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  1. Gene-centric metagenomics of the fiber-adherent bovine rumen microbiome reveals forage specific glycoside hydrolases.

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    Brulc, Jennifer M; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A; Miller, Margret E Berg; Wilson, Melissa K; Yannarell, Anthony C; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert E; Frank, Edward D; Emerson, Joanne B; Wacklin, Pirjo; Coutinho, Pedro M; Henrissat, Bernard; Nelson, Karen E; White, Bryan A

    2009-02-10

    The complex microbiome of the rumen functions as an effective system for the conversion of plant cell wall biomass to microbial protein, short chain fatty acids, and gases. As such, it provides a unique genetic resource for plant cell wall degrading microbial enzymes that could be used in the production of biofuels. The rumen and gastrointestinal tract harbor a dense and complex microbiome. To gain a greater understanding of the ecology and metabolic potential of this microbiome, we used comparative metagenomics (phylotype analysis and SEED subsystems-based annotations) to examine randomly sampled pyrosequence data from 3 fiber-adherent microbiomes and 1 pooled liquid sample (a mixture of the liquid microbiome fractions from the same bovine rumens). Even though the 3 animals were fed the same diet, the community structure, predicted phylotype, and metabolic potentials in the rumen were markedly different with respect to nutrient utilization. A comparison of the glycoside hydrolase and cellulosome functional genes revealed that in the rumen microbiome, initial colonization of fiber appears to be by organisms possessing enzymes that attack the easily available side chains of complex plant polysaccharides and not the more recalcitrant main chains, especially cellulose. Furthermore, when compared with the termite hindgut microbiome, there are fundamental differences in the glycoside hydrolase content that appear to be diet driven for either the bovine rumen (forages and legumes) or the termite hindgut (wood).

  2. Individual foraging strategies reveal niche overlap between endangered galapagos pinnipeds.

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    Stella Villegas-Amtmann

    Full Text Available Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%, between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h, depth during overlapping time (21-24 m, and foraging range (37.7%. Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during

  3. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets

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    Melanie R. Wells

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26, in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change.

  4. Foraging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ydenberg, R.C.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter describes the role played by behavioural adjustments to foraging behaviour in accommodating rapid environmental change. It looks into the adjustments of foraging behaviour to predation danger as a result of changes in the type and array of food available. It investigates the effects of

  5. Isotope analysis reveals foraging area dichotomy for atlantic leatherback turtles.

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    Stéphane Caut

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea has undergone a dramatic decline over the last 25 years, and this is believed to be primarily the result of mortality associated with fisheries bycatch followed by egg and nesting female harvest. Atlantic leatherback turtles undertake long migrations across ocean basins from subtropical and tropical nesting beaches to productive frontal areas. Migration between two nesting seasons can last 2 or 3 years, a time period termed the remigration interval (RI. Recent satellite transmitter data revealed that Atlantic leatherbacks follow two major dispersion patterns after nesting season, through the North Gulf Stream area or more eastward across the North Equatorial Current. However, information on the whole RI is lacking, precluding the accurate identification of feeding areas where conservation measures may need to be applied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using stable isotopes as dietary tracers we determined the characteristics of feeding grounds of leatherback females nesting in French Guiana. During migration, 3-year RI females differed from 2-year RI females in their isotope values, implying differences in their choice of feeding habitats (offshore vs. more coastal and foraging latitude (North Atlantic vs. West African coasts, respectively. Egg-yolk and blood isotope values are correlated in nesting females, indicating that egg analysis is a useful tool for assessing isotope values in these turtles, including adults when not available. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results complement previous data on turtle movements during the first year following the nesting season, integrating the diet consumed during the year before nesting. We suggest that the French Guiana leatherback population segregates into two distinct isotopic groupings, and highlight the urgent need to determine the feeding habitats of the turtle in the Atlantic in order to protect this species from incidental take by

  6. Stable Isotopes Reveal Long-Term Fidelity to Foraging Grounds in the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki.

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    Massimiliano Drago

    Full Text Available Most otariids have colony-specific foraging areas during the breeding season, when they behave as central place foragers. However, they may disperse over broad areas after the breeding season and individuals from different colonies may share foraging grounds at that time. Here, stable isotope ratios in the skull bone of adult Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki were used to assess the long-term fidelity of both sexes to foraging grounds across the different regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Results indicated that the stable isotope ratios (δ(13C and δ(15N of sea lion bone significantly differed among regions of the archipelago, without any significant difference between sexes and with a non significant interaction between sex and region. Moreover, standard ellipses, estimated by Bayesian inference and used as a measure of the isotopic resource use area at the population level, overlapped widely for the sea lions from the southern and central regions, whereas the overlap of the ellipses for sea lions from the central and western regions was small and non-existing for those from the western and southern regions. These results suggest that males and females from the same region within the archipelago use similar foraging grounds and have similar diets. Furthermore, they indicate that the exchange of adults between regions is limited, thus revealing a certain degree of foraging philopatry at a regional scale within the archipelago. The constraints imposed on males by an expanded reproductive season (~ 6 months, resulting from the weak reproductive synchrony among females, and those imposed on females by a very long lactation period (at least one year but up to three years, may explain the limited mobility of adult Galapagos sea lions of both sexes across the archipelago.

  7. Seasonal Variation in Parental Care Drives Sex-Specific Foraging by a Monomorphic Seabird.

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    Burke, Chantelle M; Montevecchi, William A; Regular, Paul M

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of sex-specific foraging in monomorphic seabirds is increasing though the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We investigate differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic Common Murres (Uria aalge), where the male parent alone provisions the chick after colony departure. Using a combination of geolocation-immersion loggers and stable isotopes, we assess two hypotheses: the reproductive role specialization hypothesis and the energetic constraint hypothesis. We compare the foraging behavior of females (n = 15) and males (n = 9) during bi-parental at the colony, post-fledging male-only parental care and winter when parental care is absent. As predicted by the reproductive role specialization hypothesis, we found evidence of sex-specific foraging during post-fledging only, the stage with the greatest divergence in parental care roles. Single-parenting males spent almost twice as much time diving per day and foraged at lower quality prey patches relative to independent females. This implies a potential energetic constraint for males during the estimated 62.8 ± 8.9 days of offspring dependence at sea. Contrary to the predictions of the energetic constraint hypothesis, we found no evidence of sex-specific foraging during biparental care, suggesting that male parents did not forage for their own benefit before colony departure in anticipation of post-fledging energy constraints. We hypothesize that unpredictable prey conditions at Newfoundland colonies in recent years may limit male parental ability to allocate additional time and energy to self-feeding during biparental care, without compromising chick survival. Our findings support differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic murres, and highlight the need to consider ecological context in the interpretation of sex-specific foraging behavior.

  8. Seasonal Variation in Parental Care Drives Sex-Specific Foraging by a Monomorphic Seabird.

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    Chantelle M Burke

    Full Text Available Evidence of sex-specific foraging in monomorphic seabirds is increasing though the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We investigate differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic Common Murres (Uria aalge, where the male parent alone provisions the chick after colony departure. Using a combination of geolocation-immersion loggers and stable isotopes, we assess two hypotheses: the reproductive role specialization hypothesis and the energetic constraint hypothesis. We compare the foraging behavior of females (n = 15 and males (n = 9 during bi-parental at the colony, post-fledging male-only parental care and winter when parental care is absent. As predicted by the reproductive role specialization hypothesis, we found evidence of sex-specific foraging during post-fledging only, the stage with the greatest divergence in parental care roles. Single-parenting males spent almost twice as much time diving per day and foraged at lower quality prey patches relative to independent females. This implies a potential energetic constraint for males during the estimated 62.8 ± 8.9 days of offspring dependence at sea. Contrary to the predictions of the energetic constraint hypothesis, we found no evidence of sex-specific foraging during biparental care, suggesting that male parents did not forage for their own benefit before colony departure in anticipation of post-fledging energy constraints. We hypothesize that unpredictable prey conditions at Newfoundland colonies in recent years may limit male parental ability to allocate additional time and energy to self-feeding during biparental care, without compromising chick survival. Our findings support differential parental care as a mechanism for sex-specific foraging in monomorphic murres, and highlight the need to consider ecological context in the interpretation of sex-specific foraging behavior.

  9. Spatio-temporal dynamics of ocean conditions and forage taxa reveal regional structuring of seabird–prey relationships.

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    Santora, Jarrod A; Schroeder, Isaac D; Field, John C; Wells, Brian K; Sydeman, William J

    Studies of predator–prey demographic responses and the physical drivers of such relationships are rare, yet essential for predicting future changes in the structure and dynamics of marine ecosystems. Here, we hypothesize that predator–prey relationships vary spatially in association with underlying physical ocean conditions, leading to observable changes in demographic rates, such as reproduction. To test this hypothesis, we quantified spatio-temporal variability in hydrographic conditions, krill, and forage fish to model predator (seabird) demographic responses over 18 years (1990–2007). We used principal component analysis and spatial correlation maps to assess coherence among ocean conditions, krill, and forage fish, and generalized additive models to quantify interannual variability in seabird breeding success relative to prey abundance. The first principal component of four hydrographic measurements yielded an index that partitioned “warm/weak upwelling” and “cool/strong upwelling” years. Partitioning of krill and forage fish time series among shelf and oceanic regions yielded spatially explicit indicators of prey availability. Krill abundance within the oceanic region was remarkably consistent between years, whereas krill over the shelf showed marked interannual fluctuations in relation to ocean conditions. Anchovy abundance varied on the shelf, and was greater in years of strong stratification, weak upwelling and warmer temperatures. Spatio-temporal variability of juvenile forage fish co-varied strongly with each other and with krill, but was weakly correlated with hydrographic conditions. Demographic responses between seabirds and prey availability revealed spatially variable associations indicative of the dynamic nature of “predator–habitat” relationships. Quantification of spatially explicit demographic responses, and their variability through time, demonstrate the possibility of delineating specific critical areas where the

  10. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    . To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes......, providing ample opportunities for kleptoparasitism. We found that adult females consistently hunted actively, while adult males ceased active prey capture and instead engaged in kleptoparasitism. Juvenile spiders were active hunters irrespective of sex. Consistent with an ontogenetic shift in foraging...

  11. Autonomous gliders reveal features of the water column associated with foraging by adelie penguins.

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    Kahl, L Alex; Schofield, Oscar; Fraser, William R

    2010-12-01

    Despite their strong dependence on the pelagic environment, seabirds and other top predators in polar marine ecosystems are generally studied during their reproductive phases in terrestrial environments. As a result, a significant portion of their life history is understudied which in turn has led to limited understanding. Recent advances in autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) technologies have allowed satellite-tagged Adélie penguins to guide AUV surveys of the marine environment at the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site on the western Antarctic Peninsula. Near real-time data sent via Iridium satellites from the AUVs to a centralized control center thousands of miles away allowed scientists to adapt AUV sampling strategies to meet the changing conditions of the subsurface. Such AUV data revealed the water masses and fine-scale features associated with Adélie penguin foraging trips. During this study, the maximum concentration of chlorophyll was between 30 and 50 m deep. Encompassing this peak in the chlorophyll concentration, within the water-column, was a mixture of nutrient-laden Upper Circumpolar Deep (UCDW) and western Antarctic Peninsula winter water (WW). Together, data from the AUV survey and penguin dives reveal that 54% of foraging by Adélie penguins occurs immediately below the chlorophyll maximum. These data demonstrate how bringing together emerging technologies, such as AUVs, with established methods such as the radio-tagging of penguins can provide powerful tools for monitoring and hypothesis testing of previously inaccessible ecological processes. Ocean and atmosphere temperatures are expected to continue increasing along the western Antarctic Peninsula, which will undoubtedly affect regional marine ecosystems. New and emerging technologies such as unmanned underwater vehicles and individually mounted satellite tracking devices will provide the tools critical to documenting and understanding the widespread ecological change

  12. GPS tracking devices reveal foraging strategies of black-legged kittiwakes

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    Kotzerka, Jana; Garthe, Stefan; Hatch, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    The Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla is the most abundant gull species in the world, but some populations have declined in recent years, apparently due to food shortage. Kittiwakes are surface feeders and thus can compensate for low food availability only by increasing their foraging range and/or devoting more time to foraging. The species is widely studied in many respects, but long-distance foraging and the limitations of conventional radio telemetry have kept its foraging behavior largely out of view. The development of Global Positioning System (GPS) loggers is advancing rapidly. With devices as small as 8 g now available, it is possible to use this technology for tracking relatively small species of oceanic birds like kittiwakes. Here we present the first results of GPS telemetry applied to Black-legged Kittiwakes in 2007 in the North Pacific. All but one individual foraged in the neritic zone north of the island. Three birds performed foraging trips only close to the colony (within 13 km), while six birds had foraging ranges averaging about 40 km. The maximum foraging range was 59 km, and the maximum distance traveled was 165 km. Maximum trip duration was 17 h (mean 8 h). An apparently bimodal distribution of foraging ranges affords new insight on the variable foraging behaviour of Black-legged Kittiwakes. Our successful deployment of GPS loggers on kittiwakes holds much promise for telemetry studies on many other bird species of similar size and provides an incentive for applying this new approach in future studies.

  13. Puffins reveal contrasting relationships between forage fish and ocean climate in the North Pacific

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    Sydeman, William J.; Piatt, John F.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Garcia-Reyes, Marisol; Hatch, Scott A.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Slater, Leslie; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Rojek, Nora A.; Zador, Stephani G.; Renner, Heather M.

    2017-01-01

    Long-term studies of predator food habits (i.e., ‘predator-based sampling’) are useful for identifying patterns of spatial and temporal variability of forage nekton in marine ecosystems. We investigated temporal changes in forage fish availability and relationships to ocean climate by analyzing diet composition of three puffin species (horned puffin Fratercula corniculata, tufted puffin Fratercula cirrhata, and rhinoceros auklet Cerorhinca monocerata) from five sites in the North Pacific from 1978–2012. Dominant forage species included squids and hexagrammids in the western Aleutians, gadids and Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes personatus) in the eastern Aleutians and western Gulf of Alaska (GoA), and sand lance and capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the northern and eastern GoA. Interannual fluctuations in forage availability dominated variability in the western Aleutians, whereas lower-frequency shifts in forage fish availability dominated elsewhere. We produced regional multivariate indicators of sand lance, capelin, and age-0 gadid availability by combining data across species and sites using Principal Component Analysis, and related these indices to environmental factors including sea level pressure (SPL), winds, and sea surface temperature (SST). There was coherence in the availability of sand lance and capelin across the study area. Sand lance availability increased linearly with environmental conditions leading to warmer ocean temperatures, whereas capelin availability increased in a non-linear manner when environmental changes led to lower ocean temperatures. Long-term studies of puffin diet composition appear to be a promising tool for understanding the availability of these difficult-to-survey forage nekton in remote regions of the North Pacific.

  14. Following a Foraging Fish-Finder: Diel Habitat Use of Blainville's Beaked Whales Revealed by Echolocation

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    Arranz, Patricia; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.; Brito, Alberto; Bordes, Fernando; Johnson, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9) hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL) or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974) of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h) between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean. PMID:22163295

  15. Videography reveals in-water behavior of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta at a foraging ground

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    Samir Harshad Patel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessing sea turtle behavior at the foraging grounds has been primarily limited to the interpretation of remotely-sensed data. As a result, there is a general lack of detailed understanding regarding the habitat use of sea turtles during a phase that accounts for a majority of their lives. Thus, this study aimed to fill these data gaps by providing detailed information about the feeding habits, prey availability, buoyancy control and water column usage by 73 loggerhead turtles across 45.7 hours of video footage obtained from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV from 2008 – 2014. We developed an ethogram to account for 27 potential environmental and behavioral parameters. Turtles were filmed through the entire water column and we quantified the frequency of behaviors such as flipper beats, breaths, defecations, feedings and reactions to the ROV. We used the ROV’s depth sensor and visible cues (i.e. water surface or benthic zone in view to distinguish depth zones and assess the turtles’ use of the water column. We also quantified interactions with sympatric biota, including potential gelatinous and non-gelatinous prey species, fish (including sharks, marine mammals and other sea turtles. We discovered that turtles tended to remain within the near surface and surface zones of the water column through the majority of the footage. During benthic dives, turtles consistently exhibited negative buoyancy and some turtles exhibited a dichotomous foraging behavior, first foraging within the water column, then diving to the benthic environment. Videography allowed us to combine behavioral observations and habitat features that cannot be captured by traditional telemetry methods, resulting in a broader understanding of loggerheads’ ecological role in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic.

  16. Following a foraging fish-finder: diel habitat use of Blainville's beaked whales revealed by echolocation.

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    Patricia Arranz

    Full Text Available Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9 hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974 of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean.

  17. Dental calculus reveals Mesolithic foragers in the Balkans consumed domesticated plant foods.

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    Cristiani, Emanuela; Radini, Anita; Edinborough, Marija; Borić, Dušan

    2016-09-13

    Researchers agree that domesticated plants were introduced into southeast Europe from southwest Asia as a part of a Neolithic "package," which included domesticated animals and artifacts typical of farming communities. It is commonly believed that this package reached inland areas of the Balkans by ∼6200 calibrated (cal.) BC or later. Our analysis of the starch record entrapped in dental calculus of Mesolithic human teeth at the site of Vlasac in the Danube Gorges of the central Balkans provides direct evidence that already by ∼6600 cal. BC, if not earlier, Late Mesolithic foragers of this region consumed domestic cereals, such as Triticum monococcum, Triticum dicoccum, and Hordeum distichon, which were also the main crops found among Early Neolithic communities of southeast Europe. We infer that "exotic" Neolithic domesticated plants were introduced to southern Europe independently almost half a millennium earlier than previously thought, through networks that enabled exchanges between inland Mesolithic foragers and early farming groups found along the Aegean coast of Turkey.

  18. The foraging ecology of the mountain long-eared bat Plecotus macrobullaris revealed with DNA mini-barcodes.

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    Antton Alberdi

    Full Text Available Molecular analysis of diet overcomes the considerable limitations of traditional techniques for identifying prey remains in bat faeces. We collected faeces from individual Mountain Long-eared Bats Plecotus macrobullaris trapped using mist nets during the summers of 2009 and 2010 in the Pyrenees. We analysed their diet using DNA mini-barcodes to identify prey species. In addition, we inferred some basic features of the bat's foraging ecology that had not yet been addressed. P. macrobullaris fed almost exclusively on moths (97.8%. As prey we detected one dipteran genus (Tipulidae and 29 moth taxa: 28 were identified at species level (23 Noctuidae, 1 Crambidae, 1 Geometridae, 1 Pyralidae, 1 Sphingidae, 1 Tortricidae, and one at genus level (Rhyacia sp., Noctuidae. Known ecological information about the prey species allowed us to determine that bats had foraged at elevations between 1,500 and 2,500 m amsl (above mean sea level, mostly in subalpine meadows, followed by other open habitats such as orophilous grasslands and alpine meadows. No forest prey species were identified in the diet. As 96.4% of identified prey species were tympanate moths and no evidence of gleaning behaviour was revealed, we suggest P. macrobullaris probably forages by aerial hawking using faint echolocation pulses to avoid detection by hearing moths. As we could identify 87.8% of the analysed sequences (64.1% of the MOTUs, Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units at species level, we conclude that DNA mini-barcodes are a very useful tool to analyse the diet of moth-specialist bats.

  19. Foraging through multiple target categories reveals the flexibility of visual working memory.

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    Kristjánsson, Tómas; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2018-02-01

    A key assumption in the literature on visual attention is that templates, actively maintained in visual working memory (VWM), guide visual attention. An important question therefore involves the nature and capacity of VWM. According to load theories, more than one search template can be active at the same time and capacity is determined by the total load rather than a precise number of templates. By an alternative account only one search template can be active within visual working memory at any given time, while other templates are in an accessory state - but do not affect visual selection. We addressed this question by varying the number of targets and distractors in a visual foraging task for 40 targets among 40 distractors in two ways: 1) Fixed-distractor-number, involving two distractor types while target categories varied from one to four. 2) Fixed-color-number (7), so that if the target types were two, distractors types were five, while if target number increased to three, distractor types were four (etc.). The two accounts make differing predictions. Under the single-template account, we should expect large switch costs as target types increase to two, but switch-costs should not increase much as target types increase beyond two. Load accounts predict an approximately linear increase in switch costs with increased target type number. The results were that switch costs increased roughly linearly in both conditions, in line with load accounts. The results are discussed in light of recent proposals that working memory reflects lingering neural activity at various sites that operate on the stimuli in each case and findings showing neurally silent working memory representations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Different foraging preferences of hummingbirds on artificial and natural flowers reveal mechanisms structuring plant-pollinator interactions.

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    Maglianesi, María A; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Schleuning, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    In plant-pollinator networks, the floral morphology of food plants is an important determinant of the interaction niche of pollinators. Studies on foraging preferences of pollinators combining experimental and observational approaches may help to understand the mechanisms behind patterns of interactions and niche partitioning within pollinator communities. In this study, we tested whether morphological floral traits were associated with foraging preferences of hummingbirds for artificial and natural flower types in Costa Rica. We performed field experiments with artificial feeders, differing in length and curvature of flower types, to quantify the hummingbirds' interaction niche under unlimited nectar resources. To quantify the interaction niche under real-world conditions of limited nectar resources, we measured foraging preferences of hummingbirds for a total of 34 plant species. Artificial feeders were visited by Eupherusa nigriventris and Phaethornis guy in the pre-montane forest, and Lampornis calolaemus in the lower montane forest. Under experimental conditions, all three hummingbird species overlapped their interaction niches and showed a preference for the short artificial flower type over the long-straight and the long-curved flower types. Under natural conditions, the two co-occurring hummingbird species preferred to feed on plant species with floral traits corresponding to their bill morphology. The short-billed hummingbird E. nigriventris preferred to feed on short and straight flowers, whereas the long- and curved-billed P. guy preferred long and curved natural flowers. The medium-size billed species L. calolaemus preferred to feed on flowers of medium length and did not show preferences for plant species with specific corolla curvature. Our results show that floral morphological traits constrain access by short-billed hummingbird species to nectar resources. Morphological constraints, therefore, represent one important mechanism structuring trophic

  1. Stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N combined with conventional dietary approaches reveal plasticity in central-place foraging behaviour of little penguins (Eudyptula minor

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    Andre eChiaradia

    2016-01-01

    reveal an otherwise intractable ecological issue of different constrains of being a central-place forager, such as the little penguin, which could be applied to other marine species.

  2. Moonlight avoidance in gerbils reveals a sophisticated interplay among time allocation, vigilance and state-dependent foraging.

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    Kotler, Burt P; Brown, Joel; Mukherjee, Shomen; Berger-Tal, Oded; Bouskila, Amos

    2010-05-22

    Foraging animals have several tools for managing the risk of predation, and the foraging games between them and their predators. Among these, time allocation is foremost, followed by vigilance and apprehension. Together, their use influences a forager's time allocation and giving-up density (GUD) in depletable resource patches. We examined Allenby's gerbils (Gerbilus andersoni allenbyi) exploiting seed resource patches in a large vivarium under varying moon phases in the presence of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes). We measured time allocated to foraging patches electronically and GUDs from seeds left behind in resource patches. From these, we estimated handling times, attack rates and quitting harvest rates (QHRs). Gerbils displayed greater vigilance (lower attack rates) at brighter moon phases (full full > new > wane). Finally, gerbils displayed higher QHRs at new and waxing moon phases. Differences across moon phases not only reflect changing time allocation and vigilance, but changes in the state of the foragers and their marginal value of energy. Early in the lunar cycle, gerbils rely on vigilance and sacrifice state to avoid risk; later they defend state at the cost of increased time allocation; finally their state can recover as safe opportunities expand. In the predator-prey foraging game, foxes may contribute to these patterns of behaviours by modulating their own activity in response to the opportunities presented in each moon phase.

  3. GPS-tracking and colony observations reveal variation in offshore habitat use and foraging ecology of breeding Sandwich Terns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fijn, R. C.; de Jong, J.; Courtens, W.; Verstraete, H.; Stienen, E. W. M.; Poot, M. J. M.

    2017-09-01

    Breeding success of seabirds critically depends on their foraging success offshore. However, studies combining at-sea tracking and visual provisioning observations are scarce, especially for smaller species of seabirds. This study is the first in which breeding Sandwich Terns were tracked with GPS-loggers to collect detailed data on foraging habitat use in four breeding seasons. The maximum home range of individual Sandwich Terns comprised approximately 1900 km2 and the average foraging range was 27 km. Trip durations were on average 135 min with average trip lengths of 67 km. Actual foraging behaviour comprised 35% of the time budget of a foraging trip. Substantial year-to-year variation was found in habitat use and trip variables, yet with the exception of 2012, home range size remained similar between years. Food availability, chick age and environmental conditions are proposed as the main driving factors between inter- and intra-annual variations in trip variables. Our multi-method approach also provided geo-referenced information on prey presence and we conclude that future combining of colony observations and GPS-loggers deployments can potentially provide a near complete insight into the feeding ecology of breeding Sandwich Terns, including the behaviour of birds at sea.

  4. Second generation sequencing and morphological faecal analysis reveal unexpected foraging behaviour by Myotis nattereri (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) in winter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hope, Paul R; Bohmann, Kristine; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Temperate winters produce extreme energetic challenges for small insectivorous mammals. Some bat species inhabiting locations with mild temperate winters forage during brief inter-torpor normothermic periods of activity. However, the winter diet of bats in mild temperate locations is ...

  5. Site-specific flight speeds of nonbreeding Pacific dunlins as a measure of the quality of a foraging habitat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reurink, Florian; Hentze, Nathan; Rourke, Jay; Ydenberg, Ron

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how foraging behavior such as prey choice varies with factors such as prey size or density. Models of such relationships can be applied "in reverse" to translate easily observed foraging behaviors into assays of habitat attributes that cannot (easily) be measured

  6. Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nifong, James C.; Nifong, Rachel L.; Silliman, Brian R.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J.; Ferguson, Jake M.; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals’ experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal

  7. Gaussian graphical modeling reveals specific lipid correlations in glioblastoma cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Nikola S.; Krumsiek, Jan; Theis, Fabian J.; Böhm, Christian; Meyer-Bäse, Anke

    2011-06-01

    Advances in high-throughput measurements of biological specimens necessitate the development of biologically driven computational techniques. To understand the molecular level of many human diseases, such as cancer, lipid quantifications have been shown to offer an excellent opportunity to reveal disease-specific regulations. The data analysis of the cell lipidome, however, remains a challenging task and cannot be accomplished solely based on intuitive reasoning. We have developed a method to identify a lipid correlation network which is entirely disease-specific. A powerful method to correlate experimentally measured lipid levels across the various samples is a Gaussian Graphical Model (GGM), which is based on partial correlation coefficients. In contrast to regular Pearson correlations, partial correlations aim to identify only direct correlations while eliminating indirect associations. Conventional GGM calculations on the entire dataset can, however, not provide information on whether a correlation is truly disease-specific with respect to the disease samples and not a correlation of control samples. Thus, we implemented a novel differential GGM approach unraveling only the disease-specific correlations, and applied it to the lipidome of immortal Glioblastoma tumor cells. A large set of lipid species were measured by mass spectrometry in order to evaluate lipid remodeling as a result to a combination of perturbation of cells inducing programmed cell death, while the other perturbations served solely as biological controls. With the differential GGM, we were able to reveal Glioblastoma-specific lipid correlations to advance biomedical research on novel gene therapies.

  8. Species-specific effects of soil fauna on fungal foraging and decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Thomas W; Boddy, Lynne; Jones, T Hefin

    2011-10-01

    Decomposer fungi are primary decomposing agents in terrestrial soils. Their mycelial networks play an important role in nutrient mineralisation and distribution, but are also nutritious resources for various soil invertebrates. Global climate change is predicted to alter the diversity and community composition of these soil fauna. To understand whether changes in invertebrate species diversity are likely to affect fungal-mediated decomposition, this study compared the grazing potentials of different invertebrate taxa and functional groups. Specifically, the grazing impacts of seven invertebrate taxa on the growth and spatial distribution of six basidiomycete fungi growing from beech wood blocks in soil microcosms were explored. Wood decay rates by fungi were also compared. The consequences of grazing were both taxon- and species-specific. Generally, macro-invertebrates caused the greatest damage, while meso- and micro-invertebrates often stimulated mycelial growth. Invertebrate size, preferences and population dynamics are likely to influence grazing potentials. Effects of grazing varied between fungi, with mycelial morphology and biochemistry possibly influencing susceptibility. Heavy grazing indirectly increased fungal-mediated wood decomposition. Changes in invertebrate community composition are predicted to have consequences for fungal growth, activity and community structure in woodland soils. Abiotic climate change factors including CO(2) and temperature affect mycelial productivity directly, but the indirect effects, mediated through changes in the soil invertebrate community, may be equally important in controlling ecosystem functioning.

  9. Species-Specific Mechanisms of Neuron Subtype Specification Reveal Evolutionary Plasticity of Amniote Brain Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Nomura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Highly ordered brain architectures in vertebrates consist of multiple neuron subtypes with specific neuronal connections. However, the origin of and evolutionary changes in neuron specification mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that regulatory mechanisms of neuron subtype specification are divergent in developing amniote brains. In the mammalian neocortex, the transcription factors (TFs Ctip2 and Satb2 are differentially expressed in layer-specific neurons. In contrast, these TFs are co-localized in reptilian and avian dorsal pallial neurons. Multi-potential progenitors that produce distinct neuronal subtypes commonly exist in the reptilian and avian dorsal pallium, whereas a cis-regulatory element of avian Ctip2 exhibits attenuated transcription suppressive activity. Furthermore, the neuronal subtypes distinguished by these TFs are not tightly associated with conserved neuronal connections among amniotes. Our findings reveal the evolutionary plasticity of regulatory gene functions that contribute to species differences in neuronal heterogeneity and connectivity in developing amniote brains. : Neuronal heterogeneity is essential for assembling intricate neuronal circuits. Nomura et al. find that species-specific transcriptional mechanisms underlie diversities of excitatory neuron subtypes in mammalian and non-mammalian brains. Species differences in neuronal subtypes and connections suggest functional plasticity of regulatory genes for neuronal specification during amniote brain evolution. Keywords: Ctip2, Satb2, multi-potential progenitors, transcriptional regulation, neuronal connectivity

  10. Bio-functions and molecular carbohydrate structure association study in forage with different source origins revealed using non-destructive vibrational molecular spectroscopy techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Cuiying; Zhang, Xuewei; Yan, Xiaogang; Mostafizar Rahman, M; Prates, Luciana L; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-08-05

    The objectives of this study were to: 1) investigate forage carbohydrate molecular structure profiles; 2) bio-functions in terms of CHO rumen degradation characteristics and hourly effective degradation ratio of N to OM (HED N/OM ), and 3) quantify interactive association between molecular structures, bio-functions and nutrient availability. The vibrational molecular spectroscopy was applied to investigate the structure feature on a molecular basis. Two sourced-origin alfalfa forages were used as modeled forages. The results showed that the carbohydrate molecular structure profiles were highly linked to the bio-functions in terms of rumen degradation characteristics and hourly effective degradation ratio. The molecular spectroscopic technique can be used to detect forage carbohydrate structure features on a molecular basis and can be used to study interactive association between forage molecular structure and bio-functions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Comparative analysis of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf transcriptomes reveals genotype-specific salt tolerance mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Yunting; Xu, Yuxing; Hettenhausen, Christian; Lu, Chengkai; Shen, Guojing; Zhang, Cuiping; Li, Jing; Song, Juan; Lin, Honghui; Wu, Jianqiang

    2018-02-15

    Soil salinity is an important factor affecting growth, development, and productivity of almost all land plants, including the forage crop alfalfa (Medicago sativa). However, little is known about how alfalfa responds and adapts to salt stress, particularly among different salt-tolerant cultivars. Among seven alfalfa cultivars, we found that Zhongmu-1 (ZM) is relatively salt-tolerant and Xingjiang Daye (XJ) is salt-sensitive. Compared to XJ, ZM showed slower growth under low-salt conditions, but exhibited stronger tolerance to salt stress. RNA-seq analysis revealed 2237 and 1125 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ZM and XJ in the presence and absence of salt stress, among which many genes are involved in stress-related pathways. After salt treatment, compared with the controls, the number of DEGs in XJ (19373) was about four times of that in ZM (4833). We also detected specific differential gene expression patterns: In response to salt stress, compared with XJ, ZM maintained relatively more stable expression levels of genes related to the ROS and Ca 2+ pathways, phytohormone biosynthesis, and Na + /K + transport. Notably, several salt resistance-associated genes always showed greater levels of expression in ZM than in XJ, including a transcription factor. Consistent with the suppression of plant growth resulting from salt stress, the expression of numerous photosynthesis- and growth hormone-related genes decreased more dramatically in XJ than in ZM. By contrast, the expression levels of photosynthetic genes were lower in ZM under low-salt conditions. Compared with XJ, ZM is a salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivar possessing specific regulatory mechanisms conferring exceptional salt tolerance, likely by maintaining high transcript levels of abiotic and biotic stress resistance-related genes. Our results suggest that maintaining this specific physiological status and/or plant adaptation to salt stress most likely arises by inhibition of plant growth in ZM through

  12. Evaluation of idiopathic transverse myelitis revealing specific myelopathy diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalewski, Nicholas L; Flanagan, Eoin P; Keegan, B Mark

    2018-01-09

    To evaluate specific myelopathy diagnoses made in patients with suspected idiopathic transverse myelitis (ITM). A total of 226 patients 18 years and older were referred to Mayo Clinic Neurology for suspected ITM from December 1, 2010, to December 31, 2015. Electronic medical records were reviewed for detailed clinical presentation and course, laboratory and electrophysiologic investigations, and neuroimaging to determine the etiology. Current diagnostic criteria for ITM and alternative myelopathy diagnoses were applied. All cases where any discrepancy was suspected from the final reported clinical diagnosis were reviewed by each author and a consensus final diagnosis was made. The diagnostic criteria for ITM were met in 41 of 226 patients (18.1%). In 158 patients (69.9%), an alternative specific myelopathy diagnosis was made: multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome, 75; vascular myelopathy, 41; neurosarcoidosis, 12; neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, 12; myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein myelopathy, 5; neoplastic, 4; compressive, 3; nutritional, 3; infectious, 2; and other, 2. A myelopathy was not confirmed in 27 patients. Time from symptom onset to final clinical diagnosis in patients without ITM was a median of 9 months (range 0-288). Fifty-five patients (24%) required treatment changes according to their final clinical diagnosis. The majority of patients with suspected ITM have an alternative specific myelopathy diagnosis. A presumptive diagnosis of ITM can lead to premature diagnostic conclusions affecting patient treatment. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  13. Musical minds: attentional blink reveals modality-specific restrictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sander Martens

    Full Text Available Formal musical training is known to have positive effects on attentional and executive functioning, processing speed, and working memory. Consequently, one may expect to find differences in the dynamics of temporal attention between musicians and non-musicians. Here we address the question whether that is indeed the case, and whether any beneficial effects of musical training on temporal attention are modality specific or generalize across sensory modalities.When two targets are presented in close temporal succession, most people fail to report the second target, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB. We measured and compared AB magnitude for musicians and non-musicians using auditory or visually presented letters and digits. Relative to non-musicians, the auditory AB was both attenuated and delayed in musicians, whereas the visual AB was larger. Non-musicians with a large auditory AB tended to show a large visual AB. However, neither a positive nor negative correlation was found in musicians, suggesting that at least in musicians, attentional restrictions within each modality are completely separate.AB magnitude within one modality can generalize to another modality, but this turns out not to be the case for every individual. Formal musical training seems to have a domain-general, but modality-specific beneficial effect on selective attention. The results fit with the idea that a major source of attentional restriction as reflected in the AB lies in modality-specific, independent sensory systems rather than a central amodal system. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in AB magnitude can provide important information about the modular structure of human cognition.

  14. Musical minds: attentional blink reveals modality-specific restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martens, Sander; Wierda, Stefan M; Dun, Mathijs; de Vries, Michal; Smid, Henderikus G O M

    2015-01-01

    Formal musical training is known to have positive effects on attentional and executive functioning, processing speed, and working memory. Consequently, one may expect to find differences in the dynamics of temporal attention between musicians and non-musicians. Here we address the question whether that is indeed the case, and whether any beneficial effects of musical training on temporal attention are modality specific or generalize across sensory modalities. When two targets are presented in close temporal succession, most people fail to report the second target, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB). We measured and compared AB magnitude for musicians and non-musicians using auditory or visually presented letters and digits. Relative to non-musicians, the auditory AB was both attenuated and delayed in musicians, whereas the visual AB was larger. Non-musicians with a large auditory AB tended to show a large visual AB. However, neither a positive nor negative correlation was found in musicians, suggesting that at least in musicians, attentional restrictions within each modality are completely separate. AB magnitude within one modality can generalize to another modality, but this turns out not to be the case for every individual. Formal musical training seems to have a domain-general, but modality-specific beneficial effect on selective attention. The results fit with the idea that a major source of attentional restriction as reflected in the AB lies in modality-specific, independent sensory systems rather than a central amodal system. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in AB magnitude can provide important information about the modular structure of human cognition.

  15. Differential regulation of the foraging gene associated with task behaviors in harvester ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleeman Lindsay

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The division of labor in social insect colonies involves transitions by workers from one task to another and is critical to the organization and ecological success of colonies. The differential regulation of genetic pathways is likely to be a key mechanism involved in plasticity of social insect task behavior. One of the few pathways implicated in social organization involves the cGMP-activated protein kinase gene, foraging, a gene associated with foraging behavior in social insect species. The association of the foraging gene with behavior is conserved across diverse species, but the observed expression patterns and proposed functions of this gene vary across taxa. We compared the protein sequence of foraging across social insects and explored whether the differential regulation of this gene is associated with task behaviors in the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. Results Phylogenetic analysis of the coding region of the foraging gene reveals considerable conservation in protein sequence across insects, particularly among hymenopteran species. The absence of amino acid variation in key active and binding sites suggests that differences in behaviors associated with this gene among species may be the result of changes in gene expression rather than gene divergence. Using real time qPCR analyses with a harvester ant ortholog to foraging (Pofor, we found that the brains of harvester ant foragers have a daily fluctuation in expression of foraging with mRNA levels peaking at midday. In contrast, young workers inside the nest have low levels of Pofor mRNA with no evidence of daily fluctuations in expression. As a result, the association of foraging expression with task behavior within a species changes depending on the time of day the individuals are sampled. Conclusions The amino acid protein sequence of foraging is highly conserved across social insects. Differences in foraging behaviors associated with this gene among

  16. Feeding-Related Traits Are Affected by Dosage of the foraging Gene in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Aaron M; Anreiter, Ina; Neville, Megan C; Sokolowski, Marla B

    2017-02-01

    Nutrient acquisition and energy storage are critical parts of achieving metabolic homeostasis. The foraging gene in Drosophila melanogaster has previously been implicated in multiple feeding-related and metabolic traits. Before foraging's functions can be further dissected, we need a precise genetic null mutant to definitively map its amorphic phenotypes. We used homologous recombination to precisely delete foraging, generating the for 0 null allele, and used recombineering to reintegrate a full copy of the gene, generating the {for BAC } rescue allele. We show that a total loss of foraging expression in larvae results in reduced larval path length and food intake behavior, while conversely showing an increase in triglyceride levels. Furthermore, varying foraging gene dosage demonstrates a linear dose-response on these phenotypes in relation to foraging gene expression levels. These experiments have unequivocally proven a causal, dose-dependent relationship between the foraging gene and its pleiotropic influence on these feeding-related traits. Our analysis of foraging's transcription start sites, termination sites, and splicing patterns using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and full-length cDNA sequencing, revealed four independent promoters, pr1-4, that produce 21 transcripts with nine distinct open reading frames (ORFs). The use of alternative promoters and alternative splicing at the foraging locus creates diversity and flexibility in the regulation of gene expression, and ultimately function. Future studies will exploit these genetic tools to precisely dissect the isoform- and tissue-specific requirements of foraging's functions and shed light on the genetic control of feeding-related traits involved in energy homeostasis. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  17. Pyrosequencing data reveals tissue-specific expression of lineage-specific transcripts in chickpea

    OpenAIRE

    Garg, Rohini; Jain, Mukesh

    2011-01-01

    Chickpea is a very important crop legume plant, which provides a protein-rich supplement to cereal-based diets and has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Despite its economic importance, the functional genomic resources for chickpea are very limited. Recently, we reported the complete transcriptome of chickpea using next generation sequencing technologies. We analyzed the tissue-specific expression of chickpea transcripts based on RNA-seq data. In addition, we identified two sets of lin...

  18. Neighbor Detection Induces Organ-Specific Transcriptomes, Revealing Patterns Underlying Hypocotyl-Specific Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohnen, Markus V; Schmid-Siegert, Emanuel; Trevisan, Martine; Petrolati, Laure Allenbach; Sénéchal, Fabien; Müller-Moulé, Patricia; Maloof, Julin; Xenarios, Ioannis; Fankhauser, Christian

    2016-12-01

    In response to neighbor proximity, plants increase the growth of specific organs (e.g., hypocotyls) to enhance access to sunlight. Shade enhances the activity of Phytochrome Interacting Factors (PIFs) by releasing these bHLH transcription factors from phytochrome B-mediated inhibition. PIFs promote elongation by inducing auxin production in cotyledons. In order to elucidate spatiotemporal aspects of the neighbor proximity response, we separately analyzed gene expression patterns in the major light-sensing organ (cotyledons) and in rapidly elongating hypocotyls of Arabidopsis thaliana PIFs initiate transcriptional reprogramming in both organs within 15 min, comprising regulated expression of several early auxin response genes. This suggests that hypocotyl growth is elicited by both local and distal auxin signals. We show that cotyledon-derived auxin is both necessary and sufficient to initiate hypocotyl growth, but we also provide evidence for the functional importance of the local PIF-induced response. With time, the transcriptional response diverges increasingly between organs. We identify genes whose differential expression may underlie organ-specific elongation. Finally, we uncover a growth promotion gene expression signature shared between different developmentally regulated growth processes and responses to the environment in different organs. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  19. Forager bees (Apis mellifera) highly express immune and detoxification genes in tissues associated with nectar processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannette, Rachel L; Mohamed, Abbas; Johnson, Brian R

    2015-11-09

    Pollinators, including honey bees, routinely encounter potentially harmful microorganisms and phytochemicals during foraging. However, the mechanisms by which honey bees manage these potential threats are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the expression of antimicrobial, immune and detoxification genes in Apis mellifera and compare between forager and nurse bees using tissue-specific RNA-seq and qPCR. Our analysis revealed extensive tissue-specific expression of antimicrobial, immune signaling, and detoxification genes. Variation in gene expression between worker stages was pronounced in the mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland (HPG), where foragers were enriched in transcripts that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and immune response. Additionally, forager HPGs and mandibular glands were enriched in transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes, including some associated with xenobiotic metabolism. Using qPCR on an independent dataset, we verified differential expression of three AMP and three P450 genes between foragers and nurses. High expression of AMP genes in nectar-processing tissues suggests that these peptides may contribute to antimicrobial properties of honey or to honey bee defense against environmentally-acquired microorganisms. Together, these results suggest that worker role and tissue-specific expression of AMPs, and immune and detoxification enzymes may contribute to defense against microorganisms and xenobiotic compounds acquired while foraging.

  20. Heat Damaged Forages: Effects on Forage Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traditionally, heat damage in forages has been associated with alterations in forage protein quality as a result of Maillard reactions, and most producers and nutritionists are familiar with this concept. However, this is not necessarily the most important negative consequence of spontaneous heating...

  1. Triticale for dairy forage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triticale forages have become increasingly important components of dairy-cropping systems. In part, this trend has occurred in response to environmental pressures, specifically a desire to capture N and other nutrients from land-applied manure, and/or to improve stewardship of the land by providing ...

  2. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  3. Proteomic analysis of lysine acetylation sites in rat tissues reveals organ specificity and subcellular patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundby, Alicia; Hansen, Kasper Lage; Weinert, Brian Tate

    2012-01-01

    ,541 proteins and provide the data set as a web-based database. We demonstrate that lysine acetylation displays site-specific sequence motifs that diverge between cellular compartments, with a significant fraction of nuclear sites conforming to the consensus motifs G-AcK and AcK-P. Our data set reveals...

  4. Optimally frugal foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bénichou, O.; Bhat, U.; Krapivsky, P. L.; Redner, S.

    2018-02-01

    We introduce the frugal foraging model in which a forager performs a discrete-time random walk on a lattice in which each site initially contains S food units. The forager metabolizes one unit of food at each step and starves to death when it last ate S steps in the past. Whenever the forager eats, it consumes all food at its current site and this site remains empty forever (no food replenishment). The crucial property of the forager is that it is frugal and eats only when encountering food within at most k steps of starvation. We compute the average lifetime analytically as a function of the frugality threshold and show that there exists an optimal strategy, namely, an optimal frugality threshold k* that maximizes the forager lifetime.

  5. Risso's dolphins plan foraging dives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Tyack, Peter L

    2018-02-28

    Humans remember the past and use that information to plan future actions. Lab experiments that test memory for the location of food show that animals have a similar capability to act in anticipation of future needs, but less work has been done on animals foraging in the wild. We hypothesized that planning abilities are critical and common in breath-hold divers who adjust each dive to forage on prey varying in quality, location and predictability within constraints of limited oxygen availability. We equipped Risso's dolphins with sound-and-motion recording tags to reveal where they focus their attention through their externally observable echolocation and how they fine tune search strategies in response to expected and observed prey distribution. The information from the dolphins was integrated with synoptic prey data obtained from echosounders on an underwater vehicle. At the start of the dives, whales adjusted their echolocation inspection ranges in ways that suggest planning to forage at a particular depth. Once entering a productive prey layer, dolphins reduced their search range comparable to the scale of patches within the layer, suggesting that they were using echolocation to select prey within the patch. On ascent, their search range increased, indicating that they decided to stop foraging within that layer and started searching for prey in shallower layers. Information about prey, learned throughout the dive, was used to plan foraging in the next dive. Our results demonstrate that planning for future dives is modulated by spatial memory derived from multi-modal prey sampling (echoic, visual and capture) during earlier dives. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Boudin trafficking reveals the dynamic internalisation of specific septate junction components in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempesta, Camille; Hijazi, Assia; Moussian, Bernard; Roch, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    The maintenance of paracellular barriers in invertebrate epithelia depends on the integrity of specific cell adhesion structures known as septate junctions (SJ). Multiple studies in Drosophila have revealed that these junctions have a stereotyped architecture resulting from the association in the lateral membrane of a large number of components. However, little is known about the dynamic organisation adopted by these multi-protein complexes in living tissues. We have used live imaging techniques to show that the Ly6 protein Boudin is a component of these adhesion junctions and can diffuse systemically to associate with the SJ of distant cells. We also observe that this protein and the claudin Kune-kune are endocytosed in epidermal cells during embryogenesis. Our data reveal that the SJ contain a set of components exhibiting a high membrane turnover, a feature that could contribute in a tissue-specific manner to the morphogenetic plasticity of these adhesion structures.

  7. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  8. Variability in the Foraging Distribution and Diet of Cape Gannets between the Guard and Post-guard Phases of the Breeding Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan A. Botha

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available During breeding, seabirds are central place foragers and are sensitive to changes in local prey availability. As the breeding season progresses, foraging behavior and distribution is expected to change in response to possible changes in local prey availability. In addition, adult gender, and the increasing nutritional demands of a growing chick may also influence the foraging behavior of individuals. At present, relatively few studies have assessed the foraging behavior of adult birds during the late post-guard stages of chick rearing. Through a combination of GPS tracking and diet sampling we investigated the foraging distances, spatial distribution, and prey composition of adult Cape gannets (Morus capensis during the guard and post-guard stages of chick rearing. We found no clear evidence for consistent sex-specific differences in foraging distances and spatial distribution during the guard stage, although marginal differences in the location of core foraging areas during the post-guard stage were apparent. Results, however, revealed a clear increase in foraging range from the early guard to the late post-guard stage of chick rearing. During December the diet was comprised almost exclusively of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, the proportion of which had decreased significantly in the diet by January. This was mirrored by a substantial increase in the proportion of saury (Scomberesox saurus. These results suggest that Cape gannets show flexibility in the foraging behavior and diet, which may be related to changes in the abundance and distribution of prey or may reflect changes in the energetic requirements of the growing offspring. This study provides the first assessment of Cape gannet foraging behavior and spatial distribution during the post-guard stage of chick rearing. The importance of considering intra-annual variability in foraging distribution when using seabird tracking data in trophic and marine spatial planning studies are

  9. The regulation of ant colony foraging activity without spatial information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balaji Prabhakar

    Full Text Available Many dynamical networks, such as the ones that produce the collective behavior of social insects, operate without any central control, instead arising from local interactions among individuals. A well-studied example is the formation of recruitment trails in ant colonies, but many ant species do not use pheromone trails. We present a model of the regulation of foraging by harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus colonies. This species forages for scattered seeds that one ant can retrieve on its own, so there is no need for spatial information such as pheromone trails that lead ants to specific locations. Previous work shows that colony foraging activity, the rate at which ants go out to search individually for seeds, is regulated in response to current food availability throughout the colony's foraging area. Ants use the rate of brief antennal contacts inside the nest between foragers returning with food and outgoing foragers available to leave the nest on the next foraging trip. Here we present a feedback-based algorithm that captures the main features of data from field experiments in which the rate of returning foragers was manipulated. The algorithm draws on our finding that the distribution of intervals between successive ants returning to the nest is a Poisson process. We fitted the parameter that estimates the effect of each returning forager on the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest. We found that correlations between observed rates of returning foragers and simulated rates of outgoing foragers, using our model, were similar to those in the data. Our simple stochastic model shows how the regulation of ant colony foraging can operate without spatial information, describing a process at the level of individual ants that predicts the overall foraging activity of the colony.

  10. Ki-67 expression reveals strong, transient influenza specific CD4 T cell responses after adult vaccination

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Xi; Miao, Hongyu; Henn, Alicia; Topham, David J.; Wu, Hulin; Zand, Martin S.; Mosmann, Tim R.

    2012-01-01

    Although previous studies have found minimal changes in CD4 T cell responses after vaccination of adults with trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, daily sampling and monitoring of the proliferation marker Ki-67 have now been used to reveal that a substantial fraction of influenza-specific CD4 T cells respond to vaccination. At 4–6 days after vaccination, there is a sharp rise in the numbers of Ki-67-expressing PBMC that produce IFNγ, IL-2 and/or TNFα in vitro in response to influenza vacc...

  11. Proteomic analysis reveals new cardiac-specific dystrophin-associated proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric K Johnson

    Full Text Available Mutations affecting the expression of dystrophin result in progressive loss of skeletal muscle function and cardiomyopathy leading to early mortality. Interestingly, clinical studies revealed no correlation in disease severity or age of onset between cardiac and skeletal muscles, suggesting that dystrophin may play overlapping yet different roles in these two striated muscles. Since dystrophin serves as a structural and signaling scaffold, functional differences likely arise from tissue-specific protein interactions. To test this, we optimized a proteomics-based approach to purify, identify and compare the interactome of dystrophin between cardiac and skeletal muscles from as little as 50 mg of starting material. We found selective tissue-specific differences in the protein associations of cardiac and skeletal muscle full length dystrophin to syntrophins and dystrobrevins that couple dystrophin to signaling pathways. Importantly, we identified novel cardiac-specific interactions of dystrophin with proteins known to regulate cardiac contraction and to be involved in cardiac disease. Our approach overcomes a major challenge in the muscular dystrophy field of rapidly and consistently identifying bona fide dystrophin-interacting proteins in tissues. In addition, our findings support the existence of cardiac-specific functions of dystrophin and may guide studies into early triggers of cardiac disease in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.

  12. Revealing the Structural Complexity of Component Interactions of Topic-Specific PCK when Planning to Teach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mavhunga, Elizabeth

    2018-04-01

    Teaching pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) at a topic-specific level requires clarity on the content-specific nature of the components employed, as well as the specific features that bring about the desirable depth in teacher explanations. Such understanding is often hazy; yet, it influences the nature of teacher tasks and learning opportunities afforded to pre-service teachers in a teaching program. The purpose of this study was twofold: firstly, to illuminate the emerging complexity when content-specific components of PCK interact when planning to teach a chemistry topic; and secondly, to identify the kinds of teacher tasks that promote the emergence of such complexity. Data collected were content representations (CoRes) in chemical equilibrium accompanied by expanded lesson outlines from 15 pre-service teachers in their final year of study towards a first degree in teaching (B Ed). The analysis involved extraction of episodes that exhibited component interaction by using a qualitative in-depth analysis method. The results revealed the structure in which the components of PCK in a topic interact among each other to be linear, interwoven, or a combination of the two. The interwoven interactions contained multiple components that connected explanations on different aspects of a concept, all working in a complementary manner. The most sophisticated component interactions emerged from teacher tasks on descriptions of a lesson sequence and a summary of a lesson. Recommendations in this study highlight core practices for making pedagogical transformation of topic content knowledge more accessible.

  13. DNA entropy reveals a significant difference in complexity between housekeeping and tissue specific gene promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, David; Finan, Chris; Newport, Melanie J; Jones, Susan

    2015-10-01

    The complexity of DNA can be quantified using estimates of entropy. Variation in DNA complexity is expected between the promoters of genes with different transcriptional mechanisms; namely housekeeping (HK) and tissue specific (TS). The former are transcribed constitutively to maintain general cellular functions, and the latter are transcribed in restricted tissue and cells types for specific molecular events. It is known that promoter features in the human genome are related to tissue specificity, but this has been difficult to quantify on a genomic scale. If entropy effectively quantifies DNA complexity, calculating the entropies of HK and TS gene promoters as profiles may reveal significant differences. Entropy profiles were calculated for a total dataset of 12,003 human gene promoters and for 501 housekeeping (HK) and 587 tissue specific (TS) human gene promoters. The mean profiles show the TS promoters have a significantly lower entropy (pentropy distributions for the 3 datasets show that promoter entropies could be used to identify novel HK genes. Functional features comprise DNA sequence patterns that are non-random and hence they have lower entropies. The lower entropy of TS gene promoters can be explained by a higher density of positive and negative regulatory elements, required for genes with complex spatial and temporary expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Electrical brain responses in language-impaired children reveal grammar-specific deficits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Fonteneau

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Scientific and public fascination with human language have included intensive scrutiny of language disorders as a new window onto the biological foundations of language and its evolutionary origins. Specific language impairment (SLI, which affects over 7% of children, is one such disorder. SLI has received robust scientific attention, in part because of its recent linkage to a specific gene and loci on chromosomes and in part because of the prevailing question regarding the scope of its language impairment: Does the disorder impact the general ability to segment and process language or a specific ability to compute grammar? Here we provide novel electrophysiological data showing a domain-specific deficit within the grammar of language that has been hitherto undetectable through behavioural data alone.We presented participants with Grammatical(G-SLI, age-matched controls, and younger child and adult controls, with questions containing syntactic violations and sentences containing semantic violations. Electrophysiological brain responses revealed a selective impairment to only neural circuitry that is specific to grammatical processing in G-SLI. Furthermore, the participants with G-SLI appeared to be partially compensating for their syntactic deficit by using neural circuitry associated with semantic processing and all non-grammar-specific and low-level auditory neural responses were normal.The findings indicate that grammatical neural circuitry underlying language is a developmentally unique system in the functional architecture of the brain, and this complex higher cognitive system can be selectively impaired. The findings advance fundamental understanding about how cognitive systems develop and all human language is represented and processed in the brain.

  15. Genome wide analysis of acute myeloid leukemia reveal leukemia specific methylome and subtype specific hypomethylation of repeats.

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    Marwa H Saied

    Full Text Available Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (MeDIP-seq has the potential to identify changes in DNA methylation important in cancer development. In order to understand the role of epigenetic modulation in the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML we have applied MeDIP-seq to the DNA of 12 AML patients and 4 normal bone marrows. This analysis revealed leukemia-associated differentially methylated regions that included gene promoters, gene bodies, CpG islands and CpG island shores. Two genes (SPHKAP and DPP6 with significantly methylated promoters were of interest and further analysis of their expression showed them to be repressed in AML. We also demonstrated considerable cytogenetic subtype specificity in the methylomes affecting different genomic features. Significantly distinct patterns of hypomethylation of certain interspersed repeat elements were associated with cytogenetic subtypes. The methylation patterns of members of the SINE family tightly clustered all leukemic patients with an enrichment of Alu repeats with a high CpG density (P<0.0001. We were able to demonstrate significant inverse correlation between intragenic interspersed repeat sequence methylation and gene expression with SINEs showing the strongest inverse correlation (R(2 = 0.7. We conclude that the alterations in DNA methylation that accompany the development of AML affect not only the promoters, but also the non-promoter genomic features, with significant demethylation of certain interspersed repeat DNA elements being associated with AML cytogenetic subtypes. MeDIP-seq data were validated using bisulfite pyrosequencing and the Infinium array.

  16. Pyrosequencing reveals highly diverse and species-specific microbial communities in sponges from the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, Onon

    2010-11-18

    Marine sponges are associated with a remarkable array of microorganisms. Using a tag pyrosequencing technology, this study was the first to investigate in depth the microbial communities associated with three Red Sea sponges, Hyrtios erectus, Stylissa carteri and Xestospongia testudinaria. We revealed highly diverse sponge-associated bacterial communities with up to 1000 microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and richness estimates of up to 2000 species. Altogether, 26 bacterial phyla were detected from the Red Sea sponges, 11 of which were absent from the surrounding sea water and 4 were recorded in sponges for the first time. Up to 100 OTUs with richness estimates of up to 300 archaeal species were revealed from a single sponge species. This is by far the highest archaeal diversity ever recorded for sponges. A non-negligible proportion of unclassified reads was observed in sponges. Our results demonstrated that the sponge-associated microbial communities remained highly consistent in the same sponge species from different locations, although they varied at different degrees among different sponge species. A significant proportion of the tag sequences from the sponges could be assigned to one of the sponge-specific clusters previously defined. In addition, the sponge-associated microbial communities were consistently divergent from those present in the surrounding sea water. Our results suggest that the Red Sea sponges possess highly sponge-specific or even sponge-species-specific microbial communities that are resistant to environmental disturbance, and much of their microbial diversity remains to be explored. © 2011 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

  17. Neural Mechanisms of Foraging

    OpenAIRE

    Kolling, Nils; Behrens, Timothy EJ; Mars, Rogier B; Rushworth, Matthew FS

    2012-01-01

    Behavioural economic studies, involving limited numbers of choices, have provided key insights into neural decision-making mechanisms. By contrast, animals’ foraging choices arise in the context of sequences of encounters with prey/food. On each encounter the animal chooses to engage or whether the environment is sufficiently rich that searching elsewhere is merited. The cost of foraging is also critical. We demonstrate humans can alternate between two modes of choice, comparative decision-ma...

  18. Transgenic zebrafish reveal tissue-specific differences in estrogen signaling in response to environmental water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorelick, Daniel A; Iwanowicz, Luke R; Hung, Alice L; Blazer, Vicki S; Halpern, Marnie E

    2014-04-01

    Environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) are exogenous chemicals that mimic endogenous hormones such as estrogens. Previous studies using a zebrafish transgenic reporter demonstrated that the EEDs bisphenol A and genistein preferentially activate estrogen receptors (ERs) in the larval heart compared with the liver. However, it was not known whether the transgenic zebrafish reporter was sensitive enough to detect estrogens from environmental samples, whether environmental estrogens would exhibit tissue-specific effects similar to those of BPA and genistein, or why some compounds preferentially target receptors in the heart. We tested surface water samples using a transgenic zebrafish reporter with tandem estrogen response elements driving green fluorescent protein expression (5xERE:GFP). Reporter activation was colocalized with tissue-specific expression of ER genes by RNA in situ hybridization. We observed selective patterns of ER activation in transgenic fish exposed to river water samples from the Mid-Atlantic United States, with several samples preferentially activating receptors in embryonic and larval heart valves. We discovered that tissue specificity in ER activation was due to differences in the expression of ER subtypes. ERα was expressed in developing heart valves but not in the liver, whereas ERβ2 had the opposite profile. Accordingly, subtype-specific ER agonists activated the reporter in either the heart valves or the liver. The use of 5xERE:GFP transgenic zebrafish revealed an unexpected tissue-specific difference in the response to environmentally relevant estrogenic compounds. Exposure to estrogenic EEDs in utero was associated with adverse health effects, with the potentially unanticipated consequence of targeting developing heart valves.

  19. Structure-guided mutational analysis reveals the functional requirements for product specificity of DOT1 enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dindar, Gülcin; Anger, Andreas M; Mehlhorn, Christine; Hake, Sandra B; Janzen, Christian J

    2014-11-12

    DOT1 enzymes are conserved methyltransferases that catalyse the methylation of lysine 79 on histone H3 (H3K79). Most eukaryotes contain one DOT1 enzyme, whereas African trypanosomes have two homologues, DOT1A and DOT1B, with different enzymatic activities. DOT1A mediates mono- and dimethylation of H3K76, the homologue of H3K79 in other organisms, whereas DOT1B additionally catalyses H3K76 trimethylation. However, it is unclear how these different enzymatic activities are achieved. Here we employ a trypanosomal nucleosome reconstitution system and structure-guided homology modelling to identify critical residues within and outside the catalytic centre that modulate product specificity. Exchange of these residues transfers the product specificity from one enzyme to the other, and reveals the existence of distinct regulatory domains adjacent to the catalytic centre. Our study provides the first evidence that a few crucial residues in DOT1 enzymes are sufficient to catalyse methyl-state-specific reactions. These results might also have far-reaching consequences for the functional understanding of homologous enzymes in higher eukaryotes.

  20. The construction of a library of synthetic promoters revealed some specific features of strong Streptomyces promoters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seghezzi, Nicolas; Amar, Patrick; Købmann, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Streptomyces are bacteria of industrial interest whose genome contains more than 73% of bases GC. In order to define, in these GC-rich bacteria, specific sequence features of strong promoters, a library of synthetic promoters of various sequence composition was constructed in Streptomyces. To do so...... cloned into the promoter-probe plasmid pIJ487 just upstream of the promoter-less aphII gene that confers resistance to neomycin. This synthetic promoter library was transformed into Streptomyces lividans, and the resulting transformants were screened for their ability to grow in the presence of different...... projects. Thirty-eight promoters were sequenced, and the sequences of the 14 weakest and 14 strongest promoters were compared using the WebLogo software with small sample correction. This comparison revealed that the −10 box, the −10 extended motif as well as the spacer of the strong Streptomyces promoters...

  1. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diverse microbial communities reveals core metabolic pathways and microbiome-specific functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Xiong, Xuejian; Danska, Jayne; Parkinson, John

    2016-01-12

    Metatranscriptomics is emerging as a powerful technology for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Use of unbiased RNA-sequencing can reveal both the taxonomic composition and active biochemical functions of a complex microbial community. However, the lack of established reference genomes, computational tools and pipelines make analysis and interpretation of these datasets challenging. Systematic studies that compare data across microbiomes are needed to demonstrate the ability of such pipelines to deliver biologically meaningful insights on microbiome function. Here, we apply a standardized analytical pipeline to perform a comparative analysis of metatranscriptomic data from diverse microbial communities derived from mouse large intestine, cow rumen, kimchi culture, deep-sea thermal vent and permafrost. Sequence similarity searches allowed annotation of 19 to 76% of putative messenger RNA (mRNA) reads, with the highest frequency in the kimchi dataset due to its relatively low complexity and availability of closely related reference genomes. Metatranscriptomic datasets exhibited distinct taxonomic and functional signatures. From a metabolic perspective, we identified a common core of enzymes involved in amino acid, energy and nucleotide metabolism and also identified microbiome-specific pathways such as phosphonate metabolism (deep sea) and glycan degradation pathways (cow rumen). Integrating taxonomic and functional annotations within a novel visualization framework revealed the contribution of different taxa to metabolic pathways, allowing the identification of taxa that contribute unique functions. The application of a single, standard pipeline confirms that the rich taxonomic and functional diversity observed across microbiomes is not simply an artefact of different analysis pipelines but instead reflects distinct environmental influences. At the same time, our findings show how microbiome complexity and availability of

  2. Crystal structure analysis reveals functional flexibility in the selenocysteine-specific tRNA from mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg M Ganichkin

    Full Text Available Selenocysteine tRNAs (tRNA(Sec exhibit a number of unique identity elements that are recognized specifically by proteins of the selenocysteine biosynthetic pathways and decoding machineries. Presently, these identity elements and the mechanisms by which they are interpreted by tRNA(Sec-interacting factors are incompletely understood.We applied rational mutagenesis to obtain well diffracting crystals of murine tRNA(Sec. tRNA(Sec lacking the single-stranded 3'-acceptor end ((ΔGCCARNA(Sec yielded a crystal structure at 2.0 Å resolution. The global structure of (ΔGCCARNA(Sec resembles the structure of human tRNA(Sec determined at 3.1 Å resolution. Structural comparisons revealed flexible regions in tRNA(Sec used for induced fit binding to selenophosphate synthetase. Water molecules located in the present structure were involved in the stabilization of two alternative conformations of the anticodon stem-loop. Modeling of a 2'-O-methylated ribose at position U34 of the anticodon loop as found in a sub-population of tRNA(Secin vivo showed how this modification favors an anticodon loop conformation that is functional during decoding on the ribosome. Soaking of crystals in Mn(2+-containing buffer revealed eight potential divalent metal ion binding sites but the located metal ions did not significantly stabilize specific structural features of tRNA(Sec.We provide the most highly resolved structure of a tRNA(Sec molecule to date and assessed the influence of water molecules and metal ions on the molecule's conformation and dynamics. Our results suggest how conformational changes of tRNA(Sec support its interaction with proteins.

  3. Phenotype specific analyses reveal distinct regulatory mechanism for chronically activated p53.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Kirschner

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The downstream functions of the DNA binding tumor suppressor p53 vary depending on the cellular context, and persistent p53 activation has recently been implicated in tumor suppression and senescence. However, genome-wide information about p53-target gene regulation has been derived mostly from acute genotoxic conditions. Using ChIP-seq and expression data, we have found distinct p53 binding profiles between acutely activated (through DNA damage and chronically activated (in senescent or pro-apoptotic conditions p53. Compared to the classical 'acute' p53 binding profile, 'chronic' p53 peaks were closely associated with CpG-islands. Furthermore, the chronic CpG-island binding of p53 conferred distinct expression patterns between senescent and pro-apoptotic conditions. Using the p53 targets seen in the chronic conditions together with external high-throughput datasets, we have built p53 networks that revealed extensive self-regulatory 'p53 hubs' where p53 and many p53 targets can physically interact with each other. Integrating these results with public clinical datasets identified the cancer-associated lipogenic enzyme, SCD, which we found to be directly repressed by p53 through the CpG-island promoter, providing a mechanistic link between p53 and the 'lipogenic phenotype', a hallmark of cancer. Our data reveal distinct phenotype associations of chronic p53 targets that underlie specific gene regulatory mechanisms.

  4. Whose urban forest? The political ecology of foraging urban nontimber forest products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick T. Hurley; Marla R. Emery; Rebecca McLain; Melissa Poe; Brian Grabbatin; Cari L. Goetcheus

    2015-01-01

    Drawing on case studies of foraging in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, we point to foraging landscapes and practices within diverse urban forest spaces. We examine these spaces in relation to U.S. conservation and development processes and the effects of management and governance on species valued by foragers. These case studies reveal the...

  5. Computational dissection of human episodic memory reveals mental process-specific genetic profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luksys, Gediminas; Fastenrath, Matthias; Coynel, David; Freytag, Virginie; Gschwind, Leo; Heck, Angela; Jessen, Frank; Maier, Wolfgang; Milnik, Annette; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G.; Scherer, Martin; Spalek, Klara; Vogler, Christian; Wagner, Michael; Wolfsgruber, Steffen; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.

    2015-01-01

    Episodic memory performance is the result of distinct mental processes, such as learning, memory maintenance, and emotional modulation of memory strength. Such processes can be effectively dissociated using computational models. Here we performed gene set enrichment analyses of model parameters estimated from the episodic memory performance of 1,765 healthy young adults. We report robust and replicated associations of the amine compound SLC (solute-carrier) transporters gene set with the learning rate, of the collagen formation and transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase activity gene sets with the modulation of memory strength by negative emotional arousal, and of the L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) interactions gene set with the repetition-based memory improvement. Furthermore, in a large functional MRI sample of 795 subjects we found that the association between L1CAM interactions and memory maintenance revealed large clusters of differences in brain activity in frontal cortical areas. Our findings provide converging evidence that distinct genetic profiles underlie specific mental processes of human episodic memory. They also provide empirical support to previous theoretical and neurobiological studies linking specific neuromodulators to the learning rate and linking neural cell adhesion molecules to memory maintenance. Furthermore, our study suggests additional memory-related genetic pathways, which may contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of human memory. PMID:26261317

  6. Ki-67 expression reveals strong, transient influenza specific CD4 T cell responses after adult vaccination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xi; Miao, Hongyu; Henn, Alicia; Topham, David J; Wu, Hulin; Zand, Martin S; Mosmann, Tim R

    2012-06-29

    Although previous studies have found minimal changes in CD4 T cell responses after vaccination of adults with trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, daily sampling and monitoring of the proliferation marker Ki-67 have now been used to reveal that a substantial fraction of influenza-specific CD4 T cells respond to vaccination. At 4-6 days after vaccination, there is a sharp rise in the numbers of Ki-67-expressing PBMC that produce IFNγ, IL-2 and/or TNFα in vitro in response to influenza vaccine or peptide. Ki-67(+) cell numbers then decline rapidly, and 10 days after vaccination, both Ki-67(+) and overall influenza-specific cell numbers are similar to pre-vaccination levels. These results provide a tool for assessing the quality and quantity of CD4 T cell responses to different influenza vaccines, and raise the possibility that the anti-influenza T cell memory response may be qualitatively altered by vaccination, even if the overall memory cell numbers do not change significantly. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Computational dissection of human episodic memory reveals mental process-specific genetic profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luksys, Gediminas; Fastenrath, Matthias; Coynel, David; Freytag, Virginie; Gschwind, Leo; Heck, Angela; Jessen, Frank; Maier, Wolfgang; Milnik, Annette; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G; Scherer, Martin; Spalek, Klara; Vogler, Christian; Wagner, Michael; Wolfsgruber, Steffen; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2015-09-01

    Episodic memory performance is the result of distinct mental processes, such as learning, memory maintenance, and emotional modulation of memory strength. Such processes can be effectively dissociated using computational models. Here we performed gene set enrichment analyses of model parameters estimated from the episodic memory performance of 1,765 healthy young adults. We report robust and replicated associations of the amine compound SLC (solute-carrier) transporters gene set with the learning rate, of the collagen formation and transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase activity gene sets with the modulation of memory strength by negative emotional arousal, and of the L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) interactions gene set with the repetition-based memory improvement. Furthermore, in a large functional MRI sample of 795 subjects we found that the association between L1CAM interactions and memory maintenance revealed large clusters of differences in brain activity in frontal cortical areas. Our findings provide converging evidence that distinct genetic profiles underlie specific mental processes of human episodic memory. They also provide empirical support to previous theoretical and neurobiological studies linking specific neuromodulators to the learning rate and linking neural cell adhesion molecules to memory maintenance. Furthermore, our study suggests additional memory-related genetic pathways, which may contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of human memory.

  8. Proteomic Analysis of Lysine Acetylation Sites in Rat Tissues Reveals Organ Specificity and Subcellular Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Lundby

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Lysine acetylation is a major posttranslational modification involved in a broad array of physiological functions. Here, we provide an organ-wide map of lysine acetylation sites from 16 rat tissues analyzed by high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry. We quantify 15,474 modification sites on 4,541 proteins and provide the data set as a web-based database. We demonstrate that lysine acetylation displays site-specific sequence motifs that diverge between cellular compartments, with a significant fraction of nuclear sites conforming to the consensus motifs G-AcK and AcK-P. Our data set reveals that the subcellular acetylation distribution is tissue-type dependent and that acetylation targets tissue-specific pathways involved in fundamental physiological processes. We compare lysine acetylation patterns for rat as well as human skeletal muscle biopsies and demonstrate its general involvement in muscle contraction. Furthermore, we illustrate that acetylation of fructose-bisphosphate aldolase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase serves as a cellular mechanism to switch off enzymatic activity.

  9. Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Specific Novel Tetrapeptide and Potential Anti-Inflammatory Metabolites in Pathogenic Aspergillus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kim-Chung; Tam, Emily W T; Lo, Ka-Ching; Tsang, Alan K L; Lau, Candy C Y; To, Kelvin K W; Chan, Jasper F W; Lam, Ching-Wan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Lau, Susanna K P; Woo, Patrick C Y

    2015-06-17

    Infections related to Aspergillus species have emerged to become an important focus in infectious diseases, as a result of the increasing use of immunosuppressive agents and high fatality associated with invasive aspergillosis. However, laboratory diagnosis of Aspergillus infections remains difficult. In this study, by comparing the metabolomic profiles of the culture supernatants of 30 strains of six pathogenic Aspergillus species (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus, A. nomius and A. tamarii) and 31 strains of 10 non-Aspergillus fungi, eight compounds present in all strains of the six Aspergillus species but not in any strain of the non-Aspergillus fungi were observed. One of the eight compounds, Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, is a novel tetrapeptide and represents the first linear tetrapeptide observed in Aspergillus species, which we propose to be named aspergitide. Two other closely related Aspergillus-specific compounds, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid, may possess anti-inflammatory properties, as 2-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid possesses a structure similar to those of aspirin [2-(acetoxy)benzoic acid] and salicylic acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid). Further studies to examine the potentials of these Aspergillus-specific compounds for laboratory diagnosis of aspergillosis are warranted and further experiments will reveal whether Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid are virulent factors of the pathogenic Aspergillus species.

  10. The kinome of Phytophthora infestans reveals oomycete-specific innovations and links to other taxonomic groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ah-Fong Audrey MV

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oomycetes are a large group of economically and ecologically important species. Its most notorious member is Phytophthora infestans, the cause of the devastating potato late blight disease. The life cycle of P. infestans involves hyphae which differentiate into spores used for dispersal and host infection. Protein phosphorylation likely plays crucial roles in these stages, and to help understand this we present here a genome-wide analysis of the protein kinases of P. infestans and several relatives. The study also provides new insight into kinase evolution since oomycetes are taxonomically distant from organisms with well-characterized kinomes. Results Bioinformatic searches of the genomes of P. infestans, P. ramorum, and P. sojae reveal they have similar kinomes, which for P. infestans contains 354 eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs and 18 atypical kinases (aPKs, equaling 2% of total genes. After refining gene models, most were classifiable into families seen in other eukaryotes. Some ePK families are nevertheless unusual, especially the tyrosine kinase-like (TKL group which includes large oomycete-specific subfamilies. Also identified were two tyrosine kinases, which are rare in non-metazoans. Several ePKs bear accessory domains not identified previously on kinases, such as cyclin-dependent kinases with integral cyclin domains. Most ePKs lack accessory domains, implying that many are regulated transcriptionally. This was confirmed by mRNA expression-profiling studies that showed that two-thirds vary significantly between hyphae, sporangia, and zoospores. Comparisons to neighboring taxa (apicomplexans, ciliates, diatoms revealed both clade-specific and conserved features, and multiple connections to plant kinases were observed. The kinome of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, an oomycete with a simpler life cycle than P. infestans, was found to be one-third smaller. Some differences may be attributable to gene clustering, which

  11. Barcoded pyrosequencing reveals that consumption of galactooligosaccharides results in a highly specific bifidogenic response in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren M G Davis

    Full Text Available Prebiotics are selectively fermented ingredients that allow specific changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota that confer health benefits to the host. However, the effects of prebiotics on the human gut microbiota are incomplete as most studies have relied on methods that fail to cover the breadth of the bacterial community. The goal of this research was to use high throughput multiplex community sequencing of 16S rDNA tags to gain a community wide perspective of the impact of prebiotic galactooligosaccharide (GOS on the fecal microbiota of healthy human subjects. Fecal samples from eighteen healthy adults were previously obtained during a feeding trial in which each subject consumed a GOS-containing product for twelve weeks, with four increasing dosages (0, 2.5, 5, and 10 gram of GOS. Multiplex sequencing of the 16S rDNA tags revealed that GOS induced significant compositional alterations in the fecal microbiota, principally by increasing the abundance of organisms within the Actinobacteria. Specifically, several distinct lineages of Bifidobacterium were enriched. Consumption of GOS led to five- to ten-fold increases in bifidobacteria in half of the subjects. Increases in Firmicutes were also observed, however, these changes were detectable in only a few individuals. The enrichment of bifidobacteria was generally at the expense of one group of bacteria, the Bacteroides. The responses to GOS and the magnitude of the response varied between individuals, were reversible, and were in accordance with dosage. The bifidobacteria were the only bacteria that were consistently and significantly enriched by GOS, although this substrate supported the growth of diverse colonic bacteria in mono-culture experiments. These results suggest that GOS can be used to enrich bifidobacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract with remarkable specificity, and that the bifidogenic properties of GOS that occur in vivo are caused by selective fermentation as well as by

  12. Adaptive Bacterial Foraging Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanning Chen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO is a recently developed nature-inspired optimization algorithm, which is based on the foraging behavior of E. coli bacteria. Up to now, BFO has been applied successfully to some engineering problems due to its simplicity and ease of implementation. However, BFO possesses a poor convergence behavior over complex optimization problems as compared to other nature-inspired optimization techniques. This paper first analyzes how the run-length unit parameter of BFO controls the exploration of the whole search space and the exploitation of the promising areas. Then it presents a variation on the original BFO, called the adaptive bacterial foraging optimization (ABFO, employing the adaptive foraging strategies to improve the performance of the original BFO. This improvement is achieved by enabling the bacterial foraging algorithm to adjust the run-length unit parameter dynamically during algorithm execution in order to balance the exploration/exploitation tradeoff. The experiments compare the performance of two versions of ABFO with the original BFO, the standard particle swarm optimization (PSO and a real-coded genetic algorithm (GA on four widely-used benchmark functions. The proposed ABFO shows a marked improvement in performance over the original BFO and appears to be comparable with the PSO and GA.

  13. Forage quantity and quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgenson, Janet C.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Felix, Nancy A.; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    The Porcupine caribou herd has traditionally used the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, for calving. Availability of nutritious forage has been hypothesized as one of the reasons the Porcupine caribou herd migrates hundreds of kilometers to reach the coastal plain for calving (Kuropat and Bryant 1980, Russell et al. 1993).Forage quantity and quality and the chronology of snowmelt (which determines availability and phenological stages of forage) have been suggested as important habitat attributes that lead calving caribou to select one area over another (Lent 1980, White and Trudell 1980, Eastland et al. 1989). A major question when considering the impact of petroleum development is whether potential displacement of the caribou from the 1002 Area to alternate calving habitat will limit access to high quantity and quality forage.Our study had the following objectives: 1) quantify snowmelt patterns by area; 2) quantify relationships among phenology, biomass, and nutrient content of principal forage species by vegetation type; and 3) determine if traditional concentrated calving areas differ from adjacent areas with lower calving densities in terms of vegetation characteristics.

  14. 3-dimensional examination of the adult mouse subventricular zone reveals lineage-specific microdomains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azim, Kasum; Fiorelli, Roberto; Zweifel, Stefan; Hurtado-Chong, Anahi; Yoshikawa, Kazuaki; Slomianka, Lutz; Raineteau, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle is populated by heterogeneous populations of stem and progenitor cells that, depending on their exact location, are biased to acquire specific neuronal fates. This newly described heterogeneity of SVZ stem and progenitor cells underlines the necessity to develop methods for the accurate quantification of SVZ stem and progenitor subpopulations. In this study, we provide 3-dimensional topographical maps of slow cycling "stem" cells and progenitors based on their unique cell cycle properties. These maps revealed that both cell populations are present throughout the lateral ventricle wall as well as in discrete regions of the dorsal wall. Immunodetection of transcription factors expressed in defined progenitor populations further reveals that divergent lineages have clear regional enrichments in the rostro-caudal as well as in the dorso-ventral span of the lateral ventricle. Thus, progenitors expressing Tbr2 and Dlx2 were confined to dorsal and dorso-lateral regions of the lateral ventricle, respectively, while Mash1+ progenitors were more homogeneously distributed. All cell populations were enriched in the rostral-most region of the lateral ventricle. This diversity and uneven distribution greatly impede the accurate quantification of SVZ progenitor populations. This is illustrated by measuring the coefficient of error of estimates obtained by using increasing section sampling interval. Based on our empirical data, we provide such estimates for all progenitor populations investigated in this study. These can be used in future studies as guidelines to judge if the precision obtained with a sampling scheme is sufficient to detect statistically significant differences between experimental groups if a biological effect is present. Altogether, our study underlines the need to consider the SVZ of the lateral ventricle as a complex 3D structure and define methods to accurately assess neural

  15. 3-dimensional examination of the adult mouse subventricular zone reveals lineage-specific microdomains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasum Azim

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggest that the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle is populated by heterogeneous populations of stem and progenitor cells that, depending on their exact location, are biased to acquire specific neuronal fates. This newly described heterogeneity of SVZ stem and progenitor cells underlines the necessity to develop methods for the accurate quantification of SVZ stem and progenitor subpopulations. In this study, we provide 3-dimensional topographical maps of slow cycling "stem" cells and progenitors based on their unique cell cycle properties. These maps revealed that both cell populations are present throughout the lateral ventricle wall as well as in discrete regions of the dorsal wall. Immunodetection of transcription factors expressed in defined progenitor populations further reveals that divergent lineages have clear regional enrichments in the rostro-caudal as well as in the dorso-ventral span of the lateral ventricle. Thus, progenitors expressing Tbr2 and Dlx2 were confined to dorsal and dorso-lateral regions of the lateral ventricle, respectively, while Mash1+ progenitors were more homogeneously distributed. All cell populations were enriched in the rostral-most region of the lateral ventricle. This diversity and uneven distribution greatly impede the accurate quantification of SVZ progenitor populations. This is illustrated by measuring the coefficient of error of estimates obtained by using increasing section sampling interval. Based on our empirical data, we provide such estimates for all progenitor populations investigated in this study. These can be used in future studies as guidelines to judge if the precision obtained with a sampling scheme is sufficient to detect statistically significant differences between experimental groups if a biological effect is present. Altogether, our study underlines the need to consider the SVZ of the lateral ventricle as a complex 3D structure and define methods to

  16. Cooperative Bacterial Foraging Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanning Chen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO is a novel optimization algorithm based on the social foraging behavior of E. coli bacteria. This paper presents a variation on the original BFO algorithm, namely, the Cooperative Bacterial Foraging Optimization (CBFO, which significantly improve the original BFO in solving complex optimization problems. This significant improvement is achieved by applying two cooperative approaches to the original BFO, namely, the serial heterogeneous cooperation on the implicit space decomposition level and the serial heterogeneous cooperation on the hybrid space decomposition level. The experiments compare the performance of two CBFO variants with the original BFO, the standard PSO and a real-coded GA on four widely used benchmark functions. The new method shows a marked improvement in performance over the original BFO and appears to be comparable with the PSO and GA.

  17. Nonlinear responses within the medial prefrontal cortex reveal when specific implicit information influences economic decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppe, Michael; Schwindt, Wolfram; Kugel, Harald; Plassmann, Hilke; Kenning, Peter

    2005-04-01

    The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how individual economic decisions are influenced by implicit memory contributions. Twenty-two participants were asked to make binary decisions between different brands of sensorily nearly undistinguishable consumer goods. Changes of brain activity comparing decisions in the presence or absence of a specific target brand were detected by fMRI. Only when the tar get brand was the participant's favorite one did the authors find reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices and the left premotor area (Brodmann areas [BA] 9, 46, 7/19, and 6). Simultaneously, activity was increased in the inferior precuneus and posterior cingulate (BA 7), right superior frontal gyrus (BA 10), right supramarginal gyrus (BA 40), and, most pronounced, in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (BA 10). For products mainly distinguishable by brand information, the authors revealed a nonlinear winner-take-all effect for a participant's favorite brand characterized, on one hand, by reduced activation in brain areas associated with working memory and reasoning and, on the other hand, increased activation in areas involved in processing of emotions and self-reflections during decision making.

  18. Endometrial natural killer (NK) cells reveal a tissue-specific receptor repertoire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feyaerts, D; Kuret, T; van Cranenbroek, B; van der Zeeuw-Hingrez, S; van der Heijden, O W H; van der Meer, A; Joosten, I; van der Molen, R G

    2018-02-13

    Is the natural killer (NK) cell receptor repertoire of endometrial NK (eNK) cells tissue-specific? The NK cell receptor (NKR) expression profile in pre-pregnancy endometrium appears to have a unique tissue-specific phenotype, different from that found in NK cells in peripheral blood, suggesting that these cells are finely tuned towards the reception of an allogeneic fetus. NK cells are important for successful pregnancy. After implantation, NK cells encounter extravillous trophoblast cells and regulate trophoblast invasion. NK cell activity is amongst others regulated by C-type lectin heterodimer (CD94/NKG2) and killer cell immunoglobulin-like (KIR) receptors. KIR expression on decidual NK cells is affected by the presence of maternal HLA-C and biased towards KIR2D expression. However, little is known about NKR expression on eNK cells prior to pregnancy. In this study, matched peripheral and menstrual blood (a source of endometrial cells) was obtained from 25 healthy females with regular menstrual cycles. Menstrual blood was collected during the first 36 h of menstruation using a menstrual cup, a non-invasive technique to obtain endometrial cells. KIR and NKG2 receptor expression on eNK cells was characterized by 10-color flow cytometry, and compared to matched pbNK cells of the same female. KIR and HLA-C genotypes were determined by PCR-SSOP techniques. Anti-CMV IgG antibodies in plasma were measured by chemiluminescence immunoassay. KIR expression patterns of eNK cells collected from the same female do not differ over consecutive menstrual cycles. The percentage of NK cells expressing KIR2DL2/L3/S2, KIR2DL3, KIR2DL1, LILRB1 and/or NKG2A was significantly higher in eNK cells compared to pbNK cells, while no significant difference was observed for NKG2C, KIR2DL1/S1, and KIR3DL1. The NKR repertoire of eNK cells was clearly different from pbNK cells, with eNK cells co-expressing more than three NKR simultaneously. In addition, outlier analysis revealed 8 and 15 NKR

  19. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    James E. Garabedian; Christopher E. Moorman; M. Nils Peterson; John C. Kilgo

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides...

  20. New Developments in Forage Varieties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forage crops harvested for hay or haylage or grazed support dairy, beef, sheep and horse production. Additional livestock production from reduced forage acreage supports the need for forage variety improvement. The Consortium for Alfalfa Improvement is a partnership model of government, private no...

  1. Optimal Foraging in Semantic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, Thomas T.; Jones, Michael N.; Todd, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    Do humans search in memory using dynamic local-to-global search strategies similar to those that animals use to forage between patches in space? If so, do their dynamic memory search policies correspond to optimal foraging strategies seen for spatial foraging? Results from a number of fields suggest these possibilities, including the shared…

  2. Project CONVERGE: Impacts of local oceanographic processes on Adélie penguin foraging ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohut, J. T.; Bernard, K. S.; Fraser, W.; Oliver, M. J.; Statscewich, H.; Patterson-Fraser, D.; Winsor, P.; Cimino, M. A.; Miles, T. N.

    2016-02-01

    During the austral summer of 2014-2015, project CONVERGE deployed a multi-platform network to sample the Adélie penguin foraging hotspot associated with Palmer Deep Canyon along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The focus of CONVERGE was to assess the impact of prey-concentrating ocean circulation dynamics on Adélie penguin foraging behavior. Food web links between phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance and penguin behavior were examined to better understand the within-season variability in Adélie foraging ecology. Since the High Frequency Radar (HFR) network installation in November 2014, the radial component current data from each of the three sites were combined to provide a high resolution (0.5 km) surface velocity maps. These hourly maps have revealed an incredibly dynamic system with strong fronts and frequent eddies extending across the Palmer Deep foraging area. A coordinated fleet of underwater gliders were used in concert with the HFR fields to sample the hydrography and phytoplankton distributions associated with convergent and divergent features. Three gliders mapped the along and across canyon variability of the hydrography, chlorophyll fluorescence and acoustic backscatter in the context of the observed surface currents and simultaneous penguin tracks. This presentation will highlight these synchronized measures of the food web in the context of the observed HFR fronts and eddies. The location and persistence of these features coupled with ecological sampling through the food web offer an unprecedented view of the Palmer Deep ecosystem. Specific examples will highlight how the vertical structure of the water column beneath the surface features stack the primary and secondary producers relative to observed penguin foraging behavior. The coupling from the physics through the food web as observed by our multi-platform network gives strong evidence for the critical role that distribution patterns of lower trophic levels have on Adélie foraging.

  3. Information Foraging in E-Voting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vatrapu, Ravi; Robertson, Scott

    2009-01-01

    with others. Interaction analysis of the case study data consisted of applying Information Foraging Theory to understand participant specific behaviors in searching and browsing. Case study results show skewed time allocation to activities, a tradeoff between enrichment vs. exploitation of search results...

  4. Different levels of food restriction reveal genotype-specific differences in learning a visual discrimination task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalina Makowiecki

    Full Text Available In behavioural experiments, motivation to learn can be achieved using food rewards as positive reinforcement in food-restricted animals. Previous studies reduce animal weights to 80-90% of free-feeding body weight as the criterion for food restriction. However, effects of different degrees of food restriction on task performance have not been assessed. We compared learning task performance in mice food-restricted to 80 or 90% body weight (BW. We used adult wildtype (WT; C57Bl/6j and knockout (ephrin-A2⁻/⁻ mice, previously shown to have a reverse learning deficit. Mice were trained in a two-choice visual discrimination task with food reward as positive reinforcement. When mice reached criterion for one visual stimulus (80% correct in three consecutive 10 trial sets they began the reverse learning phase, where the rewarded stimulus was switched to the previously incorrect stimulus. For the initial learning and reverse phase of the task, mice at 90%BW took almost twice as many trials to reach criterion as mice at 80%BW. Furthermore, WT 80 and 90%BW groups significantly differed in percentage correct responses and learning strategy in the reverse learning phase, whereas no differences between weight restriction groups were observed in ephrin-A2⁻/⁻ mice. Most importantly, genotype-specific differences in reverse learning strategy were only detected in the 80%BW groups. Our results indicate that increased food restriction not only results in better performance and a shorter training period, but may also be necessary for revealing behavioural differences between experimental groups. This has important ethical and animal welfare implications when deciding extent of diet restriction in behavioural studies.

  5. Brain-to-brain hyperclassification reveals action-specific motor mapping of observed actions in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, Dmitry; Lachat, Fanny; Peltola, Tomi; Lahnakoski, Juha M; Koistinen, Olli-Pekka; Glerean, Enrico; Vehtari, Aki; Hari, Riitta; Sams, Mikko; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2017-01-01

    Seeing an action may activate the corresponding action motor code in the observer. It remains unresolved whether seeing and performing an action activates similar action-specific motor codes in the observer and the actor. We used novel hyperclassification approach to reveal shared brain activation signatures of action execution and observation in interacting human subjects. In the first experiment, two "actors" performed four types of hand actions while their haemodynamic brain activations were measured with 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The actions were videotaped and shown to 15 "observers" during a second fMRI experiment. Eleven observers saw the videos of one actor, and the remaining four observers saw the videos of the other actor. In a control fMRI experiment, one of the actors performed actions with closed eyes, and five new observers viewed these actions. Bayesian canonical correlation analysis was applied to functionally realign observers' and actors' fMRI data. Hyperclassification of the seen actions was performed with Bayesian logistic regression trained on actors' data and tested with observers' data. Without the functional realignment, between-subjects accuracy was at chance level. With the realignment, the accuracy increased on average by 15 percentage points, exceeding both the chance level and the accuracy without functional realignment. The highest accuracies were observed in occipital, parietal and premotor cortices. Hyperclassification exceeded chance level also when the actor did not see her own actions. We conclude that the functional brain activation signatures underlying action execution and observation are partly shared, yet these activation signatures may be anatomically misaligned across individuals.

  6. Mutation of Growth Arrest Specific 8 Reveals a Role in Motile Cilia Function and Human Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Wesley R; Malarkey, Erik B; Tritschler, Douglas; Bower, Raqual; Pasek, Raymond C; Porath, Jonathan D; Birket, Susan E; Saunier, Sophie; Antignac, Corinne; Knowles, Michael R; Leigh, Margaret W; Zariwala, Maimoona A; Challa, Anil K; Kesterson, Robert A; Rowe, Steven M; Drummond, Iain A; Parant, John M; Hildebrandt, Friedhelm; Porter, Mary E; Yoder, Bradley K; Berbari, Nicolas F

    2016-07-01

    Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400). While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8). GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC) protein 4 (DRC4) where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR) to generate one of these human missense variants in

  7. Mutation of Growth Arrest Specific 8 Reveals a Role in Motile Cilia Function and Human Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley R Lewis

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400. While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8. GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC protein 4 (DRC4 where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR to generate one of these human missense

  8. Reverse Conservation Analysis Reveals the Specificity Determining Residues of Cytochrome P450 Family 2 (CYP 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai-Sung Lee

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The concept of conservation of amino acids is widely used to identify important alignment positions of orthologs. The assumption is that important amino acid residues will be conserved in the protein family during the evolutionary process. For paralog alignment, on the other hand, the opposite concept can be used to identify residues that are responsible for specificity. Assuming that the function-specific or ligand-specific residue positions will have higher diversity since they are under evolutionary pressure to fit the target specificity, these function-specific or ligand-specific residues positions will have a lower degree of conservation than other positions in a highly conserved paralog alignment. This study assessed the ability of reverse conservation analysis to identify function-specific and ligand-specific residue positions in closely related paralog. Reverse conservation analysis of paralog alignments successfully identified all six previously reported substrate recognition sites (SRSs in cytochrome P450 family 2 (CYP 2. Further analysis of each subfamily identified the specificity-determining residues (SDRs that have been experimentally found. New potential SDRs were also predicted and await confirmation by further experiments or modeling calculations. This concept may be also applied to identify SDRs in other protein families.

  9. Concordance of gene expression in human protein complexes reveals tissue specificity and pathology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Börnigen, Daniela; Pers, Tune Hannes; Thorrez, Lieven

    2013-01-01

    Disease-causing variants in human genes usually lead to phenotypes specific to only a few tissues. Here, we present a method for predicting tissue specificity based on quantitative deregulation of protein complexes. The underlying assumption is that the degree of coordinated expression among prot...

  10. Comparative transcriptomics reveal host-specific nucleotide variation in entomophthoralean fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    of toxins that interfere with the host immune response. Phylogenetic comparison with the nonobligate generalist insect-pathogenic fungus Conidiobolus coronatus revealed a gene-family expansion of trehalase enzymes in E. muscae. The main sugar in insect haemolymph is trehalose, and efficient sugar...

  11. Does foraging behaviour affect female mate preferences and pair formation in captive zebra finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeltje J Boogert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.

  12. Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jalali, A R; Nørgaard, P; Nielsen, M O

    2010-01-01

    Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage......Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage...

  13. Substrate specificity changes for human reticulocyte and epithelial 15-lipoxygenases reveal allosteric product regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wecksler, Aaron T; Kenyon, Victor; Deschamps, Joshua D; Holman, Theodore R

    2008-07-15

    Human reticulocyte 15-lipoxygenase (15-hLO-1) and epithelial 15-lipoxygenase (15-hLO-2) have been implicated in a number of human diseases, with differences in their substrate specificity potentially playing a central role. In this paper, we present a novel method for accurately measuring the substrate specificity of the two 15-hLO isozymes and demonstrate that both cholate and specific LO products affect substrate specificity. The linoleic acid (LA) product, 13-hydroperoxyoctadienoic acid (13-HPODE), changes the ( k cat/ K m) (AA)/( k cat/ K m) (LA) ratio more than 5-fold for 15-hLO-1 and 3-fold for 15-hLO-2, while the arachidonic acid (AA) product, 12-( S)-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HPETE), affects only the ratio of 15-hLO-1 (more than 5-fold). In addition, the reduced products, 13-( S)-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-HODE) and 12-( S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE), also affect substrate specificity, indicating that iron oxidation is not responsible for the change in the ( k cat/ K m) (AA)/( k cat/ K m) (LA) ratio. These results, coupled with the dependence of the 15-hLO-1 k cat/ K m kinetic isotope effect ( (D) k cat/ K m) on the presence of 12-HPETE and 12-HETE, indicate that the allosteric site, previously identified in 15-hLO-1 [Mogul, R., Johansen, E., and Holman, T. R. (1999) Biochemistry 39, 4801-4807], is responsible for the change in substrate specificity. The ability of LO products to regulate substrate specificity may be relevant with respect to cancer progression and warrants further investigation into the role of this product-feedback loop in the cell.

  14. Transcriptional decomposition reveals active chromatin architectures and cell specific regulatory interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rennie, Sarah; Dalby, Maria; van Duin, Lucas

    2018-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is tightly coupled with chromosomal positioning and three-dimensional chromatin architecture. However, it is unclear what proportion of transcriptional activity is reflecting such organisation, how much can be informed by RNA expression alone and how this impacts disease...... proportion of total levels and is highly informative of topological associating domain activities and organisation, revealing boundaries and chromatin compartments. Furthermore, expression data alone accurately predict individual enhancer-promoter interactions, drawing features from expression strength...... between transcription and chromatin architecture....

  15. Interaction studies reveal specific recognition of an anti-inflammatory polyphosphorhydrazone dendrimer by human monocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledall, Jérémy; Fruchon, Séverine; Garzoni, Matteo; Pavan, Giovanni M; Caminade, Anne-Marie; Turrin, Cédric-Olivier; Blanzat, Muriel; Poupot, Rémy

    2015-11-14

    Dendrimers are nano-materials with perfectly defined structure and size, and multivalency properties that confer substantial advantages for biomedical applications. Previous work has shown that phosphorus-based polyphosphorhydrazone (PPH) dendrimers capped with azabisphosphonate (ABP) end groups have immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties leading to efficient therapeutic control of inflammatory diseases in animal models. These properties are mainly prompted through activation of monocytes. Here, we disclose new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory activation of human monocytes by ABP-capped PPH dendrimers. Following an interdisciplinary approach, we have characterized the physicochemical and biological behavior of the lead ABP dendrimer with model and cell membranes, and compared this experimental set of data to predictive computational modelling studies. The behavior of the ABP dendrimer was compared to the one of an isosteric analog dendrimer capped with twelve azabiscarboxylate (ABC) end groups instead of twelve ABP end groups. The ABC dendrimer displayed no biological activity on human monocytes, therefore it was considered as a negative control. In detail, we show that the ABP dendrimer can bind both non-specifically and specifically to the membrane of human monocytes. The specific binding leads to the internalization of the ABP dendrimer by human monocytes. On the contrary, the ABC dendrimer only interacts non-specifically with human monocytes and is not internalized. These data indicate that the bioactive ABP dendrimer is recognized by specific receptor(s) at the surface of human monocytes.

  16. Analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence reveals stage specific patterns of chloroplast-containing cells during Arabidopsis embryogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RICARDO I TEJOS

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The basic body plan of a plant is established early in embryogenesis when cells differentiate, giving rise to the apical and basal regions of the embryo. Using chlorophyll fluorescence as a marker for chloroplasts, we have detected specific patterns of chloroplast-containing cells at specific stages of embryogenesis. Non-randomly distributed chloroplast-containing cells are seen as early as the globular stage of embryogenesis in Arabidopsis. In the heart stage of embryogenesis, chloroplast containing cells are detected in epidermal cells as well as a central region of the heart stage embryo, forming a triangular septum of chloroplast-containing cells that divides the embryo into three equal sectors. Torpedo stage embryos have chloroplast-containing epidermal cells and a central band of chloroplast-containing cells in the cortex layer, just below the shoot apical meristem. In the walking-stick stage of embryogenesis, chloroplasts are present in the epidermal, cortex and endodermal cells. The chloroplasts appear reduced or absent from the provascular and columella cells of walking-stick stage embryos. These results suggest that there is a tight regulation of plastid differentiation during embryogenesis that generates specific patterns of chloroplast-containing cells in specific cell layers at specific stages of embryogenesis.

  17. Molecular Subtyping of Primary Prostate Cancer Reveals Specific and Shared Target Genes of Different ETS Rearrangements

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    Paula Paulo

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to evaluate whether ETS transcription factors frequently involved in rearrangements in prostate carcinomas (PCa, namely ERG and ETV1, regulate specific or shared target genes. We performed differential expression analysis on nine normal prostate tissues and 50 PCa enriched for different ETS rearrangements using exon-level expression microarrays, followed by in vitro validation using cell line models. We found specific deregulation of 57 genes in ERG-positive PCa and 15 genes in ETV1-positive PCa, whereas deregulation of 27 genes was shared in both tumor subtypes. We further showed that the expression of seven tumor-associated ERG target genes (PLA1A, CACNA1D, ATP8A2, HLA-DMB, PDE3B, TDRD1, and TMBIM1 and two tumor-associated ETV1 target genes (FKBP10 and GLYATL2 was significantly affected by specific ETS silencing in VCaP and LNCaP cell line models, respectively, whereas the expression of three candidate ERG and ETV1 shared targets (GRPR, KCNH8, and TMEM45B was significantly affected by silencing of either ETS. Interestingly, we demonstrate that the expression of TDRD1, the topmost overexpressed gene of our list of ERG-specific candidate targets, is inversely correlated with the methylation levels of a CpG island found at -66 bp of the transcription start site in PCa and that TDRD1 expression is regulated by direct binding of ERG to the CpG island in VCaP cells. We conclude that ETS transcription factors regulate specific and shared target genes and that TDRD1, FKBP10, and GRPR are promising therapeutic targets and can serve as diagnostic markers for molecular subtypes of PCa harboring specific fusion gene rearrangements.

  18. Bacterial Preferences for Specific Soil Particle Size Fractions Revealed by Community Analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemkemeyer, Michael; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup

    2018-01-01

    Genetic fingerprinting demonstrated in previous studies that differently sized soil particle fractions (PSFs; clay, silt, and sand with particulate organic matter (POM)) harbor microbial communities that differ in structure, functional potentials and sensitivity to environmental conditions....... To elucidate whether specific bacterial or archaeal taxa exhibit preference for specific PSFs, we examined the diversity of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes by high-throughput sequencing using total DNA extracted from three long-term fertilization variants (unfertilized, fertilized with minerals, and fertilized...

  19. Somatic sex-specific transcriptome differences in Drosophila revealed by whole transcriptome sequencing

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    Arbeitman Michelle N

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding animal development and physiology at a molecular-biological level has been advanced by the ability to determine at high resolution the repertoire of mRNA molecules by whole transcriptome resequencing. This includes the ability to detect and quantify rare abundance transcripts and isoform-specific mRNA variants produced from a gene. The sex hierarchy consists of a pre-mRNA splicing cascade that directs the production of sex-specific transcription factors that specify nearly all sexual dimorphism. We have used deep RNA sequencing to gain insight into how the Drosophila sex hierarchy generates somatic sex differences, by examining gene and transcript isoform expression differences between the sexes in adult head tissues. Results Here we find 1,381 genes that differ in overall expression levels and 1,370 isoform-specific transcripts that differ between males and females. Additionally, we find 512 genes not regulated downstream of transformer that are significantly more highly expressed in males than females. These 512 genes are enriched on the × chromosome and reside adjacent to dosage compensation complex entry sites, which taken together suggests that their residence on the × chromosome might be sufficient to confer male-biased expression. There are no transcription unit structural features, from a set of features, that are robustly significantly different in the genes with significant sex differences in the ratio of isoform-specific transcripts, as compared to random isoform-specific transcripts, suggesting that there is no single molecular mechanism that generates isoform-specific transcript differences between the sexes, even though the sex hierarchy is known to include three pre-mRNA splicing factors. Conclusions We identify thousands of genes that show sex-specific differences in overall gene expression levels, and identify hundreds of additional genes that have differences in the abundance of isoform-specific

  20. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause’ law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist. PMID:28253284

  1. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae.

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    Mohammad Saiful Mansor

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  2. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  3. Discovery of novel isoforms of huntingtin reveals a new hominid-specific exon.

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    Albert Ruzo

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a devastating neurological disorder that is caused by an expansion of the poly-Q tract in exon 1 of the Huntingtin gene (HTT. HTT is an evolutionarily conserved and ubiquitously expressed protein that has been linked to a variety of functions including transcriptional regulation, mitochondrial function, and vesicle transport. This large protein has numerous caspase and calpain cleavage sites and can be decorated with several post-translational modifications such as phosphorylations, acetylations, sumoylations, and palmitoylations. However, the exact function of HTT and the role played by its modifications in the cell are still not well understood. Scrutiny of HTT function has been focused on a single, full length mRNA. In this study, we report the discovery of 5 novel HTT mRNA splice isoforms that are expressed in normal and HTT-expanded human embryonic stem cell (hESC lines as well as in cortical neurons differentiated from hESCs. Interestingly, none of the novel isoforms generates a truncated protein. Instead, 4 of the 5 new isoforms specifically eliminate domains and modifications to generate smaller HTT proteins. The fifth novel isoform incorporates a previously unreported additional exon, dubbed 41b, which is hominid-specific and introduces a potential phosphorylation site in the protein. The discovery of this hominid-specific isoform may shed light on human-specific pathogenic mechanisms of HTT, which could not be investigated with current mouse models of the disease.

  4. Discovery of Novel Isoforms of Huntingtin Reveals a New Hominid-Specific Exon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popowski, Melissa; Haremaki, Tomomi; Croft, Gist F.; Deglincerti, Alessia; Brivanlou, Ali H.

    2015-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating neurological disorder that is caused by an expansion of the poly-Q tract in exon 1 of the Huntingtin gene (HTT). HTT is an evolutionarily conserved and ubiquitously expressed protein that has been linked to a variety of functions including transcriptional regulation, mitochondrial function, and vesicle transport. This large protein has numerous caspase and calpain cleavage sites and can be decorated with several post-translational modifications such as phosphorylations, acetylations, sumoylations, and palmitoylations. However, the exact function of HTT and the role played by its modifications in the cell are still not well understood. Scrutiny of HTT function has been focused on a single, full length mRNA. In this study, we report the discovery of 5 novel HTT mRNA splice isoforms that are expressed in normal and HTT-expanded human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines as well as in cortical neurons differentiated from hESCs. Interestingly, none of the novel isoforms generates a truncated protein. Instead, 4 of the 5 new isoforms specifically eliminate domains and modifications to generate smaller HTT proteins. The fifth novel isoform incorporates a previously unreported additional exon, dubbed 41b, which is hominid-specific and introduces a potential phosphorylation site in the protein. The discovery of this hominid-specific isoform may shed light on human-specific pathogenic mechanisms of HTT, which could not be investigated with current mouse models of the disease. PMID:26010866

  5. Understanding Conservation Delays in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Task Representations Revealed in Speech and Gesture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainela-Arnold, Elina; Evans, Julia L.; Alibali, Martha W.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The authors investigated mental representations of Piagetian conservation tasks in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing peers. Children with SLI have normal nonverbal intelligence; however, they exhibit difficulties in Piagetian conservation tasks. The authors tested the hypothesis that conservation…

  6. Bacterial Preferences for Specific Soil Particle Size Fractions Revealed by Community Analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemkemeyer, Michael; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup

    2018-01-01

    , while Gemmatimonadales preferred coarse silt, Actinobacteria and Nitrosospira fine silt, and Planctomycetales clay. Firmicutes were depleted in the sand-sized fraction. In contrast, archaea, which represented 0.8% of all 16S rRNA gene sequences, showed only little preference for specific PSFs. We...

  7. Hybrid value foraging: How the value of targets shapes human foraging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Jeremy M; Cain, Matthew S; Alaoui-Soce, Abla

    2018-04-01

    In hybrid foraging, observers search visual displays for multiple instances of multiple target types. In previous hybrid foraging experiments, although there were multiple types of target, all instances of all targets had the same value. Under such conditions, behavior was well described by the marginal value theorem (MVT). Foragers left the current "patch" for the next patch when the instantaneous rate of collection dropped below their average rate of collection. An observer's specific target selections were shaped by previous target selections. Observers were biased toward picking another instance of the same target. In the present work, observers forage for instances of four target types whose value and prevalence can vary. If value is kept constant and prevalence manipulated, participants consistently show a preference for the most common targets. Patch-leaving behavior follows MVT. When value is manipulated, observers favor more valuable targets, though individual foraging strategies become more diverse, with some observers favoring the most valuable target types very strongly, sometimes moving to the next patch without collecting any of the less valuable targets.

  8. Five decades on: Use of historical weaning size data reveals that a decrease in maternal foraging success underpins the long-term decline in population of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina.

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    Ella Clausius

    Full Text Available The population of Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina at Macquarie Island has declined since the 1960s, and is thought to be due to changing oceanic conditions leading to reductions in the foraging success of Macquarie Island breeding females. To test this hypothesis, we used a 55-year-old data set on weaning size of southern elephant seals to quantify a decrease in weaning size from a period of population stability in 1950s to its present state of on-going decline. Being capital breeders, the size of elephant seal pups at weaning is a direct consequence of maternal foraging success in the preceding year. During the 1940-1950s, the mean of female pups at weaning was similar between the Heard and Macquarie Island populations, while the snout-tail-length length of male weaners from Heard Island were longer than their conspecifics at Macquarie Island. Additionally, the snout-tail-length of pups at weaning decreased by 3cm between the 1950s and 1990s in the Macquarie Island population, concurrent with the observed population decline. Given the importance of weaning size in determining first-year survival and recruitment rates, the decline in the size at weaning suggests that the decline in the Macquarie Island population has, to some extent, been driven by reduced maternal foraging success, consequent declines in the size of pups at weaning, leading to reduced first-year survival rates and recruitment of breeding females into the population 3 to 4 years later.

  9. Synthesis of Isomeric Phosphoubiquitin Chains Reveals that Phosphorylation Controls Deubiquitinase Activity and Specificity

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    Nicolas Huguenin-Dezot

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ubiquitin is post-translationally modified by phosphorylation at several sites, but the consequences of these modifications are largely unknown. Here, we synthesize multi-milligram quantities of ubiquitin phosphorylated at serine 20, serine 57, and serine 65 via genetic code expansion. We use these phosphoubiquitins for the enzymatic assembly of 20 isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers, with different sites of isopeptide linkage and/or phosphorylation. We discover that phosphorylation of serine 20 on ubiquitin converts UBE3C from a dual-specificity E3 ligase into a ligase that primarily synthesizes K48 chains. We profile the activity of 31 deubiquitinases on the isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers in 837 reactions, and we discover that phosphorylation at distinct sites in ubiquitin can activate or repress cleavage of a particular linkage by deubiquitinases and that phosphorylation at a single site in ubiquitin can control the specificity of deubiquitinases for distinct ubiquitin linkages.

  10. Constrained dansyl derivatives reveal bacterial specificity of highly conserved thymidylate synthases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calò, Sanuele; Tondi, Donatella; Ferrari, Stefania; Venturelli, Alberto; Ghelli, Stefano; Costi, Maria Paola

    2008-03-25

    The elucidation of the structural/functional specificities of highly conserved enzymes remains a challenging area of investigation, and enzymes involved in cellular replication are important targets for functional studies and drug discovery. Thymidylate synthase (TS, ThyA) governs the synthesis of thymidylate for use in DNA synthesis. The present study focused on Lactobacillus casei TS (LcTS) and Escherichia coli TS (EcTS), which exhibit 50 % sequence identity and strong folding similarity. We have successfully designed and validated a chemical model in which linear, but not constrained, dansyl derivatives specifically complement the LcTS active site. Conversely, chemically constrained dansyl derivatives showed up to 1000-fold improved affinity for EcTS relative to the inhibitory activity of linear derivatives. This study demonstrates that the accurate design of small ligands can uncover functional features of highly conserved enzymes.

  11. Communication: High pressure specific heat spectroscopy reveals simple relaxation behavior of glass forming molecular liquid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roed, Lisa Anita; Niss, Kristine; Jakobsen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    The frequency dependent specific heat has been measured under pressure for the molecular glass forming liquid 5-polyphenyl-4-ether in the viscous regime close to the glass transition. The temperature and pressure dependences of the characteristic time scale associated with the specific heat...... is compared to the equivalent time scale from dielectric spectroscopy performed under identical conditions. It is shown that the ratio between the two time scales is independent of both temperature and pressure. This observation is non-trivial and demonstrates the existence of specially simple molecular...... liquids in which different physical relaxation processes are both as function of temperature and pressure/density governed by the same underlying “inner clock.” Furthermore, the results are discussed in terms of the recent conjecture that van der Waals liquids, like the measuredliquid, comply...

  12. forage systems mixed with forage legumes grazed by lactating cows

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    Clair Jorge Olivo

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Current research evaluates productivity, stocking and nutritional rates of three forage systems with Elephant Grass (EG + Italian Ryegrass (IR + Spontaneous Growth Species (SGS, without forage legumes; EG + IR + SGS + Forage Peanut (FP, mixed with FP; and EG + IR + SGS + Red Clover (RC, mixed with RC, in rotational grazing method by lactating cows. IR developed between rows of EG. FP was maintained, whilst RC was sow to respective forage systems. The experimental design was completely randomized, with three treatments and two replication, subdivided into parcels over time. Mean rate for forage yield and average stocking rate were 10.6, 11.6 and 14.4 t ha-1; 3.0, 2.8 and 3.1 animal unit ha-1 day-1, for the respective systems. Levels of crude protein and total digestible nutrients were 17.8, 18.7 and 17.5%; 66.5, 66.8 and 64.8%, for the respective forage systems. The presence of RC results in better and higher forage yield in the mixture, whilst FP results in greater control of SGS. The inclusion of forage legumes in pasture systems provides better nutritional rates.

  13. Revealing context-specific conditioned fear memories with full immersion virtual reality

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    Nicole eHuff

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is known to be context specific, and often referred to as more robustly contextually bound than the fear memory itself (Bouton, 2004. Yet, recent findings in rodents have challenged the notion that contextual fear retention is initially generalized. The context specificity of a cued-fear memory to the learning context has not been addressed in the human literature largely due to limitations in methodology. Here we adapt a novel technology to test the context specificity of cued fear conditioning using full immersion 3-dimensional virtual reality (VR. During acquisition training, healthy participants navigated through virtual environments containing dynamic snake and spider conditioned stimuli (CSs, one of which was paired with electrical wrist stimulation. During a 24-hour delayed retention test, one group returned to the same context as acquisition training whereas another group experienced the CSs in a novel context. Unconditioned stimulus (US expectancy ratings were assayed on-line during fear acquisition as an index of contingency awareness. Skin conductance responses (SCR time-locked to CS onset were the dependent measure of cued fear, and skin conductance levels during the interstimulus interval were an index of context fear. Findings indicate that early in acquisition training, participants express contingency awareness as well as differential contextual fear, whereas differential cued fear emerged later in acquisition. During the retention test, differential cued fear retention was enhanced in the group who returned to the same context as acquisition training relative to the context shift group. The results extend recent rodent work to illustrate differences in cued and context fear acquisition and the contextual specificity of recent fear memories. Findings support the use of full immersion VR as a novel tool in cognitive neuroscience to bridge rodent models of contextual phenomena underlying human

  14. Specific gene expression responses to parasite genotypes reveal redundancy of innate immunity in vertebrates.

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    David Haase

    Full Text Available Vertebrate innate immunity is the first line of defense against an invading pathogen and has long been assumed to be largely unspecific with respect to parasite/pathogen species. However, recent phenotypic evidence suggests that immunogenetic variation, i.e. allelic variability in genes associated with the immune system, results in host-parasite genotype-by-genotype interactions and thus specific innate immune responses. Immunogenetic variation is common in all vertebrate taxa and this reflects an effective immunological function in complex environments. However, the underlying variability in host gene expression patterns as response of innate immunity to within-species genetic diversity of macroparasites in vertebrates is unknown. We hypothesized that intra-specific variation among parasite genotypes must be reflected in host gene expression patterns. Here we used high-throughput RNA-sequencing to examine the effect of parasite genotypes on gene expression patterns of a vertebrate host, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. By infecting naïve fish with distinct trematode genotypes of the species Diplostomum pseudospathaceum we show that gene activity of innate immunity in three-spined sticklebacks depended on the identity of an infecting macroparasite genotype. In addition to a suite of genes indicative for a general response against the trematode we also find parasite-strain specific gene expression, in particular in the complement system genes, despite similar infection rates of single clone treatments. The observed discrepancy between infection rates and gene expression indicates the presence of alternative pathways which execute similar functions. This suggests that the innate immune system can induce redundant responses specific to parasite genotypes.

  15. Cell-Specific PEAR1 Methylation Studies Reveal a Locus that Coordinates Expression of Multiple Genes

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    Benedetta Izzi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Chromosomal interactions connect distant enhancers and promoters on the same chromosome, activating or repressing gene expression. PEAR1 encodes the Platelet-Endothelial Aggregation Receptor 1, a contact receptor involved in platelet function and megakaryocyte and endothelial cell proliferation. PEAR1 expression during megakaryocyte differentiation is controlled by DNA methylation at its first CpG island. We identified a PEAR1 cell-specific methylation sensitive region in endothelial cells and megakaryocytes that showed strong chromosomal interactions with ISGL20L2, RRNAD1, MRLP24, HDGF and PRCC, using available promoter capture Hi-C datasets. These genes are involved in ribosome processing, protein synthesis, cell cycle and cell proliferation. We next studied the methylation and expression profile of these five genes in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs and megakaryocyte precursors. While cell-specific PEAR1 methylation corresponded to variability in expression for four out of five genes, no methylation change was observed in their promoter regions across cell types. Our data suggest that PEAR1 cell-type specific methylation changes may control long distance interactions with other genes. Further studies are needed to show whether such interaction data might be relevant for the genome-wide association data that showed a role for non-coding PEAR1 variants in the same region and platelet function, platelet count and cardiovascular risk.

  16. Cell-specific STORM superresolution imaging reveals nanoscale organization of cannabinoid signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Szilárd I.; Szabadits, Eszter; Pintér, Balázs; Woodhams, Stephen G.; Henstridge, Christopher M.; Balla, Gyula Y.; Nyilas, Rita; Varga, Csaba; Lee, Sang-Hun; Matolcsi, Máté; Cervenak, Judit; Kacskovics, Imre; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sagheddu, Claudia; Melis, Miriam; Pistis, Marco; Soltesz, Ivan; Katona, István

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge in neuroscience is to determine the nanoscale position and quantity of signaling molecules in a cell-type-, and subcellular compartment-specific manner. We therefore developed a novel approach combining cell-specific physiological and anatomical characterization with superresolution imaging, and studied the molecular and structural parameters shaping the physiological properties of synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mouse hippocampus. We found that axon terminals of perisomatically-projecting GABAergic interneurons possess increased CB1 receptor number, active-zone complexity, and receptor/effector ratio compared to dendritically-projecting interneurons, in agreement with higher efficiency of cannabinoid signaling at somatic versus dendritic synapses. Furthermore, chronic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol administration, which reduces cannabinoid efficacy on GABA release, evoked dramatic CB1-downregulation in a dose-dependent manner. Full receptor recovery required several weeks after cessation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment. These findings demonstrate that cell-type-specific nanoscale analysis of endogenous protein distribution is possible in brain circuits, and identify novel molecular properties controlling endocannabinoid signaling and cannabis-induced cognitive dysfunction. PMID:25485758

  17. Cell-specific STORM super-resolution imaging reveals nanoscale organization of cannabinoid signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudok, Barna; Barna, László; Ledri, Marco; Szabó, Szilárd I; Szabadits, Eszter; Pintér, Balázs; Woodhams, Stephen G; Henstridge, Christopher M; Balla, Gyula Y; Nyilas, Rita; Varga, Csaba; Lee, Sang-Hun; Matolcsi, Máté; Cervenak, Judit; Kacskovics, Imre; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sagheddu, Claudia; Melis, Miriam; Pistis, Marco; Soltesz, Ivan; Katona, István

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge in neuroscience is to determine the nanoscale position and quantity of signaling molecules in a cell type- and subcellular compartment-specific manner. We developed a new approach to this problem by combining cell-specific physiological and anatomical characterization with super-resolution imaging and studied the molecular and structural parameters shaping the physiological properties of synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mouse hippocampus. We found that axon terminals of perisomatically projecting GABAergic interneurons possessed increased CB1 receptor number, active-zone complexity and receptor/effector ratio compared with dendritically projecting interneurons, consistent with higher efficiency of cannabinoid signaling at somatic versus dendritic synapses. Furthermore, chronic Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol administration, which reduces cannabinoid efficacy on GABA release, evoked marked CB1 downregulation in a dose-dependent manner. Full receptor recovery required several weeks after the cessation of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment. These findings indicate that cell type-specific nanoscale analysis of endogenous protein distribution is possible in brain circuits and identify previously unknown molecular properties controlling endocannabinoid signaling and cannabis-induced cognitive dysfunction.

  18. Compartment-Specific Biosensors Reveal a Complementary Subcellular Distribution of Bioactive Furin and PC7

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    Pierpaolo Ginefra

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Furin trafficking, and that of related proprotein convertases (PCs, may regulate which substrates are accessible for endoproteolysis, but tools to directly test this hypothesis have been lacking. Here, we develop targeted biosensors that indicate Furin activity in endosomes is 10-fold less inhibited by decanoyl-RVKR-chloromethylketone and enriched >3-fold in endosomes compared to the trans-Golgi network (TGN. Endogenous PC7, which resists this inhibitor, was active in distinct vesicles. Only overexpressed PC7 activity reached the cell surface, endosomes, and the TGN. A PLC motif in the cytosolic tail of PC7 was dispensable for endosomal activity, but it was specifically required for TGN recycling and to rescue proActivin-A cleavage in Furin-depleted B16F1 melanoma cells. In sharp contrast, PC7 complemented Furin in cleaving Notch1 independently of PLC-mediated TGN access. Our study provides a proof in principle that compartment-specific biosensors can be used to gain insight into the regulation of PC trafficking and to map the tropism of PC-specific inhibitors.

  19. RNAi screen reveals host cell kinases specifically involved in Listeria monocytogenes spread from cell to cell.

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    Ryan Chong

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia conorii display actin-based motility in the cytosol of infected cells and spread from cell to cell through the formation of membrane protrusions at the cell cortex. Whereas the mechanisms supporting cytosolic actin-based motility are fairly well understood, it is unclear whether specific host factors may be required for supporting the formation and resolution of membrane protrusions. To address this gap in knowledge, we have developed high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and computer-assisted image analysis procedures to quantify pathogen spread in human epithelial cells. We used the approach to screen a siRNA library covering the human kinome and identified 7 candidate kinases whose depletion led to severe spreading defects in cells infected with L. monocytogenes. We conducted systematic validation procedures with redundant silencing reagents and confirmed the involvement of the serine/threonine kinases, CSNK1A1 and CSNK2B. We conducted secondary assays showing that, in contrast with the situation observed in CSNK2B-depleted cells, L. monocytogenes formed wild-type cytosolic tails and displayed wild-type actin-based motility in the cytosol of CSNK1A1-depleted cells. Furthermore, we developed a protrusion formation assay and showed that the spreading defect observed in CSNK1A1-depleted cells correlated with the formation of protrusion that did not resolve into double-membrane vacuoles. Moreover, we developed sending and receiving cell-specific RNAi procedures and showed that CSNK1A was required in the sending cells, but was dispensable in the receiving cells, for protrusion resolution. Finally, we showed that the observed defects were specific to Listeria monocytogenes, as Rickettsia conorii displayed wild-type cell-to-cell spread in CSNK1A1- and CSNK2B-depleted cells. We conclude that, in addition to the specific host factors supporting cytosolic actin

  20. Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, William; Abdus-Saboor, Ishmail; Cui, Lian; Burdge, Justin; Raabe, Tobias; Ma, Minghong; Luo, Wenqin

    2017-10-12

    The human distal limbs have a high spatial acuity for noxious stimuli but a low density of pain-sensing neurites. To elucidate mechanisms underlying regional differences in processing nociception, we sparsely traced non-peptidergic nociceptors across the body using a newly generated Mrgprd CreERT2 mouse line. We found that mouse plantar paw skin is also innervated by a low density of Mrgprd + nociceptors, while individual arbors in different locations are comparable in size. Surprisingly, the central arbors of plantar paw and trunk innervating nociceptors have distinct morphologies in the spinal cord. This regional difference is well correlated with a heightened signal transmission for plantar paw circuits, as revealed by both spinal cord slice recordings and behavior assays. Taken together, our results elucidate a novel somatotopic functional organization of the mammalian pain system and suggest that regional central arbor structure could facilitate the "enlarged representation" of plantar paw regions in the CNS.

  1. Comparison of human glutamate carboxypeptidases II and III reveals their divergent substrate specificities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Navrátil, Michal; Tykvart, Jan; Schimer, Jiří; Pachl, Petr; Navrátil, Václav; Rokob, T. A.; Hlouchová, Klára; Rulíšek, Lubomír; Konvalinka, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 283, č. 13 (2016), s. 2528-2545 ISSN 1742-464X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016; GA ČR(CZ) GA14-31419S; GA MŠk LO1302; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : arene-binding site * GCPIII * prostate -specific membrane antigen * QM/MM calculations * beta-citryl-L-glutamate Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.902, year: 2016

  2. Structure and Sequence Analyses of Clustered Protocadherins Reveal Antiparallel Interactions that Mediate Homophilic Specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicoludis, John M; Lau, Sze-Yi; Schärfe, Charlotta P I; Marks, Debora S; Weihofen, Wilhelm A; Gaudet, Rachelle

    2015-11-03

    Clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) proteins mediate dendritic self-avoidance in neurons via specific homophilic interactions in their extracellular cadherin (EC) domains. We determined crystal structures of EC1-EC3, containing the homophilic specificity-determining region, of two mouse clustered Pcdh isoforms (PcdhγA1 and PcdhγC3) to investigate the nature of the homophilic interaction. Within the crystal lattices, we observe antiparallel interfaces consistent with a role in trans cell-cell contact. Antiparallel dimerization is supported by evolutionary correlations. Two interfaces, located primarily on EC2-EC3, involve distinctive clustered Pcdh structure and sequence motifs, lack predicted glycosylation sites, and contain residues highly conserved in orthologs but not paralogs, pointing toward their biological significance as homophilic interaction interfaces. These two interfaces are similar yet distinct, reflecting a possible difference in interaction architecture between clustered Pcdh subfamilies. These structures initiate a molecular understanding of clustered Pcdh assemblies that are required to produce functional neuronal networks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Simplified immunoassay for rapid Dengue serotype diagnosis, revealing insensitivity to non-specific binding interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda C.C.L. Loureiro

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Proof of concept of an immunoassay, which is easy to implement, for rapid Dengue virus (DENV serotype diagnosis, in the early infection stage, is reported. The four-layer assay is immobilized onto a thin gold film and relies on a low cost, disposable polymer biochip for optical surface plasmon resonance sensing and detection. The protocol comprises Neutravidin-Biotin mediated monoclonal antibody (MAB attachment as the functionalized sensing element. Formation of the MAB-DENV complex results in a pronounced thickness change that is optically recorded in real time, employing a microfluidic set-up. Virus presence is confirmed by atomic force microscopy from the same sample. Serum samples were collected from a patient in acute febrile state. Simultaneous serological analysis by means of the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, independently, confirmed presence of DENV2 and DENV3. The protocol proved applicable in presence of strong non-specific binding interference that originates from, and is caused by, various blood, serum and other body fluid constituents. False positive indications for both, negative serum and blood control samples were not observed. The achievable limit of detection was estimated to be 2×104 particles/ml. Eventually, the method can be modified towards detection of other viruses by using the same protocol. Keywords: Immuno-assay, Dengue virus detection, Non-specific binding

  4. Species-specific separation of lake plankton reveals divergent food assimilation patterns in rotifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burian, Alfred; Kainz, Martin J; Schagerl, Michael; Yasindi, Andrew

    2014-06-01

    1. The analysis of functional groups with a resolution to the individual species level is a basic requirement to better understand complex interactions in aquatic food webs. Species-specific stable isotope analyses are currently applied to analyse the trophic role of large zooplankton or fish species, but technical constraints complicate their application to smaller-sized plankton. 2. We investigated rotifer food assimilation during a short-term microzooplankton bloom in the East African soda lake Nakuru by developing a method for species-specific sampling of rotifers. 3. The two dominant rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis and Brachionus dimidiatus , were separated to single-species samples (purity >95%) and significantly differed in their isotopic values (4.1‰ in δ 13 C and 1.5‰ in δ 15 N). Bayesian mixing models indicated that isotopic differences were caused by different assimilation of filamentous cyanobacteria and particles plicatilis (48%), whereas it was hardly ingested by B. dimidiatus . Overall, A . fusiformis was, relative to its biomass, assimilated to small extents, demonstrating a high grazing resistance of this species. 5. In combination with high population densities, these results demonstrate a strong potential of rotifer blooms to shape phytoplankton communities and are the first in situ demonstration of a quantitatively important direct trophic link between rotifers and filamentous cyanobacteria.

  5. Screening in larval zebrafish reveals tissue-specific distribution of fifteen fluorescent compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuxiao Yao

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The zebrafish is a prominent vertebrate model for low-cost in vivo whole organism screening. In our recent screening of the distribution patterns of fluorescent compounds in live zebrafish larvae, fifteen compounds with tissue-specific distributions were identified. Several compounds were observed to accumulate in tissues where they were reported to induce side-effects, and compounds with similar structures tended to be enriched in the same tissues, with minor differences. In particular, we found three novel red fluorescent bone-staining dyes: purpurin, lucidin and 3-hydroxy-morindone; purpurin can effectively label bones in both larval and adult zebrafish, as well as in postnatal mice, without significantly affecting bone mass and density. Moreover, two structurally similar chemotherapeutic compounds, doxorubicin and epirubicin, were observed to have distinct distribution preferences in zebrafish. Epirubicin maintained a relatively higher concentration in the liver, and performed better in inhibiting hepatic hyperplasia caused by the over-expression of krasG12V. In total, our study suggests that the transparent zebrafish larvae serve as valuable tools for identifying tissue-specific distributions of fluorescent compounds.

  6. Mixed infections reveal virulence differences between host-specific bee pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinger, Ellen G; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Welker, Dennis L; James, Rosalind R

    2015-07-01

    Dynamics of host-pathogen interactions are complex, often influencing the ecology, evolution and behavior of both the host and pathogen. In the natural world, infections with multiple pathogens are common, yet due to their complexity, interactions can be difficult to predict and study. Mathematical models help facilitate our understanding of these evolutionary processes, but empirical data are needed to test model assumptions and predictions. We used two common theoretical models regarding mixed infections (superinfection and co-infection) to determine which model assumptions best described a group of fungal pathogens closely associated with bees. We tested three fungal species, Ascosphaera apis, Ascosphaera aggregata and Ascosphaera larvis, in two bee hosts (Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata). Bee survival was not significantly different in mixed infections vs. solo infections with the most virulent pathogen for either host, but fungal growth within the host was significantly altered by mixed infections. In the host A. mellifera, only the most virulent pathogen was present in the host post-infection (indicating superinfective properties). In M. rotundata, the most virulent pathogen co-existed with the lesser-virulent one (indicating co-infective properties). We demonstrated that the competitive outcomes of mixed infections were host-specific, indicating strong host specificity among these fungal bee pathogens. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Ultrafast hydrogen exchange reveals specific structural events during the initial stages of folding of cytochrome c.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazelinia, Hossein; Xu, Ming; Cheng, Hong; Roder, Heinrich

    2014-01-15

    Many proteins undergo a sharp decrease in chain dimensions during early stages of folding, prior to the rate-limiting step in folding. However, it remains unclear whether compact states are the result of specific folding events or a general hydrophobic collapse of the poly peptide chain driven by the change in solvent conditions. To address this fundamental question, we extended the temporal resolution of NMR-detected H/D exchange labeling experiments into the microsecond regime by adopting a microfluidics approach. By observing the competition between H/D exchange and folding as a function of labeling pH, coupled with direct measurement of exchange rates in the unfolded state, we were able to monitor hydrogen-bond formation for over 50 individual backbone NH groups within the initial 140 microseconds of folding of horse cytochrome c. Clusters of solvent-shielded amide protons were observed in two α-helical segments in the C-terminal half of the protein, while the N-terminal helix remained largely unstructured, suggesting that proximity in the primary structure is a major factor in promoting helix formation and association at early stages of folding, while the entropically more costly long-range contacts between the N- and C-terminal helices are established only during later stages. Our findings clearly indicate that the initial chain condensation in cytochrome c is driven by specific interactions among a subset of α-helical segments rather than a general hydrophobic collapse.

  8. Circuit-wide Transcriptional Profiling Reveals Brain Region-Specific Gene Networks Regulating Depression Susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagot, Rosemary C; Cates, Hannah M; Purushothaman, Immanuel; Lorsch, Zachary S; Walker, Deena M; Wang, Junshi; Huang, Xiaojie; Schlüter, Oliver M; Maze, Ian; Peña, Catherine J; Heller, Elizabeth A; Issler, Orna; Wang, Minghui; Song, Won-Min; Stein, Jason L; Liu, Xiaochuan; Doyle, Marie A; Scobie, Kimberly N; Sun, Hao Sheng; Neve, Rachael L; Geschwind, Daniel; Dong, Yan; Shen, Li; Zhang, Bin; Nestler, Eric J

    2016-06-01

    Depression is a complex, heterogeneous disorder and a leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Most previous research has focused on individual brain regions and genes contributing to depression. However, emerging evidence in humans and animal models suggests that dysregulated circuit function and gene expression across multiple brain regions drive depressive phenotypes. Here, we performed RNA sequencing on four brain regions from control animals and those susceptible or resilient to chronic social defeat stress at multiple time points. We employed an integrative network biology approach to identify transcriptional networks and key driver genes that regulate susceptibility to depressive-like symptoms. Further, we validated in vivo several key drivers and their associated transcriptional networks that regulate depression susceptibility and confirmed their functional significance at the levels of gene transcription, synaptic regulation, and behavior. Our study reveals novel transcriptional networks that control stress susceptibility and offers fundamentally new leads for antidepressant drug discovery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Transcript specificity in yeast pre-mRNA splicing revealed by mutations in core spliceosomal components.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Pleiss

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate expression of most eukaryotic genes requires the removal of introns from their pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs, a process catalyzed by the spliceosome. In higher eukaryotes a large family of auxiliary factors known as SR proteins can improve the splicing efficiency of transcripts containing suboptimal splice sites by interacting with distinct sequences present in those pre-mRNAs. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacks functional equivalents of most of these factors; thus, it has been unclear whether the spliceosome could effectively distinguish among transcripts. To address this question, we have used a microarray-based approach to examine the effects of mutations in 18 highly conserved core components of the spliceosomal machinery. The kinetic profiles reveal clear differences in the splicing defects of particular pre-mRNA substrates. Most notably, the behaviors of ribosomal protein gene transcripts are generally distinct from other intron-containing transcripts in response to several spliceosomal mutations. However, dramatically different behaviors can be seen for some pairs of transcripts encoding ribosomal protein gene paralogs, suggesting that the spliceosome can readily distinguish between otherwise highly similar pre-mRNAs. The ability of the spliceosome to distinguish among its different substrates may therefore offer an important opportunity for yeast to regulate gene expression in a transcript-dependent fashion. Given the high level of conservation of core spliceosomal components across eukaryotes, we expect that these results will significantly impact our understanding of how regulated splicing is controlled in higher eukaryotes as well.

  10. Forage evaluation by analysis after

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    by forages, can be estimated by amino acid analysis of the products of fermentation in vitro. Typical results of such analyses are presented in Table 1. These results indicate that after fermentation the amino acid balance of forages is not optimal for either milk or meat production, with histidine usually being the first limiting.

  11. Uncoupling of dynamin polymerization and GTPase activity revealed by the conformation-specific nanobody dynab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galli, Valentina; Sebastian, Rafael; Moutel, Sandrine; Ecard, Jason; Perez, Franck; Roux, Aurélien

    2017-10-12

    Dynamin is a large GTPase that forms a helical collar at the neck of endocytic pits, and catalyzes membrane fission (Schmid and Frolov, 2011; Ferguson and De Camilli, 2012). Dynamin fission reaction is strictly dependent on GTP hydrolysis, but how fission is mediated is still debated (Antonny et al., 2016): GTP energy could be spent in membrane constriction required for fission, or in disassembly of the dynamin polymer to trigger fission. To follow dynamin GTP hydrolysis at endocytic pits, we generated a conformation-specific nanobody called dynab, that binds preferentially to the GTP hydrolytic state of dynamin-1. Dynab allowed us to follow the GTPase activity of dynamin-1 in real-time. We show that in fibroblasts, dynamin GTP hydrolysis occurs as stochastic bursts, which are randomly distributed relatively to the peak of dynamin assembly. Thus, dynamin disassembly is not coupled to GTPase activity, supporting that the GTP energy is primarily spent in constriction.

  12. Functional and structural analysis of yeast trx system reveals structural elements of substrate specificity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, Marcos Antonio; Discola, Karen Fulan; Alves, Simone Vidigal; Netto, Luis Eduardo Soares; Amorim, Gisele Cardoso; Pinheiro, Anderson Sa; Valente, Ana Paula; Almeida, Fabio Ceneviva Lacerda; Medrano, Francisco Javier; Guimaraes, Beatriz Gomes

    2006-01-01

    Thioredoxin reductases (Trr) are members of the nucleotide pyridine disulfide oxide reductase family, which includes glutathione reductase (Gr), alkyl hydroperoxide reductase F (AhpF) and lipoamide dehydrogenase (Lpd). Constituents of this family are homodimeric flavoproteins containing one redoxactive disulfide and one tightly bound flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) per subunit. Trr catalyzes the disulfide reduction of oxidized Thioredoxin (Trx) using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) via a FAD molecule and a redox-active cysteine motif. In this context, FAD transfers the reducing equivalents from NADPH molecule to the reactive cysteines and then to the Trx. Trx, Trr and NADPH comprise the Trx system. Trx are low molecular weight proteins (∼12 KDa) which are involved in several thiol-dependent cellular reactions such as synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides, sulphur metabolism, regulation of the gene expression and oxidative stress defenses. Remarkably, Trr - Trx interactions presents high species and organelle specificities. (author)

  13. Co-expression networks reveal the tissue-specific regulation of transcription and splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Ashis; Kim, Yungil; Gewirtz, Ariel D H; Jo, Brian; Gao, Chuan; McDowell, Ian C; Engelhardt, Barbara E; Battle, Alexis

    2017-11-01

    Gene co-expression networks capture biologically important patterns in gene expression data, enabling functional analyses of genes, discovery of biomarkers, and interpretation of genetic variants. Most network analyses to date have been limited to assessing correlation between total gene expression levels in a single tissue or small sets of tissues. Here, we built networks that additionally capture the regulation of relative isoform abundance and splicing, along with tissue-specific connections unique to each of a diverse set of tissues. We used the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project v6 RNA sequencing data across 50 tissues and 449 individuals. First, we developed a framework called Transcriptome-Wide Networks (TWNs) for combining total expression and relative isoform levels into a single sparse network, capturing the interplay between the regulation of splicing and transcription. We built TWNs for 16 tissues and found that hubs in these networks were strongly enriched for splicing and RNA binding genes, demonstrating their utility in unraveling regulation of splicing in the human transcriptome. Next, we used a Bayesian biclustering model that identifies network edges unique to a single tissue to reconstruct Tissue-Specific Networks (TSNs) for 26 distinct tissues and 10 groups of related tissues. Finally, we found genetic variants associated with pairs of adjacent nodes in our networks, supporting the estimated network structures and identifying 20 genetic variants with distant regulatory impact on transcription and splicing. Our networks provide an improved understanding of the complex relationships of the human transcriptome across tissues. © 2017 Saha et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  14. Principal component analysis reveals gender-specific predictors of cardiometabolic risk in 6th graders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson Mark D

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this study was to determine the sex-specific pattern of pediatric cardiometabolic risk with principal component analysis, using several biological, behavioral and parental variables in a large cohort (n = 2866 of 6th grade students. Methods Cardiometabolic risk components included waist circumference, fasting glucose, blood pressure, plasma triglycerides levels and HDL-cholesterol. Principal components analysis was used to determine the pattern of risk clustering and to derive a continuous aggregate score (MetScore. Stratified risk components and MetScore were analyzed for association with age, body mass index (BMI, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF, physical activity (PA, and parental factors. Results In both boys and girls, BMI and CRF were associated with multiple risk components, and overall MetScore. Maternal smoking was associated with multiple risk components in girls and boys, as well as MetScore in boys, even after controlling for children’s BMI. Paternal family history of early cardiovascular disease (CVD and parental age were associated with increased blood pressure and MetScore for girls. Children’s PA levels, maternal history of early CVD, and paternal BMI were also indicative for various risk components, but not MetScore. Conclusions Several biological and behavioral factors were independently associated with children’s cardiometabolic disease risk, and thus represent a unique gender-specific risk profile. These data serve to bolster the independent contribution of CRF, PA, and family-oriented healthy lifestyles for improving children’s health.

  15. Stage-specific histone modification profiles reveal global transitions in the Xenopus embryonic epigenome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias D Schneider

    Full Text Available Vertebrate embryos are derived from a transitory pool of pluripotent cells. By the process of embryonic induction, these precursor cells are assigned to specific fates and differentiation programs. Histone post-translational modifications are thought to play a key role in the establishment and maintenance of stable gene expression patterns underlying these processes. While on gene level histone modifications are known to change during differentiation, very little is known about the quantitative fluctuations in bulk histone modifications during development. To investigate this issue we analysed histones isolated from four different developmental stages of Xenopus laevis by mass spectrometry. In toto, we quantified 59 modification states on core histones H3 and H4 from blastula to tadpole stages. During this developmental period, we observed in general an increase in the unmodified states, and a shift from histone modifications associated with transcriptional activity to transcriptionally repressive histone marks. We also compared these naturally occurring patterns with the histone modifications of murine ES cells, detecting large differences in the methylation patterns of histone H3 lysines 27 and 36 between pluripotent ES cells and pluripotent cells from Xenopus blastulae. By combining all detected modification transitions we could cluster their patterns according to their embryonic origin, defining specific histone modification profiles (HMPs for each developmental stage. To our knowledge, this data set represents the first compendium of covalent histone modifications and their quantitative flux during normogenesis in a vertebrate model organism. The HMPs indicate a stepwise maturation of the embryonic epigenome, which may be causal to the progressing restriction of cellular potency during development.

  16. Collective Dynamics of Specific Gene Ensembles Crucial for Neutrophil Differentiation: The Existence of Genome Vehicles Revealed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuliani, Alessandro; Tomita, Masaru

    2010-01-01

    Cell fate decision remarkably generates specific cell differentiation path among the multiple possibilities that can arise through the complex interplay of high-dimensional genome activities. The coordinated action of thousands of genes to switch cell fate decision has indicated the existence of stable attractors guiding the process. However, origins of the intracellular mechanisms that create “cellular attractor” still remain unknown. Here, we examined the collective behavior of genome-wide expressions for neutrophil differentiation through two different stimuli, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA). To overcome the difficulties of dealing with single gene expression noises, we grouped genes into ensembles and analyzed their expression dynamics in correlation space defined by Pearson correlation and mutual information. The standard deviation of correlation distributions of gene ensembles reduces when the ensemble size is increased following the inverse square root law, for both ensembles chosen randomly from whole genome and ranked according to expression variances across time. Choosing the ensemble size of 200 genes, we show the two probability distributions of correlations of randomly selected genes for atRA and DMSO responses overlapped after 48 hours, defining the neutrophil attractor. Next, tracking the ranked ensembles' trajectories, we noticed that only certain, not all, fall into the attractor in a fractal-like manner. The removal of these genome elements from the whole genomes, for both atRA and DMSO responses, destroys the attractor providing evidence for the existence of specific genome elements (named “genome vehicle”) responsible for the neutrophil attractor. Notably, within the genome vehicles, genes with low or moderate expression changes, which are often considered noisy and insignificant, are essential components for the creation of the neutrophil attractor. Further investigations along with our findings might

  17. Heart structure-specific transcriptomic atlas reveals conserved microRNA-mRNA interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vacchi-Suzzi, Caterina; Hahne, Florian; Scheubel, Philippe; Marcellin, Magali; Dubost, Valerie; Westphal, Magdalena; Boeglen, Catherine; Büchmann-Møller, Stine; Cheung, Ming Sin; Cordier, André; De Benedetto, Christopher; Deurinck, Mark; Frei, Moritz; Moulin, Pierre; Oakeley, Edward; Grenet, Olivier; Grevot, Armelle; Stull, Robert; Theil, Diethilde; Moggs, Jonathan G; Marrer, Estelle; Couttet, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and play key roles in heart development and cardiovascular diseases. Here, we have characterized the expression and distribution of microRNAs across eight cardiac structures (left and right ventricles, apex, papillary muscle, septum, left and right atrium and valves) in rat, Beagle dog and cynomolgus monkey using microRNA sequencing. Conserved microRNA signatures enriched in specific heart structures across these species were identified for cardiac valve (miR-let-7c, miR-125b, miR-127, miR-199a-3p, miR-204, miR-320, miR-99b, miR-328 and miR-744) and myocardium (miR-1, miR-133b, miR-133a, miR-208b, miR-30e, miR-499-5p, miR-30e*). The relative abundance of myocardium-enriched (miR-1) and valve-enriched (miR-125b-5p and miR-204) microRNAs was confirmed using in situ hybridization. MicroRNA-mRNA interactions potentially relevant for cardiac functions were explored using anti-correlation expression analysis and microRNA target prediction algorithms. Interactions between miR-1/Timp3, miR-125b/Rbm24, miR-204/Tgfbr2 and miR-208b/Csnk2a2 were identified and experimentally investigated in human pulmonary smooth muscle cells and luciferase reporter assays. In conclusion, we have generated a high-resolution heart structure-specific mRNA/microRNA expression atlas for three mammalian species that provides a novel resource for investigating novel microRNA regulatory circuits involved in cardiac molecular physiopathology.

  18. Heart structure-specific transcriptomic atlas reveals conserved microRNA-mRNA interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caterina Vacchi-Suzzi

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and play key roles in heart development and cardiovascular diseases. Here, we have characterized the expression and distribution of microRNAs across eight cardiac structures (left and right ventricles, apex, papillary muscle, septum, left and right atrium and valves in rat, Beagle dog and cynomolgus monkey using microRNA sequencing. Conserved microRNA signatures enriched in specific heart structures across these species were identified for cardiac valve (miR-let-7c, miR-125b, miR-127, miR-199a-3p, miR-204, miR-320, miR-99b, miR-328 and miR-744 and myocardium (miR-1, miR-133b, miR-133a, miR-208b, miR-30e, miR-499-5p, miR-30e*. The relative abundance of myocardium-enriched (miR-1 and valve-enriched (miR-125b-5p and miR-204 microRNAs was confirmed using in situ hybridization. MicroRNA-mRNA interactions potentially relevant for cardiac functions were explored using anti-correlation expression analysis and microRNA target prediction algorithms. Interactions between miR-1/Timp3, miR-125b/Rbm24, miR-204/Tgfbr2 and miR-208b/Csnk2a2 were identified and experimentally investigated in human pulmonary smooth muscle cells and luciferase reporter assays. In conclusion, we have generated a high-resolution heart structure-specific mRNA/microRNA expression atlas for three mammalian species that provides a novel resource for investigating novel microRNA regulatory circuits involved in cardiac molecular physiopathology.

  19. Clostridium difficile Infection and Patient-Specific Antimicrobial Resistance Testing Reveals a High Metronidazole Resistance Rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Jodie A; Sussman, Daniel A; Fifadara, Nimita; Barkin, Jamie S

    2017-04-01

    Clostridium difficile (CD) infection (CDI) causes marked morbidity and mortality, accounting for large healthcare expenditures annually. Current CDI treatment guidelines focus on clinical markers of patient severity to determine the preferred antibiotic regimen of metronidazole versus vancomycin. The antimicrobial resistance patterns for patients with CD are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to define the antimicrobial resistance patterns for CD. This study included all patients with stools sent for CD testing to a private laboratory (DRG Laboratory, Alpharetta, Georgia) in a 6-month period from across the USA. Patient data was de-identified, with only age, gender, and zip-code available per laboratory protocol. All samples underwent PCR testing followed by hybridization for CD toxin regions A and B. Only patients with CD-positive PCR were analyzed. Antimicrobial resistance testing using stool genomic DNA evaluated presence of imidazole- and vancomycin-resistant genes using multiplex PCR gene detection. Of 2743, 288 (10.5%) stool samples were positive for CD. Six were excluded per protocol. Of 282, 193 (69.4%) were women, and average age was 49.4 ± 18.7 years. Of 282, 62 were PCR positive for toxins A and B, 160 for toxin A positive alone, and 60 for toxin B positive alone. Antimicrobial resistance testing revealed 134/282 (47.5%) patients resistant to imidazole, 17 (6.1%) resistant to vancomycin, and 9 (3.2%) resistant to imidazole and vancomycin. CD-positive patients with presence of imidazole-resistant genes from stool DNA extract was a common phenomenon, while vancomycin resistance was uncommon. Similar to treatment of other infections, antimicrobial resistance testing should play a role in CDI clinical decision-making algorithms to enable more expedited and cost-effective delivery of patient care.

  20. Massively parallel amplicon sequencing reveals isotype-specific variability of antimicrobial peptide transcripts in Mytilus galloprovincialis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umberto Rosani

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Effective innate responses against potential pathogens are essential in the living world and possibly contributed to the evolutionary success of invertebrates. Taken together, antimicrobial peptide (AMP precursors of defensin, mytilin, myticin and mytimycin can represent about 40% of the hemocyte transcriptome in mussels injected with viral-like and bacterial preparations, and unique profiles of myticin C variants are expressed in single mussels. Based on amplicon pyrosequencing, we have ascertained and compared the natural and Vibrio-induced diversity of AMP transcripts in mussel hemocytes from three European regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hemolymph was collected from mussels farmed in the coastal regions of Palavas (France, Vigo (Spain and Venice (Italy. To represent the AMP families known in M. galloprovincialis, nine transcript sequences have been selected, amplified from hemocyte RNA and subjected to pyrosequencing. Hemolymph from farmed (offshore and wild (lagoon Venice mussels, both injected with 10(7 Vibrio cells, were similarly processed. Amplicon pyrosequencing emphasized the AMP transcript diversity, with Single Nucleotide Changes (SNC minimal for mytilin B/C and maximal for arthropod-like defensin and myticin C. Ratio of non-synonymous vs. synonymous changes also greatly differed between AMP isotypes. Overall, each amplicon revealed similar levels of nucleotidic variation across geographical regions, with two main sequence patterns confirmed for mytimycin and no substantial changes after immunostimulation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Barcoding and bidirectional pyrosequencing allowed us to map and compare the transcript diversity of known mussel AMPs. Though most of the genuine cds variation was common to the analyzed samples we could estimate from 9 to 106 peptide variants in hemolymph pools representing 100 mussels, depending on the AMP isoform and sampling site. In this study, no prevailing SNC patterns related

  1. Sleep Stage Transition Dynamics Reveal Specific Stage 2 Vulnerability in Insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yishul; Colombo, Michele A; Ramautar, Jennifer R; Blanken, Tessa F; van der Werf, Ysbrand D; Spiegelhalder, Kai; Feige, Bernd; Riemann, Dieter; Van Someren, Eus J W

    2017-09-01

    Objective sleep impairments in insomnia disorder (ID) are insufficiently understood. The present study evaluated whether whole-night sleep stage dynamics derived from polysomnography (PSG) differ between people with ID and matched controls and whether sleep stage dynamic features discriminate them better than conventional sleep parameters. Eighty-eight participants aged 21-70 years, including 46 with ID and 42 age- and sex-matched controls without sleep complaints, were recruited through www.sleepregistry.nl and completed two nights of laboratory PSG. Data of 100 people with ID and 100 age- and sex-matched controls from a previously reported study were used to validate the generalizability of findings. The second night was used to obtain, in addition to conventional sleep parameters, probabilities of transitions between stages and bout duration distributions of each stage. Group differences were evaluated with nonparametric tests. People with ID showed higher empirical probabilities to transition from stage N2 to the lighter sleep stage N1 or wakefulness and a faster decaying stage N2 bout survival function. The increased transition probability from stage N2 to stage N1 discriminated people with ID better than any of their deviations in conventional sleep parameters, including less total sleep time, less sleep efficiency, more stage N1, and more wake after sleep onset. Moreover, adding this transition probability significantly improved the discriminating power of a multiple logistic regression model based on conventional sleep parameters. Quantification of sleep stage dynamics revealed a particular vulnerability of stage N2 in insomnia. The feature characterizes insomnia better than-and independently of-any conventional sleep parameter. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Patterns of hybrid loss of imprinting reveal tissue- and cluster-specific regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Wiley

    Full Text Available Crosses between natural populations of two species of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus (BW, and P. polionotus (PO, produce parent-of-origin effects on growth and development. BW females mated to PO males (bwxpo produce growth-retarded but otherwise healthy offspring. In contrast, PO females mated to BW males (POxBW produce overgrown and severely defective offspring. The hybrid phenotypes are pronounced in the placenta and include POxBW conceptuses which lack embryonic structures. Evidence to date links variation in control of genomic imprinting with the hybrid defects, particularly in the POxBW offspring. Establishment of genomic imprinting is typically mediated by gametic DNA methylation at sites known as gDMRs. However, imprinted gene clusters vary in their regulation by gDMR sequences.Here we further assess imprinted gene expression and DNA methylation at different cluster types in order to discern patterns. These data reveal POxBW misexpression at the Kcnq1ot1 and Peg3 clusters, both of which lose ICR methylation in placental tissues. In contrast, some embryonic transcripts (Peg10, Kcnq1ot1 reactivated the silenced allele with little or no loss of DNA methylation. Hybrid brains also display different patterns of imprinting perturbations. Several cluster pairs thought to use analogous regulatory mechanisms are differentially affected in the hybrids.These data reinforce the hypothesis that placental and somatic gene regulation differs significantly, as does that between imprinted gene clusters and between species. That such epigenetic regulatory variation exists in recently diverged species suggests a role in reproductive isolation, and that this variation is likely to be adaptive.

  3. DNA methylation profiling reveals the presence of population-specific signatures correlating with phenotypic characteristics.

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    Giri, Anil K; Bharadwaj, Soham; Banerjee, Priyanka; Chakraborty, Shraddha; Parekatt, Vaisak; Rajashekar, Donaka; Tomar, Abhishek; Ravindran, Aarthi; Basu, Analabha; Tandon, Nikhil; Bharadwaj, Dwaipayan

    2017-06-01

    Phenotypic characteristics are known to vary substantially among different ethnicities around the globe. These variations are mediated by number of stochastic events and cannot be attributed to genetic architecture alone. DNA methylation is a well-established mechanism that sculpts our epigenome influencing phenotypic variation including disease manifestation. Since DNA methylation is an important determinant for health issues of a population, it demands a thorough investigation of the natural differences in genome wide DNA methylation patterns across different ethnic groups. This study is based on comparative analyses of methylome from five different ethnicities with major focus on Indian subjects. The current study uses hierarchical clustering approaches, principal component analysis and locus specific differential methylation analysis on Illumina 450K methylation data to compare methylome of different ethnic subjects. Our data indicates that the variations in DNA methylation patterns of Indians are less among themselves compared to other global population. It empirically correlated with dietary, cultural and demographical divergences across different ethnic groups. Our work further suggests that Indians included in this study, despite their genetic similarity with the Caucasian population, are in close proximity with Japanese in terms of their methylation signatures.

  4. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

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    Jean-Luc Picq

    Full Text Available The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12 and aged (n = 8 adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination.

  5. RNAi Reveals Phase-Specific Global Regulators of Human Somatic Cell Reprogramming

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    Cheng-Xu Delon Toh

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Incomplete knowledge of the mechanisms at work continues to hamper efforts to maximize reprogramming efficiency. Here, we present a systematic genome-wide RNAi screen to determine the global regulators during the early stages of human reprogramming. Our screen identifies functional repressors and effectors that act to impede or promote the reprogramming process. Repressors and effectors form close interacting networks in pathways, including RNA processing, G protein signaling, protein ubiquitination, and chromatin modification. Combinatorial knockdown of five repressors (SMAD3, ZMYM2, SFRS11, SAE1, and ESET synergistically resulted in ∼85% TRA-1-60-positive cells. Removal of the novel splicing factor SFRS11 during reprogramming is accompanied by rapid acquisition of pluripotency-specific spliced forms. Mechanistically, SFRS11 regulates exon skipping and mutually exclusive splicing of transcripts in genes involved in cell differentiation, mRNA splicing, and chromatin modification. Our study provides insights into the reprogramming process, which comprises comprehensive and multi-layered transcriptional, splicing, and epigenetic machineries.

  6. Screening of recombinant glycosyltransferases reveals the broad acceptor specificity of stevia UGT-76G1.

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    Dewitte, Griet; Walmagh, Maarten; Diricks, Margo; Lepak, Alexander; Gutmann, Alexander; Nidetzky, Bernd; Desmet, Tom

    2016-09-10

    UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are a promising class of biocatalysts that offer a sustainable alternative for chemical glycosylation of natural products. In this study, we aimed to characterize plant-derived UGTs from the GT-1 family with an emphasis on their acceptor promiscuity and their potential application in glycosylation processes. Recombinant expression in E. coli provided sufficient amounts of enzyme for the in-depth characterization of the salicylic acid UGT from Capsella rubella (UGT-SACr) and the stevia UGT from Stevia rebaudiana (UGT-76G1Sr). The latter was found to have a remarkably broad specificity with activities on a wide diversity of structures, from aliphatic and branched alcohols, over small phenolics to larger flavonoids, terpenoids and even higher glycoside compounds. As an example for its industrial potential, the glycosylation of curcumin was thoroughly evaluated. Under optimized conditions, 96% of curcumin was converted within 24h into the corresponding curcumin β-glycosides. In addition, the reaction was performed in a coupled system with sucrose synthase from Glycine max, to enable the cost-efficient (re)generation of UDP-Glc from sucrose as abundant and renewable resource. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Cell type-specific genetic and optogenetic tools reveal hippocampal CA2 circuits.

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    Kohara, Keigo; Pignatelli, Michele; Rivest, Alexander J; Jung, Hae-Yoon; Kitamura, Takashi; Suh, Junghyup; Frank, Dominic; Kajikawa, Koichiro; Mise, Nathan; Obata, Yuichi; Wickersham, Ian R; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2014-02-01

    The formation and recall of episodic memory requires precise information processing by the entorhinal-hippocampal network. For several decades, the trisynaptic circuit entorhinal cortex layer II (ECII)→dentate gyrus→CA3→CA1 and the monosynaptic circuit ECIII→CA1 have been considered the primary substrates of the network responsible for learning and memory. Circuits linked to another hippocampal region, CA2, have only recently come to light. Using highly cell type-specific transgenic mouse lines, optogenetics and patch-clamp recordings, we found that dentate gyrus cells, long believed to not project to CA2, send functional monosynaptic inputs to CA2 pyramidal cells through abundant longitudinal projections. CA2 innervated CA1 to complete an alternate trisynaptic circuit, but, unlike CA3, projected preferentially to the deep, rather than to the superficial, sublayer of CA1. Furthermore, contrary to existing knowledge, ECIII did not project to CA2. Our results allow a deeper understanding of the biology of learning and memory.

  8. Specific neural traces for intonational discourse categories as revealed by human-evoked potentials.

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    Borràs-Comes, Joan; Costa-Faidella, Jordi; Prieto, Pilar; Escera, Carles

    2012-04-01

    The neural representation of segmental and tonal phonological distinctions has been shown by means of the MMN ERP, yet this is not the case for intonational discourse contrasts. In Catalan, a rising-falling intonational sequence can be perceived as a statement or as a counterexpectational question, depending exclusively on the size of the pitch range interval of the rising movement. We tested here, using the MMN, whether such categorical distinctions elicited distinct neurophysiological patterns of activity, supporting their specific neural representation. From a behavioral identification experiment, we set the boundary between the two categories and defined four stimuli across the continuum. Although the physical distance between each pair of stimuli was kept constant, the central pair represented an across-category contrast, whereas the other pairs represented within-category contrasts. These four auditory stimuli were contrasted by pairs in three different oddball blocks. The mean amplitude of the MMN was larger for the across-category contrast, suggesting that intonational contrasts in the target language can be encoded automatically in the auditory cortex. These results are in line with recent findings in other fields of linguistics, showing that, when a boundary between categories is crossed, the MMN response is not just larger but rather includes a separate subcomponent.

  9. Diverse Requirements for Microglial Survival, Specification, and Function Revealed by Defined-Medium Cultures.

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    Bohlen, Christopher J; Bennett, F Chris; Tucker, Andrew F; Collins, Hannah Y; Mulinyawe, Sara B; Barres, Ben A

    2017-05-17

    Microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, engage in various CNS-specific functions that are critical for development and health. To better study microglia and the properties that distinguish them from other tissue macrophage populations, we have optimized serum-free culture conditions to permit robust survival of highly ramified adult microglia under defined-medium conditions. We find that astrocyte-derived factors prevent microglial death ex vivo and that this activity results from three primary components, CSF-1/IL-34, TGF-β2, and cholesterol. Using microglial cultures that have never been exposed to serum, we demonstrate a dramatic and lasting change in phagocytic capacity after serum exposure. Finally, we find that mature microglia rapidly lose signature gene expression after isolation, and that this loss can be reversed by engrafting cells back into an intact CNS environment. These data indicate that the specialized gene expression profile of mature microglia requires continuous instructive signaling from the intact CNS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Comparative proteome analysis reveals pathogen specific outer membrane proteins of Leptospira.

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    Dhandapani, Gunasekaran; Sikha, Thoduvayil; Rana, Aarti; Brahma, Rahul; Akhter, Yusuf; Gopalakrishnan Madanan, Madathiparambil

    2018-04-10

    Proteomes of pathogenic Leptospira interrogans and L. borgpetersenii and the saprophytic L. biflexa were filtered through computational tools to identify Outer Membrane Proteins (OMPs) that satisfy the required biophysical parameters for their presence on the outer membrane. A total of 133, 130, and 144 OMPs were identified in L. interrogans, L. borgpetersenii, and L. biflexa, respectively, which forms approximately 4% of proteomes. A holistic analysis of transporting and pathogenic characteristics of OMPs together with Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) among the OMPs and their distribution across 3 species was made and put forward a set of 21 candidate OMPs specific to pathogenic leptospires. It is also found that proteins homologous to the candidate OMPs were also present in other pathogenic species of leptospires. Six OMPs from L. interrogans and 2 from L. borgpetersenii observed to have similar COGs while those were not found in any intermediate or saprophytic forms. These OMPs appears to have role in infection and pathogenesis and useful for anti-leptospiral strategies. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Forage Quality Determined by Botanic Species’ Contribution on Permanent Pastures

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    Neculai Dragomir

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of the forage obtained from permanent pastures is determined, in its turn, by the floristic structure consisted of species belonging to various botanic families. Each botanic species presents a specific chemical content and a certain contribution to the balancing of forage’s nutritional value. The chemical analyses performed, at species level, revealed the importance of the “diverse” species, which, with their content in mineral elements, may influence animals’ capacity of production and reproduction. Some of the species, considered to be weeds within the permanent pastures’ floristic composition, presented high crude protein content values: Achillea millefolium with 24.22%, Taraxacum officinale 24.06%, Urtica dioica with 32.46%, Plantago major with 17.04%, etc.

  12. Colony-specific investigations reveal highly variable responses among individual corals to ocean acidification and warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavousi, Javid; Reimer, James Davis; Tanaka, Yasuaki; Nakamura, Takashi

    2015-08-01

    As anthropogenic climate change is an ongoing concern, scientific investigations on its impacts on coral reefs are increasing. Although impacts of combined ocean acidification (OA) and temperature stress (T) on reef-building scleractinian corals have been studied at the genus, species and population levels, there are little data available on how individual corals respond to combined OA and anomalous temperatures. In this study, we exposed individual colonies of Acropora digitifera, Montipora digitata and Porites cylindrica to four pCO2-temperature treatments including 400 μatm-28 °C, 400 μatm-31 °C, 1000 μatm-28 °C and 1000 μatm-31 °C for 26 days. Physiological parameters including calcification, protein content, maximum photosynthetic efficiency, Symbiodinium density, and chlorophyll content along with Symbiodinium type of each colony were examined. Along with intercolonial responses, responses of individual colonies versus pooled data to the treatments were investigated. The main results were: 1) responses to either OA or T or their combination were different between individual colonies when considering physiological functions; 2) tolerance to either OA or T was not synonymous with tolerance to the other parameter; 3) tolerance to both OA and T did not necessarily lead to tolerance of OA and T combined (OAT) at the same time; 4) OAT had negative, positive or no impacts on physiological functions of coral colonies; and 5) pooled data were not representative of responses of all individual colonies. Indeed, the pooled data obscured actual responses of individual colonies or presented a response that was not observed in any individual. From the results of this study we recommend improving experimental designs of studies investigating physiological responses of corals to climate change by complementing them with colony-specific examinations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterisation of monotreme caseins reveals lineage-specific expansion of an ancestral casein locus in mammals.

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    Lefèvre, Christophe M; Sharp, Julie A; Nicholas, Kevin R

    2009-01-01

    Using a milk-cell cDNA sequencing approach we characterised milk-protein sequences from two monotreme species, platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and found a full set of caseins and casein variants. The genomic organisation of the platypus casein locus is compared with other mammalian genomes, including the marsupial opossum and several eutherians. Physical linkage of casein genes has been seen in the casein loci of all mammalian genomes examined and we confirm that this is also observed in platypus. However, we show that a recent duplication of beta-casein occurred in the monotreme lineage, as opposed to more ancient duplications of alpha-casein in the eutherian lineage, while marsupials possess only single copies of alpha- and beta-caseins. Despite this variability, the close proximity of the main alpha- and beta-casein genes in an inverted tail-tail orientation and the relative orientation of the more distant kappa-casein genes are similar in all mammalian genome sequences so far available. Overall, the conservation of the genomic organisation of the caseins indicates the early, pre-monotreme development of the fundamental role of caseins during lactation. In contrast, the lineage-specific gene duplications that have occurred within the casein locus of monotremes and eutherians but not marsupials, which may have lost part of the ancestral casein locus, emphasises the independent selection on milk provision strategies to the young, most likely linked to different developmental strategies. The monotremes therefore provide insight into the ancestral drivers for lactation and how these have adapted in different lineages.

  14. Lineage-specific evolution of the vertebrate Otopetrin gene family revealed by comparative genomic analyses

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    Ryan Joseph F

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in the Otopetrin 1 gene (Otop1 in mice and fish produce an unusual bilateral vestibular pathology that involves the absence of otoconia without hearing impairment. The encoded protein, Otop1, is the only functionally characterized member of the Otopetrin Domain Protein (ODP family; the extended sequence and structural preservation of ODP proteins in metazoans suggest a conserved functional role. Here, we use the tools of sequence- and cytogenetic-based comparative genomics to study the Otop1 and the Otop2-Otop3 genes and to establish their genomic context in 25 vertebrates. We extend our evolutionary study to include the gene mutated in Usher syndrome (USH subtype 1G (Ush1g, both because of the head-to-tail clustering of Ush1g with Otop2 and because Otop1 and Ush1g mutations result in inner ear phenotypes. Results We established that OTOP1 is the boundary gene of an inversion polymorphism on human chromosome 4p16 that originated in the common human-chimpanzee lineage more than 6 million years ago. Other lineage-specific evolutionary events included a three-fold expansion of the Otop genes in Xenopus tropicalis and of Ush1g in teleostei fish. The tight physical linkage between Otop2 and Ush1g is conserved in all vertebrates. To further understand the functional organization of the Ushg1-Otop2 locus, we deduced a putative map of binding sites for CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF, a mammalian insulator transcription factor, from genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq data in mouse and human embryonic stem (ES cells combined with detection of CTCF-binding motifs. Conclusions The results presented here clarify the evolutionary history of the vertebrate Otop and Ush1g families, and establish a framework for studying the possible interaction(s of Ush1g and Otop in developmental pathways.

  15. Segregating the Effects of Seed Traits and Common Ancestry of Hardwood Trees on Eastern Gray Squirrel Foraging Decisions.

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    Sundaram, Mekala; Willoughby, Janna R; Lichti, Nathanael I; Steele, Michael A; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specific seed traits in scatter-hoarded tree species often has been attributed to granivore foraging behavior. However, the degree to which foraging investments and seed traits correlate with phylogenetic relationships among trees remains unexplored. We presented seeds of 23 different hardwood tree species (families Betulaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae) to eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and measured the time and distance travelled by squirrels that consumed or cached each seed. We estimated 11 physical and chemical seed traits for each species, and the phylogenetic relationships between the 23 hardwood trees. Variance partitioning revealed that considerable variation in foraging investment was attributable to seed traits alone (27-73%), and combined effects of seed traits and phylogeny of hardwood trees (5-55%). A phylogenetic PCA (pPCA) on seed traits and tree phylogeny resulted in 2 "global" axes of traits that were phylogenetically autocorrelated at the family and genus level and a third "local" axis in which traits were not phylogenetically autocorrelated. Collectively, these axes explained 30-76% of the variation in squirrel foraging investments. The first global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seed species with thin shells, low lipid and high carbohydrate content, was negatively related to time to consume and cache seeds and travel distance to cache. The second global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seeds with high protein, low tannin and low dormancy levels, was an important predictor of consumption time only. The local pPCA axis primarily reflected kernel mass. Although it explained only 12% of the variation in trait space and was not autocorrelated among phylogenetic clades, the local axis was related to all four squirrel foraging investments. Squirrel foraging behaviors are influenced by a combination of phylogenetically conserved and more evolutionarily labile seed traits that is consistent with a weak

  16. Comparing the Healthy Nose and Nasopharynx Microbiota Reveals Continuity As Well As Niche-Specificity

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    Ilke De Boeck

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available To improve our understanding of upper respiratory tract (URT diseases and the underlying microbial pathogenesis, a better characterization of the healthy URT microbiome is crucial. In this first large-scale study, we obtained more insight in the URT microbiome of healthy adults. Hereto, we collected paired nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs from 100 healthy participants in a citizen-science project. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene V4 amplicon sequencing was performed and samples were processed using the Divisive Amplicon Denoising Algorithm 2 (DADA2 algorithm. This allowed us to identify the bacterial richness and diversity of the samples in terms of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs, with special attention to intragenus variation. We found both niches to have a low overall species richness and uneven distribution. Moreover, based on hierarchical clustering, nasopharyngeal samples could be grouped into some bacterial community types at genus level, of which four were supported to some extent by prediction strength evaluation: one intermixed type with a higher bacterial diversity where Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Dolosigranulum appeared main bacterial members in different relative abundances, and three types dominated by either Moraxella, Streptococcus, or Fusobacterium. Some of these bacterial community types such as Streptococcus and Fusobacterium were nasopharynx-specific and never occurred in the nose. No clear association between the nasopharyngeal bacterial profiles at genus level and the variables age, gender, blood type, season of sampling, or common respiratory allergies was found in this study population, except for smoking showing a positive association with Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus. Based on the fine-scale resolution of the ASVs, both known commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria were found within several genera – particularly in Streptococcus and Moraxella – in our healthy study population. Of interest, the

  17. Attention in Urban Foraging

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    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This position paper argues how there has to be much more to smart city learning than just wayshowing, and something better as augmented reality than covering the world with instructions. Attention has become something for many people to know better in an age of information superabundance. Embodied cognition explains how the work-ings of attention are not solely a foreground task, as if attention is something to pay. As digital media appear in ever more formats and contexts, their hybrids with physical form increasing influence how habitual engagement with persistent situations creates learning. Ambient information can just add to the distraction by multitasking, or it can support more favorable processes of shifting among different kinds of information with a particular intent. As one word for this latter process, foraging deserves more consideration in smart city learning

  18. Variability in individual activity bursts improves ant foraging success.

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    Campos, Daniel; Bartumeus, Frederic; Méndez, Vicenç; Andrade, José S; Espadaler, Xavier

    2016-12-01

    Using experimental and computational methods, we study the role of behavioural variability in activity bursts (or temporal activity patterns) for individual and collective regulation of foraging in A. senilis ants. First, foraging experiments were carried out under special conditions (low densities of ants and food and absence of external cues or stimuli) where individual-based strategies are most prevalent. By using marked individuals and recording all foraging trajectories, we were then able to precisely quantify behavioural variability among individuals. Our main conclusions are that (i) variability of ant trajectories (turning angles, speed, etc.) is low compared with variability of temporal activity profiles, and (ii) this variability seems to be driven by plasticity of individual behaviour through time, rather than the presence of fixed behavioural stereotypes or specialists within the group. The statistical measures obtained from these experimental foraging patterns are then used to build a general agent-based model (ABM) which includes the most relevant properties of ant foraging under natural conditions, including recruitment through pheromone communication. Using the ABM, we are able to provide computational evidence that the characteristics of individual variability observed in our experiments can provide a functional advantage (in terms of foraging success) to the group; thus, we propose the biological basis underpinning our observations. Altogether, our study reveals the potential utility of experiments under simplified (laboratory) conditions for understanding information-gathering in biological systems. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Effect of Citrus floral extracts on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis (Dalla Torre

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    Julieta Grajales-Conesa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Effect of Citrus floral extracts on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis (Dalla Torre. Stingless bees have an important role as pollinators of many wild and cultivated plant species in tropical regions. Little is known, however, about the interaction between floral fragrances and the foraging behavior of meliponine species. Thus we investigated the chemical composition of the extracts of citric (lemon and orange flowers and their effects on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis. We found that each type of flower has its own specific blend of major compounds: limonene (62.9% for lemon flowers, and farnesol (26.5%, (E-nerolidol (20.8%, and linalool (12.7% for orange flowers. In the foraging experiments the S. pectoralis workers were able to use the flower extracts to orient to the food source, overlooking plates baited with hexane only. However, orange flower extracts were seemingly more attractive to these worker bees, maybe because of the particular blend present in it. Our results reveal that these fragrances are very attractive to S. pectoralis, so we can infer that within citric orchards they could be important visitors in the study area; however habitat destruction, overuse of pesticides and the competitive override by managed honeybees might have put at risk their populations and thus the ecological services they provide to us.

  20. Multiple-stage decisions in a marine central-place forager.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlaender, Ari S; Johnston, David W; Tyson, Reny B; Kaltenberg, Amanda; Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Stimpert, Alison K; Curtice, Corrie; Hazen, Elliott L; Halpin, Patrick N; Read, Andrew J; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2016-05-01

    Air-breathing marine animals face a complex set of physical challenges associated with diving that affect the decisions of how to optimize feeding. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) have evolved bulk-filter feeding mechanisms to efficiently feed on dense prey patches. Baleen whales are central place foragers where oxygen at the surface represents the central place and depth acts as the distance to prey. Although hypothesized that baleen whales will target the densest prey patches anywhere in the water column, how depth and density interact to influence foraging behaviour is poorly understood. We used multi-sensor archival tags and active acoustics to quantify Antarctic humpback whale foraging behaviour relative to prey. Our analyses reveal multi-stage foraging decisions driven by both krill depth and density. During daylight hours when whales did not feed, krill were found in deep high-density patches. As krill migrated vertically into larger and less dense patches near the surface, whales began to forage. During foraging bouts, we found that feeding rates (number of feeding lunges per hour) were greatest when prey was shallowest, and feeding rates decreased with increasing dive depth. This strategy is consistent with previous models of how air-breathing diving animals optimize foraging efficiency. Thus, humpback whales forage mainly when prey is more broadly distributed and shallower, presumably to minimize diving and searching costs and to increase feeding rates overall and thus foraging efficiency. Using direct measurements of feeding behaviour from animal-borne tags and prey availability from echosounders, our study demonstrates a multi-stage foraging process in a central place forager that we suggest acts to optimize overall efficiency by maximizing net energy gain over time. These data reveal a previously unrecognized level of complexity in predator-prey interactions and underscores the need to simultaneously measure prey distribution in marine central place forager

  1. Multiple-stage decisions in a marine central-place forager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Tyson, Reny B.; Kaltenberg, Amanda; Goldbogen, Jeremy A.; Stimpert, Alison K.; Curtice, Corrie; Hazen, Elliott L.; Halpin, Patrick N.; Read, Andrew J.; Nowacek, Douglas P.

    2016-05-01

    Air-breathing marine animals face a complex set of physical challenges associated with diving that affect the decisions of how to optimize feeding. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) have evolved bulk-filter feeding mechanisms to efficiently feed on dense prey patches. Baleen whales are central place foragers where oxygen at the surface represents the central place and depth acts as the distance to prey. Although hypothesized that baleen whales will target the densest prey patches anywhere in the water column, how depth and density interact to influence foraging behaviour is poorly understood. We used multi-sensor archival tags and active acoustics to quantify Antarctic humpback whale foraging behaviour relative to prey. Our analyses reveal multi-stage foraging decisions driven by both krill depth and density. During daylight hours when whales did not feed, krill were found in deep high-density patches. As krill migrated vertically into larger and less dense patches near the surface, whales began to forage. During foraging bouts, we found that feeding rates (number of feeding lunges per hour) were greatest when prey was shallowest, and feeding rates decreased with increasing dive depth. This strategy is consistent with previous models of how air-breathing diving animals optimize foraging efficiency. Thus, humpback whales forage mainly when prey is more broadly distributed and shallower, presumably to minimize diving and searching costs and to increase feeding rates overall and thus foraging efficiency. Using direct measurements of feeding behaviour from animal-borne tags and prey availability from echosounders, our study demonstrates a multi-stage foraging process in a central place forager that we suggest acts to optimize overall efficiency by maximizing net energy gain over time. These data reveal a previously unrecognized level of complexity in predator-prey interactions and underscores the need to simultaneously measure prey distribution in marine central place forager

  2. The forager oral tradition and the evolution of prolonged juvenility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalise Sugiyama, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    The foraging niche is characterized by the exploitation of nutrient-rich resources using complex extraction techniques that take a long time to acquire. This costly period of development is supported by intensive parental investment. Although human life history theory tends to characterize this investment in terms of food and care, ethnographic research on foraging skill transmission suggests that the flow of resources from old-to-young also includes knowledge. Given the adaptive value of information, parents may have been under selection pressure to invest knowledge - e.g., warnings, advice - in children: proactive provisioning of reliable information would have increased offspring survival rates and, hence, parental fitness. One way that foragers acquire subsistence knowledge is through symbolic communication, including narrative. Tellingly, oral traditions are characterized by an old-to-young transmission pattern, which suggests that, in forager groups, storytelling might be an important means by which adults transfer knowledge to juveniles. In particular, by providing juveniles with vicarious experience, storytelling may expand episodic memory, which is believed to be integral to the generation of possible future scenarios (i.e., planning). In support of this hypothesis, this essay reviews evidence that: mastery of foraging knowledge and skill sets takes a long time to acquire; foraging knowledge is transmitted from parent to child; the human mind contains adaptations specific to social learning; full assembly of learning mechanisms is not complete in early childhood; and forager oral traditions contain a wide range of information integral to occupation of the foraging niche. It concludes with suggestions for tests of the proposed hypothesis.

  3. The forager oral tradition and the evolution of prolonged juvenility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Scalise Sugiyama

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The foraging niche is characterized by the exploitation of nutrient-rich resources using complex extraction techniques that take a long time to acquire. This costly period of development is supported by intensive parental investment. Although human life history theory tends to characterize this investment in terms of food and care, ethnographic research on foraging skill transmission suggests that the flow of resources from old to young also includes knowledge. Given the adaptive value of information, parents may have been under selection pressure to invest knowledge—e.g., warnings, advice--in children: proactive provisioning of reliable information would have increased offspring survival rates and, hence, parental fitness. One way that foragers acquire subsistence knowledge is through symbolic communication, including narrative. Tellingly, oral traditions are characterized by an old-to-young transmission pattern, which suggests that, in forager groups, storytelling might be an important means by which adults transfer knowledge to juveniles. In particular, by providing juveniles with vicarious experience, storytelling may expand episodic memory, which is believed to be integral to the generation of possible future scenarios (i.e., planning. In support of this hypothesis, this essay reviews evidence that: mastery of foraging knowledge and skill sets takes a long time to acquire; foraging knowledge is transmitted from parent to child; the human mind contains adaptations specific to social learning; full assembly of learning mechanisms is not complete in early childhood; and forager oral traditions contain a wide range of information integral to occupation of the foraging niche. It concludes with suggestions for tests of the proposed hypothesis.

  4. The ecological economics of kleptoparasitism: pay-offs from self-foraging versus kleptoparasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flower, Tom P; Child, Matthew F; Ridley, Amanda R

    2013-01-01

    Animals commonly steal food from other species, termed interspecific kleptoparasitism, but why animals engage in kleptoparasitism compared with alternate foraging tactics, and under what circumstances they do so, is not fully understood. Determining what specific benefits animals gain from kleptoparasitism could provide valuable insight into its evolution. Here, we investigate the benefits of kleptoparasitism for a population of individually recognizable and free-living fork-tailed drongos (Dicrurus adsimilis) in the southern Kalahari Desert. Drongos engaged in two foraging behaviours: self-foraging for small insects or following other species which they kleptoparasitized for larger terrestrial prey that they could not capture themselves. Kleptoparasitism consequently enabled drongos to exploit a new foraging niche. Kleptoparasitism benefitted drongos most in the morning and on colder days because at these times pay-offs from kleptoparasitism remained stable, while those from self-foraging declined. However, drongos engaged in kleptoparasitism less than expected given the overall high (but more variable) pay-offs from this behaviour, suggesting that kleptoparasitism is a risky foraging tactic and may incur additional foraging costs compared with self-foraging. This is the first study to comprehensively investigate the benefits of facultatively engaging in kleptoparasitism, demonstrating that animals may switch to kleptoparasitism to exploit a new foraging niche when pay-offs exceed those from alternate foraging behaviours. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.

  5. Chemical probing of the human sirtuin 5 active site reveals its substrate acyl specificity and peptide-based inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roessler, Claudia; Nowak, Theresa; Pannek, Martin; Gertz, Melanie; Nguyen, Giang T T; Scharfe, Michael; Born, Ilona; Sippl, Wolfgang; Steegborn, Clemens; Schutkowski, Mike

    2014-09-26

    Sirtuins are NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases acting as sensors in metabolic pathways and stress response. In mammals there are seven isoforms. The mitochondrial sirtuin 5 is a weak deacetylase but a very efficient demalonylase and desuccinylase; however, its substrate acyl specificity has not been systematically analyzed. Herein, we investigated a carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 derived peptide substrate and modified the lysine side chain systematically to determine the acyl specificity of Sirt5. From that point we designed six potent peptide-based inhibitors that interact with the NAD(+) binding pocket. To characterize the interaction details causing the different substrate and inhibition properties we report several X-ray crystal structures of Sirt5 complexed with these peptides. Our results reveal the Sirt5 acyl selectivity and its molecular basis and enable the design of inhibitors for Sirt5. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Comprehensive benchmarking reveals H2BK20 acetylation as a distinctive signature of cell-state-specific enhancers and promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vibhor; Rayan, Nirmala Arul; Muratani, Masafumi; Lim, Stefan; Elanggovan, Bavani; Xin, Lixia; Lu, Tess; Makhija, Harshyaa; Poschmann, Jeremie; Lufkin, Thomas; Ng, Huck Hui; Prabhakar, Shyam

    2016-05-01

    Although over 35 different histone acetylation marks have been described, the overwhelming majority of regulatory genomics studies focus exclusively on H3K27ac and H3K9ac. In order to identify novel epigenomic traits of regulatory elements, we constructed a benchmark set of validated enhancers by performing 140 enhancer assays in human T cells. We tested 40 chromatin signatures on this unbiased enhancer set and identified H2BK20ac, a little-studied histone modification, as the most predictive mark of active enhancers. Notably, we detected a novel class of functionally distinct enhancers enriched in H2BK20ac but lacking H3K27ac, which was present in all examined cell lines and also in embryonic forebrain tissue. H2BK20ac was also unique in highlighting cell-type-specific promoters. In contrast, other acetylation marks were present in all active promoters, regardless of cell-type specificity. In stimulated microglial cells, H2BK20ac was more correlated with cell-state-specific expression changes than H3K27ac, with TGF-beta signaling decoupling the two acetylation marks at a subset of regulatory elements. In summary, our study reveals a previously unknown connection between histone acetylation and cell-type-specific gene regulation and indicates that H2BK20ac profiling can be used to uncover new dimensions of gene regulation. © 2016 Kumar et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  7. Comparative Analysis Between Flaviviruses Reveals Specific Neural Stem Cell Tropism for Zika Virus in the Mouse Developing Neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Baptiste Brault

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The recent Zika outbreak in South America and French Polynesia was associated with an epidemic of microcephaly, a disease characterized by a reduced size of the cerebral cortex. Other members of the Flavivirus genus, including West Nile virus (WNV, can cause encephalitis but were not demonstrated to cause microcephaly. It remains unclear whether Zika virus (ZIKV and other flaviviruses may infect different cell populations in the developing neocortex and lead to distinct developmental defects. Here, we describe an assay to infect mouse E15 embryonic brain slices with ZIKV, WNV and dengue virus serotype 4 (DENV-4. We show that this tissue is able to support viral replication of ZIKV and WNV, but not DENV-4. Cell fate analysis reveals a remarkable tropism of ZIKV infection for neural stem cells. Closely related WNV displays a very different tropism of infection, with a bias towards neurons. We further show that ZIKV infection, but not WNV infection, impairs cell cycle progression of neural stem cells. Both viruses inhibited apoptosis at early stages of infection. This work establishes a powerful comparative approach to identify ZIKV-specific alterations in the developing neocortex and reveals specific preferential infection of neural stem cells by ZIKV.

  8. Pan-viral specificity of IFN-induced genes reveals new roles for cGAS in innate immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoggins, John W.; MacDuff, Donna A.; Imanaka, Naoko; Gainey, Maria D.; Shrestha, Bimmi; Eitson, Jennifer L.; Mar, Katrina B.; Richardson, R. Blake; Ratushny, Alexander V.; Litvak, Vladimir; Dabelic, Rea; Manicassamy, Balaji; Aitchison, John D.; Aderem, Alan; Elliott, Richard M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Racaniello, Vincent; Snijder, Eric J.; Yokoyama, Wayne M.; Diamond, Michael S.; Virgin, Herbert W.; Rice, Charles M.

    2014-01-01

    The type I interferon (IFN) response protects cells from viral infection by inducing hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), some of which encode direct antiviral effectors. Recent screening studies have begun to catalogue ISGs with antiviral activity against several RNA and DNA viruses. However, antiviral ISG specificity across multiple distinct classes of viruses remains largely unexplored. Here we used an ectopic expression assay to screen a library of more than 350 human ISGs for effects on 14 viruses representing 7 families and 11 genera. We show that 47 genes inhibit one or more viruses, and 25 genes enhance virus infectivity. Comparative analysis reveals that the screened ISGs target positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses more effectively than negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Gene clustering highlights the cytosolic DNA sensor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS, also known as MB21D1) as a gene whose expression also broadly inhibits several RNA viruses. In vitro, lentiviral delivery of enzymatically active cGAS triggers a STING-dependent, IRF3-mediated antiviral program that functions independently of canonical IFN/STAT1 signalling. In vivo, genetic ablation of murine cGAS reveals its requirement in the antiviral response to two DNA viruses, and an unappreciated contribution to the innate control of an RNA virus. These studies uncover new paradigms for the preferential specificity of IFN-mediated antiviral pathways spanning several virus families.

  9. Taxon-specific metagenomics of Trichoderma reveals a narrow community of opportunistic species that regulate each other’s development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedl, Martina A.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we report on the in situ diversity of the mycotrophic fungus Trichoderma (teleomorph Hypocrea, Ascomycota, Dikarya) revealed by a taxon-specific metagenomic approach. We designed a set of genus-specific internal transcribed spacer (ITS)1 and ITS2 rRNA primers and constructed a clone library containing 411 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). The overall species composition in the soil of the two distinct ecosystems in the Danube floodplain consisted of 15 known species and two potentially novel taxa. The latter taxa accounted for only 1.5 % of all MOTUs, suggesting that almost no hidden or uncultivable Hypocrea/Trichoderma species are present at least in these temperate forest soils. The species were unevenly distributed in vertical soil profiles although no universal factors controlling the distribution of all of them (chemical soil properties, vegetation type and affinity to rhizosphere) were revealed. In vitro experiments simulating infrageneric interactions between the pairs of species that were detected in the same soil horizon showed a broad spectrum of reactions from very strong competition over neutral coexistence to the pronounced synergism. Our data suggest that only a relatively small portion of Hypocrea/Trichoderma species is adapted to soil as a habitat and that the interaction between these species should be considered in a screening for Hypocrea/Trichoderma as an agent(s) of biological control of pests. PMID:22075025

  10. Transcriptional profiling reveals gland-specific differential expression in the three major salivary glands of the adult mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xin; Oei, Maria S; Ovitt, Catherine E; Sincan, Murat; Melvin, James E

    2018-04-01

    RNA-Seq was used to better understand the molecular nature of the biological differences among the three major exocrine salivary glands in mammals. Transcriptional profiling found that the adult murine parotid, submandibular, and sublingual salivary glands express greater than 14,300 protein-coding genes, and nearly 2,000 of these genes were differentially expressed. Principle component analysis of the differentially expressed genes revealed three distinct clusters according to gland type. The three salivary gland transcriptomes were dominated by a relatively few number of highly expressed genes (6.3%) that accounted for more than 90% of transcriptional output. Of the 912 transcription factors expressed in the major salivary glands, greater than 90% of them were detected in all three glands, while expression for ~2% of them was enriched in an individual gland. Expression of these unique transcription factors correlated with sublingual and parotid specific subsets of both highly expressed and differentially expressed genes. Gene ontology analyses revealed that the highly expressed genes common to all glands were associated with global functions, while many of the genes expressed in a single gland play a major role in the function of that gland. In summary, transcriptional profiling of the three murine major salivary glands identified a limited number of highly expressed genes, differentially expressed genes, and unique transcription factors that represent the transcriptional signatures underlying gland-specific biological properties.

  11. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche

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    Vilhelmsen Lars B

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Army ants are the prime arthropod predators in tropical forests, with huge colonies and an evolutionary derived nomadic life style. Five of the six recognized subgenera of Old World Dorylus army ants forage in the soil, whereas some species of the sixth subgenus (Anomma forage in the leaf-litter and some as conspicuous swarm raiders on the forest floor and in the lower vegetation (the infamous driver ants. Here we use a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Dorylus s.l. army ants and to infer the evolutionary transitions in foraging niche and associated morphological adaptations. Results Underground foraging is basal and gave rise to leaf-litter foraging. Leaf-litter foraging in turn gave rise to two derived conditions: true surface foraging (the driver ants and a reversal to subterranean foraging (a clade with most of the extant Dorylus s.s. species. This means that neither the subgenus Anomma nor Dorylus s.s. is monophyletic, and that one of the Dorylus s.s. lineages adopted subterranean foraging secondarily. We show that this latter group evolved a series of morphological adaptations to underground foraging that are remarkably convergent to the basal state. Conclusion The evolutionary transitions in foraging niche were more complex than previously thought, but our comparative analysis of worker morphology lends strong support to the contention that particular foraging niches have selected for very specific worker morphologies. The surprising reversal to underground foraging is therefore a striking example of convergent morphological evolution.

  12. The structure of bradyzoite-specific enolase from Toxoplasma gondii reveals insights into its dual cytoplasmic and nuclear functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruan, Jiapeng [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); Mouveaux, Thomas [Université Lille Nord de France, (France); Light, Samuel H.; Minasov, George; Anderson, Wayne F. [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); Tomavo, Stanislas [Université Lille Nord de France, (France); Ngô, Huân M., E-mail: h-ngo@northwestern.edu [Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Morton 7-601, Chicago, IL 60611 (United States); BrainMicro LLC, 21 Pendleton Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The second crystal structure of a parasite protein preferentially enriched in the brain cyst of T. gondii has been solved at 2.75 Å resolution. Bradyzoite enolase 1 is reported to have differential functions as a glycolytic enzyme and a transcriptional regulator in bradyzoites. In addition to catalyzing a central step in glycolysis, enolase assumes a remarkably diverse set of secondary functions in different organisms, including transcription regulation as documented for the oncogene c-Myc promoter-binding protein 1. The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii differentially expresses two nuclear-localized, plant-like enolases: enolase 1 (TgENO1) in the latent bradyzoite cyst stage and enolase 2 (TgENO2) in the rapidly replicative tachyzoite stage. A 2.75 Å resolution crystal structure of bradyzoite enolase 1, the second structure to be reported of a bradyzoite-specific protein in Toxoplasma, captures an open conformational state and reveals that distinctive plant-like insertions are located on surface loops. The enolase 1 structure reveals that a unique residue, Glu164, in catalytic loop 2 may account for the lower activity of this cyst-stage isozyme. Recombinant TgENO1 specifically binds to a TTTTCT DNA motif present in the cyst matrix antigen 1 (TgMAG1) gene promoter as demonstrated by gel retardation. Furthermore, direct physical interactions of both nuclear TgENO1 and TgENO2 with the TgMAG1 gene promoter are demonstrated in vivo using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Structural and biochemical studies reveal that T. gondii enolase functions are multifaceted, including the coordination of gene regulation in parasitic stage development. Enolase 1 provides a potential lead in the design of drugs against Toxoplasma brain cysts.

  13. Antennal proteome comparison of sexually mature drone and forager honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Mao; Song, Feifei; Aleku, Dereje Woltedji; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2011-07-01

    Honeybees have evolved an intricate system of chemical communication to regulate their complex social interactions. Specific proteins involved in odorant detection most likely supported this chemical communication. Odorant reception takes place mainly in the antennae within hairlike structures called olfactory sensilla. Antennal proteomes of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees (an age group of bees assigned to perform field tasks) were compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and bioinformatics. Sixty-one differentially expressed proteins were identified in which 67% were highly upregulated in the drones' antennae whereas only 33% upregulated in the worker bees' antennae. The antennae of the worker bees strongly expressed carbohydrate and energy metabolism and molecular transporters signifying a strong demand for metabolic energy and odorant binding proteins for their foraging activities and other olfactory responses, while proteins related to fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, and protein folding were strongly upregulated in the drones' antennae as an indication of the importance for the detection and degradation of sex pheromones during queen identification for mating. On the basis of both groups of altered antenna proteins, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production and molecular transporters comprised more than 80% of the functional enrichment analysis and 45% of the constructed biological interaction networks (BIN), respectively. This suggests these two protein families play crucial roles in the antennal olfactory function of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees. Several key node proteins in the BIN were validated at the transcript level. This first global proteomic comparative analysis of antennae reveals sex-biased protein expression in both bees, indicating that odorant response mechanisms are sex-specific because of natural selection for different olfactory

  14. Does greed help a forager survive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, U.; Redner, S.; Bénichou, O.

    2017-06-01

    We investigate the role of greed on the lifetime of a random-walking forager on an initially resource-rich lattice. Whenever the forager lands on a food-containing site, all the food there is eaten and the forager can hop S more steps without food before starving. Upon reaching an empty site, the forager comes one time unit closer to starvation. The forager is also greedy—given a choice to move to an empty or to a food-containing site in its local neighborhood, the forager moves preferentially toward food. Surprisingly, the forager lifetime varies nonmonotonically with greed, with different senses of the nonmonotonicity in one and two dimensions. Also unexpectedly, the forager lifetime in one dimension has a huge peak for very negative greed where the forager is food averse.

  15. Genome-wide analysis of the Dof transcription factor gene family reveals soybean-specific duplicable and functional characteristics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Guo

    Full Text Available The Dof domain protein family is a classic plant-specific zinc-finger transcription factor family involved in a variety of biological processes. There is great diversity in the number of Dof genes in different plants. However, there are only very limited reports on the characterization of Dof transcription factors in soybean (Glycine max. In the present study, 78 putative Dof genes were identified from the whole-genome sequence of soybean. The predicted GmDof genes were non-randomly distributed within and across 19 out of 20 chromosomes and 97.4% (38 pairs were preferentially retained duplicate paralogous genes located in duplicated regions of the genome. Soybean-specific segmental duplications contributed significantly to the expansion of the soybean Dof gene family. These Dof proteins were phylogenetically clustered into nine distinct subgroups among which the gene structure and motif compositions were considerably conserved. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of these Dof proteins revealed four major groups, similar to those reported for Arabidopsis and rice. Most of the GmDofs showed specific expression patterns based on RNA-seq data analyses. The expression patterns of some duplicate genes were partially redundant while others showed functional diversity, suggesting the occurrence of sub-functionalization during subsequent evolution. Comprehensive expression profile analysis also provided insights into the soybean-specific functional divergence among members of the Dof gene family. Cis-regulatory element analysis of these GmDof genes suggested diverse functions associated with different processes. Taken together, our results provide useful information for the functional characterization of soybean Dof genes by combining phylogenetic analysis with global gene-expression profiling.

  16. B-Cell-Specific Diversion of Glucose Carbon Utilization Reveals a Unique Vulnerability in B Cell Malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Gang; Chan, Lai N; Klemm, Lars; Braas, Daniel; Chen, Zhengshan; Geng, Huimin; Zhang, Qiuyi Chen; Aghajanirefah, Ali; Cosgun, Kadriye Nehir; Sadras, Teresa; Lee, Jaewoong; Mirzapoiazova, Tamara; Salgia, Ravi; Ernst, Thomas; Hochhaus, Andreas; Jumaa, Hassan; Jiang, Xiaoyan; Weinstock, David M; Graeber, Thomas G; Müschen, Markus

    2018-04-05

    B cell activation during normal immune responses and oncogenic transformation impose increased metabolic demands on B cells and their ability to retain redox homeostasis. While the serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) was identified as a tumor suppressor in multiple types of cancer, our genetic studies revealed an essential role of PP2A in B cell tumors. Thereby, PP2A redirects glucose carbon utilization from glycolysis to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to salvage oxidative stress. This unique vulnerability reflects constitutively low PPP activity in B cells and transcriptional repression of G6PD and other key PPP enzymes by the B cell transcription factors PAX5 and IKZF1. Reflecting B-cell-specific transcriptional PPP-repression, glucose carbon utilization in B cells is heavily skewed in favor of glycolysis resulting in lack of PPP-dependent antioxidant protection. These findings reveal a gatekeeper function of the PPP in a broad range of B cell malignancies that can be efficiently targeted by small molecule inhibition of PP2A and G6PD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Upper ocean stratification and sea ice growth rates during the summer-fall transition, as revealed by Elephant seal foraging in the Adélie Depression, East Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. D. Williams

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina, fitted with Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensors at Macquarie Island in January 2005 and 2010, collected unique oceanographic observations of the Adélie and George V Land continental shelf (140–148° E during the summer-fall transition (late February through April. This is a key region of dense shelf water formation from enhanced sea ice growth/brine rejection in the local coastal polynyas. In 2005, two seals occupied the continental shelf break near the grounded icebergs at the northern end of the Mertz Glacier Tongue for several weeks from the end of February. One of the seals migrated west to the Dibble Ice Tongue, apparently utilising the Antarctic Slope Front current near the continental shelf break. In 2010, immediately after that year's calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue, two seals migrated to the same region but penetrated much further southwest across the Adélie Depression and sampled the Commonwealth Bay polynya from March through April. Here we present observations of the regional oceanography during the summer-fall transition, in particular (i the zonal distribution of modified Circumpolar Deep Water exchange across the shelf break, (ii the upper ocean stratification across the Adélie Depression, including alongside iceberg C-28 that calved from the Mertz Glacier and (iii the convective overturning of the deep remnant seasonal mixed layer in Commonwealth Bay from sea ice growth. Heat and freshwater budgets to 200–300 m are used to estimate the ocean heat content (400→50 MJ m−2, flux (50–200 W m−2 loss and sea ice growth rates (maximum of 7.5–12.5 cm day−1. Mean seal-derived sea ice growth rates were within the range of satellite-derived estimates from 1992–2007 using ERA-Interim data. We speculate that the continuous foraging by the seals within Commonwealth Bay during the summer/fall transition was due to favorable feeding

  18. Upper ocean stratification and sea ice growth rates during the summer-fall transition, as revealed by Elephant seal foraging in the Adélie Depression, East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. D.; Hindell, M.; Houssais, M.-N.; Tamura, T.; Field, I. C.

    2011-03-01

    Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), fitted with Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensors at Macquarie Island in January 2005 and 2010, collected unique oceanographic observations of the Adélie and George V Land continental shelf (140-148° E) during the summer-fall transition (late February through April). This is a key region of dense shelf water formation from enhanced sea ice growth/brine rejection in the local coastal polynyas. In 2005, two seals occupied the continental shelf break near the grounded icebergs at the northern end of the Mertz Glacier Tongue for several weeks from the end of February. One of the seals migrated west to the Dibble Ice Tongue, apparently utilising the Antarctic Slope Front current near the continental shelf break. In 2010, immediately after that year's calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue, two seals migrated to the same region but penetrated much further southwest across the Adélie Depression and sampled the Commonwealth Bay polynya from March through April. Here we present observations of the regional oceanography during the summer-fall transition, in particular (i) the zonal distribution of modified Circumpolar Deep Water exchange across the shelf break, (ii) the upper ocean stratification across the Adélie Depression, including alongside iceberg C-28 that calved from the Mertz Glacier and (iii) the convective overturning of the deep remnant seasonal mixed layer in Commonwealth Bay from sea ice growth. Heat and freshwater budgets to 200-300 m are used to estimate the ocean heat content (400→50 MJ m-2), flux (50-200 W m-2 loss) and sea ice growth rates (maximum of 7.5-12.5 cm day-1). Mean seal-derived sea ice growth rates were within the range of satellite-derived estimates from 1992-2007 using ERA-Interim data. We speculate that the continuous foraging by the seals within Commonwealth Bay during the summer/fall transition was due to favorable feeding conditions resulting from the convective overturning of the deep

  19. Foraging in corallivorous butterflyfish varies with wave exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Mae M.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Coker, Darren J.; Cvitanovic, Christopher; Fulton, Christopher J.

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the foraging patterns of reef fishes is crucial for determining patterns of resource use and the sensitivity of species to environmental change. While changes in prey availability and interspecific competition have been linked to patterns of prey selection, body condition, and survival in coral reef fishes, rarely has the influence of abiotic environmental conditions on foraging been considered. We used underwater digital video to explore how prey availability and wave exposure influence the behavioural time budgets and prey selectivity of four species of obligate coral-feeding butterflyfishes. All four species displayed high selectivity towards live hard corals, both in terms of time invested and frequency of searching and feeding events. However, our novel analysis revealed that such selectivity was sensitive to wave exposure in some species, despite there being no significant differences in the availability of each prey category across exposures. In most cases, these obligate corallivores increased their selectivity towards their most favoured prey types at sites of high wave exposure. This suggests there are costs to foraging under different wave environments that can shape the foraging patterns of butterflyfishes in concert with other conditions such as prey availability, interspecific competition, and territoriality. Given that energy acquisition is crucial to the survival and fitness of fishes, we highlight how such environmental forcing of foraging behaviour may influence the ecological response of species to the ubiquitous and highly variable wave climates of shallow coral reefs.

  20. Resource diversity and landscape-level homogeneity drive native bee foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-08

    Given widespread declines in pollinator communities and increasing global reliance on pollinator-dependent crops, there is an acute need to develop a mechanistic understanding of native pollinator population and foraging biology. Using a population genetics approach, we determine the impact of habitat and floral resource distributions on nesting and foraging patterns of a critical native pollinator, Bombus vosnesenskii. Our findings demonstrate that native bee foraging is far more plastic and extensive than previously believed and does not follow a simple optimal foraging strategy. Rather, bumble bees forage further in pursuit of species-rich floral patches and in landscapes where patch-to-patch variation in floral resources is less, regardless of habitat composition. Thus, our results reveal extreme foraging plasticity and demonstrate that floral diversity, not density, drives bee foraging distance. Furthermore, we find a negative impact of paved habitat and a positive impact of natural woodland on bumble bee nesting densities. Overall, this study reveals that natural and human-altered landscapes can be managed for increased native bee nesting and extended foraging, dually enhancing biodiversity and the spatial extent of pollination services.

  1. Crystal structure of APOBEC3A bound to single-stranded DNA reveals structural basis for cytidine deamination and specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouno, Takahide; Silvas, Tania V; Hilbert, Brendan J; Shandilya, Shivender M D; Bohn, Markus F; Kelch, Brian A; Royer, William E; Somasundaran, Mohan; Kurt Yilmaz, Nese; Matsuo, Hiroshi; Schiffer, Celia A

    2017-04-28

    Nucleic acid editing enzymes are essential components of the immune system that lethally mutate viral pathogens and somatically mutate immunoglobulins, and contribute to the diversification and lethality of cancers. Among these enzymes are the seven human APOBEC3 deoxycytidine deaminases, each with unique target sequence specificity and subcellular localization. While the enzymology and biological consequences have been extensively studied, the mechanism by which APOBEC3s recognize and edit DNA remains elusive. Here we present the crystal structure of a complex of a cytidine deaminase with ssDNA bound in the active site at 2.2 Å. This structure not only visualizes the active site poised for catalysis of APOBEC3A, but pinpoints the residues that confer specificity towards CC/TC motifs. The APOBEC3A-ssDNA complex defines the 5'-3' directionality and subtle conformational changes that clench the ssDNA within the binding groove, revealing the architecture and mechanism of ssDNA recognition that is likely conserved among all polynucleotide deaminases, thereby opening the door for the design of mechanistic-based therapeutics.

  2. Interactions between Casein kinase Iepsilon (CKIepsilon and two substrates from disparate signaling pathways reveal mechanisms for substrate-kinase specificity.

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    Caroline Lund Dahlberg

    Full Text Available Members of the Casein Kinase I (CKI family of serine/threonine kinases regulate diverse biological pathways. The seven mammalian CKI isoforms contain a highly conserved kinase domain and divergent amino- and carboxy-termini. Although they share a preferred target recognition sequence and have overlapping expression patterns, individual isoforms often have specific substrates. In an effort to determine how substrates recognize differences between CKI isoforms, we have examined the interaction between CKIepsilon and two substrates from different signaling pathways.CKIepsilon, but not CKIalpha, binds to and phosphorylates two proteins: Period, a transcriptional regulator of the circadian rhythms pathway, and Disheveled, an activator of the planar cell polarity pathway. We use GST-pull-down assays data to show that two key residues in CKIalpha's kinase domain prevent Disheveled and Period from binding. We also show that the unique C-terminus of CKIepsilon does not determine Dishevelled's and Period's preference for CKIepsilon nor is it essential for binding, but instead plays an auxillary role in stabilizing the interactions of CKIepsilon with its substrates. We demonstrate that autophosphorylation of CKIepsilon's C-terminal tail prevents substrate binding, and use mass spectrometry and chemical crosslinking to reveal how a phosphorylation-dependent interaction between the C-terminal tail and the kinase domain prevents substrate phosphorylation and binding.The biochemical interactions between CKIepsilon and Disheveled, Period, and its own C-terminus lead to models that explain CKIepsilon's specificity and regulation.

  3. Genome-Wide Comparison of Magnaporthe Species Reveals a Host-Specific Pattern of Secretory Proteins and Transposable Elements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghana Deepak Shirke

    Full Text Available Blast disease caused by the Magnaporthe species is a major factor affecting the productivity of rice, wheat and millets. This study was aimed at generating genomic information for rice and non-rice Magnaporthe isolates to understand the extent of genetic variation. We have sequenced the whole genome of the Magnaporthe isolates, infecting rice (leaf and neck, finger millet (leaf and neck, foxtail millet (leaf and buffel grass (leaf. Rice and finger millet isolates infecting both leaf and neck tissues were sequenced, since the damage and yield loss caused due to neck blast is much higher as compared to leaf blast. The genome-wide comparison was carried out to study the variability in gene content, candidate effectors, repeat element distribution, genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and SNPs. The analysis of repeat element footprints revealed some genes such as naringenin, 2-oxoglutarate 3-dioxygenase being targeted by Pot2 and Occan, in isolates from different host species. Some repeat insertions were host-specific while other insertions were randomly shared between isolates. The distributions of repeat elements, secretory proteins, CAZymes and SNPs showed significant variation across host-specific lineages of Magnaporthe indicating an independent genome evolution orchestrated by multiple genomic factors.

  4. Sex-specific automatic responses to infant cries: TMS reveals greater excitability in females than males in motor evoked potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene eMessina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging reveals that infant cries activate parts of the premotor cortical system. To validate this effect in a more direct way, we used event-related transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Here, we investigated the presence and the time course of modulation of motor cortex excitability in young adults who listened to infant cries. Specifically, we recorded motor evoked potentials (MEPs from the biceps brachii (BB and interosseus dorsalis primus (ID1 muscles as produced by TMS delivered from 0 to 250 ms from sound onset in six steps of 50 ms in 10 females and 10 males. We observed an excitatory modulation of MEPs at 100 ms from the onset of the infant cry specific to females and to the ID1 muscle. We regard this modulation as a response to natural cry sounds because it was delayed, attenuated to stimuli increasingly different from natural cry, and was absent in a separate group of females who listened to non-cry stimuli physically matched to natural infant cries. Furthermore, the 100-ms latency of this modulation is not compatible with a voluntary reaction to the stimulus but suggests an automatic, bottom-up audiomotor association. The brains of adult females appear to be tuned to respond to infant cries with automatic motor excitation. This effect may reflect the greater and longstanding burden on females in caregiving infants.

  5. Linking social and spatial networks to viral community phylogenetics reveals subtype-specific transmission dynamics in African lions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain-Jones, Nicholas M; Packer, Craig; Troyer, Jennifer L; VanderWaal, Kimberly; Robinson, Stacie; Jacquot, Maude; Craft, Meggan E

    2017-10-01

    Heterogeneity within pathogen species can have important consequences for how pathogens transmit across landscapes; however, discerning different transmission routes is challenging. Here, we apply both phylodynamic and phylogenetic community ecology techniques to examine the consequences of pathogen heterogeneity on transmission by assessing subtype-specific transmission pathways in a social carnivore. We use comprehensive social and spatial network data to examine transmission pathways for three subtypes of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV Ple ) in African lions (Panthera leo) at multiple scales in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. We used FIV Ple molecular data to examine the role of social organization and lion density in shaping transmission pathways and tested to what extent vertical (i.e., father- and/or mother-offspring relationships) or horizontal (between unrelated individuals) transmission underpinned these patterns for each subtype. Using the same data, we constructed subtype-specific FIV Ple co-occurrence networks and assessed what combination of social networks, spatial networks or co-infection best structured the FIV Ple network. While social organization (i.e., pride) was an important component of FIV Ple transmission pathways at all scales, we find that FIV Ple subtypes exhibited different transmission pathways at within- and between-pride scales. A combination of social and spatial networks, coupled with consideration of subtype co-infection, was likely to be important for FIV Ple transmission for the two major subtypes, but the relative contribution of each factor was strongly subtype-specific. Our study provides evidence that pathogen heterogeneity is important in understanding pathogen transmission, which could have consequences for how endemic pathogens are managed. Furthermore, we demonstrate that community phylogenetic ecology coupled with phylodynamic techniques can reveal insights into the differential evolutionary pressures acting

  6. Comparative Effect of Sole Forage and Mixed Concentrate-Forage ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There was no statistical (P>0.05) difference in average intake of forage between the two treatment groups. Economically, Treatment 1 proves to be better for the enhancement of body weight in growing rabbits than Treatment 2. Key words: Weaner rabbits,Poultry grower mesh, Tridax procumbens, Feed intake,Body weight ...

  7. Foraging task specialisation and foraging labour allocation in stingless bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, Frouke Elisabeth

    2006-01-01

    Social bees collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants for energy of the adult bees and for feeding the larvae in the colony. The flowering patterns of plants imply that periods of high food availability are often followed by periods of meagre foraging conditions. Being dependent on such a

  8. Mouse Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster sequence and expression analyses reveal conservation of tissue-specific MHC-independent immunosurveillance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Zhang

    Full Text Available The Nkrp1 (Klrb1-Clr (Clec2 genes encode a receptor-ligand system utilized by NK cells as an MHC-independent immunosurveillance strategy for innate immune responses. The related Ly49 family of MHC-I receptors displays extreme allelic polymorphism and haplotype plasticity. In contrast, previous BAC-mapping and aCGH studies in the mouse suggest the neighboring and related Nkrp1-Clr cluster is evolutionarily stable. To definitively compare the relative evolutionary rate of Nkrp1-Clr vs. Ly49 gene clusters, the Nkrp1-Clr gene clusters from two Ly49 haplotype-disparate inbred mouse strains, BALB/c and 129S6, were sequenced. Both Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster sequences are highly similar to the C57BL/6 reference sequence, displaying the same gene numbers and order, complete pseudogenes, and gene fragments. The Nkrp1-Clr clusters contain a strikingly dissimilar proportion of repetitive elements compared to the Ly49 clusters, suggesting that certain elements may be partly responsible for the highly disparate Ly49 vs. Nkrp1 evolutionary rate. Focused allelic polymorphisms were found within the Nkrp1b/d (Klrb1b, Nkrp1c (Klrb1c, and Clr-c (Clec2f genes, suggestive of possible immune selection. Cell-type specific transcription of Nkrp1-Clr genes in a large panel of tissues/organs was determined. Clr-b (Clec2d and Clr-g (Clec2i showed wide expression, while other Clr genes showed more tissue-specific expression patterns. In situ hybridization revealed specific expression of various members of the Clr family in leukocytes/hematopoietic cells of immune organs, various tissue-restricted epithelial cells (including intestinal, kidney tubular, lung, and corneal progenitor epithelial cells, as well as myocytes. In summary, the Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster appears to evolve more slowly relative to the related Ly49 cluster, and likely regulates innate immunosurveillance in a tissue-specific manner.

  9. Longevity Genes Revealed by Integrative Analysis of Isoform-Specific daf-16/FoxO Mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Albert Tzong-Yang; Guo, Chunfang; Itani, Omar A; Budaitis, Breane G; Williams, Travis W; Hopkins, Christopher E; McEachin, Richard C; Pande, Manjusha; Grant, Ana R; Yoshina, Sawako; Mitani, Shohei; Hu, Patrick J

    2015-10-01

    FoxO transcription factors promote longevity across taxa. How they do so is poorly understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the A- and F-isoforms of the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16 extend life span in the context of reduced DAF-2 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) signaling. To elucidate the mechanistic basis for DAF-16/FoxO-dependent life span extension, we performed an integrative analysis of isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutants. In contrast to previous studies suggesting that DAF-16F plays a more prominent role in life span control than DAF-16A, isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutant phenotypes and whole transcriptome profiling revealed a predominant role for DAF-16A over DAF-16F in life span control, stress resistance, and target gene regulation. Integration of these datasets enabled the prioritization of a subset of 92 DAF-16/FoxO target genes for functional interrogation. Among 29 genes tested, two DAF-16A-specific target genes significantly influenced longevity. A loss-of-function mutation in the conserved gene gst-20, which is induced by DAF-16A, reduced life span extension in the context of daf-2/IGFR RNAi without influencing longevity in animals subjected to control RNAi. Therefore, gst-20 promotes DAF-16/FoxO-dependent longevity. Conversely, a loss-of-function mutation in srr-4, a gene encoding a seven-transmembrane-domain receptor family member that is repressed by DAF-16A, extended life span in control animals, indicating that DAF-16/FoxO may extend life span at least in part by reducing srr-4 expression. Our discovery of new longevity genes underscores the efficacy of our integrative strategy while providing a general framework for identifying specific downstream gene regulatory events that contribute substantially to transcription factor functions. As FoxO transcription factors have conserved functions in promoting longevity and may be dysregulated in aging-related diseases, these findings promise to illuminate fundamental

  10. Specific patterns of gene space organisation revealed in wheat by using the combination of barley and wheat genomic resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waugh Robbie

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Because of its size, allohexaploid nature and high repeat content, the wheat genome has always been perceived as too complex for efficient molecular studies. We recently constructed the first physical map of a wheat chromosome (3B. However gene mapping is still laborious in wheat because of high redundancy between the three homoeologous genomes. In contrast, in the closely related diploid species, barley, numerous gene-based markers have been developed. This study aims at combining the unique genomic resources developed in wheat and barley to decipher the organisation of gene space on wheat chromosome 3B. Results Three dimensional pools of the minimal tiling path of wheat chromosome 3B physical map were hybridised to a barley Agilent 15K expression microarray. This led to the fine mapping of 738 barley orthologous genes on wheat chromosome 3B. In addition, comparative analyses revealed that 68% of the genes identified were syntenic between the wheat chromosome 3B and barley chromosome 3 H and 59% between wheat chromosome 3B and rice chromosome 1, together with some wheat-specific rearrangements. Finally, it indicated an increasing gradient of gene density from the centromere to the telomeres positively correlated with the number of genes clustered in islands on wheat chromosome 3B. Conclusion Our study shows that novel structural genomics resources now available in wheat and barley can be combined efficiently to overcome specific problems of genetic anchoring of physical contigs in wheat and to perform high-resolution comparative analyses with rice for deciphering the organisation of the wheat gene space.

  11. Gene expression profiling, pathway analysis and subtype classification reveal molecular heterogeneity in hepatocellular carcinoma and suggest subtype specific therapeutic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Rahul; Narayan, Jitendra; Bhattacharyya, Amitava; Saraswat, Mayank; Tomar, Anil Kumar

    2017-10-01

    A very low 5-year survival rate among hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is mainly due to lack of early stage diagnosis, distant metastasis and high risk of postoperative recurrence. Hence ascertaining novel biomarkers for early diagnosis and patient specific therapeutics is crucial and urgent. Here, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression data of 423 HCC patients (373 tumors and 50 controls) downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) followed by pathway enrichment by gene ontology annotations, subtype classification and overall survival analysis. The differential gene expression analysis using non-parametric Wilcoxon test revealed a total of 479 up-regulated and 91 down-regulated genes in HCC compared to controls. The list of top differentially expressed genes mainly consists of tumor/cancer associated genes, such as AFP, THBS4, LCN2, GPC3, NUF2, etc. The genes over-expressed in HCC were mainly associated with cell cycle pathways. In total, 59 kinases associated genes were found over-expressed in HCC, including TTK, MELK, BUB1, NEK2, BUB1B, AURKB, PLK1, CDK1, PKMYT1, PBK, etc. Overall four distinct HCC subtypes were predicted using consensus clustering method. Each subtype was unique in terms of gene expression, pathway enrichment and median survival. Conclusively, this study has exposed a number of interesting genes which can be exploited in future as potential markers of HCC, diagnostic as well as prognostic and subtype classification may guide for improved and specific therapy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Execution Plans for Cyber Foraging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø

    2008-01-01

    Cyber foraging helps small devices perform heavy tasks by opportunistically discovering and utilising available resources (such as computation, storage, bandwidth, etc.) held by larger, nearby peers. This offloading is done in an ad-hoc manner, as larger machines will not always be within reach...

  13. Execution Plans for Cyber Foraging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø

    2008-01-01

    Cyber foraging helps small devices perform heavy tasks by opportunistically discovering and utilising available resources (such as computation, storage, bandwidth, etc.) held by larger, nearby peers. This offloading is done in an ad-hoc manner, as larger machines will not always be within reach. ...

  14. 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

  15. Functional specificity of cardiolipin synthase revealed by the identification of a cardiolipin synthase CrCLS1 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hsien eHung

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Phosphatidylglycerol (PG and cardiolipin (CL are two essential classes of phospholipid in plants and algae. Phosphatidylglycerophosphate synthase (PGPS and cardiolipin synthase (CLS involved in the biosynthesis of PG and CL belong to CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase and share overall amino acid sequence homology. However, it remains elusive whether PGPS and CLS are functionally distinct in vivo. Here, we report identification of a gene encoding CLS in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, CrCLS1, and its functional compatibility. Whereas CrCLS1 did not complement the growth phenotype of a PGPS mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, it rescued the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype, growth profile with different carbon sources, phospholipid composition and enzyme activity of ∆crd1, a CLS mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These results suggest that CrCLS1 encodes a functional CLS of C. reinhardtii as the first identified algal CLS, whose enzyme function is distinct from that of PGPSs from C. reinhardtii. Comparison of CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase motif between PGPS and CLS among different species revealed a possible additional motif that might define the substrate specificity of these closely related enzymes.

  16. High-Throughput Sequencing Reveals Diverse Sets of Conserved, Nonconserved, and Species-Specific miRNAs in Jute

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Tariqul Islam

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs play a pivotal role in regulating a broad range of biological processes, acting by cleaving mRNAs or by translational repression. A group of plant microRNAs are evolutionarily conserved; however, others are expressed in a species-specific manner. Jute is an agroeconomically important fibre crop; nonetheless, no practical information is available for microRNAs in jute to date. In this study, Illumina sequencing revealed a total of 227 known microRNAs and 17 potential novel microRNA candidates in jute, of which 164 belong to 23 conserved families and the remaining 63 belong to 58 nonconserved families. Among a total of 81 identified microRNA families, 116 potential target genes were predicted for 39 families and 11 targets were predicted for 4 among the 17 identified novel microRNAs. For understanding better the functions of microRNAs, target genes were analyzed by Gene Ontology and their pathways illustrated by KEGG pathway analyses. The presence of microRNAs identified in jute was validated by stem-loop RT-PCR followed by end point PCR and qPCR for randomly selected 20 known and novel microRNAs. This study exhaustively identifies microRNAs and their target genes in jute which will ultimately pave the way for understanding their role in this crop and other crops.

  17. Multiomics in Grape Berry Skin Revealed Specific Induction of the Stilbene Synthetic Pathway by Ultraviolet-C Irradiation1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Mami; Nakabayashi, Ryo; Ogata, Yoshiyuki; Sakurai, Nozomu; Tokimatsu, Toshiaki; Goto, Susumu; Suzuki, Makoto; Jasinski, Michal; Martinoia, Enrico; Otagaki, Shungo; Matsumoto, Shogo; Saito, Kazuki; Shiratake, Katsuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Grape (Vitis vinifera) accumulates various polyphenolic compounds, which protect against environmental stresses, including ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light and pathogens. In this study, we looked at the transcriptome and metabolome in grape berry skin after UV-C irradiation, which demonstrated the effectiveness of omics approaches to clarify important traits of grape. We performed transcriptome analysis using a genome-wide microarray, which revealed 238 genes up-regulated more than 5-fold by UV-C light. Enrichment analysis of Gene Ontology terms showed that genes encoding stilbene synthase, a key enzyme for resveratrol synthesis, were enriched in the up-regulated genes. We performed metabolome analysis using liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and 2,012 metabolite peaks, including unidentified peaks, were detected. Principal component analysis using the peaks showed that only one metabolite peak, identified as resveratrol, was highly induced by UV-C light. We updated the metabolic pathway map of grape in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database and in the KaPPA-View 4 KEGG system, then projected the transcriptome and metabolome data on a metabolic pathway map. The map showed specific induction of the resveratrol synthetic pathway by UV-C light. Our results showed that multiomics is a powerful tool to elucidate the accumulation mechanisms of secondary metabolites, and updated systems, such as KEGG and KaPPA-View 4 KEGG for grape, can support such studies. PMID:25761715

  18. Congener-specific accumulation and trophic transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls in spider crab food webs revealed by stable isotope analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodin, N. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); LPTC-UMR 5472 CNRS, Universite de Bordeaux 1, 351 cours de la Liberation, 33400 Talence (France)], E-mail: bodin.nathalie@caramail.com; Le Loc' h, F. [IRD, UR 070 RAP, Centre de Recherche Halieutique, Avenue Jean Monnet, B.P. 171, 34203 Sete Cedex (France); Caisey, X.; Le Guellec, A.-M.; Abarnou, A.; Loizeau, V. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); Latrouite, D. [IFREMER, DCB-STH, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France)

    2008-01-15

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) were analyzed in the spider crab (Maja brachydactyla) food web from the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany) and the Seine Bay (Eastern English Channel). PCB concentrations were all significantly higher in organisms from the Seine Bay than those from the Iroise Sea. PCB patterns were strongly related to the feeding mode of the species, and increased influence of higher chlorinated congeners was highlighted with trophic position of the organisms. PCB concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. - The influence of feeding mode and trophic position on the fate of PCBs in spider crab food webs is discussed by using a stable isotopic approach.

  19. Comprehensive analysis of ultrasonic vocalizations in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome reveals limited, call type specific deficits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snigdha Roy

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a well-recognized form of inherited mental retardation, caused by a mutation in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1 gene. The gene is located on the long arm of the X chromosome and encodes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP. Absence of FMRP in fragile X patients as well as in Fmr1 knockout (KO mice results, among other changes, in abnormal dendritic spine formation and altered synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and hippocampus. Clinical features of FXS include cognitive impairment, anxiety, abnormal social interaction, mental retardation, motor coordination and speech articulation deficits. Mouse pups generate ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs when isolated from their mothers. Whether those social ultrasonic vocalizations are deficient in mouse models of FXS is unknown. Here we compared isolation-induced USVs generated by pups of Fmr1-KO mice with those of their wild type (WT littermates. Though the total number of calls was not significantly different between genotypes, a detailed analysis of 10 different categories of calls revealed that loss of Fmr1 expression in mice causes limited and call-type specific deficits in ultrasonic vocalization: the carrier frequency of flat calls was higher, the percentage of downward calls was lower and that the frequency range of complex calls was wider in Fmr1-KO mice compared to their WT littermates.

  20. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garabedian, James E. [North Carolina State University

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  1. A novel system for tracking social preference dynamics in mice reveals sex- and strain-specific characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netser, Shai; Haskal, Shani; Magalnik, Hen; Wagner, Shlomo

    2017-01-01

    Deciphering the biological mechanisms underlying social behavior in animal models requires standard behavioral paradigms that can be unbiasedly employed in an observer- and laboratory-independent manner. During the past decade, the three-chamber test has become such a standard paradigm used to evaluate social preference (sociability) and social novelty preference in mice. This test suffers from several caveats, including its reliance on spatial navigation skills and negligence of behavioral dynamics. Here, we present a novel experimental apparatus and an automated analysis system which offer an alternative to the three-chamber test while solving the aforementioned caveats. The custom-made apparatus is simple for production, and the analysis system is publically available as an open-source software, enabling its free use. We used this system to compare the dynamics of social behavior during the social preference and social novelty preference tests between male and female C57BL/6J mice. We found that in both tests, male mice keep their preference towards one of the stimuli for longer periods than females. We then employed our system to define several new parameters of social behavioral dynamics in mice and revealed that social preference behavior is segregated in time into two distinct phases. An early exploration phase, characterized by high rate of transitions between stimuli and short bouts of stimulus investigation, is followed by an interaction phase with low transition rate and prolonged interactions, mainly with the preferred stimulus. Finally, we compared the dynamics of social behavior between C57BL/6J and BTBR male mice, the latter of which are considered as asocial strain serving as a model for autism spectrum disorder. We found that BTBR mice ( n  = 8) showed a specific deficit in transition from the exploration phase to the interaction phase in the social preference test, suggesting a reduced tendency towards social interaction. We successfully

  2. Quantitative analysis of commensal Escherichia coli populations reveals host-specific enterotypes at the intra-species level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smati, Mounira; Clermont, Olivier; Bleibtreu, Alexandre; Fourreau, Frédéric; David, Anthony; Daubié, Anne-Sophie; Hignard, Cécile; Loison, Odile; Picard, Bertrand; Denamur, Erick

    2015-08-01

    The primary habitat of the Escherichia coli species is the gut of warm-blooded vertebrates. The E. coli species is structured into four main phylogenetic groups A, B1, B2, and D. We estimated the relative proportions of these phylogroups in the feces of 137 wild and domesticated animals with various diets living in the Ile de France (Paris) region by real-time PCR. We distinguished three main clusters characterized by a particular abundance of two or more phylogroups within the E. coli animal commensal populations, which we called "enterocolitypes" by analogy with the enterotypes defined in the human gut microbiota at the genus level. These enterocolitypes were characterized by a dominant (>50%) B2, B1, or A phylogroup and were associated with different host species, diets, and habitats: wild and herbivorous species (wild rabbits and deer), domesticated herbivorous species (domesticated rabbits, horses, sheep, and cows), and omnivorous species (boar, pigs, and chickens), respectively. By analyzing retrospectively the data obtained using the same approach from 98 healthy humans living in Ile de France (Smati et al. 2013, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79, 5005-5012), we identified a specific human enterocolitype characterized by the dominant and/or exclusive (>90%) presence of phylogroup B2. We then compared B2 strains isolated from animals and humans, and revealed that human and animal strains differ regarding O-type and B2 subgroup. Moreover, two genes, sfa/foc and clbQ, were associated with the exclusive character of strains, observed only in humans. In conclusion, a complex network of interactions exists at several levels (genus and intra-species) within the intestinal microbiota. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. CRISPR/Cas9 cleavages in budding yeast reveal templated insertions and strand-specific insertion/deletion profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, Brenda R; Kaplan, Adam C; Bae, Ji Eun; Ferrazzoli, Alexander E; Kuo, James; Anand, Ranjith P; Waterman, David P; Haber, James E

    2018-02-27

    Harnessing CRISPR-Cas9 technology provides an unprecedented ability to modify genomic loci via DNA double-strand break (DSB) induction and repair. We analyzed nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair induced by Cas9 in budding yeast and found that the orientation of binding of Cas9 and its guide RNA (gRNA) profoundly influences the pattern of insertion/deletions (indels) at the site of cleavage. A common indel created by Cas9 is a 1-bp (+1) insertion that appears to result from Cas9 creating a 1-nt 5' overhang that is filled in by a DNA polymerase and ligated. The origin of +1 insertions was investigated by using two gRNAs with PAM sequences located on opposite DNA strands but designed to cleave the same sequence. These templated +1 insertions are dependent on the X-family DNA polymerase, Pol4. Deleting Pol4 also eliminated +2 and +3 insertions, which are biased toward homonucleotide insertions. Using inverted PAM sequences, we also found significant differences in overall NHEJ efficiency and repair profiles, suggesting that the binding of the Cas9:gRNA complex influences subsequent NHEJ processing. As with events induced by the site-specific HO endonuclease, CRISPR-Cas9-mediated NHEJ repair depends on the Ku heterodimer and DNA ligase 4. Cas9 events are highly dependent on the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 complex, independent of Mre11's nuclease activity. Inspection of the outcomes of a large number of Cas9 cleavage events in mammalian cells reveals a similar templated origin of +1 insertions in human cells, but also a significant frequency of similarly templated +2 insertions.

  4. Some ethylene biosynthesis and AP2/ERF genes reveal a specific pattern of expression during somatic embryogenesis in Hevea brasiliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piyatrakul Piyanuch

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ethylene production and signalling play an important role in somatic embryogenesis, especially for species that are recalcitrant in in vitro culture. The AP2/ERF superfamily has been identified and classified in Hevea brasiliensis. This superfamily includes the ERFs involved in response to ethylene. The relative transcript abundance of ethylene biosynthesis genes and of AP2/ERF genes was analysed during somatic embryogenesis for callus lines with different regeneration potential, in order to identify genes regulated during that process. Results The analysis of relative transcript abundance was carried out by real-time RT-PCR for 142 genes. The transcripts of ERFs from group I, VII and VIII were abundant at all stages of the somatic embryogenesis process. Forty genetic expression markers for callus regeneration capacity were identified. Fourteen markers were found for proliferating calli and 35 markers for calli at the end of the embryogenesis induction phase. Sixteen markers discriminated between normal and abnormal embryos and, lastly, there were 36 markers of conversion into plantlets. A phylogenetic analysis comparing the sequences of the AP2 domains of Hevea and Arabidopsis genes enabled us to predict the function of 13 expression marker genes. Conclusions This first characterization of the AP2/ERF superfamily in Hevea revealed dramatic regulation of the expression of AP2/ERF genes during the somatic embryogenesis process. The gene expression markers of proliferating callus capacity to regenerate plants by somatic embryogenesis should make it possible to predict callus lines suitable to be used for multiplication. Further functional characterization of these markers opens up prospects for discovering specific AP2/ERF functions in the Hevea species for which somatic embryogenesis is difficult.

  5. Comparative analyses of population-scale phenomic data in electronic medical records reveal race-specific disease networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glicksberg, Benjamin S.; Li, Li; Badgeley, Marcus A.; Shameer, Khader; Kosoy, Roman; Beckmann, Noam D.; Pho, Nam; Hakenberg, Jörg; Ma, Meng; Ayers, Kristin L.; Hoffman, Gabriel E.; Dan Li, Shuyu; Schadt, Eric E.; Patel, Chirag J.; Chen, Rong; Dudley, Joel T.

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Underrepresentation of racial groups represents an important challenge and major gap in phenomics research. Most of the current human phenomics research is based primarily on European populations; hence it is an important challenge to expand it to consider other population groups. One approach is to utilize data from EMR databases that contain patient data from diverse demographics and ancestries. The implications of this racial underrepresentation of data can be profound regarding effects on the healthcare delivery and actionability. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first attempt to perform comparative, population-scale analyses of disease networks across three different populations, namely Caucasian (EA), African American (AA) and Hispanic/Latino (HL). Results: We compared susceptibility profiles and temporal connectivity patterns for 1988 diseases and 37 282 disease pairs represented in a clinical population of 1 025 573 patients. Accordingly, we revealed appreciable differences in disease susceptibility, temporal patterns, network structure and underlying disease connections between EA, AA and HL populations. We found 2158 significantly comorbid diseases for the EA cohort, 3265 for AA and 672 for HL. We further outlined key disease pair associations unique to each population as well as categorical enrichments of these pairs. Finally, we identified 51 key ‘hub’ diseases that are the focal points in the race-centric networks and of particular clinical importance. Incorporating race-specific disease comorbidity patterns will produce a more accurate and complete picture of the disease landscape overall and could support more precise understanding of disease relationships and patient management towards improved clinical outcomes. Contacts: rong.chen@mssm.edu or joel.dudley@mssm.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27307606

  6. Comparative analyses of population-scale phenomic data in electronic medical records reveal race-specific disease networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glicksberg, Benjamin S; Li, Li; Badgeley, Marcus A; Shameer, Khader; Kosoy, Roman; Beckmann, Noam D; Pho, Nam; Hakenberg, Jörg; Ma, Meng; Ayers, Kristin L; Hoffman, Gabriel E; Dan Li, Shuyu; Schadt, Eric E; Patel, Chirag J; Chen, Rong; Dudley, Joel T

    2016-06-15

    Underrepresentation of racial groups represents an important challenge and major gap in phenomics research. Most of the current human phenomics research is based primarily on European populations; hence it is an important challenge to expand it to consider other population groups. One approach is to utilize data from EMR databases that contain patient data from diverse demographics and ancestries. The implications of this racial underrepresentation of data can be profound regarding effects on the healthcare delivery and actionability. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first attempt to perform comparative, population-scale analyses of disease networks across three different populations, namely Caucasian (EA), African American (AA) and Hispanic/Latino (HL). We compared susceptibility profiles and temporal connectivity patterns for 1988 diseases and 37 282 disease pairs represented in a clinical population of 1 025 573 patients. Accordingly, we revealed appreciable differences in disease susceptibility, temporal patterns, network structure and underlying disease connections between EA, AA and HL populations. We found 2158 significantly comorbid diseases for the EA cohort, 3265 for AA and 672 for HL. We further outlined key disease pair associations unique to each population as well as categorical enrichments of these pairs. Finally, we identified 51 key 'hub' diseases that are the focal points in the race-centric networks and of particular clinical importance. Incorporating race-specific disease comorbidity patterns will produce a more accurate and complete picture of the disease landscape overall and could support more precise understanding of disease relationships and patient management towards improved clinical outcomes. rong.chen@mssm.edu or joel.dudley@mssm.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  7. Corn in consortium with forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cássia Maria de Paula Garcia

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The basic premises for sustainable agricultural development with focus on rural producers are reducing the costs of production and aggregation of values through the use crop-livestock system (CLS throughout the year. The CLS is based on the consortium of grain crops, especially corn with tropical forages, mainly of the genus Panicum and Urochloa. The study aimed to evaluate the grain yield of irrigated corn crop intercropped with forage of the genus Panicum and Urochloa. The experiment was conducted at the Fazenda de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão – FEPE  of the Faculdade de Engenharia - UNESP, Ilha Solteira in an Oxisol in savannah conditions and in the autumn winter of 2009. The experimental area was irrigated by a center pivot and had a history of no-tillage system for 8 years. The corn hybrid used was simple DKB 390 YG at distances of 0.90 m. The seeds of grasses were sown in 0.34 m spacing in the amount of 5 kg ha-1, they were mixed with fertilizer minutes before sowing  and placed in a compartment fertilizer seeder and fertilizers were mechanically deposited in the soil at a depth of 0.03 m. The experimental design used was a randomized block with four replications and five treatments: Panicum maximum cv. Tanzania sown during the nitrogen fertilization (CTD of the corn; Panicum maximum cv. Mombaça sown during the nitrogen fertilization (CMD of the corn; Urochloa brizantha cv. Xaraés sown during the occasion of nitrogen fertilization (CBD of the corn; Urochloa ruziziensis cv. Comumsown during the nitrogen fertilization (CRD of the corn and single corn (control. The production components of corn: plant population per hectare (PlPo, number of ears per hectare (NE ha-1, number of rows per ear (NRE, number of kernels per row on the cob (NKR, number of grain in the ear (NGE and mass of 100 grains (M100G were not influenced by consortium with forage. Comparing grain yield (GY single corn and maize intercropped with forage of the genus Panicum

  8. Combined bio-logging and stable isotopes reveal individual specialisations in a benthic coastal seabird, the Kerguelen shag.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie C M Camprasse

    Full Text Available Individual specialisations, which involve the repetition of specific behaviours or dietary choices over time, have been suggested to benefit animals by avoiding competition with conspecifics and increasing individual foraging efficiency. Among seabirds, resident and benthic species are thought to be good models to study inter-individual variation as they repetitively exploit the same environment. We investigated foraging behaviour, isotopic niche and diet in the Kerguelen shag Phalacrocorax verrucosus during both the incubation and chick-rearing periods for the same individuals to determine the effect of sex, breeding stage, body mass and morphometrics on mean foraging metrics and their consistency. There were large differences between individuals in foraging behaviour and consistency, with strong individual specialisations in dive depths and heading from the colony. Stable isotopes revealed specialisations in feeding strategies, across multiple temporal scales. Specifically, individuals showed medium term specialisations in feeding strategies during the breeding season, as well as long-term consistency. A clustering analysis revealed 4 different foraging strategies displaying significantly different δ15N values and body masses. There were no sex or stage biases to clusters and individuals in different clusters did not differ in their morphology. Importantly, the results suggest that the different strategies emphasized were related to individual prey preferences rather than intrinsic characteristics.

  9. A Sorghum bicolor expression atlas reveals dynamic genotype-specific expression profiles for vegetative tissues of grain, sweet and bioenergy sorghums

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shakoor, N; Nair, R; Crasta, O; Morris, G; Feltus, A; Kresovich, S

    2014-01-23

    Background: Effective improvement in sorghum crop development necessitates a genomics-based approach to identify functional genes and QTLs. Sequenced in 2009, a comprehensive annotation of the sorghum genome and the development of functional genomics resources is key to enable the discovery and deployment of regulatory and metabolic genes and gene networks for crop improvement. Results: This study utilizes the first commercially available whole-transcriptome sorghum microarray (Sorgh-WTa520972F) to identify tissue and genotype-specific expression patterns for all identified Sorghum bicolor exons and UTRs. The genechip contains 1,026,373 probes covering 149,182 exons (27,577 genes) across the Sorghum bicolor nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial genomes. Specific probesets were also included for putative non-coding RNAs that may play a role in gene regulation (e. g., microRNAs), and confirmed functional small RNAs in related species (maize and sugarcane) were also included in our array design. We generated expression data for 78 samples with a combination of four different tissue types (shoot, root, leaf and stem), two dissected stem tissues (pith and rind) and six diverse genotypes, which included 6 public sorghum lines (R159, Atlas, Fremont, PI152611, AR2400 and PI455230) representing grain, sweet, forage, and high biomass ideotypes. Conclusions: Here we present a summary of the microarray dataset, including analysis of tissue-specific gene expression profiles and associated expression profiles of relevant metabolic pathways. With an aim to enable identification and functional characterization of genes in sorghum, this expression atlas presents a new and valuable resource to the research community.

  10. Physiological effects of increased foraging effort in a small passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Kang Nian; Kim, Oh Run; Harris, Karilyn C; Williams, Tony D

    2017-11-15

    Foraging to obtain food, either for self-maintenance or at presumably elevated rates to provide for offspring, is thought to be an energetically demanding activity but one that is essential for fitness (higher reproductive success and survival). Nevertheless, the physiological mechanisms that allow some individuals to support higher foraging performance, and the mechanisms underlying costs of high workload, remain poorly understood. We experimentally manipulated foraging behaviour in zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) using the technique described by Koetsier and Verhulst (2011) Birds in the 'high foraging effort' (HF) group had to obtain food either while flying/hovering or by making repeated hops or jumps from the ground up to the feeder, behaviour typical of the extremely energetically expensive foraging mode observed in many free-living small passerines. HF birds made significantly more trips to the feeder per 10 min, whereas control birds spent more time (perched) at the feeder. Despite this marked change in foraging behaviour, we documented few short- or long-term effects of 'training' (3 days and 90 days of 'training', respectively) and some of these effects were sex specific. There were no effects of treatment on basal metabolic rate, haematocrit, haemoglobin or plasma glycerol, triglyceride and glucose levels, and masses of kidney, crop, large intestine, small intestine, gizzard and liver. HF females had higher masses of flight muscle, leg muscle, heart and lung compared with controls. In contrast, HF males had lower heart mass than controls and there were no differences for other organs. When both sexes were pooled, there were no effects of treatment on body composition. Finally, birds in the HF treatment group had higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (dROMs) and, consequently, although treatment did not affect total anti-oxidant capacity, birds in the HF treatment group had higher oxidative stress. © 2017. Published by The Company of

  11. A neural coding scheme reproducing foraging trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Esther D.; Cabrera, Juan Luis

    2015-12-01

    The movement of many animals may follow Lévy patterns. The underlying generating neuronal dynamics of such a behavior is unknown. In this paper we show that a novel discovery of multifractality in winnerless competition (WLC) systems reveals a potential encoding mechanism that is translatable into two dimensional superdiffusive Lévy movements. The validity of our approach is tested on a conductance based neuronal model showing WLC and through the extraction of Lévy flights inducing fractals from recordings of rat hippocampus during open field foraging. Further insights are gained analyzing mice motor cortex neurons and non motor cell signals. The proposed mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the neuro-dynamical fundamentals of spatial searching patterns observed in animals (including humans) and illustrates an until now unknown way to encode information in neuronal temporal series.

  12. Recent developments in forage evaluation with special reference to practical applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. HUHTANEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The present re-evaluation of a dataset of systematically collected laboratory analyses and in vivo digestibility information for several types of silages gives convincing evidence of the biological weaknesses of feed characterisation based on the proximate feed analysis. The problems include intrinsic failures of the analysis in describing cause-response relationships between forage composition and digestibility, and heavy dependency of the equations on forage specific and environmental factors. It is concluded that proximate analysis is not suitable for characterisation of neither forages nor concentrate feedstuffs. In vitro pepsin-cellulase solubility of organic matter (OMS and concentration of indigestible neutral detergent fibre (iNDF predicted forage organic matter digestibility (OMD with an acceptable accuracy for practical feed evaluation purposes provided that forage type dependent correction equations were employed. The revised detergent system dividing forage dry matter (DM into almost completely available neutral detergent solubles (NDS, and insoluble residue (neutral detergent fibre, NDF shows potential for future development. The combined use of long-term in situ ruminal incubation and NDF fractionation can be used to divide forage DM into three biologically meaningful fractions: NDS, iNDF and potentially digestible NDF (pdNDF. The summative models can then be used to predict forage D-value, i.e. apparently digestible organic matter in forage (g kg-1 DM. The models sum digestible NDS, which can be determined by Lucas equation, and digestible NDF (dNDF, which is the amount of pdNDF that is actually digested during any specific fermentation or retention time. Forage type specific summative models were as good as regression equations based on OMS or iNDF in predicting forage D-value and general summative models gave better results than general equations based on iNDF and especially OMS. If the goal is to reduce prediction error of D

  13. Geographic profiling and animal foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Comber, Steven C; Nicholls, Barry; Rossmo, D Kim; Racey, Paul A

    2006-05-21

    Geographic profiling was originally developed as a statistical tool for use in criminal cases, particularly those involving serial killers and rapists. It is designed to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects by using the location of crime scenes to identify the areas in which the criminal is most likely to live. Two important concepts are the buffer zone (criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the immediate vicinity of their home) and distance decay (criminals commit fewer crimes as the distance from their home increases). In this study, we show how the techniques of geographic profiling may be applied to animal data, using as an example foraging patterns in two sympatric colonies of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus, in the northeast of Scotland. We show that if model variables are fitted to known roost locations, these variables may be used as numerical descriptors of foraging patterns. We go on to show that these variables can be used to differentiate patterns of foraging in these two species.

  14. Season and landscape composition affect pollen foraging distances and habitat use of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, Nadja; Molitor, Anna Maria; Schiele, Susanne; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-09-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) show a large variation in foraging distances and use a broad range of plant species as pollen resources, even in regions with intensive agriculture. However, it is unknown how increasing areas of mass-flowering crops like oilseed rape (Brassica napus; OSR) or a decrease of seminatural habitats (SNH) change the temporal and spatial availability of pollen resources for honey bee colonies, and thus foraging distances and frequency in different habitat types. We studied pollen foraging of honey bee colonies in 16 agricultural landscapes with independent gradients of OSR and SNH area within 2 km and used waggle dances and digital geographic maps with major land cover types to reveal the distance and visited habitat type on a landscape level. Mean pollen foraging distance of 1347 decoded bee dances was 1015 m (± 26 m; SEM). In spring, increasing area of flowering OSR within 2 km reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 1324 m to only 435 m. In summer, increasing cover of SNH areas close to the colonies (within 200 m radius) reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 846 to 469 m. Frequency of pollen foragers per habitat type, measured as the number of dances per hour and hectare, was equally high for SNH, grassland, and OSR fields, but lower for other crops and forests. In landscapes with a small proportion of SNH a significantly higher density of pollen foragers on SNH was observed, indicating that pollen resources in such simple agricultural landscapes are more limited. Overall, we conclude that SNH and mass-flowering crops can reduce foraging distances of honey bee colonies at different scales and seasons with possible benefits for the performance of honey bee colonies. Further, mixed agricultural landscapes with a high proportion of SNH reduce foraging densities of honey bees in SNH and thus possible competition for pollen resources. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Starvation dynamics of a greedy forager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, U.; Redner, S.; Bénichou, O.

    2017-07-01

    We investigate the dynamics of a greedy forager that moves by random walking in an environment where each site initially contains one unit of food. Upon encountering a food-containing site, the forager eats all the food there and can subsequently hop an additional S steps without food before starving to death. Upon encountering an empty site, the forager goes hungry and comes one time unit closer to starvation. We investigate the new feature of forager greed; if the forager has a choice between hopping to an empty site or to a food-containing site in its nearest neighborhood, it hops preferentially towards food. If the neighboring sites all contain food or are all empty, the forager hops equiprobably to one of these neighbors. Paradoxically, the lifetime of the forager can depend non-monotonically on greed, and the sense of the non-monotonicity is opposite in one and two dimensions. Even more unexpectedly, the forager lifetime in one dimension is substantially enhanced when the greed is negative; here the forager tends to avoid food in its local neighborhood. We also determine the average amount of food consumed at the instant when the forager starves. We present analytic, heuristic, and numerical results to elucidate these intriguing phenomena.

  16. Polyphyletic Nature of Salmonella enterica Serotype Derby and Lineage-Specific Host-Association Revealed by Genome-Wide Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sévellec, Yann; Vignaud, Marie-Léone; Granier, Sophie A.; Lailler, Renaud; Feurer, Carole; Le Hello, Simon; Mistou, Michel-Yves; Cadel-Six, Sabrina

    2018-01-01

    In France, Salmonella Derby is one of the most prevalent serotypes in pork and poultry meat. Since 2006, it has ranked among the 10 most frequent Salmonella serotypes isolated in humans. In previous publications, Salmonella Derby isolates have been characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles revealing the existence of different pulsotypes and AMR phenotypic groups. However, these results suffer from the low discriminatory power of these typing methods. In the present study, we built a collection of 140 strains of S. Derby collected in France from 2014 to 2015 representative of the pork and poultry food sectors. The whole collection was characterized using whole genome sequencing (WGS), providing a significant contribution to the knowledge of this underrepresented serotype, with few genomes available in public databases. The genetic diversity of the S. Derby strains was analyzed by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). We also investigated AMR by both genome and phenotype, the main Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI) and the fimH gene sequences. Our results show that this S. Derby collection is spread across four different lineages genetically distant by an average of 15k SNPs. These lineages correspond to four multilocus sequence typing (MLST) types (ST39, ST40, ST71, and ST682), which were found to be associated with specific animal hosts: pork and poultry. While the ST71 and ST682 strains are pansusceptible, ST40 isolates are characterized by the multidrug resistant profile STR-SSS-TET. Considering virulence determinants, only ST39 and ST40 present the SPI-23, which has previously been associated with pork enterocyte invasion. Furthermore, the pork ST682 isolates were found to carry mutations in the fimH sequence that could participate in the host tropism of this group. Our phylogenetic analysis demonstrates the polyphyletic nature of the Salmonella serotype Derby and provides an opportunity to identify

  17. A Role of Endogenous Progesterone in Stroke Cerebroprotection Revealed by the Neural-Specific Deletion of Its Intracellular Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoyan; Fréchou, Magalie; Liere, Philippe; Zhang, Shaodong; Pianos, Antoine; Fernandez, Neïké; Denier, Christian; Mattern, Claudia; Schumacher, Michael; Guennoun, Rachida

    2017-11-08

    Treatment with progesterone protects the male and female brain against damage after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). However, in both sexes, the brain contains significant amounts of endogenous progesterone. It is not known whether endogenously produced progesterone enhances the resistance of the brain to ischemic insult. Here, we used steroid profiling by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) for exploring adaptive and sex-specific changes in brain levels of progesterone and its metabolites after MCAO. We show that, in the male mouse brain, progesterone is mainly metabolized via 5α-reduction leading to 5α-dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP), also a progesterone receptor (PR) agonist ligand in neural cells, then to 3α,5α-tetrahydroprogesterone (3α,5α-THP). In the female mouse brain, levels of 5α-DHP and 3α,5α-THP are lower and levels of 20α-DHP are higher than in males. After MCAO, levels of progesterone and 5α-DHP are upregulated rapidly to pregnancy-like levels in the male but not in the female brain. To assess whether endogenous progesterone and 5α-DHP contribute to the resistance of neural cells to ischemic damage, we inactivated PR selectively in the CNS. Deletion of PR in the brain reduced its resistance to MCAO, resulting in increased infarct volumes and neurological deficits in both sexes. Importantly, endogenous PR ligands continue to protect the brain of aging mice. These results uncover the unexpected importance of endogenous progesterone and its metabolites in cerebroprotection. They also reveal that the female reproductive hormone progesterone is an endogenous cerebroprotective neurosteroid in both sexes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The brain responds to injury with protective signaling and has a remarkable capacity to protect itself. We show here that, in response to ischemic stroke, levels of progesterone and its neuroactive metabolite 5α-dihydroprogesterone are upregulated rapidly in the male mouse brain but not in the

  18. Polyphyletic Nature of Salmonella enterica Serotype Derby and Lineage-Specific Host-Association Revealed by Genome-Wide Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Sévellec

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In France, Salmonella Derby is one of the most prevalent serotypes in pork and poultry meat. Since 2006, it has ranked among the 10 most frequent Salmonella serotypes isolated in humans. In previous publications, Salmonella Derby isolates have been characterized by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and antimicrobial resistance (AMR profiles revealing the existence of different pulsotypes and AMR phenotypic groups. However, these results suffer from the low discriminatory power of these typing methods. In the present study, we built a collection of 140 strains of S. Derby collected in France from 2014 to 2015 representative of the pork and poultry food sectors. The whole collection was characterized using whole genome sequencing (WGS, providing a significant contribution to the knowledge of this underrepresented serotype, with few genomes available in public databases. The genetic diversity of the S. Derby strains was analyzed by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP. We also investigated AMR by both genome and phenotype, the main Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI and the fimH gene sequences. Our results show that this S. Derby collection is spread across four different lineages genetically distant by an average of 15k SNPs. These lineages correspond to four multilocus sequence typing (MLST types (ST39, ST40, ST71, and ST682, which were found to be associated with specific animal hosts: pork and poultry. While the ST71 and ST682 strains are pansusceptible, ST40 isolates are characterized by the multidrug resistant profile STR-SSS-TET. Considering virulence determinants, only ST39 and ST40 present the SPI-23, which has previously been associated with pork enterocyte invasion. Furthermore, the pork ST682 isolates were found to carry mutations in the fimH sequence that could participate in the host tropism of this group. Our phylogenetic analysis demonstrates the polyphyletic nature of the Salmonella serotype Derby and provides an opportunity

  19. Kinematics and hydrodynamics analysis of swimming anurans reveals striking inter-specific differences in the mechanism for producing thrust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christopher T

    2010-02-15

    This study aimed to compare the swimming kinematics and hydrodynamics within and among aquatic and semi-aquatic/terrestrial frogs. High-speed video was used to obtain kinematics of the leg joints and feet as animals swam freely across their natural range of speeds. Blade element analysis was then used to model the hydrodynamic thrust as a function of foot kinematics. Two purely aquatic frogs, Xenopus laevis and Hymenochirus boettgeri, were compared with two semi-aquatic/terrestrial frogs, Rana pipiens and Bufo americanus. The four species performed similarly. Among swimming strokes, peak stroke velocity ranged from 3.3+/-1.1 to 20.9+/-2.5, from 6.8+/-2.1 to 28.6+/-3.7 and from 4.9+/-0.5 to 20.9+/-4.1 body lengths per second (BL s(-1)) in X. laevis, H. boettgeri and R. pipiens, respectively (means +/- s.d.; N=4 frogs for each). B. americanus swam much more slowly at 3.1+/-0.3 to 7.0+/-2.0 BL s(-1) (N=3 frogs). Time-varying joint kinematics patterns were superficially similar among species. Because foot kinematics result from the cumulative motion of joints proximal to the feet, small differences in time-varying joint kinematics among species resulted in species-specific foot kinematics (therefore hydrodynamics) patterns. To obtain a simple measure of the hydrodynamically useful motion of the foot, this study uses 'effective foot velocity' (EFV): a measure of the component of foot velocity along the axis of swimming. Resolving EFV into translational and rotational components allows predictions of species-specific propulsion strategies. Additionally, a novel kinematic analysis is presented here that enables the partitioning of translational and rotational foot velocity into velocity components contributed by extension at each individual limb joint. Data from the kinematics analysis show that R. pipiens and B. americanus translated their feet faster than their body moved forward, resulting in positive net translational EFV. Conversely, translational EFV was slower than

  20. Extreme precipitation variability, forage quality and large herbivore diet selection in arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, James W.; Gedir, Jay V.; Marshal, Jason P.; Krausman, Paul R.; Allen, Jamison D.; Duff, Glenn C.; Jansen, Brian; Morgart, John R.

    2017-01-01

    Nutritional ecology forms the interface between environmental variability and large herbivore behaviour, life history characteristics, and population dynamics. Forage conditions in arid and semi-arid regions are driven by unpredictable spatial and temporal patterns in rainfall. Diet selection by herbivores should be directed towards overcoming the most pressing nutritional limitation (i.e. energy, protein [nitrogen, N], moisture) within the constraints imposed by temporal and spatial variability in forage conditions. We investigated the influence of precipitation-induced shifts in forage nutritional quality and subsequent large herbivore responses across widely varying precipitation conditions in an arid environment. Specifically, we assessed seasonal changes in diet breadth and forage selection of adult female desert bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis mexicana in relation to potential nutritional limitations in forage N, moisture and energy content (as proxied by dry matter digestibility, DMD). Succulents were consistently high in moisture but low in N and grasses were low in N and moisture until the wet period. Nitrogen and moisture content of shrubs and forbs varied among seasons and climatic periods, whereas trees had consistently high N and moderate moisture levels. Shrubs, trees and succulents composed most of the seasonal sheep diets but had little variation in DMD. Across all seasons during drought and during summer with average precipitation, forages selected by sheep were higher in N and moisture than that of available forage. Differences in DMD between sheep diets and available forage were minor. Diet breadth was lowest during drought and increased with precipitation, reflecting a reliance on few key forage species during drought. Overall, forage selection was more strongly associated with N and moisture content than energy content. Our study demonstrates that unlike north-temperate ungulates which are generally reported to be energy-limited, N and moisture

  1. Corticosterone and foraging behavior in a diving seabird: the Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelier, Frédéric; Bost, Charles-André; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Bouteloup, Guillaume; Dano, Stéphanie; Chastel, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    Because hormones mediate physiological or behavioral responses to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli, they can help us understand how animals adapt their foraging decisions to energetic demands of reproduction. Thus, the hormone corticosterone deserves specific attention because of its influence on metabolism, food intake and locomotor activities. We examined the relationships between baseline corticosterone levels and foraging behavior or mass gain at sea in a diving seabird, the Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae. Data were obtained from free-ranging penguins during the brooding period (Adélie Land, Antarctica) by using satellite transmitters and time-depth-recorders. The birds were weighed and blood sampled before and after a foraging trip (pre-trip and post-trip corticosterone levels, respectively). Penguins with elevated pre-trip corticosterone levels spent less time at sea and stayed closer to the colony than penguins with low pre-trip corticosterone levels. These short trips were associated with a higher foraging effort in terms of diving activity and a lower mass gain at sea than long trips. According to previous studies conducted on seabird species, these results suggest that penguins with elevated pre-trip corticosterone levels might maximize the rate of energy delivery to the chicks at the expense of their body reserves. Moreover, in all birds, corticosterone levels were lower post-foraging than pre-foraging. This decrease could result from either the restoration of body reserves during the foraging trip or from a break in activity at the end of the foraging trip. This study demonstrates for the first time in a diving predator the close relationships linking foraging behavior and baseline corticosterone levels. We suggest that slight elevations in pre-trip corticosterone levels could play a major role in breeding effort by facilitating foraging activity in breeding seabirds.

  2. Dynamic oceanography determines fine scale foraging behavior of Masked Boobies in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline L Poli

    Full Text Available During breeding, foraging marine birds are under biological, geographic, and temporal constraints. These contraints require foraging birds to efficiently process environmental cues derived from physical habitat features that occur at nested spatial scales. Mesoscale oceanography in particular may change rapidly within and between breeding seasons, and findings from well-studied systems that relate oceanography to seabird foraging may transfer poorly to regions with substantially different oceanographic conditions. Our objective was to examine foraging behavior of a pan-tropical seabird, the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra, in the understudied Caribbean province, a moderately productive region driven by highly dynamic currents and fronts. We tracked 135 individuals with GPS units during May 2013, November 2013, and December 2014 at a regionally important breeding colony in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We measured foraging behavior using characteristics of foraging trips and used area restricted search as a proxy for foraging events. Among individual attributes, nest stage contributed to differences in foraging behavior whereas sex did not. Birds searched for prey at nested hierarchical scales ranging from 200 m-35 km. Large-scale coastal and shelf-slope fronts shifted position between sampling periods and overlapped geographically with overall foraging locations. At small scales (at the prey patch level, the specific relationship between environmental variables and foraging behavior was highly variable among individuals but general patterns emerged. Sea surface height anomaly and velocity of water were the strongest predictors of area restricted search behavior in random forest models, a finding that is consistent with the characterization of the Gulf of Mexico as an energetic system strongly influenced by currents and eddies. Our data may be combined with tracking efforts in the Caribbean province and across tropical regions to advance

  3. Dynamic oceanography determines fine scale foraging behavior of Masked Boobies in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, Caroline L.; Harrison, Autumn-Lynn; Vallarino, Adriana; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.

    2017-01-01

    During breeding, foraging marine birds are under biological, geographic, and temporal constraints. These contraints require foraging birds to efficiently process environmental cues derived from physical habitat features that occur at nested spatial scales. Mesoscale oceanography in particular may change rapidly within and between breeding seasons, and findings from well-studied systems that relate oceanography to seabird foraging may transfer poorly to regions with substantially different oceanographic conditions. Our objective was to examine foraging behavior of a pan-tropical seabird, the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), in the understudied Caribbean province, a moderately productive region driven by highly dynamic currents and fronts. We tracked 135 individuals with GPS units during May 2013, November 2013, and December 2014 at a regionally important breeding colony in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We measured foraging behavior using characteristics of foraging trips and used area restricted search as a proxy for foraging events. Among individual attributes, nest stage contributed to differences in foraging behavior whereas sex did not. Birds searched for prey at nested hierarchical scales ranging from 200 m—35 km. Large-scale coastal and shelf-slope fronts shifted position between sampling periods and overlapped geographically with overall foraging locations. At small scales (at the prey patch level), the specific relationship between environmental variables and foraging behavior was highly variable among individuals but general patterns emerged. Sea surface height anomaly and velocity of water were the strongest predictors of area restricted search behavior in random forest models, a finding that is consistent with the characterization of the Gulf of Mexico as an energetic system strongly influenced by currents and eddies. Our data may be combined with tracking efforts in the Caribbean province and across tropical regions to advance understanding of seabird

  4. Human memory retrieval as Lévy foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Theo; Turvey, Michael T.

    2007-11-01

    When people attempt to recall as many words as possible from a specific category (e.g., animal names) their retrievals occur sporadically over an extended temporal period. Retrievals decline as recall progresses, but short retrieval bursts can occur even after tens of minutes of performing the task. To date, efforts to gain insight into the nature of retrieval from this fundamental phenomenon of semantic memory have focused primarily upon the exponential growth rate of cumulative recall. Here we focus upon the time intervals between retrievals. We expected and found that, for each participant in our experiment, these intervals conformed to a Lévy distribution suggesting that the Lévy flight dynamics that characterize foraging behavior may also characterize retrieval from semantic memory. The closer the exponent on the inverse square power-law distribution of retrieval intervals approximated the optimal foraging value of 2, the more efficient was the retrieval. At an abstract dynamical level, foraging for particular foods in one's niche and searching for particular words in one's memory must be similar processes if particular foods and particular words are randomly and sparsely located in their respective spaces at sites that are not known a priori. We discuss whether Lévy dynamics imply that memory processes, like foraging, are optimized in an ecological way.

  5. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ómar I. Jóhannesson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints.

  6. Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor): foraging behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrell, G.G.; Boback, M.S.; Reed, R.N.; Green, S.; Montgomery, Chad E.; DeSouza, L.S.; Chiaraviglio, M.

    2011-01-01

    Boa constrictor is often referred to as a sit-and-wait or ambush forager that chooses locations to maximize the likelihood of prey encounters (Greene 1983. In Janzen [ed.], Costa Rica Natural History, pp. 380-382. Univ. Chicago Press, Illinois). However, as more is learned about the natural history of snakes in general, the dichotomy between active versus ambush foraging is becoming blurred. Herein, we describe an instance of diurnal active foraging by a B. constrictor, illustrating that this species exhibits a range of foraging behaviors.

  7. U.S. DAIRY FORAGE RESEARCH CENTER

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Vision: Leading the world in integrated dairy forage systems research. Mission: Providing dairy industry solutions for food security, environmental sustainability,...

  8. U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Vision: Leading the world in integrated dairy forage systems research. Mission: Providing dairy industry solutions for food security, environmental sustainability,...

  9. Neurogenomic signatures of spatiotemporal memories in time-trained forager honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeger, Nicholas L.; Van Nest, Byron N.; Johnson, Jennifer N.; Boyd, Sam D.; Southey, Bruce R.; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L.; Moore, Darrell; Robinson, Gene E.

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees can form distinct spatiotemporal memories that allow them to return repeatedly to different food sources at different times of day. Although it is becoming increasingly clear that different behavioral states are associated with different profiles of brain gene expression, it is not known whether this relationship extends to states that are as dynamic and specific as those associated with foraging-related spatiotemporal memories. We tested this hypothesis by training different groups of foragers from the same colony to collect sucrose solution from one of two artificial feeders; each feeder was in a different location and had sucrose available at a different time, either in the morning or afternoon. Bees from both training groups were collected at both the morning and afternoon training times to result in one set of bees that was undergoing stereotypical food anticipatory behavior and another that was inactive for each time of day. Between the two groups with the different spatiotemporal memories, microarray analysis revealed that 1329 genes were differentially expressed in the brains of honey bees. Many of these genes also varied with time of day, time of training or state of food anticipation. Some of these genes are known to be involved in a variety of biological processes, including metabolism and behavior. These results indicate that distinct spatiotemporal foraging memories in honey bees are associated with distinct neurogenomic signatures, and the decomposition of these signatures into sets of genes that are also influenced by time or activity state hints at the modular composition of this complex neurogenomic phenotype. PMID:21346126

  10. Foraging intention affects whether willow tits call to attract members of mixed-species flocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2017-06-01

    Understanding how individual behaviour influences the spatial and temporal distribution of other species is necessary to resolve the complex structure of species assemblages. Mixed-species bird flocks provide an ideal opportunity to investigate this issue, because members of the flocks are involved in a variety of behavioural interactions between species. Willow tits ( Poecile montanus ) often produce loud calls when visiting a new foraging patch to recruit other members of mixed-species flocks. The costs and benefits of flocking would differ with individual foraging behaviours (i.e. immediate consumption or caching); thus, willow tits may adjust the production of loud calls according to their foraging intention. In this study, we investigated the link between foraging decisions and calling behaviour in willow tits and tested its influence on the temporal cohesion with members of mixed-species flocks. Observations at experimental foraging patches showed that willow tits produced more calls when they consumed food items compared with when they cached them. Playback experiments revealed that these calls attracted flock members and helped to maintain their presence at foraging patches. Thus, willow tits adjusted calling behaviour according to their foraging intention, thereby coordinating the associations with members of mixed-species flocks. Our findings demonstrate the influence of individual decision-making on temporal cohesion with other species and highlight the importance of interspecific communication in mixed-species flocking dynamics.

  11. Mechanism of selective VEGF-A binding by neuropilin-1 reveals a basis for specific ligand inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew W Parker

    Full Text Available Neuropilin (Nrp receptors function as essential cell surface receptors for the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF family of proangiogenic cytokines and the semaphorin 3 (Sema3 family of axon guidance molecules. There are two Nrp homologues, Nrp1 and Nrp2, which bind to both overlapping and distinct members of the VEGF and Sema3 family of molecules. Nrp1 specifically binds the VEGF-A(164/5 isoform, which is essential for developmental angiogenesis. We demonstrate that VEGF-A specific binding is governed by Nrp1 residues in the b1 coagulation factor domain surrounding the invariant Nrp C-terminal arginine binding pocket. Further, we show that Sema3F does not display the Nrp-specific binding to the b1 domain seen with VEGF-A. Engineered soluble Nrp receptor fragments that selectively sequester ligands from the active signaling complex are an attractive modality for selectively blocking the angiogenic and chemorepulsive functions of Nrp ligands. Utilizing the information on Nrp ligand binding specificity, we demonstrate Nrp constructs that specifically sequester Sema3 in the presence of VEGF-A. This establishes that unique mechanisms are used by Nrp receptors to mediate specific ligand binding and that these differences can be exploited to engineer soluble Nrp receptors with specificity for Sema3.

  12. Functional dissection of the promoter of the pollen-specific gene NTP303 reveals a novel pollen-specific, and conserved cis-regulatory element.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weterings, K; Schrauwen, J; Wullems, G; Twell, D

    1995-07-01

    Regulatory elements within the promoter of the pollen-specific NTP303 gene from tobacco were analysed by transient and stable expression analyses. Analysis of precisely targeted mutations showed that the NTP303 promoter is not regulated by any of the previously described pollen-specific cis-regulatory elements. However, two adjacent regions from -103 to -86 bp and from -86 to -59 bp were shown to contain sequences which positively regulated the NTP303 promoter. Both of these regions were capable of driving pollen-specific expression from a heterologous promoter, independent of orientation and in an additive manner. The boundaries of the minimal, functional NTP303 promoter were determined to lie within the region -86 to -51 bp. The sequence AAATGA localized from -94 to -89 bp was identified as a novel cis-acting element, of which the TGA triplet was shown to comprise an active part. This element was shown to be completely conserved in the similarly regulated promoter of the Bp 10 gene from Brassica napus encoding a homologue of the NTP303 gene.

  13. Past and prospects of forage maize breeding in Europe. II. History, germplasm evolution and correlative agronomic changes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barriere, Y.; Alber, D.; Dolstra, O.; Lapierre, C.; Motto, M.; Ordas, A.; Waes, Van J.; Vlasminkel, L.; Welcker, C.; Monod, J.P.

    2006-01-01

    Although maize was early recognized as an excellent forage plant soon after its introduction in Europe, during a long time it was only bred for grain traits. However, the first recommendations of maize varieties for specific forage use are probably those given in the French VILMORIN-ANDRIEUX

  14. Changes in forage lichen biomass after insect outbreaks and fuel reduction treatment in the Blue Mountains, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce McCune; Sarah Jovan; Amanda. Hardman

    2008-01-01

    Forage lichens are pendulous, hairlike species eaten by a wide range of mammals. Our overall goal was to estimate losses of Bryoria, a genus of ecologically important forage species, in forests subjected to disease and fuel reduction treatments at Starkey Experimental Forest in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Specific objectives were to...

  15. High precision during food recruitment of experienced (reactivated) foragers in the stingless bee Scaptotrigona mexicana (Apidae, Meliponini)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Daniel; Nieh, James C.; Hénaut, Yann; Cruz, Leopoldo; Vandame, Rémy

    Several studies have examined the existence of recruitment communication mechanisms in stingless bees. However, the spatial accuracy of location-specific recruitment has not been examined. Moreover, the location-specific recruitment of reactivated foragers, i.e., foragers that have previously experienced the same food source at a different location and time, has not been explicitly examined. However, such foragers may also play a significant role in colony foraging, particularly in small colonies. Here we report that reactivated Scaptotrigona mexicana foragers can recruit with high precision to a specific food location. The recruitment precision of reactivated foragers was evaluated by placing control feeders to the left and the right of the training feeder (direction-precision tests) and between the nest and the training feeder and beyond it (distance-precision tests). Reactivated foragers arrived at the correct location with high precision: 98.44% arrived at the training feeder in the direction trials (five-feeder fan-shaped array, accuracy of at least +/-6° of azimuth at 50 m from the nest), and 88.62% arrived at the training feeder in the distance trials (five-feeder linear array, accuracy of at least +/-5 m or +/-10% at 50 m from the nest). Thus, S. mexicana reactivated foragers can find the indicated food source at a specific distance and direction with high precision, higher than that shown by honeybees, Apis mellifera, which do not communicate food location at such close distances to the nest.

  16. Effects of forage:concentrate ratio and forage type on apparent digestibility, ruminal fermentation, and microbial growth in goats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantalapiedra-Hijar, G; Yáñez-Ruiz, D R; Martín-García, A I; Molina-Alcaide, E

    2009-02-01

    The effects of forage type and forage:concentrate ratio (F:C) on apparent nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation, and microbial growth were investigated in goats. A comparison between liquid (LAB) and solid (SAB)-associated bacteria to estimate microbial N flow (MNF) from urinary purine derivative excretion was also examined. Treatments were a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of forage type (grass hay vs. alfalfa hay) and high vs. low F:C (70:30 and 30:70, respectively). Four ruminally cannulated goats were fed, at maintenance intake, 4 experimental diets according to a 4 x 4 Latin square design. High-concentrate diets resulted in greater (P 0.05) when diets included alfalfa hay. Total protozoa numbers and holotricha proportion were greater and less (P forage used. The MNF measured in goats fed different diets was influenced by the bacterial pellet (LAB or SAB). In addition, the purine bases:N ratio values found were different from those reported in the literature, which underlines the need for these variables to be analyzed directly in pellets isolated from specific animals and experimental conditions.

  17. Antiviral activity of Small interfering RNAs: Specificity testing using heterologous virus reveals interferon-related effects overlooked by conventional mismatch controls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schyth, Brian Dall; Lorenzen, Niels; Pedersen, Finn Skou

    2006-01-01

    to the viral glycoprotein gene of the target-virus efficiently inhibited viral multiplication in infected cell cultures, while two of three corresponding mismatched siRNAs did not have this effect. This suggested specific interference, but similar results were obtained when the same siRNAs were tested against...... a heterologous virus. Further analyses revealed that the siRNAs induced a non-target-specific anti-viral effect correlating with upregulation of the interferon induced Mx gene....

  18. Circulating MicroRNAs in Plasma of Hepatitis B e Antigen Positive Children Reveal Liver-Specific Target Genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winther, Thilde Nordmann; Jacobsen, Kari Stougaard; Mirza, Aashiq Hussain

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aim. Hepatitis B e antigen positive (HBeAg-positive) children are at high risk of severe complications such as hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis. Liver damage is caused by the host immune response to infected hepatocytes, and we hypothesise that specific microRNAs play a role...... in this complex interaction between virus and host. The study aimed to identify microRNAs with aberrant plasma expressions in HBeAg-positive children and with liver-specific target genes. Methods. By revisiting our previous screen of microRNA plasma levels in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative children...... with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and in healthy controls, candidate microRNAs with aberrant plasma expressions in HBeAg-positive children were identified. MicroRNAs targeting liver-specific genes were selected based on bioinformatics analysis and validated by qRT-PCR using plasma samples from 34 HBe...

  19. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandria Wenninger

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers, and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation.

  20. Multidimensional differentiation in foraging resource use during breeding of two sympatric top predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedemann, Guilad; Leshem, Yossi; Kerem, Lior; Shacham, Boaz; Bar-Massada, Avi; McClain, Krystaal M.; Bohrer, Gil; Izhaki, Ido

    2016-10-01

    Ecologically-similar species were found to develop specific strategies to partition their resources, leading to niche differentiation and divergence, in order to avoid interspecific competition. Our study determines multi-dimensional differentiation of two sympatric top-predators, long-legged buzzards (LLB) and short-toed eagles (STE), which recently became sympatric during their breeding season in the Judean Foothills, Israel. By combining information from comprehensive diet and movement analyses we found four dimensions of differentiation: (1) Geographic foraging area: LLB tended to forage relatively close to their nests (2.35 ± 0.62 km), while STE forage far from their nest (13.03 ± 2.20 km) (2) Foraging-habitat type: LLBs forage at low natural vegetation, avoiding cultivated fields, whereas STEs forage in cultivated fields, avoiding low natural vegetation; (3) Diurnal dynamics of foraging: LLBs are uniformly active during daytime, whereas STEs activity peaks in the early afternoon; and (4) Food-niche: while both species largely rely on reptiles (47.8% and 76.3% for LLB and STE, respectively), LLB had a more diverse diet and consumed significantly higher percentages of lizards, while STE consumed significantly higher percentages of snakes. Our results suggest that this multidimensional differentiation allows the spatial coexistence of these two dense populations in the study area.

  1. Urban Foraging: A Ubiquitous Human Practice Overlooked by Urban Planners, Policy, and Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlie M. Shackleton

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Although hardly noticed or formally recognised, urban foraging by humans probably occurs in all urban settings around the world. We draw from research in India, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States to demonstrate the ubiquity and varied nature of urban foraging in different contexts. Across these different contexts, we distil seven themes that characterise and thereby advance thinking about research and the understanding of urban foraging. We show that it is widespread and occurs across a variety of urban spaces and places. The species used and the local practices vary between contexts, and are in constant flux as urban ecological and social settings change. This requires that urban foragers are knowledgeable about diverse species, harvest locations, and rights of access, and that their practices are adaptable to changing contexts. Despite its ubiquity, most cities have some forms of regulations that prohibit or discourage urban foraging. We highlight a few important exceptions that can provide prototypes and lessons for other cities regarding supportive policy frameworks and initiatives. The formulation of dynamic policy, design, and management strategies in support of urban foraging will benefit from understanding the common characteristics of foraging in cities worldwide, but also will require comprehension of the specific and dynamic contexts in which they would be implemented.

  2. A remote arene-binding site on prostate specific membrane antigen revealed by antibody-recruiting small molecules

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zhang, A.X.; Murelli, R.P.; Bařinka, Cyril; Michel, J.; Cocleaza, A.; Jorgensen, W.L.; Lubkowski, J.; Spiegel, D.A.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 132, č. 36 (2010), s. 12711-12716 ISSN 0002-7863 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Prostate -specific membrane antigen * antibody recruiting molecules * Structure-activity relationship Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 9.019, year: 2010

  3. miRNA-target chimeras reveal miRNA 3'-end pairing as a major determinant of Argonaute target specificity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, Michael J; Scheel, Troels K H; Luna, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) act as sequence-specific guides for Argonaute (AGO) proteins, which mediate posttranscriptional silencing of target messenger RNAs. Despite their importance in many biological processes, rules governing AGO-miRNA targeting are only partially understood. Here we report a modifie...

  4. Combining substrate specificity analysis with support vector classifiers reveals feruloyl esterase as a phylogenetically informative protein group

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olivares Hernandez, Roberto; Sunner, Hampus; Frisvad, Jens Christian

    2010-01-01

    Background Our understanding of how fungi evolved to develop a variety of ecological niches, is limited but of fundamental biological importance. Specifically, the evolution of enzymes affects how well species can adapt to new environmental conditions. Feruloyl esterases (FAEs) are enzymes able...

  5. Foraging effort in relation to the constraints of reproduction in free-ranging albatrosses

    OpenAIRE

    Shaffer, Scott A; Costa, D P; Weimerskirch, H

    2003-01-01

    1. Theoretical models predict that animals will vary their effort to maximize different currencies such as time and energy when the constraints of reproduction change during breeding, but this has been poorly studied in free-ranging animals. 2. Foraging effort (energy per unit time) was examined by comparing mass changes, foraging costs and activity-specific behaviours of Wandering Albatrosses (Diomedea exulans Linnaeus) during the incubation and chick-brooding stages. In 1998, 38 albatrosses...

  6. Developing Cyber Foraging Applications for Portable Devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø; Bouvin, Niels Olof

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents the Locusts cyber foraging framework. Cyber foraging is the opportunistic use of computing resources available in the nearby environment, and using such resources thus fall into the category of distributed computing. Furthermore, for the resources to be used efficiently, paral...

  7. Matrix factorization reveals aging-specific co-expression gene modules in the fat and muscle tissues in nonhuman primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongcui; Zhao, Weiling; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-10-01

    Accurate identification of coherent transcriptional modules (subnetworks) in adipose and muscle tissues is important for revealing the related mechanisms and co-regulated pathways involved in the development of aging-related diseases. Here, we proposed a systematically computational approach, called ICEGM, to Identify the Co-Expression Gene Modules through a novel mathematical framework of Higher-Order Generalized Singular Value Decomposition (HO-GSVD). ICEGM was applied on the adipose, and heart and skeletal muscle tissues in old and young female African green vervet monkeys. The genes associated with the development of inflammation, cardiovascular and skeletal disorder diseases, and cancer were revealed by the ICEGM. Meanwhile, genes in the ICEGM modules were also enriched in the adipocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac myocytes, and immune cells. Comprehensive disease annotation and canonical pathway analysis indicated that immune cells, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, and smooth muscle cells played a synergistic role in cardiac and physical functions in the aged monkeys by regulation of the biological processes associated with metabolism, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In conclusion, the ICEGM provides an efficiently systematic framework for decoding the co-expression gene modules in multiple tissues. Analysis of genes in the ICEGM module yielded important insights on the cooperative role of multiple tissues in the development of diseases.

  8. Comparison of in vitro and in situ methods in evaluation of forage digestibility in ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krizsan, S J; Nyholm, L; Nousiainen, J; Südekum, K-H; Huhtanen, P

    2012-09-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the application of different in vitro and in situ methods in empirical and mechanistic predictions of in vivo OM digestibility (OMD) and their associations to near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy spectra for a variety of forages. Apparent in vivo OMD of silages made from alfalfa (n = 2), corn (n = 9), corn stover (n = 2), grass (n = 11), whole crops of wheat and barley (n = 8) and red clover (n = 7), and fresh alfalfa (n = 1), grass hays (n = 5), and wheat straws (n = 5) had previously been determined in sheep. Concentrations of indigestible NDF (iNDF) in all forage samples were determined by a 288-h ruminal in situ incubation. Gas production of isolated forage NDF was measured by in vitro incubations for 72 h. In vitro pepsin-cellulase OM solubility (OMS) of the forages was determined by a 2-step gravimetric digestion method. Samples were also subjected to a 2-step determination of in vitro OMD based on buffered rumen fluid and pepsin. Further, rumen fluid digestible OM was determined from a single 96-h incubation at 38°C. Digestibility of OM from the in situ and the in vitro incubations was calculated according to published empirical equations, which were either forage specific or general (1 equation for all forages) within method. Indigestible NDF was also used in a mechanistic model to predict OMD. Predictions of OMD were evaluated by residual analysis using the GLM procedure in SAS. In vitro OMS in a general prediction equation of OMD did not display a significant forage-type effect on the residuals (observed - predicted OMD; P = 0.10). Predictions of OMD within forage types were consistent between iNDF and the 2-step in vitro method based on rumen fluid. Root mean square error of OMD was least (0.032) when the prediction was based on a general forage equation of OMS. However, regenerating a simple regression for iNDF by omitting alfalfa and wheat straw reduced the root mean square error of OMD to 0

  9. Quantitative Molecular Imaging with a Single Gd-Based Contrast Agent Reveals Specific Tumor Binding and Retention in Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Mette L; Gao, Ying; Hutnick, Melanie A; Craig, Sonya E L; Pokorski, Jonathan K; Flask, Chris A; Brady-Kalnay, Susann M

    2017-06-06

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an indispensable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, especially cancer. However, the poor sensitivity of MRI relative to other imaging modalities, such as PET, has hindered the development and clinical use of molecular MRI contrast agents that could provide vital diagnostic information by specifically locating a molecular target altered in the disease process. This work describes the specific and sustained in vivo binding and retention of a protein tyrosine phosphatase mu (PTPμ)-targeted, molecular magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent with a single gadolinium (Gd) chelate using a quantitative MRI T 1 mapping technique in glioma xenografts. Quantitative T 1 mapping is an imaging method used to measure the longitudinal relaxation time, the T 1 relaxation time, of protons in a magnetic field after excitation by a radiofrequency pulse. T 1 relaxation times can in turn be used to calculate the concentration of a gadolinium-containing contrast agent in a region of interest, thereby allowing the retention or clearance of an agent to be quantified. In this context, retention is a measure of molecular contrast agent binding. Using conventional peptide chemistry, a PTPμ-targeted peptide was linked to a chelator that had been conjugated to a lysine residue. Following complexation with Gd, this PTPμ-targeted molecular contrast agent containing a single Gd ion showed significant tumor enhancement and a sustained increase in Gd concentration in both heterotopic and orthotopic tumors using dynamic quantitative MRI. This single Gd-containing PTPμ agent was more effective than our previous version with three Gd ions. Differences between nonspecific and specific agents, due to specific tumor binding, can be determined within the first 30 min after agent administration by examining clearance rates. This more facile chemistry, when combined with quantitative MR techniques, allows for widespread adoption by academic

  10. Structural and biochemical studies of a fluoroacetyl-CoA-specific thioesterase reveal a molecular basis for fluorine selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Amy M; Coyle, Scott M; Jinek, Martin; Doudna, Jennifer A; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2010-11-02

    We have initiated a broad-based program aimed at understanding the molecular basis of fluorine specificity in enzymatic systems, and in this context, we report crystallographic and biochemical studies on a fluoroacetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) specific thioesterase (FlK) from Streptomyces cattleya. Our data establish that FlK is competent to protect its host from fluoroacetate toxicity in vivo and demonstrate a 10(6)-fold discrimination between fluoroacetyl-CoA (k(cat)/K(M) = 5 × 10⁷ M⁻¹ s⁻¹) and acetyl-CoA (k(cat)/K(M) = 30 M⁻¹ s⁻¹) based on a single fluorine substitution that originates from differences in both substrate reactivity and binding. We show that Thr 42, Glu 50, and His 76 are key catalytic residues and identify several factors that influence substrate selectivity. We propose that FlK minimizes interaction with the thioester carbonyl, leading to selection against acetyl-CoA binding that can be recovered in part by new C═O interactions in the T42S and T42C mutants. We hypothesize that the loss of these interactions is compensated by the entropic driving force for fluorinated substrate binding in a hydrophobic binding pocket created by a lid structure, containing Val 23, Leu 26, Phe 33, and Phe 36, that is not found in other structurally characterized members of this superfamily. We further suggest that water plays a critical role in fluorine specificity based on biochemical and structural studies focused on the unique Phe 36 "gate" residue, which functions to exclude water from the active site. Taken together, the findings from these studies offer molecular insights into organofluorine recognition and design of fluorine-specific enzymes.

  11. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination

    OpenAIRE

    Rowley, Paul A.; Kachroo, Aashiq H.; Ma, Chien-Hui; Maciaszek, Anna D.; Guga, Piotr; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2015-01-01

    Tyrosine site-specific recombinases, which promote one class of biologically important phosphoryl transfer reactions in DNA, exemplify active site mechanisms for stabilizing the phosphate transition state. A highly conserved arginine duo (Arg-I; Arg-II) of the recombinase active site plays a crucial role in this function. Cre and Flp recombinase mutants lacking either arginine can be rescued by compensatory charge neutralization of the scissile phosphate via methylphosphonate (MeP) modificati...

  12. Reconstructed ancestral enzymes reveal that negative selection drove the evolution of substrate specificity in ADP-dependent kinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Fernandez, Víctor; Herrera-Morande, Alejandra; Zamora, Ricardo; Merino, Felipe; Gonzalez-Ordenes, Felipe; Padilla-Salinas, Felipe; Pereira, Humberto M; Brandão-Neto, Jose; Garratt, Richard C; Guixe, Victoria

    2017-09-22

    One central goal in molecular evolution is to pinpoint the mechanisms and evolutionary forces that cause an enzyme to change its substrate specificity; however, these processes remain largely unexplored. Using the glycolytic ADP-dependent kinases of archaea, including the orders Thermococcales , Methanosarcinales , and Methanococcales , as a model and employing an approach involving paleoenzymology, evolutionary statistics, and protein structural analysis, we could track changes in substrate specificity during ADP-dependent kinase evolution along with the structural determinants of these changes. To do so, we studied five key resurrected ancestral enzymes as well as their extant counterparts. We found that a major shift in function from a bifunctional ancestor that could phosphorylate either glucose or fructose 6-phosphate (fructose-6-P) as a substrate to a fructose 6-P-specific enzyme was started by a single amino acid substitution resulting in negative selection with a ground-state mode against glucose and a subsequent 1,600-fold change in specificity of the ancestral protein. This change rendered the residual phosphorylation of glucose a promiscuous and physiologically irrelevant activity, highlighting how promiscuity may be an evolutionary vestige of ancestral enzyme activities, which have been eliminated over time. We also could reconstruct the evolutionary history of substrate utilization by using an evolutionary model of discrete binary characters, indicating that substrate uses can be discretely lost or acquired during enzyme evolution. These findings exemplify how negative selection and subtle enzyme changes can lead to major evolutionary shifts in function, which can subsequently generate important adaptive advantages, for example, in improving glycolytic efficiency in Thermococcales . © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Bacterial communities of two ubiquitous Great Barrier Reef corals reveals both site- and species-specificity of common bacterial associates.

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    E Charlotte E Kvennefors

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral-associated bacteria are increasingly considered to be important in coral health, and altered bacterial community structures have been linked to both coral disease and bleaching. Despite this, assessments of bacterial communities on corals rarely apply sufficient replication to adequately describe the natural variability. Replicated data such as these are crucial in determining potential roles of bacteria on coral. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE of the V3 region of the 16S ribosomal DNA was used in a highly replicated approach to analyse bacterial communities on both healthy and diseased corals. Although site-specific variations in the bacterial communities of healthy corals were present, host species-specific bacterial associates within a distinct cluster of gamma-proteobacteria could be identified, which are potentially linked to coral health. Corals affected by "White Syndrome" (WS underwent pronounced changes in their bacterial communities in comparison to healthy colonies. However, the community structure and bacterial ribotypes identified in diseased corals did not support the previously suggested theory of a bacterial pathogen as the causative agent of the syndrome. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to employ large numbers of replicated samples to assess the bacterial communities of healthy and diseased corals, and the first culture-independent assessment of bacterial communities on WS affected Acroporid corals on the GBR. Results indicate that a minimum of 6 replicate samples are required in order to draw inferences on species, spatial or health-related changes in community composition, as a set of clearly distinct bacterial community profiles exist in healthy corals. Coral bacterial communities may be both site and species specific. Furthermore, a cluster of gamma-proteobacterial ribotypes may represent a group of specific common coral and marine

  14. Large scale gene expression meta-analysis reveals tissue-specific, sex-biased gene expression in humans

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    Benjamin Mayne

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The severity and prevalence of many diseases are known to differ between the sexes. Organ specific sex-biased gene expression may underpin these and other sexually dimorphic traits. To further our understanding of sex differences in transcriptional regulation, we performed meta-analyses of sex biased gene expression in multiple human tissues. We analysed 22 publicly available human gene expression microarray data sets including over 2500 samples from 15 different tissues and 9 different organs. Briefly, by using an inverse-variance method we determined the effect size difference of gene expression between males and females. We found the greatest sex differences in gene expression in the brain, specifically in the anterior cingulate cortex, (1818 genes, followed by the heart (375 genes, kidney (224 genes, colon (218 genes and thyroid (163 genes. More interestingly, we found different parts of the brain with varying numbers and identity of sex-biased genes, indicating that specific cortical regions may influence sexually dimorphic traits. The majority of sex-biased genes in other tissues such as the bladder, liver, lungs and pancreas were on the sex chromosomes or involved in sex hormone production. On average in each tissue, 32% of autosomal genes that were expressed in a sex-biased fashion contained androgen or estrogen hormone response elements. Interestingly, across all tissues, we found approximately two-thirds of autosomal genes that were sex-biased were not under direct influence of sex hormones. To our knowledge this is the largest analysis of sex-biased gene expression in human tissues to date. We identified many sex-biased genes that were not under the direct influence of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones. These may provide targets for future development of sex-specific treatments for diseases.

  15. Ruminal fermentation of Anti-methanogenic Nitrate- and Nitro-Containing Forages In Vitro

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    Robin C. Anderson

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Nitrate, 3-nitro-1-propionic acid (NPA and 3-nitro-1-propanol (NPOH can accumulate in forages and be poisonous to animals if consumed in high enough amounts. These chemicals are also recognized as potent anti-methanogenic compounds, but plants naturally containing these chemicals have been studied little in this regard. Presently, we found that nitrate-, NPA- or NPOH-containing forages effectively decreased methane production, by 35 to 87%, during in vitro fermentation by mixed cultures of ruminal microbes compared to fermentation by cultures incubated similarly with alfalfa. Methane production was further decreased during incubation of mixed cultures also inoculated with Denitrobacterium detoxificans, a ruminal bacterium known to metabolize nitrate, NPA and NPOH. Inhibition of methanogens within the mixed cultures was greatest with the NPA- and NPOH-containing forages. Hydrogen accumulated in all the mixed cultures incubated with forages containing nitrate, NPA or NPOH but was dramatically higher, exceeding 40 µmol hydrogen/mL, in mixed cultures incubated with NPA-containing forage but not inoculated with D. detoxificans. This possibly reflects the inhibition of hydrogenase-catalyzed uptake of hydrogen produced via conversion of 50 µmol added formate per mL to hydrogen. Accumulations of volatile fatty acids revealed compensatory changes in fermentation in mixed cultures incubated with the nitrate-, NPA- and NPOH-containing forages as evidenced by lower accumulations of acetate, and in some cases higher accumulations of butyrate and lower accumulations of ammonia, iso-buytrate and iso-valerate compared to cultures incubated with alfalfa. Results reveal that nitrate, NPA and NPOH that accumulate naturally in forages can be made available within ruminal incubations to inhibit methanogenesis. Further research is warranted to determine if diets can be formulated with nitrate-, NPA- and NPOH-containing forages to achieve efficacious mitigation in

  16. A global comparison of the nutritive values of forage plants grown in contrasting environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mark A

    2018-03-17

    Forage plants are valuable because they maintain wild and domesticated herbivores, and sustain the delivery of meat, milk and other commodities. Forage plants contain different quantities of fibre, lignin, minerals and protein, and vary in the proportion of their tissue that can be digested by herbivores. These nutritive components are important determinants of consumer growth rates, reproductive success and behaviour. A dataset was compiled to quantify variation in forage plant nutritive values within- and between-plant species, and to assess variation between plant functional groups and bioclimatic zones. 1255 geo-located records containing 3774 measurements of nutritive values for 136 forage plant species grown in 30 countries were obtained from published articles. Spatial variability in forage nutritive values indicated that climate modified plant nutritive values. Forage plants grown in arid and equatorial regions generally contained less digestible material than those grown in temperate and tundra regions; containing more fibre and lignin, and less protein. These patterns may reveal why herbivore body sizes, digestion and migration strategies are different in warmer and drier regions. This dataset also revealed the capacity for variation in the nutrition provided by forage plants, which may drive consumer species coexistence. The proportion of the plant tissue that was digestible ranged between species from 2 to 91%. The amount of fibre contained within plant material ranged by 23-90%, protein by 2-36%, lignin by 1-21% and minerals by 2-22%. On average, grasses and tree foliage contained the most fibre, whilst herbaceous legumes contained the most protein and tree foliage contained the most lignin. However, there were individual species within each functional group that were highly nutritious. This dataset may be used to identify forage plant species or mixtures of species from different functional groups with useful nutritional traits which can be cultivated

  17. Cyclosporin A treatment of Leishmania donovani reveals stage-specific functions of cyclophilins in parasite proliferation and viability.

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    Wai-Lok Yau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cyclosporin A (CsA has important anti-microbial activity against parasites of the genus Leishmania, suggesting CsA-binding cyclophilins (CyPs as potential drug targets. However, no information is available on the genetic diversity of this important protein family, and the mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effects of CsA on intracellular amastigotes are only poorly understood. Here, we performed a first genome-wide analysis of Leishmania CyPs and investigated the effects of CsA on host-free L. donovani amastigotes in order to elucidate the relevance of these parasite proteins for drug development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multiple sequence alignment and cluster analysis identified 17 Leishmania CyPs with significant sequence differences to human CyPs, but with highly conserved functional residues implicated in PPIase function and CsA binding. CsA treatment of promastigotes resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth with an IC50 between 15 and 20 microM as demonstrated by proliferation assay and cell cycle analysis. Scanning electron microscopy revealed striking morphological changes in CsA treated promastigotes reminiscent to developing amastigotes, suggesting a role for parasite CyPs in Leishmania differentiation. In contrast to promastigotes, CsA was highly toxic to amastigotes with an IC50 between 5 and 10 microM, revealing for the first time a direct lethal effect of CsA on the pathogenic mammalian stage linked to parasite thermotolerance, independent from host CyPs. Structural modeling, enrichment of CsA-binding proteins from parasite extracts by FPLC, and PPIase activity assays revealed direct interaction of the inhibitor with LmaCyP40, a bifunctional cyclophilin with potential co-chaperone function. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The evolutionary expansion of the Leishmania CyP protein family and the toxicity of CsA on host-free amastigotes suggest important roles of PPIases in parasite biology and implicate

  18. Revealing of endogenous Marinobufagin by an ultra-specific and sensitive UHPLC-MS/MS assay in pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, Charline; Bond, Liz; Tuytten, Robin; Blankert, Bertrand

    2018-09-01

    Marinobufagenin (MBG) is a bufadienolide cardiac inotrope implicated in volume expansion-mediated hypertensive states including essential hypertension and preeclampsia (PE). Endogenous MBG is an inhibitor of the α1-isoform of Na + ,K + -ATPase with vasoconstrictive and cardiotonic properties, causing hypertension and natriuresis. Elevated endogenous MBG-like material levels have been described by immunoassays in salt-sensitive pregnant and preeclamptic rats as well as in preeclamptic human patients. The rise of endogenous MBG-like material appears prior the development of the main symptoms of PE, leading us to consider MBG as one of the potential biomarkers for PE. The weak specificity and the high variability of the published immunoassays gives no certification about endogenous MBG existence. This led us to set-up a highly specific and sensitive analytical method to detect MBG in plasma at low levels relying on liquid chromatography combined to mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) with recording of 7 highly specific MRM transitions for MBG. Pure MBG standard used in the method development was obtained by purification from the Bufo marinus toad venom. d 3 -25-hydroxyvitamin D3 was used as internal standard. An increasing organic gradient with mobile phase A and B composed of 97:3 (v/v) H 2 O: MeOH and 50:45:5 (v/v/v) MeOH:IPA:H 2 O at pH 4.5 respectively was used on a Pursuit 3 PFP column (100 mm × 3 mm; 3 µm) to allow elution and separation of the plasmatic compounds. Chromatographic analyses of plasma samples were preceded by a precipitation of proteins pretreatment. The developed UHPLC-MS/MS assay has been applied to early-pregnant women plasma samples allowing us to investigate MBG plasma levels. Thanks to the high specificity of the assay we were able to authenticate and certify the presence of endogenous MBG in early-pregnant women plasma with the use of the 7 selected specific mass transitions. These pioneering preliminary results are giving a

  19. A novel multi-network approach reveals tissue-specific cellular modulators of fibrosis in systemic sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taroni, Jaclyn N; Greene, Casey S; Martyanov, Viktor; Wood, Tammara A; Christmann, Romy B; Farber, Harrison W; Lafyatis, Robert A; Denton, Christopher P; Hinchcliff, Monique E; Pioli, Patricia A; Mahoney, J Matthew; Whitfield, Michael L

    2017-03-23

    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multi-organ autoimmune disease characterized by skin fibrosis. Internal organ involvement is heterogeneous. It is unknown whether disease mechanisms are common across all involved affected tissues or if each manifestation has a distinct underlying pathology. We used consensus clustering to compare gene expression profiles of biopsies from four SSc-affected tissues (skin, lung, esophagus, and peripheral blood) from patients with SSc, and the related conditions pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and pulmonary arterial hypertension, and derived a consensus disease-associate signature across all tissues. We used this signature to query tissue-specific functional genomic networks. We performed novel network analyses to contrast the skin and lung microenvironments and to assess the functional role of the inflammatory and fibrotic genes in each organ. Lastly, we tested the expression of macrophage activation state-associated gene sets for enrichment in skin and lung using a Wilcoxon rank sum test. We identified a common pathogenic gene expression signature-an immune-fibrotic axis-indicative of pro-fibrotic macrophages (MØs) in multiple tissues (skin, lung, esophagus, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells) affected by SSc. While the co-expression of these genes is common to all tissues, the functional consequences of this upregulation differ by organ. We used this disease-associated signature to query tissue-specific functional genomic networks to identify common and tissue-specific pathologies of SSc and related conditions. In contrast to skin, in the lung-specific functional network we identify a distinct lung-resident MØ signature associated with lipid stimulation and alternative activation. In keeping with our network results, we find distinct MØ alternative activation transcriptional programs in SSc-associated PF lung and in the skin of patients with an "inflammatory" SSc gene expression signature. Our results suggest that the innate immune

  20. Mouse model of chromosome mosaicism reveals lineage-specific depletion of aneuploid cells and normal developmental potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Helen; Graham, Sarah J L; Van der Aa, Niels; Kumar, Parveen; Theunis, Koen; Fernandez Gallardo, Elia; Voet, Thierry; Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena

    2016-03-29

    Most human pre-implantation embryos are mosaics of euploid and aneuploid cells. To determine the fate of aneuploid cells and the developmental potential of mosaic embryos, here we generate a mouse model of chromosome mosaicism. By treating embryos with a spindle assembly checkpoint inhibitor during the four- to eight-cell division, we efficiently generate aneuploid cells, resulting in embryo death during peri-implantation development. Live-embryo imaging and single-cell tracking in chimeric embryos, containing aneuploid and euploid cells, reveal that the fate of aneuploid cells depends on lineage: aneuploid cells in the fetal lineage are eliminated by apoptosis, whereas those in the placental lineage show severe proliferative defects. Overall, the proportion of aneuploid cells is progressively depleted from the blastocyst stage onwards. Finally, we show that mosaic embryos have full developmental potential, provided they contain sufficient euploid cells, a finding of significance for the assessment of embryo vitality in the clinic.

  1. Foraging behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in contrasting environments.

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    Elaine S Leung

    Full Text Available Foragers can show adaptive responses to changes within their environment through morphological and behavioural plasticity. We investigated the plasticity in body size, at sea movements and diving behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand (NZ sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in two contrasting environments. The NZ sea lion is one of the rarest pinnipeds in the world. Most of the species is based at the subantarctic Auckland Islands (AI; considered to be marginal foraging habitat, with a recolonizing population on the Otago Peninsula, NZ mainland (considered to be more optimal habitat. We investigated how juvenile NZ sea lions adjust their foraging behaviour in contrasting environments by deploying satellite-linked platform transmitting terminals (PTTs and time-depth recorders (TDRs on 2-3 year-old females at AI (2007-2010 and Otago (2009-2010. Juvenile female NZ sea lions exhibited plasticity in body size and behaviour. Otago juveniles were significantly heavier than AI juveniles. Linear mixed effects models showed that study site had the most important effect on foraging behaviour, while mass and age had little influence. AI juveniles spent more time at sea, foraged over larger areas, and dove deeper and longer than Otago juveniles. It is difficult to attribute a specific cause to the observed contrasts in foraging behaviour because these differences may be driven by disparities in habitat/prey characteristics, conspecific density levels or interseasonal variation. Nevertheless, the smaller size and increased foraging effort of AI juveniles, combined with the lower productivity in this region, support the hypothesis that AI are less optimal habitat than Otago. It is more difficult for juveniles to forage in suboptimal habitats given their restricted foraging ability and lower tolerance for food limitation compared to adults. Thus, effective management measures should consider the impacts of low resource environments, along with changes that can

  2. Foraging strategy switch of a top marine predator according to seasonal resource differences

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    Malcolm Daniel O'Toole

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The spatio-temporal variability in marine resources influences the foraging behaviour and success of top marine predators. However, little is known about the links between these animals and ocean productivity, specifically, how plankton density influences their foraging behaviour. Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina have two annual at-sea foraging trips: a two month post-breeding foraging trip (Nov – Jan that coincides with elevated summer productivity; and an eight month post-moulting foraging trip (Feb – Oct over winter, when productivity is low. Physical parameters are often used to describe seal habitat, whereas information about important biological parameters is lacking. We used electronic tags deployed on elephant seals during both trips to determine their movement and foraging behaviour. The tags also recorded light, which measured the bio-optical properties of the water column, the bulk of which is presumably influenced by phytoplankton. We investigated the relationship between plankton density and seal foraging behaviour; comparing trends between summer and winter trips. We found a positive relationship between plankton density and foraging behaviour, which did not vary seasonally. We propose that profitable concentrations of seal prey are more likely to coincide with planktonic aggregations, but we also acknowledge that trophic dynamics may shift in response to seasonal trends in productivity. Seal prey (mid-trophic level and plankton (lower-trophic level are expected to overlap in space and time during summer trips when peak phytoplankton blooms occur. In contrast, aggregated patches of lower trophic levels are likely to be more dispersed during winter trips when plankton density is considerably lower and heterogeneous. These results show that southern elephant seals are able to exploit prey resources in different ways throughout the year as demonstrated by the variation observed between seal foraging behaviour and trophic

  3. Comprehensive Analysis of CD8+-T-Cell Responses against Hepatitis C Virus Reveals Multiple Unpredicted Specificities

    OpenAIRE

    Lauer, Georg M.; Ouchi, Kei; Chung, Raymond T.; Nguyen, Tam N.; Day, Cheryl L.; Purkis, Deborah R.; Reiser, Markus; Kim, Arthur Y.; Lucas, Michaela; Klenerman, Paul; Walker, Bruce D.

    2002-01-01

    The hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific CD8+-T-cell response is thought to play a critical role in HCV infection. Studies of these responses have largely relied on the analysis of a small number of previously described or predicted HCV epitopes, mostly restricted by HLA A2. In order to determine the actual breadth and magnitude of CD8+-T-cell responses in the context of diverse HLA class I alleles, we performed a comprehensive analysis of responses to all expressed HCV proteins. By using a panel...

  4. Twin studies reveal specific imbalances in the mucosa-associated microbiota of patients with ileal Crohn's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Willing, B.; Halfvarson, J.; Dicksved, J.; Rosenquist, M.; Jarnerot, G.; Engstrand, L.; Tysk, C.; Jansson, J. K

    2008-08-15

    Large inter-individual variation in the composition of the intestinal microbiota between unrelated individuals has made it challenging to identify specific aspects of dysbiosis that lead to Crohn's disease. To reduce variations in exposure during establishment of the gut flora and influence of genotype, we studied the mucosaassociated microbiota of monozygotic twin pairs that were discordant (n=6) or concordant (n=4) for Crohn's disease. DNA was extracted from biopsies collected from 5 locations between the ileum and rectum. Bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes were amplified and community composition assessed by terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, cloning and sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR. The microbial compositions at all biopsy locations for each individual were similar, regardless of disease state, but there were differences between individuals. In particular, individuals with predominantly ileal Crohn's had a dramatically lower abundance (P<0.001) of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and increased abundance (P<0.03) of Escherichia coli compared to healthy co-twins and those with Crohn's localized in the colon. This dysbiosis was significantly correlated to the disease phenotype rather than genotype. The reduced abundance of F. prausnitzii and increased abundance of E. coli are indicative of an ileal Crohn's disease phenotype, distinct from colonic Crohn's disease and the relative abundances of these specific bacterial populations are promising biomarker candidates for differential diagnosis of Crohn's and eventually customized treatment.

  5. Combinatorial Modulation of Signaling Pathways Reveals Cell-Type-Specific Requirements for Highly Efficient and Synchronous iPSC Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon E. Vidal

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The differentiated state of somatic cells provides barriers for the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs. To address why some cell types reprogram more readily than others, we studied the effect of combined modulation of cellular signaling pathways. Surprisingly, inhibition of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β together with activation of Wnt signaling in the presence of ascorbic acid allows >80% of murine fibroblasts to acquire pluripotency after 1 week of reprogramming factor expression. In contrast, hepatic and blood progenitors predominantly required only TGF-β inhibition or canonical Wnt activation, respectively, to reprogram at efficiencies approaching 100%. Strikingly, blood progenitors reactivated endogenous pluripotency loci in a highly synchronous manner, and we demonstrate that expression of specific chromatin-modifying enzymes and reduced TGF-β/mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinase activity are intrinsic properties associated with the unique reprogramming response of these cells. Our observations define cell-type-specific requirements for the rapid and synchronous reprogramming of somatic cells.

  6. Statistically based splicing detection reveals neural enrichment and tissue-specific induction of circular RNA during human fetal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabo, Linda; Morey, Robert; Palpant, Nathan J; Wang, Peter L; Afari, Nastaran; Jiang, Chuan; Parast, Mana M; Murry, Charles E; Laurent, Louise C; Salzman, Julia

    2015-06-16

    The pervasive expression of circular RNA is a recently discovered feature of gene expression in highly diverged eukaryotes, but the functions of most circular RNAs are still unknown. Computational methods to discover and quantify circular RNA are essential. Moreover, discovering biological contexts where circular RNAs are regulated will shed light on potential functional roles they may play. We present a new algorithm that increases the sensitivity and specificity of circular RNA detection by discovering and quantifying circular and linear RNA splicing events at both annotated and un-annotated exon boundaries, including intergenic regions of the genome, with high statistical confidence. Unlike approaches that rely on read count and exon homology to determine confidence in prediction of circular RNA expression, our algorithm uses a statistical approach. Using our algorithm, we unveiled striking induction of general and tissue-specific circular RNAs, including in the heart and lung, during human fetal development. We discover regions of the human fetal brain, such as the frontal cortex, with marked enrichment for genes where circular RNA isoforms are dominant. The vast majority of circular RNA production occurs at major spliceosome splice sites; however, we find the first examples of developmentally induced circular RNAs processed by the minor spliceosome, and an enriched propensity of minor spliceosome donors to splice into circular RNA at un-annotated, rather than annotated, exons. Together, these results suggest a potentially significant role for circular RNA in human development.

  7. Systematic drug screening reveals specific vulnerabilities and co-resistance patterns in endocrine-resistant breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kangaspeska, Sara; Hultsch, Susanne; Jaiswal, Alok; Edgren, Henrik; Mpindi, John-Patrick; Eldfors, Samuli; Brück, Oscar; Aittokallio, Tero; Kallioniemi, Olli

    2016-01-01

    The estrogen receptor (ER) inhibitor tamoxifen reduces breast cancer mortality by 31 % and has served as the standard treatment for ER-positive breast cancers for decades. However, 50 % of advanced ER-positive cancers display de novo resistance to tamoxifen, and acquired resistance evolves in 40 % of patients who initially respond. Mechanisms underlying resistance development remain poorly understood and new therapeutic opportunities are urgently needed. Here, we report the generation and characterization of seven tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cell lines from four parental strains. Using high throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing (DSRT) with 279 approved and investigational oncology drugs, exome-sequencing and network analysis, we for the first time, systematically determine the drug response profiles specific to tamoxifen resistance. We discovered emerging vulnerabilities towards specific drugs, such as ERK1/2-, proteasome- and BCL-family inhibitors as the cells became tamoxifen-resistant. Co-resistance to other drugs such as the survivin inhibitor YM155 and the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel also occurred. This study indicates that multiple molecular mechanisms dictate endocrine resistance, resulting in unexpected vulnerabilities to initially ineffective drugs, as well as in emerging co-resistances. Thus, combatting drug-resistant tumors will require patient-tailored strategies in order to identify new drug vulnerabilities, and to understand the associated co-resistance patterns. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-016-2452-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users

  8. Systematic drug screening reveals specific vulnerabilities and co-resistance patterns in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangaspeska, Sara; Hultsch, Susanne; Jaiswal, Alok; Edgren, Henrik; Mpindi, John-Patrick; Eldfors, Samuli; Brück, Oscar; Aittokallio, Tero; Kallioniemi, Olli

    2016-07-04

    The estrogen receptor (ER) inhibitor tamoxifen reduces breast cancer mortality by 31 % and has served as the standard treatment for ER-positive breast cancers for decades. However, 50 % of advanced ER-positive cancers display de novo resistance to tamoxifen, and acquired resistance evolves in 40 % of patients who initially respond. Mechanisms underlying resistance development remain poorly understood and new therapeutic opportunities are urgently needed. Here, we report the generation and characterization of seven tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cell lines from four parental strains. Using high throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing (DSRT) with 279 approved and investigational oncology drugs, exome-sequencing and network analysis, we for the first time, systematically determine the drug response profiles specific to tamoxifen resistance. We discovered emerging vulnerabilities towards specific drugs, such as ERK1/2-, proteasome- and BCL-family inhibitors as the cells became tamoxifen-resistant. Co-resistance to other drugs such as the survivin inhibitor YM155 and the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel also occurred. This study indicates that multiple molecular mechanisms dictate endocrine resistance, resulting in unexpected vulnerabilities to initially ineffective drugs, as well as in emerging co-resistances. Thus, combatting drug-resistant tumors will require patient-tailored strategies in order to identify new drug vulnerabilities, and to understand the associated co-resistance patterns.

  9. High-resolution whole-genome sequencing reveals that specific chromatin domains from most human chromosomes associate with nucleoli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Koningsbruggen, Silvana; Gierlinski, Marek; Schofield, Pietá; Martin, David; Barton, Geoffey J; Ariyurek, Yavuz; den Dunnen, Johan T; Lamond, Angus I

    2010-11-01

    The nuclear space is mostly occupied by chromosome territories and nuclear bodies. Although this organization of chromosomes affects gene function, relatively little is known about the role of nuclear bodies in the organization of chromosomal regions. The nucleolus is the best-studied subnuclear structure and forms around the rRNA repeat gene clusters on the acrocentric chromosomes. In addition to rDNA, other chromatin sequences also surround the nucleolar surface and may even loop into the nucleolus. These additional nucleolar-associated domains (NADs) have not been well characterized. We present here a whole-genome, high-resolution analysis of chromatin endogenously associated with nucleoli. We have used a combination of three complementary approaches, namely fluorescence comparative genome hybridization, high-throughput deep DNA sequencing and photoactivation combined with time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. The data show that specific sequences from most human chromosomes, in addition to the rDNA repeat units, associate with nucleoli in a reproducible and heritable manner. NADs have in common a high density of AT-rich sequence elements, low gene density and a statistically significant enrichment in transcriptionally repressed genes. Unexpectedly, both the direct DNA sequencing and fluorescence photoactivation data show that certain chromatin loci can specifically associate with either the nucleolus, or the nuclear envelope.

  10. Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis reveals shared and specific targets of Arabidopsis MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6

    KAUST Repository

    Rayapuram, Naganand; Bigeard, Jean; Alhoraibi, Hanna Mohsen Abdulrab; Bonhomme, Ludovic; Hesse, Anne-Marie; Vinh, Joelle; Hirt, Heribert; Pflieger, Delphine

    2017-01-01

    In Arabidopsis, mitogen-activated protein kinases MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 constitute essential relays for a variety of functions including cell division, development and innate immunity. While some substrates of MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 have been identified, the picture is still far from complete. To identify substrates of these MAPKs likely involved in cell division, growth and development we compared the phosphoproteomes of wild-type and mpk3, mpk4 and mpk6. To study the function of these MAPKs in innate immunity, we analyzed their phosphoproteomes following microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) treatment. Partially overlapping substrates were retrieved for all three MAPKs, showing target specificity to one, two or all three MAPKs in different biological processes. More precisely, our results illustrate the fact that the entity to be defined as a specific or a shared substrate for MAPKs is not a phosphoprotein but a particular (S/T)P phosphorylation site in a given protein. As a whole, 152 peptides were identified to be differentially phosphorylated in response to MAMP treatment and/or when compared between genotypes and 70 of them could be classified as putative MAPK targets. Biochemical analysis of a number of putative MAPK substrates by phosphorylation and interaction assays confirmed the global phosphoproteome approach. Our study also expands the set of MAPK substrates to involve other protein kinases, including calcium-dependent (CDPK) and sugar non-fermenting (SnRK) protein kinases.

  11. Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis reveals shared and specific targets of Arabidopsis MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6

    KAUST Repository

    Rayapuram, Naganand

    2017-11-23

    In Arabidopsis, mitogen-activated protein kinases MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 constitute essential relays for a variety of functions including cell division, development and innate immunity. While some substrates of MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 have been identified, the picture is still far from complete. To identify substrates of these MAPKs likely involved in cell division, growth and development we compared the phosphoproteomes of wild-type and mpk3, mpk4 and mpk6. To study the function of these MAPKs in innate immunity, we analyzed their phosphoproteomes following microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) treatment. Partially overlapping substrates were retrieved for all three MAPKs, showing target specificity to one, two or all three MAPKs in different biological processes. More precisely, our results illustrate the fact that the entity to be defined as a specific or a shared substrate for MAPKs is not a phosphoprotein but a particular (S/T)P phosphorylation site in a given protein. As a whole, 152 peptides were identified to be differentially phosphorylated in response to MAMP treatment and/or when compared between genotypes and 70 of them could be classified as putative MAPK targets. Biochemical analysis of a number of putative MAPK substrates by phosphorylation and interaction assays confirmed the global phosphoproteome approach. Our study also expands the set of MAPK substrates to involve other protein kinases, including calcium-dependent (CDPK) and sugar non-fermenting (SnRK) protein kinases.

  12. Structure-guided functional characterization of DUF1460 reveals a highly specific NlpC/P60 amidase family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qingping; Mengin-Lecreulx, Dominique; Patin, Delphine; Grant, Joanna C; Chiu, Hsiu-Ju; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Knuth, Mark W; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A; Elsliger, Marc-André; Deacon, Ashley M; Wilson, Ian A

    2014-12-02

    GlcNAc-1,6-anhydro-MurNAc-tetrapeptide is a major peptidoglycan degradation intermediate and a cytotoxin. It is generated by lytic transglycosylases and further degraded and recycled by various enzymes. We have identified and characterized a highly specific N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (AmiA) from Bacteroides uniformis, a member of the DUF1460 protein family, that hydrolyzes GlcNAc-1,6-anhydro-MurNAc-peptide into disaccharide and stem peptide. The high-resolution apo structure at 1.15 Å resolution shows that AmiA is related to NlpC/P60 γ-D-Glu-meso-diaminopimelic acid amidases and shares a common catalytic core and cysteine peptidase-like active site. AmiA has evolved structural adaptations that reconfigure the substrate recognition site. The preferred substrates for AmiA were predicted in silico based on structural and bioinformatics data, and subsequently were characterized experimentally. Further crystal structures of AmiA in complexes with GlcNAc-1,6-anhydro-MurNAc and GlcNAc have enabled us to elucidate substrate recognition and specificity. DUF1460 is highly conserved in structure and defines another amidase family. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Diversity and strain specificity of plant cell wall degrading enzymes revealed by the draft genome of Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1.

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    Margret E Berg Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ruminococcus flavefaciens is a predominant cellulolytic rumen bacterium, which forms a multi-enzyme cellulosome complex that could play an integral role in the ability of this bacterium to degrade plant cell wall polysaccharides. Identifying the major enzyme types involved in plant cell wall degradation is essential for gaining a better understanding of the cellulolytic capabilities of this organism as well as highlighting potential enzymes for application in improvement of livestock nutrition and for conversion of cellulosic biomass to liquid fuels. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The R. flavefaciens FD-1 genome was sequenced to 29x-coverage, based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis estimates (4.4 Mb, and assembled into 119 contigs providing 4,576,399 bp of unique sequence. As much as 87.1% of the genome encodes ORFs, tRNA, rRNAs, or repeats. The GC content was calculated at 45%. A total of 4,339 ORFs was detected with an average gene length of 918 bp. The cellulosome model for R. flavefaciens was further refined by sequence analysis, with at least 225 dockerin-containing ORFs, including previously characterized cohesin-containing scaffoldin molecules. These dockerin-containing ORFs encode a variety of catalytic modules including glycoside hydrolases (GHs, polysaccharide lyases, and carbohydrate esterases. Additionally, 56 ORFs encode proteins that contain carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs. Functional microarray analysis of the genome revealed that 56 of the cellulosome-associated ORFs were up-regulated, 14 were down-regulated, 135 were unaffected, when R. flavefaciens FD-1 was grown on cellulose versus cellobiose. Three multi-modular xylanases (ORF01222, ORF03896, and ORF01315 exhibited the highest levels of up-regulation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The genomic evidence indicates that R. flavefaciens FD-1 has the largest known number of fiber-degrading enzymes likely to be arranged in a cellulosome architecture. Functional

  14. Integrated analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression reveals specific signaling pathways associated with platinum resistance in ovarian cancer

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    Chung Jae

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cisplatin and carboplatin are the primary first-line therapies for the treatment of ovarian cancer. However, resistance to these platinum-based drugs occurs in the large majority of initially responsive tumors, resulting in fully chemoresistant, fatal disease. Although the precise mechanism(s underlying the development of platinum resistance in late-stage ovarian cancer patients currently remains unknown, CpG-island (CGI methylation, a phenomenon strongly associated with aberrant gene silencing and ovarian tumorigenesis, may contribute to this devastating condition. Methods To model the onset of drug resistance, and investigate DNA methylation and gene expression alterations associated with platinum resistance, we treated clonally derived, drug-sensitive A2780 epithelial ovarian cancer cells with increasing concentrations of cisplatin. After several cycles of drug selection, the isogenic drug-sensitive and -resistant pairs were subjected to global CGI methylation and mRNA expression microarray analyses. To identify chemoresistance-associated, biological pathways likely impacted by DNA methylation, promoter CGI methylation and mRNA expression profiles were integrated and subjected to pathway enrichment analysis. Results Promoter CGI methylation revealed a positive association (Spearman correlation of 0.99 between the total number of hypermethylated CGIs and GI50 values (i.e., increased drug resistance following successive cisplatin treatment cycles. In accord with that result, chemoresistance was reversible by DNA methylation inhibitors. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed hypermethylation-mediated repression of cell adhesion and tight junction pathways and hypomethylation-mediated activation of the cell growth-promoting pathways PI3K/Akt, TGF-beta, and cell cycle progression, which may contribute to the onset of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells. Conclusion Selective epigenetic disruption of distinct biological

  15. Compound-Specific Radiocarbon Dating Reveals the Age Distribution of Plant-Wax Biomarkers Exported to the Bengal Fan

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    Galy, V.; French, K. L.; Hein, C. J.; Haghipour, N.; Wacker, L.; Kudrass, H.; Eglinton, T. I.

    2017-12-01

    The stable isotope composition of leaf-wax compounds preserved in lacustrine and marine sediments has been widely used to reconstruct terrestrial paleo-environments. However, the timescales of plant-wax storage in continental reservoirs before riverine export are not well known, representing a key uncertainty in paleo-environment studies. We couple numerical models with bulk and leaf-wax fatty acid organic 13C and 14C signatures hosted in a high-deposition-rate sediment core from the Bengal shelf canyon in order to estimate storage timescales within the Ganges-Brahmaputra catchment area. The fatty acid 14C record reveals a muted nuclear weapons bomb spike, requiring that the Ganges-Brahmaputra river system exports a mixture of young and old (pre-aged) leaf-wax compounds. According to numerical simulations, 79-83% of the leaf-wax fatty acids in this core are sourced from continental reservoirs that store organic carbon on an average of 1000-1200 calendar years, while the remainder has an average age of 15 years. These results demonstrate that a majority of the leaf-wax compounds produced in the Ganges-Brahmaputra river basin was stored in soils, floodplains, and wetlands prior to its export to the Bengal Fan. We will discuss the implications of these findings for plant-wax based paleoenvironmental records.

  16. Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets

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    Max Lam

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present a large (n = 107,207 genome-wide association study (GWAS of general cognitive ability (“g”, further enhanced by combining results with a large-scale GWAS of educational attainment. We identified 70 independent genomic loci associated with general cognitive ability. Results showed significant enrichment for genes causing Mendelian disorders with an intellectual disability phenotype. Competitive pathway analysis implicated the biological processes of neurogenesis and synaptic regulation, as well as the gene targets of two pharmacologic agents: cinnarizine, a T-type calcium channel blocker, and LY97241, a potassium channel inhibitor. Transcriptome-wide and epigenome-wide analysis revealed that the implicated loci were enriched for genes expressed across all brain regions (most strongly in the cerebellum. Enrichment was exclusive to genes expressed in neurons but not oligodendrocytes or astrocytes. Finally, we report genetic correlations between cognitive ability and disparate phenotypes including psychiatric disorders, several autoimmune disorders, longevity, and maternal age at first birth.

  17. Intra- and interspecific trait variations reveal functional relationships between specific leaf area and soil niche within a subtropical forest.

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    He, Dong; Chen, Yongfa; Zhao, Kangning; Cornelissen, J H C; Chu, Chengjin

    2018-02-03

    How functional traits vary with environmental conditions is of fundamental importance in trait-based community ecology. However, how intraspecific variability in functional traits is connected to species distribution is not well understood. This study investigated inter- and intraspecific variation of a key functional trait, i.e. specific leaf area (leaf area per unit dry mass; SLA), in relation to soil factors and tested if trait variation is more closely associated with specific environmental regimes for low-variability species than for high-variability species. In a subtropical evergreen forest plot (50 ha, southern China), 106 700 leaves from 5335 individuals of 207 woody species were intensively collected, with 30 individuals sampled for most species to ensure a sufficient sample size representative of intraspecific variability. Soil conditions for each plant were estimated by kriging from more than 1700 observational soil locations across the plot. Intra- and interspecific variation in SLA were separately related to environmental factors. Based on the species-specific variation of SLA, species were categorized into three groups: low-, intermediate- and high-intraspecific variability. Intraspecific habitat ranges and the strength of SLA-habitat relationships were compared among these three groups. Interspecific variation in SLA overrides the intraspecific variation (77 % vs. 8 %). Total soil nitrogen (TN, positively) and total organic carbon (TOC, negatively) are the most important explanatory factors for SLA variation at both intra- and interspecific levels. SLA, both within and between species, decreases with decreasing soil nitrogen availability. As predicted, species with low intraspecific variability in SLA have narrower habitat ranges with respect to soil TOC and TN and show a stronger SLA-habitat association than high-variability species. For woody plants low SLA is a phenotypic and probably adaptive response to nitrogen stress, which drives the

  18. A multiple genome analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveals specific novel genes and mutations associated with pyrazinamide resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Sheen, Patricia

    2017-10-11

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health problem and drug resistance compromises the efforts to control this disease. Pyrazinamide (PZA) is an important drug used in both first and second line treatment regimes. However, its complete mechanism of action and resistance remains unclear.We genotyped and sequenced the complete genomes of 68 M. tuberculosis strains isolated from unrelated TB patients in Peru. No clustering pattern of the strains was verified based on spoligotyping. We analyzed the association between PZA resistance with non-synonymous mutations and specific genes. We found mutations in pncA and novel genes significantly associated with PZA resistance in strains without pncA mutations. These included genes related to transportation of metal ions, pH regulation and immune system evasion.These results suggest potential alternate mechanisms of PZA resistance that have not been found in other populations, supporting that the antibacterial activity of PZA may hit multiple targets.

  19. A multiple genome analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveals specific novel genes and mutations associated with pyrazinamide resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Sheen, Patricia; Requena, David; Gushiken, Eduardo; Gilman, Robert H.; Antiparra, Ricardo; Lucero, Bryan; Lizá rraga, Pilar; Cieza, Basilio; Roncal, Elisa; Grandjean, Louis; Pain, Arnab; McNerney, Ruth; Clark, Taane G.; Moore, David; Zimic, Mirko

    2017-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health problem and drug resistance compromises the efforts to control this disease. Pyrazinamide (PZA) is an important drug used in both first and second line treatment regimes. However, its complete mechanism of action and resistance remains unclear.We genotyped and sequenced the complete genomes of 68 M. tuberculosis strains isolated from unrelated TB patients in Peru. No clustering pattern of the strains was verified based on spoligotyping. We analyzed the association between PZA resistance with non-synonymous mutations and specific genes. We found mutations in pncA and novel genes significantly associated with PZA resistance in strains without pncA mutations. These included genes related to transportation of metal ions, pH regulation and immune system evasion.These results suggest potential alternate mechanisms of PZA resistance that have not been found in other populations, supporting that the antibacterial activity of PZA may hit multiple targets.

  20. Patient-specific metrics of invasiveness reveal significant prognostic benefit of resection in a predictable subset of gliomas.

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    Anne L Baldock

    Full Text Available Malignant gliomas are incurable, primary brain neoplasms noted for their potential to extensively invade brain parenchyma. Current methods of clinical imaging do not elucidate the full extent of brain invasion, making it difficult to predict which, if any, patients are likely to benefit from gross total resection. Our goal was to apply a mathematical modeling approach to estimate the overall tumor invasiveness on a patient-by-patient basis and determine whether gross total resection would improve survival in patients with relatively less invasive gliomas.In 243 patients presenting with contrast-enhancing gliomas, estimates of the relative invasiveness of each patient's tumor, in terms of the ratio of net proliferation rate of the glioma cells to their net dispersal rate, were derived by applying a patient-specific mathematical model to routine pretreatment MR imaging. The effect of varying degrees of extent of resection on overall survival was assessed for cohorts of patients grouped by tumor invasiveness.We demonstrate that patients with more diffuse tumors showed no survival benefit (P = 0.532 from gross total resection over subtotal/biopsy, while those with nodular (less diffuse tumors showed a significant benefit (P = 0.00142 with a striking median survival benefit of over eight months compared to sub-totally resected tumors in the same cohort (an 80% improvement in survival time for GTR only seen for nodular tumors.These results suggest that our patient-specific, model-based estimates of tumor invasiveness have clinical utility in surgical decision making. Quantification of relative invasiveness assessed from routinely obtained pre-operative imaging provides a practical predictor of the benefit of gross total resection.

  1. Genome-wide analysis of the expansin gene superfamily reveals grapevine-specific structural and functional characteristics.

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    Silvia Dal Santo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Expansins are proteins that loosen plant cell walls in a pH-dependent manner, probably by increasing the relative movement among polymers thus causing irreversible expansion. The expansin superfamily (EXP comprises four distinct families: expansin A (EXPA, expansin B (EXPB, expansin-like A (EXLA and expansin-like B (EXLB. There is experimental evidence that EXPA and EXPB proteins are required for cell expansion and developmental processes involving cell wall modification, whereas the exact functions of EXLA and EXLB remain unclear. The complete grapevine (Vitis vinifera genome sequence has allowed the characterization of many gene families, but an exhaustive genome-wide analysis of expansin gene expression has not been attempted thus far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified 29 EXP superfamily genes in the grapevine genome, representing all four EXP families. Members of the same EXP family shared the same exon-intron structure, and phylogenetic analysis confirmed a closer relationship between EXP genes from woody species, i.e. grapevine and poplar (Populus trichocarpa, compared to those from Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa. We also identified grapevine-specific duplication events involving the EXLB family. Global gene expression analysis confirmed a strong correlation among EXP genes expressed in mature and green/vegetative samples, respectively, as reported for other gene families in the recently-published grapevine gene expression atlas. We also observed the specific co-expression of EXLB genes in woody organs, and the involvement of certain grapevine EXP genes in berry development and post-harvest withering. CONCLUSION: Our comprehensive analysis of the grapevine EXP superfamily confirmed and extended current knowledge about the structural and functional characteristics of this gene family, and also identified properties that are currently unique to grapevine expansin genes. Our data provide a model for the

  2. Specific default mode subnetworks support mentalizing as revealed through opposing network recruitment by social and semantic FMRI tasks.

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    Hyatt, Christopher J; Calhoun, Vince D; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Assaf, Michal

    2015-08-01

    The ability to attribute mental states to others, or "mentalizing," is posited to involve specific subnetworks within the overall default mode network (DMN), but this question needs clarification. To determine which default mode (DM) subnetworks are engaged by mentalizing processes, we assessed task-related recruitment of DM subnetworks. Spatial independent component analysis (sICA) applied to fMRI data using relatively high-order model (75 components). Healthy participants (n = 53, ages 17-60) performed two fMRI tasks: an interactive game involving mentalizing (Domino), a semantic memory task (SORT), and a resting state fMRI scan. sICA of the two tasks split the DMN into 10 subnetworks located in three core regions: medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; five subnetworks), posterior cingulate/precuneus (PCC/PrC; three subnetworks), and bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Mentalizing events increased recruitment in five of 10 DM subnetworks, located in all three core DMN regions. In addition, three of these five DM subnetworks, one dmPFC subnetwork, one PCC/PrC subnetwork, and the right TPJ subnetwork, showed reduced recruitment by semantic memory task events. The opposing modulation by the two tasks suggests that these three DM subnetworks are specifically engaged in mentalizing. Our findings, therefore, suggest the unique involvement of mentalizing processes in only three of 10 DM subnetworks, and support the importance of the dmPFC, PCC/PrC, and right TPJ in mentalizing as described in prior studies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Complete avian malaria parasite genomes reveal features associated with lineage-specific evolution in birds and mammals

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    Böhme, Ulrike; Otto, Thomas D.; Cotton, James A.; Steinbiss, Sascha; Sanders, Mandy; Oyola, Samuel O.; Nicot, Antoine; Gandon, Sylvain; Patra, Kailash P.; Herd, Colin; Bushell, Ellen; Modrzynska, Katarzyna K.; Billker, Oliver; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Rivero, Ana; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew

    2018-01-01

    Avian malaria parasites are prevalent around the world and infect a wide diversity of bird species. Here, we report the sequencing and analysis of high-quality draft genome sequences for two avian malaria species, Plasmodium relictum and Plasmodium gallinaceum. We identify 50 genes that are specific to avian malaria, located in an otherwise conserved core of the genome that shares gene synteny with all other sequenced malaria genomes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the avian malaria species form an outgroup to the mammalian Plasmodium species, and using amino acid divergence between species, we estimate the avian- and mammalian-infective lineages diverged in the order of 10 million years ago. Consistent with their phylogenetic position, we identify orthologs of genes that had previously appeared to be restricted to the clades of parasites containing Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, the species with the greatest impact on human health. From these orthologs, we explore differential diversifying selection across the genus and show that the avian lineage is remarkable in the extent to which invasion-related genes are evolving. The subtelomeres of the P. relictum and P. gallinaceum genomes contain several novel gene families, including an expanded surf multigene family. We also identify an expansion of reticulocyte binding protein homologs in P. relictum, and within these proteins, we detect distinct regions that are specific to nonhuman primate, humans, rodent, and avian hosts. For the first time in the Plasmodium lineage, we find evidence of transposable elements, including several hundred fragments of LTR-retrotransposons in both species and an apparently complete LTR-retrotransposon in the genome of P. gallinaceum. PMID:29500236

  4. Nucleus-specific expression in the multinuclear mushroom-forming fungus Agaricus bisporus reveals different nuclear regulatory programs.

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    Gehrmann, Thies; Pelkmans, Jordi F; Ohm, Robin A; Vos, Aurin M; Sonnenberg, Anton S M; Baars, Johan J P; Wösten, Han A B; Reinders, Marcel J T; Abeel, Thomas

    2018-04-24

    Many fungi are polykaryotic, containing multiple nuclei per cell. In the case of heterokaryons, there are different nuclear types within a single cell. It is unknown what the different nuclear types contribute in terms of mRNA expression levels in fungal heterokaryons. Each cell of the mushroom Agaricus bisporus contains two to 25 nuclei of two nuclear types originating from two parental strains. Using RNA-sequencing data, we assess the differential mRNA contribution of individual nuclear types and its functional impact. We studied differential expression between genes of the two nuclear types, P1 and P2, throughout mushroom development in various tissue types. P1 and P2 produced specific mRNA profiles that changed through mushroom development. Differential regulation occurred at the gene level, rather than at the locus, chromosomal, or nuclear level. P1 dominated mRNA production throughout development, and P2 showed more differentially up-regulated genes in important functional groups. In the vegetative mycelium, P2 up-regulated almost threefold more metabolism genes and carbohydrate active enzymes (cazymes) than P1, suggesting phenotypic differences in growth. We identified widespread transcriptomic variation between the nuclear types of A. bisporus Our method enables studying nucleus-specific expression, which likely influences the phenotype of a fungus in a polykaryotic stage. Our findings have a wider impact to better understand gene regulation in fungi in a heterokaryotic state. This work provides insight into the transcriptomic variation introduced by genomic nuclear separation. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  5. Proteomic analysis reveals age-related changes in tendon matrix composition, with age- and injury-specific matrix fragmentation.

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    Peffers, Mandy J; Thorpe, Chavaunne T; Collins, John A; Eong, Robin; Wei, Timothy K J; Screen, Hazel R C; Clegg, Peter D

    2014-09-12

    Energy storing tendons, such as the human Achilles and equine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT), are highly prone to injury, the incidence of which increases with aging. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that result in increased injury in aged tendons are not well established but are thought to result in altered matrix turnover. However, little attempt has been made to fully characterize the tendon proteome nor determine how the abundance of specific tendon proteins changes with aging and/or injury. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess the protein profile of normal SDFTs from young and old horses using label-free relative quantification to identify differentially abundant proteins and peptide fragments between age groups. The protein profile of injured SDFTs from young and old horses was also assessed. The results demonstrate distinct proteomic profiles in young and old tendon, with alterations in the levels of proteins involved in matrix organization and regulation of cell tension. Furthermore, we identified several new peptide fragments (neopeptides) present in aged tendons, suggesting that there are age-specific cleavage patterns within the SDFT. Proteomic profile also differed between young and old injured tendon, with a greater number of neopeptides identified in young injured tendon. This study has increased the knowledge of molecular events associated with tendon aging and injury, suggesting that maintenance and repair of tendon tissue may be reduced in aged individuals and may help to explain why the risk of injury increases with aging. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. Effects of forage provision to dairy calves on growth performance and rumen fermentation: A meta-analysis and meta-regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imani, M; Mirzaei, M; Baghbanzadeh-Nobari, B; Ghaffari, M H

    2017-02-01

    A meta-analysis of the potential effect of forage provision on growth performance and rumen fermentation of dairy calves was conducted using published data from the literature (1998-2016). Meta-regression was used to evaluate the effects of different forage levels, forage sources, forage offering methods, physical forms of starter, and grain sources on the heterogeneity of the results. We considered 27 studies that reported the effects of forage provision to dairy calves. Estimated effect sizes of forage were calculated on starter feed intake, average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency (FE), body weight (BW), and rumen fermentation parameters. Intake of starter feed, ADG, BW, ruminal pH, and rumen molar proportion of acetate increased when supplementing forage but FE decreased. Heterogeneity (the amount of variation among studies) was significant for intake of starter feed, ADG, FE, final BW, and rumen fermentation parameters. Improving overall starter feed intake was greater in calves offered alfalfa hay compared with those offered other types of forages. During the milk feeding and overall periods, improving ADG was greater for calves fed a high level of forage (>10% in dry matter) compared with those fed a low level of forage (≤10% in dry matter) diets. The advantages reported in weight gain at a high level of forage could be due to increased gut fill. Improving overall ADG was lower for calves offered forages with textured starter feed compared with ground starter feed. The meta-regression analysis revealed that changes associated with forage provision affect FE differently for various forage sources and forage offering methods during the milk-feeding period. Forage sources also modulated the effect of feeding forage on ruminal pH during the milk-feeding period. In conclusion, forage has the potential to affect starter feed intake and performance of dairy calves, but its effects depend on source, level, and method of forage feeding and physical form of starter

  7. Monoclonal Antibodies Specific for STAT3β Reveal Its Contribution to Constitutive STAT3 Phosphorylation in Breast Cancer

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    Uddalak Bharadwaj

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Since its discovery in mice and humans 19 years ago, the contribution of alternatively spliced Stat3, Stat3β, to the overall functions of Stat3 has been controversial. Tyrosine-phosphorylated (p Stat3β homodimers are more stable, bind DNA more avidly, are less susceptible to dephosphorylation, and exhibit distinct intracellular dynamics, most notably markedly prolonged nuclear retention, compared to pStat3α homodimers. Overexpression of one or the other isoform in cell lines demonstrated that Stat3β acted as a dominant-negative of Stat3α in transformation assays; however, studies with mouse strains deficient in one or the other isoform indicated distinct contributions of Stat3 isoforms to inflammation. Current immunological reagents cannot differentiate Stat3β proteins derived from alternative splicing vs. proteolytic cleavage of Stat3α. We developed monoclonal antibodies that recognize the 7 C-terminal amino acids unique to Stat3β (CT7 and do not cross-react with Stat3α. Immunoblotting studies revealed that levels of Stat3β protein, but not Stat3α, in breast cancer cell lines positively correlated with overall pStat3 levels, suggesting that Stat3β may contribute to constitutive Stat3 activation in this tumor system. The ability to unambiguously discriminate splice alternative Stat3β from proteolytic Stat3β and Stat3α will provide new insights into the contribution of Stat3β vs. Stat3α to oncogenesis, as well as other biological and pathological processes.

  8. Nuclear Bombs and Coral: Guam Coral Core Reveals Operation-Specific Radiocarbon Signals from the Pacific Proving Grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, A. H.

    2016-12-01

    Radiocarbon (14C) analyses on a coral core extracted from the western Central Pacific (Guam) has revealed a series of early peaks in the marine bomb 14C record. The typical marine bomb 14C signal, one that is phase lagged and attenuated relative to atmospheric bomb 14C, is present in the coral core and is consistent with other North Pacific records. However, 14C levels that are well above what can be explained by air-sea diffusion alone punctuate this pattern. This anomaly has been demonstrated to a limited extent in other coral cores of the Indo-Pacific region, but is unmatched relative to the magnitude and temporal resolution recorded in the Guam coral core. Other records have shown an early Δ14C rise on the order of 40-50‰ above pre-bomb levels, with a subsequent decline before continuing the gradual Δ14C rise that is indicative of air-sea diffusion of 14CO2. The Guam coral Δ14C record provided three strong pulses in 1954-55, 1956-57, and 1958-59 that are superimposed on the pre-bomb to initial Δ14C rise from atmospheric bomb 14C. Each of these peaks can be directly linked to testing of thermonuclear devices in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Eniwetok and Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands. The measurable lag in reaching Guam can be tied to ocean surface currents and can be traced to other regional Δ14C records from corals, providing a transport timeline to places as distant as the Indonesian throughflow, Okinawa and Palmyra.

  9. Comparative analyses of six solanaceous transcriptomes reveal a high degree of sequence conservation and species-specific transcripts

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    Ouyang Shu

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Solanaceae is a family of closely related species with diverse phenotypes that have been exploited for agronomic purposes. Previous studies involving a small number of genes suggested sequence conservation across the Solanaceae. The availability of large collections of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs for the Solanaceae now provides the opportunity to assess sequence conservation and divergence on a genomic scale. Results All available ESTs and Expressed Transcripts (ETs, 449,224 sequences for six Solanaceae species (potato, tomato, pepper, petunia, tobacco and Nicotiana benthamiana, were clustered and assembled into gene indices. Examination of gene ontologies revealed that the transcripts within the gene indices encode a similar suite of biological processes. Although the ESTs and ETs were derived from a variety of tissues, 55–81% of the sequences had significant similarity at the nucleotide level with sequences among the six species. Putative orthologs could be identified for 28–58% of the sequences. This high degree of sequence conservation was supported by expression profiling using heterologous hybridizations to potato cDNA arrays that showed similar expression patterns in mature leaves for all six solanaceous species. 16–19% of the transcripts within the six Solanaceae gene indices did not have matches among Solanaceae, Arabidopsis, rice or 21 other plant gene indices. Conclusion Results from this genome scale analysis confirmed a high level of sequence conservation at the nucleotide level of the coding sequence among Solanaceae. Additionally, the results indicated that part of the Solanaceae transcriptome is likely to be unique for each species.

  10. Do bigger bats need more time to forage?

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    CEL. Esbérard

    Full Text Available We test the hypothesis is that bats using the same area and at the same time would be using similar preys, but they would have different foraging times due to specific differences in biomass. A total of 730 captures was analyzed 13 species of Vespertilionidae and Molossidae bats netted over a small dam in southeastern Brazil from 1993 and 1999. The relationship between the average time of captures and the biomass of the species of Vespertilinidae and Molossidae most frequent (captures > 4 was positive and significant (r = 0.83, p = 0.022, N = 7. Two lines are discussed to answer the longer foraging time for bigger bats: 1 larger insectivorous bats don't consume proportionally larger preys and 2 larger insects are less available.

  11. Strand-specific RNA-seq reveals widespread occurrence of novel cis-natural antisense transcripts in rice

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    Lu Tingting

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cis-natural antisense transcripts (cis-NATs are RNAs transcribed from the antisense strand of a gene locus, and are complementary to the RNA transcribed from the sense strand. Common techniques including microarray approach and analysis of transcriptome databases are the major ways to globally identify cis-NATs in various eukaryotic organisms. Genome-wide in silico analysis has identified a large number of cis-NATs that may generate endogenous short interfering RNAs (nat-siRNAs, which participate in important biogenesis mechanisms for transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in rice. However, the transcriptomes are yet to be deeply sequenced to comprehensively investigate cis-NATs. Results We applied high-throughput strand-specific complementary DNA sequencing technology (ssRNA-seq to deeply sequence mRNA for assessing sense and antisense transcripts that were derived under salt, drought and cold stresses, and normal conditions, in the model plant rice (Oryza sativa. Combined with RAP-DB genome annotation (the Rice Annotation Project Database build-5 data set, 76,013 transcripts corresponding to 45,844 unique gene loci were assembled, in which 4873 gene loci were newly identified. Of 3819 putative rice cis-NATs, 2292 were detected as expressed and giving rise to small RNAs from their overlapping regions through integrated analysis of ssRNA-seq data and small RNA data. Among them, 503 cis-NATs seemed to be associated with specific conditions. The deep sequence data from isolated epidermal cells of rice seedlings further showed that 54.0% of cis-NATs were expressed simultaneously in a population of homogenous cells. Nearly 9.7% of rice transcripts were involved in one-to-one or many-to-many cis-NATs formation. Furthermore, only 17.4-34.7% of 223 many-to-many cis-NAT groups were all expressed and generated nat-siRNAs, indicating that only some cis-NAT groups may be involved in complex regulatory networks. Conclusions

  12. Combined chromatin and expression analysis reveals specific regulatory mechanisms within cytokine genes in the macrophage early immune response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jesus Iglesias

    Full Text Available Macrophages play a critical role in innate immunity, and the expression of early response genes orchestrate much of the initial response of the immune system. Macrophages undergo extensive transcriptional reprogramming in response to inflammatory stimuli such as Lipopolysaccharide (LPS.To identify gene transcription regulation patterns involved in early innate immune responses, we used two genome-wide approaches--gene expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq analysis. We examined the effect of 2 hrs LPS stimulation on early gene expression and its relation to chromatin remodeling (H3 acetylation; H3Ac and promoter binding of Sp1 and RNA polymerase II phosphorylated at serine 5 (S5P RNAPII, which is a marker for transcriptional initiation. Our results indicate novel and alternative gene regulatory mechanisms for certain proinflammatory genes. We identified two groups of up-regulated inflammatory genes with respect to chromatin modification and promoter features. One group, including highly up-regulated genes such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF, was characterized by H3Ac, high CpG content and lack of TATA boxes. The second group, containing inflammatory mediators (interleukins and CCL chemokines, was up-regulated upon LPS stimulation despite lacking H3Ac in their annotated promoters, which were low in CpG content but did contain TATA boxes. Genome-wide analysis showed that few H3Ac peaks were unique to either +/-LPS condition. However, within these, an unpacking/expansion of already existing H3Ac peaks was observed upon LPS stimulation. In contrast, a significant proportion of S5P RNAPII peaks (approx 40% was unique to either condition. Furthermore, data indicated a large portion of previously unannotated TSSs, particularly in LPS-stimulated macrophages, where only 28% of unique S5P RNAPII peaks overlap annotated promoters. The regulation of the inflammatory response appears to occur in a very specific manner at

  13. Fruit metabolite networks in engineered and non-engineered tomato genotypes reveal fluidity in a hormone and agroecosystem specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Tahira; Sobolev, Anatoly P; Teasdale, John R; Kramer, Matthew; Bunce, Jim; Handa, Avtar K; Mattoo, Autar K

    Metabolomics provides a view of endogenous metabolic patterns not only during plant growth, development and senescence but also in response to genetic events, environment and disease. The effects of the field environment on plant hormone-specific metabolite profiles are largely unknown. Few studies have analyzed useful phenotypes generated by introducing single or multiple gene events alongside the non-engineered wild type control at field scale to determine the robustness of the genetic trait and its modulation in the metabolome as a function of specific agroecosystem environments. We evaluated the influence of genetic background (high polyamine lines; low methyl jasmonate line; low ethylene line; and isogenic genotypes carrying double transgenic events) and environments (hairy vetch, rye, plastic black mulch and bare soil mulching systems) on the metabolomic profile of isogenic reverse genetic mutations and selected mulch based cropping systems in tomato fruit. Net photosynthesis and fruit yield were also determined. NMR spectroscopy was used for quantifying metabolites that are central to primary metabolism. We analyzed both the first moment (means) of metabolic response to genotypes and agroecosystems by traditional univariate/multivariate methods, and the second moment (covariances) of responses by creating networks that depicted changes in correlations of paired metabolites. This particular approach is novel and was necessary because our experimental material yielded highly variable metabolic responses that could not be easily understood using the traditional analytical approaches for first moment statistics. High endogenous spermidine and spermine content exhibited strong effects on amino acids, Krebs cycle intermediates and energy molecules (ADP + ATP) in ripening fruits of plants grown under different agroecosystem environments. The metabolic response to high polyamine genotypes was similar to the response to hairy vetch cover crop mulch; supported by

  14. Microarray Analysis of Copy Number Variants on the Human Y Chromosome Reveals Novel and Frequent Duplications Overrepresented in Specific Haplogroups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Johansson

    Full Text Available The human Y chromosome is almost always excluded from genome-wide investigations of copy number variants (CNVs due to its highly repetitive structure. This chromosome should not be forgotten, not only for its well-known relevance in male fertility, but also for its involvement in clinical phenotypes such as cancers, heart failure and sex specific effects on brain and behaviour.We analysed Y chromosome data from Affymetrix 6.0 SNP arrays and found that the signal intensities for most of 8179 SNP/CN probes in the male specific region (MSY discriminated between a male, background signals in a female and an isodicentric male containing a large deletion of the q-arm and a duplication of the p-arm of the Y chromosome. Therefore, this SNP/CN platform is suitable for identification of gain and loss of Y chromosome sequences. In a set of 1718 males, we found 25 different CNV patterns, many of which are novel. We confirmed some of these variants by PCR or qPCR. The total frequency of individuals with CNVs was 14.7%, including 9.5% with duplications, 4.5% with deletions and 0.7% exhibiting both. Hence, a novel observation is that the frequency of duplications was more than twice the frequency of deletions. Another striking result was that 10 of the 25 detected variants were significantly overrepresented in one or more haplogroups, demonstrating the importance to control for haplogroups in genome-wide investigations to avoid stratification. NO-M214(xM175 individuals presented the highest percentage (95% of CNVs. If they were not counted, 12.4% of the rest included CNVs, and the difference between duplications (8.9% and deletions (2.8% was even larger.Our results demonstrate that currently available genome-wide SNP platforms can be used to identify duplications and deletions in the human Y chromosome. Future association studies of the full spectrum of Y chromosome variants will demonstrate the potential involvement of gain or loss of Y chromosome sequence in

  15. Specific Chemical and Genetic Markers Revealed a Thousands-Year Presence of Toxic Nodularia spumigena in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cegłowska, Marta; Toruńska-Sitarz, Anna; Kowalewska, Grażyna; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna

    2018-04-04

    In the Baltic Sea, diazotrophic cyanobacteria have been present for thousands of years, over the whole brackish water phase of the ecosystem. However, our knowledge about the species composition of the cyanobacterial community is limited to the last several decades. In the current study, the presence of species-specific chemical and genetic markers in deep sediments were analyzed to increase the existing knowledge on the history of toxic Nodularia spumigena blooms in the Baltic Sea. As chemical markers, three cyclic nonribosomal peptides were applied: the hepatotoxic nodularin, which in the sea was detected solely in N. spumigena , and two anabaenopeptins (AP827 and AP883a) characteristic of two different chemotypes of this species. From the same sediment samples, DNA was isolated and the gene involved in biosynthesis of nodularin, as well as the phycocyanin intergenic spacer region (PC-IGS), were amplified. The results of chemical and genetic analyses proved for the first time the thousands-year presence of toxic N. spumigena in the Baltic Sea. They also indicated that through all this time, the same two sub-populations of the species co-existed.

  16. Electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction of native thin filaments reveal species-specific differences in regulatory strand densities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cammarato, Anthony, E-mail: acammara@burnham.org [Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118 (United States); Craig, Roger [Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (United States); Lehman, William [Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118 (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the animal kingdom striated muscle contraction is regulated by the thin filament troponin-tropomyosin complex. Homologous regulatory components are shared among vertebrate and arthropod muscles; however, unique protein extensions and/or components characterize the latter. The Troponin T (TnT) isoforms of Drosophila indirect flight and tarantula femur muscle for example contain distinct C-terminal extensions and are {approx}20% larger overall than their vertebrate counterpart. Using electron microscopy and three-dimensional helical reconstruction of native Drosophila, tarantula and frog muscle thin filaments we have identified species-specific differences in tropomyosin regulatory strand densities. The strands on the arthropod thin filaments were significantly larger in diameter than those from vertebrates, although not significantly different from each other. These findings reflect differences in the regulatory troponin-tropomyosin complex, which are likely due to the larger TnT molecules aligning and extending along much of the tropomyosin strands' length. Such an arrangement potentially alters the physical properties of the regulatory strands and may help establish contractile characteristics unique to certain arthropod muscles.

  17. Tract-Specific Diffusion Tensor Imaging Reveals Laterality of Neurological Symptoms in Patients with Cervical Compression Myelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maki, Satoshi; Koda, Masao; Saito, Junya; Takahashi, Sho; Inada, Taigo; Kamiya, Koshiro; Ota, Mitsutoshi; Iijima, Yasushi; Masuda, Yoshitada; Matsumoto, Koji; Kojima, Masatoshi; Takahashi, Kazuhisa; Obata, Takayuki; Yamazaki, Masashi; Furuya, Takeo

    2016-12-01

    Patients with cervical compression myelopathy (CCM) generally present bilateral neurological symptoms in their extremities. However, a substantial portion of patients with CCM exhibit laterality of neurological symptoms. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between intrinsic structural damage and laterality of symptoms using spinal cord diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the corticospinal tract. We enrolled 10 healthy volunteers and 40 patients with CCM in this study. We evaluated motor function using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score for left and right extremities. For DTI acquisitions, a 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging system with diffusion-weighted spin-echo sequence was used. Regions-of-interest in the lateral column tracts were determined. We determined the correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA) and ASIA motor scores. An FA asymmetry index was calculated using left and right regions-of-interest. Four patients exhibited laterality of symptoms in their extremities, for which left and right ASIA scores correlated moderately with FA in the left and right lateral columns, respectively (left: ρ = 0.64, P laterality of symptoms. Using tract-specific DTI, we demonstrated that microstructural damages in the left and right corticospinal tracts correlated with corresponding neurological symptoms in the ipsilateral side and the FA asymmetry index could indicate laterality in neurological symptoms of patients with CCM. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Specific interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting bacteria--as revealed by different combinations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaderlund, Lotta; Arthurson, Veronica; Granhall, Ulf; Jansson, Janet K.

    2008-05-15

    The interactions between two plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and Paenibacillus brasilensis PB177, two arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomus mosseae and G. intraradices) and one pathogenic fungus (Microdochium nivale) were investigated on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum cultivar Tarso) in a greenhouse trial. PB177, but not SBW25, had strong inhibitory effects on M. nivale in dual culture plate assays. The results from the greenhouse experiment show very specific interactions; e.g. the two AM fungi react differently when interacting with the same bacteria on plants. G. intraradices (single inoculation or together with SBW25) increased plant dry weight on M. nivale infested plants, suggesting that the pathogenic fungus is counteracted by G. intraradices, but PB177 inhibited this positive effect. This is an example of two completely different reactions between the same AM fungus and two species of bacteria, previously known to enhance plant growth and inhibit pathogens. When searching for plant growth promoting microorganisms it is therefore important to test for the most suitable combination of plant, bacteria and fungi in order to get satisfactory plant growth benefits.

  19. Cell-Type-Specific Circuit Connectivity of Hippocampal CA1 Revealed through Cre-Dependent Rabies Tracing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanjun Sun

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We developed and applied a Cre-dependent, genetically modified rabies-based tracing system to map direct synaptic connections to specific CA1 neuron types in the mouse hippocampus. We found common inputs to excitatory and inhibitory CA1 neurons from CA3, CA2, the entorhinal cortex (EC, the medial septum (MS, and, unexpectedly, the subiculum. Excitatory CA1 neurons receive inputs from both cholinergic and GABAergic MS neurons, whereas inhibitory neurons receive a great majority of inputs from GABAergic MS neurons. Both cell types also receive weaker input from glutamatergic MS neurons. Comparisons of inputs to CA1 PV+ interneurons versus SOM+ interneurons showed similar strengths of input from the subiculum, but PV+ interneurons received much stronger input than SOM+ neurons from CA3, the EC, and the MS. Thus, rabies tracing identifies hippocampal circuit connections and maps how the different input sources to CA1 are distributed with different strengths on each of its constituent cell types.

  20. Cognitive assessment of mice strains heterozygous for cell-adhesion genes reveals strain-specific alterations in timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallistel, C R; Tucci, Valter; Nolan, Patrick M; Schachner, Melitta; Jakovcevski, Igor; Kheifets, Aaron; Barboza, Luendro

    2014-03-05

    We used a fully automated system for the behavioural measurement of physiologically meaningful properties of basic mechanisms of cognition to test two strains of heterozygous mutant mice, Bfc (batface) and L1, and their wild-type littermate controls. Both of the target genes are involved in the establishment and maintenance of synapses. We find that the Bfc heterozygotes show reduced precision in their representation of interval duration, whereas the L1 heterozygotes show increased precision. These effects are functionally specific, because many other measures made on the same mice are unaffected, namely: the accuracy of matching temporal investment ratios to income ratios in a matching protocol, the rate of instrumental and classical conditioning, the latency to initiate a cued instrumental response, the trials on task and the impulsivity in a switch paradigm, the accuracy with which mice adjust timed switches to changes in the temporal constraints, the days to acquisition, and mean onset time and onset variability in the circadian anticipation of food availability.

  1. Reverse engineering a mouse embryonic stem cell-specific transcriptional network reveals a new modulator of neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cegli, Rossella; Iacobacci, Simona; Flore, Gemma; Gambardella, Gennaro; Mao, Lei; Cutillo, Luisa; Lauria, Mario; Klose, Joachim; Illingworth, Elizabeth; Banfi, Sandro; di Bernardo, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Gene expression profiles can be used to infer previously unknown transcriptional regulatory interaction among thousands of genes, via systems biology 'reverse engineering' approaches. We 'reverse engineered' an embryonic stem (ES)-specific transcriptional network from 171 gene expression profiles, measured in ES cells, to identify master regulators of gene expression ('hubs'). We discovered that E130012A19Rik (E13), highly expressed in mouse ES cells as compared with differentiated cells, was a central 'hub' of the network. We demonstrated that E13 is a protein-coding gene implicated in regulating the commitment towards the different neuronal subtypes and glia cells. The overexpression and knock-down of E13 in ES cell lines, undergoing differentiation into neurons and glia cells, caused a strong up-regulation of the glutamatergic neurons marker Vglut2 and a strong down-regulation of the GABAergic neurons marker GAD65 and of the radial glia marker Blbp. We confirmed E13 expression in the cerebral cortex of adult mice and during development. By immuno-based affinity purification, we characterized protein partners of E13, involved in the Polycomb complex. Our results suggest a role of E13 in regulating the division between glutamatergic projection neurons and GABAergic interneurons and glia cells possibly by epigenetic-mediated transcriptional regulation.

  2. Regulators of Long-Term Memory Revealed by Mushroom Body-Specific Gene Expression Profiling in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, Yves F; Bilican, Adem; Bruggmann, Rémy; Sprecher, Simon G

    2018-06-20

    Memory formation is achieved by genetically tightly controlled molecular pathways that result in a change of synaptic strength and synapse organization. While for short-term memory traces rapidly acting biochemical pathways are in place, the formation of long-lasting memories requires changes in the transcriptional program of a cell. Although many genes involved in learning and memory formation have been identified, little is known about the genetic mechanisms required for changing the transcriptional program during different phases of long-term memory formation. With Drosophila melanogaster as a model system we profiled transcriptomic changes in the mushroom body, a memory center in the fly brain, at distinct time intervals during appetitive olfactory long-term memory formation using the targeted DamID technique. We describe the gene expression profiles during these phases and tested 33 selected candidate genes for deficits in long-term memory formation using RNAi knockdown. We identified 10 genes that enhance or decrease memory when knocked-down in the mushroom body. For vajk-1 and hacd1 , the two strongest hits, we gained further support for their crucial role in appetitive learning and forgetting. These findings show that profiling gene expression changes in specific cell-types harboring memory traces provides a powerful entry point to identify new genes involved in learning and memory. The presented transcriptomic data may further be used as resource to study genes acting at different memory phases. Copyright © 2018, Genetics.

  3. Electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction of native thin filaments reveal species-specific differences in regulatory strand densities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cammarato, Anthony; Craig, Roger; Lehman, William

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the animal kingdom striated muscle contraction is regulated by the thin filament troponin-tropomyosin complex. Homologous regulatory components are shared among vertebrate and arthropod muscles; however, unique protein extensions and/or components characterize the latter. The Troponin T (TnT) isoforms of Drosophila indirect flight and tarantula femur muscle for example contain distinct C-terminal extensions and are ∼20% larger overall than their vertebrate counterpart. Using electron microscopy and three-dimensional helical reconstruction of native Drosophila, tarantula and frog muscle thin filaments we have identified species-specific differences in tropomyosin regulatory strand densities. The strands on the arthropod thin filaments were significantly larger in diameter than those from vertebrates, although not significantly different from each other. These findings reflect differences in the regulatory troponin-tropomyosin complex, which are likely due to the larger TnT molecules aligning and extending along much of the tropomyosin strands' length. Such an arrangement potentially alters the physical properties of the regulatory strands and may help establish contractile characteristics unique to certain arthropod muscles.

  4. Systematic and quantitative comparison of digest efficiency and specificity reveals the impact of trypsin quality on MS-based proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhart, Julia Maria; Schumbrutzki, Cornelia; Wortelkamp, Stefanie; Sickmann, Albert; Zahedi, René Peiman

    2012-02-02

    Trypsin is the most frequently used proteolytic enzyme in mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Beside its good availability, it also offers some major advantages such as an optimal average peptide length of ~14 amino acids, and typically the presence of at least two defined positive charges at the N-terminus as well as the C-terminal Arg/Lys, rendering tryptic peptides well suited for CID-based LC-MS/MS. Here, we conducted a systematic study of different types of commercially available trypsin in order to qualitatively and quantitatively compare cleavage specificity, efficiency as well as reproducibility and the potential impact on quantitation and proteome coverage. We present a straightforward strategy applied to complex digests of human platelets, comprising (1) digest controls using a monolithic column HPLC-setup, (2) SCX enrichment of semitryptic/nonspecific peptides, (3) targeted MRM analysis of corresponding full cleavage/missed cleavage peptide pairs as well as (4) LC-MS analyses of complete digests with a three-step data interpretation. Thus, differences in digest performance can be readily assessed, rendering these procedures extremely beneficial to quality control not only the trypsin of choice, but also to effectively compare as well as optimize different digestion conditions and to evaluate the reproducibility of a dedicated digest protocol for all kinds of quantitative proteome studies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Transcriptional Analysis and Subcellular Protein Localization Reveal Specific Features of the Essential WalKR System in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Poupel

    Full Text Available The WalKR two-component system, controlling cell wall metabolism, is highly conserved among Bacilli and essential for cell viability. In Staphylococcus aureus, walR and walK are followed by three genes of unknown function: walH, walI and walJ. Sequence analysis and transcript mapping revealed a unique genetic structure for this locus in S. aureus: the last gene of the locus, walJ, is transcribed independently, whereas transcription of the tetra-cistronic walRKHI operon occurred from two independent promoters located upstream from walR. Protein topology analysis and protein-protein interactions in E. coli as well as subcellular localization in S. aureus allowed us to show that WalH and WalI are membrane-bound proteins, which associate with WalK to form a complex at the cell division septum. While these interactions suggest that WalH and WalI play a role in activity of the WalKR regulatory pathway, deletion of walH and/or walI did not have a major effect on genes whose expression is strongly dependent on WalKR or on associated phenotypes. No effect of WalH or WalI was seen on tightly controlled WalKR regulon genes such as sle1 or saouhsc_00773, which encodes a CHAP-domain amidase. Of the genes encoding the two major S. aureus autolysins, AtlA and Sle1, only transcription of atlA was increased in the ΔwalH or ΔwalI mutants. Likewise, bacterial autolysis was not increased in the absence of WalH and/or WalI and biofilm formation was lowered rather than increased. Our results suggest that contrary to their major role as WalK inhibitors in B. subtilis, the WalH and WalI proteins have evolved a different function in S. aureus, where they are more accessory. A phylogenomic analysis shows a striking conservation of the 5 gene wal cluster along the evolutionary history of Bacilli, supporting the key importance of this signal transduction system, and indicating that the walH and walI genes were lost in the ancestor of Streptococcaceae, leading to their

  6. Transcriptional Analysis and Subcellular Protein Localization Reveal Specific Features of the Essential WalKR System in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poupel, Olivier; Moyat, Mati; Groizeleau, Julie; Antunes, Luísa C S; Gribaldo, Simonetta; Msadek, Tarek; Dubrac, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The WalKR two-component system, controlling cell wall metabolism, is highly conserved among Bacilli and essential for cell viability. In Staphylococcus aureus, walR and walK are followed by three genes of unknown function: walH, walI and walJ. Sequence analysis and transcript mapping revealed a unique genetic structure for this locus in S. aureus: the last gene of the locus, walJ, is transcribed independently, whereas transcription of the tetra-cistronic walRKHI operon occurred from two independent promoters located upstream from walR. Protein topology analysis and protein-protein interactions in E. coli as well as subcellular localization in S. aureus allowed us to show that WalH and WalI are membrane-bound proteins, which associate with WalK to form a complex at the cell division septum. While these interactions suggest that WalH and WalI play a role in activity of the WalKR regulatory pathway, deletion of walH and/or walI did not have a major effect on genes whose expression is strongly dependent on WalKR or on associated phenotypes. No effect of WalH or WalI was seen on tightly controlled WalKR regulon genes such as sle1 or saouhsc_00773, which encodes a CHAP-domain amidase. Of the genes encoding the two major S. aureus autolysins, AtlA and Sle1, only transcription of atlA was increased in the ΔwalH or ΔwalI mutants. Likewise, bacterial autolysis was not increased in the absence of WalH and/or WalI and biofilm formation was lowered rather than increased. Our results suggest that contrary to their major role as WalK inhibitors in B. subtilis, the WalH and WalI proteins have evolved a different function in S. aureus, where they are more accessory. A phylogenomic analysis shows a striking conservation of the 5 gene wal cluster along the evolutionary history of Bacilli, supporting the key importance of this signal transduction system, and indicating that the walH and walI genes were lost in the ancestor of Streptococcaceae, leading to their atypical 3 wal gene

  7. Deep sequencing of the Camellia sinensis transcriptome revealed candidate genes for major metabolic pathways of tea-specific compounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, CY; Yang, H; Wei, CL; Yu, O; Zhang, ZZ; Sun, J; Wan, XC

    2011-01-01

    Tea is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages worldwide. However, the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, is difficult to culture in vitro, to transform, and has a large genome, rendering little genomic information available. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) provide a fast, cost-effective, and reliable approach to generate large expression datasets for functional genomic analysis, which is especially suitable for non-model species with un-sequenced genomes. Using high-throughput Illumina RNA-seq, the transcriptome from poly (A){sup +} RNA of C. sinensis was analyzed at an unprecedented depth (2.59 gigabase pairs). Approximate 34.5 million reads were obtained, trimmed, and assembled into 127,094 unigenes, with an average length of 355 bp and an N50 of 506 bp, which consisted of 788 contig clusters and 126,306 singletons. This number of unigenes was 10-fold higher than existing C. sinensis sequences deposited in GenBank (as of August 2010). Sequence similarity analyses against six public databases (Uniprot, NR and COGs at NCBI, Pfam, InterPro and KEGG) found 55,088 unigenes that could be annotated with gene descriptions, conserved protein domains, or gene ontology terms. Some of the unigenes were assigned to putative metabolic pathways. Targeted searches using these annotations identified the majority of genes associated with several primary metabolic pathways and natural product pathways that are important to tea quality, such as flavonoid, theanine and caffeine biosynthesis pathways. Novel candidate genes of these secondary pathways were discovered. Comparisons with four previously prepared cDNA libraries revealed that this transcriptome dataset has both a high degree of consistency with previous EST data and an approximate 20 times increase in coverage. Thirteen unigenes related to theanine and flavonoid synthesis were validated. Their expression patterns in different organs of the tea plant were analyzed by RT-PCR and quantitative real

  8. Deep sequencing of the Camellia sinensis transcriptome revealed candidate genes for major metabolic pathways of tea-specific compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Qi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tea is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages worldwide. However, the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, is difficult to culture in vitro, to transform, and has a large genome, rendering little genomic information available. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing (RNA-seq provide a fast, cost-effective, and reliable approach to generate large expression datasets for functional genomic analysis, which is especially suitable for non-model species with un-sequenced genomes. Results Using high-throughput Illumina RNA-seq, the transcriptome from poly (A+ RNA of C. sinensis was analyzed at an unprecedented depth (2.59 gigabase pairs. Approximate 34.5 million reads were obtained, trimmed, and assembled into 127,094 unigenes, with an average length of 355 bp and an N50 of 506 bp, which consisted of 788 contig clusters and 126,306 singletons. This number of unigenes was 10-fold higher than existing C. sinensis sequences deposited in GenBank (as of August 2010. Sequence similarity analyses against six public databases (Uniprot, NR and COGs at NCBI, Pfam, InterPro and KEGG found 55,088 unigenes that could be annotated with gene descriptions, conserved protein domains, or gene ontology terms. Some of the unigenes were assigned to putative metabolic pathways. Targeted searches using these annotations identified the majority of genes associated with several primary metabolic pathways and natural product pathways that are important to tea quality, such as flavonoid, theanine and caffeine biosynthesis pathways. Novel candidate genes of these secondary pathways were discovered. Comparisons with four previously prepared cDNA libraries revealed that this transcriptome dataset has both a high degree of consistency with previous EST data and an approximate 20 times increase in coverage. Thirteen unigenes related to theanine and flavonoid synthesis were validated. Their expression patterns in different organs of the tea plant were

  9. Multiple model testing using Chernobyl fallout data of I-131 in forage and milk and Cs-137 in forage, milk, beef and grain. Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koehler, H.; Peterson, S.R.; Owen Hoffman, F.

    1991-03-01

    Comprehensive measurements of I-131 and Cs-137 in the environment after the Chernobyl accident provided a unique opportunity for the collection of environmental transfer data sets. These come from 13 locations in the northern hemisphere which experienced levels of contamination that spanned approximately three orders of magnitude. Data have been compiled for radionuclide concentrations in air, rain, pasture vegetation, milk, beef and grain. In addition background information has been collated for factors such as prevailing meteorological conditions, location description, and local agricultural practices. Participants were asked to predict radionuclide concentrations in forage, milk, beef and grain from radionuclide concentrations in air, the daily amounts of precipitation and other pertinent information. This was a blind test in that the locations to which the input data referred were not revealed to the participants until after they had submitted their predictions. Twenty-three models were involved in the study. This report compares observations and predictions for deposition, time- integrated concentrations in forage, milk, beef and grain, to help assess understanding of individual processes, time-dependent concentrations in forage, milk and beef. In general, predictions of time-integrated concentration of I-131 and Cs-137 in forage, milk (normalized for forage) and beef are within a factor of 10 of the observations. About 50% of the predictions of I-131 and Cs-137 in forage and just over 30% of the predictions of those nuclides in milk (normalized for forage) fall within a factor of 2 of the observations. Documentation of the measurements, models, methods of analysis and model results is presented in the appendices. (au) (75 refs.)

  10. Genomic library screening for viruses from the human dental plaque revealed pathogen-specific lytic phage sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Jarbou, Ahmed Nasser

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial pathogenesis presents an astounding arsenal of virulence factors that allow them to conquer many different niches throughout the course of infection. Principally fascinating is the fact that some bacterial species are able to induce different diseases by expression of different combinations of virulence factors. Nevertheless, studies aiming at screening for the presence of bacteriophages in humans have been limited. Such screening procedures would eventually lead to identification of phage-encoded properties that impart increased bacterial fitness and/or virulence in a particular niche, and hence, would potentially be used to reverse the course of bacterial infections. As the human oral cavity represents a rich and dynamic ecosystem for several upper respiratory tract pathogens. However, little is known about virus diversity in human dental plaque which is an important reservoir. We applied the culture-independent approach to characterize virus diversity in human dental plaque making a library from a virus DNA fraction amplified using a multiple displacement method and sequenced 80 clones. The resulting sequence showed 44% significant identities to GenBank databases by TBLASTX analysis. TBLAST homology comparisons showed that 66% was viral; 18% eukarya; 10% bacterial; 6% mobile elements. These sequences were sorted into 6 contigs and 45 single sequences in which 4 contigs and a single sequence showed significant identity to a small region of a putative prophage in the Corynebacterium diphtheria genome. These findings interestingly highlight the uniqueness of over half of the sequences, whilst the dominance of a pathogen-specific prophage sequences imply their role in virulence.

  11. Metabolite Profiling and Transcript Analysis Reveal Specificities in the Response of a Berry Derived Cell Culture to Abiotic Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biruk eAyenew

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available As climate changes, there is a need to understand the expected effects on viticulture. In nature, stresses exist in a combined manner, hampering the elucidation of the effect of individual cues on grape berry metabolism. Cell suspension culture originated from pea-size Gamy Red grape berry was used to harness metabolic response to high light (2500 µmol m-2s-1, high temperature (40 0C and their combination in comparison to 25 0C and 100 µmol m-2s-1 under controlled condition. When LC-MS and GC-MS based metabolite profiling was implemented and integrated with targeted RT-qPCR transcript analysis specific responses were observed to the different cues. High light enhanced polyphenol metabolism while high temperature and its combination with high light induced amino acid and organic acid metabolism with additional effect on polyphenols. The trend of increment in TCA cycle genes like ATCs, ACo1 and IDH in the combined treatment might support the observed increment in organic acids, GABA shunt, and their derivatives. The apparent phenylalanine reduction with polyphenol increment under high light suggests enhanced fueling of the precursor towards the downstream phenylpropanoid pathway. In the polyphenol metabolism, a differential pattern of expression of flavonoid 3’,5’ hydroxylase and flavonoid 3’ hydroxylase was observed under high light and combined cues which were accompanied by characteristic metabolite profiles. High temperature decreased glycosylated cyanidin and peonidin forms while the combined cues increased acetylated and coumarylated peonidin forms. Transcription factors regulating anthocyanin metabolism and their methylation, MYB, OMT, UFGT and DFR, were expressed differentially among the treatments, overall in agreement with the metabolite profiles. Taken together these data provide insights into the coordination of central and secondary metabolism in relation to multiple abiotic stresses.

  12. Microbial Metabolism in Soil at Subzero Temperatures: Adaptation Mechanisms Revealed by Position-Specific 13C Labeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezekiel K. Bore

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Although biogeochemical models designed to simulate carbon (C and nitrogen (N dynamics in high-latitude ecosystems incorporate extracellular parameters, molecular and biochemical adaptations of microorganisms to freezing remain unclear. This knowledge gap hampers estimations of the C balance and ecosystem feedback in high-latitude regions. To analyze microbial metabolism at subzero temperatures, soils were incubated with isotopomers of position-specifically 13C-labeled glucose at three temperatures: +5 (control, -5, and -20°C. 13C was quantified in CO2, bulk soil, microbial biomass, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC after 1, 3, and 10 days and also after 30 days for samples at -20°C. Compared to +5°C, CO2 decreased 3- and 10-fold at -5 and -20°C, respectively. High 13C recovery in CO2 from the C-1 position indicates dominance of the pentose phosphate pathway at +5°C. In contrast, increased oxidation of the C-4 position at subzero temperatures implies a switch to glycolysis. A threefold higher 13C recovery in microbial biomass at -5 than +5°C points to synthesis of intracellular compounds such as glycerol and ethanol in response to freezing. Less than 0.4% of 13C was recovered in DOC after 1 day, demonstrating complete glucose uptake by microorganisms even at -20°C. Consequently, we attribute the fivefold higher extracellular 13C in soil than in microbial biomass to secreted antifreeze compounds. This suggests that with decreasing temperature, intracellular antifreeze protection is complemented by extracellular mechanisms to avoid cellular damage by crystallizing water. The knowledge of sustained metabolism at subzero temperatures will not only be useful for modeling global C dynamics in ecosystems with periodically or permanently frozen soils, but will also be important in understanding and controlling the adaptive mechanisms of food spoilage organisms.

  13. Differential gene expression profile reveals deregulation of pregnancy specific β1 glycoprotein 9 early during colorectal carcinogenesis

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    Gallinger Steven

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background APC (Adenomatous polyposis coli plays an important role in the pathogenesis of both familial and sporadic colorectal cancer. Patients carrying germline APC mutations develop multiple colonic adenomas at younger age and higher frequency than non-carrier cases which indicates that silencing of one APC allele may be sufficient to initiate the transformation process. Methods To elucidate the biological dysregulation underlying adenoma formation we examined global gene expression profiles of adenomas and corresponding normal mucosa from an FAP patient. Differential expression of the most significant gene identified in this study was further validated by mRNA in situ hybridization, reverse transcriptase PCR and Northern blotting in different sets of adenomas, tumours and cancer cell lines. Results Eighty four genes were differentially expressed between all adenomas and corresponding normal mucosa, while only seven genes showed differential expression within the adenomas. The first group included pregnancy specific β-1 glycoprotein 9 (PSG9 (p PSG9 is a member of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA/PSG family and is produced at high levels during pregnancy, mainly by syncytiotrophoblasts. Further analysis of sporadic and familial colorectal cancer confirmed that PSG9 is ectopically upregulated in vivo by cancer cells. In total, deregulation of PSG9 mRNA was detected in 78% (14/18 of FAP adenomas and 75% (45/60 of sporadic colorectal cancer cases tested. Conclusion Detection of PSG9 expression in adenomas, and at higher levels in FAP cases, indicates that germline APC mutations and defects in Wnt signalling modulate PSG9 expression. Since PSG9 is not found in the non-pregnant adult except in association with cancer, and it appears to be an early molecular event associated with colorectal cancer monitoring of its expression may be useful as a biomarker for the early detection of this disease.

  14. Seedling transplants reveal species-specific responses of high-elevation tropical treeline trees to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehm, Evan M; Feeley, Kenneth J

    2016-08-01

    The elevations at which tropical treelines occur are believed to represent the point where low mean temperatures limit the growth of upright woody trees. Consequently, tropical treelines are predicted to shift to higher elevations with global warming. However, treelines throughout the tropics have remained stationary despite increasing global mean temperatures. The goal of the study reported here was to build a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of mean temperature, low-temperature extremes, shading, and their interactions on seedling survival at tropical treelines. We conducted a seedling transplant study using three dominant canopy-forming treeline species in the southern tropical Andes. We found species-specific differences and contrasting responses in seedling survival to changes in mean temperature. The most abundant naturally occurring species at the seedling stage outside the treeline, Weinmannia fagaroides, showed a negative relationship between the survival of transplanted seedlings and mean temperature, the opposite of a priori expectations. Conversely, Clethra cuneata showed increased survival at higher mean temperatures, but survival also increased with higher absolute low temperatures and the presence of shade. Finally, the survival of Gynoxys nitida seedlings was insensitive to temperature but increased under shade. These findings show that multiple factors can determine the upper distributional limit of species forming the current tropical treeline. As such, predictions of future local and regional tropical treeline shifts may need to consider several factors beyond changes in mean temperature. If the treeline remains stationary and cloud forests are unable to expand into higher elevations, there may be severe species loss in this biodiversity hotspot.

  15. Solute-specific patterns and drivers of urban stream chemistry revealed by long-term monitoring in Baltimore, Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisinger, A. J.; Woytowitz, E.; Majcher, E.; Rosi, E. J.; Groffman, P.

    2017-12-01

    Urban streams receive a myriad of chemical inputs from the surrounding landscape due to altered lithology (asphalt, concrete), leaky sewage infrastructure, and other human activities (road salt, fertilizer, industrial wastes, wastewater effluent), potentially leading to multiple chemical stressors occurring simultaneously. To evaluate potential drivers of water chemistry change, we used approximately 20 years of weekly water chemistry monitoring data from streams in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) to quantify trends of annual loads and flow-weighted concentrations for multiple solutes of interest, including nitrate (NO3-), phosphate (PO43-), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), chloride (Cl-), and sulfate (SO42-) and subsequently examined various gray and green infrastructure characteristics at the watershed scale. For example, we quantified annual volume and duration of reported sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) and cumulative storage volume and area of various best management practices (BMPs). Site- and solute-specific trends differed, but across our monitoring network we found evidence for decreasing annual export for multiple solutes. Additionally, we found that changes in gray- and green-infrastructure characteristics were related to changes in water quality at our most downstream (most urban) monitoring site. For example, annual NO3- loads increased with longer cumulative SSO duration, whereas annual PO43- and TP loads decreased with a cumulative BMP area in the watershed. Further, we used same long-term water chemistry data and multivariate analyses to investigate whether urban streams have unique water chemistry fingerprints representing the multiple chemical stressors at a given site, which could provide insight into sources and impacts of water-quality impairment. These analyses and results illustrate the major role gray and green infrastructure play in influencing water quality in urban environments, and illustrate that focusing on a variety of

  16. A novel Zika virus mouse model reveals strain specific differences in virus pathogenesis and host inflammatory immune responses.

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    Shashank Tripathi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Zika virus (ZIKV is a mosquito borne flavivirus, which was a neglected tropical pathogen until it emerged and spread across the Pacific Area and the Americas, causing large human outbreaks associated with fetal abnormalities and neurological disease in adults. The factors that contributed to the emergence, spread and change in pathogenesis of ZIKV are not understood. We previously reported that ZIKV evades cellular antiviral responses by targeting STAT2 for degradation in human cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Stat2-/- mice are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection, recapitulate virus spread to the central nervous system (CNS, gonads and other visceral organs, and display neurological symptoms. Further, we exploit this model to compare ZIKV pathogenesis caused by a panel of ZIKV strains of a range of spatiotemporal history of isolation and representing African and Asian lineages. We observed that African ZIKV strains induce short episodes of severe neurological symptoms followed by lethality. In comparison, Asian strains manifest prolonged signs of neuronal malfunctions, occasionally causing death of the Stat2-/- mice. African ZIKV strains induced higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and markers associated with cellular infiltration in the infected brain in mice, which may explain exacerbated pathogenesis in comparison to those of the Asian lineage. Interestingly, viral RNA levels in different organs did not correlate with the pathogenicity of the different strains. Taken together, we have established a new murine model that supports ZIKV infection and demonstrate its utility in highlighting intrinsic differences in the inflammatory response induced by different ZIKV strains leading to severity of disease. This study paves the way for the future interrogation of strain-specific changes in the ZIKV genome and their contribution to viral pathogenesis.

  17. Phylogenomic analysis of vertebrate thrombospondins reveals fish-specific paralogues, ancestral gene relationships and a tetrapod innovation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Josephine C

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thrombospondins (TSPs are evolutionarily-conserved, extracellular, calcium-binding glycoproteins with important roles in cell-extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis, synaptogenesis and connective tissue organisation. Five TSPs, designated TSP-1 through TSP-5, are encoded in the human genome. All but one have known roles in acquired or inherited human diseases. To further understand the roles of TSPs in human physiology and pathology, it would be advantageous to extend the repertoire of relevant vertebrate models. In general the zebrafish is proving an excellent model organism for vertebrate biology, therefore we set out to evaluate the status of TSPs in zebrafish and two species of pufferfish. Results We identified by bioinformatics that three fish species encode larger numbers of TSPs than vertebrates, yet all these sequences group as homologues of TSP-1 to -4. By phylogenomic analysis of neighboring genes, we uncovered that, in fish, a TSP-4-like sequence is encoded from the gene corresponding to the tetrapod TSP-5 gene. Thus, all TSP genes show conservation of synteny between fish and tetrapods. In the human genome, the TSP-1, TSP-3, TSP-4 and TSP-5 genes lie within paralogous regions that provide insight into the ancestral genomic context of vertebrate TSPs. Conclusion A new model for TSP evolution in vertebrates is presented. The TSP-5 protein sequence has evolved rapidly from a TSP-4-like sequence as an innovation in the tetrapod lineage. TSP biology in fish is complicated by the presence of additional lineage- and species-specific TSP paralogues. These novel results give deeper insight into the evolution of TSPs in vertebrates and open new directions for understanding the physiological and pathological roles of TSP-4 and TSP-5 in humans.

  18. Analysis of expression in the Anopheles gambiae developing testes reveals rapidly evolving lineage-specific genes in mosquitoes

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    Krzywinski Jaroslaw

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood and are not involved in delivery of pathogens to humans. Consequently, they are seldom the subjects of research, which results in a very poor understanding of their biology. To gain insights into male developmental processes we sought to identify genes transcribed exclusively in the reproductive tissues of male Anopheles gambiae pupae. Results Using a cDNA subtraction strategy, five male-specifically or highly male-biased expressed genes were isolated, four of which remain unannotated in the An. gambiae genome. Spatial and temporal expression patterns suggest that each of these genes is involved in the mid-late stages of spermatogenesis. Their sequences are rapidly evolving; however, two genes possess clear homologs in a wide range of taxa and one of these probably acts in a sperm motility control mechanism conserved in many organisms, including humans. The other three genes have no match to sequences from non-mosquito taxa, thus can be regarded as orphans. RNA in situ hybridization demonstrated that one of the orphans is transcribed in spermatids, which suggests its involvement in sperm maturation. Two other orphans have unknown functions. Expression analysis of orthologs of all five genes indicated that male-biased transcription was not conserved in the majority of cases in Aedes and Culex. Conclusion Discovery of testis-expressed orphan genes in mosquitoes opens new prospects for the development of innovative control methods. The orphan encoded proteins may represent unique targets of selective anti-mosquito sterilizing agents that will not affect non-target organisms.

  19. Analysis of expression in the Anopheles gambiae developing testes reveals rapidly evolving lineage-specific genes in mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzywinska, Elzbieta; Krzywinski, Jaroslaw

    2009-07-06

    Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood and are not involved in delivery of pathogens to humans. Consequently, they are seldom the subjects of research, which results in a very poor understanding of their biology. To gain insights into male developmental processes we sought to identify genes transcribed exclusively in the reproductive tissues of male Anopheles gambiae pupae. Using a cDNA subtraction strategy, five male-specifically or highly male-biased expressed genes were isolated, four of which remain unannotated in the An. gambiae genome. Spatial and temporal expression patterns suggest that each of these genes is involved in the mid-late stages of spermatogenesis. Their sequences are rapidly evolving; however, two genes possess clear homologs in a wide range of taxa and one of these probably acts in a sperm motility control mechanism conserved in many organisms, including humans. The other three genes have no match to sequences from non-mosquito taxa, thus can be regarded as orphans. RNA in situ hybridization demonstrated that one of the orphans is transcribed in spermatids, which suggests its involvement in sperm maturation. Two other orphans have unknown functions. Expression analysis of orthologs of all five genes indicated that male-biased transcription was not conserved in the majority of cases in Aedes and Culex. Discovery of testis-expressed orphan genes in mosquitoes opens new prospects for the development of innovative control methods. The orphan encoded proteins may represent unique targets of selective anti-mosquito sterilizing agents that will not affect non-target organisms.

  20. Grouping subjects based on conditioning criteria reveals differences in acquisition rates and in strength of conditioning-specific reflex modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Bell, Carrie A; Schreurs, Bernard G

    2017-11-01

    Averaging behavioral data such as the nictitating membrane response (NMR) across subjects can conceal important individual and group differences. Analyses were conducted of NMR data from rabbits that were grouped based on the point during NMR conditioning when subjects produced 8 conditioned responses (CR) in a set of 10 trials. This resulted in five groups (Early Day 1, Late Day 1, Early Day 2, Late Day 2, Early Day 3) in which group differences in CR acquisition rates were found. Percent (%) CRs were not found to increase monotonically and between-session differences in % CR were found. Conditioning-specific reflex modification (CRM) of the NMR is a type of enhanced reflexive responding of the NMR that is detected when the unconditioned stimulus (US) is presented in the absence of the conditioned stimulus (CS) following paired classical conditioning. CRM occurred in some subjects in all five groups. Subjects from both the group that was fastest and the group that was slowest to reach the learning criterion had unconditioned response (UR) topographies following NMR conditioning that strongly resembled the CR-UR response sequence elicited during NMR conditioning. This finding was most pronounced when the US duration used to assess CRM was equivalent to that used during NMR conditioning, further evidence to support the hypothesis that CRM is a CR that has generalized from the CS to the US. While grouping data based on conditioning criteria did not facilitate identifying individuals more predisposed to exhibiting CRM, strong CRM only occurred in the groups that reached the conditioning criterion the fastest. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Bayesian population structure analysis reveals presence of phylogeographically specific sublineages within previously ill-defined T group of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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    Yann Reynaud

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis genetic structure, and evolutionary history have been studied for years by several genotyping approaches, but delineation of a few sublineages remains controversial and needs better characterization. This is particularly the case of T group within lineage 4 (L4 which was first described using spoligotyping to pool together a number of strains with ill-defined signatures. Although T strains were not traditionally considered as a real phylogenetic group, they did contain a few phylogenetically meaningful sublineages as shown using SNPs. We therefore decided to investigate if this observation could be corroborated using other robust genetic markers. We consequently made a first assessment of genetic structure using 24-loci MIRU-VNTRs data extracted from the SITVIT2 database (n = 607 clinical isolates collected in Russia, Albania, Turkey, Iraq, Brazil and China. Combining Minimum Spanning Trees and Bayesian population structure analyses (using STRUCTURE and TESS softwares, we distinctly identified eight tentative phylogenetic groups (T1-T8 with a remarkable correlation with geographical origin. We further compared the present structure observed with other L4 sublineages (n = 416 clinical isolates belonging to LAM, Haarlem, X, S sublineages, and showed that 5 out of 8 T groups seemed phylogeographically well-defined as opposed to the remaining 3 groups that partially mixed with other L4 isolates. These results provide with novel evidence about phylogeographically specificity of a proportion of ill-defined T group of M. tuberculosis. The genetic structure observed will now be further validated on an enlarged worldwide dataset using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS.

  2. Comparative Analysis of WUSCHEL-Related Homeobox Genes Revealed Their Parent-of-Origin and Cell Type-Specific Expression Pattern During Early Embryogenesis in Tobacco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemei Zhou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX gene is a plant-specific clade of homeobox transcription factors. Increasing evidences reveal that WOXs play critical roles in early embryogenesis, which involves zygote development, initiation of zygote division, and apical or basal cell lineage establishment. However, how WOXs regulate these developmental events remains largely unknown, and even detailed expression pattern in gametes and early proembryos is not yet available. Here, 13 WOX family genes were identified in Nicotiana tabacum genome. Comparative analysis of 13 WOX family genes with their homologs in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals relatively conserved expression pattern of WUS and WOX5 in shoot/root apical meristem. Whereas variations were also found, e.g., lacking homolog of WOX8 (a marker for suspensor cell in tobacco genome and the expression of WOX2/WOX9 in both apical cell and basal cell. Transient transcriptional activity analysis revealed that WOXs in WUS clade have repressive activities for their target's transcription, whereas WOXs in ancient and intermediate clade have activation activities, giving a molecular basis for the phylogenetic classification of tobacco WOXs into three major clades. Expression pattern analysis revealed that some WOXs (e.g., WOX 13a expressed in both male and female gametes and some WOXs (e.g., WOX 11 and WOX 13b displayed the characteristics of parent-of-origin genes. Interestingly, some WOXs (e.g., WOX2 and WOX9, which are essential for early embryo patterning, were de novo transcribed in zygote, indicating relevant mechanism for embryo pattern formation is only established in zygote right after fertilization and not carried in by gametes. We also found that most WOXs displayed a stage-specific and cell type-specific expression pattern. Taken together, this work provides a detailed landscape of WOXs in tobacco during fertilization and early embryogenesis, which will facilitate the understanding of their specific roles

  3. Determination of Tropical Forage Preferences Using Two Offering Methods in Rabbits

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    A. M. Safwat

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Two methods of feed preference trials were compared to evaluate the acceptability of 5 fresh foliages: Leucaena leucocephala, Moringa oleifera, Portulaca oleracea, Guazuma ulmifolia, and Brosimum alicastrum that was included as control. The evaluation included chemical analyses and forage intake by rabbits. The first method was a cafeteria trial; 12 California growing rabbits aged 8 wk, allocated in individual cages, were offered the five forage plants at the same time inside the cage, while in the second trial 60 California growing rabbits aged 8 wk, allocated individually, were randomly distributed into 5 experimental groups (n = 12/group; for each group just one forage species was offered at a time. The testing period for each method lasted for 7 d, preceded by one week of adaptation. The results showed that B. alicastrum and L. lecocephala were the most preferred forages while on the contrary G. ulmifolia was the least preferred one by rabbits. The results also revealed that the CV% value for the 2nd method (16.32%, which the tested forages were presented separately to rabbits, was lower and methodologically more acceptable than such value for the 1st method (34.28%, which all forages were presented together at the same time. It can be concluded that a range of tropical forages were consumed in acceptable quantities by rabbits, suggesting that diets based on such forages with a concentrate supplement could be used successfully for rabbit production. However, growth performance studies are still needed before recommendations could be made on appropriate ration formulations for commercial use.

  4. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by

  5. Temporally specific divided attention tasks in young adults reveal the temporal dynamics of episodic encoding failures in elderly adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Ray; Nessler, Doreen; Friedman, David

    2013-06-01

    Nessler, Johnson, Bersick, and Friedman (D. Nessler, R. Johnson, Jr., M. Bersick, & D. Friedman, 2006, On why the elderly have normal semantic retrieval but deficient episodic encoding: A study of left inferior frontal ERP activity, NeuroImage, Vol. 30, pp. 299-312) found that, compared with young adults, older adults show decreased event-related brain potential (ERP) activity over posterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (pLIPFC) in a 400- to 1,400-ms interval during episodic encoding. This altered brain activity was associated with significantly decreased recognition performance and reduced recollection-related brain activity at retrieval (D. Nessler, D. Friedman, R. Johnson, Jr., & M. Bersick, 2007, Does repetition engender the same retrieval processes in young and older adults? NeuroReport, Vol. 18, pp. 1837-1840). To test the hypothesis that older adults' well-documented episodic retrieval deficit is related to reduced pLIPFC activity at encoding, we used a novel divided attention task in healthy young adults that was specifically timed to disrupt encoding in either the 1st or 2nd half of a 300- to 1,400-ms interval. The results showed that diverting resources for 550 ms during either half of this interval reproduced the 4 characteristic aspects of the older participants' retrieval performance: normal semantic retrieval during encoding, reduced subsequent episodic recognition and recall, reduced recollection-related ERP activity, and the presence of "compensatory" brain activity. We conclude that part of older adults' episodic memory deficit is attributable to altered pLIPFC activity during encoding due to reduced levels of available processing resources. Moreover, the findings also provide insights into the nature and timing of the putative "compensatory" processes posited to be used by older adults in an attempt to compensate for age-related decline in cognitive function. These results support the scaffolding account of compensation, in which the

  6. Transcriptomic analysis reveals the gene expression profile that specifically responds to IBA during adventitious rooting in mung bean seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shi-Weng; Shi, Rui-Fang; Leng, Yan; Zhou, Yuan

    2016-01-12

    , stage 2, and between stage 1 and stage 2, respectively, suggesting that IBA treatment increased the number of DEGs. A total of 143 DEGs specifically involved in plant hormone signaling and 345 transcription factor (TF) genes were also regulated by IBA. qRT-PCR validation of the 36 genes with known functions indicated a strong correlation with the RNA-Seq data. The changes in GO functional categories, KEGG pathways, and global DEG profiling during adventitious rooting induced by IBA were analyzed. These results provide valuable information about the molecular traits of IBA regulation of adventitious rooting.

  7. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF CAATINGA POTENTIAL FORAGES SPECIES

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    Dynara Layza de Souza da Silva

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Chemical composition of some potential forages species, natives from Caatinga region, were evaluated. Samples of Macroptilium heterophyllum, Stylosanthes humilis, Rhynchosia mínima, Desmodium tortuosum Sw. Dc, Merremia aegyptia, Mimosa tenuiflora Wild, Bauhinia cheilantha and as well Macroptilium lathyroides, Caesalpinia pyramidalis and Mimosa tenuiflora hays were collected in Rio Grande do Norte Stated, during 2011 rainy season. The analyses: dry matter (DM, crude protein (CP mineral matter (MM ether extract  (EE neutral detergent fiber (NDF, acid detergent fiber (ADF, lignin (LIG, insoluble neutral detergent nitrogen, (INDN insoluble acid detergent nitrogen, (ADIN, total phenol (TF and total tannin (TT were done at Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos in Ceará State. Plants analyzed, as expected, for tropical species, exhibited high level of cell wall constituents, high lignifications rate and revealed substantial presence of anti nutritional compounds. However, regardless of this data, the main problem, for grazing animals, is due to its xerophytes characteristics. Most of the shrubs and trees are deciduous, losing its leaves during the dry season. In addition, herbaceous presents a very rapid lifetime cycle, germinating and senescing during the brief wet season.

  8. Ocean acidification impairs crab foraging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Luke F; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Piehler, Michael F; Westfield, Isaac; Ries, Justin B

    2015-07-07

    Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is driving global-scale ocean acidification, which consequently influences calcification rates of many marine invertebrates and potentially alters their susceptibility to predation. Ocean acidification may also impair an organism's ability to process environmental and biological cues. These counteracting impacts make it challenging to predict how acidification will alter species interactions and community structure. To examine effects of acidification on consumptive and behavioural interactions between mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica), oysters were reared with and without caged crabs for 71 days at three pCO2 levels. During subsequent predation trials, acidification reduced prey consumption, handling time and duration of unsuccessful predation attempt. These negative effects of ocean acidification on crab foraging behaviour more than offset any benefit to crabs resulting from a reduction in the net rate of oyster calcification. These findings reveal that efforts to evaluate how acidification will alter marine food webs should include quantifying impacts on both calcification rates and animal behaviour. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Optimal Foraging by Birds: Experiments for Secondary & Postsecondary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…

  10. BEE FORAGE MAPPING BASED ON MULTISPECTRAL IMAGES LANDSAT

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    A. Moskalenko

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Possibilities of bee forage identification and mapping based on multispectral images have been shown in the research. Spectral brightness of bee forage has been determined with the use of satellite images. The effectiveness of some methods of image classification for mapping of bee forage is shown. Keywords: bee forage, mapping, multispectral images, image classification.

  11. Group foraging increases foraging efficiency in a piscivorous diver, the African penguin

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGeorge, Cuan; Ginsberg, Samuel; Pichegru, Lorien; Pistorius, Pierre A.

    2017-01-01

    Marine piscivores have evolved a variety of morphological and behavioural adaptations, including group foraging, to optimize foraging efficiency when targeting shoaling fish. For penguins that are known to associate at sea and feed on these prey resources, there is nonetheless a lack of empirical evidence to support improved foraging efficiency when foraging with conspecifics. We examined the hunting strategies and foraging performance of breeding African penguins equipped with animal-borne video recorders. Individuals pursued both solitary as well as schooling pelagic fish, and demonstrated independent as well as group foraging behaviour. The most profitable foraging involved herding of fish schools upwards during the ascent phase of a dive where most catches constituted depolarized fish. Catch-per-unit-effort was significantly improved when targeting fish schools as opposed to single fish, especially when foraging in groups. In contrast to more generalist penguin species, African penguins appear to have evolved specialist hunting strategies closely linked to their primary reliance on schooling pelagic fish. The specialist nature of the observed hunting strategies further limits the survival potential of this species if Allee effects reduce group size-related foraging efficiency. This is likely to be exacerbated by diminishing fish stocks due to resource competition and environmental change. PMID:28989785

  12. Forage: a sensitive indicator of airborne radioactivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, W.M.; Noakes, J.E.; Spaulding, J.D.

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents the results of using Ge(Li) γ-ray spectroscopy to measure radioactivity concentration of forage in the vicinity of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Houston County, AL., over a 31/2 yr period. The report period includes 2 yr of pre-operational and 11/2 yr of operational sampling. Although the objective of forage sampling was the measurement of manmade airborne fallout radioactivity, several natural radioisotopes were also found to be present. A summary of natural radioactivity data for all samples measured during the period from August 1975 to December 1978 is given. Approximately 10 days after each of four Chinese atmospheric nuclear tests conducted during the sampling period fresh fission product fallout was measured on the forage. The information from these nuclear tests shows forage sampling to be a convenient and sensitive monitoring tool for airborne fallout radioactivity. (author)

  13. Cell Wall Diversity in Forage Maize

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torres, A.F.; Noordam-Boot, C.M.M.; Dolstra, Oene; Weijde, van der Tim; Combes, Eliette; Dufour, Philippe; Vlaswinkel, Louis; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic studies are ideal platforms for assessing the extent of genetic diversity, inferring the genetic architecture, and evaluating complex trait interrelations for cell wall compositional and bioconversion traits relevant to bioenergy applications. Through the characterization of a forage

  14. African Journal of Range and Forage Science

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Journal of Range & Forage Science is the leading rangeland and pastoral journal in Africa. The Journal is dedicated to publishing quality original material that advances rangeland ecology and pasture management in Africa. Read more abou the journal here.

  15. Annual forage cropping-systems for midwestern ruminant livestock production

    OpenAIRE

    McMillan, John Ernest

    2016-01-01

    Annual forage cropping systems are a vital aspect of livestock forage production. One area where this production system can be enhanced is the integration of novel annual forages into conventional cropping systems. Two separate projects were conducted to investigate alternative forage options in annual forage production. In the first discussed research trial, two sets of crops were sown following soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain harvest, at two nitrogen application rates 56 ...

  16. Agronomic and forage characteristics of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.

    OpenAIRE

    Manríquez-Mendoza, Leonor Yalid; López-Ortíz, Silvia; Pérez-Hernández, Ponciano; Ortega- Jiménez, Eusebio; López-Tecpoyotl, Zenón Gerardo; Villarruel-Fuentes, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Native trees are an important source of forage for livestock, particularly in regions having prolonged dry periods. Some tree species have fast growth rates, good nutritional quality, and the ability to produce forage during dry periods when the need for forage is greater. Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. is a tree native to tropical America that has a high forage potential. This species is mentioned in a number of studies assessing the forage potential of trees in a diverse array of environments and v...

  17. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology.

  18. Maize forage aptitude: Combining ability of inbred lines and stability of hybrids

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    Luis Máximo Bertoia

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Breeding of forage maize should combine improvement achieved for grain with the specific needs of forage hybrids. Production stability is important when maize is used for silage if the planting area is not in the ideal agronomic environment. The objectives of the present research were: (i to quantify environmental and genetic and their interaction effects on maize silage traits; (ii to identify possible heterotic groups for forage aptitude and suggest the formation of potential heterotic patterns, and (iii to identify suitable inbred line combinations for producing hybrids with forage aptitude. Forty-five hybrids derived from diallelic crosses (without reciprocals among ten inbred lines of maize were evaluated in this study. Combined ANOVA over environments showed differences between genotypes (G, environments (E, and their interactions (GEI. Heritability (H2, and genotypic and phenotypic correlations were estimated to evaluate the variation in and relationships between forage traits. Postdictive and predictive AMMI models were fitted to determine the importance of each source of variation, G, E, and GEI, and to select genotypes simultaneously on yield, quality and stability. A predominance of additive effects was found in the evaluated traits. The heterotic pattern Reid-BSSS × Argentine flint was confirmed for ear yield (EY and harvest index (HI. High and broad genetic variation was found for stover and whole plant traits. Some inbred lines had genes with differential breeding aptitude for ear and stover. Stover and ear yield should be the main breeding objectives in maize forage breeding.

  19. Inductive foraging: improving the diagnostic yield of primary care consultations.

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    Donner-Banzhoff, Norbert; Hertwig, Ralph

    2014-03-01

    Physicians attempting to make a diagnosis arrive at specific hypotheses early in their encounter with patients. Further data are collected in the light of these early hypotheses. While this hypothetico-deductive model has been accepted as both a description of physicians' data gathering and a norm, little attention has been paid to the preceding stage of the consultation. It is suggested that 'inductive foraging' is a relevant and appropriate mode of data acquisition for the first part of the patient encounter. Research evidence from cognitive psychology and medical reasoning research is discussed. With inductive foraging, 'pattern failure' rather than 'pattern recognition' is the mode of discovery. Largely, guidance should be left to the patient to lead the clinician into areas where departures from normality are to be found. This is in contrast to active and focused 'deductive inquiry,' which should be used only after most aetiologies, but a few have eliminated. Especially when the prevalence of serious disease is low, and a wide range of diagnoses must be evaluated, such as in General Practice, inductive foraging is a rational and efficient diagnostic strategy. Previously, too little attention has been paid to the initial stage of the consultation. Premature closure at this point may result in diagnostic error.

  20. Eye Size, Fovea, and Foraging Ecology in Accipitriform Raptors.

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    Potier, Simon; Mitkus, Mindaugas; Bonadonna, Francesco; Duriez, Olivier; Isard, Pierre-François; Dulaurent, Thomas; Mentek, Marielle; Kelber, Almut

    2017-01-01

    Birds with larger eyes are predicted to have higher spatial resolution because of their larger retinal image. Raptors are well known for their acute vision, mediated by their deep central fovea. Because foraging strategies may demand specific visual adaptations, eye size and fovea may differ between species with different foraging ecology. We tested whether predators (actively hunting mobile prey) and carrion eaters (eating dead prey) from the order Accipitriformes differ in eye size, foveal depth, and retinal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and comparative phylogenetic methods. We found that (1) all studied predators (except one) had a central and a temporal fovea, but all carrion eaters had only the central fovea; (2) eye size scaled with body mass both in predators and carrion eaters; (3) predators had larger eyes relative to body mass and a thicker retina at the edge of the fovea than carrion eaters, but there was no difference in the depth of the central fovea between the groups. Finally, we found that (4) larger eyes generally had a deeper central fovea. These results suggest that the visual system of raptors within the order Accipitriformes may be highly adapted to the foraging strategy, except for the foveal depth, which seems mostly dependent upon the eye size. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Resource heterogeneity and foraging behaviour of cattle across spatial scales

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    Demment Montague W

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the mechanisms that influence grazing selectivity in patchy environments is vital to promote sustainable production and conservation of cultivated and natural grasslands. To better understand how patch size and spatial dynamics influence selectivity in cattle, we examined grazing selectivity under 9 different treatments by offering alfalfa and fescue in patches of 3 sizes spaced with 1, 4, and 8 m between patches along an alley. We hypothesized that (1 selectivity is driven by preference for the forage species that maximizes forage intake over feeding scales ranging from single bites to patches along grazing paths, (2 that increasing patch size enhances selectivity for the preferred species, and that (3 increasing distances between patches restricts selectivity because of the aggregation of scale-specific behaviours across foraging scales. Results Cows preferred and selected alfalfa, the species that yielded greater short-term intake rates (P Conclusion We conclude that patch size and spacing affect components of intake rate and, to a lesser extent, the selectivity of livestock at lower hierarchies of the grazing process, particularly by enticing livestock to make more even use of the available species as patches are spaced further apart. Thus, modifications in the spatial pattern of plant patches along with reductions in the temporal and spatial allocation of grazing may offer opportunities to improve uniformity of grazing by livestock and help sustain biodiversity and stability of plant communities.

  2. The role of foraging behaviour in the sexual segregation of the African elephant.

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    Shannon, Graeme; Page, Bruce R; Duffy, Kevin J; Slotow, Rob

    2006-11-01

    Elephants (Loxodonta africana) exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and in this study we test the prediction that the differences in body size and sociality are significant enough to drive divergent foraging strategies and ultimately sexual segregation. Body size influences the foraging behaviour of herbivores through the differential scaling coefficients of metabolism and gut size, with larger bodied individuals being able to tolerate greater quantities of low-quality, fibrous vegetation, whilst having lower mass-specific energy requirements. We test two distinct theories: the scramble competition hypothesis (SCH) and the forage selection hypothesis (FSH). Comprehensive behavioural data were collected from the Pongola Game Reserve and the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa over a 2.5-year period. The data were analysed using sex as the independent variable. Adult females targeted a wider range of species, adopted a more selective foraging approach and exhibited greater bite rates as predicted by the body size hypothesis and the increased demands of reproductive investment (lactation and pregnancy). Males had longer feeding bouts, displayed significantly more destructive behaviour (31% of observations, 11% for females) and ingested greater quantities of forage during each feeding bout. The independent ranging behaviour of adult males enables them to have longer foraging bouts as they experience fewer social constraints than females. The SCH was rejected as a cause of sexual segregation due to the relative abundance of low quality forage, and the fact that feeding heights were similar for both males and females. However, we conclude that the differences in the foraging strategies of the sexes are sufficient to cause spatial segregation as postulated by the FSH. Sexual dimorphism and the associated behavioural differences have important implications for the management and conservation of elephant and other dimorphic species, with the sexes effectively

  3. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

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    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Vision and foraging in cormorants: more like herons than hawks?

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    Craig R White

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo L. show the highest known foraging yield for a marine predator and they are often perceived to be in conflict with human economic interests. They are generally regarded as visually-guided, pursuit-dive foragers, so it would be expected that cormorants have excellent vision much like aerial predators, such as hawks which detect and pursue prey from a distance. Indeed cormorant eyes appear to show some specific adaptations to the amphibious life style. They are reported to have a highly pliable lens and powerful intraocular muscles which are thought to accommodate for the loss of corneal refractive power that accompanies immersion and ensures a well focussed image on the retina. However, nothing is known of the visual performance of these birds and how this might influence their prey capture technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured the aquatic visual acuity of great cormorants under a range of viewing conditions (illuminance, target contrast, viewing distance and found it to be unexpectedly poor. Cormorant visual acuity under a range of viewing conditions is in fact comparable to unaided humans under water, and very inferior to that of aerial predators. We present a prey detectability model based upon the known acuity of cormorants at different illuminances, target contrasts and viewing distances. This shows that cormorants are able to detect individual prey only at close range (less than 1 m. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that cormorants are not the aquatic equivalent of hawks. Their efficient hunting involves the use of specialised foraging techniques which employ brief short-distance pursuit and/or rapid neck extension to capture prey that is visually detected or flushed only at short range. This technique appears to be driven proximately by the cormorant's limited visual capacities, and is analogous to the foraging techniques employed by herons.

  5. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

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    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  6. A Chinese Herbal Decoction, Danggui Buxue Tang, Stimulates Proliferation, Differentiation and Gene Expression of Cultured Osteosarcoma Cells: Genomic Approach to Reveal Specific Gene Activation

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    Roy C. Y. Choi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT, a Chinese herbal decoction used to treat ailments in women, contains Radix Astragali (Huangqi; RA and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Danggui; RAS. When DBT was applied onto cultured MG-63 cells, an increase of cell proliferation and differentiation of MG-63 cell were revealed: both of these effects were significantly higher in DBT than RA or RAS extract. To search for the biological markers that are specifically regulated by DBT, DNA microarray was used to reveal the gene expression profiling of DBT in MG-63 cells as compared to that of RA- or RAS-treated cells. Amongst 883 DBT-regulated genes, 403 of them are specifically regulated by DBT treatment, including CCL-2, CCL-7, CCL-8, and galectin-9. The signaling cascade of this DBT-regulated gene expression was also elucidated in cultured MG-63 cells. The current results reveal the potential usage of this herbal decoction in treating osteoporosis and suggest the uniqueness of Chinese herbal decoction that requires a well-defined formulation. The DBT-regulated genes in the culture could serve as biological responsive markers for quality assurance of the herbal preparation.

  7. A decision-making support system to select forages according to environmental conditions in Colombia

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    Blanca Aurora Arce Barboza

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Low food supply is a major problem affecting a large percentage of the livestock population in Colombia and is largely associated to inappropriate choice of forage species; and thus not well adapted to the environmental conditions of a specific region. To mitigate this problem, without incurring increasing costs associated to changing environmental conditions, it is possible to match the adaptive capacity of species to the environment in which they grow. A decision support system was developed to select suitable forage species for a given environment. The system is based on the use of existing information about requirements of the species rather than specific experimentation. From the information gathered, a database was generated and implemented on ASP.NET in C # and SQL Server database. This system allows users to search and select pastures and forage species for specific soil and climatic conditions of a particular farm or region, through a user-friendly web platform.

  8. Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees

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    Hagbery, Jessica; Nieh, James C.

    2012-10-01

    Foraging specialization plays an important role in the ability of social insects to efficiently allocate labor. However, relatively little is known about the degree to which individual bumble bees specialize on collecting nectar or pollen, when such preferences manifest, and if individuals can alter their foraging preferences in response to changes in the colony workforce. Using Bombus impatiens, we monitored all foraging visits made by every bee in multiple colonies and showed that individual foragers exhibit consistent lifetime foraging preferences. Based upon the distribution of foraging preferences, we defined three forager types (pollen specialists, nectar specialists, and generalists). In unmanipulated colonies, 16-36 % of individuals specialized (≥90 % of visits) on nectar or pollen only. On its first day of foraging, an individual's foraging choices (nectar only, pollen only, or nectar and pollen) significantly predicted its lifetime foraging preferences. Foragers that only collected pollen on their first day of foraging made 1.61- to 1.67-fold more lifetime pollen foraging visits (as a proportion of total trips) than foragers that only collected nectar on their first foraging day. Foragers were significantly larger than bees that stayed only in the nest. We also determined the effect of removing pollen specialists at early (brood present) or later (brood absent) stages in colony life. These results suggest that generalists can alter their foraging preferences in response to the loss of a small subset of foragers. Thus, bumble bees exhibit individual lifetime foraging preferences that are established early in life, but generalists may be able to adapt to colony needs.

  9. Selective ligand activity at Nur/retinoid X receptor complexes revealed by dimer-specific bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based sensors

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    Giner, Xavier C; Cotnoir-White, David; Mader, Sylvie; Lévesque, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Retinoid X receptors (RXR) play a role as master regulators due to their capacity to form heterodimers with other nuclear receptors. Accordingly, retinoid signaling is involved in multiple biological processes, including development, cell differentiation, metabolism and cell death. However, the role and functions of RXR in different heterodimer complexes remain unsolved, mainly because most RXR drugs (called rexinoids) are not selective to specific heterodimer complexes. This also strongly limits the use of rexinoids for specific therapeutic approaches. In order to better characterize rexinoids at specific nuclear receptor complexes, we have developed and optimized luciferase protein complementation-based Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) assays, which can directly measure recruitment of a co-activator motif fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) by specific nuclear receptor dimers. To validate the assays, we compared rexinoid modulation of co-activator recruitment by RXR homodimer, and heterodimers Nur77/RXR and Nurr1/RXR. Results reveal that some rexinoids display selective co-activator recruitment activities with homo- or hetero-dimer complexes. In particular, SR11237 (BMS649) has increased potency for recruitment of co-activator motif and transcriptional activity with the Nur77/RXR heterodimer compared to other complexes. This technology should prove useful to identify new compounds with specificity for individual dimeric species formed by nuclear receptors. PMID:26148973

  10. Increasing evidence that bats actively forage at wind turbines.

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    Foo, Cecily F; Bennett, Victoria J; Hale, Amanda M; Korstian, Jennifer M; Schildt, Alison J; Williams, Dean A

    2017-01-01

    Although the ultimate causes of high bat fatalities at wind farms are not well understood, several lines of evidence suggest that bats are attracted to wind turbines. One hypothesis is that bats would be attracted to turbines as a foraging resource if the insects that bats prey upon are commonly present on and around the turbine towers. To investigate the role that foraging activity may play in bat fatalities, we conducted a series of surveys at a wind farm in the southern Great Plains of the US from 2011-2016. From acoustic monitoring we recorded foraging activity, including feeding buzzes indicative of prey capture, in the immediate vicinity of turbine towers from all six bat species known to be present at this site. From insect surveys we found Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera in consistently high proportions over several years suggesting that food resources for bats were consistently available at wind turbines. We used DNA barcoding techniques to assess bat diet composition of (1) stomach contents from 47 eastern red bat ( Lasiurus borealis ) and 24 hoary bat ( Lasiurus cinereus ) carcasses collected in fatality searches, and (2) fecal pellets from 23 eastern red bats that were found on turbine towers, transformers, and tower doors. We found that the majority of the eastern red bat and hoary bat stomachs, the two bat species most commonly found in fatality searches at this site, were full or partially full, indicating that the bats were likely killed while foraging. Although Lepidoptera and Orthoptera dominated the diets of these two bat species, both consumed a range of prey items with individual bats having from one to six insect species in their stomachs at the time of death. The prey items identified from eastern red bat fecal pellets showed similar results. A comparison of the turbine insect community to the diet analysis results revealed that the most abundant insects at wind turbines, including terrestrial insects such as crickets and several

  11. A novel whole-bacterial enzyme linked-immunosorbant assay to quantify Chlamydia trachomatis specific antibodies reveals distinct differences between systemic and genital compartments.

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    Hannah L Albritton

    Full Text Available Chlamydia trachomatis (CT is the leading sexually transmitted bacterial infection. The continued global burden of CT infection strongly predicates the need for a vaccine to supplement current chlamydial control programs. The correlates of protection against CT are currently unknown, but they must be carefully defined to guide vaccine design. The localized nature of chlamydial infection in columnar epithelial cells of the genital tract necessitates investigation of immunity at the site of infection. The purpose of this study was to develop a sensitive whole bacterial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA to quantify and compare CT-specific IgG and IgA in sera and genital secretions from CT-infected women. To achieve this, elementary bodies (EBs from two of the most common genital serovars (D and E were attached to poly-L-lysine-coated microtiter plates with glutaraldehyde. EB attachment and integrity were verified by the presence of outer membrane antigens and the absence of bacterial cytoplasmic antigens. EB-specific IgG and IgA standards were developed by pooling sera with high titers of CT-specific antibodies from infected women. Serum, endocervical and vaginal secretions, and endocervical cytobrush specimens from CT-infected women were used to quantify CT-specific IgG and IgA which were then normalized to total IgG and IgA, respectively. Analyses of paired serum and genital samples revealed significantly higher proportions of EB-specific antibodies in genital secretions compared to sera. Cervical and vaginal secretions and cytobrush specimens had similar proportions of EB-specific antibodies, suggesting any one of these genital sampling techniques could be used to quantify CT-specific antibodies when appropriate normalization methodologies are implemented. Overall, these results illustrate the need to investigate genital tract CT antibody responses, and our assay provides a useful quantitative tool to assess natural immunity in defined

  12. Quitting time: When do honey bee foragers decide to stop foraging on natural resources?

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    Michael eRivera

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Honey bee foragers may use both personal and social information when making decisions about when to visit resources. In particular, foragers may stop foraging at resources when their own experience indicates declining resource quality, or when social information, namely the delay to being able to unload nectar to receiver bees, indicates that the colony has little need for the particular resource being collected. Here we test the relative importance of these two factors in a natural setting, where colonies are using many dynamically changing resources. We recorded detailed foraging histories of individually marked bees, and identified when they appeared to abandon any resources (such as flower patches that they had previously been collecting from consistently. As in previous studies, we recorded duration of trophallaxis events (unloading nectar to receiver bees as a proxy for resource quality and the delays before returning foragers started trophallaxis as a proxy for social need for the resource. If these proxy measures accurately reflect changes in resource quality and social need, they should predict whether bees continue foraging or not. However, neither factor predicted when individuals stopped foraging on a particular resource, nor did they explain changes in colony-level foraging activity. This may indicate that other, as yet unstudied processes also affect individual decisions to abandon particular resources.

  13. Peptide microarray analysis of substrate specificity of the transmembrane Ser/Thr kinase KPI-2 reveals reactivity with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and phosphorylase.

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    Wang, Hong; Brautigan, David L

    2006-11-01

    Human lemur (Lmr) kinases are predicted to be Tyr kinases based on sequences and are related to neurotrophin receptor Trk kinases. This study used homogeneous recombinant KPI-2 (Lmr2, LMTK2, Cprk, brain-enriched protein kinase) kinase domain and a library of 1,154 peptides on a microarray to analyze substrate specificity. We found that KPI-2 is strictly a Ser/Thr kinase that reacts with Ser either preceded by or followed by Pro residues but unlike other Pro-directed kinases does not strictly require an adjacent Pro residue. The most reactive peptide in the library corresponds to Ser-737 of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and the recombinant R domain of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator was a preferred substrate. Furthermore the KPI-2 kinase phosphorylated peptides corresponding to the single site in phosphorylase and purified phosphorylase b, making this only the second known phosphorylase b kinase. Phosphorylase was used as a specific substrate to show that KPI-2 is inhibited in living cells by addition of nerve growth factor or serum. The results demonstrate the utility of the peptide library to probe specificity and discover kinase substrates and offer a specific assay that reveals hormonal regulation of the activity of this unusual transmembrane kinase.

  14. Factors influencing local ecological knowledge of forage resources: Ethnobotanical evidence from West Africa's savannas.

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    Naah, John-Baptist S N; Guuroh, Reginald T

    2017-03-01

    Recording local ecological knowledge (LEK) is a useful approach to understanding interactions of the complex social-ecological systems. In spite of the recent growing interest in LEK studies on the effects of climate and land use changes, livestock mobility decisions and other aspects of agro-pastoral systems, LEK on forage plants has still been vastly under-documented in the West African savannas. Using a study area ranging from northern Ghana to central Burkina Faso, we thus aimed at exploring how aridity and socio-demographic factors drive the distributional patterns of forage-related LEK among its holders. With stratified random sampling, we elicited LEK among 450 informants in 15 villages (seven in Ghana and eight in Burkina Faso) via free list tasks coupled with ethnobotanical walks and direct field observations. We performed generalized linear mixed-effects models (aridity- and ethnicity-based models) and robust model selection procedures. Our findings revealed that LEK for woody and herbaceous forage plants was strongly influenced by the ethnicity-based model, while aridity-based model performed better for LEK on overall forage resources and crop-related forage plants. We also found that climatic aridity had negative effect on the forage-related LEK across gender and age groups, while agro- and floristic diversity had positive effect on the body of LEK. About 135 species belonging to 95 genera and 52 families were cited. Our findings shed more light on how ethnicity and environmental harshness can markedly shape the body of LEK in the face of global climate change. Better understanding of such a place-based knowledge system is relevant for sustainable forage plants utilization and livestock production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera foragers.

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    Vanessa Corby-Harris

    Full Text Available The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop, a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1 despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2 corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3 the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae, highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.

  16. Analysis of Metal-Binding Features of the Wild Type and Two Domain-Truncated Mutant Variants of Littorina littorea Metallothionein Reveals Its Cd-Specific Character

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    Òscar Palacios

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available After the resolution of the 3D structure of the Cd9-aggregate of the Littorina littorea metallothionein (MT, we report here a detailed analysis of the metal binding capabilities of the wild type MT, LlwtMT, and of two truncated mutants lacking either the N-terminal domain, Lltr2MT, or both the N-terminal domain, plus four extra flanking residues (SSVF, Lltr1MT. The recombinant synthesis and in vitro studies of these three proteins revealed that LlwtMT forms unique M9-LlwtMT complexes with Zn(II and Cd(II, while yielding a complex mixture of heteronuclear Zn,Cu-LlwtMT species with Cu(I. As expected, the truncated mutants gave rise to unique M6-LltrMT complexes and Zn,Cu-LltrMT mixtures of lower stoichiometry with respect to LlwtMT, with the SSVF fragment having an influence on their metal binding performance. Our results also revealed a major specificity, and therefore a better metal-coordinating performance of the three proteins for Cd(II than for Zn(II, although the analysis of the Zn(II/Cd(II displacement reaction clearly demonstrates a lack of any type of cooperativity in Cd(II binding. Contrarily, the analysis of their Cu(I binding abilities revealed that every LlMT domain is prone to build Cu4-aggregates, the whole MT working by modules analogously to, as previously described, certain fungal MTs, like those of C. neoformans and T. mesenterica. It is concluded that the Littorina littorea MT is a Cd-specific protein that (beyond its extended binding capacity through an additional Cd-binding domain confers to Littorina littorea a particular adaptive advantage in its changeable marine habitat.

  17. Central-place foraging and ecological effects of an invasive predator across multiple habitats.

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    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2016-10-01

    Cross-habitat foraging movements of predators can have widespread implications for predator and prey populations, community structure, nutrient transfer, and ecosystem function. Although central-place foraging models and other aspects of optimal foraging theory focus on individual predator behavior, they also provide useful frameworks for understanding the effects of predators on prey populations across multiple habitats. However, few studies have examined both the foraging behavior and ecological effects of nonnative predators across multiple habitats, and none has tested whether nonnative predators deplete prey in a manner predicted by these foraging models. I conducted behavioral observations of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) to determine whether they exhibit foraging movements similar to other central-place consumers. Then, I used a manipulative field experiment to test whether their effects on prey populations are consistent with three qualitative predictions from optimal foraging models. Specifically, I predicted that the effects of invasive lionfish on native prey will (1) occur at central sites first and then in surrounding habitats, (2) decrease with increasing distance away from their shelter site, and (3) extend to greater distances when prey patches are spaced closer together. Approximately 40% of lionfish exhibited short-term crepuscular foraging movements into surrounding habitats from the coral patch reefs where they shelter during daylight hours. Over the course of 7 weeks, lionfish depleted native fish populations on the coral patch reefs where they reside, and subsequently on small structures in the surrounding habitat. However, their effects did not decrease with increasing distance from the central shelter site and the influence of patch spacing was opposite the prediction. Instead, lionfish always had the greatest effects in areas with the highest prey densities. The differences between the predicted and observed effects of lionfish

  18. Integrative proteomics, genomics, and translational immunology approaches reveal mutated forms of Proteolipid Protein 1 (PLP1) and mutant-specific immune response in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qendro, Veneta; Bugos, Grace A; Lundgren, Debbie H; Glynn, John; Han, May H; Han, David K

    2017-03-01

    In order to gain mechanistic insights into multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis, we utilized a multi-dimensional approach to test the hypothesis that mutations in myelin proteins lead to immune activation and central nervous system autoimmunity in MS. Mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of human MS brain lesions revealed seven unique mutations of PLP1; a key myelin protein that is known to be destroyed in MS. Surprisingly, in-depth genomic analysis of two MS patients at the genomic DNA and mRNA confirmed mutated PLP1 in RNA, but not in the genomic DNA. Quantification of wild type and mutant PLP RNA levels by qPCR further validated the presence of mutant PLP RNA in the MS patients. To seek evidence linking mutations in abundant myelin proteins and immune-mediated destruction of myelin, specific immune response against mutant PLP1 in MS patients was examined. Thus, we have designed paired, wild type and mutant peptide microarrays, and examined antibody response to multiple mutated PLP1 in sera from MS patients. Consistent with the idea of different patients exhibiting unique mutation profiles, we found that 13 out of 20 MS patients showed antibody responses against specific but not against all the mutant-PLP1 peptides. Interestingly, we found mutant PLP-directed antibody response against specific mutant peptides in the sera of pre-MS controls. The results from integrative proteomic, genomic, and immune analyses reveal a possible mechanism of mutation-driven pathogenesis in human MS. The study also highlights the need for integrative genomic and proteomic analyses for uncovering pathogenic mechanisms of human diseases. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. A stochastic differential equation model for the foraging behavior of fish schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tạ, Tôn Việt; Nguyen, Linh Thi Hoai

    2018-03-15

    Constructing models of living organisms locating food sources has important implications for understanding animal behavior and for the development of distribution technologies. This paper presents a novel simple model of stochastic differential equations for the foraging behavior of fish schools in a space including obstacles. The model is studied numerically. Three configurations of space with various food locations are considered. In the first configuration, fish swim in free but limited space. All individuals can find food with large probability while keeping their school structure. In the second and third configurations, they move in limited space with one and two obstacles, respectively. Our results reveal that the probability of foraging success is highest in the first configuration, and smallest in the third one. Furthermore, when school size increases up to an optimal value, the probability of foraging success tends to increase. When it exceeds an optimal value, the probability tends to decrease. The results agree with experimental observations.

  20. A stochastic differential equation model for the foraging behavior of fish schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tạ, Tôn ệt, Vi; Hoai Nguyen, Linh Thi

    2018-05-01

    Constructing models of living organisms locating food sources has important implications for understanding animal behavior and for the development of distribution technologies. This paper presents a novel simple model of stochastic differential equations for the foraging behavior of fish schools in a space including obstacles. The model is studied numerically. Three configurations of space with various food locations are considered. In the first configuration, fish swim in free but limited space. All individuals can find food with large probability while keeping their school structure. In the second and third configurations, they move in limited space with one and two obstacles, respectively. Our results reveal that the probability of foraging success is highest in the first configuration, and smallest in the third one. Furthermore, when school size increases up to an optimal value, the probability of foraging success tends to increase. When it exceeds an optimal value, the probability tends to decrease. The results agree with experimental observations.

  1. What do foraging wasps optimize in a variable environment, energy investment or body temperature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovac, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Anton; Brodschneider, Robert

    2015-11-01

    Vespine wasps (Vespula sp.) are endowed with a pronounced ability of endothermic heat production. To show how they balance energetics and thermoregulation under variable environmental conditions, we measured the body temperature and respiration of sucrose foragers (1.5 M, unlimited flow) under variable ambient temperature (T a = 20-35 °C) and solar radiation (20-570 W m(-2)). Results revealed a graduated balancing of metabolic efforts with thermoregulatory needs. The thoracic temperature in the shade depended on ambient temperature, increasing from ~37 to 39 °C. However, wasps used solar heat gain to regulate their thorax temperature at a rather high level at low T a (mean T thorax ~ 39 °C). Only at high T a they used solar heat to reduce their metabolic rate remarkably. A high body temperature accelerated the suction speed and shortened foraging time. As the costs of foraging strongly depended on duration, the efficiency could be significantly increased with a high body temperature. Heat gain from solar radiation enabled the wasps to enhance foraging efficiency at high ambient temperature (T a = 30 °C) by up to 63 %. The well-balanced change of economic strategies in response to environmental conditions minimized costs of foraging and optimized energetic efficiency.

  2. Cognitive plasticity in foraging Vespula germanica wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Adamo, Paola; Lozada, Mariana

    2011-01-01

    Vespula germanica (F.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) is a highly invasive social wasp that exhibits a rich behavioral repertoire in which learning and memory play a fundamental role in foraging. The learning abilities of these wasps were analyzed while relocating a food source and whether V. germanica foragers are capable of discriminating between different orientation patterns and generalizing their choice to a new pattern. Foraging wasps were trained to associate two different stripe orientation patterns with their respective food locations. Their response to a novel configuration that maintained the orientation of one of the learned patterns but differed in other aspects (e.g. width of stripes) was then evaluated. The results support the hypothesis that V. germanica wasps are able to associate a particular oriented pattern with the location of a feeder and to generalize their choice to a new pattern, which differed in quality, but presented the same orientation.

  3. Comparative genomic analysis of SET domain family reveals the origin, expansion, and putative function of the arthropod-specific SmydA genes as histone modifiers in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng; Liu, Qing; Wang, Yanli; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Huimin; Song, Tianqi; Yang, Meiling; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2017-06-01

    The SET domain is an evolutionarily conserved motif present in histone lysine methyltransferases, which are important in the regulation of chromatin and gene expression in animals. In this study, we searched for SET domain-containing genes (SET genes) in all of the 147 arthropod genomes sequenced at the time of carrying out this experiment to understand the evolutionary history by which SET domains have evolved in insects. Phylogenetic and ancestral state reconstruction analysis revealed an arthropod-specific SET gene family, named SmydA, that is ancestral to arthropod animals and specifically diversified during insect evolution. Considering that pseudogenization is the most probable fate of the new emerging gene copies, we provided experimental and evolutionary evidence to demonstrate their essential functions. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis and in vitro methyltransferase activity assays showed that the SmydA-2 gene was transcriptionally active and retained the original histone methylation activity. Expression knockdown by RNA interference significantly increased mortality, implying that the SmydA genes may be essential for insect survival. We further showed predominantly strong purifying selection on the SmydA gene family and a potential association between the regulation of gene expression and insect phenotypic plasticity by transcriptome analysis. Overall, these data suggest that the SmydA gene family retains essential functions that may possibly define novel regulatory pathways in insects. This work provides insights into the roles of lineage-specific domain duplication in insect evolution. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  4. Forage production in mixed grazing systems of elephant grass with arrowleaf clover or forage peanut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daiane Cristine Seibt

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Most dairy production systems are pasture-based, usually consisting of sole grass species. This system facilitates pasture management, but results in high production costs, mainly because of nitrogen fertilizers. An alternative to making forage systems more sustainable is to introduce legumes into the pasture. Mixed pastures allow better forage distribution over time and reduce fertilization costs. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate, throughout the year, three forage systems (FS: FS1 (control - elephant grass (EG, ryegrass (RG, and spontaneous species (SS; FS2 - EG + RG + SS + arrowleaf clover; and FS3 - EG + RG + SS + forage peanut. Elephant grass was planted in rows spaced 4 m apart. Ryegrass was sown between the EG lines, in the winter. Arrowleaf clover was sown according to the respective treatments and forage peanut was preserved. Evaluation was carried out using Holstein cows. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design, with three treatments (FS, and three repetitions (paddocks with repeated measurements (grazing cycles. Forage mass achieved 3.46, 3.80, and 3.91 t ha-1 for the treatments FS1, FS2 and FS3, respectively. The forage systems intercropped with legumes produced the best results.

  5. Interpatch foraging in honeybees-rational decision making at secondary hubs based upon time and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najera, Daniel A; McCullough, Erin L; Jander, Rudolf

    2012-11-01

    For honeybees, Apis mellifera, the hive has been well known to function as a primary decision-making hub, a place from which foragers decide among various directions, distances, and times of day to forage efficiently. Whether foraging honeybees can make similarly complex navigational decisions from locations away from the hive is unknown. To examine whether or not such secondary decision-making hubs exist, we trained bees to forage at four different locations. Specifically, we trained honeybees to first forage to a distal site "CT" 100 m away from the hive; if food was present, they fed and then chose to go home. If food was not present, the honeybees were trained to forage to three auxiliary sites, each at a different time of the day: A in the morning, B at noon, and C in the afternoon. The foragers learned to check site CT for food first and then efficiently depart to the correct location based upon the time of day if there was no food at site CT. Thus, the honeybees were able to cognitively map motivation, time, and five different locations (Hive, CT, A, B, and C) in two spatial dimensions; these are the contents of the cognitive map used by the honeybees here. While at site CT, we verified that the honeybees could choose between 4 different directions (to A, B, C, and the Hive) and thus label it as a secondary decision-making hub. The observed decision making uncovered here is inferred to constitute genuine logical operations, involving a branched structure, based upon the premises of motivational state, and spatiotemporal knowledge.

  6. Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Helen; Fossette, Sabrina; Bograd, Steven J; Shillinger, George L; Swithenbank, Alan M; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Strömberg, K H Patrik; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Block, Barbara A; Hays, Graeme C

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic.

  7. Global mapping of cell type-specific open chromatin by FAIRE-seq reveals the regulatory role of the NFI family in adipocyte differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hironori Waki

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Identification of regulatory elements within the genome is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern cell type-specific gene expression. We generated genome-wide maps of open chromatin sites in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (on day 0 and day 8 of differentiation and NIH-3T3 fibroblasts using formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements coupled with high-throughput sequencing (FAIRE-seq. FAIRE peaks at the promoter were associated with active transcription and histone modifications of H3K4me3 and H3K27ac. Non-promoter FAIRE peaks were characterized by H3K4me1+/me3-, the signature of enhancers, and were largely located in distal regions. The non-promoter FAIRE peaks showed dynamic change during differentiation, while the promoter FAIRE peaks were relatively constant. Functionally, the adipocyte- and preadipocyte-specific non-promoter FAIRE peaks were, respectively, associated with genes up-regulated and down-regulated by differentiation. Genes highly up-regulated during differentiation were associated with multiple clustered adipocyte-specific FAIRE peaks. Among the adipocyte-specific FAIRE peaks, 45.3% and 11.7% overlapped binding sites for, respectively, PPARγ and C/EBPα, the master regulators of adipocyte differentiation. Computational motif analyses of the adipocyte-specific FAIRE peaks revealed enrichment of a binding motif for nuclear family I (NFI transcription factors. Indeed, ChIP assay showed that NFI occupy the adipocyte-specific FAIRE peaks and/or the PPARγ binding sites near PPARγ, C/EBPα, and aP2 genes. Overexpression of NFIA in 3T3-L1 cells resulted in robust induction of these genes and lipid droplet formation without differentiation stimulus. Overexpression of dominant-negative NFIA or siRNA-mediated knockdown of NFIA or NFIB significantly suppressed both induction of genes and lipid accumulation during differentiation, suggesting a physiological function of these factors in the adipogenic program. Together, our

  8. Information Foraging Theory: A Framework for Intelligence Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    oceanographic information, human intelligence (HUMINT), open-source intelligence ( OSINT ), and information provided by other governmental departments [1][5...Human Intelligence IFT Information Foraging Theory LSA Latent Semantic Similarity MVT Marginal Value Theorem OFT Optimal Foraging Theory OSINT

  9. A properly adjusted forage harvester can save time and money

    Science.gov (United States)

    A properly adjusted forage harvester can save fuel and increase the realizable milk per ton of your silage. This article details the adjustments necessary to minimize energy while maximizing productivity and forage quality....

  10. Social foraging by waterbirds in shallow coastal lagoons in Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battley, PF; Poot, M; Wiersma, P; Gordon, C; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y; Piersma, T; Battley, Phil F.

    Social foraging in waterbirds in Ghanaian coastal lagoons was studied during October and November 1994. Two types of foraging were social: directionally synchronized flocks (often involving distinctive feeding methods used in unison) and dense pecking aggregations. Social flocks were typically

  11. Transport infrastructure shapes foraging habitat in a raptor community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors' foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors' response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways.

  12. In-Depth N-Glycosylation Reveals Species-Specific Modifications and Functions of the Royal Jelly Protein from Western (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Xu, Xiang; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2015-12-04

    Royal jelly (RJ), secreted by honeybee workers, plays diverse roles as nutrients and defense agents for honeybee biology and human health. Despite being reported to be glycoproteins, the glycosylation characterization and functionality of RJ proteins in different honeybee species are largely unknown. An in-depth N-glycoproteome analysis and functional assay of RJ produced by Apis mellifera lingustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) were conducted. RJ produced by Aml yielded 80 nonredundant N-glycoproteins carrying 190 glycosites, of which 23 novel proteins harboring 35 glycosites were identified. For Acc, all 43 proteins glycosylated at 138 glycosites were reported for the first time. Proteins with distinct N-glycoproteomic characteristics in terms of glycoprotein species, number of N-glycosylated sites, glycosylation motif, abundance level of glycoproteins, and N-glycosites were observed in this two RJ samples. The fact that the low inhibitory efficiency of N-glycosylated major royal jelly protein 2 (MRJP2) against Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) and the absence of antibacterial related glycosylated apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, and peritrophic matrix in the Aml RJ compared to Acc reveal the mechanism for why the Aml larvae are susceptible to P. larvae, the causative agent of a fatal brood disease (American foulbrood, AFB). The observed antihypertension activity of N-glycosylated MRJP1 in two RJ samples and a stronger activity found in Acc than in Aml reveal that specific RJ protein and modification are potentially useful for the treatment of hypertensive disease for humans. Our data gain novel understanding that the western and eastern bees have evolved species-specific strategies of glycosylation to fine-tune protein activity for optimizing molecular function as nutrients and immune agents for the good of honeybee and influence on the health promoting activity for human as well. This serves as a valuable resource for the targeted probing of the biological

  13. Whole-Genome Analysis of Three Yeast Strains Used for Production of Sherry-Like Wines Revealed Genetic Traits Specific to Flor Yeasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldarov, Mikhail A.; Beletsky, Alexey V.; Tanashchuk, Tatiana N.; Kishkovskaya, Svetlana A.; Ravin, Nikolai V.; Mardanov, Andrey V.

    2018-01-01

    Flor yeast strains represent a specialized group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts used for biological wine aging. We have sequenced the genomes of three flor strains originated from different geographic regions and used for production of sherry-like wines in Russia. According to the obtained phylogeny of 118 yeast strains, flor strains form very tight cluster adjacent to the main wine clade. SNP analysis versus available genomes of wine and flor strains revealed 2,270 genetic variants in 1,337 loci specific to flor strains. Gene ontology analysis in combination with gene content evaluation revealed a complex landscape of possibly adaptive genetic changes in flor yeast, related to genes associated with cell morphology, mitotic cell cycle, ion homeostasis, DNA repair, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, and cell wall biogenesis. Pangenomic analysis discovered the presence of several well-known “non-reference” loci of potential industrial importance. Events of gene loss included deletions of asparaginase genes, maltose utilization locus, and FRE-FIT locus involved in iron transport. The latter in combination with a flor-yeast-specific mutation in the Aft1 transcription factor gene is likely to be responsible for the discovered phenotype of increased iron sensitivity and improved iron uptake of analyzed strains. Expansion of the coding region of the FLO11 flocullin gene and alteration of the balance between members of the FLO gene family are likely to positively affect the well-known propensity of flor strains for velum formation. Our study provides new insights in the nature of genetic variation in flor yeast strains and demonstrates that different adaptive properties of flor yeast strains could have evolved through different mechanisms of genetic variation. PMID:29867869

  14. Foraging Behavior of Odontomachus bauri on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgit Ehmer

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Foraging behavior and partitioning of foraging areas of Odonomachus bauri were investigated on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. The activity of the ants did not show any daily pattern; foragers were active day and night. The type of prey captured by O. bauri supports the idea that in higher Odontomachus and Anochetus species, the high speed of mandible closure serves more for generating power than capturing elusive prey. Polydomous nests may enable O. bauri colonies to enlarge their foraging areas.

  15. Hooded seal Cystophora cristata foraging areas in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean-Investigated using three complementary methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jade Vacquie-Garcia

    Full Text Available Identifying environmental characteristics that define the ecological niche of a species is essential to understanding how changes in physical conditions might affect its distribution and other aspects of its ecology. The present study used satellite relay data loggers (SRDLs to study habitat use by Northeast Atlantic hooded seals (N = 20; 9 adult females, 3 adult males, and 8 juveniles. Three different methods were used in combination to achieve maximum insight regarding key foraging areas for hooded seals in this region, which have decline by 85% in recent decades: 1 first passage time (FPT; 2 vertical transit rate and; 3 change in dive drift rate. Generalized additive mixed models (GAMM were applied to each method to determine whether specific habitat characteristics were associated with foraging. Separate models were run for the post-molting and the post-breeding seasons; sex and age classes were included in the GAMMs. All three methods highlighted a few common geographic areas as being important foraging zones; however, there were also some different areas identified by the different methods, which highlights the importance of using multiple indexes when analyzing tracking and diving data to study foraging behavior. Foraging occurred most commonly in relatively shallow areas with high Sea Surface Temperatures (SST, corresponding to continental shelf areas with Atlantic Water masses. All age and sex classes overlapped spatially to some extent, but the different age and sex groups showed differences in the bathymetry of their foraging areas as well as in their vertical use of the water column. When foraging, pups dove in the upper part of the water column in relatively deep areas. Adult females foraged relatively shallowly in deep water areas too, though in shallower areas than pups. Adult males foraged close to the bottom in shallower areas.

  16. Analysis of Inter- and Intra-individual Variation in Foraging Habits of the Endangered Hawaiian Petrel Using Stables Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, K. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; Wiley, A. E.; James, H. F.; Stricker, C. A.; Gandhi, H.

    2014-12-01

    Stable isotope analysis of the endangered Hawaiian petrel's (Pterodroma sandwichensis, HAPE) feathers provides otherwise intractable information regarding non-breeding season foraging habits. Adult HAPE spend 3.5-6 months at sea during the non-breeding season, at which time they sequentially molt their flight feathers. Because feathers are metabolically inert once synthesized, they capture isotopic signals while they are grown, providing an opportunity to study foraging habits over time. Here we use stable hydrogen (δD), carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes to assess variation in foraging habits within and between individuals, and among four breeding colonies. δD is an indicator of prevalence of fish vs. invertebrates in the diet. In one analysis, we observed large variation in feather δD (125‰), with adults from Maui and Kauai having significantly higher δD values than corresponding hatch-year birds, indicating significant dietary differences between age groups. In a second analysis, we utilized δ13C and δ15N of Hawaii, Maui and Lanai adults, values which vary with trophic level and also at the base of the food web across HAPE's foraging range, potentially revealing information about feeding location, as well as diet. Furthermore, because the sequence of molt is known, we are able to determine whether individual foraging specialization (continued use of the same foraging behavior over time) exists in this species. To do this, we analyzed two primary feathers, P1 and P6, which reflect the beginning and the middle of the non-breeding season, respectively. We did not find significant differences in δ13C or δ15N between P1 and P6, suggesting consistent foraging habits within individuals over time. This provides evidence that individual foraging specialization exists within these populations. Analysis of a secondary feather grown late in the molt sequence would further illuminate the extent of foraging specialization. Finally, δ15N differs

  17. Nocturnal Foraging by Red-Legged Kittiwakes, a Surface Feeding Seabird That Relies on Deep Water Prey During Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Yamamoto, Takashi; Kikuchi, Dale M; Kitaysky, Alexander; Takahashi, Akinori

    2015-01-01

    Narrow foraging specialization may increase the vulnerability of marine predators to climate change. The red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris) is endemic to the Bering Sea and has experienced drastic population fluctuations in recent decades, presumably due to climate-driven changes in food resources. Red-legged kittiwakes are presumed to be a nocturnal surface-foraging seabird that feed almost entirely on deep water Myctophidae fishes. However, there is little empirical evidence confirming their nocturnal foraging activity during the breeding season. This study investigated the foraging behavior of red-legged kittiwakes by combining GPS tracking, accelerometry, and dietary analyses at the world's largest breeding colony of red-legged kittiwakes on St. George I. GPS tracking of 5 individuals revealed that 82.5% of non-flight behavior (including foraging and resting) occurred over the ocean basin (bottom depth >1,000 m). Acceleration data from 4 birds showed three types of behaviors during foraging trips: (1) flight, characterized by regular wing flapping, (2) resting on water, characterized by non-active behavior, and (3) foraging, when wing flapping was irregular. The proportions of both foraging and resting behaviors were higher at night (14.1 ± 7.1% and 20.8 ± 14.3%) compared to those during the day (6.5 ± 3.0% and 1.7 ± 2.7%). The mean duration of foraging (2.4 ± 2.9 min) was shorter than that of flight between prey patches (24.2 ± 53.1 min). Dietary analyses confirmed myctophids as the dominant prey (100% by occurrence and 98.4 ± 2.4% by wet-weight). Although the sample size was limited, these results suggest that breeding red-legged kittiwakes concentrated their foraging on myctophids available at the surface during nighttime in deep water regions. We propose that the diel patterns and ephemeral nature of their foraging activity reflected the availability of myctophids. Such foraging specialization may exacerbate the vulnerability of red

  18. Nocturnal Foraging by Red-Legged Kittiwakes, a Surface Feeding Seabird That Relies on Deep Water Prey During Reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuo Kokubun

    Full Text Available Narrow foraging specialization may increase the vulnerability of marine predators to climate change. The red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris is endemic to the Bering Sea and has experienced drastic population fluctuations in recent decades, presumably due to climate-driven changes in food resources. Red-legged kittiwakes are presumed to be a nocturnal surface-foraging seabird that feed almost entirely on deep water Myctophidae fishes. However, there is little empirical evidence confirming their nocturnal foraging activity during the breeding season. This study investigated the foraging behavior of red-legged kittiwakes by combining GPS tracking, accelerometry, and dietary analyses at the world's largest breeding colony of red-legged kittiwakes on St. George I. GPS tracking of 5 individuals revealed that 82.5% of non-flight behavior (including foraging and resting occurred over the ocean basin (bottom depth >1,000 m. Acceleration data from 4 birds showed three types of behaviors during foraging trips: (1 flight, characterized by regular wing flapping, (2 resting on water, characterized by non-active behavior, and (3 foraging, when wing flapping was irregular. The proportions of both foraging and resting behaviors were higher at night (14.1 ± 7.1% and 20.8 ± 14.3% compared to those during the day (6.5 ± 3.0% and 1.7 ± 2.7%. The mean duration of foraging (2.4 ± 2.9 min was shorter than that of flight between prey patches (24.2 ± 53.1 min. Dietary analyses confirmed myctophids as the dominant prey (100% by occurrence and 98.4 ± 2.4% by wet-weight. Although the sample size was limited, these results suggest that breeding red-legged kittiwakes concentrated their foraging on myctophids available at the surface during nighttime in deep water regions. We propose that the diel patterns and ephemeral nature of their foraging activity reflected the availability of myctophids. Such foraging specialization may exacerbate the vulnerability of red

  19. Foraging Habitat and Chick Diets of Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii, Breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer C. Rock

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Breeding seabirds are threatened by human activities that affect nesting and foraging habitat. In Canada, one of the seabirds most at risk of extirpation is the Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii. Although critical nesting habitat has been identified for the Roseate Tern in Canada, its foraging locations and the diet of its chicks are unknown. Therefore, our goal was to determine the foraging locations and diet of chicks of Roseate Tern breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia, which is one of Canada's two main breeding colonies. In 2003 and 2004, we radio-tracked the Roseate Tern by plane to locate foraging areas and conducted feeding watches to determine the diet of chicks. Roseate Tern foraged approximately 7 km from the breeding colony over shallow water < 5 m deep. In both years, sand lance, Ammodytes spp., was the most common prey item delivered to chicks, followed by hake, Urophycis spp. Our results are consistent with previous work at colonies in the northeastern United States, suggesting that throughout its range, this species may be restricted in both habitat use and prey selection. The reliance on a specific habitat type and narrow range of prey species makes the Roseate Tern generally susceptible to habitat perturbations and reductions in the availability of prey.

  20. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo M Vergara

    Full Text Available Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus assess the relative quality of trees: 1 Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2 Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3 Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox's proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales.

  1. Nectar profitability, not empty honey stores, stimulate recruitment and foraging in Melipona scutellaris (Apidae, Meliponini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorkopf, Dirk Louis P; de Sá Filho, Geovan Figueirêdo; Maia-Silva, Camila; Schorkopf, Martina; Hrncir, Michael; Barth, Friedrich G

    2016-10-01

    In stingless bees (Meliponini) like in many other eusocial insect colonies food hoarding plays an important role in colony survival. However, very little is known on how Meliponini, a taxon restricted to tropical and subtropical regions, respond to different store conditions. We studied the impact of honey removal on nectar foraging activity and recruitment behaviour in Melipona scutellaris and compared our results with studies of the honey bee Apis mellifera. As expected, foraging activity increased significantly during abundance of artificial nectar and when increasing its profitability. Foraging activity on colony level could thereby frequently increase by an order of magnitude. Intriguingly, however, poor honey store conditions did not induce increased nectar foraging or recruitment activity. We discuss possible reasons explaining why increasing recruitment and foraging activity are not used by meliponines to compensate for poor food conditions in the nest. Among these are meliponine specific adaptations to climatic and environmental conditions, as well as physiology and brood rearing, such as mass provisioning of the brood.

  2. Linking root traits to nutrient foraging in arbuscular mycorrhizal trees in a temperate forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissenstat, David M; Kucharski, Joshua M; Zadworny, Marcin; Adams, Thomas S; Koide, Roger T

    2015-10-01

    The identification of plant functional traits that can be linked to ecosystem processes is of wide interest, especially for predicting vegetational responses to climate change. Root diameter of the finest absorptive roots may be one plant trait that has wide significance. Do species with relatively thick absorptive roots forage in nutrient-rich patches differently from species with relatively fine absorptive roots? We measured traits related to nutrient foraging (root morphology and architecture, root proliferation, and mycorrhizal colonization) across six coexisting arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) temperate tree species with and without nutrient addition. Root traits such as root diameter and specific root length were highly correlated with root branching intensity, with thin-root species having higher branching intensity than thick-root species. In both fertilized and unfertilized soil, species with thin absorptive roots and high branching intensity showed much greater root length and mass proliferation but lower mycorrhizal colonization than species with thick absorptive roots. Across all species, fertilization led to increased root proliferation and reduced mycorrhizal colonization. These results suggest that thin-root species forage more by root proliferation, whereas thick-root species forage more by mycorrhizal fungi. In mineral nutrient-rich patches, AM trees seem to forage more by proliferating roots than by mycorrhizal fungi. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. Foraging patch selection in winter: a balance between predation risk and thermoregulation benefit.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Villén-Pérez

    Full Text Available In winter, foraging activity is intended to optimize food search while minimizing both thermoregulation costs and predation risk. Here we quantify the relative importance of thermoregulation and predation in foraging patch selection of woodland birds wintering in a Mediterranean montane forest. Specifically, we account for thermoregulation benefits related to temperature, and predation risk associated with both illumination of the feeding patch and distance to the nearest refuge provided by vegetation. We measured the amount of time that 38 marked individual birds belonging to five small passerine species spent foraging at artificial feeders. Feeders were located in forest patches that vary in distance to protective cover and exposure to sun radiation; temperature and illumination were registered locally by data loggers. Our results support the influence of both thermoregulation benefits and predation costs on feeding patch choice. The influence of distance to refuge (negative relationship was nearly three times higher than that of temperature (positive relationship in determining total foraging time spent at a patch. Light intensity had a negligible and no significant effect. This pattern was generalizable among species and individuals within species, and highlights the preponderance of latent predation risk over thermoregulation benefits on foraging decisions of birds wintering in temperate Mediterranean forests.

  4. Scheduling and development support in the Scavenger cyber foraging system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø; Bouvin, Niels Olof

    2010-01-01

    Cyber foraging is a pervasive computing technique where small mobile devices offload resource intensive tasks to stronger computing machinery in the vicinity. One of the main challenges within cyber foraging is that it is very difficult to develop cyber foraging enabled applications. An applicati...

  5. Evaluation of nutritional value some forage species available in Iran ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Novin

    2012-07-17

    Jul 17, 2012 ... and chemical composition of forage species was estimated. MATERIALS AND METHODS ... head per day at 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Forage samples (2 g DM with 2 mm screen ) were weighed into nylon bags ..... methods to study the kinetics of degradation of forage species, instead of the in situ technique, ...

  6. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... acres of hay in the county, as specified in the actuarial documents. The actuarial documents will... a period for forage regrowth. 2. Crop Insured The insured crop will be the forage types shown on the... the Group Risk Plan Common Policy, acreage seeded to forage after July 1 of the previous crop year...

  7. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.117 Forage..., or a mixture thereof, or other species as shown in the Actuarial Documents. Harvest—Removal of forage... different price elections by type, in which case you may select one price election for each forage type...

  8. Blue Oak Canopy Effect on Seasonal Forage Production and Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    William E. Frost; Neil K. McDougald; Montague W. Demment

    1991-01-01

    Forage production and forage quality were measured seasonally beneath the canopy of blue oak (Quercus douglasii) and in open grassland at the San Joaquin Experimental Range. At the March and peak standing crop sampling dates forage production was significantly greater (p=.05) beneath blue oak compared to open grassland. At most sampling dates, the...

  9. Adaptive foraging and flexible food web topology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Schmitz, O.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 5, - (2003), s. 623-652 ISSN 1522-0613 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/03/0091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : adaptive foraging * food chain * food web structure Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.587, year: 2003

  10. Skill ontogeny among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schniter, Eric; Gurven, Michael; Kaplan, Hillard S; Wilcox, Nathaniel T; Hooper, Paul L

    2015-09-01

    We investigate whether age profiles of Tsimane forager-horticulturalists' reported skill development are consistent with predictions derived from life history theory about the timing of productivity and reproduction. Previous studies of forager skill development have often focused on a few abilities (e.g. hunting), and neglected the broad range of skills and services typical of forager economies (e.g. childcare, craft production, music performance, story-telling). By systematically examining age patterns in reported acquisition, proficiency, and expertise across a broad range of activities including food production, childcare, and other services, we provide the most complete skill development study of a traditional subsistence society to date. Our results show that: (1) most essential skills are acquired prior to first reproduction, then developed further so that their productive returns meet the increasing demands of dependent offspring during adulthood; (2) as postreproductive adults age beyond earlier years of peak performance, they report developing additional conceptual and procedural proficiency, and despite greater physical frailty than younger adults, are consensually regarded as the most expert (especially in music and storytelling), consistent with their roles as providers and educators. We find that adults have accurate understandings of their skillsets and skill levels -an important awareness for social exchange, comparison, learning, and pedagogy. These findings extend our understanding of the evolved human life history by illustrating how changes in embodied capital and the needs of dependent offspring predict the development of complementary skills and services in a forager-horticulturalist economy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Improving tree establishment with forage crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Holzmueller; Carl W. Mize

    2003-01-01

    Tree establishment in Iowa can be difficult without adequate weed control. Although herbicides are effective at controlling weeds, they may not be desirable in riparian settings and some landowners are opposed to using them. An alternative to herbicides is the use of forage crops to control weeds. A research project was established in 1998 to evaluate the influence of...

  12. Foraging strategies of Antarctic Fulmarine petrels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creuwels, J.C.S.; Engelhard, G.A.; Franeker, van J.A.; Veer, van der W.; Hasperhoven, J.G.; Ruiterman, W.

    2010-01-01

    During breeding, procellariiform seabirds are typical central-place foragers, depending on distant pelagic resources. Especially in polar environments, where there is only a short time window to complete the breeding season, high chick provisioning rates are needed to allow chicks to fledge

  13. Optimal search behavior and classic foraging theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartumeus, F; Catalan, J

    2009-01-01

    Random walk methods and diffusion theory pervaded ecological sciences as methods to analyze and describe animal movement. Consequently, statistical physics was mostly seen as a toolbox rather than as a conceptual framework that could contribute to theory on evolutionary biology and ecology. However, the existence of mechanistic relationships and feedbacks between behavioral processes and statistical patterns of movement suggests that, beyond movement quantification, statistical physics may prove to be an adequate framework to understand animal behavior across scales from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Recently developed random search theory has served to critically re-evaluate classic ecological questions on animal foraging. For instance, during the last few years, there has been a growing debate on whether search behavior can include traits that improve success by optimizing random (stochastic) searches. Here, we stress the need to bring together the general encounter problem within foraging theory, as a mean for making progress in the biological understanding of random searching. By sketching the assumptions of optimal foraging theory (OFT) and by summarizing recent results on random search strategies, we pinpoint ways to extend classic OFT, and integrate the study of search strategies and its main results into the more general theory of optimal foraging.

  14. Field and Forage Crop Pests. MEP 310.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Omar, D.; And Others

    As part of a cooperative extension service series by the University of Maryland, this publication introduces the identification and control of common agricultural pests that can be found in field and forage crops. The first of the five sections defines "pest" and "weed" and generally introduces different kinds of pests in the…

  15. Alternatives for forage evaluation in ruminants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gosselink, J.M.J.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this thesis was to validate and to compare in situ and in vitro techniques with in vivo data. These techniques were also evaluated for future and practical use in feed evaluation for ruminants. The techniques were compared using the digestion data of 98 forages and the energy

  16. Foraging behavior analysis of swarm robotics system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakthivelmurugan E.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Swarm robotics is a number of small robots that are synchronically works together to accomplish a given task. Swarm robotics faces many problems in performing a given task. The problems are pattern formation, aggregation, Chain formation, self-assembly, coordinated movement, hole avoidance, foraging and self-deployment. Foraging is most essential part in swarm robotics. Foraging is the task to discover the item and get back into the shell. The researchers conducted foraging experiments with random-movement of robots and they have end up with unique solutions. Most of the researchers have conducted experiments using the circular arena. The shell is placed at the centre of the arena and environment boundary is well known. In this study, an attempt is made to different strategic movements like straight line approach, parallel line approach, divider approach, expanding square approach, and parallel sweep approach. All these approaches are to be simulated by using player/stage open-source simulation software based on C and C++ programming language in Linux operating system. Finally statistical comparison will be done with task completion time of all these strategies using ANOVA to identify the significant searching strategy.

  17. Multi-species sequence comparison reveals dynamic evolution of the elastin gene that has involved purifying selection and lineage-specific insertions/deletions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The elastin gene (ELN is implicated as a factor in both supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS and Williams Beuren Syndrome (WBS, two diseases involving pronounced complications in mental or physical development. Although the complete spectrum of functional roles of the processed gene product remains to be established, these roles are inferred to be analogous in human and mouse. This view is supported by genomic sequence comparison, in which there are no large-scale differences in the ~1.8 Mb sequence block encompassing the common region deleted in WBS, with the exception of an overall reversed physical orientation between human and mouse. Results Conserved synteny around ELN does not translate to a high level of conservation in the gene itself. In fact, ELN orthologs in mammals show more sequence divergence than expected for a gene with a critical role in development. The pattern of divergence is non-conventional due to an unusually high ratio of gaps to substitutions. Specifically, multi-sequence alignments of eight mammalian sequences reveal numerous non-aligning regions caused by species-specific insertions and deletions, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of aligning sites appear to be conserved and undergoing purifying selection. Conclusions The pattern of lineage-specific, in-frame insertions/deletions in the coding exons of ELN orthologous genes is unusual and has led to unique features of the gene in each lineage. These differences may indicate that the gene has a slightly different functional mechanism in mammalian lineages, or that the corresponding regions are functionally inert. Identified regions that undergo purifying selection reflect a functional importance associated with evolutionary pressure to retain those features.

  18. Comparative proteome analysis reveals conserved and specific adaptation patterns of Staphylococcus aureus after internalization by different types of human non-professional phagocytic host cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin eSurmann

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen that can cause a wide range of diseases. Although formerly regarded as extracellular pathogen, it has been shown that S. aureus can also be internalized by host cells and persist within these cells. In the present study, we comparatively analyzed survival and physiological adaptation of S. aureus HG001 after internalization by two human lung epithelial cell lines (S9 and A549, and human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293. Combining enrichment of bacteria from host-pathogen assays by cell sorting and quantitation of the pathogen´s proteome by mass spectrometry we characterized S. aureus adaptation during the initial phase between 2.5 h and 6.5 h post-infection. Starting with about 2x106 bacteria, roughly 1,450 S. aureus proteins, including virulence factors and metabolic enzymes were identified by spectral comparison and classical database searches. Most of the bacterial adaptation reactions, such as decreases in levels of ribosomal proteins and metabolic enzymes or increases in amounts of proteins involved in arginine and lysine biosynthesis, coding for terminal oxidases and stress responsive genes or activation of the sigma factor SigB were observed after internalization into any of the three cell lines studied. However, differences were noted in central carbon metabolism including regulation of fermentation and threonine degradation. Since these differences coincided with different intracellular growth behavior, complementary profiling of the metabolome of the different non-infected host cell types was performed. This revealed similar levels of intracellular glucose but host cell specific differences in the amounts of amino acids such as glycine, threonine or glutamate. With this comparative study we provide an impression of the common and specific features of the adaptation of S. aureus HG001 to specific host cell environments as a starting point for follow-up studies with different strain isolates and

  19. Tissue-specific inactivation of type 2 deiodinase reveals multilevel control of fatty acid oxidation by thyroid hormone in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Tatiana L; Werneck-De-Castro, Joao Pedro; Castillo, Melany; Bocco, Barbara M L C; Fernandes, Gustavo W; McAninch, Elizabeth A; Ignacio, Daniele L; Moises, Caio C S; Ferreira, Alexander R; Ferreira, Alexandre; Gereben, Balázs; Bianco, Antonio C

    2014-05-01

    Type 2 deiodinase (D2) converts the prohormone thyroxine (T4) to the metabolically active molecule 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), but its global inactivation unexpectedly lowers the respiratory exchange rate (respiratory quotient [RQ]) and decreases food intake. Here we used FloxD2 mice to generate systemically euthyroid fat-specific (FAT), astrocyte-specific (ASTRO), or skeletal-muscle-specific (SKM) D2 knockout (D2KO) mice that were monitored continuously. The ASTRO-D2KO mice also exhibited lower diurnal RQ and greater contribution of fatty acid oxidation to energy expenditure, but no differences in food intake were observed. In contrast, the FAT-D2KO mouse exhibited sustained (24 h) increase in RQ values, increased food intake, tolerance to glucose, and sensitivity to insulin, all supporting greater contribution of carbohydrate oxidation to energy expenditure. Furthermore, FAT-D2KO animals that were kept on a high-fat diet for 8 weeks gained more body weight and fat, indicating impaired brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and/or inability to oxidize the fat excess. Acclimatization of FAT-D2KO mice at thermoneutrality dissipated both features of this phenotype. Muscle D2 does not seem to play a significant metabolic role given that SKM-D2KO animals exhibited no phenotype. The present findings are unique in that they were obtained in systemically euthyroid animals, revealing that brain D2 plays a dominant albeit indirect role in fatty acid oxidation via its sympathetic control of BAT activity. D2-generated T3 in BAT accelerates fatty acid oxidation and protects against diet-induced obesity.

  20. Revisiting interaction specificity reveals neuronal and adipocyte Munc18 membrane fusion regulatory proteins differ in their binding interactions with partner SNARE Syntaxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle P Christie

    Full Text Available The efficient delivery of cellular cargo relies on the fusion of cargo-carrying vesicles with the correct membrane at the correct time. These spatiotemporal fusion events occur when SNARE proteins on the vesicle interact with cognate SNARE proteins on the target membrane. Regulatory Munc18 proteins are thought to contribute to SNARE interaction specificity through interaction with the SNARE protein Syntaxin. Neuronal Munc18a interacts with Syntaxin1 but not Syntaxin4, and adipocyte Munc18c interacts with Syntaxin4 but not Syntaxin1. Here we show that this accepted view of specificity needs revision. We find that Munc18c interacts with both Syntaxin4 and Syntaxin1, and appears to bind "non-cognate" Syntaxin1 a little more tightly than Syntaxin4. Munc18a binds Syntaxin1 and Syntaxin4, though it interacts with its cognate Syntaxin1 much more tightly. We also observed that when bound to non-cognate Munc18c, Syntaxin1 captures its neuronal SNARE partners SNAP25 and VAMP2, and Munc18c can bind to pre-formed neuronal SNARE ternary complex. These findings reveal that Munc18a and Munc18c bind Syntaxins differently. Munc18c relies principally on the Syntaxin N-peptide interaction for binding Syntaxin4 or Syntaxin1, whereas Munc18a can bind Syntaxin1 tightly whether or not the Syntaxin1 N-peptide is present. We conclude that Munc18a and Munc18c differ in their binding interactions with Syntaxins: Munc18a has two tight binding modes/sites for Syntaxins as defined previously but Munc18c has just one that requires the N-peptide. These results indicate that the interactions between Munc18 and Syntaxin proteins, and the consequences for in vivo function, are more complex than can be accounted for by binding specificity alone.

  1. Profiling MHC II immunopeptidome of blood-stage malaria reveals that cDC1 control the functionality of parasite-specific CD4 T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draheim, Marion; Wlodarczyk, Myriam F; Crozat, Karine; Saliou, Jean-Michel; Alayi, Tchilabalo Dilezitoko; Tomavo, Stanislas; Hassan, Ali; Salvioni, Anna; Demarta-Gatsi, Claudia; Sidney, John; Sette, Alessandro; Dalod, Marc; Berry, Antoine; Silvie, Olivier; Blanchard, Nicolas

    2017-11-01

    In malaria, CD4 Th1 and T follicular helper (T FH ) cells are important for controlling parasite growth, but Th1 cells also contribute to immunopathology. Moreover, various regulatory CD4 T-cell subsets are critical to hamper pathology. Yet the antigen-presenting cells controlling Th functionality, as well as the antigens recognized by CD4 T cells, are largely unknown. Here, we characterize the MHC II immunopeptidome presented by DC during blood-stage malaria in mice. We establish the immunodominance hierarchy of 14 MHC II ligands derived from conserved parasite proteins. Immunodominance is shaped differently whether blood stage is preceded or not by liver stage, but the same ETRAMP-specific dominant response develops in both contexts. In naïve mice and at the onset of cerebral malaria, CD8α + dendritic cells (cDC1) are superior to other DC subsets for MHC II presentation of the ETRAMP epitope. Using in vivo depletion of cDC1, we show that cDC1 promote parasite-specific Th1 cells and inhibit the development of IL-10 + CD4 T cells. This work profiles the P. berghei blood-stage MHC II immunopeptidome, highlights the potency of cDC1 to present malaria antigens on MHC II, and reveals a major role for cDC1 in regulating malaria-specific CD4 T-cell responses. © 2017 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

  2. Sepsis reveals compartment-specific responses in intestinal proliferation and apoptosis in transgenic mice whose enterocytes re-enter the cell cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, John D; Klingensmith, Nathan J; Otani, Shunsuke; Mittal, Rohit; Liang, Zhe; Ford, Mandy L; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2017-12-01

    Cell production and death are tightly regulated in the rapidly renewing gut epithelium, with proliferation confined to crypts and apoptosis occurring in villi and crypts. This study sought to determine how stress alters these compartmentalized processes. Wild-type mice made septic via cecal ligation and puncture had decreased crypt proliferation and increased crypt and villus apoptosis. Fabpi -TAg mice expressing large T-antigen solely in villi had ectopic enterocyte proliferation with increased villus apoptosis in unmanipulated animals. Septic fabpi -TAg mice had an unexpected increase in villus proliferation compared with unmanipulated littermates, whereas crypt proliferation was decreased. Cell cycle regulators cyclin D1 and cyclin D2 were decreased in jejunal tissue in septic transgenic mice. In contrast, villus and crypt apoptosis were increased in septic fabpi -TAg mice. To examine the relationship between apoptosis and proliferation in a compartment-specific manner, fabpi -TAg mice were crossed with fabpl -Bcl-2 mice, resulting in expression of both genes in the villus but Bcl-2 alone in the crypt. Septic bi-transgenic animals had decreased crypt apoptosis but had a paradoxical increase in villus apoptosis compared with septic fabpi -TAg mice, associated with decreased proliferation in both compartments. Thus, sepsis unmasks compartment-specific proliferative and apoptotic regulation that is not present under homeostatic conditions.-Lyons, J. D., Klingensmith, N. J., Otani, S., Mittal, R., Liang, Z., Ford, M. L., Coopersmith, C. M. Sepsis reveals compartment-specific responses in intestinal proliferation and apoptosis in transgenic mice whose enterocytes re-enter the cell cycle. © FASEB.

  3. Trapline foraging by bumble bees: VII. Adjustments for foraging success following competitor removal

    OpenAIRE

    Kazuharu Ohashi; Alison Leslie; James D. Thomson

    2013-01-01

    Animals collecting food from renewable resource patches scattered in space often establish small foraging areas to which they return faithfully. Such area fidelity offers foraging advantages through selection of profitable patches, route minimization, and regular circuit visits to these patches (“trapline foraging”). Resource distribution under field conditions may often vary in time, however, especially when competitors suddenly vanish and a number of patches become available for their neigh...

  4. Intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior among Adélie penguins (Pygocelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyver, P.O.B.; MacLeod, C.J.; Ballard, G.; Karl, B.J.; Barton, K.J.; Adams, J.; Ainley, D.G.; Wilson, P.R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior of chick-rearing Adélie penguins, Pygoscelis adeliae, during two consecutive summers at Cape Hallett, northwestern Ross Sea. Although foraging behavior of this species has been extensively studied throughout the broad continental shelf region of the Ross Sea, this is the first study to report foraging behaviors and habitat affiliations among birds occupying continental slope waters. Continental slope habitat supports the greatest abundances of this species throughout its range, but we lack information about how intra-specific competition for prey might affect foraging and at-sea distribution and how these attributes compare with previous Ross Sea studies. Foraging trips increased in both distance and duration as breeding advanced from guard to crèche stage, but foraging dive depth, dive rates, and vertical dive distances travelled per hour decreased. Consistent with previous studies within slope habitats elsewhere in Antarctic waters, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) dominated chick meal composition, but fish increased four-fold from guard to crèche stages. Foraging-, focal-, and core areas all doubled during the crèche stage as individuals shifted distribution in a southeasterly direction away from the coast while simultaneously becoming more widely dispersed (i.e., less spatial overlap among individuals). Intra-specific competition for prey among Adélie penguins appears to influence foraging behavior of this species, even in food webs dominated by Antarctic krill.

  5. Is there an endogenous tidal foraging rhythm in marine iguanas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikelski, M; Hau, M

    1995-12-01

    As strictly herbivorous reptiles, Galápagos marine iguanas graze on algae in the intertidal areas during low tide. Daily foraging rhythms were observed on two islands during 3 years to determine the proximate factors underlying behavioral synchrony with the tides. Marine iguanas walked to their intertidal foraging grounds from far-off resting areas in anticipation of the time of low tide. Foraging activity was restricted to daytime, resulting in a complex bitidal rhythm including conspicuous switches from afternoon foraging to foraging during the subsequent morning when low tide occurred after dusk. The animals anticipated the daily low tide by a maximum of 4 h. The degree of anticipation depended on environmental parameters such as wave action and food supply. "Early foragers" survived in greater numbers than did animals arriving later at foraging sites, a result indicating selection pressure on the timing of anticipation. The timing of foraging trips was better predicted by the daily changes in tabulated low tide than it was by the daily changes in actual exposure of the intertidal foraging flats, suggesting an endogenous nature of the foraging rhythms. Endogenous rhythmicity would also explain why iguanas that had spontaneously fasted for several days nevertheless went foraging at the "right" time of day. A potential lunar component of the foraging rhythmicity of marine iguanas showed up in their assemblage on intertidal rocks during neap tide nights. This may indicate that iguanas possessed information on the semi-monthly rhythms in tide heights. Enclosure experiments showed that bitidal foraging rhythms of iguanas may free run in the absence of direct cues from the intertidal areas and operate independent of the light:dark cycle and social stimuli. Therefore, the existence of a circatidal oscillator in marine iguanas is proposed. The bitidal foraging pattern may result from an interaction of a circadian system with a circatidal system. Food intake or related

  6. Deep-water feeding and behavioral plasticity in Manta birostris revealed by archival tags and submersible observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Joshua D; Hoyos-Padilla, Edgar Mauricio; Kumli, Katherine R; Rubin, Robert D

    2016-10-01

    Foraging drives many fundamental aspects of ecology, and an understanding of foraging behavior aids in the conservation of threatened species by identifying critical habitats and spatial patterns relevant to management. The world's largest ray, the oceanic manta (Manta birostris) is poorly studied and threatened globally by targeted fisheries and incidental capture. Very little information is available on the natural history, ecology and behavior of the species, complicating management efforts. This study provides the first data on the diving behavior of the species based on data returned from six tagged individuals, and an opportunistic observation from a submersible of a manta foraging at depth. Pop-off archival satellite tags deployed on mantas at the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico recorded seasonal shifts in diving behavior, likely related to changes in the location and availability of zooplankton prey. Across seasons, mantas spent a large proportion of their time centered around the upper limit of the thermocline, where zooplankton often aggregate. Tag data reveal a gradual activity shift from surface waters to 100-150m across the tagging period, possibly indicating a change in foraging behavior from targeting surface-associated zooplankton to vertical migrators. The depth ranges accessed by mantas in this study carry variable bycatch risks from different fishing gear types. Consequently, region-specific data on diving behavior can help inform local management strategies that reduce or mitigate bycatch of this vulnerable species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Structural and functional studies of the biotin protein ligase from Aquifex aeolicus reveal a critical role for a conserved residue in target specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tron, Cecile M; McNae, Iain W; Nutley, Margaret; Clarke, David J; Cooper, Alan; Walkinshaw, Malcolm D; Baxter, Robert L; Campopiano, Dominic J

    2009-03-20

    Biotin protein ligase (BPL; EC 6.3.4.15) catalyses the formation of biotinyl-5'-AMP from biotin and ATP, and the succeeding biotinylation of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein. We describe the crystal structures, at 2.4 A resolution, of the class I BPL from the hyperthermophilic bacteria Aquifex aeolicus (AaBPL) in its ligand-free form and in complex with biotin and ATP. The solvent-exposed beta- and gamma-phosphates of ATP are located in the inter-subunit cavity formed by the N- and C-terminal domains. The Arg40 residue from the conserved GXGRXG motif is shown to interact with the carboxyl group of biotin and to stabilise the alpha- and beta-phosphates of the nucleotide. The structure of the mutant AaBPL R40G in both the ligand-free and biotin-bound forms reveals that the mutated loop has collapsed, thus hindering ATP binding. Isothermal titration calorimetry indicated that the presence of biotin is not required for ATP binding to wild-type AaBPL in the absence of Mg(2+), and the binding of biotin and ATP has been determined to occur via a random but cooperative process. The affinity for biotin is relatively unaffected by the R40G mutation. In contrast, the thermodynamic data indicate that binding of ATP to AaBPL R40G is very weak in the absence or in the presence of biotin. The AaBPL R40G mutant remains catalytically active but shows poor substrate specificity; mass spectrometry and Western blot studies revealed that the mutant biotinylates both the target A. aeolicus BCCPDelta67 fragment and BSA, and is subject to self-biotinylation.

  8. Turbidity interferes with foraging success of visual but not chemosensory predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunt, Jessica; Smee, Delbert L

    2015-01-01

    Predation can significantly affect prey populations and communities, but predator effects can be attenuated when abiotic conditions interfere with foraging activities. In estuarine communities, turbidity can affect species richness and abundance and is changing in many areas because of coastal development. Many fish species are less efficient foragers in turbid waters, and previous research revealed that in elevated turbidity, fish are less abundant whereas crabs and shrimp are more abundant. We hypothesized that turbidity altered predatory interactions in estuaries by interfering with visually-foraging predators and prey but not with organisms relying on chemoreception. We measured the effects of turbidity on the predation rates of two model predators: a visual predator (pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides) and a chemosensory predator (blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus) in clear and turbid water (0 and ∼100 nephelometric turbidity units). Feeding assays were conducted with two prey items, mud crabs (Panopeus spp.) that rely heavily on chemoreception to detect predators, and brown shrimp (Farfantepenaus aztecus) that use both chemical and visual cues for predator detection. Because turbidity reduced pinfish foraging on both mud crabs and shrimp, the changes in predation rates are likely driven by turbidity attenuating fish foraging ability and not by affecting prey vulnerability to fish consumers. Blue crab foraging was unaffected by turbidity, and blue crabs were able to successfully consume nearly all mud crab and shrimp prey. Turbidity can influence predator-prey interactions by reducing the feeding efficiency of visual predators, providing a competitive advantage to chemosensory predators, and altering top-down control in food webs.

  9. Assessment of Olfactory Function in MAPT-Associated Neurodegenerative Disease Reveals Odor-Identification Irreproducibility as a Non-Disease-Specific, General Characteristic of Olfactory Dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katerina Markopoulou

    Full Text Available Olfactory dysfunction is associated with normal aging, multiple neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease and Alzheimer's disease, and other diseases such as diabetes, sleep apnea and the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis. The wide spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders associated with olfactory dysfunction suggests different, potentially overlapping, underlying pathophysiologies. Studying olfactory dysfunction in presymptomatic carriers of mutations known to cause familial parkinsonism provides unique opportunities to understand the role of genetic factors, delineate the salient characteristics of the onset of olfactory dysfunction, and understand when it starts relative to motor and cognitive symptoms. We evaluated olfactory dysfunction in 28 carriers of two MAPT mutations (p.N279K, p.P301L, which cause frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism, using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Olfactory dysfunction in carriers does not appear to be allele specific, but is strongly age-dependent and precedes symptomatic onset. Severe olfactory dysfunction, however, is not a fully penetrant trait at the time of symptom onset. Principal component analysis revealed that olfactory dysfunction is not odor-class specific, even though individual odor responses cluster kindred members according to genetic and disease status. Strikingly, carriers with incipient olfactory dysfunction show poor inter-test consistency among the sets of odors identified incorrectly in successive replicate tests, even before severe olfactory dysfunction appears. Furthermore, when 78 individuals without neurodegenerative disease and 14 individuals with sporadic Parkinson's disease were evaluated twice at a one-year interval using the Brief Smell Identification Test, the majority also showed inconsistency in the sets of odors they identified incorrectly, independent of age and cognitive status. While these findings may

  10. Assessment of Olfactory Function in MAPT-Associated Neurodegenerative Disease Reveals Odor-Identification Irreproducibility as a Non-Disease-Specific, General Characteristic of Olfactory Dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markopoulou, Katerina; Chase, Bruce A; Robowski, Piotr; Strongosky, Audrey; Narożańska, Ewa; Sitek, Emilia J; Berdynski, Mariusz; Barcikowska, Maria; Baker, Matt C; Rademakers, Rosa; Sławek, Jarosław; Klein, Christine; Hückelheim, Katja; Kasten, Meike; Wszolek, Zbigniew K

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory dysfunction is associated with normal aging, multiple neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease and Alzheimer's disease, and other diseases such as diabetes, sleep apnea and the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis. The wide spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders associated with olfactory dysfunction suggests different, potentially overlapping, underlying pathophysiologies. Studying olfactory dysfunction in presymptomatic carriers of mutations known to cause familial parkinsonism provides unique opportunities to understand the role of genetic factors, delineate the salient characteristics of the onset of olfactory dysfunction, and understand when it starts relative to motor and cognitive symptoms. We evaluated olfactory dysfunction in 28 carriers of two MAPT mutations (p.N279K, p.P301L), which cause frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism, using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Olfactory dysfunction in carriers does not appear to be allele specific, but is strongly age-dependent and precedes symptomatic onset. Severe olfactory dysfunction, however, is not a fully penetrant trait at the time of symptom onset. Principal component analysis revealed that olfactory dysfunction is not odor-class specific, even though individual odor responses cluster kindred members according to genetic and disease status. Strikingly, carriers with incipient olfactory dysfunction show poor inter-test consistency among the sets of odors identified incorrectly in successive replicate tests, even before severe olfactory dysfunction appears. Furthermore, when 78 individuals without neurodegenerative disease and 14 individuals with sporadic Parkinson's disease were evaluated twice at a one-year interval using the Brief Smell Identification Test, the majority also showed inconsistency in the sets of odors they identified incorrectly, independent of age and cognitive status. While these findings may reflect the

  11. Tissue and cell-specific transcriptomes in cotton reveal the subtleties of gene regulation underlying the diversity of plant secondary cell walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacMillan, Colleen P; Birke, Hannah; Chuah, Aaron; Brill, Elizabeth; Tsuji, Yukiko; Ralph, John; Dennis, Elizabeth S; Llewellyn, Danny; Pettolino, Filomena A

    2017-07-18

    Knowledge of plant secondary cell wall (SCW) regulation and deposition is mainly based on the Arabidopsis model of a 'typical' lignocellulosic SCW. However, SCWs in other plants can vary from this. The SCW of mature cotton seed fibres is highly cellulosic and lacks lignification whereas xylem SCWs are lignocellulosic. We used cotton as a model to study different SCWs and the expression of the genes involved in their formation via RNA deep sequencing and chemical analysis of stem and seed fibre. Transcriptome comparisons from cotton xylem and pith as well as from a developmental series of seed fibres revealed tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression of several NAC transcription factors some of which are likely to be important as top tier regulators of SCW formation in xylem and/or seed fibre. A so far undescribed hierarchy was identified between the top tier NAC transcription factors SND1-like and NST1/2 in cotton. Key SCW MYB transcription factors, homologs of Arabidopsis MYB46/83, were practically absent in cotton stem xylem. Lack of expression of other lignin-specific MYBs in seed fibre relative to xylem could account for the lack of lignin deposition in seed fibre. Expression of a MYB103 homolog correlated with temporal expression of SCW CesAs and cellulose synthesis in seed fibres. FLAs were highly expressed and may be important structural components of seed fibre SCWs. Finally, we made the unexpected observation that cell walls in the pith of cotton stems contained lignin and had a higher S:G ratio than in xylem, despite that tissue's lacking many of the gene transcripts normally associated with lignin biosynthesis. Our study in cotton confirmed some features of the currently accepted gene regulatory cascade for 'typical' plant SCWs, but also revealed substantial differences, especially with key downstream NACs and MYBs. The lignocellulosic SCW of cotton xylem appears to be achieved differently from that in Arabidopsis. Pith cell walls in

  12. Heat, sight and scent: multiple cues influence foraging site selection by an ambush-foraging snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Elapidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiguo DU, Jonathan K. WEBB, Richard SHINE

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Most mobile organisms respond to multiple cues when selecting habitat types, and laboratory experiments that manipulate only single cues may fail to reveal the true complexity of habitat-selection behaviour. In south-eastern Australia, broad-headed snakes Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Elapidae lie in wait under sun-warmed rocks to ambush velvet geckos Oedura leseuerii (Gekkonidae. Previous laboratory work has shown that both the geckos and the snakes actively select hotter rather than colder rocks, and that the snakes actively select rocks scented by geckos. We manipulated rock temperature and the presence of two types of cues from geckos (chemical and visual information to clarify the causal basis for foraging site selection by the juveniles of this snake. When given a choice between cold lizard-scented rocks and hot unscented rocks, our captive snakes gave a higher priority to lizard scent than to temperature. The snakes also selected shelter-sites that provided visual as well as scent cues from lizards, rather than shelter-sites with scent cues alone. Thus, although broad-headed snakes show a direct preference for hotter rather than colder rocks in the laboratory, their choice of foraging site in the field may also be influenced by the presence of scent cues from prey. Our laboratory results suggest that habitat selection by broad-headed snakes may be more complex than has been suggested by previous single-factor laboratory trials[Current Zoology 55(4: 266–271, 2009].

  13. Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan D. Lima

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Foraging activity may be limited by temperature, humidity, radiation, wind, and other abiotic factors, all of which can affect energy costs during foraging. Ectatomma vizottoi's biology has only recently been studied, and no detailed information is available on its foraging patterns or diet in the field. For this reason, and because foraging activity is an important part of the ecological success of social insects, the present study aimed to investigate E. vizottoi's foraging strategies and dietary habits. First, we determined how abiotic factors constrained E. vizottoi's foraging patterns in the field by monitoring the foraging activity of 16 colonies on eight different days across two seasons. Second, we characterized E. vizottoi's diet by monitoring another set of 26 colonies during peak foraging activity. Our results show that E. vizottoi has foraging strategies that are similar to those of congeneric species. In spite of having a low efficiency index, colonies adopted strategies that allowed them to successfully obtain food resources while avoiding adverse conditions. These strategies included preying on other ant species, a foraging tactic that could arise if a wide variety of food items are not available in the environment or if E. vizottoi simply prefers, regardless of resource availability, to prey on other invertebrates and especially on other ant species.

  14. Proteomic analysis in type 2 diabetes patients before and after a very low calorie diet reveals potential disease state and intervention specific biomarkers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria A Sleddering

    Full Text Available Very low calorie diets (VLCD with and without exercise programs lead to major metabolic improvements in obese type 2 diabetes patients. The mechanisms underlying these improvements have so far not been elucidated fully. To further investigate the mechanisms of a VLCD with or without exercise and to uncover possible biomarkers associated with these interventions, blood samples were collected from 27 obese type 2 diabetes patients before and after a 16-week VLCD (Modifast ∼ 450 kcal/day. Thirteen of these patients followed an exercise program in addition to the VCLD. Plasma was obtained from 27 lean and 27 obese controls as well. Proteomic analysis was performed using mass spectrometry (MS and targeted multiple reaction monitoring (MRM and a large scale isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ approach. After the 16-week VLCD, there was a significant decrease in body weight and HbA1c in all patients, without differences between the two intervention groups. Targeted MRM analysis revealed differences in several proteins, which could be divided in diabetes-associated (fibrinogen, transthyretin, obesity-associated (complement C3, and diet-associated markers (apolipoproteins, especially apolipoprotein A-IV. To further investigate the effects of exercise, large scale iTRAQ analysis was performed. However, no proteins were found showing an exercise effect. Thus, in this study, specific proteins were found to be differentially expressed in type 2 diabetes patients versus controls and before and after a VLCD. These proteins are potential disease state and intervention specific biomarkers.Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN76920690.

  15. Quantitative iTRAQ-based secretome analysis reveals species-specific and temporal shifts in carbon utilization strategies among manganese(II)-oxidizing Ascomycete fungi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeiner, Carolyn A.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Zink, Erika M.; Paša-Tolić, Ljiljana; Chaput, Dominique L.; Wu, Si; Santelli, Cara M.; Hansel, Colleen M.

    2017-09-01

    Fungi generate a wide range of extracellular hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes and reactive metabolites, collectively known as the secretome, that synergistically drive plant litter decomposition in the environment. While secretome studies of model organisms have greatly expanded our knowledge of these enzymes, few have extended secretome characterization to environmental isolates or directly compared temporal patterns of enzyme utilization among diverse species. Thus, the mechanisms of carbon (C) degradation by many ubiquitous soil fungi remain poorly understood. Here we use a combination of iTRAQ proteomics and custom bioinformatic analyses to compare the protein composition of the secretomes of four manganese(II)-oxidizing Ascomycete fungi over a three-week time course. We demonstrate that although the fungi produce a similar suite of extracellular enzymes, they exhibit striking differences in the regulation of these enzymes among species and over time, revealing species-specific and temporal shifts in C utilization strategies as they degrade the same substrate. Specifically, our findings suggest that Paraconiothyrium sporulosum AP3s5-JAC2a and Alternaria alternata SRC1lrK2f employ sequential enzyme secretion patterns concomitant with decreasing resource availability, Stagonospora sp. SRC1lsM3a preferentially degrades proteinaceous substrate before switching to carbohydrates, and Pyrenochaeta sp. DS3sAY3a utilizes primarily peptidases to aggressively attack carbon sources in a concentrated burst. This work highlights the diversity of operative metabolic strategies among cellulose-degrading Ascomycetes and enhances our understanding of their role in C turnover in the environment.

  16. Comparative mRNA and microRNA expression profiling of three genitourinary cancers reveals common hallmarks and cancer-specific molecular events.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianxin Li

    Full Text Available Genome-wide gene expression profile using deep sequencing technologies can drive the discovery of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Such efforts are often limited to profiling the expression signature of either mRNA or microRNA (miRNA in a single type of cancer.Here we provided an integrated analysis of the genome-wide mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of three different genitourinary cancers: carcinomas of the bladder, kidney and testis.Our results highlight the general or cancer-specific roles of several genes and miRNAs that may serve as candidate oncogenes or suppressors of tumor development. Further comparative analyses at the systems level revealed that significant aberrations of the cell adhesion process, p53 signaling, calcium signaling, the ECM-receptor and cell cycle pathways, the DNA repair and replication processes and the immune and inflammatory response processes were the common hallmarks of human cancers. Gene sets showing testicular cancer-specific deregulation patterns were mainly implicated in processes related to male reproductive function, and general disruptions of multiple metabolic pathways and processes related to cell migration were the characteristic molecular events for renal and bladder cancer, respectively. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that tumors with the same histological origins and genes with similar functions tended to group together in a clustering analysis. By assessing the correlation between the expression of each miRNA and its targets, we determined that deregulation of 'key' miRNAs may result in the global aberration of one or more pathways or processes as a whole.This systematic analysis deciphered the molecular phenotypes of three genitourinary cancers and investigated their variations at the miRNA level simultaneously. Our results provided a valuable source for future studies and highlighted some promising genes, miRNAs, pathways and processes that may be useful for diagnostic or

  17. Pan-cancer stratification of solid human epithelial tumors and cancer cell lines reveals commonalities and tissue-specific features of the CpG island methylator phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Vega, Francisco; Gotea, Valer; Margolin, Gennady; Elnitski, Laura

    2015-01-01

    The term CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) has been used to describe widespread DNA hypermethylation at CpG-rich genomic regions affecting clinically distinct subsets of cancer patients. Even though there have been numerous studies of CIMP in individual cancer types, a uniform analysis across tissues is still lacking. We analyze genome-wide patterns of CpG island hypermethylation in 5,253 solid epithelial tumors from 15 cancer types from TCGA and 23 cancer cell lines from ENCODE. We identify differentially methylated loci that define CIMP+ and CIMP- samples, and we use unsupervised clustering to provide a robust molecular stratification of tumor methylomes for 12 cancer types and all cancer cell lines. With a minimal set of 89 discriminative loci, we demonstrate accurate pan-cancer separation of the 12 CIMP+/- subpopulations, based on their average levels of methylation. Tumor samples in different CIMP subclasses show distinctive correlations with gene expression profiles and recurrence of somatic mutations, copy number variations, and epigenetic silencing. Enrichment analyses indicate shared canonical pathways and upstream regulators for CIMP-targeted regions across cancer types. Furthermore, genomic alterations showing consistent associations with CIMP+/- status include genes involved in DNA repair, chromatin remodeling genes, and several histone methyltransferases. Associations of CIMP status with specific clinical features, including overall survival in several cancer types, highlight the importance of the CIMP+/- designation for individual tumor evaluation and personalized medicine. We present a comprehensive computational study of CIMP that reveals pan-cancer commonalities and tissue-specific differences underlying concurrent hypermethylation of CpG islands across tumors. Our stratification of solid tumors and cancer cell lines based on CIMP status is data-driven and agnostic to tumor type by design, which protects against known biases that have hindered

  18. Forage and sugar in dairy calves' starter diet and their interaction on performance, weaning age and rumen fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiranvand, H; Ghorbani, G R; Khorvash, M; Kazemi-Bonchenari, M

    2014-06-01

    The effects of sugar and forage inclusion in calves' starter and their interaction on animal performance and rumen fermentation parameters were investigated. Twenty-eight neonatal Holstein male calves 3 days of age with average body weights of 42 ± 4 kg were allocated to four different treatments. All calves were fed a similar basal diet consisting of milk and concentrate. The experimental treatments were: (i) basal diet with no supplementation (Control, hereafter designated by C), (ii) basal diet plus 5% granular sugar cane (Sugar, designated by S), (iii) basal diet plus 5% forage (Forage, designated by F) and (iv) basal diet plus 5% forage with 5% granular sugar cane (F × S). Supplement ingredients were used on a dry matter (DM) basis. Rumen fluid parameters were measured twice on days 35 and 70 of the study period. The calves were weaned when they could consume 1 kg of starter for three consecutive days. The results show that starter intake was not affected by treatment; however, the lowest ADG was observed with calves in the sugar treatment. Weaning age was affected by treatments, and forage showed to reduce milk consumption period down to its shortest. Forage-sugar interaction was found to have no effects on animal performance. The structural body indices as well as the health status of the calves were similar in different treatments. Rumen pH did not differ among the treatment groups. Among the rumen parameters, total VFA concentration and molar proportions of butyrate and propionate did not exhibit any significant differences among the treatments. However, ruminal acetate concentration decreased in calves that fed sugar cane during the early weeks of the study period. Comparison of forage and sugar included in the starter diets revealed that forage reduced weaning age, while sugar cane had a negative effect on calves' performance. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  19. Mucosal immunization with PLGA-microencapsulated DNA primes a SIV-specific CTL response revealed by boosting with cognate recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, Sally; Hanke, Tomas; Tinsley-Bown, Anne; Dennis, Mike; Dowall, Stuart; McMichael, Andrew; Cranage, Martin

    2003-01-01

    Systemically administered DNA encoding a recombinant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) derived immunogen effectively primes a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response in macaques. In this further pilot study we have evaluated mucosal delivery of DNA as an alternative priming strategy. Plasmid DNA, pTH.HW, encoding a multi-CTL epitope gene, was incorporated into poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles of less than 10 μm in diameter. Five intrarectal immunizations failed to stimulate a circulating vaccine-specific CTL response in 2 Mamu-A*01 + rhesus macaques. However, 1 week after intradermal immunization with a cognate modified vaccinia virus Ankara vaccine MVA.HW, CTL responses were detected in both animals that persisted until analysis postmortem, 12 weeks after the final boost. In contrast, a weaker and less durable response was seen in an animal vaccinated with the MVA construct alone. Analysis of lymphoid tissues revealed a disseminated CTL response in peripheral and regional lymph nodes but not the spleen of both mucosally primed animals

  20. Inter- and intra-specific cuticle variation between amphimictic and parthenogenetic species of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) as revealed by a bacterial parasite (Pasteuria penetrans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K G; Rowe, J A; Williamson, V M

    2008-06-01

    Specific host-parasite interactions exist between species and strains of plant parasitic root-knot nematodes and the Gram-positive bacterial hyperparasite Pasteuria penetrans. This bacterium produces endospores that adhere to the cuticle of migrating juveniles, germinate and colonise the developing female within roots. Endospore attachment of P. penetrans populations to second-stage juveniles of the root-knot nematode species Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne hapla showed there were interactive differences between bacterial populations and nematode species. Infected females of M. incognita produced a few progeny which were used to establish two nematode lines from single infective juveniles encumbered with either three or 26 endospores. Single juvenile descent lines of each nematode species were produced to test whether cuticle variation was greater within M. hapla lines that reproduce by facultative meiotic parthenogenesis than within lines of M. incognita, which reproduces by obligate parthenogenesis. Assays revealed variability between broods of individual females derived from single second-stage juvenile descent lines of both M. incognita and M. hapla suggesting that progeny derived from a single individual can differ in spore adhesion in both sexual and asexual nematode species. These results suggest that special mechanisms that produced these functional differences in the cuticle surface may have evolved in both sexually and asexually reproducing nematodes as a strategy to circumvent infection by this specialised hyperparasite.

  1. X-ray structure of a transition state analog complex reveals the molecular origins of the catalytic power and substrate specificity of acetylcholinesterase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harel, M.; Silman, I. [Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel); Quinn, D.M.; Nair, H.K. [Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States); Sussman, J.L. [Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel)]|[Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)

    1996-03-13

    The structure of a complex of Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase with the transition state analog inhibitor m-(N, N,N-trimethylammonio)-2,2,2-trifluoroacetophenone has been solved by X-ray crystallographic methods to 2.8 A resolution. Since the inhibitor binds to the enzyme about 10{sup 10}-fold more tightly than the substrate acetylcholine, this complex provides a visual accounting of the enzyme-ligand interactions that provide the molecular basis for the catalytic power of acetylcholinesterase. The acetyl ester hydrolytic specificity of the enzyme is revealed by the interaction of the CF{sub 3} function of the transition state analog with a concave binding site comprised of the residues G119, W233, F288, F290, and F331. The highly geometrically convergent array of enzyme-ligand interactions visualized in the complex described herein envelopes the acylation transition state and sequesters it from solvent, this being consistent with the location of the active site at the bottom of a deep and narrow gorge. 82 refs., 5 figs.

  2. A rapid NMR-based method for discrimination of strain-specific cell wall teichoic acid structures reveals a third backbone type in Lactobacillus plantarum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita, Satoru; Tanaka, Naoto; Okada, Sanae

    2017-03-01

    The lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum is capable of producing strain-specific structures of cell wall teichoic acid (WTA), an anionic polysaccharide found in the Gram-positive bacterial cell wall. In this study, we established a rapid, NMR-based procedure to discriminate WTA structures in this species, and applied it to 94 strains of L. plantarum. Six previously reported glycerol- and ribitol-containing WTA subtypes were successfully identified from 78 strains, suggesting that these were the dominant structures. However, the level of structural variety differed markedly among bacterial sources, possibly reflecting differences in strain-level microbial diversity. WTAs from eight strains were not identified based on NMR spectra and were classified into three groups. Structural analysis of a partial degradation product of an unidentified WTA produced by strain TUA 1496L revealed that the WTA was 1-O-β-d-glucosylglycerol. Two-dimensional NMR analysis of the polymer structure showed phosphodiester bonds between C-3 and C-6 of the glycerol and glucose residues, suggesting a polymer structure of 3,6΄-linked poly(1-O-β-d-glucosyl-sn-glycerol phosphate). This is the third WTA backbone structure in L. plantarum, following 3,6΄-linked poly(1-O-α-d-glucosyl-sn-glycerol phosphate) and 1,5-linked poly(ribitol phosphate). © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Crystal Structure of Human Dual-Specificity Tyrosine-Regulated Kinase 3 Reveals New Structural Features and Insights into its Auto-phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kuglae; Cha, Jeong Seok; Cho, Yong-Soon; Kim, Hoyoung; Chang, Nienping; Kim, Hye-Jung; Cho, Hyun-Soo

    2018-04-07

    Dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinases (DYRKs) auto-phosphorylate a critical tyrosine residue in their activation loop and phosphorylate their substrate on serine and threonine residues. The auto-phosphorylation occurs intramolecularly and is a one-off event. DYRK3 is selectively expressed at a high level in hematopoietic cells and attenuates erythroblast development, leading to anemia. In the present study, we determined the crystal structure of the mature form of human DYRK3 in complex with harmine, an ATP competitive inhibitor. The crystal structure revealed a phosphorylation site, residue S350, whose phosphorylation increases the stability of DYRK3 and enhances its kinase activity. In addition, our structural and biochemical assays suggest that the N-terminal auto-phosphorylation accessory domain stabilizes the DYRK3 protein, followed by auto-phosphorylation of the tyrosine of the activation loop, which is important for kinase activity. Finally, our docking analysis provides information for the design of novel and potent therapeutics to treat anemia. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Genome-wide identification and expression profiling reveal tissue-specific expression and differentially-regulated genes involved in gibberellin metabolism between Williams banana and its dwarf mutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jingjing; Xie, Jianghui; Duan, Yajie; Hu, Huigang; Hu, Yulin; Li, Weiming

    2016-05-27

    Dwarfism is one of the most valuable traits in banana breeding because semi-dwarf cultivars show good resistance to damage by wind and rain. Moreover, these cultivars present advantages of convenient cultivation, management, and so on. We obtained a dwarf mutant '8818-1' through EMS (ethyl methane sulphonate) mutagenesis of Williams banana 8818 (Musa spp. AAA group). Our research have shown that gibberellins (GAs) content in 8818-1 false stems was significantly lower than that in its parent 8818 and the dwarf type of 8818-1 could be restored by application of exogenous GA3. Although GA exerts important impacts on the 8818-1 dwarf type, our understanding of the regulation of GA metabolism during banana dwarf mutant development remains limited. Genome-wide screening revealed 36 candidate GA metabolism genes were systematically identified for the first time; these genes included 3 MaCPS, 2 MaKS, 1 MaKO, 2 MaKAO, 10 MaGA20ox, 4 MaGA3ox, and 14 MaGA2ox genes. Phylogenetic tree and conserved protein domain analyses showed sequence conservation and divergence. GA metabolism genes exhibited tissue-specific expression patterns. Early GA biosynthesis genes were constitutively expressed but presented differential regulation in different tissues in Williams banana. GA oxidase family genes were mainly transcribed in young fruits, thus suggesting that young fruits were the most active tissue involved in GA metabolism, followed by leaves, bracts, and finally approximately mature fruits. Expression patterns between 8818 and 8818-1 revealed that MaGA20ox4, MaGA20ox5, and MaGA20ox7 of the MaGA20ox gene family and MaGA2ox7, MaGA2ox12, and MaGA2ox14 of the MaGA2ox gene family exhibited significant differential expression and high-expression levels in false stems. These genes are likely to be responsible for the regulation of GAs content in 8818-1 false stems. Overall, phylogenetic evolution, tissue specificity and differential expression analyses of GA metabolism genes can provide a

  5. Single-cell multiplexed cytokine profiling of CD19 CAR-T cells reveals a diverse landscape of polyfunctional antigen-specific response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Qiong; Bettini, Emily; Paczkowski, Patrick; Ng, Colin; Kaiser, Alaina; McConnell, Timothy; Kodrasi, Olja; Quigley, Máire F; Heath, James; Fan, Rong; Mackay, Sean; Dudley, Mark E; Kassim, Sadik H; Zhou, Jing

    2017-11-21

    It remains challenging to characterize the functional attributes of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cell product targeting CD19 related to potency and immunotoxicity ex vivo, despite promising in vivo efficacy in patients with B cell malignancies. We employed a single-cell, 16-plex cytokine microfluidics device and new analysis techniques to evaluate the functional profile of CD19 CAR-T cells upon antigen-specific stimulation. CAR-T cells were manufactured from human PBMCs transfected with the lentivirus encoding the CD19-BB-z transgene and expanded with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 coated beads. The enriched CAR-T cells were stimulated with anti-CAR or control IgG beads, stained with anti-CD4 RPE and anti-CD8 Alexa Fluor 647 antibodies, and incubated for 16 h in a single-cell barcode chip (SCBC). Each SCBC contains ~12,000 microchambers, covered with a glass slide that was pre-patterned with a complete copy of a 16-plex antibody array. Protein secretions from single CAR-T cells were captured and subsequently analyzed using proprietary software and new visualization methods. We demonstrate a new method for single-cell profiling of CD19 CAR-T pre-infusion products prepared from 4 healthy donors. CAR-T single cells exhibited a marked heterogeneity of cytokine secretions and polyfunctional (2+ cytokine) subsets specific to anti-CAR bead stimulation. The breadth of responses includes anti-tumor effector (Granzyme B, IFN-γ, MIP-1α, TNF-α), stimulatory (GM-CSF, IL-2, IL-8), regulatory (IL-4, IL-13, IL-22), and inflammatory (IL-6, IL-17A) functions. Furthermore, we developed two new bioinformatics tools for more effective polyfunctional subset visualization and comparison between donors. Single-cell, multiplexed, proteomic profiling of CD19 CAR-T product reveals a diverse landscape of immune effector response of CD19 CAR-T cells to antigen-specific challenge, providing a new platform for capturing CAR-T product data for correlative analysis. Additionally, such high

  6. Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Weili; Brown, Christopher T; Morowitz, Michael J; Banfield, Jillian F; Hettich, Robert L

    2017-07-10

    ) utilization and short-chain fatty acid production. Overall, this study reports species-specific proteome profiles and metabolic functions of human gut microbiota during early colonization. In particular, our work contributes to reveal microbiota-associated shifts and variations in the metabolism of three major nutrient sources and short-chain fatty acid during colonization of preterm infant gut.

  7. Boldness predicts an individual's position along an exploration-exploitation foraging trade-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Samantha C; Pinaud, David; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2017-09-01

    -off itself. These results demonstrate a clear trade-off between information gathering and exploitation of prey patches, and reveals for the first time that boldness may drive these differences. This provides a mechanism through which widely reported links between personality and foraging may emerge. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society.

  8. Visual perception and social foraging in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Erichsen, Jonathan T; Kacelnik, Alex

    2004-01-01

    Birds gather information about their environment mainly through vision by scanning their surroundings. Many prevalent models of social foraging assume that foraging and scanning are mutually exclusive. Although this assumption is valid for birds with narrow visual fields, these models have also been applied to species with wide fields. In fact, available models do not make precise predictions for birds with large visual fields, in which the head-up, head-down dichotomy is not accurate and, moreover, do not consider the effects of detection distance and limited attention. Studies of how different types of visual information are acquired as a function of body posture and of how information flows within flocks offer new insights into the costs and benefits of living in groups.

  9. Does the Waggle Dance Help Honey Bees to Forage at Greater Distances than Expected for their Body Size?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis L.W. Ratnieks

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A honey bee colony has been likened to an oil company. Some members of the company or colony prospect for valuable liquid resources. When these are discovered other group members can be recruited to exploit the resource. The recruitment of nestmates to a specific location where there is a patch of flowers should change the economics of scouting, that is, the search for new resource patches. In particular, communication is predicted to make scouting at longer distances worthwhile because a profitable resource patch, once discovered, will enhance the foraging not only of the discoverer but also of nestmates that can be directed to the patch. By virtue of having large colonies and dance communication, honey bees are predicted to be able to profitably scout, and hence forage, at greater distances from the nest than either solitary bees or social bees without communication. We test this hypothesis by first examining existing data on foraging distance to evaluate whether honey bees do indeed forage at greater distances than other bees given their body size. Second, we present a simple cost-benefit analysis of scouting which indicates that communication causes longer range scouting to be more profitable. Overall, our analyses are supportive, but not conclusive, that honey bees forage further than would be expected given their size and that the waggle dance is a cause of the honey bee’s exceptional foraging range.

  10. Utilization of 15N in the sequence of mineral fertilizer - forage - animal - slurry - forage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peschke, H.

    1981-01-01

    After systematic application of 15 N-ammonium nitrate, the change of the dinuclidic composition and 15 N quantity was studied by isotope analysis of several open systems in the sequence mineral fertilizer - (soil) - forage - (animal) - slurry - (soil) - forage. The relative 15 N isotope frequency of 50 atom% in the mineral fertilizer declined to 12.2 to 21.4 atom% in the forage (beet, oats, hay) and went down to 3.15 atom% in the slurry of a dairy cow fed on this forage. Silage maize manured with the slurry of the dairy cow only showed 1.98 atom %, green oats grown after the silage maize on the same area was found to have 0.45 atom%. The 15 N quantity of 104.5 g N in the fertilizer gradually decreased to 41.6 g N in the forage, 30.5 g N in the slurry and 22.6 g N in the silage maize. The causes discussed are 15 N isotope dilution as qualitative factor and productive and unproductive N losses as quantitative factors. (author)

  11. Utilization of /sup 15/N in the sequence of mineral fertilizer - forage - animal - slurry - forage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peschke, H [Humboldt-Universitaet, Berlin (German Democratic Republic). Sektion Pflanzenproduktion

    1981-12-01

    After systematic application of /sup 15/N-ammonium nitrate, the change of the dinuclidic composition and /sup 15/N quantity was studied by isotope analysis of several open systems in the sequence mineral fertilizer - (soil) - forage - (animal) - slurry - (soil) - forage. The relative /sup 15/N isotope frequency of 50 atom% in the mineral fertilizer declined to 12.2 to 21.4 atom% in the forage (beet, oats, hay) and went down to 3.15 atom% in the slurry of a dairy cow fed on this forage. Silage maize manured with the slurry of the dairy cow only showed 1.98 atom %, green oats grown after the silage maize on the same area was found to have 0.45 atom%. The /sup 15/N quantity of 104.5 g N in the fertilizer gradually decreased to 41.6 g N in the forage, 30.5 g N in the slurry and 22.6 g N in the silage maize. The causes discussed are /sup 15/N isotope dilution as qualitative factor and productive and unproductive N losses as quantitative factors.

  12. Protein Binding Capacity of Different Forages Tannin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusiati, L. M.; Kurniawati, A.; Hanim, C.; Anas, M. A.

    2018-02-01

    Eight forages of tannin sources(Leucaena leucocephala, Arachis hypogaea, Mimosa pudica, Morus alba L, Swietenia mahagoni, Manihot esculenta, Gliricidia sepium, and Bauhinia purpurea)were evaluated their tannin content and protein binding capacity. The protein binding capacity of tannin were determined using precipitation of bovine serum albumin (BSA). Swietenia mahagonihas higest total tannin level and condensed tannin (CT) compared with other forages (P<0.01). The Leucaena leucocephala has highest hydrolysable tannin (HT) level (P<0.01). The total and condensed tannin content of Swietenia mahagoni were 11.928±0.04 mg/100 mg and 9.241±0.02mg/100mg dry matter (DM) of leaves. The hydrolysable tannin content of Leucaena leucocephala was 5.338±0.03 mg/100 mg DM of leaves. Binding capacity was highest in Swietenia mahagoni and Leucaena leucocephala compared to the other forages (P<0.01). The optimum binding of BSA to tannin in Leucaena leucocephala and Swietenia mahagoniwere1.181±0.44 and 1.217±0.60mg/mg dry matter of leaves. The present study reports that Swietenia mahagoni has highest of tannin content and Leucaena leucocephala and Swietenia mahagoni capacity of protein binding.

  13. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenfield, Ben K., E-mail: ben@sfei.or [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 7770 Pardee Lane, Oakland, CA 94621 (United States); Jahn, Andrew, E-mail: andyjahn@mac.co [1000 Riverside Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482 (United States)

    2010-08-15

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 {mu}g g{sup -1} (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  14. Nutritional characteristics of forages from Niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Infascelli

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available In the production systems of the semi-arid areas low quality forages are commonly used as the basal diet (Wilkins, 2000 and, as a consequence, the nutritional status of ruminants depends mainly on the ability of rumen fermentation to yield nutrients such as the short chain fatty acids and microbial biomass (Preston and Leng, 1987. The forages browsed by the livestock can be classified into two main groups: ephemeral annual plants, which germinate and remain green for only a few weeks after rain, perennial shrubs and tree fodders. Despite their potential as feeds, little research has determined their nutritive value. In vivo evaluation is the best estimation method of feed’s nutritional value, however it is very laborious and difficult to standardize with browsing animals. O the contrary, in vitro methods are less expensive, less time consuming and allow a better control of experimental conditions than in vivo experiments. The in vitro gas production technique (IVGPT appears to be the most suitable method for use in developing countries where resources may be limited (Makkar, 2004. Increased interest in use of non-conventional feed resources has led to an increase in use of this technique, since IVGPT can provide useful data on digestion kinetics of both the soluble and insoluble fractions of feedstuffs. The aim of the present research was to evaluate twelve forages from the arid zone of Niger using the IVGPT.

  15. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenfield, Ben K.; Jahn, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 μg g -1 (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  16. The Effects of Forage Policy on Feed Costs in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae Bong Chang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Feeding operations are substantial on livestock farms, besides being potentially expensive. Feeding efficiency has been considered a major influence on profits in the livestock industry. Indeed, feed costs are shown to be the largest single item of production cost in Korea. To promote production and use of domestic forage, the Korean government has enforced the forage base expansion program that strengthens the competitiveness of the livestock industry by reducing the production cost. The forage base expansion program includes three main policies: subsidized forage production, support for processing and distribution, and expanding land for forage production. This paper investigates the influence of the government’s policies often conjectured to have pronounced effects on forage production. To evaluate the forage policies, this paper uses a path-analysis approach linking government spending on forage base expansion programs and feed costs. Results indicate that the Korean government’s spending on supporting domestic forage production results in a decrease in the ratio of forage expenses to total feed cost.

  17. Unique structure and dynamics of the EphA5 ligand binding domain mediate its binding specificity as revealed by X-ray crystallography, NMR and MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuelu Huan

    Full Text Available The 16 EphA and EphB receptors represent the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and their interactions with 9 ephrin-A and ephrin-B ligands initiate bidirectional signals controlling many physiological and pathological processes. Most interactions occur between receptor and ephrins of the same class, and only EphA4 can bind all A and B ephrins. To understand the structural and dynamic principles that enable Eph receptors to utilize the same jellyroll β-sandwich fold to bind ephrins, the VAPB-MSP domain, peptides and small molecules, we have used crystallography, NMR and molecular dynamics (MD simulations to determine the first structure and dynamics of the EphA5 ligand-binding domain (LBD, which only binds ephrin-A ligands. Unexpectedly, despite being unbound, the high affinity ephrin-binding pocket of EphA5 resembles that of other Eph receptors bound to ephrins, with a helical conformation over the J-K loop and an open pocket. The openness of the pocket is further supported by NMR hydrogen/deuterium exchange data and MD simulations. Additionally, the EphA5 LBD undergoes significant picosecond-nanosecond conformational exchanges over the loops, as revealed by NMR and MD simulations, but lacks global conformational exchanges on the microsecond-millisecond time scale. This is markedly different from the EphA4 LBD, which shares 74% sequence identity and 87% homology. Consequently, the unbound EphA5 LBD appears to comprise an ensemble of open conformations that have only small variations over the loops and appear ready to bind ephrin-A ligands. These findings show how two proteins with high sequence homology and structural similarity are still able to achieve distinctive binding specificities through different dynamics, which may represent a general mechanism whereby the same protein fold can serve for different functions. Our findings also suggest that a promising strategy to design agonists/antagonists with high affinity and selectivity

  18. Comparative genomic analysis reveals multiple long terminal repeats, lineage-specific amplification, and frequent interelement recombination for Cassandra retrotransposon in pear (Pyrus bretschneideri Rehd.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Hao; Du, Jianchang; Li, Leiting; Jin, Cong; Fan, Lian; Li, Meng; Wu, Jun; Zhang, Shaoling

    2014-06-04

    Cassandra transposable elements belong to a specific group of terminal-repeat retrotransposons in miniature (TRIM). Although Cassandra TRIM elements have been found in almost all vascular plants, detailed investigations on the nature, abundance, amplification timeframe, and evolution have not been performed in an individual genome. We therefore conducted a comprehensive analysis of Cassandra retrotransposons using the newly sequenced pear genome along with four other Rosaceae species, including apple, peach, mei, and woodland strawberry. Our data reveal several interesting findings for this particular retrotransposon family: 1) A large number of the intact copies contain three, four, or five long terminal repeats (LTRs) (∼20% in pear); 2) intact copies and solo LTRs with or without target site duplications are both common (∼80% vs. 20%) in each genome; 3) the elements exhibit an overall unbiased distribution among the chromosomes; 4) the elements are most successfully amplified in pear (5,032 copies); and 5) the evolutionary relationships of these elements vary among different lineages, species, and evolutionary time. These results indicate that Cassandra retrotransposons contain more complex structures (elements with multiple LTRs) than what we have known previously, and that frequent interelement unequal recombination followed by transposition may play a critical role in shaping and reshaping host genomes. Thus this study provides insights into the property, propensity, and molecular mechanisms governing the formation and amplification of Cassandra retrotransposons, and enhances our understanding of the structural variation, evolutionary history, and transposition process of LTR retrotransposons in plants. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  19. Area-specific modulation of neural activation comparing escitalopram and citalopram revealed by pharmaco-fMRI: a randomized cross-over study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windischberger, Christian; Lanzenberger, Rupert; Holik, Alexander; Spindelegger, Christoph; Stein, Patrycja; Moser, Ulrike; Gerstl, Florian; Fink, Martin; Moser, Ewald; Kasper, Siegfried

    2010-01-15

    Area-specific and stimulation-dependent changes of human brain activation by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are an important issue for improved understanding of treatment mechanisms, given the frequent prescription of these drugs in depression and anxiety disorders. The aim of this neuroimaging study was to investigate differences in BOLD-signal caused by administration of the SSRIs escitalopram and citalopram using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (pharmaco-fMRI). Eighteen healthy subjects participated in a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study in cross-over repeated measures design. Each volunteer performed facial emotional discrimination and a sensorimotor control paradigm during three scanning sessions. Citalopram (20 mg/d), escitalopram (10 mg/d) and placebo were administered for 10 days each with a drug-free period of at least 21 days. Significant pharmacological effects on BOLD-signal were found in the amygdala, medial frontal gyrus, parahippocampal, fusiform and middle temporal gyri. Post-hoc t-tests revealed decreased BOLD-signal in the right amygdala and left parahippocampal gyrus in both pharmacological conditions, compared to placebo. Escitalopram, compared to citalopram, induced a decrease of BOLD-signal in the medial frontal gyrus and an increase in the right fusiform and left parahippocampal gyri. Drug effects were concentrated in brain regions with dense serotonergic projections. Both escitalopram and citalopram attenuated BOLD-signal in the amygdala and parahippocampal cortex to emotionally significant stimuli compared to control stimuli. We believe that reduced reactivity in the medial frontal gyrus found for escitalopram compared to citalopram administration might explain the response differences between study drugs as demonstrated in previous clinical trials.

  20. Specificity determinants for lysine incorporation in Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan as revealed by the structure of a MurE enzyme ternary complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, Karen M; Lloyd, Adrian J; Fülöp, Vilmos; Dowson, Christopher G; Barreteau, Hélène; Boniface, Audrey; Dementin, Sébastien; Blanot, Didier; Mengin-Lecreulx, Dominique; Gobec, Stanislav; Dessen, Andréa; Roper, David I

    2013-11-15

    Formation of the peptidoglycan stem pentapeptide requires the insertion of both L and D amino acids by the ATP-dependent ligase enzymes MurC, -D, -E, and -F. The stereochemical control of the third position amino acid in the pentapeptide is crucial to maintain the fidelity of later biosynthetic steps contributing to cell morphology, antibiotic resistance, and pathogenesis. Here we determined the x-ray crystal structure of Staphylococcus aureus MurE UDP-N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanyl-D-glutamate:meso-2,6-diaminopimelate ligase (MurE) (E.C. 6.3.2.7) at 1.8 Å resolution in the presence of ADP and the reaction product, UDP-MurNAc-L-Ala-γ-D-Glu-L-Lys. This structure provides for the first time a molecular understanding of how this Gram-positive enzyme discriminates between L-lysine and D,L-diaminopimelic acid, the predominant amino acid that replaces L-lysine in Gram-negative peptidoglycan. Despite the presence of a consensus sequence previously implicated in the selection of the third position residue in the stem pentapeptide in S. aureus MurE, the structure shows that only part of this sequence is involved in the selection of L-lysine. Instead, other parts of the protein contribute substrate-selecting residues, resulting in a lysine-binding pocket based on charge characteristics. Despite the absolute specificity for L-lysine, S. aureus MurE binds this substrate relatively poorly. In vivo analysis and metabolomic data reveal that this is compensated for by high cytoplasmic L-lysine concentrations. Therefore, both metabolic and structural constraints maintain the structural integrity of the staphylococcal peptidoglycan. This study provides a novel focus for S. aureus-directed antimicrobials based on dual targeting of essential amino acid biogenesis and its linkage to cell wall assembly.

  1. Early Visual Foraging in Relationship to Familial Risk for Autism and Hyperactivity/Inattention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gliga, Teodora; Smith, Tim J; Likely, Noreen; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H

    2015-12-04

    Information foraging is atypical in both autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and ADHD; however, while ASD is associated with restricted exploration and preference for sameness, ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity and increased novelty seeking. Here, we ask whether similar biases are present in visual foraging in younger siblings of children with a diagnosis of ASD with or without additional high levels of hyperactivity and inattention. Fifty-four low-risk controls (LR) and 50 high-risk siblings (HR) took part in an eye-tracking study at 8 and 14 months and at 3 years of age. At 8 months, siblings of children with ASD and low levels of hyperactivity/inattention (HR/ASD-HI) were more likely to return to previously visited areas in the visual scene than were LR and siblings of children with ASD and high levels of hyperactivity/inattention (HR/ASD+HI). We show that visual foraging is atypical in infants at-risk for ASD. We also reveal a paradoxical effect, in that additional family risk for ADHD core symptoms mitigates the effect of ASD risk on visual information foraging. © The Author(s) 2015.

  2. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyffen C Read

    Full Text Available Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97 and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2 even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea.

  3. Work or sleep? : honeybee foragers opportunistically nap during the day when forage is not available

    OpenAIRE

    Klein, Barrett; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2011-01-01

    Shifts in work schedules test humans’ capacity to be flexible in the timing of both work and sleep. Honeybee, Apis mellifera, foragers also shift their work schedules, but how flexible they are in the timing of sleep as they shift the timing of work is unknown, despite the importance of colony-level plasticity in the face of a changing environment. We hypothesized that sleep schedules of foragers are not fixed and instead vary depending on the time when food is available. We trained bees to v...

  4. Migratory geese foraging on grassland:Case study in the region of Flanders (Belgium)

    OpenAIRE

    Van Gils, Bert; De Vliegher, Alex; Huysentruyt, Frank; Casaer, Jim; Devos, Koen

    2012-01-01

    Every winter nearly 100 000 migratory geese visit Northwestern Flanders (Belgium), including several protected species such as the pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus). The geese mainly forage on agricultural grassland, where they remove all the green parts and leave substantial amounts of droppings. In 2009 several farmers’ concerns about this phenomenon were thoroughly investigated. The main findings revealed that grass production on grazed parcels is reduced by 450 kg DM/ha on average ...

  5. Integrating feeding behavior, ecological data, and DNA barcoding to identify developmental differences in invertebrate foraging strategies in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallott, Elizabeth K; Garber, Paul A; Malhi, Ripan S

    2017-02-01

    Invertebrate foraging strategies in nonhuman primates often require complex extractive foraging or prey detection techniques. As these skills take time to master, juveniles may have reduced foraging efficiency or concentrate their foraging efforts on easier to acquire prey than adults. We use DNA barcoding, behavioral observations, and ecological data to assess age-based differences in invertebrate prey foraging strategies in a group of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in northeastern Costa Rica. Invertebrate availability was monitored using canopy traps and sweep netting. Fecal samples were collected from adult female, adult male, and juvenile white-faced capuchins (n = 225). COI mtDNA sequences were compared with known sequences in GenBank and the Barcode of Life Database. Frequencies of Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera consumption were higher in juveniles than in adults. A significantly smaller proportion of juvenile fecal samples contained Gryllidae and Cercopidae sequences, compared with adults (0% and 4.2% vs. 4.6% and 12.5%), and a significantly larger proportion contained Tenthredinidae, Culicidae, and Crambidae (5.6%, 9.7%, and 5.6% vs. 1.3%, 0.7%, and 1.3%). Juveniles spent significantly more time feeding and foraging than adults, and focused their foraging efforts on prey that require different skills to capture or extract. Arthropod availability was not correlated with foraging efficiency, and the rate of consumption of specific orders of invertebrates was not correlated with the availability of those same taxa. Our data support the hypothesis that juveniles are concentrating their foraging efforts on different prey than adults, potentially focusing their foraging efforts on more easily acquired types of prey. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Carbon sources in suspended particles and surface sediments from the Beaufort Sea revealed by molecular lipid biomarkers and compound-specific isotope analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Tolosa

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Molecular lipid biomarkers (hydrocarbons, alcohols, sterols and fatty acids and compound-specific isotope analysis of suspended particulate organic matter (SPM and surface sediments of the Mackenzie Shelf and slope (southeast Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean were studied in summer 2009. The concentrations of the molecular lipid markers, characteristic of known organic matter sources, were grouped and used as proxies to evaluate the relative importance of fresh algal, detrital algal, fossil, C3 terrestrial plants, bacterial and zooplankton material in the organic matter (OM of this area. Fossil and detrital algal contributions were the major fractions of the freshwater SPM from the Mackenzie River with ~34% each of the total molecular biomarkers. Fresh algal, C3 terrestrial, bacterial and zooplanktonic components represented much lower percentages, 17, 10, 4 and 80%, with a minor contribution of fossil and C3 terrestrial biomarkers. Characterization of the sediments revealed a major sink of refractory algal material mixed with some fresh algal material, fossil hydrocarbons and a small input of C3 terrestrial sources. In particular, the sediments from the shelf and at the mouth of the Amundsen Gulf presented the highest contribution of detrital algal material (60–75%, whereas those from the slope contained the highest proportion of fossil (40% and C3 terrestrial plant material (10%. Overall, considering that the detrital algal material is marine derived, autochthonous sources contributed more than allochthonous sources to the OM lipid pool. Using the ratio of an allochthonous biomarker (normalized to total organic carbon, TOC found in the sediments to those measured at the river mouth water, we estimated that the fraction of terrestrial material preserved in the sediments accounted for 30–40% of the total carbon in the inner shelf sediments, 17% in the outer shelf and Amundsen Gulf and up to 25% in the slope sediments. These estimates are low

  7. Genomic Resources of Three Pulsatilla Species Reveal Evolutionary Hotspots, Species-Specific Sites and Variable Plastid Structure in the Family Ranunculaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczecińska, Monika; Sawicki, Jakub

    2015-09-15

    The European continent is presently colonized by nine species of the genus Pulsatilla, five of which are encountered only in mountainous regions of southwest and south-central Europe. The remaining four species inhabit lowlands in the north-central and eastern parts of the continent. Most plants of the genus Pulsatilla are rare and endangered, which is why most research efforts focused on their biology, ecology and hybridization. The objective of this study was to develop genomic resources, including complete plastid genomes and nuclear rRNA clusters, for three sympatric Pulsatilla species that are most commonly found in Central Europe. The results will supply valuable information about genetic variation, which can be used in the process of designing primers for population studies and conservation genetics research. The complete plastid genomes together with the nuclear rRNA cluster can serve as a useful tool in hybridization studies. Six complete plastid genomes and nuclear rRNA clusters were sequenced from three species of Pulsatilla using the Illumina sequencing technology. Four junctions between single copy regions and inverted repeats and junctions between the identified locally-collinear blocks (LCB) were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Pulsatilla genomes of 120 unique genes had a total length of approximately 161-162 kb, and 21 were duplicated in the inverted repeats (IR) region. Comparative plastid genomes of newly-sequenced Pulsatilla and the previously-identified plastomes of Aconitum and Ranunculus species belonging to the family Ranunculaceae revealed several variations in the structure of the genome, but the gene content remained constant. The nuclear rRNA cluster (18S-ITS1-5.8S-ITS2-26S) of studied Pulsatilla species is 5795 bp long. Among five analyzed regions of the rRNA cluster, only Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) enabled the molecular delimitation of closely-related Pulsatilla patens and Pulsatilla vernalis. The determination of complete

  8. Diallel analysis of maize hybrids for agronomic and bromatological forage traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus Henrique Silveira Mendes

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate a diallel of maize hybrids for traits related to forage production and nutritional value. Six commercial hybrids were used as parents. The crosses were made according to a complete diallel design, obtaining the F1 and reciprocal