exams compared to their male counterparts, a difference that does not exist with other methods of assessment that compose course grade. Further, we analyzed three case studies of courses that transitioned their grading schemes to either de-emphasize or emphasize exams as a proportion of total course grade. We demonstrate that the shift away from an exam emphasis consequently benefits female students, thereby closing gaps in overall performance. Further, the exam performance gap itself is reduced when the exams contribute less to overall course grade. We discuss testable predictions that follow from our hypothesis, and advocate for the use of mixed methods of assessments (possibly as part of an overall shift to active learning techniques). We conclude by challenging the student deficit model, and suggest a course deficit model as explanatory of these performance gaps, whereby the microclimate of the classroom can either raise or lower barriers to success for underrepresented groups in STEM.

  18. Can mixed assessment methods make biology classes more equitable?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sehoya Cotner

    Full Text Available Many factors have been proposed to explain the attrition of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, among them the lower performance of women in introductory courses resulting from deficits in incoming preparation. We focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards other methods of assessment such as group participation, low-stakes quizzes and assignments, and in-class activities. We hypothesized that these mixed methods would benefit individuals who otherwise underperform on high-stakes tests. Here, we analyze gender-based performance trends in nine large (N > 1000 students introductory biology courses in fall 2016. Females underperformed on exams compared to their male counterparts, a difference that does not exist with other methods of assessment that compose course grade. Further, we analyzed three case studies of courses that transitioned their grading schemes to either de-emphasize or emphasize exams as a proportion of total course grade. We demonstrate that the shift away from an exam emphasis consequently benefits female students, thereby closing gaps in overall performance. Further, the exam performance gap itself is reduced when the exams contribute less to overall course grade. We discuss testable predictions that follow from our hypothesis, and advocate for the use of mixed methods of assessments (possibly as part of an overall shift to active learning techniques. We conclude by challenging the student deficit model, and suggest a course deficit model as explanatory of these performance gaps, whereby the microclimate of the classroom can either raise or lower barriers to success for underrepresented groups in STEM.

  19. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim A. Arif

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP, microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species.

  20. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, Ibrahim A.; Bakir, Mohammad A.; Khan, Haseeb A.; Al Farhan, Ahmad H.; Al Homaidan, Ali A.; Bahkali, Ali H.; Sadoon, Mohammad Al; Shobrak, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species. PMID:20559503

  1. Quinones from plants of northeastern Brazil: structural diversity, chemical transformations, NMR data and biological activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, Telma L G; Monte, Francisco J Q; Santos, Allana Kellen L; Fonseca, Aluisio M; Santos, Hélcio S; Oliveira, Mailcar F; Costa, Sonia M O; Pessoa, Otilia D L; Braz-Filho, Raimundo

    2007-05-20

    The present review focus in quinones found in species of Brazilian northeastern Capraria biflora, Lippia sidoides, Lippia microphylla and Tabebuia serratifolia. The review cover ethnopharmacological aspects including photography of species, chemical structure feature, NMR datea and biological properties. Chemical transformations of lapachol to form enamine derivatives and biological activities are discussed.

  2. Assessment of tree species diversity in the University of Lagos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was aimed at assessing and providing management options for tree species growing on Akoka Campus of University of Lagos, Southern-Western Nigeria by collecting data from four (4) randomly selected 50m x 50m plots in the study area. The assessment was carried out through extensive field survey with the ...

  3. Homeland Biological Warfare Consequence Management: Capabilities and Needs Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    Improve Civilian Medical Response. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999, 73-74 10 —Biological and Chemical Terrorism : Strategic Plan for...www.who.int/aboutwho/en/mission.htm Notes 1 —Biological and Chemical Terrorism : Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response Recommendations of...Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, Domestic Preparedness Office, September 12, 2000. —Biological and Chemical

  4. Early South Americans Cranial Morphological Variation and the Origin of American Biological Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbe, Mark; Strauss, André; Hubbe, Alex; Neves, Walter A

    2015-01-01

    Recent South Americans have been described as presenting high regional cranial morphological diversity when compared to other regions of the world. This high diversity is in accordance with linguistic and some of the molecular data currently available for the continent, but the origin of this diversity has not been satisfactorily explained yet. Here we explore if this high morphological variation was already present among early groups in South America, in order to refine our knowledge about the timing and origins of the modern morphological diversity. Between-group (Fst estimates) and within-group variances (trace of within-group covariance matrix) of the only two early American population samples available to date (Lagoa Santa and Sabana de Bogotá) were estimated based on linear craniometric measurements and compared to modern human cranial series representing six regions of the world, including the Americas. The results show that early Americans present moderate within-group diversity, falling well within the range of modern human groups, despite representing almost three thousand years of human occupation. The between-group variance apportionment is very low between early Americans, but is high among recent South American groups, who show values similar to the ones observed on a global scale. Although limited to only two early South American series, these results suggest that the high morphological diversity of native South Americans was not present among the first human groups arriving in the continent and must have originated during the Middle Holocene, possibly due to the arrival of new morphological diversity coming from Asia during the Holocene.

  5. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of mud crab Scylla olivacea (Portunidae) in Peninsular Malaysia: a preliminary assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosly, Hurul Adila-Aida Mohamad; Nor, Siti Azizah Mohd; Yahya, Khairun; Naim, Darlina Md

    2013-11-01

    A primary factor in population management and wildlife conservation is the delineation of population units derived from descriptions of population genetic structure. Yet, predicting factors that influence the patterns of gene flow in a population particularly at landscape scales remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we report a population genetic study of the mud crab Scylla olivacea examined based on a 542 bp segment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase I gene among 91 individuals from six localities in the west and east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In total 55 unique haplotypes were distinguished with 45 private haplotypes and a single common haplotype shared among all populations studied. The other ten haplotypes were shared among various populations. The sharing of this haplotype reflects the connection of the mangrove areas between east and west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. High haplotype diversity (h = 0.968 ± 0.021; mean ± SD) and low nucleotide diversity (π = 0.120 ± 0.015; mean ± SD) were displayed, which may be indicative of genetic bottleneck events. No significant phylogenetic lineages were recognized using neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony methods. Hierarchical AMOVA analysis indicated that 99.33 % of the genetic variation was contained within populations and 0.67 % occurred among populations, suggesting no geographical patterning among populations studied, supported by F st test. Mismatch distribution analysis showed that the observed distribution of the pairwise mutation differences among haplotypes was multimodal, which is not concordant with a sudden range expansion scenario. However, neutrality tests showed non-significant negative values suggesting that the populations studied may have experienced past population growth, but the expansion may have been restricted to separate local areas that resulted in the non-significant negative Fu's Fs and Tajima's D value. Overall, this present preliminary study was

  6. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. Copyright © 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Reasons for Seasons Assessment Outcomes For Diverse Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faubert, R. M.; Pyke, C.; Lynch, S.; Ochsendorf, R.

    2003-12-01

    National systemic reform initiatives point to the need for a more focused science curriculum and better curriculum materials for teachers to use (aligned with science standards, instructional methods, and assessment/accountability measures). Assessment developers face the difficult task of identifying and revealing what students actually know that is relevant to curricular goals. The SCALE-uP Project at the George Washington University has attempted to create such assessments using an adapted rigorous set of criteria based on an assessment item analysis procedure developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science Project 2061. The procedure evaluates an assessment task's potential to reveal whether students have attained "a well-defined component of knowledge or acquired a particular skill" (Stern and Ahlgren, 2002). To determine students' scientific understanding of what causes the Earth's seasons, the SCALE-uP Project focuses on a single Benchmark from Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993) that include both empirical observations and theoretical statements related to the target concept (Earth's seasons). In the conceptual model guiding our assessment development, we believe the target concept, articulated through the Benchmark (4B,6-8, #4), represents a single coherent knowledge structure and mental model stored in memory that students can recall or access when needed to explain relevant phenomena or solve tasks. Therefore, students that possess the concept of the Earth's seasons would be expected to respond to phenomena related to seasons with consistent and coherent responses to probes and representations related to the Benchmark idea. The instrument development procedure compares assessment outcomes (cognitive model/framework) of about 30 general 7th grade students with little previous classroom exposure to learning about the seasons, to high achieving 8th graders who have studied the seasons, and to introductory astronomy college

  8. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason R. King

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents.

  9. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jason R.; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents. PMID:27081481

  10. Testing the museum versus cradle tropical biological diversity hypothesis: phylogeny, diversification, and ancestral biogeographic range evolution of the ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Corrie S; Bell, Charles D

    2013-08-01

    Ants are one of the most ecologically and numerically dominant group of terrestrial organisms with most species diversity currently found in tropical climates. Several explanations for the disparity of biological diversity in the tropics compared to temperate regions have been proposed including that the tropics may act as a "museum" where older lineages persist through evolutionary time or as a "cradle" where new species continue to be generated. We infer the molecular phylogenetic relationships of 295 ant specimens including members of all 21 extant subfamilies to explore the evolutionary diversification and biogeography of the ants. By constraining the topology and age of the root node while using 45 fossils as minimum constraints, we converge on an age of 139-158 Mya for the modern ants. Further diversification analyses identified 10 periods with a significant change in the tempo of diversification of the ants, although these shifts did not appear to correspond to ancestral biogeographic range shifts. Likelihood-based historical biogeographic reconstructions suggest that the Neotropics were important in early ant diversification (e.g., Cretaceous). This finding coupled with the extremely high-current species diversity suggests that the Neotropics have acted as both a museum and cradle for ant diversity. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. The need for the incorporation of phylogeny in the measurement of biological diversity, with special reference to ecosystem functioning research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Defining and measuring biodiversity is an important research area in biology, with very interesting theoretical and applied aspects. Numerous definitions have been proposed, and these definitions of biodiversity influence how it is measured. From the still commonly used measure of species diversity, through higher taxon diversity, molecular measures, ecological measures and indicator taxa, these measures have as their fundamental shortcoming the lack of an explicit consideration of the evolutionary context represented by phylogenies. Attempts have been made to incorporate phylogenetic considerations into measuring biodiversity, but more hypothesis-driven research needs to be done. A specific case study is presented of how this added emphasis on phylogeny-based biodiversity measurement can influence the way in which research is directed and hypotheses are generated. The elucidation of the relationship of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning is a very timely concern with the unarguable loss of biodiversity this planet is experiencing, whichever way biodiversity is measured.

  12. Insects as test systems for assessing the potential role of microgravity in biological development and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernós, I.; Carratalá, M.; González-Jurado, J.; Valverde, J. R.; Calleja, M.; Domingo, A.; Vinós, J.; Cervera, M.; Marco, R.

    Gravity and radiation are undoubtedly the two major environmental factors altered in space. Gravity is a weak force, which creates a permanent potential field acting on the mass of biological systems and their cellular components, strongly reduced in space flights. Developmental systems, particularly at very early stages, provide the larger cellular compartments known, where the effects of alterations in the size of the gravity vector on living organisms can be more effectively tested. The insects, one of the more highly evolved classes of animals in which early development occurs in a syncytial embryo, are systems particularly well suited to test these effects and the specific developmental mechanisms affected. Furthermore, they share some basic features such as small size, short life cycles, relatively high radio-resistance, etc. and show a diversity of developmental strategies and tempos advantageous in experiments of this type in space. Drosophila melanogaster, the current biological paradigm to study development, with so much genetic and evolutionary background available, is clearly the reference organism for these studies. The current evidence on the effects of the physical parameters altered in space flights on insect development indicate a surprising correlation between effects seen on the fast developing and relatively small Drosophila embryo and the more slowly developing and large Carausius morosus system. In relation to the issue of the importance of developmental and environmental constraints in biological evolution, still the missing link in current evolutionary thinking, insects and space facilities for long-term experiments could provide useful experimental settings where to critically assess how development and evolution may be interconnected. Finally, it has to be pointed out that since there are experimental data indicating a possible synergism between microgravity and space radiation, possible effects of space radiation should be taken into

  13. Fishing activities and fish species diversity assessment in Eleiyele ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was carried out for 12 months during which the fishermen catches were monitored and fishing activities were assessed in Eleiyele Lake, Ibadan. The fish species at landing sites on the lake were identified using morphometric and meristic features. Fish species composition recorded in Eleiyele reservor in this ...

  14. Assessing genetic diversity of some Anthurium andraeanum Hort ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers fingerprinting were used to assess the level of genetic variations among 24 cut-flower Anthurium andraeanum Hort. cultivars. Eight decamer primers produced a total of 98 reproducible PCR bands that were used to calculate the Nei and Li's genetic distance (GDNL) ...

  15. Intellectual Assessment of Children from Culturally Diverse Backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour-Thomas, Eleanor

    1992-01-01

    Examines assumptions and premises of standardized tests of mental ability and reviews extant theories and research on intellectual functioning of children from culturally different backgrounds. Discusses implications of these issues and perspectives for new directions for intellectual assessment for children from culturally different backgrounds.…

  16. Performance-Based Assessment: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tung, Rosann

    2017-01-01

    Fueled by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and its focus on standardized testing, the U.S. assessment system has been driven by capitalism rather than educational benefit. Annually, the testing industry, which four companies monopolize, is valued at between $400 and $700 million. The testing industry drives Americans to spend $13.1 billion each…

  17. Assessment of genetic diversity among maize accessions using inter ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NRCC

    2011-11-07

    Nov 7, 2011 ... Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2Department of Agronomy, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. Accepted 26 September, 2011. The narrow genetic base of popcorn has been of concern to the breeders of this cultivar, hence the present research aimed at assessing ...

  18. The Microphenotron: a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology

    KAUST Repository

    Burrell, Thomas

    2017-03-01

    Background Chemical genetics provides a powerful alternative to conventional genetics for understanding gene function. However, its application to plants has been limited by the lack of a technology that allows detailed phenotyping of whole-seedling development in the context of a high-throughput chemical screen. We have therefore sought to develop an automated micro-phenotyping platform that would allow both root and shoot development to be monitored under conditions where the phenotypic effects of large numbers of small molecules can be assessed. Results The ‘Microphenotron’ platform uses 96-well microtitre plates to deliver chemical treatments to seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana L. and is based around four components: (a) the ‘Phytostrip’, a novel seedling growth device that enables chemical treatments to be combined with the automated capture of images of developing roots and shoots; (b) an illuminated robotic platform that uses a commercially available robotic manipulator to capture images of developing shoots and roots; (c) software to control the sequence of robotic movements and integrate these with the image capture process; (d) purpose-made image analysis software for automated extraction of quantitative phenotypic data. Imaging of each plate (representing 80 separate assays) takes 4 min and can easily be performed daily for time-course studies. As currently configured, the Microphenotron has a capacity of 54 microtitre plates in a growth room footprint of 2.1 m2, giving a potential throughput of up to 4320 chemical treatments in a typical 10 days experiment. The Microphenotron has been validated by using it to screen a collection of 800 natural compounds for qualitative effects on root development and to perform a quantitative analysis of the effects of a range of concentrations of nitrate and ammonium on seedling development. Conclusions The Microphenotron is an automated screening platform that for the first time is able to combine large

  19. Baseline requirements for assessment of mining impact using biological monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Humphrey, C.L.; Dostine, P.L. [Office of the Supervising Scientist, Jabiru, NT (Australia). Alligator Rivers Region Research Institute; Faith, D.P. [CSIRO, Div. of Wildlife and Ecology, Lyneham, ACT (Australia)

    1995-03-01

    Biological monitoring programmes for environmental protection should provide for both early detection of possible adverse effects, and assessment of the ecological significance of these effects. Monitoring techniques are required that include responses sensitive to the impact, that can be subjected to rigorous statistical analysis and for which statistical power is high. Such issues in baseline research of `what and how to measure?` and `for how long?` have been the focus of a programme being developed to monitor and assess effects of mining operations on the essentially pristine, freshwater ecosystems of the Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) in tropical northern Australia. Application of the BACIP (Before, After, Control, Impact, Paired differences) design, utilizing a form of temporal replication, to univariate (single species) and multivariate (community) data is described. The BACIP design incorporates data from single control and impact sites. We argue for modification of the design for particular studies conducted in streams, to incorporate additional independent control sites from adjacent catchment. Inferential power, by way of (i) more confidently attributing cause to an observed change and (ii) providing information about the ecological significance of the change, will be enhanced using a modified BACIP design. In highly valued environments such as the ARR, monitoring programmes require application of statistical tests with high power to guarantee that an impact no greater than a prescribed amount has gone undetected. A minimum number of baseline years using the BACIP approach would therefore be required in order to achieve some desired level of statistical power. This paper describes the results of power analyses conducted on 2-5 years (depending upon the technique) of baseline data from streams of the ARR and discuss the implications of these results for management. 44 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  20. Synthetic Biology in the FDA Realm: Toward Productive Oversight Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, Leili; Hall, Ralph F

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology (SB) is expected to create tremendous opportunities in a wide range of areas, including in foods, therapeutics, and diagnostics subject to regulatory oversight by the United States Food and Drug Administration. At the same time, there is substantial basis for concern about the uncertainties of accurately assessing the human health and environmental risks of such SB products. As such, SB is the latest in a string of emerging technologies that is the subject of calls for new approaches to regulation and oversight that involve "thinking ahead" to anticipate governance challenges upstream of technological development and adopting oversight mechanisms that are both adaptive to new information about risks and reflexive to performance data and feedback on policy outcomes over time. These new approaches constitute a marked departure from the status quo, and their development and implementation will require considerable time, resources, and reallocation of responsibilities. Furthermore, in order to develop an appropriate oversight response, adaptive or otherwise, there is first a need to identify the specific types and natures of applications, uncertainties, and regulatory issues that are likely to pose oversight challenges. This article presents our vision for a Productive Oversight Assessment (POA) approach in which the abilities and deficits of an oversight system are evaluated with the aim of enabling productive decisions (i.e., timely, feasible, effective for achieving desired policy outcomes) about oversight while also building capacity to facilitate broader governance efforts. The value ofPOA is two-fold. First, it will advance the development of a generalizable approach for making productive planning and decision-making about the oversight of any given new technology that presents challenges and uncertainties for any given oversight system whose policy goals are implicated by that technology. Second, this effort can enhance the very processes

  1. Diversity and biological activities of endophytic fungi associated with micropropagated medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echinacea is one of the top ten selling medicinal herbs in Europe and United States. Commercially available formulations may contain different plant parts of three species (Echinacea purpurea, E. pallida, and E. angustifolia). Our study evaluates the diversity of microbial community associated with ...

  2. Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae): A biological synopsis and risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtenay, Walter R.; Williams, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Snakeheads (family Channidae) are airbreathing freshwater fishes containing two genera, Channa with 26 species native to Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia; and Parachanna with 3 species native to tropical Africa. Some snakeheads are small, reaching about 17 centimeters, but most are much larger, the largest reported to be 1.8 meters in length. All are considered thrust predators with most being piscivorous as adults. A few of the smaller snakeheads and colorful juveniles of some larger ones have been available to hobbyists through the aquarium fish trade. Several species are highly valued as food fishes within parts of their native ranges, especially in Asia where they are an important part of capture fisheries and aquaculture. Because of these uses by humans, introductions far beyond native ranges have occurred. One Asian snakehead has been established in Oahu, Hawaii, since before 1900. Another species was discovered established in southeastern Florida in 2000, and a third in a pond in Maryland in 2002. Others have been captured from natural waters of the United States without evidence of reproduction and likely represent released aquarium fishes. That snakeheads at or near sexual maturity were being sold alive in ethnic food markets raised fears that they could be introduced into novel waters. These concerns led to this study on the biology of snakeheads. A risk assessment is included that examines environmental and related aspects of snakehead introductions.

  3. Marine macroalgal diversity assessment of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark M Littler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Located in the Dutch Windward Islands, Saba Bank is a flat-topped seamount (20-45 m deep in the shallower regions. The primary goals of the survey were to improve knowledge of biodiversity for one of the world's most significant, but little-known, seamounts and to increase basic data and analyses to promote the development of an improved management plan. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our team of three divers used scuba to collect algal samples to depths of 50 m at 17 dive sites. Over 360 macrophyte specimens (12 putative new species were collected, more than 1,000 photographs were taken in truly exceptional habitats, and three astonishing new seaweed community types were discovered. These included: (1 "Field of Greens" (N 17 degrees 30.620', W 63 degrees 27.707' dominated by green seaweeds as well as some filamentous reds, (2 "Brown Town" (N 17 degrees 28.027', W 63 degrees 14.944' dominated by large brown algae, and (3 "Seaweed City" (N 17 degrees 26.485', W 63 degrees 16.850' with a diversity of spectacular fleshy red algae. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Dives to 30 m in the more two-dimensional interior habitats revealed particularly robust specimens of algae typical of shallower seagrass beds, but here in the total absence of any seagrasses (seagrasses generally do not grow below 20 m. Our preliminary estimate of the number of total seaweed species on Saba Bank ranges from a minimum of 150 to 200. Few filamentous and thin sheet forms indicative of stressed or physically disturbed environments were observed. A more precise number still awaits further microscopic and molecular examinations in the laboratory. The expedition, while intensive, has only scratched the surface of this unique submerged seamount/atoll.

  4. Economic development and conservation of biological and cultural diversity in Yunnan Province, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stendell, R.C.; Johnson, Richard L.; Mosesso, J.P.; Zhang, X.

    2001-01-01

    Chinese and American scientists are co-operating to develop concepts, strategies, agreements, and proposals in support of an economic development and sustainable ecosystems project in Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. Yunnan's Provincial Government has initiated a major programme to develop and further utilise its biological resources to help improve economic conditions for its citizens. They are co-operating with the US Geological Survey (USGS) on evaluation and management of biological resources so economic development will be compatible with sustainable ecological systems. Scientists from the USGS and co-operating universities will provide expertise on synthesising biological data, conducting a Gap Analysis for the Province, evaluating innovative economic opportunities, and designing an effective education, training, and outreach programme.

  5. The diverse and expanding role of mass spectrometry in structural and molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lössl, Philip; van de Waterbeemd, Michiel; Heck, Albert Jr

    2016-12-15

    The emergence of proteomics has led to major technological advances in mass spectrometry (MS). These advancements not only benefitted MS-based high-throughput proteomics but also increased the impact of mass spectrometry on the field of structural and molecular biology. Here, we review how state-of-the-art MS methods, including native MS, top-down protein sequencing, cross-linking-MS, and hydrogen-deuterium exchange-MS, nowadays enable the characterization of biomolecular structures, functions, and interactions. In particular, we focus on the role of mass spectrometry in integrated structural and molecular biology investigations of biological macromolecular complexes and cellular machineries, highlighting work on CRISPR-Cas systems and eukaryotic transcription complexes. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  6. Biological Diversity, Ecological Health and Condition of Aquatic Assemblages at National Wildlife Refuges in Southern Indiana, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Simon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The National Wildlife Refuge system is a vital resource for the protection and conservation of biodiversity and biological integrity in the United States. Surveys were conducted to determine the spatial and temporal patterns of fish, macroinvertebrate, and crayfish populations in two watersheds that encompass three refuges in southern Indiana. The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge had the highest number of aquatic species with 355 macroinvertebrate taxa, six crayfish species, and 82 fish species, while the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge had 163 macroinvertebrate taxa, seven crayfish species, and 37 fish species. The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge had the lowest diversity of macroinvertebrates with 96 taxa and six crayfish species, while possessing the second highest fish species richness with 51 species. Habitat quality was highest in the Muscatatuck River drainage with increased amounts of forested habitats compared to the Patoka River drainage. Biological integrity of the three refuges ranked the Patoka NWR as the lowest biological integrity (mean IBI reach scores = 35 IBI points, while Big Oaks had the highest biological integrity (mean IBI reach score = 41 IBI points. The Muscatatuck NWR had a mean IBI reach score of 31 during June, which seasonally increased to a mean of 40 IBI points during summer. Watershed IBI scores and habitat condition were highest in the Big Oaks NWR.

  7. Biological Diversity, Ecological Health and Condition of Aquatic Assemblages at National Wildlife Refuges in Southern Indiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Charles C.; Robb, Joseph R.; McCoy, William

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The National Wildlife Refuge system is a vital resource for the protection and conservation of biodiversity and biological integrity in the United States. Surveys were conducted to determine the spatial and temporal patterns of fish, macroinvertebrate, and crayfish populations in two watersheds that encompass three refuges in southern Indiana. The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge had the highest number of aquatic species with 355 macroinvertebrate taxa, six crayfish species, and 82 fish species, while the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge had 163 macroinvertebrate taxa, seven crayfish species, and 37 fish species. The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge had the lowest diversity of macroinvertebrates with 96 taxa and six crayfish species, while possessing the second highest fish species richness with 51 species. Habitat quality was highest in the Muscatatuck River drainage with increased amounts of forested habitats compared to the Patoka River drainage. Biological integrity of the three refuges ranked the Patoka NWR as the lowest biological integrity (mean IBI reach scores = 35 IBI points), while Big Oaks had the highest biological integrity (mean IBI reach score = 41 IBI points). The Muscatatuck NWR had a mean IBI reach score of 31 during June, which seasonally increased to a mean of 40 IBI points during summer. Watershed IBI scores and habitat condition were highest in the Big Oaks NWR. PMID:25632261

  8. Qualitative risk assessment: a conceptual context and three diverse applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elsea, K.J.; Conger, D.S.

    1992-01-01

    Risk is defined as the probability of an occurrence multiplied by the consequences of that occurrence. Such a definition implies a quantitative or at least a mathematical operation. However, qualitative uses of risk have proved useful tools in incident investigation and management decision making. This paper provides a conceptual context for qualitative risk assessment and discusses three efforts at subject organizations [an aerospace firm, a US Department of Energy weapons-related facility, and a commercial nuclear reactor] that have applied qualitative risk techniques for different uses and with different results. A lessons-learned section summarizes and provides future direction

  9. Genetic diversity in the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis: molecular mechanisms and biological consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribble, Gena D; Kerr, Jennifer E; Wang, Bing-Yan

    2013-01-01

    Porphyromonas gingivalis is a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that colonizes the human oral cavity. It is implicated in the development of periodontitis, a chronic periodontal disease affecting half of the adult population in the USA. To survive in the oral cavity, these bacteria must colonize dental plaque biofilms in competition with other bacterial species. Long-term survival requires P. gingivalis to evade host immune responses, while simultaneously adapting to the changing physiology of the host and to alterations in the plaque biofilm. In reflection of this highly variable niche, P. gingivalis is a genetically diverse species and in this review the authors summarize genetic diversity as it relates to pathogenicity in P. gingivalis. Recent studies revealing a variety of mechanisms by which adaptive changes in genetic content can occur are also reviewed. Understanding the genetic plasticity of P. gingivalis will provide a better framework for understanding the host–microbe interactions associated with periodontal disease. PMID:23642116

  10. Diverse Delivery Methods and Strong Psychological Benefits: A Review of Online Formative Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, T.; Yan, Z.

    2017-01-01

    This article is a review of literature on online formative assessment (OFA). It includes a narrative summary that synthesizes the research on the diverse delivery methods of OFA, as well as the empirical literature regarding the strong psychological benefits and limitations. Online formative assessment can be delivered using many traditional…

  11. School Psychologists and the Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Desireé; Lasser, Jon; Afifi, Amanda F. M.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, school psychologists have increasingly recognized the importance of using valid and reliable methods to assess culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students for special education eligibility. However, little is known about their assessment practices or preparation in this area. To address these questions, a Web-based survey…

  12. Flexible mechanisms: the diverse roles of biological springs in vertebrate movement

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Thomas J.; Azizi, Emanuel

    2011-01-01

    The muscles that power vertebrate locomotion are associated with springy tissues, both within muscle and in connective tissue elements such as tendons. These springs share in common the same simple action: they stretch and store elastic strain energy when force is applied to them and recoil to release energy when force decays. Although this elastic action is simple, it serves a diverse set of functions, including metabolic energy conservation, amplification of muscle power output, attenuation...

  13. Diversity in Fish Auditory Systems: One of the Riddles of Sensory Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friedrich eLadich

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available An astonishing diversity of inner ears and accessory hearing structures (AHS that can enhance hearing has evolved in fishes. Inner ears mainly differ in the size of the otolith end organs, the shape and orientation of the sensory epithelia, and the orientation patterns of ciliary bundles of sensory hair cells. Despite our profound morphological knowledge of inner ear variation, two main questions remain widely unanswered. (i What selective forces and/or constraints led to the evolution of this inner ear diversity? (ii How is the morphological variability linked to hearing abilities? Improved hearing is mainly based on the ability of many fish species to transmit oscillations of swim bladder walls or other gas-filled bladders to the inner ears. Swim bladders may be linked to the inner ears via a chain of ossicles (in otophysans, anterior extensions (e.g. some cichlids, squirrelfishes, or the gas bladders may touch the inner ears directly (labyrinth fishes. Studies on catfishes and cichlids demonstrate that larger swim bladders and more pronounced linkages to the inner ears positively affect both auditory sensitivities and the detectable frequency range, but lack of a connection does not exclude hearing enhancement. This diversity of auditory structures and hearing abilities is one of the main riddles in fish bioacoustics research. Hearing enhancement might have evolved to facilitate intraspecific acoustic communication. A comparison of sound-producing species, however, indicates that acoustic communication is widespread in taxa lacking AHS. Eco-acoustical constraints are a more likely explanation for the diversity in fish hearing sensitivities. Low ambient noise levels may have facilitated the evolution of AHS, enabling fish to detect low-level abiotic noise and sounds from con- and heterospecifics, including predators and prey. Aquatic habitats differ in ambient noise regimes, and preliminary data indicate that hearing sensitivities of fishes

  14. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in Neotropical Savanna headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological diversity can be divided into: alpha (α, local), beta (β, difference in assemblage composition among locals), and gamma (γ, total diversity). We assessed the partitioning of taxonomic diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) and of functional feedin...

  15. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in Neotropical Savanna headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological diversity can be divided into: alpha (α, local), beta (β, difference in assemblage composition among locals), and gamma (γ, total diversity). We assessed the partitioning of taxonomic diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) and of ...

  16. Biological dose assessment of 15 victims in Haerbin radiation accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Jian-xiang; Huang, Min-yan; Ruan, Jian-lei; Bai, Yu-shu; Xu, Su

    2008-01-01

    unstable aberrations were analyzed and biological dose was assessed according to the dose-effect curves built by our lab member. For micronucleus analysis, blood were added cytochalasin-B after culturing 40 hours. The doses were assessed according to the dose-effect curves built by our lab member. According to a human lymphocyte chromosome aberration and micronucleus analysis, the estimated maximum irradiation dose of 3 exposed patients is lower than 2 Gy, equal to the dose of once uneven total-body irradiation. In vitro dose-response calibration curves for (60)Co gamma rays have been established for unstable chromosome aberrations in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The observed dose-response data were fitted to a linear quadratic model. The calibration curve parameters were used to estimate the equivalent whole-body dose and dose to the irradiated region in partial body irradiation of cancer patients. The derived partial body doses and fractions of lymphocytes irradiated were in agreement with those estimated from the radiotherapy regimes. (author)

  17. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I

    2017-07-08

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):313-317, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. Assessment of genetic diversity in tomato landraces using ISSR markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henareh Mashhid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Tomato is one of the most economically important vegetable crops in many parts of the world. Turkey and Iran are the main producers of tomatoes in the world. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic variation of 93 tomato landraces from East Anatolian region of Turkey and North-West of Iran, along with three commercial cultivars using 14 ISSR primers. The percentage of polymorphic loci (PPL for all primers was 100%. The mean of expected heterozygosity (He for the primers varied from 0.153 (UBC808 to 0.30 (UBC848. The dendrogram placed the landraces and commercial cultivars into nine groups. The genotypes originating from the same region, often located in the same group or two adjacent groups. The highest likelihood of the data was obtained when population were located into 2 sub-populations (K = 2. These sub-populations had Fst value of 0.16 and 0.21.

  19. Assessing Symbiodinium diversity in scleractinian corals via next-generation sequencing-based genotyping of the ITS2 rDNA region

    KAUST Repository

    Arif, Chatchanit

    2014-09-01

    The persistence of coral reef ecosystems relies on the symbiotic relationship between scleractinian corals and intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Genetic evidence indicates that these symbionts are biologically diverse and exhibit discrete patterns of environmental and host distribution. This makes the assessment of Symbiodinium diversity critical to understanding the symbiosis ecology of corals. Here, we applied pyrosequencing to the elucidation of Symbiodinium diversity via analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region, a multicopy genetic marker commonly used to analyse Symbiodinium diversity. Replicated data generated from isoclonal Symbiodinium cultures showed that all genomes contained numerous, yet mostly rare, ITS2 sequence variants. Pyrosequencing data were consistent with more traditional denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approaches to the screening of ITS2 PCR amplifications, where the most common sequences appeared as the most intense bands. Further, we developed an operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-based pipeline for Symbiodinium ITS2 diversity typing to provisionally resolve ecologically discrete entities from intragenomic variation. A genetic distance cut-off of 0.03 collapsed intragenomic ITS2 variants of isoclonal cultures into single OTUs. When applied to the analysis of field-collected coral samples, our analyses confirm that much of the commonly observed Symbiodinium ITS2 diversity can be attributed to intragenomic variation. We conclude that by analysing Symbiodinium populations in an OTU-based framework, we can improve objectivity, comparability and simplicity when assessing ITS2 diversity in field-based studies.

  20. Some Like it High! Phylogenetic Diversity of High-Elevation Cyanobacterial Community from Biological Soil Crusts of Western Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čapková, Kateřina; Hauer, Tomáš; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    The environment of high-altitudinal cold deserts of Western Himalaya is characterized by extensive development of biological soil crusts, with cyanobacteria as dominant component. The knowledge of their taxonomic composition and dependency on soil chemistry and elevation is still fragmentary. We studied the abundance and the phylogenetic diversity of the culturable cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae in soil crusts along altitudinal gradients (4600-5900 m) at two sites in the dry mountains of Ladakh (SW Tibetan Plateau and Eastern Karakoram), using both microscopic and molecular approaches. The effects of environmental factors (altitude, mountain range, and soil physico-chemical parameters) on the composition and biovolume of phototrophs were tested by multivariate redundancy analysis and variance partitioning. Both phylogenetic diversity and composition of morphotypes were similar between Karakorum and Tibetan Plateau. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene revealed strains belonging to at least five genera. Besides clusters of common soil genera, e.g., Microcoleus, Nodosilinea, or Nostoc, two distinct clades of simple trichal taxa were newly discovered. The most abundant cyanobacterial orders were Oscillatoriales and Nostacales, whose biovolume increased with increasing elevation, while that of Chroococales decreased. Cyanobacterial species richness was low in that only 15 morphotypes were detected. The environmental factors accounted for 52 % of the total variability in microbial data, 38.7 % of which was explained solely by soil chemical properties, 14.5 % by altitude, and 8.4 % by mountain range. The elevation, soil phosphate, and magnesium were the most important predictors of soil phototrophic communities in both mountain ranges despite their different bedrocks and origin. The present investigation represents a first record on phylogenetic diversity of the cyanobacterial community of biological soil crusts from Western Himalayas and first record

  1. Assessment of chitin decomposer diversity within an upland grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krsek, M; Wellington, E M

    2001-09-01

    The breakdown of chitin within an acidic upland grassland was studied. The aim was to provide a molecular characterisation of microorganisms involved in chitin degradation in the soil using soil microcosms and buried litter bags containing chitin. The investigation involved an examination of the effects of liming on the microbial communities within the soil and their chitinolytic activity. Microcosm experiments were designed to study the influence of lime and chitin enrichment on the grassland soil bacterial community ex situ under controlled environmental conditions. Bacterial and actinomycete counts were determined and total community DNA was extracted from the microcosms and from chitin bags buried at the experimental site. PCR based on specific 16S rRNA target sequences provided products for DGGE analysis to determine the structure of bacterial and actinomycete communities. Chitinase activity was assessed spectrophotometrically using chitin labelled with remazol brilliant violet. Both liming and chitin amendment increased bacterial and actinomycete viable counts and the chitinase activity. DGGE band patterns confirmed changes in bacterial populations under the influence of both treatments. PCR products amplified from DNA isolated from chitin bags were cloned and sequenced. Only a few matched known species but a prominent coloniser of chitin proved to be Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

  2. Common Origins of Diverse Misconceptions: Cognitive Principles and the Development of Biology Thinking

    OpenAIRE

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2012-01-01

    Many ideas in the biological sciences seem especially difficult to understand, learn, and teach successfully. Our goal in this feature is to explore how these difficulties may stem not from the complexity or opacity of the concepts themselves, but from the fact that they may clash with informal, intuitive, and deeply held ways of understanding the world that have been studied for decades by psychologists. We give a brief overview of the field of developmental cognitive psychology. Then, in ea...

  3. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of Fungal Cyclic Peptides, Excluding Cyclodipeptides

    OpenAIRE

    Xiaohan Wang; Minyi Lin; Dan Xu; Daowan Lai; Ligang Zhou

    2017-01-01

    Cyclic peptides are cyclic compounds formed mainly by the amide bonds between either proteinogenic or non-proteinogenic amino acids. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of fungal cyclic peptides (excluding cyclodipeptides, and peptides containing ester bonds in the core ring) reported until August 2017. About 293 cyclic peptides belonging to the groups of cyclic tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-, undeca-, dodeca-, tetradeca-, and ...

  4. Assessing level of development and successional stages in biological soil crusts with biological indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Shubin; Wu, Li; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2013-08-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) perform vital ecosystem services, but the difference in biological components or developmental level still affects the rate and type of these services. In order to differentiate crust successional stages in quantity and analyze the relationship between crust developmental level and successional stages, this work determined several biological indicators in a series of different developmental BSCs in the Shapotou region of China. The results showed that crust developmental level (level of development index) can be well indicated by crust biological indicators. Photosynthetic biomass was the most appropriate to differentiate crust successional stages, although both photosynthetic biomass and respiration intensity increased with the development and succession of BSCs. Based on of the different biological compositions, BSCs were quantificationally categorized into different successional stages including cyanobacterial crusts (lichen and moss coverages 20 % but moss coverage 20 % but 75 %). In addition, it was found that cyanobacterial and microalgal biomass first increased as cyanobacterial crusts formed, then decreased when lots of mosses emerged on the crust surface; however nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria and heterotrophic microbes increased in the later developmental BSCs. The structural adjustment of biological components in the different developmental BSCs may reflect the requirement of crust survival and material transition.

  5. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.

    1997-03-01

    This report discusses the biological impact to the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator. In particular the impact to the soils, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife are discussed.

  6. Hierarchical biodiversity and environment impact assessment of South-to-North Water Diversion Project of China

    OpenAIRE

    Youhua Chen

    2013-01-01

    In this brief review, the potential environmental and biodiversity impact of South-to-North Water Diversion (SNWD) project in China on regional environments was assessed. I used the hierarchical environmental impact assessment to classify the possible impacts into three orders caused by the construction of SNWD and then presented the current research advances on each order of the impacts. Further impact assessments should be reinforced during the construction period of SNDW project for the su...

  7. The Pyramid Trough Wetland: environmental and biological diversity in a newly created Antarctic protected area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungblut, Anne D; Wood, Susanna A; Hawes, Ian; Webster-Brown, Jenny; Harris, Colin

    2012-11-01

    The Pyramid Trough (Lat 78°S) has recently gained protection under the Antarctic Treaty system, owing to its wetland values. Here, we describe the microbial diversity of this system, with emphasis on cyanobacteria, and evaluate environment-biota relationships. Geochemistry separates ponds along hydrological gradients receiving recent inflows of dilute meltwater, from a second group that is rarely inundated and where chemistry is dominated by evaporation. Cyanobacteria-based microbial mats dominated the biota throughout. Mats were characterized by light-microscopy, pigment analysis, automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. A total of 17 morphotypes and 21 ribotypes were identified, mostly Oscillatoriales and several taxa that are usually rare in continental Antarctica, including Chroococcales and scytomin-rich Calothrix/Dichothrix, were abundant. There was a general decline in cyanobacterial diversity with increasing conductivity, but weak support for either differences in community composition between the two groups of ponds or sorting of taxa along the hydrological gradients with the pond groups. This implies a broad environmental tolerance and a prevalence of neutral assembly mechanisms in cyanobacterial communities of Antarctic wetland ecosystems. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Lionard, Marie; Kuske, Cheryl R; Vincent, Warwick F

    2013-01-01

    In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N). Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  9. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blaire Steven

    Full Text Available In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N. Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  10. Diversity in skeletal architecture influences biological heterogeneity and Symbiodinium habitat in corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yost, Denise M; Wang, Li-Hsueh; Fan, Tung-Yung; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Lee, Raymond W; Sogin, Emilia; Gates, Ruth D

    2013-10-01

    Scleractinian corals vary in response to rapid shifts in the marine environment and changes in reef community structure post-disturbance reveal a clear relationship between coral performance and morphology. With exceptions, massive corals are thought to be more tolerant and branching corals more vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, notably thermal stress. The typical responses of massive and branching coral taxa, respectively, are well documented; however, the biological and functional characteristics that underpin this variation are not well understood. We address this gap by comparing multiple biological attributes that are correlated with skeletal architecture in two perforate (having porous skeletal matrices with intercalating tissues) and two imperforate coral species (Montipora aequituberculata, Porites lobata, Pocillopora damicornis, and Seriatopora hystrix) representing three morphotypes. Our results reveal inherent biological heterogeneity among corals and the potential for perforate skeletons to create complex, three-dimensional internal habitats that impact the dynamics of the symbiosis. Patterns of tissue thickness are correlated with the concentration of symbionts within narrow regions of tissue in imperforate corals versus broad distribution throughout the larger tissue area in perforate corals. Attributes of the perforate and environmentally tolerant P. lobata were notable, with tissues ∼5 times thicker than in the sensitive, imperforate species P. damicornis and S. hystrix. Additionally, P. lobata had the lowest baseline levels of superoxide and Symbiodinium that provisioned high levels of energy. Given our observations, we hypothesize that the complexity of the visually obscured internal environment has an impact on host-symbiont dynamics and ultimately on survival, warranting further scientific investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. An assessment of the biological and physico-chemical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Significantly higher (p < 0.05) dissolved oxygen (DO) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels were recorded in Bindare stream. Hanwa stream, with slower flow and higher (p < 0.05) nutrient concentrations, supported higher biomass production in terms of species diversity and abundance. Twenty-seven algal and 7 ...

  12. Protein variety and functional diversity: Swiss-Prot annotation in its biological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeckmann, Brigitte; Blatter, Marie-Claude; Famiglietti, Livia; Hinz, Ursula; Lane, Lydie; Roechert, Bernd; Bairoch, Amos

    2005-01-01

    We all know that the dogma 'one gene, one protein' is obsolete. A functional protein and, likewise, a protein's ultimate function depend not only on the underlying genetic information but also on the ongoing conditions of the cellular system. Frequently the transcript, like the polypeptide, is processed in multiple ways, but only one or a few out of a multitude of possible variants are produced at a time. An overview on processes that can lead to sequence variety and structural diversity in eukaryotes is given. The UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot protein knowledgebase provides a wealth of information regarding protein variety, function and associated disorders. Examples for such annotation are shown and further ones are available at http://www.expasy.org/sprot/tutorial/examples_CRB.

  13. A Test of the Relationship between Reading Ability & Standardized Biology Assessment Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Denise A.

    2014-01-01

    Little empirical evidence suggested that independent reading abilities of students enrolled in biology predicted their performance on the Biology I Graduation End-of-Course Assessment (ECA). An archival study was conducted at one Indiana urban public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, by examining existing educational assessment data to test…

  14. Development of the Neuron Assessment for Measuring Biology Students' Use of Experimental Design Concepts and Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, Annwesa P.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Researchers, instructors, and funding bodies in biology education are unanimous about the importance of developing students' competence in experimental design. Despite this, only limited measures are available for assessing such competence development, especially in the areas of molecular and cellular biology. Also, existing assessments do not…

  15. Reproductive biology and genetic diversity of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Vamizi island, Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastácio, Rita; Santos, Camila; Lopes, Cardoso; Moreira, Helena; Souto, Luis; Ferrão, Jorge; Garnier, Julie; Pereira, Mário J

    2014-01-01

    Vamizi, an Island located in the Western Indian Ocean, is visited by a small and not fully characterized green turtle (Chelonia mydas (L.)) population. This population is threatened by natural hazards and several human activities, which are used to identify conservation priorities for marine turtles. It was our aim to contribute to the knowledge of marine turtles that nest in Vamizi, with respect to its regional management, and to an area that may possibly be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its potential Outstanding Universal Value. Here, we evaluate the nesting parameters (incubation period, clutch size, hatching and emergence successes rates) and patterns over an 8-year (2003 - 2010) conservation program. We also present the results of genetic diversity based on the analysis of approximately an 850 pb fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. We found that Vamizi beaches host a small number of nesting females, approximately 52 per year, but these have shown a reduction in their length. High hatching success (88.5 ± SD 17.2%, N = 649), emergence success rates (84.5 ± SD 20.4%, N = 649) were observed, and genetic diversity (N = 135), with 11 haplotypes found (7 new). It was also observed, in the later years of this study, a reduction in the incubation period, a dislocation of the nesting peak activity and an increase in the number of flooded nests and an increase of the number of nests in areas with lower human activity. Some resilience and behavioral plasticity seems to occur regarding human territory occupancy and climate changes. However, regardless of the results, aspects like what seems to be the reduction of some cohorts, the number of flooded nests and the diminishing of the incubation period (East and South facing beaches), show that conservation efforts have to be improved.

  16. Modelling effective dielectric properties of materials containing diverse types of biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huclova, Sonja; Froehlich, Juerg; Erni, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    An efficient and versatile numerical method for the generation of different realistically shaped biological cells is developed. This framework is used to calculate the dielectric spectra of materials containing specific types of biological cells. For the generation of the numerical models of the cells a flexible parametrization method based on the so-called superformula is applied including the option of obtaining non-axisymmetric shapes such as box-shaped cells and even shapes corresponding to echinocytes. The dielectric spectra of effective media containing various cell morphologies are calculated focusing on the dependence of the spectral features on the cell shape. The numerical method is validated by comparing a model of spherical inclusions at a low volume fraction with the analytical solution obtained by the Maxwell-Garnett mixing formula, resulting in good agreement. Our simulation data for different cell shapes suggest that around 1MHz the effective dielectric properties of different cell shapes at different volume fractions significantly deviate from the spherical case. The most pronounced change exhibits ε eff between 0.1 and 1 MHz with a deviation of up to 35% for a box-shaped cell and 15% for an echinocyte compared with the sphere at a volume fraction of 0.4. This hampers the unique interpretation of changes in cellular features measured by dielectric spectroscopy when simplified material models are used.

  17. Cancer and Aging: General Principles, Biology, and Geriatric Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Daneng; de Glas, Nienke A; Hurria, Arti

    2016-02-01

    Cancer is a disease of aging as older adults are much more likely to develop cancer compared with their younger counterparts. Understanding the biology of cancer and aging remains complex, and numerous theories regarding the relationship between the two have been proposed. Cancer treatment decisions in older patients are particularly challenging, because the evidence is scarce and the risk of toxicity increases with age. Determination of biologic age is essential due to heterogeneity of functional status, comorbidity, and physiologic reserves between patients of the same chronologic age. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Assessment of Student Learning Associated with Tree Thinking in an Undergraduate Introductory Organismal Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…

  19. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......; and whether it is only bacteria or also fungi and /or extracellular enzymes. Also they vary in the functions tested and the number of functions. All three techniques were able to separate the soils according to land-use and biogeographical zone, however with different strengths. The MicroResp technique...

  20. TCA Cycle and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Are Necessary for Diverse Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Reyes, Inmaculada; Diebold, Lauren P; Kong, Hyewon; Schieber, Michael; Huang, He; Hensley, Christopher T; Mehta, Manan M; Wang, Tianyuan; Santos, Janine H; Woychik, Richard; Dufour, Eric; Spelbrink, Johannes N; Weinberg, Samuel E; Zhao, Yingming; DeBerardinis, Ralph J; Chandel, Navdeep S

    2016-01-21

    Mitochondrial metabolism is necessary for the maintenance of oxidative TCA cycle function and mitochondrial membrane potential. Previous attempts to decipher whether mitochondria are necessary for biological outcomes have been hampered by genetic and pharmacologic methods that simultaneously disrupt multiple functions linked to mitochondrial metabolism. Here, we report that inducible depletion of mitochondrial DNA (ρ(ο) cells) diminished respiration, oxidative TCA cycle function, and the mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in diminished cell proliferation, hypoxic activation of HIF-1, and specific histone acetylation marks. Genetic reconstitution only of the oxidative TCA cycle function specifically in these inducible ρ(ο) cells restored metabolites, resulting in re-establishment of histone acetylation. In contrast, genetic reconstitution of the mitochondrial membrane potential restored ROS, which were necessary for hypoxic activation of HIF-1 and cell proliferation. These results indicate that distinct mitochondrial functions associated with respiration are necessary for cell proliferation, epigenetics, and HIF-1 activation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of Fungal Cyclic Peptides, Excluding Cyclodipeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohan; Lin, Minyi; Xu, Dan; Lai, Daowan; Zhou, Ligang

    2017-11-27

    Cyclic peptides are cyclic compounds formed mainly by the amide bonds between either proteinogenic or non-proteinogenic amino acids. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of fungal cyclic peptides (excluding cyclodipeptides, and peptides containing ester bonds in the core ring) reported until August 2017. About 293 cyclic peptides belonging to the groups of cyclic tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-, undeca-, dodeca-, tetradeca-, and octadecapeptides as well as cyclic peptides containing ether bonds in the core ring have been isolated from fungi. They were mainly isolated from the genera Aspergillus , Penicillium , Fusarium , Acremonium and Amanita . Some of them were screened to have antimicrobial, antiviral, cytotoxic, phytotoxic, insecticidal, nematicidal, immunosuppressive and enzyme-inhibitory activities to show their potential applications. Some fungal cyclic peptides such as the echinocandins, pneumocandins and cyclosporin A have been developed as pharmaceuticals.

  2. Structural Diversity and Biological Activities of Fungal Cyclic Peptides, Excluding Cyclodipeptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohan Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Cyclic peptides are cyclic compounds formed mainly by the amide bonds between either proteinogenic or non-proteinogenic amino acids. This review highlights the occurrence, structures and biological activities of fungal cyclic peptides (excluding cyclodipeptides, and peptides containing ester bonds in the core ring reported until August 2017. About 293 cyclic peptides belonging to the groups of cyclic tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-, undeca-, dodeca-, tetradeca-, and octadecapeptides as well as cyclic peptides containing ether bonds in the core ring have been isolated from fungi. They were mainly isolated from the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Acremonium and Amanita. Some of them were screened to have antimicrobial, antiviral, cytotoxic, phytotoxic, insecticidal, nematicidal, immunosuppressive and enzyme-inhibitory activities to show their potential applications. Some fungal cyclic peptides such as the echinocandins, pneumocandins and cyclosporin A have been developed as pharmaceuticals.

  3. Assessing Genetic Diversity Based on Gliadin Proteins in Aegilops cylindrica Populations from Northwest of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toraj KHABIRI

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Wild wheat progenitors served as a valuable gene pool in breeding perspectives. In this respect, gliadins could be an important tool in assessing genetic variability as protein markers. Thus, genetic diversity of gliadin protein patterns in seventeen populations of Aegilops cylindrica collected from northwest of Iran were investigated using acid polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Results showed that the highest number of bands in the electrophoregrams were related to the ω type of geliadins. Conversely, the lowest number of bands were pertained to the β type of gliadins. Genetic diversity between populations was greater than within population variation. Assessment of total variation for the three gliadin types indicated that the highest total variation was related to β type while, the lowest one was belonged to ω type. Cluster analysis using complete linkage method divided populations into two separated groups in which genetic diversity does not follow from geographical distribution.

  4. Assessing and Exploiting Functional Diversity in Germplasm Pools to Enhance Abiotic Stress Adaptation and Yield in Cereals and Food Legumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Sangam L.; Scheben, Armin; Edwards, David; Spillane, Charles; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2017-01-01

    There is a need to accelerate crop improvement by introducing alleles conferring host plant resistance, abiotic stress adaptation, and high yield potential. Elite cultivars, landraces and wild relatives harbor useful genetic variation that needs to be more easily utilized in plant breeding. We review genome-wide approaches for assessing and identifying alleles associated with desirable agronomic traits in diverse germplasm pools of cereals and legumes. Major quantitative trait loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with desirable agronomic traits have been deployed to enhance crop productivity and resilience. These include alleles associated with variation conferring enhanced photoperiod and flowering traits. Genetic variants in the florigen pathway can provide both environmental flexibility and improved yields. SNPs associated with length of growing season and tolerance to abiotic stresses (precipitation, high temperature) are valuable resources for accelerating breeding for drought-prone environments. Both genomic selection and genome editing can also harness allelic diversity and increase productivity by improving multiple traits, including phenology, plant architecture, yield potential and adaptation to abiotic stresses. Discovering rare alleles and useful haplotypes also provides opportunities to enhance abiotic stress adaptation, while epigenetic variation has potential to enhance abiotic stress adaptation and productivity in crops. By reviewing current knowledge on specific traits and their genetic basis, we highlight recent developments in the understanding of crop functional diversity and identify potential candidate genes for future use. The storage and integration of genetic, genomic and phenotypic information will play an important role in ensuring broad and rapid application of novel genetic discoveries by the plant breeding community. Exploiting alleles for yield-related traits would allow improvement of selection efficiency and

  5. Assessing and Exploiting Functional Diversity in Germplasm Pools to Enhance Abiotic Stress Adaptation and Yield in Cereals and Food Legumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Sangam L; Scheben, Armin; Edwards, David; Spillane, Charles; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2017-01-01

    There is a need to accelerate crop improvement by introducing alleles conferring host plant resistance, abiotic stress adaptation, and high yield potential. Elite cultivars, landraces and wild relatives harbor useful genetic variation that needs to be more easily utilized in plant breeding. We review genome-wide approaches for assessing and identifying alleles associated with desirable agronomic traits in diverse germplasm pools of cereals and legumes. Major quantitative trait loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with desirable agronomic traits have been deployed to enhance crop productivity and resilience. These include alleles associated with variation conferring enhanced photoperiod and flowering traits. Genetic variants in the florigen pathway can provide both environmental flexibility and improved yields. SNPs associated with length of growing season and tolerance to abiotic stresses (precipitation, high temperature) are valuable resources for accelerating breeding for drought-prone environments. Both genomic selection and genome editing can also harness allelic diversity and increase productivity by improving multiple traits, including phenology, plant architecture, yield potential and adaptation to abiotic stresses. Discovering rare alleles and useful haplotypes also provides opportunities to enhance abiotic stress adaptation, while epigenetic variation has potential to enhance abiotic stress adaptation and productivity in crops. By reviewing current knowledge on specific traits and their genetic basis, we highlight recent developments in the understanding of crop functional diversity and identify potential candidate genes for future use. The storage and integration of genetic, genomic and phenotypic information will play an important role in ensuring broad and rapid application of novel genetic discoveries by the plant breeding community. Exploiting alleles for yield-related traits would allow improvement of selection efficiency and

  6. Assessing and Exploiting Functional Diversity in Germplasm Pools to Enhance Abiotic Stress Adaptation and Yield in Cereals and Food Legumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangam L. Dwivedi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available There is a need to accelerate crop improvement by introducing alleles conferring host plant resistance, abiotic stress adaptation, and high yield potential. Elite cultivars, landraces and wild relatives harbor useful genetic variation that needs to be more easily utilized in plant breeding. We review genome-wide approaches for assessing and identifying alleles associated with desirable agronomic traits in diverse germplasm pools of cereals and legumes. Major quantitative trait loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs associated with desirable agronomic traits have been deployed to enhance crop productivity and resilience. These include alleles associated with variation conferring enhanced photoperiod and flowering traits. Genetic variants in the florigen pathway can provide both environmental flexibility and improved yields. SNPs associated with length of growing season and tolerance to abiotic stresses (precipitation, high temperature are valuable resources for accelerating breeding for drought-prone environments. Both genomic selection and genome editing can also harness allelic diversity and increase productivity by improving multiple traits, including phenology, plant architecture, yield potential and adaptation to abiotic stresses. Discovering rare alleles and useful haplotypes also provides opportunities to enhance abiotic stress adaptation, while epigenetic variation has potential to enhance abiotic stress adaptation and productivity in crops. By reviewing current knowledge on specific traits and their genetic basis, we highlight recent developments in the understanding of crop functional diversity and identify potential candidate genes for future use. The storage and integration of genetic, genomic and phenotypic information will play an important role in ensuring broad and rapid application of novel genetic discoveries by the plant breeding community. Exploiting alleles for yield-related traits would allow improvement of selection

  7. Can we assess students' awareness of cultural diversity? A qualitative study of stakeholders' views.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogra, Nisha; Wass, Val

    2006-07-01

    Personal attitudes of doctors towards cultural diversity may influence the delivery of clinical care. Yet whether medical schools should assess a student's cultural awareness and if so, how, has not been specifically debated. To establish the views of key stakeholders in medical education on the assessment of awareness of cultural diversity within the undergraduate curriculum. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken, using sampling and snowballing, with 61 stakeholders, including policymakers, teachers of diversity, students, service users and carers. The data were analysed qualitatively using quasi-statistical and template approaches and themes identified. Three main themes emerged. The first was ambivalence over the need to assess students. Most felt students should be assessed to ensure the subject was taken seriously. Some were concerned that assessment might encourage false attitudes. The second theme was uncertainty over the best methodology. Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) were the most favoured method. Significant concern was expressed that this alone was sufficient. The third theme was concern that current assessment methods do not identify students with inappropriate attitudes that are potentially detrimental to patient care. Assessment of cultural awareness should be attempted but it needs to be multifaceted. The OSCE alone is inadequate. Other tools, such as reflective portfolios, need evaluation.

  8. Assessment of salivary flow rate: biologic variation and measure error.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongerius, P.H.; Limbeek, J. van; Rotteveel, J.J.

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the applicability of the swab method in the measurement of salivary flow rate in multiple-handicap drooling children. To quantify the measurement error of the procedure and the biologic variation in the population. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: In a repeated

  9. Assessing Student Behaviors and Motivation for Actively Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Michael Edward

    2017-01-01

    Vision and Change states that one of the major changes in the way we design biology courses should be a switch in approach from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning and identifies active learning as a recommended methods. Studies show performance benefits for students taking courses that use active learning. What is unknown is…

  10. Funding needed for assessments of weed biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Dean E. Pearson; Stephen M. Hovick; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Invasive non-native plants are a serious economic and ecological problem worldwide, and major efforts are therefore devoted to reducing weed abundance in agricultural and natural settings. Effective options for reducing invasive abundance and spread are few, although one common approach is biological control - the introduction of specialist herbivores or pathogens from...

  11. Biological Variation and Diagnostic Accuracy of Dehydration Assessment Markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    morning urine was collected in a sterile, inert polypropylene cup (Tyco Healthcare Group, Mansfield, MA), and a small aliquot was transferred into a 1.5-mL...biological variation around a homeostatic set point could be attributed to factors largely independent of preanalytic influences. The menstrual cycle

  12. Diverse, Biologically Relevant, and Targetable Gene Rearrangements in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Other Malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Timothy M; Lehmann, Brian D; Beeler, J Scott; Li, Chung-I; Li, Zhu; Jin, Hailing; Stricker, Thomas P; Shyr, Yu; Pietenpol, Jennifer A

    2016-08-15

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and other molecularly heterogeneous malignancies present a significant clinical challenge due to a lack of high-frequency "driver" alterations amenable to therapeutic intervention. These cancers often exhibit genomic instability, resulting in chromosomal rearrangements that affect the structure and expression of protein-coding genes. However, identification of these rearrangements remains technically challenging. Using a newly developed approach that quantitatively predicts gene rearrangements in tumor-derived genetic material, we identified and characterized a novel oncogenic fusion involving the MER proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MERTK) and discovered a clinical occurrence and cell line model of the targetable FGFR3-TACC3 fusion in TNBC. Expanding our analysis to other malignancies, we identified a diverse array of novel and known hybrid transcripts, including rearrangements between noncoding regions and clinically relevant genes such as ALK, CSF1R, and CD274/PD-L1 The over 1,000 genetic alterations we identified highlight the importance of considering noncoding gene rearrangement partners, and the targetable gene fusions identified in TNBC demonstrate the need to advance gene fusion detection for molecularly heterogeneous cancers. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4850-60. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  13. Biological diversity of yeasts in the gastrointestinal tract of weaned piglets kept under different farm conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urubschurov, Vladimir; Janczyk, Pawel; Pieper, Robert; Souffrant, Wolfgang B

    2008-12-01

    The study was conducted to determine yeasts present in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of piglets kept under experimental farm (EF) and commercial farm (CF) conditions. Ninety five German Landrace full- and half-sibling piglets were sacrificed at 39 days of age. Sixty eight piglets were weaned at 28th day of life, when they were offered one diet ad libitum. Twenty seven piglets remained unweaned by their dams. None of the piglets received any creep feed before weaning. Digesta samples were collected from 1/3 distal small intestine (SI), caecum and proximal colon. One hundred seventy three colonies of isolated yeasts were characterized by sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified D1/D2 domain of the 26S rRNA gene with following alignment of the recovered sequences to GenBank entries. From the 17 phylotypes found, isolates most closely related to Galactomyces geotrichum, Kazachstania slooffiae and Candida catenulata dominated in the GIT of CF piglets. Kazachstania slooffiae and Candida glabrata dominated in GIT of EF piglets. Sørenson and Morisita-Horn similarity indices between farms were low (0.44 and 0.54 respectively) and the Simpson diversity index was higher for EF (7.58) than for CF (4.34). The study brings new data on yeasts composition in the pig GIT and shows differences in yeasts biodiversity between farms operated at different hygiene conditions.

  14. Diversification and coevolution in brood pollination mutualisms: Windows into the role of biotic interactions in generating biological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hembry, David H; Althoff, David M

    2016-10-01

    Brood pollination mutualisms-interactions in which specialized insects are both the pollinators (as adults) and seed predators (as larvae) of their host plants-have been influential study systems for coevolutionary biology. These mutualisms include those between figs and fig wasps, yuccas and yucca moths, leafflowers and leafflower moths, globeflowers and globeflower flies, Silene plants and Hadena and Perizoma moths, saxifrages and Greya moths, and senita cacti and senita moths. The high reciprocal diversity and species-specificity of some of these mutualisms have been cited as evidence that coevolution between plants and pollinators drives their mutual diversification. However, the mechanisms by which these mutualisms diversify have received less attention. In this paper, we review key hypotheses about how these mutualisms diversify and what role coevolution between plants and pollinators may play in this process. We find that most species-rich brood pollination mutualisms show significant phylogenetic congruence at high taxonomic scales, but there is limited evidence for the processes of both cospeciation and duplication, and there are no unambiguous examples known of strict-sense contemporaneous cospeciation. Allopatric speciation appears important across multiple systems, particularly in the insects. Host-shifts appear to be common, and widespread host-shifts by pollinators may displace other pollinator lineages. There is relatively little evidence for a "coevolution through cospeciation" model or that coevolution promotes speciation in these systems. Although we have made great progress in understanding the mechanisms by which brood pollination mutualisms diversify, many opportunities remain to use these intriguing symbioses to understand the role of biotic interactions in generating biological diversity. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  15. The Culture Audit: A Leadership Tool for Assessment and Strategic Planning in Diverse Schools and Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, Rebecca M.

    2006-01-01

    This module is designed to introduce educational leaders to an organizational assessment tool called a "culture audit." Literature on organizational cultural competence suggests that culture audits are a valuable tool for determining how well school policies, programs, and practices respond to the needs of diverse groups and prepare…

  16. A socio-economic assessment of cowpea diversity on the Ghanaian market: implications for breeding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quaye, W.; Adofo, K.; Buckman, E.S.; Frempong, G.; Jongerden, J.P.; Ruivenkamp, G.T.P.

    2011-01-01

    Given the importance of cowpea [Vignaunguiculata(L)Walp] in fighting malnutrition and poverty, a socio-economic assessment of cowpea diversity found on the Ghanaian market was conducted. The objective was to investigate emerging consumer preference for cowpea and make recommendations for the

  17. Use of topographic variability for assessing plant diversity in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofer, G.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Edwards, P.J.; Szerencsits, E.; Wagner, H.H.; Herzog, F.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between plant diversity and topographic variability in agricultural landscapes was investigated, with the aim of determining whether sampling landscape units of 1 km(2) (LUs) across a gradient of topographic variability is more efficient than a random design for assessing the range

  18. Genetic Diversity Assessment of Rarely Cultivated Traditional Indica Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Varieties

    OpenAIRE

    Rekha, T.; Martin, Kottackal Poulose; Sreekumar, V. B.; Madassery, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting was performed to assess the genetic diversity among rarely cultivated traditional indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties collected from a tribal hamlet of Kerala State, India. A total of 664 DNA bands amplified by 15 primers exhibited 72.9% polymorphism (an average of 32.3 polymorphic bands per primer). The varieties Jeerakasala and...

  19. Assessing the Crossdisciplinarity of Technology-Enhanced Learning with Science Overlay Maps and Diversity Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    This paper deals with the assessment of the crossdisciplinarity of technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Based on a general discussion of the concept interdisciplinarity and a summary of the discussion in the field, two empirical methods from scientometrics are introduced and applied. Science overlay maps and the Rao-Stirling diversity index are…

  20. Criterion 1: Conservation of biological diversity - Indicator 6: The number of forest dependent species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis H. Flather; Taylor H. Ricketts; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Michael S. Knowles; John P. Fay; Jason McNees

    2003-01-01

    This indicator monitors the number of native species that are associated with forest habitats. Because one of the more general sign of ecosystem stress is a reduction in the variety of organisms inhabiting a given locale, species counts are often used in assessing ecosystem wellbeing. Data on the distribution of 689 tree and 1,486 terrestrial animal species associated...

  1. The diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in saline biological desert crusts in Xinjiang, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Liu, Ruyin; Zhang, Hongxun; Yun, Juanli

    2013-07-01

    Although microorganisms, particularly oxygenic phototrophs, are known as the major players in the biogeochemical cycles of elements in desert soil ecosystems and have received extensive attention, still little is known about the effects of salinity on the composition and abundances of microbial community in desert soils. In this study, the diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in biological desert crusts from Xinjiang province, which were under different salinity conditions, were investigated by using clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR). The 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis showed that cyanobacteria, mainly Microcoleus vagnitus of the order Oscillatoriales, were predominant in the low saline crusts, while other phototrophs, such as diatom, were the main microorganism group responsible for the oxygenic photosynthesis in the high saline crusts. Furthermore, the higher salt content in crusts may stimulate the growth of other bacteria, including Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, and some subdivisions of Proteobacteria (β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria). The cpcBA-IGS gene analysis revealed the existence of novel M. vagnitus strains in this area. The qPCR results showed that the abundance of oxygenic phototrophs was significantly higher under lower saline condition than that in the higher saline crusts, suggesting that the higher salinity in desert crusts could suppress the numbers of total bacteria and phototrophic bacteria but did highly improve the diversity of salt-tolerant bacteria.

  2. Effects of tillage on the activity density and biological diversity of carabid beetles in spring and winter crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, Timothy D; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A; Labonte, James R; Guy, Stephen O; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2007-04-01

    The effects of tillage regimen (conventional [CT] and no-tillage [NT]) on the activity density and diversity of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) was studied by pitfall trapping within a rain-fed cropping system in northwestern Idaho, 2000-2002. The cropping rotation consisted of a spring cereal (barley, Hordeum vulgare L., in 2000 and 2001; and wheat, Triticum aestivum L., in 2002), spring dry pea (Pisum sativum L.) 2000-2002, and wheat (T. aestivum), spring in 2000 and 2001, and winter in 2002. A total of 14,480 beetles comprised of 30 species was captured, with five numerically dominant species [Poecilus scitulus L., Poecilus lucublandus Say, Microlestes linearis L., Pterostichus melanarius Ill., and Calosoma cancellatum (Eschscholtz)], accounting for 98% of all captures. All species including the dominants responded idiosyncratically to tillage regimen. Adjusting for trapping biases did not significantly change seasonal activity density of Poecilus spp. or Pt. melanarius to tillage. More beetles were captured in CT than in NT crops because of the dominance of P. scitulus in CT, whereas species richness and biological diversity were generally higher in NT crops. Observed patterns suggest that direct effects of tillage affected some species, whereas indirect effects related to habitat characteristics affected others. CT may provide habitat preferable to xerophilic spring breeders. A relationship was found between beetle species size and tillage regimen in pea and to a lesser extent across all spring crops, with large species (>14 mm) conserved more commonly in NT, small species (tillage systems.

  3. GROWTH ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF PIG’S BIOLOGICAL MAXIMUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragutin Vincek

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine a mathematical model which can be used to describe the growth of domestic animals in an attempt to predict the optimal time of slaughter/weight or the development of body parts or tissues and estimate the biological maximum. The study was conducted on 60 pigs (30 barrows and 30 gilts in the interval between the age of 49 and 215 days. By applying the generalized logistic function, the growth of live weight and tissues were described. The observed gilts reached the inflection point in approximately 121 days (I = 70.7 kg. The point at which the interval of intensive growth starts was at the age of approximately 42 days, (TB=17.35 kg and the saturation point the pigs reached at the age of 200.5 days (TC=126.74 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of gilts was 179.79 kg. The barrows reached the inflection point in approximately 149 days (I=92.2 kg. The point at which the intensive interval of growth starts was estimated at the age of approximately 52 days (TB=22.93 kg, and the saturation point the barrows reached at the age of 245 days (TC=164.8 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of barrows was 233.25 kg. Muscle tissue of gilts reached the inflection point (I = 28.46 kg in approximately 110 days. The point at which the interval of intensive growth of muscle tissue starts (TB=6.06 kg was estimated at approximately 53 days, and the saturation point of growth (TC=52.25 kg the muscle tissue of gilts reached at the age of 162 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in gilts was 75.79 kg. The muscle tissue of barrows reached the inflection point (I=28.78 kg in approximately 118 days, the point at which the interval of intensive growth starts (TB=6.36 kg at the age of approximately 35 days. The saturation point of muscle tissue growth in barrows (TC=52.51 kg was reached at the age of 202 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in barrows was 75.74 kg. The

  4. Integrating community perceptions and cultural diversity in social impact assessment in Nigeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nzeadibe, Thaddeus Chidi; Ajaero, Chukwuedozie Kelechukwu; Okonkwo, Emeka Emmanuel; Okpoko, Patrick Uche; Akukwe, Thecla Iheoma; Njoku-Tony, Roseline Feechi

    2015-01-01

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act of 1992 aimed to make the environment a central theme in development in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the extent of engagement with local cultures in the Nigerian EIA process is not statutorily guaranteed. While most EIAs in Nigeria have been for oil and gas projects in the Niger Delta, and have focused strongly on the biophysical environment, socio-economic and cultural aspects have remained marginal. The palpable neglect of community perceptions and cultural diversity in social impact assessment (SIA) in this region prone to conflict has tended to alienate the people in the decision-making process. Thus, despite claims to compliance with regulatory requirements for EIAs, and numerous purported sustainable development initiatives by international oil companies (IOCs), the region continues to face multiple sustainability challenges. This paper situates local perceptions and cultural diversity in participatory development and canvasses the integration of community perceptions and cultural diversity into SIA in the Niger Delta region. It is argued that doing this would be critical to ensuring acceptance and success of development actions within the context of local culture while also contributing to sustainable development policy in the region. - Highlights: • Nigeria EIA Act aimed to make the environment central to development in Nigeria. • Engagement with local communities in the process is not statutorily guaranteed. • SIAs in Nigeria neglect community perceptions and cultural diversity. • Article canvasses integrating community perceptions and cultural diversity in SIA. • Local acceptance in context of culture would yield sustainable development outcomes

  5. Integrating community perceptions and cultural diversity in social impact assessment in Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nzeadibe, Thaddeus Chidi, E-mail: chidi.nzeadibe@unn.edu.ng [Department of Geography, University of Nigeria, 410001 Nsukka (Nigeria); Ajaero, Chukwuedozie Kelechukwu [Demography and Population Studies Programme, The University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg (South Africa); Okonkwo, Emeka Emmanuel; Okpoko, Patrick Uche [Department of Archaeology and Tourism, University of Nigeria, 410001 Nsukka (Nigeria); Akukwe, Thecla Iheoma [Department of Geography, University of Nigeria, 410001 Nsukka (Nigeria); Njoku-Tony, Roseline Feechi [Department of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (Nigeria)

    2015-11-15

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act of 1992 aimed to make the environment a central theme in development in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the extent of engagement with local cultures in the Nigerian EIA process is not statutorily guaranteed. While most EIAs in Nigeria have been for oil and gas projects in the Niger Delta, and have focused strongly on the biophysical environment, socio-economic and cultural aspects have remained marginal. The palpable neglect of community perceptions and cultural diversity in social impact assessment (SIA) in this region prone to conflict has tended to alienate the people in the decision-making process. Thus, despite claims to compliance with regulatory requirements for EIAs, and numerous purported sustainable development initiatives by international oil companies (IOCs), the region continues to face multiple sustainability challenges. This paper situates local perceptions and cultural diversity in participatory development and canvasses the integration of community perceptions and cultural diversity into SIA in the Niger Delta region. It is argued that doing this would be critical to ensuring acceptance and success of development actions within the context of local culture while also contributing to sustainable development policy in the region. - Highlights: • Nigeria EIA Act aimed to make the environment central to development in Nigeria. • Engagement with local communities in the process is not statutorily guaranteed. • SIAs in Nigeria neglect community perceptions and cultural diversity. • Article canvasses integrating community perceptions and cultural diversity in SIA. • Local acceptance in context of culture would yield sustainable development outcomes.

  6. Diversity and structure of an oak community in the Cachalu Biological Reserve, Encino (Santander-Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avila, Fabio A; Angel, Sonia Patricia; Lopez C, Rene

    2010-01-01

    We analyzed diversity, structure and preliminary plant dynamics features (mortality and recruitment) of a one ha permanent plot in an oak forest, at the Reserva Biologica Cachalu, at an altitude of between 2100 and 2200 m. The plot was established in 2007, when all plant individuals with dbh 10 cm (first category) were tagged, measured and plotted. All individuals 1 and < 10 cm dbh (second category) were sampled in an area of 0.2 ha within the plot. In the last census (July 2009), we found 453 individuals, 23 families, 26 genera and 34 species from the first Category and 624 individuals, 34 families, 60 genera and 80 species from the second. The species-area curve showed a value of R2= 0.97. According to the structure analysis, most of the individuals, mainly tree lets, were accumulated in the first diameter, showing an up-turned J distribution, which illustrates early forest stages. Between the plot establishment and the first census (1.5 yr) the basal area of the first category decreased 1.61% while the second increased 36.6%. The most important species ac cording to IVI were Quercus humboldtii, Clusia schomburgkiana and Blakea cuatrecasii. Mortality and recruitment rates for the first category were 0.96% y 1%, respectively and in the second category these values were 2.8% y 12.2% respectively. During 1.5 yr new gaps appeared within the plot, which is associated with the decrease in total basal area. Despite high similarity in species composition compared with other neotropical montane forests, the dynamics and structure of the community in the present study appear to be distinct.

  7. Integrated Genomic Analysis of Diverse Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salomonis, Nathan; Dexheimer, Phillip J; Omberg, Larsson; Schroll, Robin; Bush, Stacy; Huo, Jeffrey; Schriml, Lynn; Ho Sui, Shannan; Keddache, Mehdi; Mayhew, Christopher; Shanmukhappa, Shiva Kumar; Wells, James; Daily, Kenneth; Hubler, Shane; Wang, Yuliang; Zambidis, Elias; Margolin, Adam; Hide, Winston; Hatzopoulos, Antonis K; Malik, Punam; Cancelas, Jose A; Aronow, Bruce J; Lutzko, Carolyn

    2016-07-12

    The rigorous characterization of distinct induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived from multiple reprogramming technologies, somatic sources, and donors is required to understand potential sources of variability and downstream potential. To achieve this goal, the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium performed comprehensive experimental and genomic analyses of 58 iPSC from ten laboratories generated using a variety of reprogramming genes, vectors, and cells. Associated global molecular characterization studies identified functionally informative correlations in gene expression, DNA methylation, and/or copy-number variation among key developmental and oncogenic regulators as a result of donor, sex, line stability, reprogramming technology, and cell of origin. Furthermore, X-chromosome inactivation in PSC produced highly correlated differences in teratoma-lineage staining and regulator expression upon differentiation. All experimental results, and raw, processed, and metadata from these analyses, including powerful tools, are interactively accessible from a new online portal at https://www.synapse.org to serve as a reusable resource for the stem cell community. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Chemical Diversity, Biological Activity, and Genetic Aspects of Three Ocotea Species from the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce Kelly da Silva

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ocotea species present economic importance and biological activities attributed to their essential oils (EOs and extracts. For this reason, various strategies have been developed for their conservation. The chemical compositions of the essential oils and matK DNA sequences of O. caudata, O. cujumary, and O. caniculata were subjected to comparison with data from O. floribunda, O. veraguensis, and O. whitei, previously reported. The multivariate analysis of chemical composition classified the EOs into two main clusters. Group I was characterized by the presence of α-pinene (9.8–22.5% and β-pinene (9.7–21.3% and it includes O. caudata, O. whitei, and O. floribunda. In group II, the oils of O. cujumary and O. caniculata showed high similarity due amounts of β-caryophyllene (22.2% and 18.9%, respectively. The EO of O. veraguensis, rich in p-cymene (19.8%, showed minor similarity among all samples. The oils displayed promising antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities against Escherichia coli (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC < 19.5 µg·mL−1 and MCF-7 cells (median inhibitory concentration (IC50 ≅ 65.0 µg·mL−1, respectively. The analysis of matK gene displayed a good correlation with the main class of chemical compounds present in the EOs. However, the matK gene data did not show correlation with specific compounds.

  9. Indicators to assess temporal genetic diversity in the French Catalogue: no losses for maize and peas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Clerc, V; Cadot, V; Canadas, M; Lallemand, J; Guèrin, D; Boulineau, F

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this study, led by the GEVES (Research and Control Group for Varieties and Seeds), was to suggest indicators to assess the diversity available to farmers since the French Official Catalogue for Plant Varieties and Species was initiated. The largest datasets of 1990 inbred maize lines and 578 pea lines from the last 50 years were analysed using morphological and enzymatic parameters. Lines were grouped into three to five periods. Genetic diversity was estimated in each period from morphological and enzymatic markers by computing numerous indices, such as the number of classes of scores for each characteristic, allelic richness or genetic diversity index (H ( e )). Population differentiation parameters (G(ST), G(ST)', F(ST), Q(ST)) were also estimated between periods. While genetic diversity computed from distinction, uniformity, stability traits was more marked for maize (0.66) than for garden peas (0.35) or feed peas (0.29), the opposite trend was observed with enzymes, resulting in a genetic diversity of 0.43, 0.35 and 0.22 for garden peas, feed peas and maize, respectively. However, no significant changes in genetic diversity were observed over time, and genetic differentiation was slight between periods. All our results demonstrated that no significant reduction in the diversity available to farmers had been observed since initiation of the French Catalogue. The H ( e ) was a good indicator providing a quantitative estimate of genetic diversity, but it should be interpreted alongside a more precise indicator such as allelic richness or the number of classes for morphological characteristics.

  10. Use of 15N methodology to assess biological nitrogen fixation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardarson, G.

    1990-01-01

    One of the most important characteristics of legumes are their ability in symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria to fix atmospheric nitrogen for growth. For proper management and a full realization of the benefits of this plant-microbial association, it is necessary to estimate how much nitrogen is fixed under different conditions in the field. It is only after this is known that various factors can be manipulated so as to increase the amount and proportion of N a plant derives from biological fixation. A suitable method for accurately measuring the amount of N crops derive from fixation is therefore an important requirement in any programme aimed at maximizing biological nitrogen fixation. There are several methods available to measure N 2 fixation (Bergersen, 1980) based on (1) increment in N yield and plant growth, (2) nitrogen balance (3) acetylene reduction and (4) the use of isotopes of N. Only isotopic methods will be illustrated here. 20 refs, 2 figs, 9 tabs

  11. Genetic diversity of Timarete punctata (Annelida: Cirratulidae): Detection of pseudo-cryptic species and a potential biological invader

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seixas, Victor Corrêa; Zanol, Joana; Magalhães, Wagner F.; Paiva, Paulo Cesar

    2017-10-01

    Among the processes that drive biological invasions, the presence of asexual reproduction, as observed in many polychaetes, is an important feature because it allows a rapid spread and colonization in the invaded site. Despite its ecological importance for benthic communities, studies on the biological invasive context are rare for this abundant taxon. Here, the phylogeographic pattern of a common asexual reproducer polychaete, Timarete punctata, was analyzed at five sites along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to investigate if its wide distribution is associated to human-mediated transport. Sequences of COI and 16S revealed the presence of two cryptic species. One of them exhibits a wide distribution range (∼14,000 km), very low level of genetic diversity and a high frequency of shared haplotypes along sampled sites. The genetic pattern indicates that this species has probably been introduced in all sampled sites, and its wide distribution is associated to human-mediated transport. In addition, the great capability of T. punctata to reproduce by fragmentation makes the colonization process easier. Thus, the number of alien polychaete species is probably underestimated and future studies are necessary to reach a more realistic perspective.

  12. Assessment of the impact of textile effluents on microbial diversity in Tirupur district, Tamil Nadu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabha, Shashi; Gogoi, Anindita; Mazumder, Payal; Ramanathan, AL.; Kumar, Manish

    2017-09-01

    The expedited advent of urbanization and industrialization for economic growth has adversely affected the biological diversity, which is one of the major concerns of the developing countries. Microbes play a crucial role in decontaminating polluted sites and degrades pollution load of textile effluent. The present study was based on identification of microbial diversity along the Noyaal river of Tirupur area. River water samples from industrial and non-industrial sites and effluent samples of before and after treatment were tested and it was found that microbial diversity was higher in the river water at the industrial site (Kasipalayam) as compared to the non-industrial site (Perur). Similarly, the microbial populations were found to be high in the untreated effluent as compared to the treated one by conventional treatment systems. Similar trends were observed for MBR treatment systems as well. Pseudomonas sp ., Achromobacter sp. (bacterial species) and Aspergillus fumigates (fungal species), found exclusively at the industrial site have been reported to possess decolorization potential of dye effluent, thus can be used for treatment of dye effluent. The comparison of different microbial communities from different dye wastewater sources and textile effluents was done, which showed that the microbes degrade dyestuffs, reduce toxicity of wastewaters, etc. From the study, it can be concluded that the microbial community helps to check on the pollutants and minimize their affect. Therefore, there is a need to understand the systematic variation in microbial diversity with the accumulation of pollution load through monitoring.

  13. Diverse biological effects of the essential oil from Iranian Trachyspermum ammi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca A. Vitali

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Trachyspermum ammi (Apiaceae is a plant with a good reputation in the traditional Persian and Ayurvedic medicine. The hydrodistilled essential oil from the fruits of T. ammi, known as ‘ajwain oil’, is used in countries such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India in the preparation of curry, to flavour several foods, as preservative, and in perfumery. At therapeutic level, ajwain oil is employed in the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments, lack of appetite and bronchial problems. In the present work, the essential oil of T. ammi growing in Iran was analysed by GC–FID and GC–MS showing thymol (67.4%, p-cymene (17.9% and γ-terpinene (11.3% as the major constituents. Afterwards, we investigated the biological effects displayed by ajwain oil, namely the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, the cytotoxicity on tumour cells, and the induction of lymphocyte proliferation. In addition, the inhibition on nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NadD, which is a promising new target for developing novel antibiotics, was evaluated. The antimicrobial effects of ajwain oil, measured by the agar disc diffusion method, were relevant, with inhibition zones higher than those of reference antibiotics, especially on Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans (34.7 and 54.3 mm, respectively. This effect was not due to the enzymatic inhibition on NadD. The ajwain oil exhibited a considerable dose-dependent inhibition on the ABTS radical cation, with an IC50 value of 22.4 μg/mL. MTT assay revealed that ajwain oil is particularly cytotoxic on colon carcinoma cells, with a IC50 value of 9.6 μg/mL. Finally, PBMC proliferation assay revealed some role for the ajwain oil within the network of interactions of the cells of the immune system.

  14. On finding bicliques in bipartite graphs: a novel algorithm and its application to the integration of diverse biological data types

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Integrating and analyzing heterogeneous genome-scale data is a huge algorithmic challenge for modern systems biology. Bipartite graphs can be useful for representing relationships across pairs of disparate data types, with the interpretation of these relationships accomplished through an enumeration of maximal bicliques. Most previously-known techniques are generally ill-suited to this foundational task, because they are relatively inefficient and without effective scaling. In this paper, a powerful new algorithm is described that produces all maximal bicliques in a bipartite graph. Unlike most previous approaches, the new method neither places undue restrictions on its input nor inflates the problem size. Efficiency is achieved through an innovative exploitation of bipartite graph structure, and through computational reductions that rapidly eliminate non-maximal candidates from the search space. An iterative selection of vertices for consideration based on non-decreasing common neighborhood sizes boosts efficiency and leads to more balanced recursion trees. Results The new technique is implemented and compared to previously published approaches from graph theory and data mining. Formal time and space bounds are derived. Experiments are performed on both random graphs and graphs constructed from functional genomics data. It is shown that the new method substantially outperforms the best previous alternatives. Conclusions The new method is streamlined, efficient, and particularly well-suited to the study of huge and diverse biological data. A robust implementation has been incorporated into GeneWeaver, an online tool for integrating and analyzing functional genomics experiments, available at http://geneweaver.org. The enormous increase in scalability it provides empowers users to study complex and previously unassailable gene-set associations between genes and their biological functions in a hierarchical fashion and on a genome-wide scale. This practical

  15. A biologic approach to environmental assessment and epidemiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Thomas J; Kriebel, David

    2010-01-01

    .... The two key fields of study on this issue, environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment, are still given separate names because of their separate historical roots and scientific traditions...

  16. Assessment of genetic diversity among different indigenous Xanthomonas isolates via RAPD and ISSR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatima Sabin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The genetic diversity among seven Xanthomonas isolates representing four species was assessed using RAPD and ISSR PCR-based techniques. Both techniques revealed high degrees of polymorphisms among the studied isolates. A cluster dendrogram based on the combined data of RAPD and ISSR showed that genetic diversity exists in local isolates of Xanthomonas. In terms of percentage similarity values, the genomic variation was found to be in the range of 29.29% - 100% among the isolates. X. campestris (Mangifera indica remained unclustered in cluster dendrogram and revealed a unique genomic profile compared to other isolates used in this study.

  17. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KALYA SUBASINGHE

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five habitat types (two natural habitats: Sub-montane forest and Pitawala Patana grassland; three modified habitats: cardamom, pinus and abandoned tea plantations in Northern Flank of KMFR using birds as the indicator group. Bird communities were surveyed using point count method. A total of 1,150 individuals belonging to 56 species were observed. The highest species richness was reported from the cardamom plantation where as sub-montane forest had the highest feeding guild diversity in terms of Shannon Weiner index. The abandoned tea plantation and the Pitawala Patana grasslands with fairly open habitats, showed relatively lower levels of feeding guild diversities. It is clear that the structurally complex habitats contribute more to the area’s biological and functional diversities and need to be taken into consideration when developing conservation plans.

  18. Acquisition/Diversion Pathway Analysis for the Assessment of Proliferation Resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Hong Lae; Ko, Won Il

    2009-01-01

    The INPRO methodology in the area of proliferation resistance (PR) has one basic principle and five user requirements with relevant criteria, indicators, evaluation parameters, etc. The two Korean case studies on proliferation resistance of the DUPIC fuel cycle during 2004 and 2005 and various consultancy meetings have contributed to the establishment of the assessment metrics and procedures for three user requirements regarding States' commitment, attractiveness of nuclear material and technology, and difficulty and detectability of diversion. However, the assessment indicators and procedure for user requirement 4 regarding multiplicity and robustness of barriers against proliferation still need to be developed. In this paper, a systematic approach to identify and analyze the acquisition/diversion pathways in a nuclear energy system is described, including follow-up R and D plans to assess the multiplicity and robustness of barriers against proliferation

  19. Biology Needs a Modern Assessment System for Professional Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDade, Lucinda A.; Maddison, David R.; Guralnick, Robert; Piwowar, Heather A.; Jameson, Mary Liz; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Herendeen, Patrick S.; Hill, Andrew; Vis, Morgan L.

    2011-01-01

    Stimulated in large part by the advent of the Internet, research productivity in many academic disciplines has changed dramatically over the last two decades. However, the assessment system that governs professional success has not kept pace, creating a mismatch between modes of scholarly productivity and academic assessment criteria. In this…

  20. Can tree species diversity be assessed with Landsat data in a temperate forest?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arekhi, Maliheh; Yılmaz, Osman Yalçın; Yılmaz, Hatice; Akyüz, Yaşar Feyza

    2017-10-28

    The diversity of forest trees as an indicator of ecosystem health can be assessed using the spectral characteristics of plant communities through remote sensing data. The objectives of this study were to investigate alpha and beta tree diversity using Landsat data for six dates in the Gönen dam watershed of Turkey. We used richness and the Shannon and Simpson diversity indices to calculate tree alpha diversity. We also represented the relationship between beta diversity and remotely sensed data using species composition similarity and spectral distance similarity of sampling plots via quantile regression. A total of 99 sampling units, each 20 m × 20 m, were selected using geographically stratified random sampling method. Within each plot, the tree species were identified, and all of the trees with a diameter at breast height (dbh) larger than 7 cm were measured. Presence/absence and abundance data (tree species number and tree species basal area) of tree species were used to determine the relationship between richness and the Shannon and Simpson diversity indices, which were computed with ground field data, and spectral variables derived (2 × 2 pixels and 3 × 3 pixels) from Landsat 8 OLI data. The Shannon-Weiner index had the highest correlation. For all six dates, NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) was the spectral variable most strongly correlated with the Shannon index and the tree diversity variables. The Ratio of green to red (VI) was the spectral variable least correlated with the tree diversity variables and the Shannon basal area. In both beta diversity curves, the slope of the OLS regression was low, while in the upper quantile, it was approximately twice the lower quantiles. The Jaccard index is closed to one with little difference in both two beta diversity approaches. This result is due to increasing the similarity between the sampling plots when they are located close to each other. The intercept differences between two

  1. Biological inquiry: a new course and assessment plan in response to the call to transform undergraduate biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldey, Ellen S; Abercrombie, Clarence L; Ivy, Tracie M; Kusher, Dave I; Moeller, John F; Rayner, Doug A; Smith, Charles F; Spivey, Natalie W

    2012-01-01

    We transformed our first-year curriculum in biology with a new course, Biological Inquiry, in which >50% of all incoming, first-year students enroll. The course replaced a traditional, content-driven course that relied on outdated approaches to teaching and learning. We diversified pedagogical practices by adopting guided inquiry in class and in labs, which are devoted to building authentic research skills through open-ended experiments. Students develop core biological knowledge, from the ecosystem to molecular level, and core skills through regular practice in hypothesis testing, reading primary literature, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing in disciplinary style, and working in teams. Assignments and exams require higher-order cognitive processes, and students build new knowledge and skills through investigation of real-world problems (e.g., malaria), which engages students' interest. Evidence from direct and indirect assessment has guided continuous course revision and has revealed that compared with the course it replaced, Biological Inquiry produces significant learning gains in all targeted areas. It also retains 94% of students (both BA and BS track) compared with 79% in the majors-only course it replaced. The project has had broad impact across the entire college and reflects the input of numerous constituencies and close collaboration among biology professors and students.

  2. Assessment of Genetic Diversity, Relationships and Structure among Korean Native Cattle Breeds Using Microsatellite Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangwon Suh

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Four Korean native cattle (KNC breeds—Hanwoo, Chikso, Heugu, and Jeju black—are entered in the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships and population structure of these KNC breeds (n = 120 and exotic breeds (Holstein and Charolais, n = 56. Thirty microsatellite loci recommended by the International Society for Animal Genetics/FAO were genotyped. These genotypes were used to determine the allele frequencies, allelic richness, heterozygosity and polymorphism information content per locus and breed. Genetic diversity was lower in Heugu and Jeju black breeds. Phylogenetic analysis, Factorial Correspondence Analysis and genetic clustering grouped each breed in its own cluster, which supported the genetic uniqueness of the KNC breeds. These results will be useful for conservation and management of KNC breeds as animal genetic resources.

  3. Scale dependency of forest functional diversity assessed using imaging spectroscopy and airborne laser scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Schmid, B.; Petchey, O. L.; Hueni, A.; Schimel, D.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Forest functional traits offer a mechanistic link between ecological processes and community structure and assembly rules. However, measuring functional traits of forests in a continuous and consistent way is particularly difficult due to the complexity of in-situ measurements and geo-referencing. New imaging spectroscopy measurements overcome these limitations allowing to map physiological traits on broad spatial scales. We mapped leaf chlorophyll, carotenoids and leaf water content over 900 ha of temperate mixed forest (Fig. 1a). The selected traits are functionally important because they are indicating the photosynthetic potential of trees, leaf longevity and protection, as well as tree water and drought stress. Spatially continuous measurements on the scale of individual tree crowns allowed to assess functional diversity patterns on a range of ecological extents. We used indexes of functional richness, divergence and evenness to map different aspects of diversity. Fig. 1b shows an example of physiological richness at an extent of 240 m radius. We compared physiological to morphological diversity patterns, derived based on plant area index, canopy height and foliage height diversity. Our results show that patterns of physiological and morphological diversity generally agree, independently measured by airborne imaging spectroscopy and airborne laser scanning, respectively. The occurrence of disturbance areas and mixtures of broadleaf and needle trees were the main drivers of the observed diversity patterns. Spatial patterns at varying extents and richness-area relationships indicated that environmental filtering is the predominant community assembly process. Our results demonstrate the potential for mapping physiological and morphological diversity in a temperate mixed forest between and within species on scales relevant to study community assembly and structure from space and test the corresponding measurement schemes.

  4. Adding biological realism to assessments of landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers have long appreciated the practical value of connectivity and source-sink analyses. The importance of these assessments for conservation, planning, and reserve design has motivated many empirical and simulation studies. But there are few modeling tools available that ...

  5. Conservation education in Madagascar: three case studies in the biologically diverse island-continent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolins, Francine L; Jolly, Alison; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Feistner, Anna T C; Ravoavy, Florent

    2010-05-01

    Few Malagasy children and adults are aware of the rare and unique fauna and flora indigenous to their island-continent, including flagship lemur species. Even the Malagasy ancestral proverbs never mentioned lemurs, but these same proverbs talked about the now extinct hippopotamus. Madagascar's geography, history, and economic constraints contribute to severe biodiversity loss. Deforestation on Madagascar is reported to be over 100,000 ha/year, with only 10-15% of the island retaining natural forest [Green & Sussman, 1990]. Educating children, teacher-training, and community projects about environmental and conservation efforts to protect the remaining natural habitats of endangered lemur species provide a basis for long-term changes in attitudes and practices. Case studies of three conservation education projects located in different geographical regions of Madagascar, Centre ValBio, Madagacar Wildlife Conservation Alaotra Comic Book Project, and The Ako Book Project, are presented together with their ongoing stages of development, assessment, and outcomes. We argue that while nongovernmental organizational efforts are and will be very important, the Ministry of Education urgently needs to incorporate biodiversity education in the curriculum at all levels, from primary school to university. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Artificial intelligence in molecular biology: a review and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlings, C J; Fox, J P

    1994-06-29

    Over the past ten years, molecular biologists and computer scientists have experimented with various computational methods developed in artificial intelligence (AI). AI research has yielded a number of novel technologies, which are typified by an emphasis on symbolic (non-numerical) programming methods aimed at problems which are not amenable to classical algorithmic solutions. Prominent examples include knowledge-based and expert systems, qualitative simulation and artificial neural networks and other automated learning techniques. These methods have been applied to problems in data analysis, construction of advanced databases and modelling of biological systems. Practical results are now being obtained, notably in the recognition of active genes in genomic sequences, the assembly of physical and genetic maps and protein structure prediction. This paper outlines the principal methods, surveys the findings to date, and identifies the promising trends and current limitations.

  7. Biological assessment of effects of combined sewer overflows and storm water discharges.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lijklema, L.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Cuppen, J.G.M.

    1989-01-01

    The biological effects of discharges from combined or separated sewer systems are difficult to assess or to predict due to variahilities in concentrations, environmental conditions, morphometry, susceptibility of organisms, seasonality and other factors. A general discussion of the problem results

  8. Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology (Final Report)

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA announced the release of the final report, Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology. This report describes new approaches that are faster, less resource intensive, and more robust that can help ...

  9. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  10. Assessment of soil microbial diversity with functional multi-endpoint methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Creamer, R. E.; Rutgers, M.

    to the lack of principle methods, the data obtained from these substitute methods are currently not used in classification and assessment schemes, making quantification of natural capital and ecosystems services of the soil a difficult venture. In this contribution, we compare and contrast the three......Soil microbial diversity provides the cornerstone for support of soil ecosystem services by key roles in soil organic matter turnover, carbon sequestration and water infiltration. However, standardized methods to quantify the multitude of microbial functions in soils are lacking. Methods based...... techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses and compare with the vast amount of data delivered in other projects (BISQ, RMQS-bioindicateur). Based on experimental results...

  11. Educational needs of hospice social workers: spiritual assessment and interventions with diverse populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesley, Carol; Tunney, Kathleen; Duncan, Ella

    2004-01-01

    Based on a national survey, this study analyzes the roles and educational needs of hospice social workers regarding assessment and intervention in spirituality, religion, and diversity of their patients. Sixty-two social workers responded to the survey. Results suggest that spiritual care is shared among hospice team members and that most social workers feel comfortable in addressing these issues. However, role conflict and role ambiguity also exist. Respondents to the survey often felt ill-prepared to deal with some complex faith-based conflicts related to diversity. They saw themselves in need of assessment models and end-of-life decision-making interventions regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia. This study provides recommendations for social work practice, education, and research.

  12. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin induces heterogeneity in lipid membranes: potential implication for its diverse biological action.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Zhou

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID, indomethacin (Indo, has a large number of divergent biological effects, the molecular mechanism(s for which have yet to be fully elucidated. Interestingly, Indo is highly amphiphilic and associates strongly with lipid membranes, which influence localization, structure and function of membrane-associating proteins and actively regulate cell signaling events. Thus, it is possible that Indo regulates diverse cell functions by altering micro-environments within the membrane. Here we explored the effect of Indo on the nature of the segregated domains in a mixed model membrane composed of dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl-choline (di16:0 PC, or DPPC and dioleoyl phosphatidyl-choline (di18:1 PC or DOPC and cholesterol that mimics biomembranes.Using a series of fluorescent probes in a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET study, we found that Indo induced separation between gel domains and fluid domains in the mixed model membrane, possibly by enhancing the formation of gel-phase domains. This effect originated from the ability of Indo to specifically target the ordered domains in the mixed membrane. These findings were further confirmed by measuring the ability of Indo to affect the fluidity-dependent fluorescence quenching and the level of detergent resistance of membranes.Because the tested lipids are the main lipid constituents in cell membranes, the observed formation of gel phase domains induced by Indo potentially occurs in biomembranes. This marked Indo-induced change in phase behavior potentially alters membrane protein functions, which contribute to the wide variety of biological activities of Indo and other NSAIDs.

  13. The biological exposure index: its use in assessing chemical exposures in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowry, L K

    1987-12-01

    Human exposure to chemicals in the workplace has traditionally been assessed by determining the concentration of an airborne chemical in the workroom air. More recently, biological monitoring has been used to assess worker uptake of chemicals by all routes of exposure. Both approaches for the assessment of exposure and uptake are complementary. This relationship is examined, along with the advantages and limitations of using biological monitoring. The concept of the biological exposure index (BEI), developed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and information on the intended use and interpretation of BEIs are described. Examples are presented on the use of biological monitoring in NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations (e.g., carboxyhemoglobin in blood to assess exposure to carbon monoxide, urinary metabolites of trichloroethylene to assess exposure to trichloroethanol, and 2-ethoxyacetic acid in urine to assess exposure to 2-ethoxyethanol). The progress of current research studies on the biological monitoring of volunteers exposed to paint spray solvents is presented, along with speculation on the future directions of biological monitoring research.

  14. Synthesis and biological assessment of novel acylhydrazone derivatives of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone

    OpenAIRE

    Kamal Bouhadir; Hala Atallah; Rana Mezher; Maamoun Fatfat; Hala Gali-Muhtasib; Jomana Elaridi

    2017-01-01

    Naphthoquinones are medicinally important molecules with a diverse array of biological properties such as antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-artherosclerotic and anticarcinogenic activities. In this study, we report the simple and direct preparation of a new group of novel menadione-hydrazone conjugates by reaction of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinones with several aliphatic, aromatic and nucleobase hydrazides. The menadione-hydrazone conjugates were produced in excellent...

  15. Linking diversity and distribution to understand biodiversity gradients and inform conservation assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Broad-scale patterns of species richness result from differential coexistence among species in distinct regions of the globe, determined by the species’ ranges and their properties such as size, shape and location. Thus, species richness and ranges are inherently linked. These two biodiversity features also yield primary information for conservation assessments. However, species richness and range size have been usually studied separately and no formal analytical link has been established. In my PhD thesis, I applied and extended a recently developed conceptual and methodological framework to study geographical association among species and similarity among sites. This range–diversity framework, along with stochastic simulation modelling, allowed me to jointly evaluate the relationship between diversity and distribution, to infer potential processes underlying composite patterns of phyllostomid bats, and to use this approach to inform conservation assessments for the Mexican avifauna. I highlight the need to explore composite patterns for understanding biodiversity patterns and show how combining diversity and distributional data can help describe complex biogeographical patterns, providing a transparent and explicit application for initial conservation assessments.

  16. AGRO-BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF RADISH ACCESSIONS AT NOVOSIBIRSK AREA

    OpenAIRE

    T. V. Steinert; A. V. Aliluev; L. M. Avdeenko

    2017-01-01

    The result of collaboration work between Siberian Research Institute of Plant Cultivation and Breeding, the branch of The Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICG SB RAS) and the company OOO Geterozisnaya Selectia on ecological trial and assessment of economically valuable traits were obtained in promising radish accessions. The data on influence of sowing terms on yielding ability, formation of flower bearing stalks was analyzed and mo...

  17. Multilingual Learners in Language Assessment: Assessment Design for Linguistically Diverse Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schissel, Jamie L.; Leung, Constant; López-Gopar, Mario; Davis, James R.

    2018-01-01

    The assessments designed for and analyzed in this study used a task-based language design template rooted in theories of language reflecting heteroglossic language practices and funds of knowledge learning theories, which were understood as transforming classroom teaching, learning, and assessment through continua of biliteracy lenses. Using a…

  18. Assessment of variations in taxonomic diversity, forest structure, and aboveground biomass using remote sensing along an altitudinal gradient in tropical montane forest of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, C. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Clark, D.; Fricker, G. A.; Wolf, J.; Gillespie, T. W.; Rovzar, C. M.; Andelman, S.

    2012-12-01

    This research sought to understand how alpha and beta diversity of plants vary and relate to the three-dimensional vegetation structure and aboveground biomass along environmental gradients in the tropical montane forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. There is growing evidence that ecosystem structure plays an important role in defining patterns of species diversity and along with abiotic factors (climate and edaphic) control the phenotypic and functional variations across landscapes. It is well documented that strong subdivisions at local and regional scales are found mainly on geologic or climate gradients. These general determinants of biodiversity are best demonstrated in regions with natural gradients such as tropical montane forests. Altitudinal gradients provide a landscape scale changes through variations in topography, climate, and edaphic conditions on which we tested several theoretical and biological hypotheses regarding drivers of biodiversity. The study was performed by using forest inventory and botanical data from nine 1-ha plots ranging from 100 m to 2800 m above sea level and remote sensing data from airborne lidar and radar sensors to quantify variations in forest structure. In this study we report on the effectiveness of relating patterns of tree taxonomic alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure of a tropical montane forest using lidar and radar observations of forest structure and biomass. We assessed alpha and beta diversity at the species, genus, and family levels utilizing datasets provided by the Terrestrial Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Through the comparison to active remote sensing imagery, our results show that there is a strong relationship between forest 3D-structure, and alpha and beta diversity controlled by variations in abiotic factors along the altitudinal gradient. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we find distinct patterns along the environmental gradients

  19. Genetic Diversity in Jatropha curcas L. Assessed with SSR and SNP Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan M. Montes

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Jatropha curcas L. (jatropha is an undomesticated plant that has recently received great attention for its utilization in biofuel production, rehabilitation of wasteland, and rural development. Knowledge of genetic diversity and marker-trait associations is urgently needed for the design of breeding strategies. The main goal of this study was to assess the genetic structure and diversity in jatropha germplasm with co-dominant markers (Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP in a diverse, worldwide, germplasm panel of 70 accessions. We found a high level of homozygosis in the germplasm that does not correspond to the purely outcrossing mating system assumed to be present in jatropha. We hypothesize that the prevalent mating system of jatropha comprise a high level of self-fertilization and that the outcrossing rate is low. Genetic diversity in accessions from Central America and Mexico was higher than in accession from Africa, Asia, and South America. We identified makers associated with the presence of phorbol esters. We think that the utilization of molecular markers in breeding of jatropha will significantly accelerate the development of improved cultivars.

  20. Diversity Assessment and Cultivar Identification in Date Palm through Molecular Markers- A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Faqir

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Date palm has a long history of cultivation and a valuable germplasm with little knowledge about its genetic makeup and variation among the most cultivated cultivars. Diversity is the variability of a species. Plants show variation in yield, vegetative traits and morphological properties of fruits and seeds in response to environmental changes. Molecular markers or DNA markers have been in use since past three decades. The DNA profiles give information about the genotype, screen the whole genome and show variation in both the coding and noncoding region and hence give information about polymorphism. Since plastid genes are transferred mostly from the mother line, the identification of maternal lines is possible by the sequencing of plastid genes. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs can detect length variation with the help of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR and may be used as highly informative genetic markers. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNPs are the third generation of molecular markers. SNPs are more stable and have high fidelity of inheritance as compared to other marker systems. Molecular markers have been developed but they are not enough for sufficient diversity assessment. Therefore there is a need to increase the number of DNA markers in date palm. Previously, there are several studies to type various commercially important germplasm based on morphological or yield parameters. Morphological and biochemical markers are limited in number and are affected by environmental factors and growth stage of the plant which reduce their reliability in the assessment of diversity and characterization of the germplasm. This necessitates the use of genetic characterization, utilizing DNA markers, gene sequencing or SNP genotyping which can work independent of the plant growth stage and are not affected by environmental factors. A combination of morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of the date palm cultivars can better assess the

  1. Conservation of biological diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian G. Tavernia; Mark D. Nelson; Rachel Riemann; Brent Dickinson; W. Keith Moser; Barry T. (Ty) Wilson; James D. Garner

    2016-01-01

    People enjoy a variety of ecosystem services, or benefits, from forests, including water purification, recreation, income from tourism, timber products, and the cultural and economic benefits from hunting, fishing, and gathering (Shvidenko et al. 2005). Across the Northern United States, growing human populations will place increased service demands on forests for the...

  2. Genetic diversity assessment of sesame core collection in China by phenotype and molecular markers and extraction of a mini-core collection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Yanxin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sesame (Sesamum indicum L. is one of the four major oil crops in China. A sesame core collection (CC was established in China in 2000, but no complete study on its genetic diversity has been carried out at either the phenotypic or molecular level. To provide technical guidance, a theoretical basis for further collection, effective protection, reasonable application, and a complete analysis of sesame genetic resources, a genetic diversity assessment of the sesame CC in China was conducted using phenotypic and molecular data and by extracting a sesame mini-core collection (MC. Results Results from a genetic diversity assessment of sesame CC in China were significantly inconsistent at the phenotypic and molecular levels. A Mantel test revealed the insignificant correlation between phenotype and molecular marker information (r = 0.0043, t = 0.1320, P = 0.5525. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index (I and Nei genetic diversity index (h were higher (I = 0.9537, h = 0.5490 when calculated using phenotypic data from the CC than when using molecular data (I = 0.3467, h = 0.2218. A mini-core collection (MC containing 184 accessions was extracted based on both phenotypic and molecular data, with a low mean difference percentage (MD, 1.64%, low variance difference percentage (VD, 22.58%, large variable rate of coefficient of variance (VR, 114.86%, and large coincidence rate of range (CR, 95.76%. For molecular data, the diversity indices and the polymorphism information content (PIC for the MC were significantly higher than for the CC. Compared to an alternative random sampling strategy, the advantages of capturing genetic diversity and validation by extracting a MC using an advanced maximization strategy were proven. Conclusions This study provides a comprehensive characterization of the phenotypic and molecular genetic diversities of the sesame CC in China. A MC was extracted using both phenotypic and molecular data. Low MD% and VD%, and

  3. Genetic diversity assessment of sesame core collection in China by phenotype and molecular markers and extraction of a mini-core collection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the four major oil crops in China. A sesame core collection (CC) was established in China in 2000, but no complete study on its genetic diversity has been carried out at either the phenotypic or molecular level. To provide technical guidance, a theoretical basis for further collection, effective protection, reasonable application, and a complete analysis of sesame genetic resources, a genetic diversity assessment of the sesame CC in China was conducted using phenotypic and molecular data and by extracting a sesame mini-core collection (MC). Results Results from a genetic diversity assessment of sesame CC in China were significantly inconsistent at the phenotypic and molecular levels. A Mantel test revealed the insignificant correlation between phenotype and molecular marker information (r = 0.0043, t = 0.1320, P = 0.5525). The Shannon-Weaver diversity index (I) and Nei genetic diversity index (h) were higher (I = 0.9537, h = 0.5490) when calculated using phenotypic data from the CC than when using molecular data (I = 0.3467, h = 0.2218). A mini-core collection (MC) containing 184 accessions was extracted based on both phenotypic and molecular data, with a low mean difference percentage (MD, 1.64%), low variance difference percentage (VD, 22.58%), large variable rate of coefficient of variance (VR, 114.86%), and large coincidence rate of range (CR, 95.76%). For molecular data, the diversity indices and the polymorphism information content (PIC) for the MC were significantly higher than for the CC. Compared to an alternative random sampling strategy, the advantages of capturing genetic diversity and validation by extracting a MC using an advanced maximization strategy were proven. Conclusions This study provides a comprehensive characterization of the phenotypic and molecular genetic diversities of the sesame CC in China. A MC was extracted using both phenotypic and molecular data. Low MD% and VD%, and large VR% and CR

  4. Derivation of the extrinsic values of biological diversity from its intrinsic value and of both from the first principles of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Peter S

    2013-12-01

    Conservation ethics have been based on 2 philosophical value systems: extrinsic value (defined broadly to include all values that derive from something external to the thing valued) and intrinsic value. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an extrinsic value system is problematic because measurement is often difficult; extrinsic value changes as spatial or temporal scales change; extrinsic value differs on the basis of external factors; some species have trivial or negative extrinsic values; and extrinsic value varies across human cultures and societies and with such factors as socioeconomic conditions, individual experiences, and educational backgrounds. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an intrinsic value system also poses challenges because intrinsic value can be seen as a disguised form of human extrinsic value; intrinsic value is initially ambiguous as to which objects or characteristics of biological diversity are to being valued; all aspects of biological diversity (e.g., species and ecosystems) are transitory; species and ecosystems are not static concrete entities; and intrinsic value of one species is often in conflict with the intrinsic value of other species. Extrinsic and intrinsic value systems share a common origin, such that extrinsic values are always derived from intrinsic value and life mutely expresses both intrinsic and extrinsic values-these are derived from and are products of biological evolution. Probing the values that underlie conservation helps the community clearly articulate its aims. Derivación de los Valores Extrínsecos de la Biodiversidad a Partir de sus Valores Intrínsecos y de Ambos a Partir de los Primeros Principios de la Evolución. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Evaluation and Assessment in Information Literacy: WASSAIL as a tool to support diverse methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy Goebel

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In the higher education Information Literacy context, there is growing interest and requirements for evaluation of librarian teaching and assessment of student learning. This session will explore these issues and use WASSAIL as a sample tool to consider for these purposes. WASSAIL is open source software developed at the Augustana Campus Library of the University of Alberta to support the evaluation and assessment requirements of Augustana's Information Literacy program. WASSAIL was the 2010 ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award winner. Session participants are requested to bring laptops to interact with WASSAIL in the hands-on part of the workshop. Participants can bring questions they would like to enter into evaluation or assessment tools, or sample questions will be provided. A diversity of methods will be discussed: evaluation tools such as end of "one-shot" questionnaires and general surveys, as well as assessment methods such as in-class quizzes, pre-/post-tests, and more.

  6. Prospective Technology Assessment of Synthetic Biology: Fundamental and Propaedeutic Reflections in Order to Enable an Early Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jan Cornelius

    2016-08-01

    Synthetic biology is regarded as one of the key technosciences of the future. The goal of this paper is to present some fundamental considerations to enable procedures of a technology assessment (TA) of synthetic biology. To accomplish such an early "upstream" assessment of a not yet fully developed technology, a special type of TA will be considered: Prospective TA (ProTA). At the center of ProTA are the analysis and the framing of "synthetic biology," including a characterization and assessment of the technological core. The thesis is that if there is any differentia specifica giving substance to the umbrella term "synthetic biology," it is the idea of harnessing self-organization for engineering purposes. To underline that we are likely experiencing an epochal break in the ontology of technoscientific systems, this new type of technology is called "late-modern technology." -I start this paper by analyzing the three most common visions of synthetic biology. Then I argue that one particular vision deserves more attention because it underlies the others: the vision of self-organization. I discuss the inherent limits of this new type of late-modern technology in the attempt to control and monitor possible risk issues. I refer to Hans Jonas' ethics and his early anticipation of the risks of a novel type of technology. I end by drawing conclusions for the approach of ProTA towards an early societal shaping of synthetic biology.

  7. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Varner

    Full Text Available Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps. We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation and unsuitable (low elevation by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  8. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  9. Examining portfolio-based assessment in an upper-level biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Brittany Ann

    Historically, students have been viewed as empty vessels and passive participants in the learning process but students actually are active forming their own conceptions. One way student learning is impacted is through assessment. Alternative assessment, which contrasts traditional assessment methods, takes into account how students learn by promoting engagement and construction of knowledge This dissertation explores portfolio-based assessment, a method of alternative assessment, which requires students to compose a purposeful collection of work demonstrating their knowledge in an upper-level biology course. The research objectives include characterizing and contributing to the understanding of portfolio-based assessment in higher education, examining reflection and inquiry portfolio components, determining student knowledge of biological concepts, and investigating student integrative thinking through the transformation of reflections into concept webs One main finding includes the majority of reflections categorized as naive or novice in quality. There was no difference in quality of reflections among biological topic. There was a relatively equal amount of high and low cognitive level questions. Students' knowledge of biological concepts significantly increased from the beginning to end of the course. Student written reflections were transformed into concept webs to allow for examination of student integrative thinking. Concepts, relationships, and interconnections in concept webs showed variation but declined by the end of the semester This study is one of the first examining portfolio-based assessment in an upper-level biology course We do not contend that this method of assessment is the only way to promote student learning but portfolio-based assessment may be a tool that can transform science education but currently the role of portfolio-based assessment in science education remains unclear. Additional research needs to be conducted before we will fully

  10. Single nucleotide polymorphisms for assessing genetic diversity in castor bean (Ricinus communis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabinowicz Pablo D

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Castor bean (Ricinus communis is an agricultural crop and garden ornamental that is widely cultivated and has been introduced worldwide. Understanding population structure and the distribution of castor bean cultivars has been challenging because of limited genetic variability. We analyzed the population genetics of R. communis in a worldwide collection of plants from germplasm and from naturalized populations in Florida, U.S. To assess genetic diversity we conducted survey sequencing of the genomes of seven diverse cultivars and compared the data to a reference genome assembly of a widespread cultivar (Hale. We determined the population genetic structure of 676 samples using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs at 48 loci. Results Bayesian clustering indicated five main groups worldwide and a repeated pattern of mixed genotypes in most countries. High levels of population differentiation occurred between most populations but this structure was not geographically based. Most molecular variance occurred within populations (74% followed by 22% among populations, and 4% among continents. Samples from naturalized populations in Florida indicated significant population structuring consistent with local demes. There was significant population differentiation for 56 of 78 comparisons in Florida (pairwise population ϕPT values, p Conclusion Low levels of genetic diversity and mixing of genotypes have led to minimal geographic structuring of castor bean populations worldwide. Relatively few lineages occur and these are widely distributed. Our approach of determining population genetic structure using SNPs from genome-wide comparisons constitutes a framework for high-throughput analyses of genetic diversity in plants, particularly in species with limited genetic diversity.

  11. Assessment of genetic diversity of a native population of Eplingiella fruticosa: a plant with therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, D C; Diniz, L E C; Blank, A F; Nizio, D A C; Pinto, J A O; Pereira, K L G; Arrigoni-Blank, M F

    2017-08-17

    Eplingiella fruticosa (Salzm. ex Benth.) Harley & J.F.B. Pastore, ex Hyptis fruticosa Salzm. ex Benth. is an aromatic and medicinal plant of the family Lamiaceae, found mainly in regions with intense anthropic activity. Information on the genetic diversity of this species is scarce. However, it can be assessed using molecular markers that identify the level of diversity among phenotypically identical individuals. The present study aimed to characterize the genetic diversity of a native population of E. fruticosa from the State of Sergipe using ISSR molecular markers. Samples of 100 plants were collected in 11 municipalities of the State of Sergipe and analyzed using eight ISSR primers, resulting in 72 informative bands. The cluster analysis obtained using the neighbor joining method resulted in three groups: Group I consisted of 50 plants, mainly from the municipalities of Areia Branca, Estância, Japaratuba, Moita Bonita, Pirambu, and Salgado; Group II was formed by 21 plants, with nine representatives from the municipality of Itaporanga d'Ajuda and 13 representatives from other municipalities; Group III was composed by 29 plants, being represented mainly by the municipalities of Malhada dos Bois and São Cristóvão. The smallest genetic distance occurred between plants EPF94 and EPF96 (0.250), and the greatest distance occurred between plants EPF50 and EPF96 (0.9778). The Shannon index had a mean value of 0.42, and diversity was considered moderate. Heterozygosity had a mean value of 0.267 and was considered low. Polymorphic information content (0.253) was considered moderately informative. Genetic diversity of E. fruticosa plants was intermediate, and the results of the present study can assist in the conservation and use of the genetic resources of this species.

  12. PCR and Omics Based Techniques to Study the Diversity, Ecology and Biology of Anaerobic Fungi: Insights, Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joan E. Edwards

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Anaerobic fungi (phylum Neocallimastigomycota are common inhabitants of the digestive tract of mammalian herbivores, and in the rumen, can account for up to 20% of the microbial biomass. Anaerobic fungi play a primary role in the degradation of lignocellulosic plant material. They also have a syntrophic interaction with methanogenic archaea, which increases their fiber degradation activity. To date, nine anaerobic fungal genera have been described, with further novel taxonomic groupings known to exist based on culture-independent molecular surveys. However, the true extent of their diversity may be even more extensively underestimated as anaerobic fungi continue being discovered in yet unexplored gut and non-gut environments. Additionally many studies are now known to have used primers that provide incomplete coverage of the Neocallimastigomycota. For ecological studies the internal transcribed spacer 1 region (ITS1 has been the taxonomic marker of choice, but due to various limitations the large subunit rRNA (LSU is now being increasingly used. How the continued expansion of our knowledge regarding anaerobic fungal diversity will impact on our understanding of their biology and ecological role remains unclear; particularly as it is becoming apparent that anaerobic fungi display niche differentiation. As a consequence, there is a need to move beyond the broad generalization of anaerobic fungi as fiber-degraders, and explore the fundamental differences that underpin their ability to exist in distinct ecological niches. Application of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to their study in pure/mixed cultures and environmental samples will be invaluable in this process. To date the genomes and transcriptomes of several characterized anaerobic fungal isolates have been successfully generated. In contrast, the application of proteomics and metabolomics to anaerobic fungal analysis is still in its infancy. A central problem for all

  13. PCR and Omics Based Techniques to Study the Diversity, Ecology and Biology of Anaerobic Fungi: Insights, Challenges and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Joan E.; Forster, Robert J.; Callaghan, Tony M.; Dollhofer, Veronika; Dagar, Sumit S.; Cheng, Yanfen; Chang, Jongsoo; Kittelmann, Sandra; Fliegerova, Katerina; Puniya, Anil K.; Henske, John K.; Gilmore, Sean P.; O'Malley, Michelle A.; Griffith, Gareth W.; Smidt, Hauke

    2017-01-01

    Anaerobic fungi (phylum Neocallimastigomycota) are common inhabitants of the digestive tract of mammalian herbivores, and in the rumen, can account for up to 20% of the microbial biomass. Anaerobic fungi play a primary role in the degradation of lignocellulosic plant material. They also have a syntrophic interaction with methanogenic archaea, which increases their fiber degradation activity. To date, nine anaerobic fungal genera have been described, with further novel taxonomic groupings known to exist based on culture-independent molecular surveys. However, the true extent of their diversity may be even more extensively underestimated as anaerobic fungi continue being discovered in yet unexplored gut and non-gut environments. Additionally many studies are now known to have used primers that provide incomplete coverage of the Neocallimastigomycota. For ecological studies the internal transcribed spacer 1 region (ITS1) has been the taxonomic marker of choice, but due to various limitations the large subunit rRNA (LSU) is now being increasingly used. How the continued expansion of our knowledge regarding anaerobic fungal diversity will impact on our understanding of their biology and ecological role remains unclear; particularly as it is becoming apparent that anaerobic fungi display niche differentiation. As a consequence, there is a need to move beyond the broad generalization of anaerobic fungi as fiber-degraders, and explore the fundamental differences that underpin their ability to exist in distinct ecological niches. Application of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to their study in pure/mixed cultures and environmental samples will be invaluable in this process. To date the genomes and transcriptomes of several characterized anaerobic fungal isolates have been successfully generated. In contrast, the application of proteomics and metabolomics to anaerobic fungal analysis is still in its infancy. A central problem for all analyses, however

  14. Assessing Natural Resource Use by Forest-Reliant Communities in Madagascar Using Functional Diversity and Functional Redundancy Metrics

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Kerry A.; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Abram, Nicola K.; Ingram, J. Carter; Johnson, Steig E.; Wright, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categor...

  15. Reliability of a Test Battery Designed for Quickly and Safely Assessing Diverse Indices of Neuromuscular Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiering, Barry A.; Lee, Stuart M. C.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Bentley, Jason, R.; Buxton, Roxanne E.; Lawrence, Emily L.; Sinka, Joseph; Guilliams, Mark E.; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.

    2010-01-01

    Spaceflight affects nearly every physiological system. Spaceflight-induced alterations in physiological function translate to decrements in functional performance. Purpose: To develop a test battery for quickly and safely assessing diverse indices of neuromuscular performance. I. Quickly: Battery of tests can be completed in approx.30-40 min. II. Safely: a) No eccentric muscle actions or impact forces. b) Tests present little challenge to postural stability. III. Diverse indices: a) Strength: Excellent reliability (ICC = 0.99) b) Central activation: Very good reliability (ICC = 0.87) c) Power: Excellent reliability (ICC = 0.99) d) Endurance: Total work has excellent reliability (ICC = 0.99) e) Force steadiness: Poor reliability (ICC = 0.20 - 0.60) National

  16. Assessment of genetic diversity in Chinese eared pheasant using fluorescent-AFLP markers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Xiujuan; Zhu, Yaohong; Liu, Panqi

    2010-01-01

    using Jaccard’s similarity coefficients (SC) and the corresponding dendrogram. It was found that there was a moderate genetic distance between the four species (SC = 0.674–0.832). Brown eared pheasant was genetically closely related to blue eared pheasant (SC = 0.832), while white eared pheasant...... on the list of the world’s threatened species. In this paper, 74 individuals from the four eared pheasant species were assessed for population genetic diversity by means of fluorescent-AFLP markers. A total of 429 AFLP peaks were amplified by 11 pairs of fluorescent EcoRI/TaqI primer combinations. Out of all...... markers, 329 AFLPs were polymorphic. Each primer combination produced in reactions from 19 to 72 fragments and the polymorphic peaks percentage ranged from 53.33% to 86.11% with an average of 74.36% polymorphic bands. Genetic distance between species and genetic diversity within species were evaluated...

  17. Research and engineering assessment of biological solubilization of phosphate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, R.D.; McIlwain, M.E.; Losinski, S.J.; Taylor, D.D.

    1993-03-01

    This research and engineering assessment examined a microbial phosphate solubilization process as a method of recovering phosphate from phosphorus containing ore compared to the existing wet acid and electric arc methods. A total of 860 microbial isolates, collected from a range of natural environments were tested for their ability to solubilize phosphate from rock phosphate. A bacterium (Pseudomonas cepacia) was selected for extensive characterization and evaluation of the mechanism of phosphate solubilization and of process engineering parameters necessary to recover phosphate from rock phosphate. These studies found that concentration of hydrogen ion and production of organic acids arising from oxidation of the carbon source facilitated microbial solubilization of both pure chemical insoluble phosphate compounds and phosphate rock. Genetic studies found that phosphate solubilization was linked to an enzyme system (glucose dehydrogenase). Process-related studies found that a critical solids density of 1% by weight (ore to liquid) was necessary for optimal solubilization. An engineering analysis evaluated the cost and energy requirements for a 2 million ton per year sized plant, whose size was selected to be comparable to existing wet acid plants.

  18. Anhanguera taxonomy revisited: is our understanding of Santana Group pterosaur diversity biased by poor biological and stratigraphic control?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe L. Pinheiro

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Anhanguerids comprise an important clade of pterosaurs, mostly known from dozens of three-dimensionally preserved specimens recovered from the Lower Cretaceous Romualdo Formation (northeastern Brazil. They are remarkably diverse in this sedimentary unit, with eight named species, six of them belonging to the genus Anhanguera. However, such diversity is likely overestimated, as these species have been historically diagnosed based on subtle differences, mainly based on the shape and position of the cranial crest. In spite of that, recently discovered pterosaur taxa represented by large numbers of individuals, including juveniles and adults, as well as presumed males and females, have crests of sizes and shapes that are either ontogenetically variable or sexually dimorphic. Methods We describe in detail the skull of one of the most complete specimens referred to Anhanguera, AMNH 22555, and use it as a case study to review the diversity of anhanguerids from the Romualdo Formation. In order to accomplish that, a geometric morphometric analysis was performed to assess size-dependent characters with respect to the premaxillary crest in the 12 most complete skulls bearing crests that are referred in, or related to, this clade, almost all of them analyzed first hand. Results Geometric morphometric regression of shape on centroid size was highly statistically significant (p = 0.0091 and showed that allometry accounts for 25.7% of total shape variation between skulls of different centroid sizes. Premaxillary crests are both taller and anteroposteriorly longer in larger skulls, a feature consistent with ontogenetic growth. A new diagnosis is proposed for Anhanguera, including traits that are nowadays known to be widespread within the genus, as well as ontogenetic changes. AMNH 22555 cannot be referred to “Anhanguera santanae” and, in fact, “Anhanguera santanae”, “Anhanguera araripensis”, and “Anhanguera robustus” are here

  19. [The assessment of biological maturation for talent selection - which method can be used?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, L; Müller, E; Hildebrandt, C; Kapelari, K; Raschner, C

    2015-03-01

    The biological maturity status plays an important role in sports, since it influences the performance level and the talent selection in various types of sport. More mature athletes are favorably selected for regional and national squads. Therefore, the biological maturity status should be considered during the talent selection process. In this context, the relative age effect (RAE), which exists when the relative age quarter distribution of selected sports groups shows a biased distribution with an over-representation of athletes born in the first months after the specific cut-off-date for the competition categories, represents another problem in the talent development. From an ethical point of view, discrimination of young talented kids does exist: the relatively younger athletes have little to no chance of reaching the elite level, despite their talents and efforts. The causal mechanisms behind the RAE are still unclear and have to be assessed. In this context, the biological maturation seems to be a possible influential factor for the existence of a RAE in sport, which has to be examined. Several methods for estimating the biological maturity status exist; however, they are often expensive and not practicable. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to assess the concordance of a simple, yet accurate method of estimating biological maturation (prediction equation of age at peak height velocity, APHV) of Mirwald and co-workers, and the gold standard method of estimating skeletal age (SA, the x-ray of the left wrist). In total, 75 Austrian students (40♂, 35♀) aged 10 - 13 years, were examined. Thirty of the participants (17♂, 13♀) were students of a well-known Austrian ski boarding school, and 45 (23♂, 22♀) of a non-sportive secondary modern school of the same region. The participants included in the study had not experienced a rupture of the carpal bones of the left wrist. Parents and participants were informed of the study aims

  20. Assessing the effectiveness of specially protected areas for conservation of Antarctica's botanical diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Kevin A; Ireland, Louise C; Convey, Peter; Fleming, Andrew H

    2016-02-01

    Vegetation is sparsely distributed over Antarctica's ice-free ground, and distinct plant communities are present in each of the continent's 15 recently identified Antarctic Conservation Biogeographic Regions (ACBRs). With rapidly increasing human activity in Antarctica, terrestrial plant communities are at risk of damage or destruction by trampling, overland transport, and infrastructure construction and from the impacts of anthropogenically introduced species, as well as uncontrollable pressures such as fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) activity and climate change. Under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, the conservation of plant communities can be enacted and facilitated through the designation of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs). We examined the distribution within the 15 ACBRs of the 33 ASPAs whose explicit purpose includes protecting macroscopic terrestrial flora. We completed the first survey using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite remote sensing to provide baseline data on the extent of vegetation cover in all ASPAs designated for plant protection in Antarctica. Large omissions in the protection of Antarctic botanical diversity were found. There was no protection of plant communities in 6 ACBRs, and in another 6, area was included in an ASPA that protected vegetation. Protected vegetation cover within the 33 ASPAs totaled 16.1 km(2) for the entire Antarctic continent; over half was within a single protected area. Over 96% of the protected vegetation was contained in 2 ACBRs, which together contributed only 7.8% of the continent's ice-free ground. We conclude that Antarctic botanical diversity is clearly inadequately protected and call for systematic designation of ASPAs protecting plant communities by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties, the members of the governing body of the continent. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society

  1. Field calibration of blowfly-derived DNA against traditional methods for assessing mammal diversity in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ping-Shin; Gan, Han Ming; Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Wilson, John-James

    2016-11-01

    Mammal diversity assessments based on DNA derived from invertebrates have been suggested as alternatives to assessments based on traditional methods; however, no study has field-tested both approaches simultaneously. In Peninsular Malaysia, we calibrated the performance of mammal DNA derived from blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) against traditional methods used to detect species. We first compared five methods (cage trapping, mist netting, hair trapping, scat collection, and blowfly-derived DNA) in a forest reserve with no recent reports of megafauna. Blowfly-derived DNA and mist netting detected the joint highest number of species (n = 6). Only one species was detected by multiple methods. Compared to the other methods, blowfly-derived DNA detected both volant and non-volant species. In another forest reserve, rich in megafauna, we calibrated blowfly-derived DNA against camera traps. Blowfly-derived DNA detected more species (n = 11) than camera traps (n = 9), with only one species detected by both methods. The rarefaction curve indicated that blowfly-derived DNA would continue to detect more species with greater sampling effort. With further calibration, blowfly-derived DNA may join the list of traditional field methods. Areas for further investigation include blowfly feeding and dispersal biology, primer biases, and the assembly of a comprehensive and taxonomically-consistent DNA barcode reference library.

  2. AGRO-BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF RADISH ACCESSIONS AT NOVOSIBIRSK AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. V. Steinert

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The result of collaboration work between Siberian Research Institute of Plant Cultivation and Breeding, the branch of The Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICG SB RAS and the company OOO Geterozisnaya Selectia on ecological trial and assessment of economically valuable traits were obtained in promising radish accessions. The data on influence of sowing terms on yielding ability, formation of flower bearing stalks was analyzed and morphological descriptions for radish accessions were given. It was shown that the development of marketable radish roots can be possible in condition of long lasting light period. When sowing in the second decade of June less number of flower stalks formed on the plants than on the control plants of ‘Raniy Krasniy’. The sowing in the first decade of August did not give any plants with flower stalks in accessions 17-12 and 17-13. The highest yield at first sowing term was observed in accession 17-12 at second sowing term in accession 17-13, 5.6 and 6.1 kg/m2 respectively. The accession 17-12 was distinguished by root weight, 19.2 g. The highest dry matter content (5.31% was observed in accession 17-11; the highest total sugar content (2.18% was in accession 17-12; the highest ascorbic acid content (25.1 mg % was in accession 17-13. The comparative analysis of data on summer and autumn sowing terms showed that when sowing in summer time, at long lasting light period the radish accessions were characterized by the more number of plants with flower stalks; more developed leaf apparatus; larger roots and enriched biochemical composition as compared with the accessions sown in autumn time. All accessions tested belonged to early-maturing group, where the root formation takes for 22-25 days. For economically valuable traits the accessions 17-12 and 17-13 were selected out.

  3. Protocol: a rapid and economical procedure for purification of plasmid or plant DNA with diverse applications in plant biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Li

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Research in plant molecular biology involves DNA purification on a daily basis. Although different commercial kits enable convenient extraction of high-quality DNA from E. coli cells, PCR and agarose gel samples as well as plant tissues, each kit is designed for a particular type of DNA extraction work, and the cost of purchasing these kits over a long run can be considerable. Furthermore, a simple method for the isolation of binary plasmid from Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells with satisfactory yield is lacking. Here we describe an easy protocol using homemade silicon dioxide matrix and seven simple solutions for DNA extraction from E. coli and A. tumefaciens cells, PCR and restriction digests, agarose gel slices, and plant tissues. Compared with the commercial kits, this protocol allows rapid DNA purification from diverse sources with comparable yield and purity at negligible cost. Following this protocol, we have demonstrated: (1 DNA fragments as small as a MYC-epitope tag coding sequence can be successfully recovered from an agarose gel slice; (2 Miniprep DNA from E. coli can be eluted with as little as 5 μl water, leading to high DNA concentrations (>1 μg/μl for efficient biolistic bombardment of Arabidopsis seedlings, polyethylene glycol (PEG-mediated Arabidopsis protoplast transfection and maize protoplast electroporation; (3 Binary plasmid DNA prepared from A. tumefaciens is suitable for verification by restriction analysis without the need for large scale propagation; (4 High-quality genomic DNA is readily isolated from several plant species including Arabidopsis, tobacco and maize. Thus, the silicon dioxide matrix-based DNA purification protocol offers an easy, efficient and economical way to extract DNA for various purposes in plant research.

  4. Bacterial diversity and community along the succession of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Kong, Weidong; Wu, Nan; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-06-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are common and play critical roles in semi-arid and arid ecosystems. Bacteria, as an important community in BSCs, play critical roles in biochemical processes. However, how bacterial diversity and community change in different successional stages of BSCs is still unknown. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate the bacterial composition and community, and the relationships between bacterial composition and environmental factors were also explored. In different successional stages of BSCs, the number of bacteria operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected in each sample ranged from 2572 to 3157. Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes were dominant in BSCs, followed by Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. At the successional stages of BSCs, bacterial communities, OTU composition and their relative abundance notably differentiated, and Cyanobacteria, especially Microcoleus vaginatus, dominated algal crust and lichen crust, and were the main C-fixing bacteria in BSCs. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes increased with the development of BSCs. OTUs related to Planomicrobium Chinese, Desulfobulbus sp., Desulfomicrobium sp., Arthrobacter sp., and Ahhaerbacter sp. showed higher relative abundance in bare sand than other successional stages of BSCs, while relative abundance of Sphingomonas sp. Niastella sp., Pedobacter, Candidatus solobacter, and Streptophyta increased with the development of BSCs. In successional stages of BSCs, bacterial OTUs composition demonstrated strong correlations with soil nutrients, soil salts, and soil enzymes. Additionally, variation of bacterial composition led to different ecological function. In bare sand, some species were related with mineral metabolism or promoting plant growth, and in algal crust and lichen crust, C-fixing bacteria increased and accumulated C to the desert soil. In later developed stage of BSCs, bacteria related with decomposition of organic matter, such as

  5. New STS molecular markers for assessment of genetic diversity and DNA fingerprinting in hop (Humulus lupulus L.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Patzak, J.; Vrba, Lukáš; Matoušek, Jaroslav

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 1 (2007), s. 15-25 ISSN 0831-2796 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA521/03/0072 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50510513 Keywords : hop (Humulus lupulus L.) * genetic diversity Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.785, year: 2007

  6. A biological condition gradient model for historical assessment of estuarine habitat structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shumchenia, Emily J; Pelletier, Marguerite C; Cicchetti, Giancarlo; Davies, Susan; Pesch, Carol E; Deacutis, Christopher F; Pryor, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are affected by ever-increasing natural and human pressures. Because the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics unique to estuarine ecosystems control the ways that biological resources respond to ecosystem stressors, we present a flexible and adaptable biological assessment method for estuaries. The biological condition gradient (BCG) is a scientific framework of biological response to increasing anthropogenic stress that is comprehensive and ecosystem based and evaluates environmental conditions and the status of ecosystem services in order to identify, communicate, and prioritize management action. Using existing data, we constructed the first estuarine BCG framework that examines changes in habitat structure through time. Working in a New England (U.S.) estuary with a long history of human influence, we developed an approach to define a reference level, which we described as a "minimally disturbed" range of conditions for the ecosystem, anchored by observations before 1850 AD. Like many estuaries in the U.S., the relative importance of environmental stressors changed over time, but even qualitative descriptions of the biological indicators' status provided useful information for defining condition levels. This BCG demonstrated that stressors rarely acted alone and that declines in one biological indicator influenced the declines of others. By documenting the biological responses to cumulative stressors, the BCG inherently suggests an ecosystem-based approach to management. Additionally, the BCG process initiates thinking over long time scales and can be used to inspire scientists, managers, and the public toward environmental action.

  7. Genetic diversity in different populations of sloths assessed by DNA fingerprinting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. MORAES

    Full Text Available In this study we analyzed a population of Bradypus torquatus with individuals originally distributed in different localities of Bahia, and two populations of B. variegatus with individuals from Bahia and São Paulo States. Using the DNA fingerprinting method, we assessed the genetic variability within and between populations. Analysis of the DNA profiles revealed genetic similarity indices ranging from 0.34 ± 0.07 to 0.87 ± 0.04. Similar low levels of genetic variability were found only in isolated mammalian populations or among related individuals. This study presents the first analyses of genetic diversity in sloth populations.

  8. Genetic diversity in different populations of sloths assessed by DNA fingerprinting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MORAES N.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study we analyzed a population of Bradypus torquatus with individuals originally distributed in different localities of Bahia, and two populations of B. variegatus with individuals from Bahia and São Paulo States. Using the DNA fingerprinting method, we assessed the genetic variability within and between populations. Analysis of the DNA profiles revealed genetic similarity indices ranging from 0.34 ± 0.07 to 0.87 ± 0.04. Similar low levels of genetic variability were found only in isolated mammalian populations or among related individuals. This study presents the first analyses of genetic diversity in sloth populations.

  9. Genomic diversity among Danish field strains of Mycoplasma hyosynoviae assessed by amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kokotovic, Branko; Friis, Niels F.; Nielsen, Elisabeth O.

    2002-01-01

    Genomic diversity among strains of Mycoplasma hyosynoviae isolated in Denmark was assessed by using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. Ninety-six strains, obtained from different specimens and geographical locations during 30 years and the type strain of M. hyosynoviae S16(T......) were concurrently examined for variance in BglII-MfeI and EcoRI-Csp6I-A AFLP markers. A total of 56 different genomic fingerprints having an overall similarity between 77 and 96% were detected. No correlation between AFLP variability and period of isolation or anatomical site of isolation could...

  10. A comparative assessment of morphological and molecular diversity among Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw. accessions in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Jyothi Ramesh; Timsina, Bibechana; Satyan, Kumudini Belur; Manohar, Shiragambi Hanumantagouda

    2017-06-01

    Genetic variation of 36 Sechium edule accessions collected across 12 states in India was assessed using morphological traits and DAMD markers. Eighteen fruit morphological traits (both qualitative and quantitative) were evaluated to confirm the variations in the present collection. Quantitative traits showed major variations with respect to fruit weight (7.85-498.33 g/fruit), fruit length (5.8-15 cm/fruit), fruit diameter (6-28 cm/fruit) and length of the spine (0-5 cm). Qualitative traits were also diverse in fruit colour, shape, spine density, reticulation, flexibility of spine and furrow depth. The first six principle components showed 82.88% variation in the principal component analysis. The principal component analysis revealed that fruit weight, fruit width, fruit diameter, fruit shape, length of spine, spine density and furrow depth had a significant contribution to the total variation. The DNA analysis performed using DAMD primers were used for deducing the diversity at DNA level. The collection produced 102 bands out of which 97 were polymorphic and the percentage polymorphism ranged between 66.66 and 100 per primer. Discrete pattern of clustering was obtained using UPGMA method of complete linkage percent disagreement revealing high diversity among the collected accessions. Thus, the present study indicates that molecular and morphological marker map would improve our knowledge of S. edule and would facilitate efforts to breed improved S. edule cultivars.

  11. Biological effects of anthropogenic chemical stress: Tools for the assessment of ecosystem health (BEAST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehtonen, Kari K.; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas

    of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Gdansk and the Belt Sea, most of which are characterised by scarce data on biological effects of hazardous substances. The data acquired will be combined with previous data (e.g. national monitoring activities, case studies, EU BEEP project) to reach the goals of WP2 and WP3......In the Baltic Sea Action Plan the urgent need to develop biological effects monitoring of hazardous substances and the assessment of ecosystem health has been clearly indicated. These goals will be tackled in the newly launched BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress...... and experiments in selected sub-regions of the Baltic Sea, WP2 - Application and validation of methods in monitoring and assessment in the Baltic Sea, and WP3 - Developing tools for ecosystem health assessment in the Baltic Sea. BEAST research activities are focused in the sub-regions of Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf...

  12. ABSCISSA ASSESSMENT WITH ALGAE: A COMPARISON OF LOCAL AND LANDSCAPE IMPAIRMENT MEASURES FOR BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT USING BENTHIC DIATOMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of rigorous biological assessments is dependent upon well-constructed abscissa, and various methods, both subjective and objective, exist to measure expected impairment at both the landscape and local scale. A new, landscape-scale method has recently been offered...

  13. Medical prescriptions falsified by the patients: a 12-year national monitoring to assess prescription drug diversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouanjus, Emilie; Guernec, Grégory; Lapeyre-Mestre, Maryse

    2018-02-13

    Diversion of prescription drugs is difficult to assess in quality and quantity. This study aimed to characterize diversion of prescription drugs in France through a comparative analysis of falsified prescriptions collected during three periods from 2001 to 2012. The data recorded in a national program which records all falsified prescriptions presented to community pharmacies were studied. Included data regarded: subjects, prescription forms, and drugs. Description of the dataset in three periods (2001-2004, 2005-2008, and 2009-2012) was completed with clustering analyses to characterize profiles of prescriptions and subjects associated with the most reported drugs. The 4469 falsified prescriptions concerned most often females (51.6%). Average age was 46.5 years. Zolpidem, bromazepam, and buprenorphine were the most frequent drugs. Alone, 13 drugs (1.7%, 13/772) represented more than 40% of the total reports (3055/7272). They were associated with three diversion profiles: (i) buprenorphine, flunitrazepam, and morphine were mentioned on overlapping secure prescription forms presented by young men; (ii) alprazolam, bromazepam, zolpidem, codeine/acetaminophen were mentioned on simple prescription forms presented by experienced women; and (iii) acetaminophen and lorazepam were mentioned on modified prescription forms presented by elderly subjects. Clonazepam, clorazepate, dextropropoxyphene, zopiclone moved between those profiles. The patterns of falsified prescriptions provided in this study contribute to enhance the scientific knowledge on the most diverted prescription drugs. The latter follow distinct trajectories across time depending on their pharmacology (including their abuse/addiction potential) and on their regulation's history. The close and continuous analysis of falsified prescriptions is an excellent way to monitor prescription drug diversion. © 2018 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.

  14. Species diversity, biomass, and carbon stock assessments of a natural mangrove forest in palawan, philippines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abino, A.C.; Lee, Y.J.; Castillo, J.A.A

    2014-01-01

    Philippines claims international recognition for its mangrove-rich ecosystem which play significant functions from the viewpoint of ecosystem services and climate change mitigation. In this study, we assessed the species diversity of the natural mangrove forest of Bahile, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and evaluated its potential to sequester and store carbon. Sixteen plots with a size of 10 m * 10 m were established using quadrat sampling technique to identify, record, and measure the trees. Diversity index and allometric equations were utilized to determine species diversity, and biomass and carbon stocks. Sediment samples in undisturbed portions using a 30 cm high and 5 cm diameter corer were collected in all plots to determine near-surface sediment carbon. The diversity index (H = 0.9918) was very low having a total of five true mangrove species identified dominated by Rhizophora apiculata Bl. with an importance value index of 148.1%. Among the stands, 74% of the total biomass was attributed to the above-ground (561.2 t ha-1) while 26% was credited to the roots (196.5 t ha-1). The total carbon sequestered and stored in the above-ground and root biomass were 263.8 t C ha-1 (50%) and 92.3 t C ha-1 (17%), respectively. Sediments contained 33% (173.75 t C ha-1) of the mangrove C-stocks. Stored carbon was equivalent to 1944.5 t CO/sub 2/ ha-1. These values suggest that Bahile natural mangrove forest has a potential to sequester and store substantial amounts of atmospheric carbon, hence the need for sustainable management and protection of this important coastal ecosystem. (author)

  15. Classifying Life, Reconstructing History and Teaching Diversity: Philosophical Issues in the Teaching of Biological Systematics and Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reydon, Thomas A. C.

    2013-01-01

    Classification is a central endeavor in every scientific field of work. Classification in biology, however, is distinct from classification in other fields of science in a number of ways. Thus, understanding how biological classification works is an important element in understanding the nature of biological science. In the present paper, I…

  16. The biological diversity of the early medieval European population in the light of non-metric traits. Frankish Empire versus Great Moravian Empire

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Velemínský, P.; Likovský, Jakub; Brůžek, J.; Velemínská, J.; Šefčáková, A.; Thurzo, M.; Lefebvre, A.; Poláček, Lumír; Dobisíková, M.

    Suppl. 50, - (2010), s. 234 ISSN 0002-9483. [Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists /79./. 14.04.2010-17.04.2010, Albuquerque] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/07/0699 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80020508; CEZ:AV0Z80010507 Keywords : anthropology * non-metric traits * Frankish Empire * Great Moravian Empire * biological diversity Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology , Ethnology

  17. Diversity for security: case assessment for FPGA-based safety-critical systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kharchenko Vyacheslav

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Industrial safety critical instrumentation and control systems (I&Cs are facing more with information (in general and cyber, in particular security threats and attacks. The application of programmable logic, first of all, field programmable gate arrays (FPGA in critical systems causes specific safety deficits. Security assessment techniques for such systems are based on heuristic knowledges and the expert judgment. Main challenge is how to take into account features of FPGA technology for safety critical I&Cs including systems in which are applied diversity approach to minimize risks of common cause failure. Such systems are called multi-version (MV systems. The goal of the paper is in description of the technique and tool for case-based security assessment of MV FPGA-based I&Cs.

  18. Genetic Diversity Assessment of Portuguese Cultivated Vicia faba L. through IRAP Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Tomás

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Faba bean have been grown in Portugal for a long time and locally adapted populations are still maintained on farm. The genetic diversity of four Portuguese faba bean populations that are still cultivated in some regions of the country was evaluated using the Inter Retrotransposons Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP technique. It was shown that molecular markers based on retrotransposons previously identified in other species can be efficiently used in the genetic variability assessment of Vicia faba. The IRAP experiment targeting Athila yielded the most informative banding patterns. Cluster analysis using the neighbor-joining algorithm generated a dendrogram that clearly shows the distribution pattern of V. faba samples. The four equina accessions are separated from each other and form two distinct clades while the two major faba bean accessions are not unequivocally separated by the IRAP. Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH analysis of sequences amplified by IRAP Athila revealed a wide distribution throughout V. faba chromosomes, confirming the whole-genome coverage of this molecular marker. Morphological characteristics were also assessed through cluster analysis of seed characters using the unweighted pair group method arithmetic average (UPGMA and principal component analysis (PCA, showing a clear discrimination between faba bean major and equina groups. It was also found that the seed character most relevant to distinguish accessions was 100 seed weight. Seed morphological traits and IRAP evaluation give similar results supporting the potential of IRAP analysis for genetic diversity studies.

  19. Defense-in-depth and diversity assessment of the RESAR-414 Integrated Protection System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    This report discusses the defense-in-depth and diversity principles as they apply to safety related instrumentation and presents guidelines which can be used to assess the degree to which the designs of complex, interconnected safety systems conform to these principles. These guidelines are based on the use of the block concept, an approach in which the components and modules of the system are aggregated into a small number of functional units, or blocks, to simplify the analysis. It is believed that the use of the block concept and the guidelines will result in a conservative assessment of the capability of such systems to function when subjected to postulated to common-mode failures. A preliminary assessment of the RESAR-414 Integrated Protection System by means of the guidelines is also presented. The results of this assessment support the conclusion that, for purposes of a preliminary design approval, the RESAR-414 Integrated Protection System is acceptable. However, the assessment, has also resulted in requirements for additional analyses and tests, the results of which must demonstrate conformance to the guidelines prior to the issuance of a Final Design Approval

  20. [Comparison of biological functional assessment in intensity-modulated radiotherapy: two-dimensional study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, C; Lemosquet, A; Lefkopoulos, D; Touboul, E

    2001-12-01

    Modulated intensity dose distributions are obtained by inverse planning. It requires an inversion algorithm and an objective function that can be physical or biological. The biological objective functions aim at quantifying the probability of the favourable end of the treatment. The inversion algorithm used is analytical and is based on the mathematical analysis of the singular values decomposition. It proposes as many solutions as there are elementary beams. From the Tumour Control Probability, Normal Tissue Complication Probabilities and complication free tumour control, three biological assessment functions of the proposed solutions are compared with the least square difference between the prescribed and obtained dose distributions. We used a simplified irradiation configuration: Brahme's dose prescription (2D modelling of a prostate) and 9 beams (1D). The choice by mean of biological criterion of the optimal solution makes it possible to increase the average dose in the tumour, so as its homogeneity compared to physical optimisation. Conversely, the organs at risk are then less protected. The laying down of relevant constraints makes it possible to obtain satisfactory dose distributions. Concerning the validity of the models and data used, some limitations appear. At present time, it seems to exclude the use in clinical routine of an only biological optimisation. The future availability of new biological data will allow the development and in particular the clinical use of biological optimisation.

  1. Use of biological indicators to assess water quality of the Ul River (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resende, Paula Cristina; Resende, Paulo; Pardal, Miguel; Almeida, Salomé; Azeiteiro, Ulisses

    2010-11-01

    Diatoms and macroinvertebrates have been extensively used as water quality indicators in Europe for the last two decades. In Portugal, the use of biological indicators to assess water quality in rivers has increased greatly. The aim of this work was to assess the water quality and ecological status of the Ul River in order to evaluate its ability for the establishment of a fluvial beach, using periphytic diatoms and macroinvertebrates as indicators. Four sites were selected along the Ul River. At each site, biological, physical, and chemical parameters were investigated. Epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates were sampled. The Specific Polluosensitivity Index and the Biological Diatom Index were applied to diatom data, while for macroinvertebrates, the Iberian Biological Monitoring Working Party (IBMWP) was used. According to the results obtained, it was possible to conclude that up to now, this river does not possess the ideal conditions for the establishment of a fluvial beach. We concluded that epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates provided consistent information on water quality assessment and can be used as biological indicators of the water quality in Ul River.

  2. Integrated chemical and biological assessment of contaminant impacts in selected European coastal and offshore marine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylland, Ketil; Robinson, Craig D; Burgeot, Thierry; Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Lang, Thomas; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Thain, John E; Vethaak, A Dick; Gubbins, Mattew J

    2017-03-01

    This paper reports a full assessment of results from ICON, an international workshop on marine integrated contaminant monitoring, encompassing different matrices (sediment, fish, mussels, gastropods), areas (Iceland, North Sea, Baltic, Wadden Sea, Seine estuary and the western Mediterranean) and endpoints (chemical analyses, biological effects). ICON has demonstrated the use of a framework for integrated contaminant assessment on European coastal and offshore areas. The assessment showed that chemical contamination did not always correspond with biological effects, indicating that both are required. The framework can be used to develop assessments for EU directives. If a 95% target were to be used as a regional indicator of MSFD GES, Iceland and offshore North Sea would achieve the target using the ICON dataset, but inshore North Sea, Baltic and Spanish Mediterranean regions would fail. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Biological Assessment of Water Quality in the National Park of Prespa Lake Using Macroinvertebrates as Bioindicators

    OpenAIRE

    , E. Keçi; , A. Paparisto; , E. Hamzaraj; , O. Laknori; , B. Pepa; , A. Fjerza

    2011-01-01

    Macroinvertebrates were examined for use as potential biodiversity indicators in continental aquatic ecosystems in a semiarid Mediterranean region, the Prespa Lake basin. Biological assessment is one of the monitoring methods, which gives data related with the water quality. This assessment effectively describes water quality physical and anthropogenic impact (R. W. Plotnikoff, 1994). In our study are used the main groups of invertebrates which are phylum Arthropoda, phylum Annelidae, phylum ...

  4. Biological assessment for the effluent reduction program, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.P.

    1996-08-01

    This report describes the biological assessment for the effluent recution program proposed to occur within the boundaries of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Potential effects on wetland plants and on threatened and endangered species are discussed, along with a detailed description of the individual outfalls resulting from the effluent reduction program.

  5. An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Biological Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lyle V., Ed.; And Others

    The quality of doctoral-level biochemistry (N=139), botany (N=83), cellular/molecular biology (N=89), microbiology (N=134), physiology (N=101), and zoology (N=70) programs at United States universities was assessed, using 16 measures. These measures focused on variables related to: (1) program size; (2) characteristics of graduates; (3)…

  6. Black Carp: Biological synopsis and risk assessment of an introduced fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nico, L.G.; Williams, J.D.; Jelks, H.L.

    2005-01-01

    This book is a detailed risk assessment and biological synopsis of the black carp, a large mollusk-eating cyprinid fish native to eastern Asia. A great deal of controversy surrounds the presence of this foreign fish in the United States. Most of those associated with the aquaculture industry view black carp as an important tool in controlling.

  7. Biohorizons: An eConference to Assess Human Biology in Large, First-Year Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moni, Roger W.; Moni, Karen B.; Poronnik, Philip; Lluka, Lesley J.

    2007-01-01

    The authors detail the design, implementation and evaluation of an eConference entitled "Biohorizons," using a presage-process-product model to describe the development of an eLearning community. Biohorizons was a summative learning and assessment task aiming to introduce large classes of first-year Human Biology students to the practices of…

  8. Interaction of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with membranes: in vitro assessment and relevance for their biological actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira-Leite, Catarina; Nunes, Cláudia; Reis, Salette

    2013-10-01

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world due to their anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. Nevertheless, the consumption of these drugs is still associated with the occurrence of a wide spectrum of adverse effects. Regarding the major role of membranes in cellular events, the hypothesis that the biological actions of NSAIDs may be related to their effect at the membrane level has triggered the in vitro assessment of NSAIDs-membrane interactions. The use of membrane mimetic models, cell cultures, a wide range of experimental techniques and molecular dynamics simulations has been providing significant information about drugs partition and location within membranes and also about their effect on diverse membrane properties. These studies have indeed been providing evidences that the effect of NSAIDs at membrane level may be an additional mechanism of action and toxicity of NSAIDs. In fact, the pharmacokinetic properties of NSAIDs are closely related to the ability of these drugs to interact and overcome biological membranes. Moreover, the therapeutic actions of NSAIDs may also result from the indirect inhibition of cyclooxygenase due to the disturbing effect of NSAIDs on membrane properties. Furthermore, increasing evidences suggest that the disordering effects of these drugs on membranes may be in the basis of the NSAIDs-induced toxicity in diverse organ systems. Overall, the study of NSAIDs-membrane interactions has proved to be not only important for the better understanding of their pharmacological actions, but also for the rational development of new approaches to overcome NSAIDs adverse effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Biology, host specificity tests, and risk assessment of the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi, a potential biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolius in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract. Heteroperreyia hubrichi Malaise (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), a foliage feeding sawfly of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), was studied to assess its suitability as a classical biological control agent of this invasive weed in Hawaii. Nochoice host-specificity tests we...

  10. Geological heritage diversity in the Faiyum Oasis (Egypt): A comprehensive assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallam, Emad S.; Fathy, Esraa E.; Ruban, Dmitry A.; Ponedelnik, Alena A.; Yashalova, Natalia N.

    2018-04-01

    The Faiyum Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt is famous for its palaeontological localities (Cenozoic whales, primates, etc.) of global importance, but its geological heritage has been not studied in the modern theoretical frame. The new investigation based on the field studies and the literature review permits comprehensive assessment of the geological heritage diversity in this oasis. For this purposes, unique geological features are inventoried with establishment of their geological essence, rank, relative abundance, and intrinsic diversity. As a result, the existence of ten geological heritage types in the Faiyum Oasis is found. These include palaeontological, palaeogeographical, geomorphological, stratigraphical, sedimentary (merged with mineralogical), hydrological coupled with geochemical, igneous, and economical types. From them, the palaeontological and palaeogeographical types are ranked globally, and the geomorphological and hydrological types are ranked nationally. The other types are either of regional (provincial) or local importance. Some hills and cliffs can serve as viewpoint sites for observation of the local geological landscape. The relative abundance and the intrinsic diversity of the unique geological features vary between low and high. Generally, the concentration of this geological heritage in the Faiyum Oasis permits recognition of the geodiversity hotspot that requires conservation and use for tourism purposes. The protected areas located in the oasis and the existing tourism programs do not offer geoconservation and geotourism activities for the entire hotspot. The possible solution of this problem would be creation of a large geopark similar in its design to the Jeju Island Geopark in South Korea. There are important premises for geotourism development in the Faiyum Oasis and its combination with the archaeological and industrial tourism. Nature conservation failures in this geopark should be avoided; some recommendations are given on

  11. Rapid assessment of octocoral diversity and habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Etnoyer

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2, average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1 a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2 a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05, but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05. However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and

  12. Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity and Its Protocol: What Can Some Numbers Tell Us about the Effectiveness of the Regulatory Regime?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Pauchard

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, adopted in 1992 and entered into force at the end of 1993, established a global regime on access to genetic resources (GR and sharing of benefits arising from their utilization (Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS regime. Its protocol—the Nagoya Protocol (NP—which entered into force 21 years later in 2014, clears up some terminological ambiguities of the Convention, clarifies and develops several procedural and instrumental elements of the regime, and obliges States Parties to implement some of its provisions, including the core instrument of the regime: the bilateral ABS agreement between users and providers of GR, that became a condition for obtaining access to the resource. However, scholars who analyzed the ABS regime as well as its official bodies find, and sometimes deplore, the small number of ABS agreements concluded so far, under the CBD as under the NP. This paper has two objectives: First, to assess the effectiveness of the ABS regime implemented by the CBD and the NP on the basis of its central instrument: the ABS agreements concluded between users and providers of GR. The aim is to accurately document the number of ABS agreements concluded since the entry into force of the regime. To our knowledge, such a counting that is neither piecemeal nor has an estimate yet been produced. To do so, I combine several sources, including first hand data collected from the official information agencies—the National Focal Points (NFP—of each of the States Parties to the NP. Second, I provide a critical summary of the existing explanations of the low number of ABS agreements concluded and I evaluate the corresponding causal mechanisms, relying on the results I obtained regarding the number of permits and agreements.

  13. Impact of calcium and TOC on biological acidification assessment in Norwegian rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Susanne C

    2011-02-15

    Acidification continues to be a major impact in freshwaters of northern Europe, and the biotic response to chemical recovery from acidification is often not a straightforward process. The focus on biological recovery is relevant within the context of the EU Water Framework Directive, where a biological monitoring system is needed that detects differences in fauna and flora compared to undisturbed reference conditions. In order to verify true reference sites for biological analyses, expected river pH is modeled based on Ca and TOC, and 94% of variability in pH at reference sites is explained by Ca alone, while 98% is explained by a combination of Ca and TOC. Based on 59 samples from 28 reference sites, compared to 547 samples from 285 non-reference sites, the impact of calcium and total organic carbon (TOC) on benthic algae species composition, expressed as acidification index periphyton (AIP), is analyzed. Rivers with a high Ca concentration have a naturally higher AIP, and TOC affects reference AIP only at low Ca concentrations. Four biological river types are needed for assessment of river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae: very calcium-poor, humic rivers (CaTOC>2 mg/l); very calcium-poor, clear rivers (CaTOC4 mg/l). A biological assessment system for river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae is presented, following the demands of the Water Framework Directive. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. A Study Assessing the Potential of Negative Effects in Interdisciplinary Math–Biology Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students. PMID:21364099

  15. A study assessing the potential of negative effects in interdisciplinary math-biology instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students.

  16. Diversity assessment of the Lebanese germplasm of pomegranate (Punica granatum L. by morphological and chemical traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faten Dandachi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Pomegranate (Punica granatum L. is one of the oldest edible fruits cultivated in Lebanon but the diversity of its germplasm has not been addressed yet. The present study presents the first assessment of local pomegranates growing in the country. A set of 78 pomegranate local accessions sampled from the main production areas across the country were evaluated by using twenty-eight quantitative and ten qualitative descriptors. A large variability was revealed among accessions based on the traits studied. Principal component analysis showed that male and hermaphrodite flowers, petal width as well as fruit weight, diameter and length, in addition to juice pH and sugar/acid ratio, were the most discriminating traits. Big sized fruits up to 358.6 g were found for Lefani SL67, Lefani ML25 and Mokh El Baghl SL59 accessions while the juiciest fruits were recorded for Mokh El Baghl SL65, Hamod BH41 and Hamod B54 accessions with 75–78%. The PCA bi-plot allowed to differentiate the studied accessions in three main groups based mainly on the juice pH and sugar/acid ratio: the sweet accessions called Helou, the intermediate taste accessions named Lefani and the sour accessions generally designated as Hamod. Although preliminary, the results of this study indicate a significant diversity within the Lebanese pomegranate germplasm that should be further completed by a DNA analysis to understand the genetic structure of this germplasm with respect to conservation and breeding strategies.

  17. Covering Chemical Diversity of Genetically-Modified Tomatoes Using Metabolomics for Objective Substantial Equivalence Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirai, Tadayoshi; Oikawa, Akira; Matsuda, Fumio; Fukushima, Atsushi; Arita, Masanori; Watanabe, Shin; Yano, Megumu; Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi; Saito, Kazuki

    2011-01-01

    As metabolomics can provide a biochemical snapshot of an organism's phenotype it is a promising approach for charting the unintended effects of genetic modification. A critical obstacle for this application is the inherently limited metabolomic coverage of any single analytical platform. We propose using multiple analytical platforms for the direct acquisition of an interpretable data set of estimable chemical diversity. As an example, we report an application of our multi-platform approach that assesses the substantial equivalence of tomatoes over-expressing the taste-modifying protein miraculin. In combination, the chosen platforms detected compounds that represent 86% of the estimated chemical diversity of the metabolites listed in the LycoCyc database. Following a proof-of-safety approach, we show that % had an acceptable range of variation while simultaneously indicating a reproducible transformation-related metabolic signature. We conclude that multi-platform metabolomics is an approach that is both sensitive and robust and that it constitutes a good starting point for characterizing genetically modified organisms. PMID:21359231

  18. ASSESSMENT OF GENETIC DIVERSITY OF REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA LIBOSCH BASED ON ISSR MARKERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YANQING ZHOU, WUJUN GAO, HONGYING DUAN, FENGPING GU

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to assess the genetic diversity of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch cultivars ( lines in Huai zone, Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR was performed. Ten appropriate ISSR primers were selected from a total of 44 ISSR ones for ISSR PCR amplification. The ten primers could amplify one hundred and ten bands. Based on them, A Jaccard’s genetic similarity matrix and a dendrogram for these ten cultivars were established using SPSS 10.0 software. In this dendrogram, they could be divided into two groups : Group1 contained six individuals such as Zupei 85.5, Datian 85.5, Zupei 9302, Jinbai, Jinzhuangyuan and Datian9302; Group2 consisted of four ones such as Beijing No.1, Dahongpao, Dihuang9104 and wild dihuang. Furthermore, Principal coordinate analysis (PCA supported the above cluster analysis; Shannon\\'s Information index (I is 0.3577, effective number of alleles (Ne is 1.4037, the percentage of polymorphic loci is 71.82 % by means of POPGENE32 software; A DNA fingerprint was developed with a single primer, ISSR6, in which each of ten individuals tested had its unique fingerprint pattern and was distinguished from each other. The results revealed that ISSR method is suitable for DNA fingerprinting, identification and genetic diversity analysis of Rehmannia glutinosa in Huai zone.

  19. Benthic macroinvertebrates diversity and water quality assessment at Sungai Congkak recreational area, Hulu Langat, Selangor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustaqim-Alias, M.; Ahmad, A. K.

    2013-11-01

    A study on benthic macroinvertebrates diversity and water quality assessment was conducted at Sungai Congkak recreational area in Hulu Langat, Selangor. Sums of eight sampling stations were selected with a distance of 100-200 m interval between each station. Benthic macroinvertebrates was sampled using a Surber net, while water sampling and analysis were undertaken according to HACH standard methods. A total of 3754 individuals from 40 families of benthic macroinvertebrates were recorded at this river. Ecological indices namely Shannon diversity index (2.49), Pielou evenness index (0.77) and Margalef richness index (4.06) demonstrate that Sungai Congkak is at good condition and benthic macroinvertebrates has homogeneous distribution along the sampling sites. Elmidae, Hydrophilidae, Baetidae and Perlidae were most dominant families present in that area and adapted progressively with excellent water quality (> 300 individuals). As regards to Malaysian's Water Quality Index (WQI), the study area at Sungai Congkak is classified in class I which has good water quality conditions. The Pearson correlation test indicates that ecological indices have strong correlation toward WQI at all sampling stations. As a conclusion, the benthic macroinvertebrates and WQI data demonstrated that Sungai Congkak is clean and suitable as recreational stream based on this study.

  20. Assessment of macrofungal diversity in a Silver Fir plantation in Sardinia (Italy using a standardized sampling procedure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elia Ambrosio

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of macrofungal diversity associated with Silver Fir forests in Italy is quite scarce. Only a little information is available about macrofungal communities from some Ligurian and Tuscan Silver Fir sites. This study aims to assess the macrofungal diversity of a Silver Fir plantation in Sardinia by the application of a standardized sampling procedure. A total of 606 sporomata were collected and 52 Basidiomycota were identified. The high value of the Shannon Index indicated a considerable level of macrofungal diversity in this plantation. The results were also compared with the diversity indices obtained by a previous 3-years long sampling methodology in the same site. The comparison of the macrofungal diversity values of the Sardinian site with those of the Ligurian Silver Fir forest revealed interesting similarities among natural versus planted coniferous forests.

  1. Conceptual Elements: A Detailed Framework to Support and Assess Student Learning of Biology Core Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cary, Tawnya; Branchaw, Janet

    2017-01-01

    The Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: Call to Action report has inspired and supported a nationwide movement to restructure undergraduate biology curricula to address overarching disciplinary concepts and competencies. The report outlines the concepts and competencies generally but does not provide a detailed framework to guide the development of the learning outcomes, instructional materials, and assessment instruments needed to create a reformed biology curriculum. In this essay, we present a detailed Vision and Change core concept framework that articulates key components that transcend subdisciplines and scales for each overarching biological concept, the Conceptual Elements (CE) Framework. The CE Framework was developed using a grassroots approach of iterative revision and incorporates feedback from more than 60 biologists and undergraduate biology educators from across the United States. The final validation step resulted in strong national consensus, with greater than 92% of responders agreeing that each core concept list was ready for use by the biological sciences community, as determined by scientific accuracy and completeness. In addition, we describe in detail how educators and departments can use the CE Framework to guide and document reformation of individual courses as well as entire curricula. © 2017 T. Cary and J. Branchaw. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  2. Noninvasive Assessment of Cell Fate and Biology in Transplanted Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Federico; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Recently, molecular imaging has become a conditio sine qua non for cell-based regenerative medicine. Developments in molecular imaging techniques, such as reporter gene technology, have increasingly enabled the noninvasive assessment of the fate and biology of cells after cardiovascular applications. In this context, bioluminescence imaging is the most commonly used imaging modality in small animal models of preclinical studies. Here, we present a detailed protocol of a reporter gene imaging approach for monitoring the viability and biology of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplanted in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.

  3. Assessing isocyanate exposures in polyurethane industry sectors using biological and air monitoring methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creely, K S; Hughson, G W; Cocker, J; Jones, K

    2006-08-01

    Isocyanates, as a chemical group, are considered to be the biggest cause of occupational asthma in the UK. Monitoring of airborne exposures to total isocyanate is costly, requiring considerable expertise, both in terms of sample collection and chemical analysis and cannot be used to assess the effectiveness of protection from wearing respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Biological monitoring by analysis of metabolites in urine can be a relatively simple and inexpensive way to assess exposure to isocyanates. It may also be a useful way to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures in place. In this study biological and inhalation monitoring were undertaken to assess exposure in a variety of workplaces in the non-motor vehicle repair sector. Companies selected to participate in the survey included only those judged to be using good working practices when using isocyanate formulations. This included companies that used isocyanates to produce moulded polyurethane products, insulation material and those involved in industrial painting. Air samples were collected by personal monitoring and were analysed for total isocyanate content. Urine samples were collected soon after exposure and analysed for the metabolites of different isocyanate species, allowing calculation of the total metabolite concentration. Details of the control measures used and observed contamination of exposed skin were also recorded. A total of 21 companies agreed to participate in the study, with exposure measurements being collected from 22 sites. The airborne isocyanate concentrations were generally very low (range 0.0005-0.066 mg m(-3)). A total of 50 of the 70 samples were products (12.64 micromol mol(-1) creatinine), semi-automatic moulding (4.80 micromol mol(-1) creatinine) and resin application (3.91 micromol mol(-1) creatinine). The biological monitoring results show that despite low airborne isocyanate concentrations, it was possible to demonstrate biological uptake. This tends to

  4. Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry A Brown

    Full Text Available Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categories for utilitarian plants were determined using expert knowledge and household questionnaires. We used a null model approach to examine the utilitarian (functional diversity and utilitarian redundancy present within ecological communities. Additionally, variables that might influence fluctuations in utilitarian diversity and redundancy--specifically number of felled trees, number of trails, basal area, canopy height, elevation, distance from village--were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs. Eighteen of the 56 plots showed utilitarian diversity values significantly higher than expected. This result indicates that these habitats exhibited a low degree of utilitarian redundancy and were therefore comprised of plants with relatively distinct utilitarian properties. One implication of this finding is that minor losses in species richness may result in reductions in utilitarian diversity and redundancy, which may limit local residents' ability to switch between alternative choices. The GLM analysis showed that the most predictive model included basal area, canopy height and distance from village, which suggests that variation in utilitarian redundancy may be a result of local residents harvesting resources from the protected area. Our approach permits an assessment of the diversity of provisioning services available to local communities, offering unique insights that would not be possible using traditional taxonomic diversity measures. These analyses

  5. Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kerry A; Flynn, Dan F B; Abram, Nicola K; Ingram, J Carter; Johnson, Steig E; Wright, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categories for utilitarian plants were determined using expert knowledge and household questionnaires. We used a null model approach to examine the utilitarian (functional) diversity and utilitarian redundancy present within ecological communities. Additionally, variables that might influence fluctuations in utilitarian diversity and redundancy--specifically number of felled trees, number of trails, basal area, canopy height, elevation, distance from village--were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). Eighteen of the 56 plots showed utilitarian diversity values significantly higher than expected. This result indicates that these habitats exhibited a low degree of utilitarian redundancy and were therefore comprised of plants with relatively distinct utilitarian properties. One implication of this finding is that minor losses in species richness may result in reductions in utilitarian diversity and redundancy, which may limit local residents' ability to switch between alternative choices. The GLM analysis showed that the most predictive model included basal area, canopy height and distance from village, which suggests that variation in utilitarian redundancy may be a result of local residents harvesting resources from the protected area. Our approach permits an assessment of the diversity of provisioning services available to local communities, offering unique insights that would not be possible using traditional taxonomic diversity measures. These analyses introduce another

  6. Eastern Baltic cod in distress: biological changes and challenges for stock assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eero, Margit; Hjelm, Joakim; Behrens, Jane

    2015-01-01

    , and the EB cod was considered one of the most successful stock recoveries in recent times. In contrast to this optimistic view, the analytical stock assessment failed in 2014, leaving the present stock status unclear. Deteriorated quality of some basic input data for stock assessment in combination...... that the stock is in distress. In this study, we (i) summarize the knowledge of recent changes in cod biology and ecosystem conditions, (ii) describe the subsequent challenges for stock assessment, and (iii) highlight the key questions where answers are urgently needed to understand the present stock status...

  7. Biological assessment of remedial action at the abandoned uranium mill tailings site near Naturita, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    Pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to conduct remedial action to clean up the residual radioactive materials (RRM) at the Naturita uranium processing site in Colorado. The Naturita site is in Montrose County, Colorado, and is approximately 2 miles (mi) (3 kilometer [km]) from the unincorporated town of Naturita. The proposed remedial action is to remove the RRM from the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan disposal site. To address the potential impacts of the remedial action on threatened and endangered species, the DOE prepared this biological assessment. Informal consultations with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were initiated in 1986, and the FWS provided a list of the threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. This list was updated by two FWS letters in 1988 and by verbal communication in 1990. A biological assessment was included in the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed remedial action that was prepared in 1990. This EA addressed the impacts of moving the Naturita RRM to the Dry Flats disposal site. In 1993, the design for the Dry Flats disposal alternative was changed. The FWS was again consulted in 1993 and provided a new list of threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. The Naturita EA and the biological assessment were revised in response to these changes. In 1994, remedial action was delayed because an alternate disposal site was being considered. The DOE decided to move the FIRM at the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan site. Due to this delay, the FWS was consulted in 1995 and a list of threatened and endangered species was provided. This biological assessment is a revision of the assessment attached to the Naturita EA and addresses moving the Naturita RRM to the Upper Burbank Quarry disposal site.

  8. Overview of BioCreAtIvE: critical assessment of information extraction for biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirschman Lynette

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The goal of the first BioCreAtIvE challenge (Critical Assessment of Information Extraction in Biology was to provide a set of common evaluation tasks to assess the state of the art for text mining applied to biological problems. The results were presented in a workshop held in Granada, Spain March 28–31, 2004. The articles collected in this BMC Bioinformatics supplement entitled "A critical assessment of text mining methods in molecular biology" describe the BioCreAtIvE tasks, systems, results and their independent evaluation. Results BioCreAtIvE focused on two tasks. The first dealt with extraction of gene or protein names from text, and their mapping into standardized gene identifiers for three model organism databases (fly, mouse, yeast. The second task addressed issues of functional annotation, requiring systems to identify specific text passages that supported Gene Ontology annotations for specific proteins, given full text articles. Conclusion The first BioCreAtIvE assessment achieved a high level of international participation (27 groups from 10 countries. The assessment provided state-of-the-art performance results for a basic task (gene name finding and normalization, where the best systems achieved a balanced 80% precision / recall or better, which potentially makes them suitable for real applications in biology. The results for the advanced task (functional annotation from free text were significantly lower, demonstrating the current limitations of text-mining approaches where knowledge extrapolation and interpretation are required. In addition, an important contribution of BioCreAtIvE has been the creation and release of training and test data sets for both tasks. There are 22 articles in this special issue, including six that provide analyses of results or data quality for the data sets, including a novel inter-annotator consistency assessment for the test set used in task 2.

  9. Assessing the Diversity of Halimeda spp. on Pulley Ridge Mesophotic Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luzader, R. K.; Baco-Taylor, A.

    2016-02-01

    The Florida reef system contains an array of organisms that contribute to the development of the reef structure. These include calcifying green macroalgae of the genus Halimeda, which provides important ecosystem services by stabilizing the reefs through calcification. Halimeda is one of several groups of shallow water reef taxa with a depth range that extends into the mesophotic zone. It has been hypothesized the mesophotic reefs may serve as refugia for shallow water taxa impacted by climate change and other anthropogenic stressors. To test this hypothesis, in 2012-2015, the mesophotic reefs of Pulley Ridge and Dry Tortugas were sampled to assess genetic connectivity to the shallow water reefs of the Florida Keys. A diverse array of Halimeda species were represented on Pulley Ridge. Halimeda species are known to be difficult to identify and delineate morphologically and the taxonomy of Halimeda species has been revised several times based on molecular data. Thus, before connectivity of mesophotic Halimeda to shallow populations can be assessed, our first goal is to determine whether there is overlap of any of the Halimeda species between the mesophotic and shallow reefs, and then to determine if any of the species are present in sufficient abundance for population genetics. We sequenced portions of two chloroplast genes commonly used for algal phylogenetics and barcoding, tufA and rbcL, for at least 5 individuals of each morphotype collected on Dry Tortugas and the Pulley Ridge mesophotic reefs. Preliminary results suggest that Halimeda tuna, the species previously reported as the dominant Halimeda species on Pulley Ridge, was relatively uncommon. Morphological results and comparison of initial genetic results to sequences in GenBank suggest that H. goreaui is abundant at the Dry Tortugas site and H. fragilis, H. copiosa and H. discoidea are common on Pulley Ridge, indicating greater Halimeda diversity in the mesophotic reef system than previously documented.

  10. Handling Diversity of Visions and Priorities in Food Chain Sustainability Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Galli

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Food chain sustainability assessment is challenging on several grounds. Handling knowledge and information on sustainability performance and coping with the diversity of visions around “what counts as sustainable food” are two key issues addressed by this study. By developing a comparative case study on local, regional and global wheat-to-bread chains, and confronting the multidimensionality of sustainability, this work focuses on the differing visions and perspectives of stakeholders. We integrate qualitative and quantitative data, stakeholder consultation and multi-criteria analysis to align the visions and the multiple meanings of sustainability. Because of the complexity and the dynamicity of the food system, the multidimensionality of the sustainability concept and its pliability to stakeholders priorities, sustainability is an object of competition for firms in the agro-food sector and has major implications in the governance of food chains. Results identify key propositions in relation to: (i the value of combining science-led evidence with socio-cultural values; (ii multidimensional sustainability assessment as a self diagnosis tool; and (iii the need to identify shared assessment criteria by communities of reference.

  11. Biological Select Agents and Toxins: Risk-Based Assessment Management and Oversight.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burnett, LouAnn Crawford; Brodsky, Benjamin H.

    2016-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories' International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction (SNL/IBCTR) conducted, on behalf of the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP), a review of risk assessment in modern select agent laboratories. This review and analysis consisted of literature review, interviews of FSAP staff, entities regulated by FSAP, and deliberations of an expert panel. Additionally, SNL/IBCTR reviewed oversight mechanisms used by industries, US agencies, and other countries for high-consequence risks (e.g, nuclear, chemical, or biological materials, aviation, off-shore drilling, etc.) to determine if alternate oversight mechanisms existed that might be applicable to FSAP oversight of biological select agents and toxins. This report contains five findings, based on these reviews and analyses, with recommendations and suggested actions for FSAP to consider.

  12. Insights into functional genes and taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in biological heap leaching system and their correlation with functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yunhua; Liu, Xueduan; Liang, Yili; Niu, Jiaojiao; Zhang, Xian; Ma, Liyuan; Hao, Xiaodong; Gu, Yabin; Yin, Huaqun

    2016-11-01

    Although the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in biological heap leaching systems has been investigated, the diversity of functional genes was still unclear, and, especially, the differentiation and the relationships of diversity and functions of microbial communities in leaching heap (LH) and leaching solution (LS) were also still unclear. In our study, a functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) was employed to investigate the functional gene diversity, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to explore the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in LH and LS subsystems of Dexing copper mine (Jiangxi, China). Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) showed that both functional gene structure and taxonomical/phylogenetic structure of microbial communities were significantly different between LH and LS. Signal intensities of genes, including genes for sulfur oxidation (e.g., soxB), metal homeostasis (e.g., arsm), carbon fixation (e.g., rubisco), polyphosphate degradation (e.g., ppk), and organic remediation (e.g., hydrocarbons) were significantly higher in LH, while signal intensities of genes for carbon degradation (e.g., amyA), polyphosphate synthesis (e.g., ppx), and sulfur reduction (e.g., dsrA) were significantly higher in LS. Further inspection revealed that microbial communities in LS and LH were dominated by Acidithiobacillus and Leptospirillum. However, rare species were relatively higher abundant in LH. Additionally, diversity index of functional genes was significantly different in LS (9.915 ± 0.074) and LH (9.781 ± 0.165), and the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity index was also significantly different in LH (4.398 ± 0.508) and LS (3.014 ± 0.707). Functional tests, including sulfur-oxidizing ability, iron-oxidizing ability, and pyrite bioleaching ability, showed that all abilities of microbial communities were significantly stronger in LH than those in LS. Further studies found that most key genes (e

  13. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. © 2016 M. R. Federer et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Assessment of Biology Majors’ Versus Nonmajors’ Views on Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-y-Miño C., Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    The controversy around evolution, creationism, and intelligent design resides in a historical struggle between scientific knowledge and popular belief. Four hundred seventy-six students (biology majors n=237, nonmajors n=239) at a secular liberal arts private university in Northeastern United States responded to a five-question survey to assess their views about: (1) evolution, creationism, and intelligent design in the science class; (2) students’ attitudes toward evolution; (3) students’ position about the teaching of human evolution; (4) evolution in science exams; and (5) students’ willingness to discuss evolution openly. There were 60.6% of biology majors and 42% of nonmajors supported the exclusive teaching of evolution in the science class, while 45.3% of nonmajors and 32% of majors were willing to learn equally about evolution, creationism, and intelligent design (question 1); 70.5% of biology majors and 55.6% of nonmajors valued the factual explanations evolution provides about the origin of life and its place in the universe (question 2); 78% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) preferred science courses where evolution is discussed comprehensively and humans are part of it (question 3); 69% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) had no problem answering questions concerning evolution in science exams (question 4); 48.1% of biology majors and 26.8% of nonmajors accepted evolution and expressed it openly, but 18.2% of the former and 14.2% of the latter accepted evolution privately; 46% of nonmajors and 29.1% of biology majors were reluctant to comment on this topic (question 5). Combined open plus private acceptance of evolution within biology majors increased with seniority, from freshman (60.7%) to seniors (81%), presumably due to gradual exposure to upper-division biology courses with evolutionary content. College curricular/pedagogical reform should fortify evolution literacy at all education levels, particularly among

  15. Multilocus Sequence Analysis for Assessment of Phylogenetic Diversity and Biogeography in Thalassospira Bacteria from Diverse Marine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jun; Du, Juan; Wang, Liping; Sun, Fengqin; Shao, Zongze

    2014-01-01

    Thalassospira bacteria are widespread and have been isolated from various marine environments. Less is known about their genetic diversity and biogeography, as well as their role in marine environments, many of them cannot be discriminated merely using the 16S rRNA gene. To address these issues, in this report, the phylogenetic analysis of 58 strains from seawater and deep sea sediments were carried out using the multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on acsA, aroE, gyrB, mutL, rpoD and trpB genes, and the DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) and average nucleotide identity (ANI) based on genome sequences. The MLSA analysis demonstrated that the 58 strains were clearly separated into 15 lineages, corresponding to seven validly described species and eight potential novel species. The DDH and ANI values further confirmed the validity of the MLSA analysis and eight potential novel species. The MLSA interspecies gap of the genus Thalassospira was determined to be 96.16–97.12% sequence identity on the basis of the combined analyses of the DDH and MLSA, while the ANIm interspecies gap was 95.76–97.20% based on the in silico DDH analysis. Meanwhile, phylogenetic analyses showed that the Thalassospira bacteria exhibited distribution pattern to a certain degree according to geographic regions. Moreover, they clustered together according to the habitats depth. For short, the phylogenetic analyses and biogeography of the Thalassospira bacteria were systematically investigated for the first time. These results will be helpful to explore further their ecological role and adaptive evolution in marine environments. PMID:25198177

  16. Multilocus sequence analysis for assessment of phylogenetic diversity and biogeography in Thalassospira bacteria from diverse marine environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiliang Lai

    Full Text Available Thalassospira bacteria are widespread and have been isolated from various marine environments. Less is known about their genetic diversity and biogeography, as well as their role in marine environments, many of them cannot be discriminated merely using the 16S rRNA gene. To address these issues, in this report, the phylogenetic analysis of 58 strains from seawater and deep sea sediments were carried out using the multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA based on acsA, aroE, gyrB, mutL, rpoD and trpB genes, and the DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH and average nucleotide identity (ANI based on genome sequences. The MLSA analysis demonstrated that the 58 strains were clearly separated into 15 lineages, corresponding to seven validly described species and eight potential novel species. The DDH and ANI values further confirmed the validity of the MLSA analysis and eight potential novel species. The MLSA interspecies gap of the genus Thalassospira was determined to be 96.16-97.12% sequence identity on the basis of the combined analyses of the DDH and MLSA, while the ANIm interspecies gap was 95.76-97.20% based on the in silico DDH analysis. Meanwhile, phylogenetic analyses showed that the Thalassospira bacteria exhibited distribution pattern to a certain degree according to geographic regions. Moreover, they clustered together according to the habitats depth. For short, the phylogenetic analyses and biogeography of the Thalassospira bacteria were systematically investigated for the first time. These results will be helpful to explore further their ecological role and adaptive evolution in marine environments.

  17. Landscape Diversity as a Screening Tool to Assess Agroecosystems Sustainability; Preliminary Study in Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Visicchio

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Modernization of agricultural activities has strongly modified agricultural landscapes. Intensive agriculture, with the increased use of inorganic fertiliser and density of livestock, affects water quality discharging nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in water bodies. Nutrients in rivers, subsequently, are excellent indicators to assess sustainability/ land-use intensity in agroecosystems. Landscape, however, is a dynamic system and is the product of interaction amongst the natural environment and human activities, including farming which is a main driving force. At present not much has been investigated on the predictive role of landscape on land-use intensity. Aim of this study is to determine if, in Italian agroecosystem, landscape complexity can be related to land-use intensity. Indexes of landscape complexity (i.e. edge density, number of patches, Shannon’s diversity index, Interspersion-Juxtaposition index derived by processing Corine Land Cover data (level IV, 1:25.000 of Lazio Region, were related with landuse intensity (values of compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus and other parameters found in rivers monitored in accordance to European Directives on Waste Water. Results demonstrate that some landscape indexes were related to some environment parameters. Consequently landscape complexity, with further investigation, could be an efficient screening tool, at large scale, to assess water quality and ultimately agroecosystems sustainability in the absence of monitoring stations.

  18. Some like it high! Phylogenetic diversity of high-elevation cyanobacterial community from biological soil crusts of Western Himalaya.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čapková, K.; Hauer, T.; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 1 (2016), s. 113-123 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : soil crusts * cyanobacterial diversity * Western Himalayas * high-elevation * desert * phosphorus Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  19. Some Like it High! Phylogenetic Diversity of High-Elevation Cyanobacterial Community from Biological Soil Crusts of Western Himalaya

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čapková, Kateřina; Hauer, Tomáš; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 1 (2016), s. 113-123 ISSN 0095-3628 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-13368S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Soil crusts * Cyanobacterial diversity * Western Himalaya s Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  20. Genetic diversity in native and commercial breeds of pigs in Portugal assessed by microsatellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, A A; Carolino, M I; Sousa, M C O; Ginja, C; Silva, F S; Martinez, A M; Vega-Pla, J L; Carolino, N; Gama, L T

    2008-10-01

    Population structure and genetic diversity in the Portuguese native breeds of pigs Alentejano (AL), Bísaro (BI), and Malhado de Alcobaça (MA) and the exotic breeds Duroc (DU), Landrace (LR), Large White (LW), and Pietrain were analyzed by typing 22 microsatellite markers in 249 individuals. In general, the markers used were greatly polymorphic, with mean total and effective number of alleles per locus of 10.68 and 4.33, respectively, and an expected heterozygosity of 0.667 across loci. The effective number of alleles per locus and expected heterozygosity were greatest in BI, LR, and AL, and least in DU. Private alleles were found in 9 of the 22 markers analyzed, mostly in AL, but also in the other breeds, with the exception of LW. The proportion of loci not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in each breed analyzed ranged between 0.23 (AL) and 0.41 (BI, LW, and Pietrain), mostly because of a less than expected number of heterozygotes in those loci. With the exception of MA, all breeds showed a significant deficit in heterozygosity (F(IS); P < 0.05), which was more pronounced in BI (F(IS) = 0.175) and AL (F(IS) = 0.139), suggesting that inbreeding is a major concern, especially in these breeds that have gone through a genetic bottleneck in the recent past. The analysis of relationships among breeds, assessed by different methods, indicates that DU and AL are the more distanced breeds relative to the others, with the closest relationship being observed between LR and MA. The degree of differentiation between subpopulations (F(ST)) indicates that 0.184 of the total genetic variability can be attributed to differences among breeds. The analysis of individual distances based on allele sharing indicates that animals of the same breed generally cluster together, but subdivision is observed in the BI and LR breeds. Furthermore, the analysis of population structure indicates there is very little admixture among breeds, with each one being identified with a single ancestral

  1. Assessing the extent and diversity of riparian ecosystems in Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, M.L.; Nagler, P.L.; Glenn, E.P.; Valdes-Casillas, C.; Erker, J.A.; Reynolds, E.W.; Shafroth, P.B.; Gomez-Limon, E.; Jones, C.L.

    2009-01-01

    Conservation of forested riparian ecosystems is of international concern. Relatively little is known of the structure, composition, diversity, and extent of riparian ecosystems in Mexico. We used high- and low-resolution satellite imagery from 2000 to 2006, and ground-based sampling in 2006, to assess the spatial pattern, extent, and woody plant composition of riparian forests across a range of spatial scales for the state of Sonora, Mexico. For all 3rd and higher order streams, river bottomlands with riparian forests occupied a total area of 2,301 km2. Where forested bottomlands remained, on average, 34% of the area had been converted to agriculture while 39% remained forested. We estimated that the total area of riparian forest along the principal streams was 897 km2. Including fencerow trees, the total forested riparian area was 944 km2, or 0.5% of the total land area of Sonora. Ground-based sampling of woody riparian vegetation consisted of 92, 50 m radius circular plots. About 79 woody plant species were noted. The most important tree species, based on cover and frequency, were willow species Salix spp. (primarily S. goodingii and S. bonplandiana), mesquite species Prosopis spp. (primarily P. velutina), and Fremont cottonwood Populus fremontii. Woody riparian taxa at the reach scale showed a trend of increasing diversity from north to south within Sonora. Species richness was greatest in the willow-bald cypress Taxodium distichum var. mexicanum-Mexican cottonwood P. mexicana subsp. dimorphia ecosystem. The non-native tamarisk Tamarix spp. was rare, occurring at just three study reaches. Relatively natural stream flow patterns and fluvial disturbance regimes likely limit its establishment and spread. ?? 2008 Springer Science + Business Media BV.

  2. DEVELOPMENT OF EST-SSR MARKERS TO ASSESS GENETIC DIVERSITY OF BROCCOLI AND ITS RELATED SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nur Kholilatul Izzah

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Development of Expressed Sequence Tag-Simple Sequence Repeat (EST-SSR markers derived from public database is known to be more efficient, faster and low cost. The objective of this study was to generate a new set of EST-SSR markers for broccoli and its related species and their usefulness for assessing their genetic diversity. A total of 202 Brassica oleracea ESTs were retrieved from NCBI and then assembled into 172 unigenes by means of CAP3 program. Identification of SSRs was carried out using web-based tool, RepeatMasker software. Afterwards, EST-SSR markers were developed using Primer3 program. Among the identified SSRs, trinucleotide repeats were the most common repeat types, which accounted for about 50%. A total of eight primer pairs were successfully designed and yielded amplification products. Among them, five markers were polymorphic and displayed a total of 30 alleles with an average number of six alleles per locus. The polymorphic markers were subsequently used for analyzing genetic diversity of 36 B. oleracea cultivars including 22 broccoli, five cauliflower and nine kohlrabi cultivars based on genetic similarity matrix as implemented in NTSYS program. At similarity coefficient of 61%, a UPGMA clustering dendrogram effectively separated 36 genotypes into three main groups, where 30 out of 36 genotypes were clearly discriminated. The result obtained in the present study would help breeders in selecting parental lines for crossing. Moreover, the novel EST-SSR markers developed in the study could be a valuable tool for differentiating cultivars of broccoli and related species.

  3. Evolution of Evaluation and Assessment in Diverse Audiences in the Digital Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decades, researchers have learned more about how people think and act and about the social and political aspects of teaching and learning. This understanding has brought changes in researchers' and practitioners' interactions with diverse groups and individuals. This paper addresses evaluation, a process that measures the degree to which learning and project goals are met and factors contributing to or hindering outcomes. Parallels are drawn to learning assessment. The concepts of inclusion, participation, and constructivism (Mertens, 1999; Mertens and Hopson, 2006) now drive best evaluation practices for projects with persons with disabilities (AEA, 2011). This is also true in cases of other people who have been marginalized in STEM fields, e.g. women and underrepresented groups. Inclusion of these stakeholders has important implications for the validity of an evaluation, including the accuracy of results (Jacobson et al, 2012; Gill, 1999; Lee, 1999). The American Indian Higher Education Consortium's framework for indigenous groups incorporates their values and goals into evaluation design and implementation. It is feasible to include participant input in designing the questions and methods of obtaining data, ensuring that issues of access, opportunity, and power (Shuffelbeam, 2001) are taken into consideration. Geoscience projects with u-learning and m-learning provide opportunities to test these theoretical models in innovative programs such as: field work for students with physical disability; underrepresented minority, secondary students using mobile devices in contextualized learning in informal settings; and graduate students using digital maps to enhance traditional field work. This study compares program evaluation methodology of tradition learning with that of programs for diverse groups of students using digital technology. Ref: Mertens doi:10.1177/109821409902000102; Mertens and Hopson DOI: 10.1002/ev.177; AEA http

  4. Assessing services with communicatively impaired bilingual adults in culturally and linguistically diverse neurorehabilitation programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centeno, José G

    2015-01-01

    The combined effect of the steady increase in cultural and linguistic diversity and epidemiological factors in minority populations is estimated to continue having an impact on adult neurorehabilitation programs in the country, particularly in the number of bilingual individuals receiving clinical services. No comprehensive assessment of the present professional and clinical realities in service delivery to communicatively impaired adults in culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) neurorehabilitation contexts has been conducted. The current survey research was undertaken to examine current professional training, clinical practices, and challenges in the services rendered to the steadily increasing numbers of communicatively disordered adults in CLD neurorehabilitation programs with a special focus on bilingual persons. A 36-question, 6-section survey was administered to health care-based SLPs working with adults to examine multiple factors regarding work setting and caseload, professional training, clinical tools and procedures, service delivery issues, and suggestions to improve clinical work with bilingual adults in CLD neurorehabilitation environments. Results support that SLPs presently make sensible decisions to serve communicatively disordered bilingual adults with neuropathologies despite training gaps and scant clinical resources. Responses additionally highlight critical areas to improve professional preparation and available resources. Results are discussed in terms of strengths and weaknesses as well as their implications to professional education and target research areas in order to minimize present gaps in service delivery with bilingual speakers in CLD adult neurorehabilitation programs. As a result of this activity, the reader will be able to: (1) Discuss the demographic and epidemiological factors that suggest a continued increase in the number of communicatively impaired bilingual adults in CLD neurorehabilitation programs. (2) Describe

  5. Pyrosequencing assessment of prokaryotic and eukaryotic diversity in biofilm communities from a French river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bricheux, Geneviève; Morin, Loïc; Le Moal, Gwenaël; Coffe, Gérard; Balestrino, Damien; Charbonnel, Nicolas; Bohatier, Jacques; Forestier, Christiane

    2013-06-01

    Despite the recent and significant increase in the study of aquatic microbial communities, little is known about the microbial diversity of complex ecosystems such as running waters. This study investigated the biodiversity of biofilm communities formed in a river with 454 Sequencing™. This river has the particularity of integrating both organic and microbiological pollution, as receiver of agricultural pollution in its upstream catchment area and urban pollution through discharges of the wastewater treatment plant of the town of Billom. Different regions of the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene were targeted using nine pairs of primers, either universal or specific for bacteria, eukarya, or archaea. Our aim was to characterize the widest range of rDNA sequences using different sets of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. A first look at reads abundance revealed that a large majority (47-48%) were rare sequences (<5 copies). Prokaryotic phyla represented the species richness, and eukaryotic phyla accounted for a small part. Among the prokaryotic phyla, Proteobacteria (beta and alpha) predominated, followed by Bacteroidetes together with a large number of nonaffiliated bacterial sequences. Bacillariophyta plastids were abundant. The remaining bacterial phyla, Verrucomicrobia and Cyanobacteria, made up the rest of the bulk biodiversity. The most abundant eukaryotic phyla were annelid worms, followed by Diatoms, and Chlorophytes. These latter phyla attest to the abundance of plastids and the importance of photosynthetic activity for the biofilm. These findings highlight the existence and plasticity of multiple trophic levels within these complex biological systems. © 2013 The Authors. Microbiology Open published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Multilocus sequence analysis for the assessment of phylogenetic diversity and biogeography in hyphomonas bacteria from diverse marine environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongping Li

    Full Text Available Hyphomonas, a genus of budding, prosthecate bacteria, are primarily found in the marine environment. Seven type strains, and 35 strains from our collections of Hyphomonas, isolated from the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, South China Sea and the Baltic Sea, were investigated in this study using multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA. The phylogenetic structure of these bacteria was evaluated using the 16S rRNA gene, and five housekeeping genes (leuA, clpA, pyrH, gatA and rpoD as well as their concatenated sequences. Our results showed that each housekeeping gene and the concatenated gene sequence all yield a higher taxonomic resolution than the 16S rRNA gene. The 42 strains assorted into 12 groups. Each group represents an independent species, which was confirmed by virtual DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH estimated from draft genome sequences. Hyphomonas MLSA interspecies and intraspecies boundaries ranged from 93.3% to 96.3%, similarity calculated using a combined DDH and MLSA approach. Furthermore, six novel species (groups I, II, III, IV, V and XII of the genus Hyphomonas exist, based on sequence similarities of the MLSA and DDH values. Additionally, we propose that the leuA gene (93.0% sequence similarity across our dataset alone could be used as a fast and practical means for identifying species within Hyphomonas. Finally, Hyphomonas' geographic distribution shows that strains from the same area tend to cluster together as discrete species. This study provides a framework for the discrimination and phylogenetic analysis of the genus Hyphomonas for the first time, and will contribute to a more thorough understanding of the biological and ecological roles of this genus.

  7. METHODS OF ASSESSMENT OF THE RELATIVE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF NEUTRONS IN NEUTRON THERAPY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Lisin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The relative biological effectiveness (RBE of fast neutrons is an important factor influencing the quality of neutron therapy therefore, the assessment of RBE is of great importance. Experimental and clinical studies as well as different mathematical and radiobiological models are used for assessing RBE. Research is conducted for neutron sources differing in the method of producing particles, energy and energy spectrum. Purpose: to find and analyze the dose-dependence of fast neutron RBE in neutron therapy using the U-120 cyclotron and NG-12I generator. Material and methods: The optimal method for assessing the relative biological effectiveness of neutrons for neutron therapy was described. To analyze the dependence of the RBE on neutron dose, the multi-target model of cell survival was applied. Results: The dependence of the RBE of neutrons produced from the U-120 cyclotron and NG-120 generator on the dose level was found for a single irradiation of biological objects. It was shown that the function of neutron dose was consistent with similar dependencies found by other authors in the experimental and clinical studies.

  8. IMPACT OF JUTE RETTING ON NATIVE FISH DIVERSITY AND AQUATIC HEALTH OF ROADSIDE TRANSITORY WATER BODIES: AN ASSESSMENT IN EASTERN INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipankar Ghosh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Roadside transitory water bodies being manmade depressions have a great ecological and socio-economic importance from years. The effects of agricultural runoffs, jute retting, macro-phytes infestations and inadequate rainfall in changed climate often degrade transitory water bodies’ environment while the biodiversity have impacted severely because of population pressure, over exploitation and indiscriminate use of fine meshed fishing gears as a whole. Physico-chemical and biological analysis with fish species composition, relative abundance, diversity indices like species richness, evenness and Shannon-Wiener index were carried out for pre-, during and post-jute retting season and for year mean as a whole to assess impact of jute retting on the roadside transitory water body’s environmental health and indigenous fish diversity at Sahebnagar village in Nadia District, India. All the physico-chemical parameters barring biochemical oxygen demand and water transparency remained more or less same or marginally got little changed during those three seasons. As much as 19 native fish species with varied relative abundances and dominances were identified. Jute retting impacted lower native fish diversity indices like Shannon-Wiener index values (1.94 to 2.68 clearly indicated poor to moderate pollution status of the transitory water body in that area during monsoon in particular and throughout the year in general. So we opined there should be some control over the intense jute retting in the road side transitory water bodies for sustainable management of these manmade resources.

  9. Assessment of Knowledge of Participants on Basic Molecular Biology Techniques after 5-Day Intensive Molecular Biology Training Workshops in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J. I.; Adagbada, A. O.; Bamidele, T.; Fowora, M.; Brai, B. I. C.; Adebesin, O.; Bamidele, M.; Fesobi, T.; Nwaokorie, F. O.; Ajayi, A.; Smith, S. I.

    2017-01-01

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of…

  10. STUDY OF MICROBIAL DIVERSITY OF FUNGAL COMMUNITIES FROM RHIZOSPHERE AND PHYLOSPHERE OF STRAWBERRY TREATED WITH CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS FOR THE CONTROL OF PATHOGENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabi-Mirela Matei

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The negative impact of long term utilization of pesticides on yields quality, as well as on the human health made scientific community to seek new ways, less expensive and environmental friendly for protecting cultivated plants against pathogens. Biological control agents of microbial origin represented by living selected strains or their metabolites are more and more frequently utilized for protecting horticultural plants intensely consumed by European population, such as strawberry. A green house experiment was designed to compare the structure of rhizospheric and phylospheric microflora of strawberry cv. Senga Sengana, sensible to Botrytis cinerea (the agent of grey mould treated with systemic and contact fungicides, as well as with four biological control preparations of microbial origin administrated on plant leaves or in the soil. The structure of fungal communities in rhizosphere and phylosphere of strawberry cv. Senga Sengana varied as a function of the nature of control agent and the method of administration. Non significant influence on soil fungal community diversity index and species number was registered after the treatment with chemical and biological control agents, but significant increments were induced in time by control agents as compared with both non-treated control and chemical pesticides. Fungal community structure from strawberry leaves was not significantly influenced by chemical and biological control agents. The most favourable influence on fungal communities registered for bio-control agents E1 and E2 due to

  11. A biological tool to assess flow connectivity in reference temporary streams from the Mediterranean Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cid, N., E-mail: ncid@ub.edu [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Verkaik, I. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); García-Roger, E.M. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València (Spain); Rieradevall, M.; Bonada, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Sánchez-Montoya, M.M. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin (Germany); Gómez, R.; Suárez, M.L.; Vidal-Abarca, M.R. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Demartini, D.; Buffagni, A.; Erba, S. [Instituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque (CNR-IRSA) (Italy); Karaouzas, I.; Skoulikidis, N. [Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) (Greece); Prat, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)

    2016-01-01

    Many streams in the Mediterranean Basin have temporary flow regimes. While timing for seasonal drought is predictable, they undergo strong inter-annual variability in flow intensity. This high hydrological variability and associated ecological responses challenge the ecological status assessment of temporary streams, particularly when setting reference conditions. This study examined the effects of flow connectivity in aquatic macroinvertebrates from seven reference temporary streams across the Mediterranean Basin where hydrological variability and flow conditions are well studied. We tested for the effect of flow cessation on two streamflow indices and on community composition, and, by performing random forest and classification tree analyses we identified important biological predictors for classifying the aquatic state either as flowing or disconnected pools. Flow cessation was critical for one of the streamflow indices studied and for community composition. Macroinvertebrate families found to be important for classifying the aquatic state were Hydrophilidae, Simuliidae, Hydropsychidae, Planorbiidae, Heptageniidae and Gerridae. For biological traits, trait categories associated to feeding habits, food, locomotion and substrate relation were the most important and provided more accurate predictions compared to taxonomy. A combination of selected metrics and associated thresholds based on the most important biological predictors (i.e. Bio-AS Tool) were proposed in order to assess the aquatic state in reference temporary streams, especially in the absence of hydrological data. Although further development is needed, the tool can be of particular interest for monitoring, restoration, and conservation purposes, representing an important step towards an adequate management of temporary rivers not only in the Mediterranean Basin but also in other regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change. - Highlights: • The effect of flow connectivity on macroinvertebrate

  12. Assessment of landscape diversity and determination of landscape hotspots - a case of Slovenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perko, Drago; Ciglič, Rok; Hrvatin, Mauro

    2017-04-01

    Areas with high landscape diversity can be regarded as landscape hotspots, and vice versa areas with low landscape diversity can be marked as landscape coldspots. The main purpose of this paper is to use quantitative geoinformatical approach and identify parts of our test area (the country of Slovenia) that can be described as very diverse according to natural landscapes and natural elements. We used different digital raster data of natural elements and landscape classifications and defined landscape diversity and landscape hotspots. We defined diversity for each raster pixel by counting the number of different unique types of landscape elements and types of landscapes in its neighborhood. Namely, the method was used separately to define diversity according to natural elements (types of relief forms, rocks, and vegetation) and diversity according to existing geographical landscape classifications of Slovenia (types of landscapes). In both cases one-tenth of Slovenia's surface with the highest landscape diversity was defined as landscape hotspots. The same applies to the coldspots. Additionally we tested the same method of counting different types of landscapes in certain radius also for the area of Europe in order to find areas that are more diverse at continental level. By doing so we were able to find areas that have similar level of diversity as Slovenia according to different European landscape classifications. Areas with landscape diversity may have an advantage in economic development, especially in tourism. Such areas are also important for biodiversity, habitat, and species diversity. On the other hand, localities where various natural influences mix can also be areas where it is hard to transfer best practices from one place to another because of the varying responses of the landscapes to human intervention. Thus it is important to know where areas with high landscape diversity are.

  13. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. © 2016 K. Hoffman, S. Leupen, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Assessment of genetic diversity in Indian rice germplasm (Oryza sativa L.): use of random versus trait-linked microsatellite markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Sheel; Singh, Ashutosh; Singh, M R; Goel, Nitika; Vinod, K K; Mohapatra, T; Singh, A K

    2013-12-01

    Assessment of genetic diversity in a crop germplasm is a vital part of plant breeding. DNA markers such as microsatellite or simple sequence repeat markers have been widely used to estimate the genetic diversity in rice. The present study was carried out to decipher the pattern of genetic diversity in terms of both phenotypic and genotypic variability, and to assess the efficiency of random vis-á-vis QTL linked/gene based simple sequence repeat markers in diversity estimation. A set of 88 rice accessions that included landraces, farmer's varieties and popular Basmati lines were evaluated for agronomic traits and molecular diversity. The random set of SSR markers included 50 diversity panel markers developed under IRRI's Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) and the trait-linked/gene based markers comprised of 50 SSR markers reportedly linked to yield and related components. For agronomic traits, significant variability was observed, ranging between the maximum for grains/panicle and the minimum for panicle length. The molecular diversity based grouping indicated that varieties from a common centre were genetically similar, with few exceptions. The trait-linked markers gave an average genetic dissimilarity of 0.45 as against that of 0.37 by random markers, along with an average polymorphic information constant value of 0.48 and 0.41 respectively. The correlation between the kinship matrix generated by trait-linked markers and the phenotype based distance matrix (0.29) was higher than that of random markers (0.19). This establishes the robustness of trait-linked markers over random markers in estimating genetic diversity of rice germplasm.

  15. Hazard identification and risk assessment for biologics targeting the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Andrea B

    2008-01-01

    Biologic pharmaceuticals include a variety of products, such as monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins and cytokines. Products in those classes include immunomodulatory biologics, which are intended to enhance or diminish the activity of the immune system. Immunomodulatory biologics have been approved by the U.S. FDA for a variety of indications, including cancer and inflammatory conditions. Prior to gaining approval for marketing, sponsoring companies for all types of products must demonstrate a product's safety in toxicology studies conducted in animals and show safety and efficacy in clinical trials conducted in patients. The overall goal of toxicology studies, which applies to immunomodulatory and other product types, is to identify the hazards that products pose to humans. Because biologics are generally highly selective for specific targets (receptors/epitopes), conducting toxicology studies in animal models with the target is essential. Such animals are referred to as pharmacologically relevant. Endpoints routinely included in toxicology studies, such as hematology, organ weight and histopathology, can be used to assess the effect of a product on the structure of the immune system. Additionally, specialized endpoints, such as immunophenotyping and immune function tests, can be used to define effects of immunomodulatory products on the immune system. Following hazard identification, risks posed to patients are assessed and managed. Risks can be managed through clinical trial design and risk communication, a practice that applies to immunomodulatory and other product types. Examples of risk management in clinical trial design include establishing a safe starting dose, defining the appropriate patient population and establishing appropriate patient monitoring. Risk communication starts during clinical trials and continues after product approval. A combination of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk management allows for drug development to proceed

  16. HlMyb3, a putative regulatory factor in hop (Humulus lupulus L.), shows diverse biological effects in heterologous transgenotes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Matoušek, Jaroslav; Kocábek, Tomáš; Patzak, J.; Škopek, Josef; Maloukh, L.; Heyerick, A.; Füssy, Z.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; De Keukeleire, D.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 19 (2007), s. 7767-7776 ISSN 0021-8561 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA521/03/0072; GA MŠk ME 940 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50510513 Keywords : cDNA library * Humulus lupulus L. Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.532, year: 2007

  17. Contamination delays the release of Laricobius osakensis for biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid: cryptic diversity in Japanese Laricobius spp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melissa J. Fischer; Nathan P. Havill; Carrie S. Jubb; Sean W. Prosser; Brent D. Opell; Scott M. Salom; Loke T. Kok

    2014-01-01

    Laricobius osakensis (Coleoptera: Derodontidae) was imported from Japan to the United States in 2006 for study in quarantine facilities as a potential biological control of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Laricobius osakensis was released from quarantine in 2010, but it was soon discovered that the colony also contained a cryptic species...

  18. Assessment of network perturbation amplitudes by applying high-throughput data to causal biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Florian

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-throughput measurement technologies produce data sets that have the potential to elucidate the biological impact of disease, drug treatment, and environmental agents on humans. The scientific community faces an ongoing challenge in the analysis of these rich data sources to more accurately characterize biological processes that have been perturbed at the mechanistic level. Here, a new approach is built on previous methodologies in which high-throughput data was interpreted using prior biological knowledge of cause and effect relationships. These relationships are structured into network models that describe specific biological processes, such as inflammatory signaling or cell cycle progression. This enables quantitative assessment of network perturbation in response to a given stimulus. Results Four complementary methods were devised to quantify treatment-induced activity changes in processes described by network models. In addition, companion statistics were developed to qualify significance and specificity of the results. This approach is called Network Perturbation Amplitude (NPA scoring because the amplitudes of treatment-induced perturbations are computed for biological network models. The NPA methods were tested on two transcriptomic data sets: normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE cells treated with the pro-inflammatory signaling mediator TNFα, and HCT116 colon cancer cells treated with the CDK cell cycle inhibitor R547. Each data set was scored against network models representing different aspects of inflammatory signaling and cell cycle progression, and these scores were compared with independent measures of pathway activity in NHBE cells to verify the approach. The NPA scoring method successfully quantified the amplitude of TNFα-induced perturbation for each network model when compared against NF-κB nuclear localization and cell number. In addition, the degree and specificity to which CDK

  19. A framework for assessing and managing large purchaser:minority supplier relationships in supplier diversity initiatives

    OpenAIRE

    Theodorakopoulos, Nicholas; Ram, Monder

    2008-01-01

    Supplier diversity initiatives can function as platforms for EMSs strategic learning (Theodorakopoulos et al., 2005; Theodorakopoulos & Ram, 2006) and the scant research in supplier diversity underscores the importance of relationship factors to the success of supplier diversity/development programmes (e.g. Pearson et al., 1993). However, purchaser-supplier relationship management as a vehicle for enhancing EMSs learning and supply capabilities has not been examined to any length within the c...

  20. Cryptic Coral Reef Diversity Across the Pacific Assessed using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures and Multi-omic Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ransome, E. J.; Timmers, M.; Hartmann, A.; Collins, A.; Meyer, C.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs harbor diverse and distinct eukaryotic, bacterial and viral communities, which are critically important for their success. The lack of standardized measures for comprehensively assessing reef diversity has been a major obstacle in understanding the complexity of eukaryotic and microbial associations, and the processes that drive ecosystem shifts on reefs. ARMS, which mimic the structural complexity of the reef using artificial settlement plates, were used to systematically measure reef biodiversity across the Indo-Pacific. This device allows for standardized sampling of reef microbes to metazoans, providing the opportunity to investigate the fundamental links between these groups at an ecosystem level. We integrate the use of traditional ecology methods with metagenomics and metabolomics (metabolic predictors) to quantify the taxonomic composition of one of the planet's most diverse ecosystems and to assess the fundamental links between these cryptic communities and ecosystem function along geographical and anthropogenic stress gradients.

  1. Assessment of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria and shrimp production in ponds treated with biological products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thangapalam Jawahar Abraham

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the influence of biological products on the levels of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria in shrimp culture systems of West Bengal, India. Methods: The pond water and sediment samples were analyzed for physico-chemical parameters as per standard methods. The bacteria involved in ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, sulphate reduction and sulphur oxidation were enumerated by most probable number technique. Results: The semi-intensive and modified extensive shrimp farms used a variety of biological products during various stages of production. No biological products were used in traditional farms. The water and sediment samples of modified extensive system recorded significantly higher mean heterotrophic bacterial counts. The counts of ammonia, nitrite and sulphur oxidizers, and nitrate and sulphate reducers varied among the systems. The cycling of nitrogen and sulphur appeared to be affected with the intensification of culture practices. Conclusions: The application of biological products in certain systems helped to maintain the bacteria involved in nitrogen and sulphur cycles and safe levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. An assessment of these metabolically active bacteria in shrimp culture ponds and the application of right kind microbial products would help ameliorate the organic pollution in shrimp aquaculture.

  2. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. PMID:27146161

  3. A current assessment of diversity characteristics and perceptions of their importance in the surgical workforce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Judith C; O'Rourke, Colin; Walsh, R Matthew

    2014-11-01

    Diversity in the workforce is vital to successful businesses. Healthcare in general has suffered from a lack of cultural competence, which is the ability to successfully interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds. In order to eliminate discrimination and build a diverse workforce, physicians' perceptions and importance of diversity need to be measured. A 25-item, anonymous, online questionnaire was created, and a cross-sectional survey was performed. The instrument consisted of demographic and Likert-style questions which attempted to determine the participants' perceptions of the current level of diversity in their specialty and their perceived importance of particular diversity categories. Over 1,000 responses were received from US-based physicians across all specialties and levels of training. Statistically significant differences existed between surgical and nonsurgical specialties with regard to gender, prior work experience, and political identity. In the surgical workforce, there is significant perceived homogeneity regarding gender/sexual identity. Surgical respondents also deemed gender/sexual identity diversity to be less important than respondents from medical specialties. Surgeons and surgical trainees are less diverse than their medical colleagues, both by demographics and self-acknowledgement. The long-term impact and potential barriers to resolve these differences in diversity require further investigation.

  4. The state-of-"cultural validity" of self-report pain assessment tools in diverse older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, Staja Star; Herr, Keela

    2015-02-01

    Pain continues to be a significant problem for older adults worldwide and a challenge for health care clinicians and researchers in assuring accurate identification and tailored treatment approaches. Attention has been devoted in recent years to development of pain assessment tools that are reliable and valid for use with older adults, including self-report scales and pain observation tools. This integrative review examines face, content, and construct validity relative to the research development, linguistic translation, and clinical implementation of self-report pain assessment tools in culturally diverse older adults. Many self-report pain assessment tools have not been tested and validated in many older adults of diverse cultures. As a result, self-report tools are limited in their accuracy and ability to capture the cultural distinctions that impact pain intensity ratings. The multiculturalism of health care and the use of existing pain assessment tools globally require that clinicians and researchers consider tool validity that incorporates the individual's cultural system in order to provide quality pain assessment. This article addresses one aspect of tool development and application across populations, the validation of self-report pain assessment tools for culturally diverse older adults. Recommendations for each the research and clinician are provided to assist in development, translation, and use of various self-report pain assessment tools. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Genetic diversity of wheat grain quality and determination the best clustering technique and data type for diversity assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khodadadi Mostafa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Wheat is an important staple in human nutrition and improvement of its grain quality characters will have high impact on population's health. The objectives of this study were assessing variation of some grain quality characteristics in the Iranian wheat genotypes and identify the best type of data and clustering method for grouping genotypes. In this study 30 spring wheat genotypes were cultivated through randomized complete block design with three replications in 2009 and 2010 years. High significant difference among genotypes for all traits except for Sulfate, K, Br and Cl content, also deference among two years mean for all traits were no significant. Meanwhile there were significant interaction between year and genotype for all traits except Sulfate and F content. Mean values for crude protein, Zn, Fe and Ca in Mahdavi, Falat, Star, Sistan genotypes were the highest. The Ca and Br content showed the highest and the lowest broadcast heritability respectively. In this study indicated that the Root Mean Square Standard Deviation is efficient than R Squared and R Squared efficient than Semi Partial R Squared criteria for determining the best clustering technique. Also Ward method and canonical scores identified as the best clustering method and data type for grouping genotypes, respectively. Genotypes were grouped into six completely separate clusters and Roshan, Niknejad and Star genotypes from the fourth, fifth and sixth clusters had high grain quality characters in overall.

  6. A geospatial data integration framework for mapping and monitoring tropical landscape diversity in Costa Rica's San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesnie, Steven E.

    Landcover change has substantially reduced the amount of tropical rain forest since the 1950s. Little is known about the extent of remaining forest types. A multivariate analysis of 144 forest plots across Costa Rica's San Juan - La Selva Biological Corridor resulted in eight floristically defined old-growth forest categories. Spectral separability was tested between categories using Landsat TM bands and vegetation indices for old-growth types, palm swamps, tree plantations and regrowth. Image filtering and NDVI increased spectral separability among categories by 30%. Separability tests resulted in seven well-discriminated forest categories. Factors driving forest beta-diversity are not well quantified for wet tropical environments. We examined the relationship between rain forest composition and environmental variation for a 3000 km2 area in northeastern Costa Rica. Mid- to upper-canopy tree species abundance and soil characteristics were measured from 127, 0.25-ha plots across Caribbean lowlands and foothills. Partial Mantel tests produced significant correlations between floristic distance and soil, terrain, and climate variables controlling the effects of geographical distance. Niche-factors showed a significant trend with forest composition more than dispersal limitation or disturbance related factors. Variables such as terrain features, climatic variation and Landsat TM bands associated with forest composition were assessed with two decision tree models. Thirty-two landcover types were compared for a 15-year time interval. Ten were floristic alliances from a cluster analysis of forest plots and wetland categories. A subset of 12 spectral and spatial predictor variables produced accuracies of 93%+/-7% and 83%+/-15% for QUEST and CRUISE classifiers, respectively. The QUEST classifier was accurate for habitat mapping and change detection important to biodiversity monitoring objectives. A 1996 Forestry Law initiated environmental service payments and prohibited

  7. RNA-Based Assessment of Diversity and Composition of Active Archaeal Communities in the German Bight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Wemheuer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Archaea play an important role in various biogeochemical cycles. They are known extremophiles inhabiting environments such as thermal springs or hydrothermal vents. Recent studies have revealed a significant abundance of Archaea in moderate environments, for example, temperate sea water. Nevertheless, the composition and ecosystem function of these marine archaeal communities is largely unknown. To assess diversity and composition of active archaeal communities in the German Bight, seven marine water samples were taken and studied by RNA-based analysis of ribosomal 16S rRNA. For this purpose, total RNA was extracted from the samples and converted to cDNA. Archaeal community structures were investigated by pyrosequencing-based analysis of 16S rRNA amplicons generated from cDNA. To our knowledge, this is the first study combining next-generation sequencing and metatranscriptomics to study archaeal communities in marine habitats. The pyrosequencing-derived dataset comprised 62,045 archaeal 16S rRNA sequences. We identified Halobacteria as the predominant archaeal group across all samples with increased abundance in algal blooms. Thermoplasmatales (Euryarchaeota and the Marine Group I (Thaumarchaeota were identified in minor abundances. It is indicated that archaeal community patterns were influenced by environmental conditions.

  8. Performance assessment of topologically diverse power systems subjected to hurricane events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkler, James; Duenas-Osorio, Leonardo; Stein, Robert; Subramanian, Devika

    2010-01-01

    Large tropical cyclones cause severe damage to major cities along the United States Gulf Coast annually. A diverse collection of engineering and statistical models are currently used to estimate the geographical distribution of power outage probabilities stemming from these hurricanes to aid in storm preparedness and recovery efforts. Graph theoretic studies of power networks have separately attempted to link abstract network topology to transmission and distribution system reliability. However, few works have employed both techniques to unravel the intimate connection between network damage arising from storms, topology, and system reliability. This investigation presents a new methodology combining hurricane damage predictions and topological assessment to characterize the impact of hurricanes upon power system reliability. Component fragility models are applied to predict failure probability for individual transmission and distribution power network elements simultaneously. The damage model is calibrated using power network component failure data for Harris County, TX, USA caused by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008, resulting in a mean outage prediction error of 15.59% and low standard deviation. Simulated hurricane events are then applied to measure the hurricane reliability of three topologically distinct transmission networks. The rate of system performance decline is shown to depend on their topological structure. Reliability is found to correlate directly with topological features, such as network meshedness, centrality, and clustering, and the compact irregular ring mesh topology is identified as particularly favorable, which can influence regional lifeline policy for retrofit and hardening activities to withstand hurricane events.

  9. Genetic Diversity Assessment of Rarely Cultivated Traditional Indica Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Varieties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rekha, T; Martin, Kottackal Poulose; Sreekumar, V B; Madassery, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting was performed to assess the genetic diversity among rarely cultivated traditional indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties collected from a tribal hamlet of Kerala State, India. A total of 664 DNA bands amplified by 15 primers exhibited 72.9% polymorphism (an average of 32.3 polymorphic bands per primer). The varieties Jeerakasala and Kalladiyaran exhibited the highest percent (50.19%) polymorphism, while Thondi and Adukkan showed the lowest (9.85%). Adukkan (78 bands) and Jeerakasala (56 bands) yielded the highest and the lowest number of amplicons, respectively. Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean analysis using the Dice similarity coefficient showed the highest value of similarity coefficient between the varieties Adukkan and Thondi, both shared higher level of similarity (0.81), followed by Kanali and Thondi (0.88). Of the three subclusters, the varieties of Adukkan, Thondi, Kanali, Mannuveliyan, Thonnuranthondi, and Chennellu grouped together with a similarity of 0.77. The second group represented by Navara, Gandhakasala, and Jeerakasala with a similarity coefficient of 0.76 formed a cohesive group. The variety Kalladiyaran formed an isolated position that joined the second cluster. The Principal Coordinate Analysis also showed separation of Kalladiyaran from the other varieties.

  10. Genetic Diversity Assessment of Rarely Cultivated Traditional Indica Rice (Oryza sativa L. Varieties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Rekha

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Random amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting was performed to assess the genetic diversity among rarely cultivated traditional indica rice (Oryza sativa L. varieties collected from a tribal hamlet of Kerala State, India. A total of 664 DNA bands amplified by 15 primers exhibited 72.9% polymorphism (an average of 32.3 polymorphic bands per primer. The varieties Jeerakasala and Kalladiyaran exhibited the highest percent (50.19% polymorphism, while Thondi and Adukkan showed the lowest (9.85%. Adukkan (78 bands and Jeerakasala (56 bands yielded the highest and the lowest number of amplicons, respectively. Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean analysis using the Dice similarity coefficient showed the highest value of similarity coefficient between the varieties Adukkan and Thondi, both shared higher level of similarity (0.81, followed by Kanali and Thondi (0.88. Of the three subclusters, the varieties of Adukkan, Thondi, Kanali, Mannuveliyan, Thonnuranthondi, and Chennellu grouped together with a similarity of 0.77. The second group represented by Navara, Gandhakasala, and Jeerakasala with a similarity coefficient of 0.76 formed a cohesive group. The variety Kalladiyaran formed an isolated position that joined the second cluster. The Principal Coordinate Analysis also showed separation of Kalladiyaran from the other varieties.

  11. Assessment of Kinematic Brain Injury Metrics for Predicting Strain Responses in Diverse Automotive Impact Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabler, Lee F; Crandall, Jeff R; Panzer, Matthew B

    2016-12-01

    Numerous injury criteria have been developed to predict brain injury using the kinematic response of the head during impact. Each criterion utilizes a metric that is some mathematical combination of the velocity and/or acceleration components of translational and/or rotational head motion. Early metrics were based on linear acceleration of the head, but recent injury criteria have shifted towards rotational-based metrics. Currently, there is no universally accepted metric that is suitable for a diverse range of head impacts. In this study, we assessed the capability of fifteen existing kinematic-based metrics for predicting strain-based brain response using four different automotive impact conditions. Tissue-level strains were obtained through finite element model simulation of 660 head impacts including occupant and pedestrian crash tests, and pendulum head impacts. Correlations between head kinematic metrics and predicted brain strain-based metrics were evaluated. Correlations between brain strain and metrics based on angular velocity were highest among those evaluated, while metrics based on linear acceleration were least correlative. BrIC and RVCI were the kinematic metrics with the highest overall correlation; however, each metric had limitations in certain impact conditions. The results of this study suggest that rotational head kinematics are the most important parameters for brain injury criteria.

  12. Assessing diversity among traditional Greek and foreign eggplant cultivars using molecular markers and morphometrical descriptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Augustinos, A.A.; Petropoulos, C.; Karasoulou, V.; Bletsos, F.; Papasotiropoulos, V.

    2016-01-01

    Eggplant is a widely cultivated vegetable crop of great economic importance. Its long lasting history of domestication, selection and breeding has led to the development of numerous cultivars with variable traits. In the present study, we assessed the diversity levels within and among eleven Greek and foreign cultivars, using 22 morphological descriptors and two different classes of molecular markers (retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphism-REMAP markers and nuclear microsatellites). Our results, in accordance with other studies in the field showed: a) the limited levels of genetic polymorphism within the cultivars; b) the high morphological and genetic divergence existing among them as indicated by the genetic distance values calculated, which could be attributed to selection, inbreeding and bottleneck effects; and c) the lack of concordance among morphological descriptors and molecular markers. Despite these, our analysis showed that the utilization of combinations of markers is an effective method for the characterization of plant material providing also useful diagnostic tools for the identification and authentication of the selected Greek cultivars.

  13. Assessing diversity among traditional Greek and foreign eggplant cultivars using molecular markers and morphometrical descriptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Augustinos, A.A.; Petropoulos, C.; Karasoulou, V.; Bletsos, F.; Papasotiropoulos, V.

    2016-07-01

    Eggplant is a widely cultivated vegetable crop of great economic importance. Its long lasting history of domestication, selection and breeding has led to the development of numerous cultivars with variable traits. In the present study, we assessed the diversity levels within and among eleven Greek and foreign cultivars, using 22 morphological descriptors and two different classes of molecular markers (retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphism-REMAP markers and nuclear microsatellites). Our results, in accordance with other studies in the field showed: a) the limited levels of genetic polymorphism within the cultivars; b) the high morphological and genetic divergence existing among them as indicated by the genetic distance values calculated, which could be attributed to selection, inbreeding and bottleneck effects; and c) the lack of concordance among morphological descriptors and molecular markers. Despite these, our analysis showed that the utilization of combinations of markers is an effective method for the characterization of plant material providing also useful diagnostic tools for the identification and authentication of the selected Greek cultivars.

  14. The language and social background questionnaire: Assessing degree of bilingualism in a diverse population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, John A E; Mak, Lorinda; Keyvani Chahi, Aram; Bialystok, Ellen

    2018-02-01

    Research examining the cognitive consequences of bilingualism has expanded rapidly in recent years and has revealed effects on aspects of cognition across the lifespan. However, these effects are difficult to find in studies investigating young adults. One problem is that there is no standard definition of bilingualism or means of evaluating degree of bilingualism in individual participants, making it difficult to directly compare the results of different studies. Here, we describe an instrument developed to assess degree of bilingualism for young adults who live in diverse communities in which English is the official language. We demonstrate the reliability and validity of the instrument in analyses based on 408 participants. The relevant factors for describing degree of bilingualism are: (1) the extent of non-English language proficiency and use at home, and (2) non-English language use socially. We then use the bilingualism scores obtained from the instrument to demonstrate their association with: (1) performance on executive function tasks, and (2) previous classifications of participants into categories of monolinguals and bilinguals.

  15. Assessing diversity among traditional Greek and foreign eggplant cultivars using molecular markers and morphometrical descriptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonios A. Augustinos

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Eggplant is a widely cultivated vegetable crop of great economic importance. Its long lasting history of domestication, selection and breeding has led to the development of numerous cultivars with variable traits. In the present study, we assessed the diversity levels within and among eleven Greek and foreign cultivars, using 22 morphological descriptors and two different classes of molecular markers (retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphism-REMAP markers and nuclear microsatellites. Our results, in accordance with other studies in the field showed: a the limited levels of genetic polymorphism within the cultivars; b the high morphological and genetic divergence existing among them as indicated by the genetic distance values calculated, which could be attributed to selection, inbreeding and bottleneck effects; and c the lack of concordance among morphological descriptors and molecular markers. Despite these, our analysis showed that the utilization of combinations of markers is an effective method for the characterization of plant material providing also useful diagnostic tools for the identification and authentication of the selected Greek cultivars.

  16. Performance assessment of topologically diverse power systems subjected to hurricane events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winkler, James, E-mail: jwinkler@rice.ed [Rice University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (United States); Duenas-Osorio, Leonardo, E-mail: leonardo.duenas-osorio@rice.ed [Rice University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (United States); Stein, Robert, E-mail: stein@rice.ed [Rice University, Department of Political Science, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (United States); Subramanian, Devika, E-mail: devika@rice.ed [Rice University, Department of Computer Science, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (United States); Rice University, Department of Electrical Engineering, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (United States)

    2010-04-15

    Large tropical cyclones cause severe damage to major cities along the United States Gulf Coast annually. A diverse collection of engineering and statistical models are currently used to estimate the geographical distribution of power outage probabilities stemming from these hurricanes to aid in storm preparedness and recovery efforts. Graph theoretic studies of power networks have separately attempted to link abstract network topology to transmission and distribution system reliability. However, few works have employed both techniques to unravel the intimate connection between network damage arising from storms, topology, and system reliability. This investigation presents a new methodology combining hurricane damage predictions and topological assessment to characterize the impact of hurricanes upon power system reliability. Component fragility models are applied to predict failure probability for individual transmission and distribution power network elements simultaneously. The damage model is calibrated using power network component failure data for Harris County, TX, USA caused by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008, resulting in a mean outage prediction error of 15.59% and low standard deviation. Simulated hurricane events are then applied to measure the hurricane reliability of three topologically distinct transmission networks. The rate of system performance decline is shown to depend on their topological structure. Reliability is found to correlate directly with topological features, such as network meshedness, centrality, and clustering, and the compact irregular ring mesh topology is identified as particularly favorable, which can influence regional lifeline policy for retrofit and hardening activities to withstand hurricane events.

  17. Safety Assessment and Biological Effects of a New Cold Processed SilEmulsion for Dermatological Purpose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Raposo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is of crucial importance to evaluate the safety profile of the ingredients used in dermatological emulsions. A suitable equilibrium between safety and efficacy is a pivotal concern before the marketing of a dermatological product. The aim was to assess the safety and biological effects of a new cold processed silicone-based emulsion (SilEmulsion. The hazard, exposure, and dose-response assessment were used to characterize the risk for each ingredient. EpiSkin assay and human repeat insult patch tests were performed to compare the theoretical safety assessment to in vitro and in vivo data. The efficacy of the SilEmulsion was studied using biophysical measurements in human volunteers during 21 days. According to the safety assessment of the ingredients, 1,5-pentanediol was an ingredient of special concern since its margin of safety was below the threshold of 100 (36.53. EpiSkin assay showed that the tissue viability after the application of the SilEmulsion was 92 ± 6% and, thus considered nonirritant to the skin. The human studies confirmed that the SilEmulsion was not a skin irritant and did not induce any sensitization on the volunteers, being safe for human use. Moreover, biological effects demonstrated that the SilEmulsion increased both the skin hydration and skin surface lipids.

  18. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 1, through June 1988

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1988-08-29

    This database was constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on publication number, authors, key words, title, year, and journal name. Photocopies of all publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by citation number. This report of the database is provided as a useful reference and overview. It should be emphasized that the database will grow as new citations are added to it. With that in mind, we arranged this report in order of ascending citation number so that follow-up reports will simply extend this document. The database cite 1212 publications. Publications are from 119 different scientific journals, 27 of these journals are cited at least 5 times. It also contains reference to 42 books and published symposia, and 129 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed among the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly dominate. The four journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, Mutation Research, Radiation Research, and International Journal of Radiation Biology. Publications in Health Physics make up almost 10% of the current database.

  19. Historical precedence and technical requirements of biological weapons use : a threat assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estes, Daniel P.; Vogel, Kathleen Margaret; Gaudioso, Jennifer Marie; Hickok, Lauren T.; Jung, Danielle F.; Barnett, Natalie Beth; Frerichs, Rebecca L.; Salerno, Reynolds Mathewson

    2004-05-01

    The threat from biological weapons is assessed through both a comparative historical analysis of the patterns of biological weapons use and an assessment of the technological hurdles to proliferation and use that must be overcome. The history of biological weapons is studied to learn how agents have been acquired and what types of states and substate actors have used agents. Substate actors have generally been more willing than states to use pathogens and toxins and they have focused on those agents that are more readily available. There has been an increasing trend of bioterrorism incidents over the past century, but states and substate actors have struggled with one or more of the necessary technological steps. These steps include acquisition of a suitable agent, production of an appropriate quantity and form, and effective deployment. The technological hurdles associated with the steps present a real barrier to producing a high consequence event. However, the ever increasing technological sophistication of society continually lowers the barriers, resulting in a low but increasing probability of a high consequence bioterrorism event.

  20. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 1, through June 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1988-01-01

    This database was constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on publication number, authors, key words, title, year, and journal name. Photocopies of all publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by citation number. This report of the database is provided as a useful reference and overview. It should be emphasized that the database will grow as new citations are added to it. With that in mind, we arranged this report in order of ascending citation number so that follow-up reports will simply extend this document. The database cite 1212 publications. Publications are from 119 different scientific journals, 27 of these journals are cited at least 5 times. It also contains reference to 42 books and published symposia, and 129 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed among the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly dominate. The four journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, Mutation Research, Radiation Research, and International Journal of Radiation Biology. Publications in Health Physics make up almost 10% of the current database

  1. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  2. [Comparison and application of biological indices of macroinvertebrates in river health assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Shi-Wei; Qu, Xiao-Dong; Zhang, Yuan; Lin, Kun-De

    2012-07-01

    The different biological indices usually result in different results in the river health assessment. It is imperative and valuable to identify the correlation among different indices and their applicability for assessing stream health. In this study, totally five biological indices were selected and compared in the investigation of macroinvertebrate communities in the Taizi river. The results showed significant correlations among the five indices. However, due to the difference in health rating criteria for each biological index, different results of health ratings were obtained when different indices were used. The responding sensitivities to disturbance caused by different types of human activities were studied for each index to determine their applicability in assessment of river health. The data indicated that the BI index had significant correlations with land use and dissolved oxygen and was a good indicator for these two types of disturbance. The FBI index could well reflect the acid and ammonia contamination of the investigated stream. Strong negative correlation was found between the ASPT index and several water quality parameters concerning oxygen consumption. The B-IBI index had a significant negative correlation with the total nitrogen concentration, being a good indicator for nitrogen contamination. Besides, the B-IBI index was also significantly correlated to disturbance caused by other types of human activities and can be used as an indicator for both land use and aquatic pollution. To be concluded, the BI index and ASPT index can be individually used to assess the land use of a riverine and the impact of hydrochemical index on the ecosystems, whereas the B-IBI index could be a suitable indicator for evaluating the stream health correlated with various human activities.

  3. Characterization of Radiation Fields for Assessing Concrete Degradation in Biological Shields of NPPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remec Igor

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Life extensions of nuclear power plants (NPPs to 60 years of operation and the possibility of subsequent license renewal to 80 years have renewed interest in long-term material degradation in NPPs. Large irreplaceable sections of most nuclear generating stations are constructed from concrete, including safety-related structures such as biological shields and containment buildings; therefore, concrete degradation is being considered with particular focus on radiation-induced effects. Based on the projected neutron fluence values (E > 0.1 MeV in the concrete biological shields of the US pressurized water reactor fleet and the currently available data on radiation effects on concrete, some decrease in mechanical properties of concrete cannot be ruled out during extended operation beyond 60 years. An expansion of the irradiated concrete database is desirable to ensure reliable risk assessment for extended operation of nuclear power plants.

  4. Assessing Diversity Awareness in University Business Students at a Hispanic Serving Liberal Arts Institution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiser, Angelina I. T.; Scobey, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    Globalization and shifts in demographics are creating highly diverse workplaces, and managers must understand the importance of managing a diverse workforce. Students taking business management courses at a 4-year private Hispanic serving institution were asked to voluntarily participate in a study in which the researchers sought to explore the…

  5. Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Conceptual Change with Respect to the Theory of Evolution by Secondary Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Kevin David

    This pilot study evaluated the validity of a new quantitative, closed-response instrument for assessing student conceptual change regarding the theory of evolution. The instrument has two distinguishing design features. First, it is designed not only to gauge student mastery of the scientific model of evolution, but also to elicit a trio of deeply intuitive tendencies that are known to compromise many students' understanding: the projection of intentional agency, teleological directionality, and immutable essences onto biological phenomena. Second, in addition to a section of conventional multiple choice questions, the instrument contains a series of items where students may simultaneously endorse both scientifically normative propositions and intuitively appealing yet unscientific propositions, without having to choose between them. These features allow for the hypothesized possibility that the three intuitions are partly innate, themselves products of cognitive evolution in our hominin ancestors, and thus may continue to inform students' thinking even after instruction and conceptual change. The test was piloted with 340 high school students from diverse schools and communities. Confirmatory factor analysis and other statistical methods provided evidence that the instrument already has strong potential for validly distinguishing students who hold a correct scientific understanding from those who do not, but that revision and retesting are needed to render it valid for gauging students' adherence to intuitive misconceptions. Ultimately the instrument holds promise as a tool for classroom intervention studies by conceptual change researchers, for diagnostic testing and data gathering by instructional leaders, and for provoking classroom dialogue and debate by science teachers.

  6. Hill numbers for the assessment of generic and taxonomic diversity in inhabitation groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shitikov Vladimir Kirillovitch

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A group of parametric factors of generic and taxonomic diversity , based on the estimations of "effective number of species" or Hill numbers is considered. The difference of this group from other diversity indices based on Shannon formula or other expressions is discussed. The way of partitioning general γ-diversity into α- and β-components is demonstrated. The computation procedure of taxonomic distances matrix based on the phylogenetic tree of Linnaean systematics is described. Dynamics of indices variability of generic and taxonomic diversity along a longitudinal waterway profile on the example of macrobenthos communities of the middle-size flatland river Sok (inflow of the Saratov water basin is considered. The algorithms of statistical significance control of differences between diversity indices in comparing two or more groups of the habitat based on randomization procedures are described.

  7. Lake Whitney Comprehensive Water Quality Assessment, Phase 1B- Physical and Biological Assessment (USDOE)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doyle, Robert D; Byars, Bruce W

    2009-11-24

    assessment of knowledge of watershed and water quality related issues by local residents and stakeholders of Lake Whitney and design an intervention educational program to address any deficiencies discovered. Phase IA was funded primarily from EPA Cooperative Agreement X7-9769 8901-0. Phase IC (USEPA, QAPP Study Element 5) of this research focused on the ambient toxicity of the reservoir with respect to periodic blooms of golden algae. Phase IC was funded primarily from Cooperative Agreement EM-96638001. Phase 1B (USDOE, Study Elements 6-11) complemented work being done via EPA funding on study elements 1-5 and added five new study elements: 6) Salinity Transport in the Brazos Watershed to Lake Whitney; 7) Bacterial Assessment; 8) Organic Contaminant Analysis on Lake Whitney; 9) Plankton Photosynthesis; 10) Lake Whitney Resident Knowledge Assessment; and 11) Engineering Scoping Perspective: Recommendations for Use.

  8. Understory plant diversity assessment of Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis plantations in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu, J. X.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability is a key objective for managers of both natural forests and plantations, and biodiversity assessments are important tools to improve conservation of endangered species. Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis is a native Chinese tree species used in plantations. This study evaluated differences in understory diversity among Szemao pine plantations (SP and other local current vegetation types: secondary evergreen forests (SE and abandoned farmlands (AF in Yunnan Province. Sampling was performed at three elevation ranges, where species richness, species cover, and environmental variables in the herb and shrub layers were measured. We found that indexes for average richness and Shannon–Wiener diversity were higher in SE than in SP, which were in turn higher than in AF, while the index for evenness was higher in SP. These indexes increased with elevation in SP and AF, but were higher at low and medium elevations in SE. Inclusion of environmental factors highlighted elevation differences, with water content (at herb layer and soil type (at shrub layer being the most significant variables. In conclusion, plantations of Szemao pine negatively affect understory diversity in Yunnan, and furthermore, only a few rare or threatened species could be found in the plantations. Nature reserves and transplanting could protect threatened species if established before plantations.La sostenibilidad es un objetivo clave para la gestión tanto de bosques naturales como de plantaciones, mientras que los estudios sobre biodiversidad constituyen herramientas muy útiles para mejorar la conservación de especies amenazadas. El pino Szemao (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis es un árbol nativo de China que se usa en plantaciones. Este estudio evalúa la diversidad del sotobosque en plantaciones de pino Szemao (SP y otros tipos de vegetación local, como bosques secundarios perennifolios (SE y tierras de cultivo abandonadas (AF, en la provincia de

  9. Cephalopods of the Southwest Indian OceanRidge: A hotspot of biological diversity and absence of endemism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laptikhovsky, V.; Boersch-Supan, P.; Bolstad, K.; Kemp, K.; Letessier, T.; Rogers, A. D.

    2017-02-01

    A total of 68 cephalopod species belonging to 26 families (10-11% of the total known cephalopod diversity) were collected onboard R/V Fridtjof Nansen during a research survey on Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge in November-December 2009. This relatively small area extends from the Tropical front to the Subantarctic front with four distinctive cephalopod faunas and represents one of the most outstanding hotspots of cephalopod diversity reported to date. However, most of the species caught there were characterised by circumglobal distribution in the Southern Hemisphere, and no endemic species were unambiguously found, although a number of taxa could not be confidently attributed to known species. Most of the studied area was dominated by squid species reproducing in epipelagic layers (mostly Enoploteuthidae and Pyroteuthidae). Species reproducing in meso-bathypelagial whose juveniles ascend to surface water (Cranchiidae, Histioteuthidae, etc.) became gradually more and more important southward from the Tropical Zone to the Southern Peripheral Ecotone. In the latter region they were joined by near-bottom dwellers of the order Sepiolida. The epipelagic strategy of reproduction disappears completely at the Subpolar Front, where epipelagic waters were inhabited by young members of the Cranchiidae and Gonatidae hatched in deep-seas. This study demonstrated the importance of conservation and management of this high-seas area, with its unique biodiversity and ecological resources, in line with recommendations by the IUCN Seamount project and Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative.

  10. Platyhelminth Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) proteins: revealing structural diversity, class-specific features and biological associations across the phylum

    Science.gov (United States)

    CHALMERS, IAIN W.; HOFFMANN, KARL F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY During platyhelminth infection, a cocktail of proteins is released by the parasite to aid invasion, initiate feeding, facilitate adaptation and mediate modulation of the host immune response. Included amongst these proteins is the Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) family, part of the larger sperm coating protein/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7 (SCP/TAPS) superfamily. To explore the significance of this protein family during Platyhelminthes development and host interactions, we systematically summarize all published proteomic, genomic and immunological investigations of the VAL protein family to date. By conducting new genomic and transcriptomic interrogations to identify over 200 VAL proteins (228) from species in all 4 traditional taxonomic classes (Trematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Turbellaria), we further expand our knowledge related to platyhelminth VAL diversity across the phylum. Subsequent phylogenetic and tertiary structural analyses reveal several class-specific VAL features, which likely indicate a range of roles mediated by this protein family. Our comprehensive analysis of platyhelminth VALs represents a unifying synopsis for understanding diversity within this protein family and a firm context in which to initiate future functional characterization of these enigmatic members. PMID:22717097

  11. Legislative Regulation of Traditional Medicinal Knowledge in Eritrea vis-à-vis Eritrea's Commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity: Issues and Alternatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senai Andemariam

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available On 21 March 1996, Eritrea acceded to the Convention on Biological Diversity which, among others, obliges states to sustainably conserve and develop customary uses of biological resources. Among the many forms of traditional practices of biological resources is traditional medicinal knowledge. Research has revealed that Eritrea has abundant pool of such knowledge and a high percentage of its population, as it is true with many developing and underdeveloped countries, resorts to traditional medicine for curing numerous ailments. However, no specific policy or legislative framework has yet been developed to sift, preserve and encourage the practice. Analysis of existing Eritrean laws and policies will show that they are neither adequate nor specific enough to be used in the preservation and development of Eritrean traditional medicinal knowledge. This article will, therefore, in view of the rich, yet unregulated, traditional medicinal knowledge resource in Eritrea, highlight the need for the development of a specific legal instrument legislation for Eritrea from the perspective of international and country level experiences. It will be argued that the development of a specific legislation is preferred to the alternative of keeping traditional medicinal knowledge as a component of a legal instrument developed for a larger mass such as health or traditional knowledge.

  12. Development of tools for integrated monitoring and assessment of hazardous substances and their biological effects in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Kari K; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas; Strand, Jakob

    2014-02-01

    The need to develop biological effects monitoring to facilitate a reliable assessment of hazardous substances has been emphasized in the Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Helsinki Commission. An integrated chemical-biological approach is vitally important for the understanding and proper assessment of anthropogenic pressures and their effects on the Baltic Sea. Such an approach is also necessary for prudent management aiming at safeguarding the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and Services. The BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress: Tools for the Assessment of Ecosystem Health) set out to address this topic within the BONUS Programme. BEAST generated a large amount of quality-assured data on several biological effects parameters (biomarkers) in various marine species in different sub-regions of the Baltic Sea. New indicators (biological response measurement methods) and management tools (integrated indices) with regard to the integrated monitoring approach were suggested.

  13. The impact of biology on risk assessment -- Workshop of the National Research Council's board on radiation effects research. Meeting report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, R.J.M.; Grosovsky, A.; Hanawalt, P.C.; Ullrich, R.L.

    1997-01-01

    The linear, nonthreshold extrapolation from a dose-response relationship for ionizing radiation derived at higher doses to doses for which regulatory standards are proposed is being challenged by some scientists and defended by others. It appears that the risks associated with exposures to doses of interest are below the risks that can be measured with epidemiologic studies. Therefore, many have looked to biology to provide information relevant to risk assessment. The workshop reported here, ''The Impact of biology on Risk Assessment,'' was planned to address the need for further information by bringing together scientists who have been working in key fields of biology and others who have been contemplating the issues associated specifically with this question. The goals of the workshop were to summarize and review the status of the relevant biology, to determine how the reported biologic data might influence risk assessment, and to identify subjects on which more data is needed

  14. An "elite hacker": breast tumors exploit the normal microenvironment program to instruct their progression and biological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudreau, Aaron; van't Veer, Laura J; Bissell, Mina J

    2012-01-01

    The year 2011 marked the 40 year anniversary of Richard Nixon signing the National Cancer Act, thus declaring the beginning of the "War on Cancer" in the United States. Whereas we have made tremendous progress toward understanding the genetics of tumors in the past four decades, and in developing enabling technology to dissect the molecular underpinnings of cancer at unprecedented resolution, it is only recently that the important role of the stromal microenvironment has been studied in detail. Cancer is a tissue-specific disease, and it is becoming clear that much of what we know about breast cancer progression parallels the biology of the normal breast differentiation, of which there is still much to learn. In particular, the normal breast and breast tumors share molecular, cellular, systemic and microenvironmental influences necessary for their progression. It is therefore enticing to consider a tumor to be a "rogue hacker"--one who exploits the weaknesses of a normal program for personal benefit. Understanding normal mammary gland biology and its "security vulnerabilities" may thus leave us better equipped to target breast cancer. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of the heterotypic cellular and molecular interactions within the microenvironment of the developing mammary gland that are necessary for functional differentiation, provide evidence suggesting that similar biology--albeit imbalanced and exaggerated--is observed in breast cancer progression particularly during the transition from carcinoma in situ to invasive disease. Lastly we will present evidence suggesting that the multigene signatures currently used to model cancer heterogeneity and clinical outcome largely reflect signaling from a heterogeneous microenvironment-a recurring theme that could potentially be exploited therapeutically.

  15. Biological assessment of radiation damage of ATP by soft X-rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akimitsu, Nobuyoshi; Fujii, Shin-ichiro; Fujii, Kentaro; Tsukimoto, Mitsutoshi; Kojima, Shuji

    2011-01-01

    ATP (Adenosine tri-phosphate), one of ribonucleic acids, acts as an intracellular energy transfer. ATP is used as a substrate to synthesized messenger RNA and as a ligand of inter-cellular signaling. SPring-8 beam line BL23SU can produce high resolution monochromatic soft X-rays. In this study, we analyzed the soft X-ray induced radiation damage of ATP by various biological assessments, such as energy donor activity, genetic information transfer activity and inter-cellular signaling activity. (author)

  16. Diagnostic of students' misconceptions using the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI): A method for conducting an educational needs assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne Queloz, Annie; Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Stern, Elsbeth; Hafen, Ernst; Köhler, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Concept inventories, constructed based on an analysis of students’ thinking and their explanations of scientific situations, serve as diagnostics for identifying misconceptions and logical inconsistencies and provide data that can help direct curricular reforms. In the current project, we distributed the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI) to 17-18-year-old students attending the highest track of the Swiss school system (Gymnasium). Students’ performances on many questions related to evolution, genetics, molecular properties and functions were diverse. Important common misunderstandings were identified in the areas of evolutionary processes, molecular properties and an appreciation of stochastic processes in biological systems. Our observations provide further evidence that the BCI is efficient in identifying specific areas where targeted instruction is required. Based on these observations we have initiated changes at several levels to reconsider how biological systems are presented to university biology studies with the goal of improving student’s foundational understanding. PMID:28493960

  17. A Qualitative Assessment Of Diversion Scenarios For A Example Sodium Fast Reactor Using The Gen IV PR And PP Methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zentner, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    A working group was created in 2002 by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) for the purpose of developing an internationally accepted methodology for assessing the Proliferation Resistance of a nuclear energy system (NES) and its individual elements. A two year case study is being performed by the experts group using this methodology to assess the proliferation resistance of a hypothetical NES called the Example Sodium Fast Reactor (ESFR). This work demonstrates how the PR and PP methodology can be used to provide important information at various levels of details to NES designers, safeguard administrators and decision makers. The study analyzes the response of the complete ESFR nuclear energy system to different proliferation and theft strategies. The challenges considered include concealed diversion, concealed misuse and 'break out' strategies. This paper describes the work done in performing a qualitative assessment of concealed diversion scenarios from the ESFR.

  18. Assessment of compatibility among Armillaria cepistipes, A. sinapina, and North American biological species X and XI, using culture morphology and molecular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark T. Banik; Harold H. Burdsall

    1998-01-01

    Ten single-spore isolates each of Armillaria sinapina, A. cepistipes, and North American biological species (NABS)X and XI were paired in all combinations. A second set of ten single-spore isolates of each species was likewise paired. Each pairing was duplicated for a total of 3280 pairs. Using the standard morphological criteria (e.g., fluffy, crustose) to assess the...

  19. Assessment of genetic diversity in tomato for fruit morphology, composition and yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaif, K.; Amjad, M.; Saeed, A.

    2016-01-01

    Postharvest losses are of great concern in vegetable crops, including tomato, due to their perishable nature. Damage to tomato fruit during transportation is related to its shape besides other factors. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess genetic diversity in the available tomato germplasm (35 genotypes) for fruit morphology, biochemical composition and yield. Considerable variation was observed for all studied traits except number of locules per fruit, TSS and reducing sugars, for which very low range was recorded. While, moderate level of variation existed for stem-end blockiness, blossom-end blockiness and elongated shape which suggested that fruit of most of the varieties could belong to more than one category of fruit shape. Fruit length and diameter had significantly positive correlation with heart shape of tomato, while later was also correlated with blossom-end-blockiness. Heart shape of tomato fruit was also correlated with stem-end blockiness. Yield showed significantly positive correlation with number of inflorescence per plant. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed PC-I to PC-VI had Eigen values >1, which contributed 73.86% of total variability for different traits. The highest factor loading values for blossom-end-blockiness, stem-end-blockiness, heart shape and elongated shape was recorded in PC-6, PC-4, PC-6 and PC-2, respectively. Thirty five genotypes were grouped into three clusters. Higher yield and stem-end-blockiness was observed in genotypes from cluster II, while higher values for blossom-end-blockiness, heart shape and elongated shape were noticed in cluster I followed by cluster III. So, it can be assumed that genotypes in cluster II showed higher yield and also possessed blocky fruit, a desirable character for transportation and processing purpose. Moreover, it is suggested that genotypes of cluster I and cluster II can be crossed to find heterosis for yield and fruit shape related traits. (author)

  20. Life Cycle Assessment of a Highly Diverse Vegetable Multi-Cropping System in Fengqiu County, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural biodiversity usually leads to greater sustainability in production practices. To understand the environmental implications of the development of village-level multi-cropping in rural China, we compared the environmental impact of a highly diverse vegetable multi-cropping system to a conventional wheat/maize rotation system based on the method of life cycle assessment (LCA. Using household level cultivation data, this study examined the gate-to-gate environmental impacts of on-site cultivation practices relating to the production of 10,000 nutrient equivalent units. Results show that vegetable multi-cropping resulted in decreased average land requirement, and diesel, water and electricity usage by 69.8%, 62.2%, 71.7%, and 63.4%, respectively, while average nitrogen (Total N, phosphorus (P2O5, and potassium (K2O usage in vegetable multi-cropping systems decreased by 16.3%, 42.1%, and 75.8%, respectively. Additional corresponding effects led to a decrease in the total global warming, eutrophication, and acidification potentials from external inputs by 21.6%, 16.7%, and 16.2% of the entire system, respectively. Moreover, the midpoint human toxicity potential from pesticide usage of the vegetable multi-cropping system was lower than that of the conventional system. However, the midpoint eco-toxicity potential from pesticide usage was higher due to certain highly toxic substances, and both human and eco-toxicity potentials from heavy metals were all higher by a few orders of magnitudes. Thus, to mitigate these detrimental consequences, some related measures are proposed for sustainable practices in the future implementation of multi-cropping systems.