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Sample records for ancient insect taxa

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

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Steffen; Fromm, Bastian; Gäde, Gerd; Predel, Reinhard

    2009-01-01

    Background Neuropeptide ligands have to fit exactly into their respective receptors and thus the evolution of the coding regions of their genes is constrained and may be strongly conserved. As such, they may be suitable for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships within higher taxa. CAPA peptides of major lineages of cockroaches (Blaberidae, Blattellidae, Blattidae, Polyphagidae, Cryptocercidae) and of the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis were chosen to test the above hypothesis. The phylogenetic relationships within various groups of the taxon Dictyoptera (praying mantids, termites and cockroaches) are still highly disputed. Results Tandem mass spectrometry of neuropeptides from perisympathetic organs was used to obtain sequence data of CAPA peptides from single specimens; the data were analysed by Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Interference. The resulting cladograms, taking 61 species into account, show a topology which is in general agreement with recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses, including the recent phylogenetic arrangement placing termites within the cockroaches. When sequence data sets from other neuropeptides, viz. adipokinetic hormones and sulfakinins, were included, the general topology of the cladogram did not change but bootstrap values increased considerably. Conclusion This study represents the first comprehensive survey of neuropeptides of insects for solely phylogenetic purposes and concludes that sequences of short neuropeptides are suitable to complement molecular biological and morphological data for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19257902

  2. Transposable elements in sexual and ancient asexual taxa

    PubMed Central

    Arkhipova, Irina; Meselson, Matthew

    2000-01-01

    Sexual reproduction allows deleterious transposable elements to proliferate in populations, whereas the loss of sex, by preventing their spread, has been predicted eventually to result in a population free of such elements [Hickey, D. A. (1982) Genetics 101, 519–531]. We tested this expectation by screening representatives of a majority of animal phyla for LINE-like and gypsy-like reverse transcriptases and mariner/Tc1-like transposases. All species tested positive for reverse transcriptases except rotifers of the class Bdelloidea, the largest eukaryotic taxon in which males, hermaphrodites, and meiosis are unknown and for which ancient asexuality is supported by molecular genetic evidence. Mariner-like transposases are distributed sporadically among species and are present in bdelloid rotifers. The remarkable lack of LINE-like and gypsy-like retrotransposons in bdelloids and their ubiquitous presence in other taxa support the view that eukaryotic retrotransposons are sexually transmitted nuclear parasites and that bdelloid rotifers evolved asexually. PMID:11121049

  3. Ancient Coevolution of Baculoviruses and Their Insect Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Herniou, Elisabeth A.; Olszewski, Julie A.; O'Reilly, David R.; Cory, Jenny S.

    2004-01-01

    If the relationships between baculoviruses and their insect hosts are subject to coevolution, this should lead to long-term evolutionary effects such as the specialization of these pathogens for their hosts. To test this hypothesis, a phylogeny of the Baculoviridae, including 39 viruses from hosts of the orders Lepidoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera, was reconstructed based on sequences from the genes lef-8 and ac22. The tree showed a clear division of the baculoviruses according to the order of their hosts. This division highlighted the need to reconsider the classification of the baculoviruses to include one or possibly two new genera. Furthermore, the specialization of distinct virus lineages to particular insect orders suggests ancient coevolutionary interactions between baculoviruses and their hosts. PMID:15016845

  4. An ancient tripartite symbiosis of plants, ants and scale insects.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Shouhei; Quek, Swee-Peck; Itioka, Takao; Inamori, Keita; Sato, Yumiko; Murase, Kaori; Itino, Takao

    2008-10-22

    In the Asian tropics, a conspicuous radiation of Macaranga plants is inhabited by obligately associated Crematogaster ants tending Coccus (Coccidae) scale insects, forming a tripartite symbiosis. Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the plants and the ants have been codiversifying over the past 16-20 million years (Myr). The prevalence of coccoids in ant-plant mutualisms suggest that they play an important role in the evolution of ant-plant symbioses. To determine whether the scale insects were involved in the evolutionary origin of the mutualism between Macaranga and Crematogaster, we constructed a cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene phylogeny of the scale insects collected from myrmecophytic Macaranga and estimated their time of origin based on a COI molecular clock. The minimum age of the associated Coccus was estimated to be half that of the ants, at 7-9Myr, suggesting that they were latecomers in the evolutionary history of the symbiosis. Crematogaster mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages did not exhibit specificity towards Coccus mtDNA lineages, and the latter was not found to be specific towards Macaranga taxa, suggesting that patterns of associations in the scale insects are dictated by opportunity rather than by specialized adaptations to host plant traits. PMID:18611850

  5. An ancient tripartite symbiosis of plants, ants and scale insects

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Shouhei; Quek, Swee-Peck; Itioka, Takao; Inamori, Keita; Sato, Yumiko; Murase, Kaori; Itino, Takao

    2008-01-01

    In the Asian tropics, a conspicuous radiation of Macaranga plants is inhabited by obligately associated Crematogaster ants tending Coccus (Coccidae) scale insects, forming a tripartite symbiosis. Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the plants and the ants have been codiversifying over the past 16–20 million years (Myr). The prevalence of coccoids in ant–plant mutualisms suggest that they play an important role in the evolution of ant–plant symbioses. To determine whether the scale insects were involved in the evolutionary origin of the mutualism between Macaranga and Crematogaster, we constructed a cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene phylogeny of the scale insects collected from myrmecophytic Macaranga and estimated their time of origin based on a COI molecular clock. The minimum age of the associated Coccus was estimated to be half that of the ants, at 7–9 Myr, suggesting that they were latecomers in the evolutionary history of the symbiosis. Crematogaster mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages did not exhibit specificity towards Coccus mtDNA lineages, and the latter was not found to be specific towards Macaranga taxa, suggesting that patterns of associations in the scale insects are dictated by opportunity rather than by specialized adaptations to host plant traits. PMID:18611850

  6. DNA content and distribution in ancient feathers and potential to reconstruct the plumage of extinct avian taxa

    PubMed Central

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Cooper, Alan

    2009-01-01

    Feathers are known to contain amplifiable DNA at their base (calamus) and have provided an important genetic source from museum specimens. However, feathers in subfossil deposits generally only preserve the upper shaft and feather ‘vane’ which are thought to be unsuitable for DNA analysis. We analyse subfossil moa feathers from Holocene New Zealand rockshelter sites and demonstrate that both ancient DNA and plumage information can be recovered from their upper portion, allowing species identification and a means to reconstruct the appearance of extinct taxa. These ancient DNA sequences indicate that the distal portions of feathers are an untapped resource for studies of museum, palaeontological and modern specimens. We investigate the potential to reconstruct the plumage of pre-historically extinct avian taxa using subfossil remains, rather than assuming morphological uniformity with closely related extant taxa. To test the notion of colour persistence in subfossil feathers, we perform digital comparisons of feathers of the red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae) excavated from the same horizons as the moa feathers, with modern samples. The results suggest that the coloration of the moa feathers is authentic, and computer software is used to perform plumage reconstructions of moa based on subfossil remains. PMID:19570784

  7. Symbiosis and insect diversification: an ancient symbiont of sap-feeding insects from the bacterial phylum Bacteroidetes.

    PubMed

    Moran, Nancy A; Tran, Phat; Gerardo, Nicole M

    2005-12-01

    Several insect groups have obligate, vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision hosts with nutrients that are limiting in the diet. Some of these bacteria have been shown to descend from ancient infections. Here we show that the large group of related insects including cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, spittlebugs, and planthoppers host a distinct clade of bacterial symbionts. This newly described symbiont lineage belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes indicate that the symbiont phylogeny is completely congruent with the phylogeny of insect hosts as currently known. These results support the ancient acquisition of a symbiont by a shared ancestor of these insects, dating the original infection to at least 260 million years ago. As visualized in a species of spittlebug (Cercopoidea) and in a species of sharpshooter (Cicadellinae), the symbionts have extraordinarily large cells with an elongate shape, often more than 30 mum in length; in situ hybridizations verify that these correspond to the phylum Bacteroidetes. "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri" is proposed as the name of the new symbiont. PMID:16332876

  8. Symbiosis and Insect Diversification: an Ancient Symbiont of Sap-Feeding Insects from the Bacterial Phylum Bacteroidetes

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.; Tran, Phat; Gerardo, Nicole M.

    2005-01-01

    Several insect groups have obligate, vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision hosts with nutrients that are limiting in the diet. Some of these bacteria have been shown to descend from ancient infections. Here we show that the large group of related insects including cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, spittlebugs, and planthoppers host a distinct clade of bacterial symbionts. This newly described symbiont lineage belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes indicate that the symbiont phylogeny is completely congruent with the phylogeny of insect hosts as currently known. These results support the ancient acquisition of a symbiont by a shared ancestor of these insects, dating the original infection to at least 260 million years ago. As visualized in a species of spittlebug (Cercopoidea) and in a species of sharpshooter (Cicadellinae), the symbionts have extraordinarily large cells with an elongate shape, often more than 30 μm in length; in situ hybridizations verify that these correspond to the phylum Bacteroidetes. “Candidatus Sulcia muelleri” is proposed as the name of the new symbiont. PMID:16332876

  9. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects.

    PubMed

    Clapham, Matthew E; Karr, Jered A; Nicholson, David B; Ross, Andrew J; Mayhew, Peter J

    2016-02-10

    Insects are a hyper-diverse group, comprising nearly three-quarters of all named animal species on the Earth, but the environmental drivers of their richness and the roles of ecological interactions and evolutionary innovations remain unclear. Previous studies have argued that family-level insect richness increased continuously over the evolutionary history of the group, but inclusion of extant family records artificially inflated the relative richness of younger time intervals. Here we apply sampling-standardization methods to a species-level database of fossil insect occurrences, removing biases present in previous richness curves. We show that insect family-richness peaked 125 Ma and that Recent values are only 1.5-3 times as high as the Late Palaeozoic. Rarefied species-richness data also tentatively suggest little or no net increase in richness over the past 125 Myr. The Cretaceous peak in family richness was coincident with major radiations within extant groups but occurred prior to extinctions within more basal groups. Those extinctions may in part be linked to mid-Cretaceous floral turnover following the evolution of flowering plants. Negligible net richness change over the past 125 Myr implies that major radiations within extant groups were offset by reduced richness within groups that are now relict or extinct. PMID:26842567

  10. The Insect Chemoreceptor Superfamily Is Ancient in Animals.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Hugh M

    2015-11-01

    The insect chemoreceptor superfamily consists of 2 gene families, the highly diverse gustatory receptors (GRs) found in all arthropods with sequenced genomes and the odorant receptors that evolved from a GR lineage and have been found only in insects to date. Here, I describe relatives of the insect chemoreceptor superfamily, specifically the basal GR family, in diverse other animals, showing that the superfamily dates back at least to early animal evolution. GR-Like (GRL) genes are present in the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens, an anemone Nematostella vectensis, a coral Acropora digitifera, a polychaete Capitella teleta, a leech Helobdella robusta, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (and many other nematodes), 3 molluscs (a limpet Lottia gigantea, an oyster Crassostrea gigas, and the sea hare Aplysia californica), the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and the sea acorn Saccoglossus kowalevskii. While some of these animals contain multiple divergent GRL lineages, GRLs have been lost entirely from other animal lineages such as vertebrates. GRLs are absent from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, and 2 available chaonoflagellate genomes, so it remains unclear whether this superfamily originated before or during animal evolution. PMID:26354932

  11. The Cucurbits of Mediterranean Antiquity: Identification of Taxa from Ancient Images and Descriptions

    PubMed Central

    Janick, Jules; Paris, Harry S.; Parrish, David C.

    2007-01-01

    Background A critical analysis was made of cucurbit descriptions in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica, Columella's De Re Rustica and Pliny's Historia Naturalis, works on medicine, agriculture and natural science of the 1st century ce, as well as the Mishna and Tosefta, compilations of rabbinic law derived from the same time period together with cucurbit images dating from antiquity including paintings, mosaics and sculpture. The goal was to identify taxonomically the Mediterranean cucurbits at the time of the Roman Empire. Findings By ancient times, long-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melon) and Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd) were selected, cultivated and used as vegetables around the Mediterranean and, in addition, bottle-shaped fruits of L. siceraria were employed as vessels. Citrullus lanatus (watermelons) and round-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melons) were also consumed, but less commonly. A number of cucurbit species, including Bryonia alba, B. dioica, Citrullus colocynthis and Ecballium elaterium, were employed for medicinal purposes. No unequivocal evidence was found to suggest the presence of Cucumis sativus (cucumber) in the Mediterranean area during this era. The cucumis of Columella and Pliny was not cucumber, as commonly translated, but Cucumis melo subsp. melo Flexuosus Group (snake melon or vegetable melon). PMID:17932073

  12. Absence of ancient DNA in sub-fossil insect inclusions preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L; Preziosi, Richard F; Brown, Terence A

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal, dated to 'post-Bomb' and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal. PMID:24039876

  13. Evolutionary replacement of obligate symbionts in an ancient and diverse insect lineage.

    PubMed

    Koga, Ryuichi; Bennett, Gordon M; Cryan, Jason R; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-07-01

    Many insect groups depend on ancient obligate symbioses with bacteria that undergo long-term genomic degradation due to inactivation and loss of ancestral genes. Sap-feeding insects in the hemipteran suborder Auchenorrhyncha show complex symbioses with at least two obligate bacterial symbionts, inhabiting specialized host cells (bacteriocytes). We explored the symbiotic relationships of the spittlebugs (Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopoidea) using phylogenetic and microscopy methods. Results show that most spittlebugs contain the symbionts Sulcia muelleri (Bacteroidetes) and Zinderia insecticola (Betaproteobacteria) with each restricted to its own bacteriocyte type. However, the ancestral Zinderia symbiont has been replaced with a novel symbiont closely related to Sodalis glossinidius (Enterobacteriaceae) in members of the ecologically successful spittlebug tribe Philaenini. At least one spittlebug species retains Sulcia and Zinderia, but also has acquired a Sodalis-like symbiont, possibly representing a transitional stage in the evolutionary succession of symbioses. Phylogenetic analyses including symbionts of other Auchenorrhyncha lineages suggest that Zinderia, like Sulcia, descends from an ancestral symbiont present in the common ancestor of Auchenorrhyncha. This betaproteobacterial symbiont has been repeatedly replaced by other symbionts, such as the Sodalis-like symbiont of spittlebugs. Symbiont replacement may offer a route for hosts to escape dependence on an ancient, degraded and potentially inefficient symbiont. PMID:23574391

  14. Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Brown, Terence A.

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian copal, dated to ‘post-Bomb’ and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal. PMID:24039876

  15. Small, Smaller, Smallest: The Origins and Evolution of Ancient Dual Symbioses in a Phloem-Feeding Insect

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Gordon M.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2013-01-01

    Many insects rely on bacterial symbionts with tiny genomes specialized for provisioning nutrients lacking in host diets. Xylem sap and phloem sap are both deficient as insect diets, but differ dramatically in nutrient content, potentially affecting symbiont genome evolution. For sap-feeding insects, sequenced symbiont genomes are available only for phloem-feeding examples from the suborder Sternorrhyncha and xylem-feeding examples from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, confounding comparisons. We sequenced genomes of the obligate symbionts, Sulcia muelleri and Nasuia deltocephalinicola, of the phloem-feeding pest insect, Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). Our results reveal that Nasuia-ALF has the smallest bacterial genome yet sequenced (112 kb), and that the Sulcia-ALF genome (190 kb) is smaller than that of Sulcia in other insect lineages. Together, these symbionts retain the capability to synthesize the 10 essential amino acids, as observed for several symbiont pairs from xylem-feeding Auchenorrhyncha. Nasuia retains genes enabling synthesis of two amino acids, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Both symbionts have lost genes underlying ATP synthesis through oxidative phosphorylation, possibly as a consequence of the enriched sugar content of phloem. Shared genomic features, including reassignment of the UGA codon from Stop to tryptophan, and phylogenetic results suggest that Nasuia-ALF is most closely related to Zinderia, the betaproteobacterial symbiont of spittlebugs. Thus, Nasuia/Zinderia and Sulcia likely represent ancient associates that have co-resided in hosts since the divergence of leafhoppers and spittlebugs >200 Ma, and possibly since the origin of the Auchenorrhyncha, >260 Ma. PMID:23918810

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

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Mónica R; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M; Currano, Ellen D; Labandeira, Conrad C; Jaramillo, Carlos A

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests. PMID:24788720

  17. Insect Leaf-Chewing Damage Tracks Herbivore Richness in Modern and Ancient Forests

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Mónica R.; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M.; Currano, Ellen D.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests. PMID:24788720

  18. Ancient pests: the season of the Santorini Minoan volcanic eruption and a date from insect chitin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagiotakopulu, Eva; Higham, Thomas; Sarpaki, Anaya; Buckland, Paul; Doumas, Christos

    2013-07-01

    Attributing a season and a date to the volcanic eruption of Santorini in the Aegean has become possible by using preserved remains of the bean weevil, Bruchus rufipes, pests of pulses, from the storage jars of the West House, in the Bronze Age settlement at Akrotiri. We have applied an improved pre-treatment methodology for dating the charred insects, and this provides a date of 1744-1538 BC. This date is within the range of others obtained from pulses from the same context and confirms the utility of chitin as a dating material. Based on the nature of the insect material and the life cycle of the species involved, we argue for a summer eruption, which took place after harvest, shortly after this material was transported into the West House storeroom.

  19. Fruitless alternative splicing and sex behaviour in insects: an ancient and unforgettable love story?

    PubMed

    Salvemini, Marco; Polito, Catello; Saccone, Giuseppe

    2010-09-01

    Courtship behaviours are common features of animal species that reproduce sexually. Typically, males are involved in courting females. Insects display an astonishing variety of courtship strategies primarily based on innate stereotyped responses to various external stimuli. In Drosophila melanogaster, male courtship requires proteins encoded by the fruitless (fru) gene that are produced in different sex-specific isoforms via alternative splicing. Drosophila mutant flies with loss-of-function alleles of the fru gene exhibit blocked male courtship behaviour. However, various individual steps in the courtship ritual are disrupted in fly strains carrying different fru alleles. These findings suggest that fru is required for specific steps in courtship. In distantly related insect species, various fru paralogues were isolated, which shows conservation of sex-specific alternative splicing and protein expression in neural tissues and suggests an evolutionary functional conservation of fru in the control of male-specific courtship behaviour. In this review, we report the seminal findings regarding the fru gene, its splicing regulation and evolution in insects. PMID:20876995

  20. Discovery and Evolution of Bunyavirids in Arctic Phantom Midges and Ancient Bunyavirid-Like Sequences in Insect Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Bruenn, Jeremy A.; Hay, John; Czechowski, Donna; Taylor, Derek J.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bunyaviridae is a large family of RNA viruses chiefly comprised of vertebrate and plant pathogens. We discovered novel bunyavirids that are approximately equally divergent from each of the five known genera. We characterized novel genome sequences for two bunyavirids, namely, Kigluaik phantom virus (KIGV), from tundra-native phantom midges (Chaoborus), and Nome phantom virus (NOMV), from tundra-invading phantom midges, and demonstrated that these bunyavirid-like sequences belong to an infectious virus by passaging KIGV in mosquito cell culture, although the infection does not seem to be well sustained beyond a few passages. Virus and host gene sequences from individuals collected on opposite ends of North America, a region spanning 4,000 km, support a long-term, vertically transmitted infection of KIGV in Chaoborus trivittatus. KIGV-like sequences ranging from single genes to full genomes are present in transcriptomes and genomes of insects belonging to six taxonomic orders, suggesting an ancient association of this clade with insect hosts. In Drosophila, endogenous virus genes have been coopted, forming an orthologous tandem gene family that has been maintained by selection during the radiation of the host genus. Our findings indicate that bunyavirid-host interactions in nonbloodsucking arthropods have been much more extensive than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Very little is known about the viral diversity in polar freshwater ponds, and perhaps less is known about the effects that climate-induced habitat changes in these regions will have on virus-host interactions in the coming years. Our results show that at the tundra-boreal boundary, a hidden viral landscape is being altered as infected boreal phantom midges colonize tundra ponds. Likewise, relatively little is known of the deeper evolutionary history of bunyavirids that has led to the stark lifestyle contrasts between some genera. The discovery of this novel bunyavirid group suggests that ancient

  1. Ancient Protostome Origin of Chemosensory Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors and the Evolution of Insect Taste and Olfaction

    PubMed Central

    Cummins, Scott F.; Budd, Aidan; Brawand, David; Kaessmann, Henrik; Gibson, Toby J.; Benton, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are a highly conserved family of ligand-gated ion channels present in animals, plants, and bacteria, which are best characterized for their roles in synaptic communication in vertebrate nervous systems. A variant subfamily of iGluRs, the Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), was recently identified as a new class of olfactory receptors in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, hinting at a broader function of this ion channel family in detection of environmental, as well as intercellular, chemical signals. Here, we investigate the origin and evolution of IRs by comprehensive evolutionary genomics and in situ expression analysis. In marked contrast to the insect-specific Odorant Receptor family, we show that IRs are expressed in olfactory organs across Protostomia—a major branch of the animal kingdom that encompasses arthropods, nematodes, and molluscs—indicating that they represent an ancestral protostome chemosensory receptor family. Two subfamilies of IRs are distinguished: conserved “antennal IRs,” which likely define the first olfactory receptor family of insects, and species-specific “divergent IRs,” which are expressed in peripheral and internal gustatory neurons, implicating this family in taste and food assessment. Comparative analysis of drosophilid IRs reveals the selective forces that have shaped the repertoires in flies with distinct chemosensory preferences. Examination of IR gene structure and genomic distribution suggests both non-allelic homologous recombination and retroposition contributed to the expansion of this multigene family. Together, these findings lay a foundation for functional analysis of these receptors in both neurobiological and evolutionary studies. Furthermore, this work identifies novel targets for manipulating chemosensory-driven behaviours of agricultural pests and disease vectors. PMID:20808886

  2. Ancient and modern colonization of North America by hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), an invasive insect from East Asia.

    PubMed

    Havill, Nathan P; Shiyake, Shigehiko; Lamb Galloway, Ashley; Foottit, Robert G; Yu, Guoyue; Paradis, Annie; Elkinton, Joseph; Montgomery, Michael E; Sano, Masakazu; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2016-05-01

    Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, is an invasive pest of hemlock trees (Tsuga) in eastern North America. We used 14 microsatellites and mitochondrial COI sequences to assess its worldwide genetic structure and reconstruct its colonization history. The resulting information about its life cycle, biogeography and host specialization could help predict invasion by insect herbivores. We identified eight endemic lineages of hemlock adelgids in central China, western China, Ulleung Island (South Korea), western North America, and two each in Taiwan and Japan, with the Japanese lineages specializing on different Tsuga species. Adelgid life cycles varied at local and continental scales with different sexual, obligately asexual and facultatively asexual lineages. Adelgids in western North America exhibited very high microsatellite heterozygosity, which suggests ancient asexuality. The earliest lineages diverged in Asia during Pleistocene glacial periods, as estimated using approximate Bayesian computation. Colonization of western North America was estimated to have occurred prior to the last glacial period by adelgids directly ancestral to those in southern Japan, perhaps carried by birds. The modern invasion from southern Japan to eastern North America caused an extreme genetic bottleneck with just two closely related clones detected throughout the introduced range. Both colonization events to North America involved host shifts to unrelated hemlock species. These results suggest that genetic diversity, host specialization and host phylogeny are not predictive of adelgid invasion. Monitoring non-native sentinel host trees and focusing on invasion pathways might be more effective methods of preventing invasion than making predictions using species traits or evolutionary history. PMID:26880353

  3. The Insect Prothoracic Gland as a Model for Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis and Regulation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiuxiang; Zeng, Jie; Yamanaka, Naoki; Brakken-Thal, Christina; O'Connor, Michael B; King-Jones, Kirst

    2016-06-28

    Steroid hormones are ancient signaling molecules found in vertebrates and insects alike. Both taxa show intriguing parallels with respect to how steroids function and how their synthesis is regulated. As such, insects are excellent models for studying universal aspects of steroid physiology. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic and genetic analysis of the principal steroid hormone-producing organs in two popular insect models, Drosophila and Bombyx. We identified 173 genes with previously unknown specific expression in steroid-producing cells, 15 of which had critical roles in development. The insect neuropeptide PTTH and its vertebrate counterpart ACTH both regulate steroid production, but molecular targets of these pathways remain poorly characterized. Identification of PTTH-dependent gene sets identified the nuclear receptor HR4 as a highly conserved target in both Drosophila and Bombyx. We consider this study to be a critical step toward understanding how steroid hormone production and release are regulated in all animal models. PMID:27320926

  4. Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects.

    PubMed

    Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Peñalver, Enrique; Speranza, Mariela; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Engel, Michael S

    2012-12-26

    Taxa within diverse lineages select and transport exogenous materials for the purposes of camouflage. This adaptive behavior also occurs in insects, most famously in green lacewing larvae who nestle the trash among setigerous cuticular processes, known as trash-carrying, rendering them nearly undetectable to predators and prey, as well as forming a defensive shield. We report an exceptional discovery of a green lacewing larva in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain with specialized cuticular processes forming a dorsal basket that carry a dense trash packet. The trash packet is composed of trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, which highlight the presence of wildfires in this early forest ecosystem. This discovery provides direct evidence of an early acquisition of a sophisticated behavioral suite in stasis for over 110 million years and an ancient plant-insect interaction. PMID:23236135

  5. Evolution of the Insect Desaturase Gene Family with an Emphasis on Social Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes. PMID:25425561

  6. Evolution of the insect desaturase gene family with an emphasis on social Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-02-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes. PMID:25425561

  7. Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evers, Virginia

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

  8. Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Web Feet K-8, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This subject guide includes Web sites and other resources on ancient civilizations with age levels and appropriate subject disciplines specified. Also includes CD-ROMs and software, videos, books, audios, magazines, professional resources, and a sample student assignment. (LRW)

  9. Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2004-01-01

    In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole mitochondrial genome sequences of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of these processes and the effects of damage on ancient DNA templates has started to provide a more robust basis for research. Recent methodological advances have included the characterization of Pleistocene mammal populations and discoveries of DNA preserved in ancient sediments. Increasingly, ancient genetic information is providing a unique means to test assumptions used in evolutionary and population genetics studies to reconstruct the past. Initial results have revealed surprisingly complex population histories, and indicate that modern phylogeographic studies may give misleading impressions about even the recent evolutionary past. With the advent and uptake of appropriate methodologies, ancient DNA is now positioned to become a powerful tool in biological research and is also evolving new and unexpected uses, such as in the search for extinct or extant life in the deep biosphere and on other planets. PMID:15875564

  10. Multiorganismal Insects: Diversity and Function of Resident Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests. PMID:25341109

  11. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of lac insects (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming; Feng, Ying; Yang, Hui; He, Rui; Zhang, Wenfeng; Yang, Zixiang

    2013-10-01

    Lac insects are commercial scale insects with high economic value. The combined molecular phylogeny of 20 lac insect populations was generated using elongation factor 1 alpha, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene loci. The 20 populations of lac insects clustered into four distinct clades supported by high bootstrap values in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Clade A at the base of the dendrogram comprises Kerria ruralis and two populations of Kerria lacca and is the branch with most primitive species. Clade B includes K. lacca, Kerria sindica and the three populations P, V and Z from India. They clustered with high bootstrap support and have evolved later than those in Clade A. The three unidentified populations P, V and Z exhibited a close relationship with K. lacca and are the same species. In Clade C, three populations of Kerria yunnanensis (Ym, Yj and Yl), population Ys from Thailand and population H from India clustered as a group, in which population H clustered with Ym with 100 % bootstrap in all three analysis methods. In Clade D, Kerria chinensis, Kerria pusana and three populations of K. yunnanensis clustered together with strong support, and are located in the upper branches of the dendrogram and are recently evolved taxa. The majority of populations from the Indian subcontinent clade are more closely related to outgroup taxa from the primitive family Pseudococcidae, as compared to the Eurasian populations. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the Indian subcontinent is the centre of original of lac insects which have translocated to the Eurasian Continent. Based on the theory of continental drift and existing fossil records, it is suggested that lac insect evolved from ancient scale insects during the late Cretaceous period when the Indian subcontinent drifted towards the Eurasian Continent. Changes in the global environment have impacted on the distribution and evolution of lac

  12. Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Cannon, Charles H; Chen, Jin

    2016-04-13

    Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict coevolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. We experimentally test pollinator preference for floral volatiles, the main host recognition signal, from different figs. All five fig taxa shared pollinators with other taxa, and gene flow occurred between fig taxa within and between sections. Floral volatiles of each taxon attracted more than one pollinator species. Floral volatiles were more similar between closely related figs, which experienced higher levels of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. This study demonstrates that pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow occurs among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa and that pollinators choose the floral volatiles of multiple fig taxa. The implications of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow on diversification, occurring even in this highly specialized obligate pollination system, require further study. PMID:27075252

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-10-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-10-30

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

  15. Ancient genomics

    PubMed Central

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten E.; Ávila-Arcos, María C.; Barnett, Ross; Campos, Paula F.; Cappellini, Enrico; Ermini, Luca; Fernández, Ruth; da Fonseca, Rute; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Hansen, Anders J.; Jónsson, Hákon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Margaryan, Ashot; Martin, Michael D.; Moreno-Mayar, J. Víctor; Raghavan, Maanasa; Rasmussen, Morten; Velasco, Marcela Sandoval; Schroeder, Hannes; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Wales, Nathan; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequence throughput of next generation sequencing platforms and the ability to target short and degraded DNA molecules. Many ancient specimens previously unsuitable for DNA analyses because of extensive degradation can now successfully be used as source materials. Additionally, the analytical power obtained by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when testing specific hypotheses related to the past. PMID:25487338

  16. The ontology of biological taxa

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Stefan; Stenzhorn, Holger; Boeker, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Motivation: The classification of biological entities in terms of species and taxa is an important endeavor in biology. Although a large amount of statements encoded in current biomedical ontologies is taxon-dependent there is no obvious or standard way for introducing taxon information into an integrative ontology architecture, supposedly because of ongoing controversies about the ontological nature of species and taxa. Results: In this article, we discuss different approaches on how to represent biological taxa using existing standards for biomedical ontologies such as the description logic OWL DL and the Open Biomedical Ontologies Relation Ontology. We demonstrate how hidden ambiguities of the species concept can be dealt with and existing controversies can be overcome. A novel approach is to envisage taxon information as qualities that inhere in biological organisms, organism parts and populations. Availability: The presented methodology has been implemented in the domain top-level ontology BioTop, openly accessible at http://purl.org/biotop. BioTop may help to improve the logical and ontological rigor of biomedical ontologies and further provides a clear architectural principle to deal with biological taxa information. Contact: stschulz@uni-freiburg.de PMID:18586729

  17. Enterococci in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jonathan D.; Mundt, J. Orvin

    1972-01-01

    Enterococci were obtained from 213 of 403 insects cultured during a 14-month period, in numbers from 103 to 3 × 107/g of insect. Insects were taken only from nonurban, wild, and cultivated fields and woods. In species of insects carrying them, enterococci were not always present in every individual cultured, and often more than one species of enterococcus occurred within a species. Enterococci were obtained from certain insects taken in the field during the dormant season, suggesting their role as overwintering agents. They were generally present in species feeding on nectar, succulent plant parts, and on and ir forest litter, but not from insects feeding on less succulent leaves and stems. Streptococcus faecalis was recovered from 32%, Streptococcus faecium from 22.4%, and Streptococcus faecium var. casseliflavus from 43.5% of members of the 37 taxa of insects. S. faecalis and S. faecium var. casseliflavus exhibit a high percent of conformity to the properties published for them. The heterogeneity in properties of S. faecium is similar to that found for the species taken from plants. Many fail to grow in broth at 45 C or in broth containing 6.5% NaCl; 50% of the cultures ferment both melezitose and melibiose, and a few ferment neither sugar. The remainder ferment melibiose only. Failure to reduce methylene blue in milk by S. faecalis and S. faecium is correlated with the inability to ferment lactose. More than 93% of the cultures of S. faecalis digest casein in milk from the top downward, following the production of a soft, flowing curd. Because this property is not characteristic of S. faecalis taken from humans, the reaction in litmus milk is suggested as a means of differentiation between cultures of remote and innocent origin in nature and recent, human pollution. PMID:4628796

  18. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  19. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  20. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16 000-32 000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS. We detected 75 fungal OTUs from 21 orders representing three phyla, although rarefaction analyses suggested that the full diversity was not recovered despite generating an average of 6677 ± 3811 (mean ± SD) sequences per sample and that preservation bias likely has considerable effect on the recovered DNA. Most OTUs (75.4%) represented ascomycetes. Due to insufficient sequencing depth, DNA degradation and putative preservation biases in our samples, the recovered taxa probably do not represent the complete historic fungal community, and it is difficult to determine whether the fungal communities varied geographically or experienced a composition shift within the period of 16 000-32 000 bp. However, annotation of OTUs to functional ecological groups provided a wealth of information on the historic communities. About one-third of the OTUs are presumed plant-associates (pathogens, saprotrophs and endophytes) typical of graminoid- and forb-rich habitats. We also detected putative insect pathogens, coprophiles and keratinophiles likely associated with ancient insect and herbivore faunas. The detection of putative insect pathogens, mycoparasites, aquatic fungi and endophytes broadens our previous knowledge of the diversity of fungi present in Beringian palaeoecosystems. A large group of putatively psychrophilic/psychrotolerant fungi was also detected, most likely representing a modern, metabolically active fungal community. PMID:23171292

  1. Ancient Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

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

  2. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis. PMID:27545732

  3. Corridor use by diverse taxa.

    SciTech Connect

    Haddad, Nick, M.; Browne, David, R.; Cunningham, Alan; Danielson, Brent, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Sargent, Sarah; Spira, Tim

    2003-01-01

    Haddad, N.M., D.R. Browne, A. Cunningham, B.J. Danielson, D.J. Levey, S. Sargent, and T. Spira. 2003. Corridor use by diverse taxa. Ecology, 84(3):609-615. One of the most popular approaches for maintaining populations and conserving biodiversity in fragmented landscapes is to retain or create corridors that connect otherwise isolated habitat patches. Working in large-scale, experimental landscapes in which open-habitat patches and corridors were created by harvesting pine forest, we showed that corridors direct movements of different types of species, including butterflies, small mammals, and bird dispersed plants, causing higher movement between connected than between unconnected patches. Corridors directed the movement of all 10 species studied, with all corridor effect sizes >68%. However, this corridor effect was significant for five species, not significant for one species, and inconclusive for four species because of small sample sizes. Although we found no evidence that corridors increase emigration from a patch, our results show that movements of disparate taxa with broadly different life histories and functional roles are directed by corridors.

  4. The Composite Insect Trap: An Innovative Combination Trap for Biologically Diverse Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Laura; Stehouwer, Rachel; Heberling, Jacob Mason; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-01

    Documentation of insect diversity is an important component of the study of biodiversity, community dynamics, and global change. Accurate identification of insects usually requires catching individuals for close inspection. However, because insects are so diverse, most trapping methods are specifically tailored to a particular taxonomic group. For scientists interested in the broadest possible spectrum of insect taxa, whether for long term monitoring of an ecosystem or for a species inventory, the use of several different trapping methods is usually necessary. We describe a novel composite method for capturing a diverse spectrum of insect taxa. The Composite Insect Trap incorporates elements from four different existing trapping methods: the cone trap, malaise trap, pan trap, and flight intercept trap. It is affordable, resistant, easy to assemble and disassemble, and collects a wide variety of insect taxa. Here we describe the design, construction, and effectiveness of the Composite Insect Trap tested during a study of insect diversity. The trap catches a broad array of insects and can eliminate the need to use multiple trap types in biodiversity studies. We propose that the Composite Insect Trap is a useful addition to the trapping methods currently available to ecologists and will be extremely effective for monitoring community level dynamics, biodiversity assessment, and conservation and restoration work. In addition, the Composite Insect Trap will be of use to other insect specialists, such as taxonomists, that are interested in describing the insect taxa in a given area. PMID:21698160

  5. Ancient Bedforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    18 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows groupings of large ripple-like windblown bedforms on the floor of a large crater (larger than the image shown here) in Sinus Sabaeus, south of Schiaparelli Basin. These ripple-like features are much larger than typical wind ripples on Earth, but smaller than typical sand dunes on either planet. Like most of the other ripple-like bedforms in Sinus Sabaeus, they are probably ancient and no longer mobile. Dark streaks on the substrate between the bedforms were formed by passing dust devils. This image is located near 13.0oS, 343.7oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  6. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Incredible Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes an Insect an Insect?," including…

  8. Nondegenerative Evolution in Ancient Heritable Bacterial Endosymbionts of Fungi.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Stephen J; Salvioli, Alessandra; Bonfante, Paola; Morton, Joseph B; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are critical to the existence of many eukaryotes. Among them, vertically transmitted endobacteria are uniquely typified by reduced genomes and molecular evolution rate acceleration relative to free-living taxa. These patterns are attributable to genetic drift-dominated degenerative processes associated with reproductive dependence on the host. The degenerative evolution scenario is well supported in endobacteria with strict vertical transmission, such as essential mutualists of insects. In contrast, heritable endosymbionts that are nonessential to their hosts and engage occasionally in horizontal transmission are expected to display deviations from the degenerative evolution model. To explore evolution patterns in such nonessential endobacteria, we focused on Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum ancient heritable mutualists of fungi. Using a collection of genomes, we estimated in Glomeribacter mutation rate at 2.03 × 10(-9) substitutions per site per year and effective population size at 1.44 × 10(8) Both fall within the range of values observed in free-living bacteria. To assess the ability of Glomeribacter to purge slightly deleterious mutations, we examined genome-wide dN/dS values and distribution patterns. We found that these dN/dS profiles cluster Glomeribacter with free-living bacteria as well as with other nonessential endosymbionts, while distinguishing it from essential heritable mutualists of insects. Finally, our evolutionary simulations revealed that the molecular evolution rate acceleration in Glomeribacter is caused by limited recombination in a largely clonal population rather than by increased fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. Based on these patterns, we propose that genome evolution in Glomeribacter is nondegenerative and exemplifies a departure from the model of degenerative evolution in heritable endosymbionts. PMID:27189571

  9. Ancient Neotropical origin and recent recolonisation: Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea).

    PubMed

    Espeland, Marianne; Hall, Jason P W; DeVries, Philip J; Lees, David C; Cornwall, Mark; Hsu, Yu-Feng; Wu, Li-Wei; Campbell, Dana L; Talavera, Gerard; Vila, Roger; Salzman, Shayla; Ruehr, Sophie; Lohman, David J; Pierce, Naomi E

    2015-12-01

    We present the first dated higher-level phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the butterfly family Riodinidae. This family is distributed worldwide, but more than 90% of the c. 1500 species are found in the Neotropics, while the c. 120 Old World species are concentrated in the Southeast Asian tropics, with minor Afrotropical and Australasian tropical radiations, and few temperate species. Morphologically based higher classification is partly unresolved, with genera incompletely assigned to tribes. Using 3666bp from one mitochondrial and four nuclear markers for each of 23 outgroups and 178 riodinid taxa representing all subfamilies, tribes and subtribes, and 98 out of 145 described genera of riodinids, we estimate that Riodinidae split from Lycaenidae about 96Mya in the mid-Cretaceous and started to diversify about 81Mya. The Riodinidae are monophyletic and originated in the Neotropics, most likely in lowland proto-Amazonia. Neither the subfamily Euselasiinae nor the Nemeobiinae are monophyletic as currently constituted. The enigmatic, monotypic Neotropical genera Styx and Corrachia (most recently treated in Euselasiinae: Corrachiini) are highly supported as derived taxa in the Old World Nemeobiinae, with dispersal most likely occurring across the Beringia land bridge during the Oligocene. Styx and Corrachia, together with all other nemeobiines, are the only exclusively Primulaceae-feeding riodinids. The steadily increasing proliferation of the Neotropical Riodininae subfamily contrasts with the decrease in diversification in the Old World, and may provide insights into factors influencing the diversification rate of this relatively ancient clade of Neotropical insects. PMID:26265256

  10. Insect Phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Behura, Susanta K.

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of next-generation sequencing methods, phylogenetics has taken a new turn in the recent years. Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study systematics and evolution of species. Recently, breakthrough researches employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into the timing and pattern of insect evolution. The next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phylogenomic investigations help us better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators, or disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges, and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. PMID:25963452

  11. Amino Acid Racemization and the Preservation of Ancient DNA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poinar, Hendrik N.; Hoss, Matthias

    1996-01-01

    The extent of racemization of aspartic acid, alanine, and leucine provides criteria for assessing whether ancient tissue samples contain endogenous DNA. In samples in which the D/L ratio of aspartic acid exceeds 0.08, ancient DNA sequences could not be retrieved. Paleontological finds from which DNA sequences purportedly millions of years old have been reported show extensive racemization, and the amino acids present are mainly contaminates. An exception is the amino acids in some insects preserved in amber.

  12. Apps for Ancient Civilizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…

  13. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  14. A systematic nomenclature for the insect brain.

    PubMed

    Ito, Kei; Shinomiya, Kazunori; Ito, Masayoshi; Armstrong, J Douglas; Boyan, George; Hartenstein, Volker; Harzsch, Steffen; Heisenberg, Martin; Homberg, Uwe; Jenett, Arnim; Keshishian, Haig; Restifo, Linda L; Rössler, Wolfgang; Simpson, Julie H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Strauss, Roland; Vosshall, Leslie B

    2014-02-19

    Despite the importance of the insect nervous system for functional and developmental neuroscience, descriptions of insect brains have suffered from a lack of uniform nomenclature. Ambiguous definitions of brain regions and fiber bundles have contributed to the variation of names used to describe the same structure. The lack of clearly determined neuropil boundaries has made it difficult to document precise locations of neuronal projections for connectomics study. To address such issues, a consortium of neurobiologists studying arthropod brains, the Insect Brain Name Working Group, has established the present hierarchical nomenclature system, using the brain of Drosophila melanogaster as the reference framework, while taking the brains of other taxa into careful consideration for maximum consistency and expandability. The following summarizes the consortium's nomenclature system and highlights examples of existing ambiguities and remedies for them. This nomenclature is intended to serve as a standard of reference for the study of the brain of Drosophila and other insects. PMID:24559671

  15. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology. PMID:26439349

  16. Intraspecific body size frequency distributions of insects.

    PubMed

    Gouws, E Jeanne; Gaston, Kevin J; Chown, Steven L

    2011-01-01

    Although interspecific body size frequency distributions are well documented for many taxa, including the insects, intraspecific body size frequency distributions (IaBSFDs) are more poorly known, and their variation among mass-based and linear estimates of size has not been widely explored. Here we provide IaBSFDs for 16 species of insects based on both mass and linear estimates and large sample sizes (n ≥ 100). In addition, we review the published IaBSFDs for insects, though doing so is complicated by their under-emphasis in the literature. The form of IaBSFDs can differ substantially between mass-based and linear measures. Nonetheless, in non-social insects they tend to be normally distributed (18 of 27 species) or in fewer instances positively skewed. Negatively skewed distributions are infrequently reported and log transformation readily removes the positive skew. Sexual size dimorphism does not generally cause bimodality in IaBSFDs. The available information on IaBSFDs in the social insects suggests that these distributions are usually positively skewed or bimodal (24 of 30 species). However, only c. 15% of ant genera are polymorphic, suggesting that normal distributions are probably more common, but less frequently investigated. Although only 57 species, representing seven of the 29 orders of insects, have been considered here, it appears that whilst IaBSFDs are usually normal, other distribution shapes can be found in several species, though most notably among the social insects. By contrast, the interspecific body size frequency distribution is typically right-skewed in insects and in most other taxa. PMID:21479214

  17. Intraspecific Body Size Frequency Distributions of Insects

    PubMed Central

    Gouws, E. Jeanne; Gaston, Kevin J.; Chown, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Although interspecific body size frequency distributions are well documented for many taxa, including the insects, intraspecific body size frequency distributions (IaBSFDs) are more poorly known, and their variation among mass-based and linear estimates of size has not been widely explored. Here we provide IaBSFDs for 16 species of insects based on both mass and linear estimates and large sample sizes (n≥100). In addition, we review the published IaBSFDs for insects, though doing so is complicated by their under-emphasis in the literature. The form of IaBSFDs can differ substantially between mass-based and linear measures. Nonetheless, in non-social insects they tend to be normally distributed (18 of 27 species) or in fewer instances positively skewed. Negatively skewed distributions are infrequently reported and log transformation readily removes the positive skew. Sexual size dimorphism does not generally cause bimodality in IaBSFDs. The available information on IaBSFDs in the social insects suggests that these distributions are usually positively skewed or bimodal (24 of 30 species). However, only c. 15% of ant genera are polymorphic, suggesting that normal distributions are probably more common, but less frequently investigated. Although only 57 species, representing seven of the 29 orders of insects, have been considered here, it appears that whilst IaBSFDs are usually normal, other distribution shapes can be found in several species, though most notably among the social insects. By contrast, the interspecific body size frequency distribution is typically right-skewed in insects and in most other taxa. PMID:21479214

  18. Insect abatement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  19. The Holocene British and Irish ancient forest fossil beetle fauna: implications for forest history, biodiversity and faunal colonisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehouse, Nicki J.

    2006-08-01

    This paper presents a new review of our knowledge of the ancient forest beetle fauna from Holocene archaeological and palaeoecological sites in Great Britain and Ireland. It examines the colonisation, dispersal and decline of beetle species, highlighting the scale and nature of human activities in the shaping of the landscape of the British Isles. In particular, the paper discusses effects upon the insect fauna, and examines in detail the fossil record from the Humberhead Levels, eastern England. It discusses the local extirpation of up to 40 species in Britain and 15 species in Ireland. An evaluation of the timing of extirpations is made, suggesting that many species in Britain disappear from the fossil record between ca 3000 and 1000 cal BC (ca 5000-3000 cal BP), although some taxa may well have survived until considerably later. In Ireland, there are two distinct trends, with a group of species which seem to be absent after ca 2000 cal BC (ca 4000 cal BP) and a further group which survives until at least as late as the medieval period. The final clearance of the Irish landscape over the last few hundred years was so dramatic, however, that some species which are not especially unusual in a British context were decimated. Reasons behind the extirpation of taxa are examined in detail, and include a combination of forest clearance and human activities, isolation of populations, lack of temporal continuity of habitats, edaphic and competition factors affecting distribution of host trees (particularly pine), lack of forest fires and a decline in open forest systems. The role of climate change in extirpations is also evaluated. Consideration is given to the significance of these specialised ancient forest inhabitants in Ireland in the absence of an early Holocene land-bridge which suggests that colonisation was aided by other mechanisms, such as human activities and wood rafting. Finally, the paper discusses the Continental origins of the British and Irish fauna and

  20. Oviposition of aquatic insects in a tropical high altitude stream.

    PubMed

    Rios-Touma, Blanca; Encalada, A C; Prat, N

    2012-12-01

    The persistence of aquatic insect populations in streams depends on the recruitment of larval populations from egg masses deposited by adults, especially after disturbance. However, recruitment of aquatic populations by oviposition is a process that remains unstudied in streams and rivers. The objectives of our study were to document flying and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in a high altitude tropical stream during both dry and wet seasons. In particular we studied 1) richness and abundance of adult forms of aquatic insects flying and ovipositing; 2) number of eggs (oviposition pattern), egg mass identity, and morphology; and 3) substrate preferences by ovipositing females. We found 2,383 aquatic insects corresponding to 28 families, with dipterans representing 89% of total individuals collected. Adult insects had lower richness (28 taxa) than larval diversity (up to 52 taxa) and distinct community composition. Richness and relative abundance of most taxa (adults) were not significantly different between seasons, behaviors, diel period, or all three. During both sampling periods we found females with eggs in a total of 15 different families (13 in the dry season and 14 in the wet season). There were no significant differences in the proportion of females with eggs between seasons, diel periods, or different behaviors (flying versus ovipositing traps) of the different female taxa. Few types of egg masses were found in rocks at the stream during both seasons, and most egg masses found corresponded to families Baetidae and Chironomidae. Finally, we provide the first description of eggs masses (size, shape, color, and number of eggs per female) of gravid females (10 taxa) and those found in the stream substrate (six taxa) of Andean macroinvertebrates. This is the first study reporting oviposition, adult diversity, and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in the Andean region. PMID:23321079

  1. More taxa, more characters: the hoatzin problem is still unresolved.

    PubMed

    Sorenson, Michael D; Oneal, Elen; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Mindell, David P

    2003-09-01

    The apparently rapid and ancient diversification of many avian orders complicates the resolution of their relationships using molecular data. Recent studies based on complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences or shorter lengths of nuclear sequence have helped corroborate the basic structure of the avian tree (e.g., a basal split between Paleognathae and Neognathae) but have made relatively little progress in resolving relationships among the many orders within Neoaves. We explored the potential of a moderately sized mtDNA data set ( approximately 5000 bp for each of 41 taxa), supplemented with data from a nuclear intron ( approximately 700 bp per taxon), to resolve relationships among avian orders. Our sampling of taxa addresses two issues: (1). the sister relationship and monophyly, respectively, of Anseriformes and Galliformes and (2). relationships of the enigmatic hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin. Our analyses support a basal split between Galloanserae and Neoaves within Neognathae and monophyly of both Galliformes and Anseriformes. Within Galliformes, megapodes and then cracids branch basally. Within Anseriformes, mitochondrial data support a screamer (Anhimidae) plus magpie goose (Anseranatidae) clade. This result, however, may be an artifact of divergent base composition in one of the two anatids we sampled. With deletion of the latter taxon, Anseranas is sister to anatids as in traditional arrangements and recent morphological studies. Although our data provide limited resolution of relationships within Neoaves, we find no support for a sister relationship between either cuckoos (Cuculiformes) or turacos (Musophagiformes) and hoatzin. Both mitochondrial and nuclear data are consistent with a relationship between hoatzin and doves (Columbiformes), although this result is weakly supported. We also show that mtDNA sequences reported in another recent study included pervasive errors that biased the analysis towards finding a sister relationship between hoatzin and

  2. Tracing the evolutionary origins of insect renal function

    PubMed Central

    Halberg, Kenneth A.; Terhzaz, Selim; Cabrero, Pablo; Davies, Shireen A.; Dow, Julian A. T.

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge on neuropeptide receptor systems is integral to understanding animal physiology. Yet, obtaining general insight into neuropeptide signalling in a clade as biodiverse as the insects is problematic. Here we apply fluorescent analogues of three key insect neuropeptides to map renal tissue architecture across systematically chosen representatives of the major insect Orders, to provide an unprecedented overview of insect renal function and control. In endopterygote insects, such as Drosophila, two distinct transporting cell types receive separate neuropeptide signals, whereas in the ancestral exopterygotes, a single, general cell type mediates all signals. Intriguingly, the largest insect Order Coleoptera (beetles) has evolved a unique approach, in which only a small fraction of cells are targets for neuropeptide action. In addition to demonstrating a universal utility of this technology, our results reveal not only a generality of signalling by the evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide families but also a clear functional separation of the types of cells that mediate the signal. PMID:25896425

  3. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  4. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsamian, Elma S.

    2007-08-01

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

  5. Studying Ancient History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Robin

    1982-01-01

    Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)

  6. New taxa of Euglenophyta from China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zhi-Xin

    1995-12-01

    Eight new taxa of Euglenophyta are described in this paper. They were collected from several provinces in China and respectively named Euglena allorgei var. exsulcata, E. pisciformis var. globosa, E. tortilis. Lepocinclis glabra var. papillata, Phacus pisiformis, Ph. strombuliformis, Ph. trimarginatus var. truncatus and Astasia angusta.

  7. Insect transgenesis and the sterile insect technique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of broadly applicable insect transgenesis systems will enable the analyses of gene function in diverse insect species. This will greatly increase our understanding of diverse aspects of biology so far not functionally addressable. Moreover, insect transgenesis will provide novel st...

  8. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information on characteristics common to all insects, activities, and student materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes) which describe: how insects are classified; how they are different from other animals; and the main insect characteristics. Activities include recommended age levels,…

  9. Ancient Egyptian herbal wines

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, Patrick E.; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products—specifically, herbs and tree resins—were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques. PMID:19365069

  10. Ancient Egyptian herbal wines.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Patrick E; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R

    2009-05-01

    Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products--specifically, herbs and tree resins--were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques. PMID:19365069

  11. [Conditionally neutral phylogenetic markers of major taxa: a new aspect of the evolution of macromolecules].

    PubMed

    Petrov, N B; Aleshin, V V

    2002-08-01

    The current phase of molecular phylogenetics can be named the 18S rRNA gene era, which is now approaching the end. To date, almost all phyla of metazoans and many taxa of protists are represented in databases of 18S rRNA gene sequences. The elements of the phylogenetic tree of Metazoa inferred from 18S rRNA genes are characterized by unequal validity: some of them seem to be well grounded; others are not adequately supported, and probably will be revised later. The validity of phylogenetic reconstruction is influenced by two main factors: (1) erroneous grouping of long branches that occur because of abnormally high evolution rate; (2) deficit of phylogenetically informative characters. A method for overcoming these difficulties is suggested in addition to known tools: using phylogenetic markers that are stable within individual taxa and evolve by punctuated equilibrium. These markers are least influenced by the convergence caused by a high evolution rate of the entire gene. The nature of these markers of ancient taxa, paradoxical from the perspective of neutral evolution, is discussed, as well as their importance for establishing monophyly of both new large-scale taxonomic groups of invertebrates (Bilateria + Rhombozoa + Orthonectida + Myxozoa + Cnidaria + Placozoa and Echinodermata + Hemichordata) and some major taxa of Nematoda. PMID:12244690

  12. Book Review: Insect Virology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  14. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-23

    The evolution of the ratite birds has been widely attributed to vicariant speciation, driven by the Cretaceous breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. The early isolation of Africa and Madagascar implies that the ostrich and extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant from the basal ratite lineage of ostriches. This unexpected result strongly contradicts continental vicariance and instead supports flighted dispersal in all major ratite lineages. We suggest that convergence toward gigantism and flightlessness was facilitated by early Tertiary expansion into the diurnal herbivory niche after the extinction of the dinosaurs. PMID:24855267

  15. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Ancient dirt DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willerslev, E.

    2007-12-01

    In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole genomic studies of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of these processes and the effects of damage on ancient DNA templates has started to provide a more robust basis for research. Recent methodological advances have included the discoveries of DNA preserved in ancient sediments, coprolites, and fossil ice (Ancient Dirt DNA). These findings promise to make possible the reconstructions of entire ecosystems through time and allow for studies of past population genetics in cases where fossils are rare. The advantages and pitfalls connected to the Ancient Dirt DNA approach will be discussed as will recently obtained data relating to Greenland environmental history, long-term bacterial survival and the first human migration into the Americas.

  18. Overcoming the effects of rogue taxa: Evolutionary relationships of the bee flies

    PubMed Central

    Trautwein, Michelle D.; Wiegmann, Brian M.; Yeates, David K

    2011-01-01

    Bombyliidae (5000 sp.), or bee flies, are a lower brachyceran family of flower-visiting flies that, as larvae, act as parasitoids of other insects. The evolutionary relationships are known from a morphological analysis that yielded minimal support for higher-level groupings. We use the protein-coding gene CAD and 28S rDNA to determine phylogeny and to test the monophyly of existing subfamilies, the divisions Tomophtalmae, and ‘the sand chamber subfamilies’. Additionally, we demonstrate that consensus networks can be used to identify rogue taxa in a Bayesian framework. Pruning rogue taxa post-analysis from the final tree distribution results in increased posterior probabilities. We find 8 subfamilies to be monophyletic and the subfamilies Heterotropinae and Mythicomyiinae to be the earliest diverging lineages. The large subfamily Bombyliinae is found to be polyphyletic and our data does not provide evidence for the monophyly of Tomophthalmae or the ‘sand chamber subfamilies’. PMID:21686308

  19. Overcoming the effects of rogue taxa: Evolutionary relationships of the bee flies.

    PubMed

    Trautwein, Michelle D; Wiegmann, Brian M; Yeates, David K

    2011-01-01

    Bombyliidae (5000 sp.), or bee flies, are a lower brachyceran family of flower-visiting flies that, as larvae, act as parasitoids of other insects. The evolutionary relationships are known from a morphological analysis that yielded minimal support for higher-level groupings. We use the protein-coding gene CAD and 28S rDNA to determine phylogeny and to test the monophyly of existing subfamilies, the divisions Tomophtalmae, and 'the sand chamber subfamilies'. Additionally, we demonstrate that consensus networks can be used to identify rogue taxa in a Bayesian framework. Pruning rogue taxa post-analysis from the final tree distribution results in increased posterior probabilities. We find 8 subfamilies to be monophyletic and the subfamilies Heterotropinae and Mythicomyiinae to be the earliest diverging lineages. The large subfamily Bombyliinae is found to be polyphyletic and our data does not provide evidence for the monophyly of Tomophthalmae or the 'sand chamber subfamilies'. PMID:21686308

  20. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    Wilf, P; Labandeira, C C; Johnson, K R; Coley, P D; Cutter, A D

    2001-05-22

    Insect damage on fossil leaves from the Central Rocky Mountains, United States, documents the response of herbivores to changing regional climates and vegetation during the late Paleocene (humid, warm temperate to subtropical, predominantly deciduous), early Eocene (humid subtropical, mixed deciduous and evergreen), and middle Eocene (seasonally dry, subtropical, mixed deciduous and thick-leaved evergreen). During all three time periods, greater herbivory occurred on taxa considered to have short rather than long leaf life spans, consistent with studies in living forests that demonstrate the insect resistance of long-lived, thick leaves. Variance in herbivory frequency and diversity was highest during the middle Eocene, indicating the increased representation of two distinct herbivory syndromes: one for taxa with deciduous, palatable foliage, and the other for hosts with evergreen, thick-textured, small leaves characterized by elevated insect resistance. Leaf galling, which is negatively correlated with moisture today, apparently increased during the middle Eocene, whereas leaf mining decreased. PMID:11353840

  1. Numerical Survey of Some Bacterial Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Focht, D. D.; Lockhart, W. R.

    1965-01-01

    Focht, D. D. (Iowa State University, Ames), and W. R. Lockhart. Numerical survey of some bacterial taxa. J. Bacteriol. 90:1314–1319. 1965.—A numerical analysis was made of 77 properties of each of 43 bacterial strains, representing 25 genera from 8 families in the orders Eubacteriales and Pseudomonadales. Four major groups were found, related to one another at approximately the same level of similarity: (1) a large cluster containing the subgroups (1a) Athiorhodaceae-Spirillaceae, (1b) Xanthomonas, and (1c) “inactive” Micrococcaceae-Achromobacteraceae; (2) a cluster containing the “active” Micrococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae; (3) the enterobacteria; and (4) Aeromonas. There was a sharp distinction between the branches of groups 1a, 1c, and 2. The composition of groups was essentially the same whether or not fermentation of carbohydrates (28 characters) was included in the analysis. Several individual strains, notably, Bacillus subtilis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Erwinia amylovora, were related to none of the groups, and others (two species of Proteus, Flavobacterium devorans, and Lactobacillus casei) showed only minimal quantitative relationships with their groups. These results suggest that there may be significant variation in levels of similarity within microbial groups presently accorded equivalent taxonomic rank, and that some present distinctions among taxa, particularly at the generic level, cannot be confirmed on the basis of overall similarity. PMID:5848329

  2. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. PMID:16380966

  3. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

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

  4. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leger, Heather

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov . Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources ... to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects ...

  6. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Ecophysiology and insect herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.

    1995-07-01

    The relationship of insect herbivory to conifer physiology is examined. Aspects of nutrient assimilation, nutrient distribution, water stress, and climatic change are correlated to defoliation by insects. Other factors examined include plant age, density, structure, soils, and plant genotype.

  8. A Carboniferous Mite on an Insect Reveals the Antiquity of an Inconspicuous Interaction.

    PubMed

    Robin, Ninon; Béthoux, Olivier; Sidorchuk, Ekaterina; Cui, Yingying; Li, Yingnan; Germain, Damien; King, Andrew; Berenguer, Felisa; Ren, Dong

    2016-05-23

    Symbiosis [1], understood as prolonged interspecific association, is as ancient as the eukaryotic cell [2, 3]. A variety of such associations have been reported in the continental fossil record, albeit sporadically. As for mites, which as a group have been present since the Devonian (ca. 390 mya) [4, 5] and are involved in a tremendous variety of modern-day symbioses, reported associations are limited to a few amber-preserved cases [6-11], with the earliest instance in the Cretaceous (ca. 85 mya) [11]. As a consequence, the antiquity and origin of associations involving small-sized mites and larger animals are poorly understood. Here we report, recovered from the Carboniferous Xiaheyan locality (ca. 320 mya), an oribatid mite located on the thorax of an extinct relative of grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids [12]. The mite was investigated using several methods, including phase-contrast tomography. The detailed morphological data allowed the placement of the mite in a new family within Mixonomata, whose fossil record is thus extended by ca. 250 Ma. Specimen and abundance distribution data derived from the fossil insect sample indicate that specimens from the corresponding excavation site were buried rapidly and were sub-autochthonous, indicating a syn vivo association. Moreover, the mite is located in a sequestered position on the insect. The observed interaction best fits the definition for phoresy, in which the benefit is transport and protection for the mite. This discovery demonstrates that this association, a trait shared by representatives of the most speciose mite taxa, arose very early during mite evolution. PMID:27161503

  9. [Psychiatry in ancient Mexico].

    PubMed

    Calderón Narváez, G

    1992-12-01

    Using studies on prehispanic and early post-conquest documents of Ancient Mexico--such as the Badianus Manuscript, also known as Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis, and Brother Bernardino de Sahagún's famous work History of the Things of the New Spain, a description of some existing medical and psychiatric problems, and treatments Ancient Aztecs resorted to, is presented. The structure of the Aztec family, their problems with the excessive ingestion of alcoholic beverages, and the punishments native authorities had implemented in order to check alcoholism up are also described. PMID:1341125

  10. Ancient Chinese constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Junjun

    2011-06-01

    China, a country with a long history and a specific culture, has also a long and specific astronomy. Ancient Chinese astronomers observed the stars, named and distributed them into constellations in a very specific way, which is quite different from the current one. Around the Zodiac, stars are divided into four big regions corresponding with the four orientations, and each is related to a totem, either the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger or the Murky Warrior. We present a general pattern of the ancient Chinese constellations, including the four totems, their stars and their names.

  11. Control and regulatory mechanisms associated with thermogenesis in flying insects and birds.

    PubMed

    Loli, Denise; Bicudo, José Eduardo P W

    2005-01-01

    Most insects and birds are able to fly. The chitin made exoskeleton of insects poses them several constraints, and this is one the reasons they are in general small sized animals. On the other hand, because birds possess an endoskeleton made of bones they may grow much larger when compared to insects. The two taxa are quite different with regards to their general "design" platform, in particular with respect to their respiratory and circulatory systems. However, because they fly, they may share in common several traits, namely those associated with the control and regulatory mechanisms governing thermogenesis. High core temperatures are essential for animal flight irrespective of the taxa they belong to. Birds and insects have thus evolved mechanisms which allowed them to control and regulate high rates of heat fluxes. This article discusses possible convergent thermogenic control and regulatory mechanisms associated with flight in insects and birds. PMID:16283551

  12. Exploring Sound with Insects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  14. Acoustic Monitoring of Insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers, grain elevator managers, and food processors often sample grain for insect damaged kernels and numbers of live adult insects but these easily obtained measurements of insect levels do not provide reliable estimates of the typically much larger populations of internally feeding immature inse...

  15. Sunflower insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Like other annual crops, sunflowers are fed upon by a variety of insect pests capable of reducing yields. Though there are a few insects which are considered consistent or severe (e.g., sunflower moth, banded sunflower moth, red sunflower seed weevil), many more insects are capable of causing proble...

  16. Interdisciplinary Outdoor Education, Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orsborn, Edward E.

    This manual is a teacher's resource and guide book describing activities for elementary students involving the collecting, killing, preserving, and identification of insects. Most activities relate to collecting and identifying, but activities involving terrariums and hatcheries, finding hidden insects, and insect trapping are also described.…

  17. Insects and Others.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Several ideas for observing insects and soil animals in the classroom are provided. Also provided are: (1) procedures for making insect cages with milk cartons; (2) suggestions for collecting and feeding insects; and (3) techniques for collecting and identifying soil animals. (BC)

  18. Foundational issues concerning taxa and taxon names.

    PubMed

    Ereshefsky, Marc

    2007-04-01

    In a series of articles, Rieppel (2005, Biol. Philos. 20:465-487; 2006a, Cladistics 22:186-197; 2006b, Systematist 26:5-9), Keller et al. (2003, Bot. Rev. 69:93-110), and Nixon and Carpenter (2000, Cladistics 16:298-318) criticize the philosophical foundations of the PhyloCode. They argue that species and higher taxa are not individuals, and they reject the view that taxon names are rigid designators. Furthermore, they charge supporters of the individuality thesis and rigid designator theory with assuming essentialism, committing logical inconsistencies, and offering proposals that render taxonomy untestable. These charges are unsound. Such charges turn on confusions over rigid designator theory and the distinction between kinds and individuals. In addition, Rieppel's, Keller et al.'s, and Nixon and Carpenter's proposed alternatives are no better and have their own problems. The individuality thesis and rigid designator theory should not be quickly abandoned. PMID:17464884

  19. Microbial ecosystems are dominated by specialist taxa.

    PubMed

    Mariadassou, Mahendra; Pichon, Samuel; Ebert, Dieter

    2015-09-01

    Abundance and specificity are two key characteristics of species distribution and biodiversity. Theories of species assembly aim to reproduce the empirical joint patterns of specificity and abundance, with the goal to explain patterns of biodiversity across habitats. The specialist-generalist paradigm predicts that specialists should have a local advantage over generalists and thus be more abundant. We developed a specificity index to analyse abundance-specificity relationships in microbial ecosystems. By analysing microbiota spanning 23 habitats from three very different data sets covering a wide range of sequencing depths and environmental conditions, we find that habitats are consistently dominated by specialist taxa, resulting in a strong, positive correlation between abundance and specificity. This finding is consistent over several levels of taxonomic aggregation and robust to errors in abundance measures. The relationship explains why shallow sequencing captures similar β-diversity as deep sequencing, and can be sufficient to capture the habitat-specific functions of microbial communities. PMID:26251267

  20. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96,925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22,536 pathways of 78 insects, 678,881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160,905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes. PMID:26578584

  1. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96 925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22 536 pathways of 78 insects, 678 881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160 905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes. PMID:26578584

  2. Using computational fluid dynamics to test functional and ecological hypotheses in fossil taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Imran

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Evidence of Taxa-, Clone-, and Kin-discrimination in Protists: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-y-Miño-C, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes, or protists, are among the most ancient organisms on Earth. Protists belong to multiple taxonomic groups; they are widely distributed geographically and in all environments. Their ability to discriminate among con- and heterospecifics has been documented during the past decade. Here we discuss exemplar cases of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination in five major lineages: Mycetozoa (Dictyostelium, Polysphondylium), Dikarya (Saccharomyces), Ciliophora (Tetrahymena), Apicomplexa (Plasmodium) and Archamoebae (Entamoeba). We summarize the proposed genetic mechanisms involved in discrimination-mediated aggregation (self versus different), including the csA, FLO and trg (formerly lag) genes, and the Proliferation Activation Factors (PAFs), which facilitate clustering in some protistan taxa. We caution about the experimental challenges intrinsic to studying recognition in protists, and highlight the opportunities for exploring the ecology and evolution of complex forms of cell-cell communication, including social behavior, in a polyphyletic, still superficially understood group of organisms. Because unicellular eukaryotes are the evolutionary precursors of multicellular life, we infer that their mechanisms of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination gave origin to the complex diversification and sophistication of traits associated with species and kin recognition in plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates. PMID:25400313

  4. Ancient deforestation revisited.

    PubMed

    Hughes, J Donald

    2011-01-01

    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work. PMID:20669043

  5. Beijing Ancient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    The Beijing Ancient Observatory is now the only complete example of an observatory from the seventeenth century in the world. It is a monument to the prosperity of astronomy in traditional China. Its instruments are emblems of the encounter and amalgamation of Chinese and European Science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  6. Ancient Egypt: History 380.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Laraine D.

    "Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major course…

  7. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolinski, Arelene

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

  8. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Rebecca

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

  9. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadecki, Victoria L.

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Identification and integration of Picorna-like viruses in multiple insect taxa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Virus infection often leads to incorporation of a piece of the virus genetic code into the genome of the host organism, referred to as integration. Determining if the virus has integrated into the host genome provides valuable information needed to monitor disease spread. Detection of integrated vir...

  11. Unraveling Trichoderma species in the attine ant environment: description of three new taxa.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science. PMID:26885975

  12. The phylogeography of Eurasian Fraxinus species reveals ancient transcontinental reticulation.

    PubMed

    Hinsinger, Damien D; Gaudeul, Myriam; Couloux, Arnaud; Bousquet, Jean; Frascaria-Lacoste, Nathalie

    2014-08-01

    To investigate the biogeographical history of ashes species of the Eurasian section Fraxinus and to test the hypothesis of ancient reticulations, we sequenced nuclear DNA (nETS and nITS, 1075 bp) for 533 samples and scored AFLP for 63 samples of Eurasian ashes within the section Fraxinus. The nITS phylogeny retrieved the classical view of the evolution of the section, whereas nETS phylogeny indicated an unexpected separation of F. angustifolia in two paraphyletic groups, respectively found in southeastern Europe and in the other parts of the Mediterranean basin. In the nETS phylogeny, the former group was closely related to F. excelsior, whereas the later was closely related to F. mandshurica, a species which is restricted nowadays to northeastern Asia. This topological incongruence between the two loci indicated the occurrence of an ancient reticulation between European and Asian ash species. Several other ancient reticulation events between the two European species and the other species of the section were supported by the posterior predictive checking method. Some of these reticulation events would have occurred during the Miocene, when climatic variations may have lead these species to expand their distribution range and come into contact. The recurrent reticulations observed among Eurasian ash species indicate that they should be considered as conspecific taxa, with subspecific status for some groups. Altogether, the results of the present study provide a rare documented evidence for the occurrence of multiple ancient reticulations within a group of temperate tree taxa with modern disjunct distributions in Eurasia. These ancient reticulation events indicate that the speciation process is slow in ashes, necessitating long periods of geographical isolation. The implications for speciation processes in temperate trees with similar life history and reproductive biology are discussed. PMID:24795215

  13. Insect Barcode Information System

    PubMed Central

    Pratheepa, Maria; Jalali, Sushil Kumar; Arokiaraj, Robinson Silvester; Venkatesan, Thiruvengadam; Nagesh, Mandadi; Panda, Madhusmita; Pattar, Sharath

    2014-01-01

    Insect Barcode Information System called as Insect Barcode Informática (IBIn) is an online database resource developed by the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore. This database provides acquisition, storage, analysis and publication of DNA barcode records of agriculturally important insects, for researchers specifically in India and other countries. It bridges a gap in bioinformatics by integrating molecular, morphological and distribution details of agriculturally important insects. IBIn was developed using PHP/My SQL by using relational database management concept. This database is based on the client– server architecture, where many clients can access data simultaneously. IBIn is freely available on-line and is user-friendly. IBIn allows the registered users to input new information, search and view information related to DNA barcode of agriculturally important insects.This paper provides a current status of insect barcode in India and brief introduction about the database IBIn. Availability http://www.nabg-nbaii.res.in/barcode PMID:24616562

  14. Small is beautiful: features of the smallest insects and limits to miniaturization.

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2015-01-01

    Miniaturization leads to considerable reorganization of structures in insects, affecting almost all organs and tissues. In the smallest insects, comparable in size to unicellular organisms, modifications arise not only at the level of organs, but also at the cellular level. Miniaturization is accompanied by allometric changes in many organ systems. The consequences of miniaturization displayed by different insect taxa include both common and unique changes. Because the smallest insects are among the smallest metazoans and have the most complex organization among organisms of the same size, their peculiar structural features and the factors that limit their miniaturization are of considerable theoretical interest to general biology. PMID:25341106

  15. Insects, Insecticides and Hormesis: Evidence and Considerations for Study

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, G. Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Insects are ubiquitous, crucial components of almost all terrestrial and fresh water ecosystems. In agricultural settings they are subjected to, intentionally or unintentionally, an array of synthetic pesticides and other chemical stressors. These ecological underpinnings, the amenability of insects to laboratory and field experiments, and our strong knowledgebase in insecticide toxicology, make the insect-insecticide model an excellent one to study many questions surrounding hormesis. Moreover, there is practical importance for agriculture with evidence of pest population growth being accelerated by insecticide hormesis. Nevertheless, insects have been underutilized in studies of hormesis. Where hormesis hypotheses have been tested, results clearly demonstrate stimulatory effects on multiple taxa as measured through several biological endpoints, both at individual and population levels. However, many basic questions are outstanding given the myriad of chemicals, responses, and ecological interactions that are likely to occur. PMID:23930099

  16. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics of Modern and Ancient Equids

    PubMed Central

    Vilstrup, Julia T.; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias; Ginolhac, Aurelien; Raghavan, Maanasa; Nielsen, Sandra C. A.; Weinstock, Jacobo; Froese, Duane; Vasiliev, Sergei K.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Clary, Joel; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Cooper, Alan; Shapiro, Beth; Orlando, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial sequences from all seven extant lineages within the genus Equus. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic inference confirms that zebras are monophyletic within the genus, and the Plains and Grevy’s zebras form a well-supported monophyletic group. Using ancient DNA techniques, we further characterize the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga). Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific. However, the evolutionary relationships among the non-caballine lineages, including the now-extinct subgenus Sussemionus, remain unresolved, most likely due to extremely rapid radiation within this group. The closest living outgroups (rhinos and tapirs) were found to be too phylogenetically distant to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far as up to 4 Million years ago (Mya). PMID:23437078

  17. Damage signals in the insect immune response

    PubMed Central

    Krautz, Robert; Arefin, Badrul; Theopold, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Insects and mammals share an ancient innate immune system comprising both humoral and cellular responses. The insect immune system consists of the fat body, which secretes effector molecules into the hemolymph and several classes of hemocytes, which reside in the hemolymph and of protective border epithelia. Key features of wound- and immune responses are shared between insect and mammalian immune systems including the mode of activation by commonly shared microbial (non-self) patterns and the recognition of these patterns by dedicated receptors. It is unclear how metazoan parasites in insects, which lack these shared motifs, are recognized. Research in recent years has demonstrated that during entry into the insect host, many eukaryotic pathogens leave traces that alert potential hosts of the damage they have afflicted. In accordance with terminology used in the mammalian immune systems, these signals have been dubbed danger- or damage-associated signals. Damage signals are necessary byproducts generated during entering hosts either by mechanical or proteolytic damage. Here, we briefly review the current stage of knowledge on how wound closure and wound healing during mechanical damage is regulated and how damage-related signals contribute to these processes. We also discuss how sensors of proteolytic activity induce insect innate immune responses. Strikingly damage-associated signals are also released from cells that have aberrant growth, including tumor cells. These signals may induce apoptosis in the damaged cells, the recruitment of immune cells to the aberrant tissue and even activate humoral responses. Thus, this ensures the removal of aberrant cells and compensatory proliferation to replace lost tissue. Several of these pathways may have been co-opted from wound healing and developmental processes. PMID:25071815

  18. Clade age and not diversification rate explains species richness among animal taxa.

    PubMed

    McPeek, Mark A; Brown, Jonathan M

    2007-04-01

    Animal taxa show remarkable variability in species richness across phylogenetic groups. Most explanations for this disparity postulate that taxa with more species have phenotypes or ecologies that cause higher diversification rates (i.e., higher speciation rates or lower extinction rates). Here we show that clade longevity, and not diversification rate, has primarily shaped patterns of species richness across major animal clades: more diverse taxa are older and thus have had more time to accumulate species. Diversification rates calculated from 163 species-level molecular phylogenies were highly consistent within and among three major animal phyla (Arthropoda, Chordata, Mollusca) and did not correlate with species richness. Clades with higher estimated diversification rates were younger, but species numbers increased with increasing clade age. A fossil-based data set also revealed a strong, positive relationship between total extant species richness and crown group age across the orders of insects and vertebrates. These findings do not negate the importance of ecology or phenotype in influencing diversification rates, but they do show that clade longevity is the dominant signal in major animal biodiversity patterns. Thus, some key innovations may have acted through fostering clade longevity and not by heightening diversification rate. PMID:17427118

  19. Ancient human microbiomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and therefore, we lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today. PMID:25559298

  20. Ancient Sedimentary Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-469, 31 August 2003

    The terraced area in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image is an outcropping of ancient, sedimentary rock. It occurs in a crater in western Arabia Terra near 10.8oN, 4.5oW. Sedimentary rocks provide a record of past environments on Mars. Field work will likely be required to begin to get a good understanding of the nature of the record these rocks contain. Their generally uniform thickness and repeated character suggests that deposition of fine sediment in this crater was episodic, if not cyclic. These rocks might be indicators of an ancient lake, or they might have been deposited from grains settling out of an earlier, thicker, martian atmosphere. This image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated from the lower left.

  1. Ancient Chinese Astronomical Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Jennifer Robin

    2004-05-01

    I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000

  2. Suicide in ancient Greece.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Effects of fish on emergent insect-mediated flux of methyl mercury across a gradient of contamination.

    PubMed

    Tweedy, Brent N; Drenner, Ray W; Chumchal, Matthew M; Kennedy, James H

    2013-02-01

    We examined the effects of fish predation on emergent insect-mediated methyl mercury (MeHg) flux across a gradient of MeHg contamination in experimental ponds. Emergent insects were collected from ponds with (n = 5) and without fish (n = 5) over a six week period using floating emergence traps. We found that the potential for MeHg flux increased with Hg contamination levels of the ponds but that the realized MeHg flux of individual insect taxa was determined by fish presence. Fish acted as size-selective predators and reduced MeHg flux by suppressing emergence of large insect taxa (dragonflies and damselflies) but not small insect taxa (chironomids and microcaddisflies). MeHg flux by small insect taxa was correlated with concentrations of MeHg in terrestrial spiders along the shorelines of the study ponds, demonstrating for the first time the cross-system transport of MeHg by emergent insects to a terrestrial spider. PMID:23286272

  4. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  5. [Sexuality in Ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Androutsos, G; Marketos, S

    1994-10-01

    The present article explores the sexuality in ancient Egypt. In particular in this article are presented the ways of concubinage (marriage, concubinage, adultery), the incest, loves of the pharaohs and of the common people, the freedom of choice in garments, the status of the hetairas and of the whores, the sexual perversions (male and female homosexuality, necrophilia, sodomism, bestiality, rape, masturbation, exhibitionism), the operations of the genitals (circumcision, excision, castration) and finally the level of knowledge in gynaecology, fertility, contraception and obstetrics that even today demands our admiration. PMID:7858632

  6. Urology in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sakti

    2007-01-01

    The practice of medical and surgical measures in the management of urological ailments prevailed in ancient India from the Vedic era around 3000 BC. Subsequently in the Samhita period, the two stalwarts - Charaka in medicine and Susruta in surgery elevated the art of medicine in India to unprecedented heights. Their elaboration of the etiopathological hypothesis and the medical and surgical treatments of various urological disorders of unparalleled ingenuity still remain valid to some extent in our contemporary understanding. The new generation of accomplished Indian urologists should humbly venerate the legacy of the illustrious pioneers in urology of our motherland. PMID:19675749

  7. Gnomons in Ancient China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Geng

    Gnomon shadow measurement was one of the most fundamental astronomical observations in ancient China. It was crucial for calendar making, which constituted an important aspect of imperial governance. A painted stick discovered from a prehistoric (2300 BC) astronomical site of Taosi (see Chap. 201, "Taosi Observatory", 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_215") is the oldest gnomon known of China. From second century BC onward, gnomon shadow measurements have been essential part of calendrical practice. Various historical measurements are discussed in this chapter.

  8. Ancient human DNA.

    PubMed

    Kirsanow, Karola; Burger, Joachim

    2012-01-20

    The contribution of palaeogenetic data to the study of various aspects of hominin biology and evolution has been significant, and has the potential to increase substantially with the widespread implementation of next generation sequencing techniques. Here we discuss the present state-of-the-art of ancient human DNA analysis and the characteristics of hominin aDNA that make sequence validation particularly complex. A brief overview of the development of anthropological palaeogenetic analysis is given to illustrate the technical challenges motivating recent technological advancements. PMID:22169595

  9. Insects: Bugged Out!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piehl, Kathy

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Insects and Bugs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Karen

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Sterile Insect Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter discusses the history of the development of quality control tchnology, the principles and philosophy of assessing insect quality, and the relative importance of the various parameters used to assess insect quality in the context of mass-rearing for the SIT. Quality control is most devel...

  12. Corazonin in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects which is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corpus cardiaci in the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isofomr in all insects studied so far,...

  13. Effects on Insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of controlled and modified atmospheres on insects is reviewed and summarized in this chapter. Traditionally, controlled and modified atmospheres are used to store and preserve fresh fruits and vegetables. The effects on insects and the potential of these treatments are secondary to the...

  14. Sugarcane insect update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect are an important group of pests affecting sugarcane production. Agricultural consultants play an important role is assisting sugarcane farmers to choose the most appropriated means of managing damaging infestations of insects in their crop. In this presentation, information will be presented ...

  15. Principal Areas of Insect Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Carroll M.

    1973-01-01

    Research for insect control has been quite complex. However, recent knowledge of using insect hormones against them has opened new vistas for producing insecticides which may be harmless to human population. Current areas of insect research are outlined. (PS)

  16. Mycetocyte symbiosis in insects.

    PubMed

    Douglas, A E

    1989-11-01

    1. Non-pathogenic microorganisms, known as mycetocyte symbionts, are located in specialized 'mycetocyte' cells of many insects that feed on nutritionally unbalanced or poor diets. The insects include cockroaches, Cimicidae and Lygaeidae (Heteroptera), the Homoptera, Anoplura, the Diptera Pupiparia, some formicine ants and many beetles. 2. Most mycetocyte symbionts are prokaryotes and a great diversity of forms has been described. None has been cultured in vitro and their taxonomic position is obscure. Yeasts have been reported in Cerambycidae and Anobiidae (Coleoptera) and a few planthoppers. They are culturable and those in anobiids have been assigned to the genus Torulopsis. 3. The mycetocyte cells may be associated with the gut, lie free in the abdominal haemocoel or be embedded in the fat body of the insect. The mycetocytes are large polyploid cells which rarely divide and the symbionts are restricted to their cytoplasm. 4. The mycetocyte symbionts are transmitted maternally from one insect generation to the next. In many beetles (Anobiidae, Cerambycidae, Chrysomelidae and cleonine Curculionidae), the microoganisms are smeared onto the eggs and consumed by the hatching larvae. In other insects, they are transferred from mycetocytes to oocytes in the ovary, a process known as transovarial transmission. The details of transmission in the different insect groups vary with the age of the mother (adult, larva or embryo) at which symbiont transfer to the ovary is initiated; whether isolated symbionts or intact mycetocytes are transferred; and the site of entry of symbionts to the egg (anterior, posterior or apolar). 5. Within an individual insect, the biomass of symbionts varies in a regular fashion with age, weight and sex of the insect. Suppression of symbiont growth rate and lysis of 'excess' microorganisms may contribute to the regulation of symbionts (including freshly-isolated preparations of unculturable forms) are used to investigate interactions between the

  17. [Insect diversity of different habitat types in Zhalong Wetland, northeast China].

    PubMed

    Gu, Wei; Ma, Ling; Ding, Xin-hua; Zhang, Jing; Han, Zheng-wei

    2011-09-01

    In order to approach the effects of different habitat types in wetland on insect diversity, an investigation was conducted on the insects in eight types of habitats in Zhalong Wetland. A total of 5822 insects were collected, belonging to 143 species, 58 families, and 11 orders, among which, Orthoptera, Dipteral and Odonata were the dominant taxa. The species diversity was the highest in grassland meadow, and the Shannon diversity index and evenness index were higher in lakeside but the lowest in wet meadow. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis showed that the similarity of the insect community in the habitats was related to the water source status and vegetation type, and the species and individual number of predatory taxa had important regulation effects on the insect community stability. Lakeside had the strongest insect community stability, while wet meadow had the weakest one, indicating that habitat water source status could affect insect survival, and further, affect the species composition and distribution pattern of insect community. PMID:22126055

  18. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Ancient celtic horns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Murray

    2002-11-01

    There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.

  1. 76 FR 20558 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 44 Marine and Anadromous Taxa: Adding 10 Taxa...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-13

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are amending the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) by adding 10 marine taxa, delisting 1 marine taxon, reclassifying 1 marine taxon, and revising 32 marine taxa in accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). These amendments are based on previously published determinations by the National Marine......

  2. Communication Media in Ancient Cultures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jabusch, David M.

    Interest in early means of communication and in the uses and kinds of media that existed in ancient cultures is starting to grow among communication scholars. Conversation analysis of these cultures is obviously impossible, so that the emphasis must rest with material cultural artifacts. Many ancient cultures used non-verbal codes for dyadic…

  3. Numerical experiments with model monophyletic and paraphyletic taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    The problem of how accurately paraphyletic taxa versus monophyletic (i.e., holophyletic) groups (clades) capture underlying species patterns of diversity and extinction is explored with Monte Carlo simulations. Phylogenies are modeled as stochastic trees. Paraphyletic taxa are defined in an arbitrary manner by randomly choosing progenitors and clustering all descendants not belonging to other taxa. These taxa are then examined to determine which are clades, and the remaining paraphyletic groups are dissected to discover monophyletic subgroups. Comparisons of diversity patterns and extinction rates between modeled taxa and lineages indicate that paraphyletic groups can adequately capture lineage information under a variety of conditions of diversification and mass extinction. This suggests that these groups constitute more than mere "taxonomic noise" in this context. But, strictly monophyletic groups perform somewhat better, especially with regard to mass extinctions. However, when low levels of paleontologic sampling are simulated, the veracity of clades deteriorates, especially with respect to diversity, and modeled paraphyletic taxa often capture more information about underlying lineages. Thus, for studies of diversity and taxic evolution in the fossil record, traditional paleontologic genera and families need not be rejected in favor of cladistically-defined taxa.

  4. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  5. Tamil Merchant in Ancient Mesopotamia

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  6. Atmospheric oxygen and the evolution of insect gigantism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudley, R.

    2003-04-01

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

  7. Beneficial Insects and Insect Pollinators on Milkweed in South Georgia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Ancient Chinese Sundials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Kehui

    Timekeeping was essential in the agricultural society of ancient China. The use of sundials for timekeeping was associated with the use of the gnomon, which had its origin in remote antiquity. This chapter studies three sundials (guiyi 晷仪) from the Qin and Han dynasties, the shorter shadow plane sundial (duanying ping yi 短影平仪) invented by Yuan Chong in the Sui Dynasty, and the sundial chart (guiyingtu 晷影图) invented by Zeng Minxing in the Southern Song dynasty. This chapter also introduces Guo Shoujing's hemispherical sundial (yang yi 仰仪). A circular stone sundial discovered at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an is also mentioned. It is dated from the Sui and Tang dynasties. A brief survey of sundials from the Qing dynasty shows various types of sundials.

  9. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  10. Insects and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, S.A. )

    1991-09-01

    In this article the author describes some of the significant late glacial and Holocene changes that occurred in the Rocky Mountains, including the regional extirpation of certain beetle species. The fossil data presented here summarize what is known about regional insect responses to climate change in terms of species stability and geographic distribution. To minimize potential problems of species interactions (i.e., insect-host plant relationships, host-parasite relationships, and other interactions that tie a particular insect species' distribution to that of another organism), only predators and scavengers are discussed. These insects respond most rapidly to environmental changes, because for the most part they are not tied to any particular type of vegetation.

  11. Insect hemolymph clotting.

    PubMed

    Dushay, Mitchell S

    2009-08-01

    The clot's appearance in different large-bodied insects has been described, but until recently, little was known about any insect clot's molecular makeup, and few experiments could directly test its function. Techniques have been developed in Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae to identify clotting factors that can then be tested for effects on hemostasis, healing, and immunity. This has revealed unanticipated complexity in the hemostatic mechanisms in these larvae. While the clot's molecular structure is not yet fully understood, progress is being made, and the loss of clotting factors has been shown to cause subtle immune defects. The few similarities between coagulation in different insect species and life stages, and the current state of knowledge about coagulation in insects are discussed. PMID:19418022

  12. Feeding the insect industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article reports the use of insect colloidal artificial diets suitable for the rearing of economically important arthropods, such as Lygus lineolaris, Lygus hesperus, Coleomegilla maculata, and Phytoseiulus persimilis The different diets contain key nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vit...

  13. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  14. Evolution of the Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.

    2005-05-01

    This book chronicles the complete evolutionary history of insects--their living diversity and relationships as well as 400 million years of fossils. Introductory sections cover the living species diversity of insects, methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships, basic insect structure, and the diverse modes of insect fossilization and major fossil deposits. Major sections then explore the relationships and evolution of each order of hexapods. The volume also chronicles major episodes in the evolutionary history of insects from their modest beginnings in the Devonian and the origin of wings hundreds of millions of years before pterosaurs and birds to the impact of mass extinctions and the explosive radiation of angiosperms on insects, and how they evolved into the most complex societies in nature. Whereas other volumes focus on either living species or fossils, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of insect evolution. Illustrated with 955 photo- and electron- micrographs, drawings, diagrams, and field photos, many in full color and virtually all of them original, this reference will appeal to anyone engaged with insect diversity--professional entomologists and students, insect and fossil collectors, and naturalists. David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel have collectively published over 200 scientific articles and monographs on the relationships and fossil record of insects, including 10 articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Grimaldi is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. David Grimaldi has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents, collecting and studying recent species of insects and conducting fossil excavations. He is the author of Amber: Window to the Past (Abrams, 2003). Michael S. Engel is an assistant professor in the

  15. Symbiont acquisition as neoseme: origin of species and higher taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bermudes, D.; Margulis, L.

    1987-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis that, in the origin of species and higher taxa of eukaryotes, symbiont acquisition followed by partner integration has been equivalent to neoseme appearance leading to speciation. The formation of stable symbiotic associations involves partner-surface recognition, behavioral and metabolic interaction, and, in some cases, gene product (RNA, protein) and genic (RNA, DNA) integration. This analysis is applied here to examples of neosemes that define specific taxa and to neosemes in plants, fungi, and animals that involve the appearance of new types of tissue. If this hypothesis is correct--if the origin of major genetic variation leading to speciation and even higher taxa may occur through symbiont acquisition and integration--then the analysis of "origins of species and higher taxa" becomes analogous to the study of microbial community ecology.

  16. Instantaneous threat escape and differentiated refuge demand among zooplankton taxa.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Lars-Anders; Bianco, Giuseppe; Ekvall, Mikael; Heuschele, Jan; Hylander, Samuel; Yang, Xi

    2016-02-01

    Most animals, including aquatic crustacean zooplankton, perform strong avoidance movements when exposed to a threat, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR). We here show that the genera Daphnia and Bosmina instantly adjust their vertical position in the water in accordance with the present UVR threat, i.e., seek refuge in deeper waters, whereas other taxa show less response to the threat. Moreover, Daphnia repeatedly respond to UVR pulses, suggesting that they spend more energy on movement than more stationary taxa, for example, during days with fluctuating cloud cover, illustrating nonlethal effects in avoiding UVR threat. Accordingly, we also show that the taxa with the most contrasting behavioral responses differ considerably in photoprotection, suggesting different morphological and behavioral strategies in handling the UVR threat. In a broader context, our studies on individual and taxa specific responses to UVR provide insights into observed spatial and temporal distribution in natural ecosystems. PMID:27145603

  17. Exploring Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Larger ejaculate volumes are associated with a lower degree of polyandry across bushcricket taxa

    PubMed Central

    Vahed, Karim

    2006-01-01

    In numerous insects, including bushcrickets (Tettigoniidae), males are known to transfer substances in the ejaculate that inhibit the receptivity of females to further matings, but it has not yet been established whether these substances reduce the lifetime degree of polyandry of the female. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that larger ejaculate volumes should be associated with a lower degree of polyandry across tettigoniid taxa, controlling for male body mass and phylogeny. Data on ejaculate mass, sperm number, nuptial gift mass and male mass were taken primarily from the literature. The degree of polyandry for 14 species of European bushcrickets was estimated by counting the number of spermatodoses within the spermathecae of field-caught females towards the end of their adult lifespans. Data for four further species were obtained from the literature. Data were analysed by using both species regression and independent contrasts to control for phylogeny. Multiple regression analysis revealed that, as predicted, there was a significant negative association between the degree of polyandry and ejaculate mass, relative to male body mass, across bushcricket taxa. Nuptial gift size and sperm number, however, did not contribute further to interspecific variation in the degree of polyandry. A positive relationship was found, across bushcricket taxa, between relative nuptial gift size and relative ejaculate mass, indicating that larger nuptial gifts allow the male to overcome female resistance to accepting large ejaculates. This appears to be the first comparative evidence that males can manipulate the lifetime degree of polyandry of their mates through the transfer of large ejaculates. PMID:16928643

  19. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    Hillyer, Julián F

    2016-05-01

    Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and activate effector pathways. Among the immune signaling pathways are the Toll, Imd, Jak/Stat, JNK, and insulin pathways. Activation of these and other pathways leads to pathogen killing via phagocytosis, melanization, cellular encapsulation, nodulation, lysis, RNAi-mediated virus destruction, autophagy and apoptosis. This review details these and other aspects of immunity in insects, and discusses how the immune and circulatory systems have co-adapted to combat infection, how hemocyte replication and differentiation takes place (hematopoiesis), how an infection prepares an insect for a subsequent infection (immune priming), how environmental factors such as temperature and the age of the insect impact the immune response, and how social immunity protects entire groups. Finally, this review highlights some underexplored areas in the field of insect immunobiology. PMID:26695127

  20. Insect--plant adaptations.

    PubMed

    Southwood, T R

    1984-01-01

    The adaptation of insects to plants probably commenced in the early Permian period, though most current associations will be more recent. A major burst of adaptation must have followed the rise of the Angiosperms in the Cretaceous period, though some particular associations are as recent as this century. Living plants form a large proportion of the potential food in most habitats, though insects have had to overcome certain general hurdles to live and feed on them. Insects affect the reproduction and survival of plants, and thus the diversity of plant secondary chemicals may have evolved as a response. Where an insect species has a significant effect on a plant species that is its only host, coevolution may be envisaged. A spectacular example is provided by Heliconius butterflies and passion flower vines, studied by L.E. Gilbert and others. But such cases may be likened to 'vortices in the evolutionary stream': most plant species are influenced by a range of phytophagous insects so that selection will be for general defences--a situation termed diffuse coevolution. Evidence is presented on recent host-plant shifts to illustrate both the restrictions and the flexibility in current insect-plant associations. PMID:6559112

  1. Ecological Society of America meeting. Global warming, insects take the stage at Snowbird.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, J

    2000-09-22

    Despite the turmoil of not-so-distant forest fires and United Airlines troubles that threw off travel schedules, some 2600 ecologists made their way to this sun-soaked canyon last month for the Ecological Society of America's 85th annual meeting. Topics ranged from ancient droughts to photosynthesis beneath snow and how trees resist insects. PMID:11032552

  2. Wolbachia distribution in selected beetle taxa characterized by PCR screens and MLST data.

    PubMed

    Sontowski, Rebekka; Bernhard, Detlef; Bleidorn, Christoph; Schlegel, Martin; Gerth, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria) is an inherited endosymbiont of arthropods and filarial nematodes and was reported to be widespread across insect taxa. While Wolbachia's effects on host biology are not understood from most of these hosts, known Wolbachia-induced phenotypes cover a spectrum from obligate beneficial mutualism to reproductive manipulations and pathogenicity. Interestingly, data on Wolbachia within the most species-rich order of arthropods, the Coleoptera (beetles), are scarce. Therefore, we screened 128 species from seven beetle families (Buprestidae, Hydraenidae, Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae, Gyrinidae, Haliplidae, and Noteridae) for the presence of Wolbachia. Our data show that, contrary to previous estimations, Wolbachia frequencies in beetles (31% overall) are comparable to the ones in other insects. In addition, we used Wolbachia MLST data and host phylogeny to explore the evolutionary history of Wolbachia strains from Hydraenidae, an aquatic lineage of beetles. Our data suggest that Wolbachia from Hydraenidae might be largely host genus specific and that Wolbachia strain phylogeny is not independent to that of its hosts. As this contrasts with most terrestrial Wolbachia-arthropod systems, one potential conclusion is that aquatic lifestyle of hosts may result in Wolbachia distribution patterns distinct from those of terrestrial hosts. Our data thus provide both insights into Wolbachia distribution among beetles in general and a first glimpse of Wolbachia distribution patterns among aquatic host lineages. PMID:26664683

  3. Impacts of invasive plants on resident animals across ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types: a global assessment.

    PubMed

    Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-02-01

    As drivers of global change, biological invasions have fundamental ecological consequences. However, it remains unclear how invasive plant effects on resident animals vary across ecosystems, animal classes, and functional groups. We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 198 field and laboratory studies reporting a total of 3624 observations of invasive plant effects on animals. Invasive plants had reducing (56%) or neutral (44%) effects on animal abundance, diversity, fitness, and ecosystem function across different ecosystems, animal classes, and feeding types while we could not find any increasing effect. Most importantly, we found that invasive plants reduced overall animal abundance, diversity and fitness. However, this significant overall effect was contingent on ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types of animals. Decreasing effects of invasive plants were most evident in riparian ecosystems, possibly because frequent disturbance facilitates more intense plant invasions compared to other ecosystem types. In accordance with their immediate reliance on plants for food, invasive plant effects were strongest on herbivores. Regarding taxonomic groups, birds and insects were most strongly affected. In insects, this may be explained by their high frequency of herbivory, while birds demonstrate that invasive plant effects can also cascade up to secondary consumers. Since data on impacts of invasive plants are rather limited for many animal groups in most ecosystems, we argue for overcoming gaps in knowledge and for a more differentiated discussion on effects of invasive plant on native fauna. PMID:26390918

  4. Astronomy in the Ancient Caucasus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, Irakli; Jijelava, Badri

    This chapter discusses the role of recurrent heavenly phenomena in the formation of ancient cultural traditions. Artifacts bearing witness to astronomical and calendrical practices in the ancient Caucasus are described and we analyze the significance of the "boats of the sun" petroglyphs at Gobustan in Azerbaijan, the solar station at Abuli in Georgia, and the "sky dial" at Carahunge in Armenia. Similarities and differences between the ancient cultures of the region are discussed. Finally, we present the results of the latest field research and new facts and hypotheses.

  5. Ancient Astronomy in Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemenko, Tatyana G.; Vavilova, Iryna B.

    2007-08-01

    Astronomical culture and research have long-standing traditions in Ukraine. The first signs of astronomical knowledge were found in archaeological excavations and records. The most ancient find (dated as 15,000 B.C.) is a mammoth tusk with a fretwork image of a table of lunar phases found in the Poltava region. The so-called Trypillya culture (dated 4,000 - 3,000 B.C) had numerous examples of ornaments at the howls, distaffs, wheels and other everyday articles with symbolic images of zodiac constellations, and vessel-calendars indicating the vernal/autumnal equinoxes and the motion of the Sun. Some of such unique exhibits stored at the National Museum of History of Ukraine will be described in details in this paper. For example, the vessel calendar dating by IV century of our era (from village Romashki, Kyiv region). This image was interpreted by B. Rybakov as an agricultural calendar from May to August (time of harvesting). Most of exhibits of Museum were founded by archaeologist Vikenty Khvoyko and presented by him to Museum in 1905. Description and pictures of vessels and cups from Chernyahiv, Trypillya IV century B.C. with the Solar signs and tusk of the mammoth from Kyrilovska parking with notches interpreted as a calendar as well as tree-storied pictures of vessel from Trypillya interpreted as a “vertical cross section of the world” in dynamics will be also given. Another unique historical record relates to the times of the powerful state of the Kievan Rus' (X- XIII centuries), when astronomical observations were conducted mainly in cloisters. For example, the authors of the Lavrentievska chronicle describe the solar eclipses of the years 1064, 1091, and 1115 A.D. and the lunar eclipses of 1161 A.D. At that times some natural cataclysms have been connected with eclipses that, for example, was described in “The Word about Igor's shelf” by Nestor Letopisec. Thus, facts discussed in paper pointed out once more that astronomy is one of the most ancient

  6. [Ancient Egyptian Odontology].

    PubMed

    Berghult, B

    1999-01-01

    In ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, circa 2650 BC, the Step Pyramid was constructed by Imhotep. He was later worshiped as the God of Medicine. One of his contemporaries was the powerful writer Hesy who is reproduced on a panel showing a rebus of a swallow, a tusk and an arrow. He is therefore looked upon as being the first depicted odontologist. The art of writing begun in Egypt in about 3100 BC and the medical texts we know from different papyri were copied with hieratic signs around 1900-1100 BC. One of the most famous is the Papyrus Ebers. It was purchased by professor Ebers on a research travel to Luxor in 1873. Two years later a beautiful facsimile in color was published and the best translation came in 1958 in German. The text includes 870 remedies and some of them are related to teeth and oral troubles like pain in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities in the teeth. The most common oral pain was probably pulpitis caused by extreme attrition due to the high consumption of bread contaminated with soil and/or quern minerals. Another text is the Papyrus Edwin Smith with four surgical cases of dental interest. The "toothworms" that were presumed to bring about decayed teeth have not been identified in the medical texts. It was not until 1889 W.D. Miller presented a scientific explanation that cavities were caused by bacteria. In spite of extensive research only a few evidence of prosthetic and invasive treatments have been found and these dental artifacts have probably been made post mortem. Some of the 150 identified doctors were associated with treatments of disorders of the mouth. The stele of Seneb from Sa'is during the 26th dynasty of Psamtik, 664-525 BC, shows a young man who probably was a dental healer well known to Pharaoh and his court. Clement of Alexandria mentions circa 200 AD that the written knowledge of the old Egyptians was gathered in 42 collections of papyri. Number 37-42 contained the medical writings. The

  7. Insect bite reactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Birkhofer, K.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2010-07-01

    Spatial heterogeneity of biodiversity arises from evolutionary processes, constraints of environmental factors and the interaction of communities. The quality of such spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i) utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii) limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii) using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of infrastructure around them. The small European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes. In a total of 224 locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, representatives of 68 gastropod species with 50 of them being endemic (=73.5%) could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i) within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii) widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond) are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii) while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the share of endemics increases, (iv) the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity and related environmental factors, (v) biotic interaction due to possible spillover effects may contribute to the establishment of hotspots, and (vi) eco-insularity within the Ohrid Basin occurs

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Birkhofer, K.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2011-01-01

    The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i) utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii) limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii) using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes. In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5%) being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i) within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii) widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond) are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii) while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv) the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors), but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal limitation and

  10. Hunting for Ancient Rocky Shores.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Markes E.

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.

    2011-06-01

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

  12. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

    In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.

  13. The effect of local land use and loss of forests on bats and nocturnal insects.

    PubMed

    Treitler, Julia T; Heim, Olga; Tschapka, Marco; Jung, Kirsten

    2016-07-01

    Land-use intensification at local and landscape level poses a serious threat to biodiversity and affects species interactions and ecosystem function. It is thus important to understand how interrelated taxa respond to land-use intensification and to consider the importance of different spatial scales. We investigated whether and how local land-use intensity and landscape features affect the predator-prey interaction of bats and insects. Bats and nocturnal insects were assessed on 50 grassland sites in the Schorfheide-Chorin. We analyzed the effect of local land use and distance to forested areas as a proxy for site accessibility on bats and insects and their biological interaction measured in bat's feeding activity. Insect abundance increased with higher land-use intensity, while size and diversity of insects decreased. In contrast, bat activity, diversity, and species composition were determined by the distance to forested areas and only slightly by land-use intensity. Feeding attempts of bats increased with higher insect abundance and diversity but decreased with insect size and distance to forested areas. Finally, our results revealed that near forested areas, the number of feeding attempts was much lower on grassland sites with high, compared to those with low land-use intensity. In contrast, far from forests, the feeding attempts did not differ significantly between intensively and extensively managed grassland sites. We conclude that the two interrelated taxa, bats and insects, respond to land-use intensification on very different scales. While insects respond to local land use, bats are rather influenced by surrounding landscape matrix. Hereby, proximity to forests reveals to be a prerequisite for higher bat species diversity and a higher rate of feeding attempts within the area. However, proximity to forest is not sufficient to compensate local high land-use intensity. Thus, local land-use intensification in combination with a loss of forest remnants

  14. Recurrent loss of CenH3 is associated with independent transitions to holocentricity in insects.

    PubMed

    Drinnenberg, Ines A; deYoung, Dakota; Henikoff, Steven; Malik, Harmit Singh

    2014-01-01

    Faithful chromosome segregation in all eukaryotes relies on centromeres, the chromosomal sites that recruit kinetochore proteins and mediate spindle attachment during cell division. The centromeric histone H3 variant, CenH3, is the defining chromatin component of centromeres in most eukaryotes, including animals, fungi, plants, and protists. In this study, using detailed genomic and transcriptome analyses, we show that CenH3 was lost independently in at least four lineages of insects. Each of these lineages represents an independent transition from monocentricity (centromeric determinants localized to a single chromosomal region) to holocentricity (centromeric determinants extended over the entire chromosomal length) as ancient as 300 million years ago. Holocentric insects therefore contain a CenH3-independent centromere, different from almost all the other eukaryotes. We propose that ancient transitions to holocentricity in insects obviated the need to maintain CenH3, which is otherwise essential in most eukaryotes, including other holocentrics. PMID:25247700

  15. Aquatic insects as bioindicators of trace element contamination in cobble-bottom rivers and streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cain, D.J.; Luoma, S.N.; Carter, J.L.; Fend, S.V.

    1992-01-01

    In one river, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn were analysed in insects and in fine bed sediments over a 381-km reach downstream of a large copper mining complex. In another river, As contamination from a gold mine was assessed in insects and bed sediments over a 40-km reach. All insect taxa collected in contaminated river reaches had elevated whole-body trace element concentrations, but few species were distributed throughout the study reaches. Comparisons of contamination at taxomic levels higher than species were complicated by element-specific differences in bioaccumulation among taxa. These differences appeared to be governed by biological and hydrogeochemical factors. Variation in element concentrations among species of the caddisfly Hydropsyche was slightly greater than within individual species. If this genus is representative of others, comparisons of contamination within genera may be a practical alternative for biomonitoring studies when single species are not available. -from Authors

  16. Insect emergence in relation to floods in wet meadows and swamps in the River Dalälven floodplain.

    PubMed

    Vinnersten, T Z Persson; Östman, Ö; Schäfer, M L; Lundström, J O

    2014-08-01

    Annual variation in flood frequency and hydroperiod during the vegetation season has ecological impacts on the floodplain biota. Although many insect groups may have a lower emergence during a flood event, it is poorly known how annual emergence of insects in temporary wetlands is related to the variation in hydrology. Between May and September, we studied the weekly emergence of 18 insect taxa over six consecutive years, 2002-2007, in six temporary flooded wetlands (four wet meadows and two forest swamps) in the River Dalälven floodplains, Central Sweden. We used emergence traps to collect emerging insects from terrestrial and aquatic parts of wet meadows and swamp forests. In all wetlands, the insect fauna was numerically dominated by the orders Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Homoptera. On a weekly basis, 9 out of the 18 insect taxa had lower emergence in weeks with flood than in weeks with no flood, whereas no taxon had a higher emergence in weeks with flood. Over the seasons, we related insect emergence to seasonal flood frequency and length of hydroperiod. The emergence of most studied taxa decreased with increasing hydroperiod, which suggests that emergence after floods do not compensate for the reduced emergence during floods. Only Culicidae and the aquatic Chironomidae sub-families Tanypodinae and Chironominae showed an increase in emergence with increasing hydroperiod, whereas Staphylinidae peaked at intermediate hydroperiod. We conclude that a hydroperiod covering up to 40% of the vegetation season has a significant negative effect on the emergence of most taxa and that only a few taxa occurring in the temporary wetlands are actually favoured by a flood regime with recurrent and unpredictable floods. PMID:24521711

  17. Paleozoic origin of insect large dsDNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Thézé, Julien; Bézier, Annie; Periquet, Georges; Drezen, Jean-Michel; Herniou, Elisabeth A

    2011-09-20

    To understand how extant viruses interact with their hosts, we need a historical framework of their evolutionary association. Akin to retrovirus or hepadnavirus viral fossils present in eukaryotic genomes, bracoviruses are integrated in braconid wasp genomes and are transmitted by Mendelian inheritance. However, unlike viral genomic fossils, they have retained functional machineries homologous to those of large dsDNA viruses pathogenic to arthropods. Using a phylogenomic approach, we resolved the relationships between bracoviruses and their closest free relatives: baculoviruses and nudiviruses. The phylogeny showed that bracoviruses are nested within the nudivirus clade. Bracoviruses establish a bridge between the virus and animal worlds. Their inclusion in a virus phylogeny allowed us to relate free viruses to fossils. The ages of the wasps were used to calibrate the virus phylogeny. Bayesian analyses revealed that insect dsDNA viruses first evolved at ∼310 Mya in the Paleozoic Era during the Carboniferous Period with the first insects. Furthermore the virus diversification time frame during the Mesozoic Era appears linked to the diversification of insect orders; baculoviruses that infect larvae evolved at the same period as holometabolous insects. These results imply ancient coevolution by resource tracking between several insect dsDNA virus families and their hosts, dating back to 310 Mya. PMID:21911395

  18. Behavioral Immunity in Insects

    PubMed Central

    de Roode, Jacobus C.; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, and natural selection should favor defense mechanisms that can protect hosts against disease. Much work has focused on understanding genetic and physiological immunity against parasites, but hosts can also use behaviors to avoid infection, reduce parasite growth or alleviate disease symptoms. It is increasingly recognized that such behaviors are common in insects, providing strong protection against parasites and parasitoids. We review the current evidence for behavioral immunity in insects, present a framework for investigating such behavior, and emphasize that behavioral immunity may act through indirect rather than direct fitness benefits. We also discuss the implications for host-parasite co-evolution, local adaptation, and the evolution of non-behavioral physiological immune systems. Finally, we argue that the study of behavioral immunity in insects has much to offer for investigations in vertebrates, in which this topic has traditionally been studied. PMID:26466629

  19. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

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

  20. Ancient lakes on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspiel, J. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    1989-01-01

    The valley systems in Mars' ancient cratered terrain provide strong evidence for a warmer and wetter climate very early in planetary history. The valley systems in some instances debouch into closed depressions that could have acted as local ponding basins for the flow. A survey of the Martian equatorial region shows that numerous local depressions at the confluence of valley systems exist. These depressions (approximately 100 km) typically are characterized by many valleys flowing into them and few or none flowing out. If ponding did take place, these basin would have contained lakes for some period during Mars' early warmer epoch. Although the collection basins are numerous, location of ones that have not suffered significant subsequent geologic modification is difficult. Some morphologic features suggest that volcanic lavas may have filled them subsequent to any early fluvial activity. Two detailed maps of valley systems and local ponding basins in USGC 1:2,000,000 subquadrangles were completed and a third is in progress. The completed regions are in Mare Tyrrhenum (MC-22 SW) and Margarifter Sinus (MC-19 SE), and the region in progress is in Iapygia (MC-21 NW). On the maps, the valley systems and interpreted margins of ponding basins are indicated. The depressions are of interest for two reasons. First, the depressions were surely the sites in which the materials eroded from the valleys were deposited. Such sediments could preserve important information about the physical conditions at the time of deposition. Second, the sediments could preserve evidence of water-atmosphere interactions during the early period of the Martian climate. Atmospheric carbon dioxide would dissolve in water, and solid carbonate minerals would tend to precipitate out to form carbonate sedimentary deposits. Formation of carbonates in this manner might account for some of the CO2 lost from the early more dense atmosphere.

  1. Cognition in insects

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    A traditional view of cognition is that it involves an internal process that represents, tracks or predicts an external process. This is not a general characteristic of all complex neural processing or feedback control, but rather implies specific forms of processing giving rise to specific behavioural capabilities. In this paper, I will review the evidence for such capabilities in insect navigation and learning. Do insects know where they are, or do they only know what to do? Do they learn what stimuli mean, or do they only learn how to behave? PMID:22927570

  2. New taxa, notes and new synonymy in Neoibidionini (Cerambycidae, Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Martins, Ubirajara R; Galileo, Maria Helena M

    2014-01-01

    New taxa, notes, and new synonymy in Neoibidionini (Cerambycidae, Coleoptera) are given. New taxa are described from Ecuador: Compsibidion inflatum sp. nov., Bezarkia gen. nov. and B. suturalis sp. nov., Corimbion antennatum sp. nov. and Neocompsa muira sp. nov.; from México: Neocompsa chiapensis sp. nov., and from French Guyana: Kunaibidion giesberti sp. nov. Pygmodeon maculatum Martins & Galileo, 2012 is considered a new synonym of Heterachthes xyleus Martins, 1974 which is transferred to the genus Pygmodeon as a new combination. Notes on variability and new records of Asynapteron equatorianum (Martins, 1960) are presented. PMID:24869549

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

    PubMed

    Andrew, Nigel R; Hill, Sarah J; Binns, Matthew; Bahar, Md Habibullah; Ridley, Emma V; Jung, Myung-Pyo; Fyfe, Chris; Yates, Michelle; Khusro, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

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

  4. A visible dominant marker for insect transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Ohde, Takahiro; Hirata, Junya; Uchino, Keiro; Futahashi, Ryo; Tamura, Toshiki; Niimi, Teruyuki; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2012-01-01

    Transgenesis of most insects currently relies on fluorescence markers. Here we establish a transformation marker system causing phenotypes visible to the naked eye due to changes in the color of melanin pigments, which are widespread in animals. Ubiquitous overexpression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, changes the color of newly hatched first-instar larvae from black to a distinctive light brown color, and can be used as a molecular marker by directly connecting to baculovirus immediate early 1 gene promoter. Suppression of black pigmentation by Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase can be observed throughout the larval stages and in adult animals. Alternatively, overexpression in another gene, B. mori β-alanyl-dopamine synthetase (Bm-ebony), changes the larval body color of older instars, although first-instar larvae had normal dark coloration. We further show that ectopic Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase expression lightens coloration in ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting the potential usefulness of this marker for transgenesis in diverse insect taxa. PMID:23250425

  5. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    MedlinePlus

    ... at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While most ... by several stinging insects, run to get away. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which attracts ...

  6. Using biodynamic models to reconcile differences between laboratory toxicity tests and field biomonitoring with aquatic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buchwalter, D.B.; Cain, D.J.; Clements, W.H.; Luoma, S.N.

    2007-01-01

    Aquatic insects often dominate lotic ecosystems, yet these organisms are under-represented in trace metal toxicity databases. Furthermore, toxicity data for aquatic insects do not appear to reflect their actual sensitivities to metals in nature, because the concentrations required to elicit toxicity in the laboratory are considerably higher than those found to impact insect communities in the field. New approaches are therefore needed to better understand how and why insects are differentially susceptible to metal exposures. Biodynamic modeling is a powerful tool for understanding interspecific differences in trace metal bioaccumulation. Because bioaccumulation alone does not necessarily correlate with toxicity, we combined biokinetic parameters associated with dissolved cadmium exposures with studies of the subcellular compartmentalization of accumulated Cd. This combination of physiological traits allowed us to make predictions of susceptibility differences to dissolved Cd in three aquatic insect taxa: Ephemerella excrucians, Rhithrogena morrisoni, and Rhyacophila sp. We compared these predictions with long-term field monitoring data and toxicity tests with closely related taxa: Ephemerella infrequens, Rhithrogena hageni, and Rhyacophila brunea. Kinetic parameters allowed us to estimate steady-state concentrations, the time required to reach steady state, and the concentrations of Cd projected to be in potentially toxic compartments for different species. Species-specific physiological traits identified using biodynamic models provided a means for better understanding why toxicity assays with insects have failed to provide meaningful estimates for metal concentrations that would be expected to be protective in nature. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.

  7. Colour constancy in insects.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Colour constancy is the perceptual phenomenon that the colour of an object appears largely unchanged, even if the spectral composition of the illuminating light changes. Colour constancy has been found in all insect species so far tested. Especially the pollinating insects offer a remarkable opportunity to study the ecological significance of colour constancy since they spend much of their adult lives identifying and choosing between colour targets (flowers) under continuously changing ambient lighting conditions. In bees, whose colour vision is best studied among the insects, the compensation provided by colour constancy is only partial and its efficiency depends on the area of colour space. There is no evidence for complete 'discounting' of the illuminant in bees, and the spectral composition of the light can itself be used as adaptive information. In patchy illumination, bees adjust their spatial foraging to minimise transitions between variously illuminated zones. Modelling allows the quantification of the adaptive benefits of various colour constancy mechanisms in the economy of nature. We also discuss the neural mechanisms and cognitive operations that might underpin colour constancy in insects. PMID:24647930

  8. Insects. Thematic Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosnell, Kathee

    This book is a captivating whole-language thematic unit about the study of insects, relating it to our understanding of the past and our hopes for using our knowledge in the present to balance the ecosystem in the future. It contains a wide variety of lesson ideas and reproducible pages designed for use with intermediate students. At its core,…

  9. SOCIAL INSECT PHEROMONES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Social insects include the social Hymenoptera (Formicidae, ants; Apidae, bees; Vespidae, wasps) and Isoptera (Termitidae, termites). Social interactions are required for effective food retrieval, brood and queen care, regulation of caste (sexuals/workers), recognition and exclusion of non-nestmates,...

  10. People and Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides: (1) background information on how insects affect human lives, both positively and negatively, and on integrated pest management strategies; (2) student activities; and (3) materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes). Each activity includes an objective, recommended age level(s), subject area(s),…

  11. Insect mass production technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects provide a very promising alternative for the future production of animal protein. Their nutritional value in conjunction with their food conversion efficiency and low water requirements, make them a more sustainable choice for the production of food and animal origin. However, to realize the...

  12. Recycled Insect Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Dispersal of forest insects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  14. Irradiating insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is a non-technical article focusing on phytosanitary uses of irradiation. In a series of interview questions, I present information on the scope of the invasive species problem and the contribution of international trade in agricultural products to the movement of invasive insects. This is foll...

  15. Investigation--Insects!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fay, Janice

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Fluorescence in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Victoria L.; Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Intrater, Nurit; Vigneron, Jean-Pol

    2012-10-01

    Fluorescent molecules are much in demand for biosensors, solar cells, LEDs and VCSEL diodes, therefore, considerable efforts have been expended in designing and tailoring fluorescence to specific technical applications. However, naturally occurring fluorescence of diverse types has been reported from a wide array of living organisms: most famously, the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, but also in over 100 species of coral and in the cuticle of scorpions, where it is the rule, rather than the exception. Despite the plethora of known insect species, comparatively few quantitative studies have been made of insect fluorescence. Because of the potential applications of natural fluorescence, studies in this field have relevance to both physics and biology. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on insect fluorescence, before documenting its occurrence in the longhorn beetles Sternotomis virescens, Sternotomis variabilis var. semi rufescens, Anoplophora elegans and Stellognatha maculata, the tiger beetles Cicindela maritima and Cicindela germanica and the weevil Pachyrrhynchus gemmatus purpureus. Optical features of insect fluorescence, including emitted wavelength, molecular ageing and naturally occurring combinations of fluorescence with bioluminescence and colour-producing structures are discussed.

  17. Corn Insect Pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, the major corn insect pests have been corn rootworms (northern and western), European corn borer, and black cutworm. Bt-corn hybrids are effective against most of these pests. However, Bt-corn hybrids are not effective against corn leaf aphid, corn root aphid, sap beetles, corn rootwor...

  18. Radar cross section of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, J. R.

    1985-02-01

    X-band measurements of radar cross section as a function of the angle between insect body axis and the plane of polarization are presented. A finding of particular interest is that in larger insects, maximum cross section occurs when the E-vector is perpendicular to the body axis. A new range of measurements on small insects (aphids, and planthoppers) is also described, and a comprehensive summary of insect cross-section data at X-band is given.

  19. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon. PMID:23564294

  20. Detection of insects in grain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Detecting insects hidden inside kernels of grain is important to grain buyers because internal infestations can result in insect fragments in products made from the grain, or, if the grain is stored before use, the insect population can increase and damage the grain further. In a study in the Unite...

  1. Insect Ferritins: typical or atypical?

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Daphne Q. D.; Winzerling, Joy J.

    2010-01-01

    Insects transmit millions of cases of disease each year, and cost millions of dollars in agricultural losses. The control of insect-borne diseases is vital for numerous developing countries, and the management of agricultural insect pests is a very serious business for developed countries. Control methods should target insect-specific traits in order to avoid non-target effects, especially in mammals. Since insect cells have had a billion years of evolutionary divergence from those of vertebrates, they differ in many ways that might be promising for the insect control field—especially, in iron metabolism because current studies have indicated that significant differences exist between insect and mammalian systems. Insect iron metabolism differs from that of vertebrates in the following respects. Insect ferritins have a heavier mass than mammalian ferritins. Unlike their mammalian counterparts, the insect ferritin subunits are often glycosylated and are synthesized with a signal peptide. The crystal structure of insect ferritin also shows a tetrahedral symmetry consisting of 12 heavy chain and 12 light chain subunits in contrast to that of mammalian ferritin that exhibits an octahedral symmetry made of 24 heavy chain and 24 light chain subunits. Insect ferritins associate primarily with the vacuolar system and serve as iron transporters—quite the opposite of the mammalian ferritins, which are mainly cytoplasmic and serve as iron storage proteins. This review will discuss these differences. PMID:20230873

  2. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies.

    PubMed

    El-Tantawy, Nora L

    2015-02-01

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

  3. How Should Genes and Taxa be Sampled for Phylogenomic Analyses with Missing Data? An Empirical Study in Iguanian Lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. IDENTIFICATION OF ERYTHROXYLUM TAXA BY AFLP DNA ANALYSIS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Erythroxylum coca, indigenous to the Andean region of South America, is grown historically as a source of homeopathic medicine. However, in the last century, cultivation of E. coca var. coca and three closely-related taxa for the production of illicit cocaine has become a major global problem. Two s...

  5. Eliciting the Functional Taxonomy from protein annotations and taxa

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The advances of omics technologies have triggered the production of an enormous volume of data coming from thousands of species. Meanwhile, joint international efforts like the Gene Ontology (GO) consortium have worked to provide functional information for a vast amount of proteins. With these data available, we have developed FunTaxIS, a tool that is the first attempt to infer functional taxonomy (i.e. how functions are distributed over taxa) combining functional and taxonomic information. FunTaxIS is able to define a taxon specific functional space by exploiting annotation frequencies in order to establish if a function can or cannot be used to annotate a certain species. The tool generates constraints between GO terms and taxa and then propagates these relations over the taxonomic tree and the GO graph. Since these constraints nearly cover the whole taxonomy, it is possible to obtain the mapping of a function over the taxonomy. FunTaxIS can be used to make functional comparative analyses among taxa, to detect improper associations between taxa and functions, and to discover how functional knowledge is either distributed or missing. A benchmark test set based on six different model species has been devised to get useful insights on the generated taxonomic rules. PMID:27534507

  6. Determining phylogenetic networks from inter-taxa distances.

    PubMed

    Bordewich, Magnus; Semple, Charles

    2016-08-01

    We consider the problem of determining the topological structure of a phylogenetic network given only information about the path-length distances between taxa. In particular, one of the main results of the paper shows that binary tree-child networks are essentially determined by such information. PMID:26666756

  7. STORAGE BEHAVIOR OF SEEDS FROM NATIVE HAWAIIAN TAXA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ex situ conservation is required to preserve genetic diversity of the 956 species native to Hawai’i (89% endemism, 30% federally-listed as endangered or threatened). Optimizing storage procedures to maximize seed longevity is critical to the effort. Storage behavior of seeds from about 280 taxa was ...

  8. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade. PMID:18380861

  9. Eliciting the Functional Taxonomy from protein annotations and taxa.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The advances of omics technologies have triggered the production of an enormous volume of data coming from thousands of species. Meanwhile, joint international efforts like the Gene Ontology (GO) consortium have worked to provide functional information for a vast amount of proteins. With these data available, we have developed FunTaxIS, a tool that is the first attempt to infer functional taxonomy (i.e. how functions are distributed over taxa) combining functional and taxonomic information. FunTaxIS is able to define a taxon specific functional space by exploiting annotation frequencies in order to establish if a function can or cannot be used to annotate a certain species. The tool generates constraints between GO terms and taxa and then propagates these relations over the taxonomic tree and the GO graph. Since these constraints nearly cover the whole taxonomy, it is possible to obtain the mapping of a function over the taxonomy. FunTaxIS can be used to make functional comparative analyses among taxa, to detect improper associations between taxa and functions, and to discover how functional knowledge is either distributed or missing. A benchmark test set based on six different model species has been devised to get useful insights on the generated taxonomic rules. PMID:27534507

  10. Do aquatic insects avoid cadmium-contaminated sediments?

    SciTech Connect

    Hare, L.; Shooner, F.

    1995-06-01

    The long-term colonization of profundal lake sediments having a range of spiked cadmium (Cd) concentrations (0.007 to 2.7 {mu}mol/g dry wt.) was measured in the field. Population densities of two of the most abundant colonizing insects (the chironomids Procladius [Holotanypus] sp., and Sergentia coracina) were unrelated to the Cd gradient, even though both taxa accumulated Cd in direct relation to its concentration in sediment Cd gradient Cd gradient. Cadmium concentrations in Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. larvae also responded positively to the sediment Cd gradient and ranged from 0.2 to 50 {mu}g/g. In contrast with the two other taxa, the abundance of Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. was the result of a behavioral or a toxic response, larvae of the three chironomid taxa were given a choice between field-control and Cd-spiked sediments in the laboratory. None of the taxa avoided the Cd-spiked sediments, suggesting that the lower abundance of Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. at high Cd concentrations in the field was due to Cd toxicity and not to avoidance of the Cd-rich sediments.

  11. Neonatal medicine in ancient art.

    PubMed

    Yurdakök, Murat

    2010-01-01

    There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau). PMID:20560265

  12. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

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

  13. Community responses of aquatic insects to heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Cherry, D.S.; Cairns, J.

    1987-07-01

    Community level toxicity tests were conducted in outdoor experimental streams to examine the responses of aquatic insects to heavy metals. Introduced substrates (plastic trays filled with small cobble) were colonized at several locations in a river impacted by heavy metals. After 30 d, 4delta trays from an upstream control site were transferred to 12 outdoor experimental streams. Each stream was randomly assigned to one of three treatments: control, low metals, and high metals. Two trays were removed from each stream after 4 and 10 d exposure. Community structure on these trays was compared to field data collected from control and impacted sites. Macroinvertebrate density and number of taxa were reduced in both treated streams and at impacted field sites. Owing to differences in relative sensitivity to metals, the percent composition of dominant taxa also varied among treatments.

  14. Night Blindness and Ancient Remedy

    PubMed Central

    Al Binali, H.A. Hajar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A. PMID:25774260

  15. Night blindness and ancient remedy.

    PubMed

    Al Binali, H A Hajar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A. PMID:25774260

  16. Effect of land use on the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in neotropical streams.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Streams may exhibit differences in community structure of invertebrate drift, which may be a reflex of variation in environmental factors, able to change in conditions of anthropogenic interventions. The aim of this study was to analyze the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in two neotropical streams under different land use and to identify the environmental factors involved in determining such patterns. 54 taxa of aquatic insects were identified in urban and rural streams. The results indicated significant differences in species composition due to the replacement of specialist species by generalist species in the urban stream. Higher diversity of taxa was recorded in the rural stream, with high levels of dissolved oxygen and high water flow, which favored the occurrence of sensitive groups to environmental disturbances, such as Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera taxa, that living mainly in clean and well oxygenated waters. On the other hand, a higher density of insects drifting, especially Chironomidae, was observed in the urban stream, where high values of pH, electrical conductivity and nitrogen were observed. These larvae are able to explore a wide range of environmental conditions, owing to their great capacity for physiological adaptation. Despite observing the expected patterns, there were no significant differences between streams for the diversity and abundance of species. Thus, the species composition can be considered as the best predictor of impacts on the drifting insect community. PMID:26602342

  17. Multi-taxa approach shows consistent shifts in arthropod functional traits along grassland land-use intensity gradient.

    PubMed

    Simons, Nadja K; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gossner, Martin M

    2016-03-01

    Intensification of land use reduces biodiversity but may also shift the trait composition of communities. Understanding how land use affects single traits and community trait composition, helps to understand why some species are more affected by land use than others. Trait-based analyses are common for plants, but rare for arthropods. We collected literature-based traits for nearly 1000 insect and spider species to test how land- use intensity (including mowing, fertilization, and grazing) across 124 grasslands in three regions of Germany affects community-weighted mean traits across taxa and in single taxa. We additionally measured morphometric traits for more than 150 Heteroptera species and tested whether the weighted mean morphometric traits change with increasing land-use intensity. Community average body size decreased and community average dispersal ability increased from low to high land-use intensity. Furthermore, the relative abundance of herbivores and of specialists among herbivores decreased and the relative abundance of species using the herb layer increased with increasing land-use intensity. Community-weighted means of the morphometric traits in Heteroptera also changed from low to high land-use intensity toward longer and thinner shapes as well as longer appendices (legs, wings, and antenna). While changes in traits with increasing mowing and fertilization intensity were consistent with the combined land-use intensity, community average traits did often not change or with opposite direction under increasing grazing intensity. We conclude that high land-use intensity acts as an environmental filter selecting for on average smaller, more mobile, and less specialized species across taxa. Although trait collection across multiple arthropod taxa is laborious and needs clear trait definitions, it is essential for understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss due to land-use intensification. PMID:27197401

  18. Nature versus nurture in social insect caste differentiation.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Lo, Nathan; Beekman, Madeleine; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Keller, Laurent

    2010-05-01

    Recent evidence for genetic effects on royal and worker caste differentiation from diverse social insect taxa has put an end to the view that these phenotypes stem solely from a developmental switch controlled by environmental factors. Instead, the relative influences of genotypic and environmental effects on caste vary among species, ranging from largely environmentally controlled phenotypes to almost purely genetic systems. Disentangling the selective forces that generate variation for caste predisposition will require characterizing the genetic mechanisms underlying this variation, and identifying particular life-history strategies and kin structures associated with strong genetic effects on caste. PMID:20106547

  19. Convergent evolution of cucurbitacin feeding in spatially isolated rootworm taxa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; Galerucinae, Luperini).

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Joseph J; Kjer, Karl M; Duckett, Catherine N; Tallamy, Douglas W

    2003-10-01

    Historically, chemical ecologists assumed that cucurbitacin feeding and sequestration in rootworm leaf beetles is a remnant of an ancient association between the Luperini (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; Galerucinae) and Cucurbitaceae (ancestral host hypothesis). Under this premise, rootworms that do not develop on cucurbits but undergo pharmacophagous forays for cucurbitacins are thought to do so to supplement novel host diets that lack these bitter compounds. The ancestral host hypothesis is supported from studies of pyrrolizidine alkaloid pharmacophagy in Lepidoptera but has not been subjected to phylogenetic analysis within the Luperini. New evidence that this feeding behavior is better correlated with an adult affinity for pollen than with larval host offers the possibility that Old and New World rootworm species with an affinity for cucurbitacins converged on this behavior through apomorphic taste receptor modifications (loose receptor hypothesis). Here we test the monophyly of cucurbitacin feeding within the Luperini by using nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data to infer phylogenetic relationships among 49 taxa representing tribes of the Galerucinae and subtribes of the Luperini. The resulting phylogenetic hypothesis is mostly concordant with existing tribal and subtribal delineations within the Subfamily Galerucinae sensu stricto (Galerucinae not including the flea beetles). The establishment of ancestry among the subtribes of the Luperini refutes the monophyly of cucurbitacin feeding and cucurbit specialization, with the New World Diabroticina being paraphyletic to the Old World Aulacophorina and cosmopolitan Luperina. These data unambiguously support the convergent evolution of cucurbitacin feeding in rootworms and are inconsistent with the ancestral host hypothesis. PMID:12967617

  20. Brachiopod taxa and shell portions reliably recording past ocean environments: Toward establishing a robust paleoceanographic proxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Kazuyuki; Asami, Ryuji; Iryu, Yasufumi

    2011-07-01

    Fossils of rhynchonelliform brachiopods (marine invertebrates) constitute ˜70% of the samples used for delineating a well-known Phanerozoic trend in oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of low-Mg calcite shells. The trend represents secular variations in temperature and/or δ18O of ancient seawater. However, the use of brachiopods as a paleoceanographic proxy is based on the presupposition that the shell calcite is precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. Here, we show that high-resolution time series of the shell δ18O values along the maximum growth axes of two long-lived cool-water brachiopods are identical to, greater than, or less than those of calcite precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater, depending on the difference in shell growth rates. Coupled with δ18O data from subtropical and warm-temperate brachiopod species examined in our previous studies, we provide a sound framework illustrating which taxa and shell portions reliably recorded past ocean environments.

  1. The Fossil Record of Plant-Insect Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labandeira, Conrad C.; Currano, Ellen D.

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), especially those transmitted by mosquitoes, are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide. Recent discoveries indicate that mosquitoes are naturally infected with a wide range of other viruses, many within taxa occupied by arboviruses that are considered insect-specific. Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in the literature describing novel insect-specific virus detection in mosquitoes, which has provided new insights about viral diversity and evolution, including that of arboviruses. It has also raised questions about what effects the mosquito virome has on arbovirus transmission. Additionally, the discovery of these new viruses has generated interest in their potential use as biological control agents as well as novel vaccine platforms. The arbovirus community will benefit from the growing database of knowledge concerning these newly described viral endosymbionts, as their impacts will likely be far reaching. PMID:26378568

  3. Acupuncture: From Ancient Practice to Modern Science

    MedlinePlus

    ... Section CAM Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science Past Issues / Winter 2009 Table of Contents For ... of Progress / Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science / Low Back Pain and CAM / Time to Talk / ...

  4. On quantifying insect movements

    SciTech Connect

    Wiens, J.A.; Crist, T.O. ); Milne, B.T. )

    1993-08-01

    We elaborate on methods described by Turchin, Odendaal Rausher for quantifying insect movement pathways. We note the need to scale measurement resolution to the study insects and the questions being asked, and we discuss the use of surveying instrumentation for recording sequential positions of individuals on pathways. We itemize several measures that may be used to characterize movement pathways and illustrate these by comparisons among several Eleodes beetles occurring in shortgrass steppe. The fractal dimension of pathways may provide insights not available from absolute measures of pathway configuration. Finally, we describe a renormalization procedure that may be used to remove sequential interdependence among locations of moving individuals while preserving the basic attributes of the pathway.

  5. Insect maintenance and transmission.

    PubMed

    Kingdom, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogens of huge economic importance due to responsibility for crop yield losses worldwide. Institutions around the world are trying to understand and control this yield loss at a time when food security is high on government agendas. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of phytoplasma infection and spread, more insect vector and phytoplasma colonies will need to be established for research worldwide. Rearing and study of these colonies is essential in the research and development of phytoplasma control measures. This chapter highlights general materials and methods for raising insect vector colonies and maintenance of phytoplasmas. Specific methods of rearing the maize leafhopper and maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and the aster leafhopper and aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom are also included. PMID:22987405

  6. Undergraduates' mental models about insect anatomy and insect life cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Arlene Edith

    Educational studies focused on students' alternative conceptions have shown the importance of developing strategies to correct understanding. Identifying and comprehending student mental models are important since they may reflect alternate conceptions about scientific concepts. Mental models have been identified in various science education studies, but little is known about mental models undergraduates hold about insects. This research is significant because it identified mental models undergraduates have about insect anatomy and insect life cycles, exposed students to cognitive conflict by having them complete an online insect tutorial, and analyzed the effectiveness of this insect tutorial in correcting student understanding. An insect assessment was developed and administered pre- and post-instruction to probe students' mental models about insects. Different numbers of undergraduate students participated in different parts of the assessment; 276, 249, 166, and 58 students participated in the listing, drawing. definition, and life cycle parts of the assessment, respectively. The tutorial contained a variety of manipulated insect and non-insect images that challenged the students' understanding and generated cognitive conflict. This intervention guided students in replacing alternate conceptions with correct understanding. It was hypothesized that the tutorial would have a positive impact on student learning about insects. The results suggest that the tutorial had a positive impact on learning.

  7. [Protection against insects].

    PubMed

    Rudin, W

    2005-11-01

    Successful protection against haematophagous insects and ticks, especially in areas where transmission of diseases occurs, requires a consistent application of a combination of appropriate measures. However, this can never substitute a chemoprophylaxis. Which measures have to be used depends on the circumstances under which they have to work. Indoor, physical means such as mosquito-screens on doors and windows, air-conditioners, and bed nets can be used to keep the insects away. These measures can be supplemented or supported by insecticides used as knock-down sprays, by electrical evaporation or for the treatment of screens and bed nets. In the field, if it is not possible to avoid mosquito-areas during phases of activity, appropriate clothing and repellents must provide the protection. Bright, wide pants and shirts of dense weaving covering as much skin as bearable should be preferred. Repellents are sprays, lotions, milks or creams which are evenly applied to the skin to prevent insects from biting. They contain synthetic or natural active substances of substantially varying effectiveness. The gold standard since about 60 years is diethylbenzamine (DEET). There are a few other active substances with a lower risk of side effects, however, combined with a lower effectiveness mainly on people with a high attractiveness for mosquitoes. Products containing an extract of Eucalyptus citriodora provide the best protection amongst those with natural active substances. Wearing bracelets or necklaces treated with repellents, acoustic devices (buzzers), electrocuters, topical or systemic Vitamin B1 or eating garlic are useless measures to prevent insects from biting. PMID:16350532

  8. Ancient India: The Asiatic Ethiopians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Carolyn McPherson

    This curriculum unit was developed by a participant in the 1993 Fulbright-Hays Program "India: Continuity and Change." The unit attempts to place India in the "picture frame" of the ancient world as a part of a whole, not as a separate entity. Reading materials enable students to draw broader general conclusions based on the facts presented. The…

  9. Drinking habits in ancient India.

    PubMed

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D Vijaya; Murthy, A G Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature. PMID:26985113

  10. Drinking habits in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D. Vijaya; Murthy, A. G. Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature. PMID:26985113

  11. Retroflex Endings in Ancient Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hashimoto, Mantaro J.

    1973-01-01

    Reconstruction of Ancient Chinese retroflex endings (syllable-final consonants) based on internal phonological evidence in Modern Chinese. Paper read at the December 1972 meeting of the Kukeo Hakhoe (The National Language Association of Korea); research supported by the Social Science Research Council, Committee for Korean Studies. (RS)

  12. The ancient art of memory.

    PubMed

    Hobson, Allan

    2013-12-01

    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable? PMID:24304762

  13. Ancient medicine--a review.

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples. PMID:18812066

  14. Discovering the Ancient Temperate Rainforest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Anne

    1997-01-01

    Two activities for grades 3 through 8 explore species adaptation and forestry issues in the North American rainforests. In one activity, students create imaginary species of plants or animals that are adapted for life in an ancient temperate rainforest. In the second activity, students role play groups affected by plans to log an area of the…

  15. Interrogating an insect society

    PubMed Central

    Gadagkar, Raghavendra

    2009-01-01

    Insect societies such as those of ants, bees, and wasps consist of 1 or a small number of fertile queens and a large number of sterile or nearly sterile workers. While the queens engage in laying eggs, workers perform all other tasks such as nest building, acquisition and processing of food, and brood care. How do such societies function in a coordinated and efficient manner? What are the rules that individuals follow? How are these rules made and enforced? These questions are of obvious interest to us as fellow social animals but how do we interrogate an insect society and seek answers to these questions? In this article I will describe my research that was designed to seek answers from an insect society to a series of questions of obvious interest to us. I have chosen the Indian paper wasp Ropalidia marginata for this purpose, a species that is abundantly distributed in peninsular India and serves as an excellent model system. An important feature of this species is that queens and workers are morphologically identical and physiologically nearly so. How then does an individual become a queen? How does the queen suppress worker reproduction? How does the queen regulate the nonreproductive activities of the workers? What is the function of aggression shown by different individuals? How and when is the queen's heir decided? I will show how such questions can indeed be investigated and will emphasize the need for a whole range of different techniques of observation and experimentation. PMID:19487678

  16. Fatigue of insect cuticle.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Jan-Henning; Parle, Eoin; Taylor, David

    2013-05-15

    Many parts of the insect exoskeleton experience repeated cyclic loading. Although the cuticle of insects and other arthropods is the second most common natural composite material in the world, so far nothing is known about its fatigue properties, despite the fact that fatigue undoubtedly limits the durability of body parts in vivo. For the first time, we here present experimental fatigue data of insect cuticle. Using force-controlled cyclic loading, we determined the number of cycles to failure for hind legs (tibiae) and hind wings of the locust Schistocerca gregaria, as a function of the applied cyclic stress. Our results show that, although both are made from cuticle, these two body parts behave very differently. Wing samples showed a large fatigue range, failing after 100,000 cycles when we applied 46% of the stress needed for instantaneous failure [the ultimate tensile strength (UTS)]. Legs, in contrast, were able to sustain a stress of 76% of the UTS for the same number of cycles to failure. This can be explained by the difference in the composition and structure of the material, two factors that, amongst others, also affect the well-known behaviour of engineering composites. Final failure of the tibiae occurred via one of two different failure modes--propagation in tension or buckling in compression--indicating that the tibia is 'optimized' by evolution to resist both failure modes equally. These results are further discussed in relation to the evolution and normal use of these two body parts. PMID:23393276

  17. Escape behaviors in insects.

    PubMed

    Card, Gwyneth M

    2012-04-01

    Escape behaviors are, by necessity, fast and robust, making them excellent systems with which to study the neural basis of behavior. This is especially true in insects, which have comparatively tractable nervous systems and members who are amenable to manipulation with genetic tools. Recent technical developments in high-speed video reveal that, despite their short duration, insect escape behaviors are more complex than previously appreciated. For example, before initiating an escape jump, a fly performs sophisticated posture and stimulus-dependent preparatory leg movements that enable it to jump away from a looming threat. This newfound flexibility raises the question of how the nervous system generates a behavior that is both rapid and flexible. Recordings from the cricket nervous system suggest that synchrony between the activity of specific interneuron pairs may provide a rapid cue for the cricket to detect the direction of an approaching predator and thus which direction it should run. Technical advances make possible wireless recording from neurons while locusts escape from a looming threat, enabling, for the first time, a direct correlation between the activity of multiple neurons and the time-course of an insect escape behavior. PMID:22226514

  18. Ancient and Modern Coins Unit Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United States Mint (Dept. of Treasury), Washington, DC.

    Ancient times comes to life when a student can hold in his/her hand or read about an artifact, such as a coin of the Greek or Roman era. Students are familiar with coins, and this commonality helps them understand the similarities and differences between their lives and times in ancient Greece or Rome. Many symbols on the ancient coins can be…

  19. Insect phylogenomics: results, problems and the impact of matrix composition.

    PubMed

    Letsch, Harald O; Meusemann, Karen; Wipfler, Benjamin; Schütte, Kai; Beutel, Rolf; Misof, Bernhard

    2012-08-22

    In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data ('EST': short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera + Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered. PMID:22628473

  20. Insect phylogenomics: results, problems and the impact of matrix composition

    PubMed Central

    Letsch, Harald O.; Meusemann, Karen; Wipfler, Benjamin; Schütte, Kai; Beutel, Rolf; Misof, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data (‘EST’: short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera + Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered. PMID:22628473

  1. Evolution of cyanobacterial morphotypes: Taxa required for improved phylogenomic approaches.

    PubMed

    Schirrmeister, Bettina E; Anisimova, Maria; Antonelli, Alexandre; Bagheri, Homayoun C

    2011-07-01

    Within prokaryotes cyanobacteria represent one of the oldest and morphologically most diverse phyla on Earth. The rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere 2.32-2.45 billion years ago is assigned to the photosynthetic activity of ancestors from this phylum. Subsequently cyanobacteria were able to adapt to various habitats evolving a comprehensive set of different morphotypes. In a recent study we showed that this evolution is not a gradual transition from simple unicellular to more complex multicellular forms as often assumed. Instead complexity was lost several times and regained at least once. An understanding of the genetic basis of these transitions would be further strengthened by phylogenomic approaches. However, considering that new methods for phylogenomic analyses are emerging, it is unfortunate that genomes available today are comprised of an unbalanced sampling of taxa. We propose avenues to remedy this by identifying taxa that would improve the representation of phylogenetic diversity in this phylum. PMID:21966561

  2. Edible insects are the future?

    PubMed

    van Huis, Arnold

    2016-08-01

    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy. PMID:26908196

  3. Respiratory strategy is a major determinant of [3H]water and [14C]chlorpyrifos uptake in aquatic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

    Despite the extensive use of aquatic insects to evaluate freshwater ecosystem health, little is known about the underlying factors that result in sensitivity differences between taxa. Organismal characteristics (respiratory strategy and body size) were used to explore the rates of [3H]H2O and [14)C]chlorpyrifos accumulation in aquatic insects. Ten aquatic insect taxa, including ephemeropteran, trichopteran, dipteran, hemipteran, and coleopteran species, were exposed to [14C]chlorpyrifos (240 ng??L-1) and [3H]H2O for up to 12 h. Because exchange epithelial surfaces on the)integument are permeable to water, [3H]H2O was used as a quantitative surrogate for exposed cellular surface area.) [14C]Chlorpyrifos uptake rates were highly correlated with water permeability in all 10 taxa tested and largely covaried with body size and respiratory strategy. Rates were highest among smaller organisms on a per-weight basis and in taxa with relatively large external cellular surfaces such as gills. Air-breathing taxa were significantly less permeable to both [3)HH20 and [14C)C]chlorpyrifos. A method for labeling exposed epithelial surfaces with a fluorescent dye was developed. This technique allowed discrimination between exchange epithelium and barrier tissue on the integument. Fluorescent dye distributions on the body surface provided a rapid method for estimating exposed epithelium consistent with [3H]H2O and [14)C]chlorpyrifos accumulation.

  4. Deciphering The Role of Plankton Taxa in Particle Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuer, Susanne; Amacher, Jessica; DeMartini, Francesca; Wilson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    The sinking of phytoplankton derived particulate organic matter to the deep ocean constitutes an important removal process of atmospheric CO2 and is termed the biological carbon pump. Understanding the taxon specific connection between phytoplankton communities in the euphotic zone and their contribution to particle flux is a high priority in current oceanographic research and provides a basis to evaluate how carbon export might change in a future ocean. Here we present results from DNA-based molecular studies that investigate the taxonomic composition of cyanobacterial and protist communities retrieved from shallow particle traps in comparison to those living in the euphotic zone. This research has been mainly carried out in the Sargasso Sea at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study site (BATS). Trap material collected at this oligotrophic ocean site reveals a surprisingly high diversity of small, non-mineral ballasted taxa, some of which are over-represented compared to the euphotic zone communities. But the majority of clones in the traps belong to mostly heterotrophic protist taxa. By analyzing the fingerprints of prey DNA in guts and fecal pellets of dominant zooplankton grazers we find that there is a close link between prey utilization and the recovery of those taxa in the traps, showing the importance of fecal pellets in packaging and mediating their flux out of the euphotic zone.

  5. ALLERGIC REACTIONS CAUSED BY VENOM OF HYMENOPTEROUS STINGING INSECTS AND THE ROLE OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS.

    PubMed

    Abdelrahman, Raafat Zaher; Mohamad, Hanaa Mahmoud; Morsy, Ayman T A; Morsy, Tosson A

    2015-08-01

    The Hymenoptera are the third largest order of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. Worldwide, over 150,000 species are recognized, with many more remaining to be described. The name refers to the wings of the insects, but the original derivation is ambiguous. The Ancient Greek υμην (hymen) for membrane provides a pLusible etymology for the term because these insects have membranous wings. However, a key characteristic of this order is that the hind wings are connected to the fore wings by a series of hooks called hamuli. Thus, another plausible etymology involves, Hymen, the Ancient Greek god of marriage, as these insects have "married wings" in flight. Stinging insects and the medical risk associated with their venoms are complex topics, and presentation of information pertaining to them requires the use of technical terms. The most common reactions to these stings are transient pain and redness at the site lasting a few hours (local reaction), and exaggerated swelling lasting a few days (large local reaction). The most dangerous immediate reaction is anaphylaxis, which is potentially fatal. PMID:26485860

  6. Secondary production of benthic insects in three cold-desert streams

    SciTech Connect

    Gaines, W.L.

    1987-07-01

    Aquatic insect production was studied in three cold-desert streams in eastern Washington (Douglas Creek, Snively Springs, and Rattlesnake Springs). The size-frequency method was applied to individual taxa to estimate total insect production. production was also assessed for functional groups and trophic levels in each stream. Optioservus sp. (riffle beetles) and Baetis sp. (mayflies) accounted for 72% of the total insect numbers and 50% of the total biomass in Douglas Creek. Baetis sp. accounted for 42% of the total insect numbers and 25% of the total biomass in Snively Springs. Simulium sp. (blackflies) and Baetis sp. comprised 74% of the total insect numbers and 55% of the total biomass in Rattlesnake Springs. Grazer-scrapers (49%) and collectors (48%) were the most abundant functional groups in Douglas Creek. Collectors were the most abundant functional group in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Herbivores and detritivores were the most abundant trophic level in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Dipterans (midges and blackflies) were the most productive taxa within the study streams, accounting for 40% to 70% of the total community production. Production by collectors and detritivores was the highest of all functional groups and trophic levels in all study streams.

  7. Glandular trichomes as an inflorescence defence mechanism against insect herbivores in Iberian columbines.

    PubMed

    Jaime, Rafael; Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Bastida, Jesús M

    2013-08-01

    Glandular trichomes play a defensive role against herbivores in the leaves of many plant species. However, their functional role in inflorescences has not been studied, even though theory suggests that tissues with a higher fitness value, such as inflorescences, should be better defended. Using manipulative experiments, we analysed the defensive role of glandular trichomes against herbivorous insects in the inflorescence of Iberian columbines (genus Aquilegia), and its inter-population and inter-taxa variation in relation to herbivore abundance and potential selective pressure. The experiments were conducted in eight populations belonging to four subspecies of two columbines (Aquilegia vulgaris and Aquilegia pyrenaica). For each population, we estimated the density of glandular trichomes in the inflorescences, the abundance of insects stuck in the inflorescences, the abundance of small herbivorous insects, the incidence of damage on flowers and fruits, and the fruit set. The density of glandular trichomes on the inflorescence of A. vulgaris and A. pyrenaica was higher in regions of higher herbivore abundance. We also found that when the plants lose the protection of glandular trichomes, small insects have better access to flowers and fruits, causing more damage and reducing plant fitness. This study concludes that glandular trichomes are part of an adaptive response against phytophagous insect herbivory. The observed variation in herbivore pressure between taxa, likely caused by habitat differentiation, might have played a role in trait differentiation through divergent selection. This result adds evidence to the differentiation of the Iberian columbines through habitat specialization. PMID:23247688

  8. Ground plan of the insect mushroom body: functional and evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Sinakevitch, Irina; Brown, Sheena M.

    2014-01-01

    In most insects with olfactory glomeruli, each side of the brain possesses a mushroom body equipped with calyces supplied by olfactory projection neurons. Kenyon cells providing dendrites to the calyces supply a pedunculus and lobes divided into subdivisions supplying outputs to other brain areas. It is with reference to these components that most functional studies are interpreted. However, mushroom body structures are diverse, adapted to different ecologies and likely to serve various functions. In insects whose derived life styles preclude the detection of airborne odorants there is a loss of the antennal lobes and attenuation or loss of the calyces. Such taxa retain mushroom body lobes that as elaborate as those of mushroom bodies equipped with calyces. Antennal lobe loss and calycal regression also typifies taxa with short non-feeding adults where olfaction is redundant. Examples are cicadas and mayflies, the latter representing the most basal lineage of winged insects. Mushroom bodies of another basal taxon, the Odonata, possess a remnant calyx that may reflect the visual ecology of this group. That mushroom bodies persist in brains of secondarily anosmic insects suggests that they play roles in higher functions other than olfaction. Mushroom bodies are not ubiquitous: the most basal living insects, the wingless Archaeognatha, possess glomerular antennal lobes but lack mushroom bodies, suggesting that the ability to process airborne odorants preceded the acquisition of mushroom bodies. Archaeognathan brains are like those of higher malacostracans, which lack mushroom bodies but have elaborate olfactory centers laterally in the brain. PMID:19152379

  9. Modern freshwater microbialite analogues for ancient dendritic reef structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Multi-taxa trait and functional responses to physical disturbance.

    PubMed

    Pedley, Scott M; Dolman, Paul M

    2014-11-01

    Examining assemblage trait responses to environmental stressors extends our understanding beyond patterns of taxonomic diversity and composition, with results potentially transferable among bioregions. But the degree to which trait responses may be generalized across taxonomic groups remains incompletely understood. We compared trait responses among carabids, spiders and plants to an experimentally manipulated gradient of physical disturbance, replicated in open habitats within a forested landscape. Recolonization of recently disturbed habitats is expected to favour species with traits that promote greater dispersal ability, independent of taxa. We specifically predicted that physical disturbance would increase the representation of carabids with smaller body size, wings or wing dimorphism, spiders able to disperse aerially, and plants with therophyte life-history and wind-dispersed seed. We sampled 197 arthropod species (14,738 individuals) and 164 species of plant. The strength of association between each trait and the disturbance intensity was quantified by correlating matrices of species by traits, species abundance by sites and sites by environment, with significance assessed by comparison with a null model. Responses of biological traits varied among taxa but could be consistently interpreted in terms of dispersal ability. Trait shifts for carabid and plant assemblages were as predicted and correspond to those observed in other disturbance regimes. Assemblages after disturbance comprised smaller and winged carabids, and smaller plants with wind-dispersed seed, consistent with selection for species with better dispersal ability. In contrast, aerial dispersal did not appear important in spider recolonization, instead terrestrial dispersal ability was suggested by the increased abundance of larger-bodied and cursorial species. However, larger spider body size was also associated with an active-hunting strategy, also favoured in the post-disturbance environment