Science.gov

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 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

  17. 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

  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

    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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  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 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

  19. 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

  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. 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)

  6. 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 ...

  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. [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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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)

  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. 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...

  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. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  6. [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

  7. 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

  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. 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...

  10. 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,...

  11. 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…

  12. 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.…

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  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. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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--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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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)

  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. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  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. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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,…

  10. 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,...

  11. 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),…

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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 / ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  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

  11. [Light and blindness in ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Maria Rosso, Ana

    2010-01-01

    In Ancient Egypt, light and fire, which were closely related to the Sun God Ra, were the sources of life and well-being, while the dark meant danger and death. Similar to death, darkness drops on human beings in deep sleep and they enter a space inhabited by shadows. Dreams were believed to reveal an unknown world, to give the sleeper a glimpse into the future. Vision attracts distant objects and their light, on the other hand, can hurt the eyes like a burning flame. Eyes were the most important organ in Egyptian thought, as they allowed perception of the real world. Their importance has been immortalised in the myth of the Eye of Horus that explains the role of either eye. One represents the moonlight, which disperses the darkness of the night, and the other represents the sunshine, which creates life, and both could also represents the power of human intellect. Blindness, in turn, congenital or disease-related, was considered a divine punishment. A man, thus handicapped, would sink in a state of uncertainty and darkness. To protect the eyes from blindness, people used drops and ointments, which were believed to chase away all kinds of insects and demons that threatened with a variety of eye infections. Egyptian eye doctors or physicians, carried a special kit that contained green chrysocolla and a black kohl makeup, highly appreciated as prophylaxis because they personified Osiris' humours or body fluids. These products were offered to Gods to restore the brightness of divine glance and incite sun and moon to spread their beneficial light. PMID:21192112

  12. Cryptic Species in Putative Ancient Asexual Darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda)

    PubMed Central

    Schön, Isa; Pinto, Ricardo L.; Halse, Stuart; Smith, Alison J.; Martens, Koen; Birky, C. William

    2012-01-01

    Background Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. Methodology/Principal Findings We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG) species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC). We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis), five to six (D. stevensoni) and two (P. aotearoa), respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. Conclusions/Significance Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated. PMID:22802945

  13. Insect bite prevention.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sarah J; Mordue Luntz, Anne Jennifer; Logan, James G

    2012-09-01

    Protection from the bites of arthropod (insect and acarine) vectors of disease is the first line of defense against disease transmission and should be advised in all cases when traveling abroad. Details are described of the main approaches for the prevention of bites, including topical or skin repellents, impregnated clothing, bed nets, and spatial or aerial repellents and aerosols. The bionomics of the main arthropod vectors of disease are described along with photographic plates and tabulated advice to give the traveler. An in-depth treatment of the different protection methodologies provides an up-to-date overview of the technologies involved. PMID:22963776

  14. Aircraft anti-insect system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Fric, Thomas Frank (Inventor); Leon, Ross Michael (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Insect debris is removed from or prevented from adhering to insect impingement areas of an aircraft, particularly on an inlet cowl of an engine, by heating the area to 180.degree.-500.degree. C. An apparatus comprising a means to bring hot air from the aircraft engine to a plenum contiguous to the insect impingement area provides for the heating of the insect impingement areas to the required temperatures. The plenum can include at least one tube with a plurality of holes contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl. It can also include an envelope with a plurality of holes on its surface contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl.

  15. Fossil evidence for key innovations in the evolution of insect diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Explaining the taxonomic richness of the insects, comprising over half of all described species, is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Previously, several evolutionary novelties (key innovations) have been posited to contribute to that richness, including the insect bauplan, wings, wing folding and complete metamorphosis, but evidence over their relative importance and modes of action is sparse and equivocal. Here, a new dataset on the first and last occurrences of fossil hexapod (insects and close relatives) families is used to show that basal families of winged insects (Palaeoptera, e.g. dragonflies) show higher origination and extinction rates in the fossil record than basal wingless groups (Apterygota, e.g. silverfish). Origination and extinction rates were maintained at levels similar to Palaeoptera in the more derived Polyneoptera (e.g. cockroaches) and Paraneoptera (e.g. true bugs), but extinction rates subsequently reduced in the very rich group of insects with complete metamorphosis (Holometabola, e.g. beetles). Holometabola show evidence of a recent slow-down in their high net diversification rate, whereas other winged taxa continue to diversify at constant but low rates. These data suggest that wings and complete metamorphosis have had the most effect on family-level insect macroevolution, and point to specific mechanisms by which they have influenced insect diversity through time. PMID:25165766

  16. Fossil evidence for key innovations in the evolution of insect diversity.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, David B; Ross, Andrew J; Mayhew, Peter J

    2014-10-22

    Explaining the taxonomic richness of the insects, comprising over half of all described species, is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Previously, several evolutionary novelties (key innovations) have been posited to contribute to that richness, including the insect bauplan, wings, wing folding and complete metamorphosis, but evidence over their relative importance and modes of action is sparse and equivocal. Here, a new dataset on the first and last occurrences of fossil hexapod (insects and close relatives) families is used to show that basal families of winged insects (Palaeoptera, e.g. dragonflies) show higher origination and extinction rates in the fossil record than basal wingless groups (Apterygota, e.g. silverfish). Origination and extinction rates were maintained at levels similar to Palaeoptera in the more derived Polyneoptera (e.g. cockroaches) and Paraneoptera (e.g. true bugs), but extinction rates subsequently reduced in the very rich group of insects with complete metamorphosis (Holometabola, e.g. beetles). Holometabola show evidence of a recent slow-down in their high net diversification rate, whereas other winged taxa continue to diversify at constant but low rates. These data suggest that wings and complete metamorphosis have had the most effect on family-level insect macroevolution, and point to specific mechanisms by which they have influenced insect diversity through time. PMID:25165766

  17. Ancient DNA and human history

    PubMed Central

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history. PMID:27274045

  18. Molecular analysis of ancient caries

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains. PMID:25056622

  19. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-01

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history. PMID:27274045

  20. Ancient Celestial Spheres from Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrakoudis, S.; Papaspyrou, P.; Petoussis, V.; Moussas, X.

    2006-08-01

    We present several ancient celestial spheres from the 8th century B.C. found throughout Greece, mainly in Thessaly, at the temple of Itonia Athena, but also in Olympia and other places. These celestial spheres have an axis, equator and several meridians and they have several markings with the symbol of stars (today's symbol for the Sun) $\\odot$. Such instruments could have been used to measure the time, the latitude of a location, or the coordinates of stars.

  1. Psychiatric Thoughts in Ancient India*

    PubMed Central

    Abhyankar, Ravi

    2015-01-01

    A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry. PMID:25838724

  2. Ancient medicine: the patient's perspective.

    PubMed

    Geller, Mark J

    2004-01-01

    A number of previously unpublished therapeutic recipes from cuneiform tablets in Berlin (Pergamon Museum) and London (British Museum) list symptoms describing urinary tract disfunction. In addition to presenting extracts from this material, the present article discusses the roles of physician as apothecary or exorcist in ancient texts from Babylonia. This involves technical medical knowledge vs. "bed-side manner", taking into account the psychological effects of drug therapy and diagnosis. PMID:15372427

  3. Nanoscience of an ancient pigment.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times. PMID:23215240

  4. The ancient lunar core dynamo.

    PubMed

    Runcorn, S K

    1978-02-17

    Lunar paleomagnetism provides evidence for the existence of an ancient lunar magnetic field generated in an iron core. Paleointensity experiments give a surface field of 1.3 gauss, 4.0 x 10(9) years ago, subsequently decreasing exponentially. Thermodynamic arguments give a minimum value of the heat source in the core at that time: known sources, radioactive and other, are quantitatively implausible, and it is suggested that superheavy elements were present in the early moon. PMID:17836293

  5. 1977 Kansas Field Crop Insect Control Recommendations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Leroy; Gates, Dell E.

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

  6. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  7. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  8. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  9. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  11. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  13. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  14. Orthopedic surgery in ancient Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Blomstedt, Patric

    2014-01-01

    Background — Ancient Egypt might be considered the cradle of medicine. The modern literature is, however, sometimes rather too enthusiastic regarding the procedures that are attributed an Egyptian origin. I briefly present and analyze the claims regarding orthopedic surgery in Egypt, what was actually done by the Egyptians, and what may have been incorrectly ascribed to them. Methods — I reviewed the original sources and also the modern literature regarding surgery in ancient Egypt, concentrating especially on orthopedic surgery. Results — As is well known, both literary sources and the archaeological/osteological material bear witness to treatment of various fractures. The Egyptian painting, often claimed to depict the reduction of a dislocated shoulder according to Kocher’s method, is, however, open to interpretation. Therapeutic amputations are never depicted or mentioned in the literary sources, while the specimens suggested to demonstrate such amputations are not convincing. Interpretation — The ancient Egyptians certainly treated fractures of various kinds, and with varying degrees of success. Concerning the reductions of dislocated joints and therapeutic amputations, there is no clear evidence for the existence of such procedures. It would, however, be surprising if dislocations were not treated, even though they have not left traces in the surviving sources. Concerning amputations, the general level of Egyptian surgery makes it unlikely that limb amputations were done, even if they may possibly have been performed under extraordinary circumstances. PMID:25140982

  15. Hydrodynamics of insect spermatozoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pak, On Shun; Lauga, Eric

    2010-11-01

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

  16. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2007-08-01

    The visibility of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide an interesting methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  17. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2008-01-01

    The frequency of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide a valuable methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  18. Nuclear DNA Content Variation among Central European Koeleria Taxa

    PubMed Central

    PECINKA, ALES; SUCHÁNKOVÁ, PAVLA; LYSAK, MARTIN A.; TRÁVNÍČEK, BOHUMIL; DOLEŽEL, JAROSLAV

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Polyploidization plays an important role in the evolution of many plant genera, including Koeleria. The knowledge of ploidy, chromosome number and genome size may enable correct taxonomic treatment when other features are insufficient as in Koeleria. Therefore, these characteristics and their variability were determined for populations of six central European Koeleria taxa. • Methods Chromosome number analysis was performed by squashing root meristems, and ploidy and 2C nuclear DNA content were estimated by flow cytometry. • Key Results Three diploids (K. glauca, K. macrantha var. macrantha and var. pseudoglauca), one tetraploid (K. macrantha var. majoriflora), one decaploid (K. pyramidata) and one dodecaploid (K. tristis) were found. The 2C nuclear DNA content of the diploids ranged from 4·85 to 5·20 pg. The 2C DNA contents of tetraploid, decaploid and dodecaploid taxa were 9·31 pg, 22·89 pg and 29·23 pg, respectively. The DNA content of polyploids within the K. macrantha aggregate (i.e. within K. macrantha and K. pyramidata) was smaller than the expected multiple of the diploid genome (K. macrantha var. macrantha). Geography-correlated variation of DNA content was found for some taxa. Czech populations of K. macrantha var. majoriflora had a 5·06 % smaller genome than the Slovak ones. An isolated eastern Slovakian population of K. tristis revealed 8·04 % less DNA than populations from central Slovakia. In central and north-west Bohemia, diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of K. macrantha were sympatric; east from this region diploid populations, and towards the west tetraploid populations were dominant. • Conclusions Remarkable intra-specific inter-population differences in nuclear DNA content were found between Bohemian and Pannonian populations of Koeleria macrantha var. majoriflora and between geographically isolated central and eastern Slovakian populations of K. tristis. These differences occur over a relatively small

  19. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. PMID:25802407

  20. Analysis of Ancient DNA in Microbial Ecology.

    PubMed

    Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota. PMID:26791510

  1. Measuring Stratigraphic Congruence Across Trees, Higher Taxa, and Time

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A.

    2016-01-01

    The congruence between the order of cladistic branching and the first appearance dates of fossil lineages can be quantified using a variety of indices. Good matching is a prerequisite for the accurate time calibration of trees, while the distribution of congruence indices across large samples of cladograms has underpinned claims about temporal and taxonomic patterns of completeness in the fossil record. The most widely used stratigraphic congruence indices are the stratigraphic consistency index (SCI), the modified Manhattan stratigraphic measure (MSM*), and the gap excess ratio (GER) (plus its derivatives; the topological GER and the modified GER). Many factors are believed to variously bias these indices, with several empirical and simulation studies addressing some subset of the putative interactions. This study combines both approaches to quantify the effects (on all five indices) of eight variables reasoned to constrain the distribution of possible values (the number of taxa, tree balance, tree resolution, range of first occurrence (FO) dates, center of gravity of FO dates, the variability of FO dates, percentage of extant taxa, and percentage of taxa with no fossil record). Our empirical data set comprised 647 published animal and plant cladograms spanning the entire Phanerozoic, and for these data we also modeled the effects of mean age of FOs (as a proxy for clade age), the taxonomic rank of the clade, and the higher taxonomic group to which it belonged. The center of gravity of FO dates had not been investigated hitherto, and this was found to correlate most strongly with some measures of stratigraphic congruence in our empirical study (top-heavy clades had better congruence). The modified GER was the index least susceptible to bias. We found significant differences across higher taxa for all indices; arthropods had lower congruence and tetrapods higher congruence. Stratigraphic congruence—however measured—also varied throughout the Phanerozoic

  2. Measuring Stratigraphic Congruence Across Trees, Higher Taxa, and Time.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A

    2016-09-01

    The congruence between the order of cladistic branching and the first appearance dates of fossil lineages can be quantified using a variety of indices. Good matching is a prerequisite for the accurate time calibration of trees, while the distribution of congruence indices across large samples of cladograms has underpinned claims about temporal and taxonomic patterns of completeness in the fossil record. The most widely used stratigraphic congruence indices are the stratigraphic consistency index (SCI), the modified Manhattan stratigraphic measure (MSM*), and the gap excess ratio (GER) (plus its derivatives; the topological GER and the modified GER). Many factors are believed to variously bias these indices, with several empirical and simulation studies addressing some subset of the putative interactions. This study combines both approaches to quantify the effects (on all five indices) of eight variables reasoned to constrain the distribution of possible values (the number of taxa, tree balance, tree resolution, range of first occurrence (FO) dates, center of gravity of FO dates, the variability of FO dates, percentage of extant taxa, and percentage of taxa with no fossil record). Our empirical data set comprised 647 published animal and plant cladograms spanning the entire Phanerozoic, and for these data we also modeled the effects of mean age of FOs (as a proxy for clade age), the taxonomic rank of the clade, and the higher taxonomic group to which it belonged. The center of gravity of FO dates had not been investigated hitherto, and this was found to correlate most strongly with some measures of stratigraphic congruence in our empirical study (top-heavy clades had better congruence). The modified GER was the index least susceptible to bias. We found significant differences across higher taxa for all indices; arthropods had lower congruence and tetrapods higher congruence. Stratigraphic congruence-however measured-also varied throughout the Phanerozoic, reflecting

  3. Biological communities at the Florida Escarpment resemble hydrothermal vent taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paull, C.K.; Hecker, Barbara; Commeau, R.; Freeman-Lynde, R. P.; Neumann, C.; Corso, W.P.; Golubic, S.; Hook, J.E.; Sikes, E.; Curray, J.

    1984-01-01

    Dense biological communities of large epifaunal taxa similar to those found along ridge crest vents at the East Pacific Rise were discovered in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. These assemblages occur on a passive continental margin at the base of the Florida Escarpment, the interface between the relatively impermeable hemipelagic clays of the distal Mississippi Fan and the jointed Cretaceous limestone of the Florida Platform. The fauna apparently is nourished by sulfide rich hypersaline waters seeping out at near ambient temperatures onto the sea floor.

  4. Challenges and prospects in the telemetry of insects.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    Radio telemetry has been widely used to study the space use and movement behaviour of vertebrates, but transmitter sizes have only recently become small enough to allow tracking of insects under natural field conditions. Here, we review the available literature on insect telemetry using active (battery-powered) radio transmitters and compare this technology to harmonic radar and radio frequency identification (RFID) which use passive tags (i.e. without a battery). The first radio telemetry studies with insects were published in the late 1980s, and subsequent studies have addressed aspects of insect ecology, behaviour and evolution. Most insect telemetry studies have focused on habitat use and movement, including quantification of movement paths, home range sizes, habitat selection, and movement distances. Fewer studies have addressed foraging behaviour, activity patterns, migratory strategies, or evolutionary aspects. The majority of radio telemetry studies have been conducted outside the tropics, usually with beetles (Coleoptera) and crickets (Orthoptera), but bees (Hymenoptera), dobsonflies (Megaloptera), and dragonflies (Odonata) have also been radio-tracked. In contrast to the active transmitters used in radio telemetry, the much lower weight of harmonic radar and RFID tags allows them to be used with a broader range of insect taxa. However, the fixed detection zone of a stationary radar unit (< 1 km diameter) and the restricted detection distance of RFID tags (usually < 1-5 m) constitute major constraints of these technologies compared to radio telemetry. Most of the active transmitters in radio telemetry have been applied to insects with a body mass exceeding 1 g, but smaller species in the range 0.2-0.5 g (e.g. bumblebees and orchid bees) have now also been tracked. Current challenges of radio-tracking insects in the field are related to the constraints of a small transmitter, including short battery life (7-21 days), limited tracking range on the ground

  5. A metagenomic study of primate insect diet diversity.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Sarah B; Bergey, Christina M; Di Fiore, Anthony

    2012-07-01

    Descriptions of primate diets are generally based on either direct observation of foraging behavior, morphological classification of food remains from feces, or analysis of the stomach contents of deceased individuals. Some diet items (e.g. insect prey), however, are difficult to identify visually, and observation conditions often do not permit adequate quantitative sampling of feeding behavior. Moreover, the taxonomically informative morphology of some food species (e.g. swallowed seeds, insect exoskeletons) may be destroyed by the digestive process. Because of these limitations, we used a metagenomic approach to conduct a preliminary, "proof of concept" study of interspecific variation in the insect component of the diets of six sympatric New World monkeys known, based on observational field studies, to differ markedly in their feeding ecology. We used generalized arthropod polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers and cloning to sequence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the arthropod cytochrome b (CYT B) gene from fecal samples of wild woolly, titi, saki, capuchin, squirrel, and spider monkeys collected from a single sampling site in western Amazonia where these genera occur sympatrically. We then assigned preliminary taxonomic identifications to the sequences by basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) comparison to arthropod CYT B sequences present in GenBank. This study is the first to use molecular techniques to identify insect prey in primate diets. The results suggest that a metagenomic approach may prove valuable in augmenting and corroborating observational data and increasing the resolution of primate diet studies, although the lack of comparative reference sequences for many South American insects limits the approach at present. As such reference data become available for more animal and plant taxa, this approach also holds promise for studying additional components of primate diets. PMID:22553123

  6. Beyond antioxidant genes in the ancient NRF2 regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    Lacher, Sarah E.; Lee, Joslynn S.; Wang, Xuting; Campbell, Michelle R.; Bell, Douglas A.; Slattery, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    NRF2, a basic leucine zipper transcription factor encoded by the gene NFE2L2, is a master regulator of the transcriptional response to oxidative stress. NRF2 is structurally and functionally conserved from insects to humans, and it heterodimerizes with the small MAF transcription factors to bind a consensus DNA sequence (the antioxidant response element, or ARE) and regulate gene expression. We have used genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-seq) and gene expression data to identify direct NRF2 target genes in Drosophila and humans. These data have allowed us to construct the deeply conserved ancient NRF2 regulatory network – target genes that are conserved from Drosophila to human. The ancient network consists of canonical antioxidant genes, as well as genes related to proteasomal pathways, metabolism, and a number of less expected genes. We have also used enhancer reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to confirm NRF2-mediated regulation of ARE (antioxidant response element) activity at a number of these novel target genes. Interestingly, the ancient network also highlights a prominent negative feedback loop; this, combined with the finding that and NRF2-mediated regulatory output is tightly linked to the quality of the ARE it is targeting, suggests that precise regulation of nuclear NRF2 concentration is necessary to achieve proper quantitative regulation of distinct gene sets. Together, these findings highlight the importance of balance in the NRF2-ARE pathway, and indicate that NRF2-mediated regulation of xenobiotic metabolism, glucose metabolism, and proteostasis have been central to this pathway since its inception. PMID:26163000

  7. Rapid evolution of sessility in an endemic species flock of the freshwater bivalve Corbicula from ancient lakes on Sulawesi, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    von Rintelen, Thomas; Glaubrecht, Matthias

    2005-01-01

    The fauna of ancient lakes frequently contains taxa with highly derived morphologies that resulted from in situ radiation of lacustrine lineages with high antiquity. We employed a molecular mtDNA phylogeny to investigate this claim for corbiculid freshwater bivalves in two ancient lake systems on the Indonesian island Sulawesi. Among the otherwise mobile corbiculid species flock, only one taxon, Posostrea anomioides, in the ancient Lake Poso exhibits a unique habit, i.e. cementing one valve to the substrate. Our data show that Corbicula on Sulawesi is polyphyletic, with the endemic riverine taxa in terminal position, and the lacustrine species flock being paraphyletic. Surprisingly, Posostrea is not confirmed as a genus distinct from Corbicula and genetic distances suggest a rather recent origin from the only other corbiculid species endemic to Lake Poso, the non-cementing Corbicula possoensis. While the cementing anomioides, despite its unique behavioural and morphological characteristics, clusters together with non-sessile Corbicula species, the latter exhibit strong genetic distances in the absence of morphological disparity and fall into several genetically rather distinct clades. These findings suggest that developmental plasticity of animals in ancient lakes rather than the antiquity of lineages might account for the unique morphology of some species. PMID:17148330

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Abstract As molecular identification method, DNA barcoding based on partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences has been proven to be a useful tool for species determination in many insect taxa including ground beetles. In this study we tested the effectiveness of DNA barcodes to discriminate species of the ground beetle genus Bembidion and some closely related taxa of Germany. DNA barcodes were obtained from 819 individuals and 78 species, including sequences from previous studies as well as more than 300 new generated DNA barcodes. We found a 1:1 correspondence between BIN and traditionally recognized species for 69 species (89%). Low interspecific distances with maximum pairwise K2P values below 2.2% were found for three species pairs, including two species pairs with haplotype sharing (Bembidion atrocaeruleum/Bembidion varicolor and Bembidion guttula/Bembidion mannerheimii). In contrast to this, deep intraspecific sequence divergences with distinct lineages were revealed for two species (Bembidion geniculatum/Ocys harpaloides). Our study emphasizes the use of DNA barcodes for the identification of the analyzed ground beetles species and represents an important step in building-up a comprehensive barcode library for the Carabidae in Germany and Central Europe as well. PMID:27408547

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    As molecular identification method, DNA barcoding based on partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences has been proven to be a useful tool for species determination in many insect taxa including ground beetles. In this study we tested the effectiveness of DNA barcodes to discriminate species of the ground beetle genus Bembidion and some closely related taxa of Germany. DNA barcodes were obtained from 819 individuals and 78 species, including sequences from previous studies as well as more than 300 new generated DNA barcodes. We found a 1:1 correspondence between BIN and traditionally recognized species for 69 species (89%). Low interspecific distances with maximum pairwise K2P values below 2.2% were found for three species pairs, including two species pairs with haplotype sharing (Bembidion atrocaeruleum/Bembidion varicolor and Bembidion guttula/Bembidion mannerheimii). In contrast to this, deep intraspecific sequence divergences with distinct lineages were revealed for two species (Bembidion geniculatum/Ocys harpaloides). Our study emphasizes the use of DNA barcodes for the identification of the analyzed ground beetles species and represents an important step in building-up a comprehensive barcode library for the Carabidae in Germany and Central Europe as well. PMID:27408547

  10. Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal. PMID:23681010

  11. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Reader Survey for INSECT ALERTS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Mason E.; Sauer, Richard J.

    To determine what might be done to improve "Insect Alerts," which is a newsletter that carries "information on insect biology, abundance, activity and interpretation of control need," put out through the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service 26 weeks a year, a survey was conducted. A mail questionnaire was sent to all 120 county extension…

  13. RNAI: Future in insect management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    RNA interference is a post-transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, envir...

  14. Chickpea Ascochyta blight and insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Early symptoms of Acochyta blight and insect damages were detected in the Paliuse region.This article informs chickpea scientists and growers about current disease and insect pest problems in the Palouse region. Ascochyta blight appeared in many chickpea fields and was severe in some fields. Insec...

  15. A Template for Insect Cryopreservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article is intended to update the reader on the progress made on insect embryo cryopreservation in the past 20 years and gives information for developing a protocol for cryopreserving insects by using a 2001 study as a template. The study used for the template is the cryopreservation of the Old...

  16. Eicosanoids mediate insect hemocyte migration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Insect Immunity to Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Lu, H-L; St Leger, R J

    2016-01-01

    The study of infection and immunity in insects has achieved considerable prominence with the appreciation that their host defense mechanisms share many fundamental characteristics with the innate immune system of vertebrates. Studies on the highly tractable model organism Drosophila in particular have led to a detailed understanding of conserved innate immunity networks, such as Toll. However, most of these studies have used opportunistic human pathogens and may not have revealed specialized immune strategies that have arisen through evolutionary arms races with natural insect pathogens. Fungi are the commonest natural insect pathogens, and in this review, we focus on studies using Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. that have addressed immune system function and pathogen virulence via behavioral avoidance, the use of physical barriers, and the activation of local and systemic immune responses. In particular, we highlight studies on the evolutionary genetics of insect immunity and discuss insect-pathogen coevolution. PMID:27131327

  18. Population fluctuation in phytophagous insects

    SciTech Connect

    Redfearn, A.; Pimm, S.L. )

    1994-06-01

    We examined how community interactions affect year-to-year population variability in three groups of phytophagous insects: British aphids and moths, and Canadian moths. We first examined how the number of host plant species on which a given phytophagous insect species feeds affects its population variability. Specialist insect species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than generalist species. We then examined how the number of species of parasitoids from which a given phytophagous insects species suffers affects its population variability. Species that are host to few parasitoid species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than species with many parsitoid species. These relationships also depend on other aspects of the life histories of the phytophagous insect species.

  19. Sensitivities of extant animal taxa to ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  20. A microarray for assessing transcription from pelagic marine microbial taxa

    PubMed Central

    Shilova, Irina N; Robidart, Julie C; James Tripp, H; Turk-Kubo, Kendra; Wawrik, Boris; Post, Anton F; Thompson, Anne W; Ward, Bess; Hollibaugh, James T; Millard, Andy; Ostrowski, Martin; J Scanlan, David; Paerl, Ryan W; Stuart, Rhona; Zehr, Jonathan P

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomic approaches have revealed unprecedented genetic diversity within microbial communities across vast expanses of the world's oceans. Linking this genetic diversity with key metabolic and cellular activities of microbial assemblages is a fundamental challenge. Here we report on a collaborative effort to design MicroTOOLs (Microbiological Targets for Ocean Observing Laboratories), a high-density oligonucleotide microarray that targets functional genes of diverse taxa in pelagic and coastal marine microbial communities. MicroTOOLs integrates nucleotide sequence information from disparate data types: genomes, PCR-amplicons, metagenomes, and metatranscriptomes. It targets 19 400 unique sequences over 145 different genes that are relevant to stress responses and microbial metabolism across the three domains of life and viruses. MicroTOOLs was used in a proof-of-concept experiment that compared the functional responses of microbial communities following Fe and P enrichments of surface water samples from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. We detected transcription of 68% of the gene targets across major taxonomic groups, and the pattern of transcription indicated relief from Fe limitation and transition to N limitation in some taxa. Prochlorococcus (eHLI), Synechococcus (sub-cluster 5.3) and Alphaproteobacteria SAR11 clade (HIMB59) showed the strongest responses to the Fe enrichment. In addition, members of uncharacterized lineages also responded. The MicroTOOLs microarray provides a robust tool for comprehensive characterization of major functional groups of microbes in the open ocean, and the design can be easily amended for specific environments and research questions. PMID:24477198

  1. The evolutionary reality of higher taxa in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Aelys M.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2014-01-01

    Species are generally regarded as a fundamental unit of biodiversity. By contrast, higher taxa such as genera and families, while widely used as biodiversity metrics and for classification and communication, are generally not believed to be shaped by shared evolutionary processes in the same way as species. We use simulations to show that processes which are important for emergence of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) at the species level, namely geographical isolation and ecological divergence, can generate evolutionary independence above the species level and thereby lead to emergence of discrete phylogenetic clusters (higher ESUs). Extending phylogenetic approaches for delimiting evolutionarily significant species to broader phylogenetic scales, we find evidence for the existence of higher ESUs in mammals. In carnivores, euungulates and lagomorphs the hierarchical level of units detected correspond, on average, to the level of family or genus in traditional taxonomy. The units in euungulates are associated with divergent patterns of body mass, consistent with occupation of distinct ecological zones. Our findings demonstrate a new framework for studying biodiversity that unifies approaches at species and higher levels, thus potentially restoring higher taxa to their historical status as natural entities. PMID:24695424

  2. Evolution of an ancient protein function involved in organized multicellularity in animals.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Douglas P; Whitney, Dustin S; Hanson-Smith, Victor; Woznica, Arielle; Campodonico-Burnett, William; Volkman, Brian F; King, Nicole; Thornton, Joseph W; Prehoda, Kenneth E

    2016-01-01

    To form and maintain organized tissues, multicellular organisms orient their mitotic spindles relative to neighboring cells. A molecular complex scaffolded by the GK protein-interaction domain (GKPID) mediates spindle orientation in diverse animal taxa by linking microtubule motor proteins to a marker protein on the cell cortex localized by external cues. Here we illuminate how this complex evolved and commandeered control of spindle orientation from a more ancient mechanism. The complex was assembled through a series of molecular exploitation events, one of which - the evolution of GKPID's capacity to bind the cortical marker protein - can be recapitulated by reintroducing a single historical substitution into the reconstructed ancestral GKPID. This change revealed and repurposed an ancient molecular surface that previously had a radically different function. We show how the physical simplicity of this binding interface enabled the evolution of a new protein function now essential to the biological complexity of many animals. PMID:26740169

  3. Scrapheap Challenge: A novel bulk-bone metabarcoding method to investigate ancient DNA in faunal assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Haile, James; Dortch, Joe; White, Nicole E.; Haouchar, Dalal; Bellgard, Matthew I.; Allcock, Richard J.; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Bunce, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Highly fragmented and morphologically indistinct fossil bone is common in archaeological and paleontological deposits but unfortunately it is of little use in compiling faunal assemblages. The development of a cost-effective methodology to taxonomically identify bulk bone is therefore a key challenge. Here, an ancient DNA methodology using high-throughput sequencing is developed to survey and analyse thousands of archaeological bones from southwest Australia. Fossils were collectively ground together depending on which of fifteen stratigraphical layers they were excavated from. By generating fifteen synthetic blends of bulk bone powder, each corresponding to a chronologically distinct layer, samples could be collectively analysed in an efficient manner. A diverse range of taxa, including endemic, extirpated and hitherto unrecorded taxa, dating back to c.46,000 years BP was characterized. The method is a novel, cost-effective use for unidentifiable bone fragments and a powerful molecular tool for surveying fossils that otherwise end up on the taxonomic “scrapheap”. PMID:24288018

  4. How have studies of ancient DNA from sediments contributed to the reconstruction of Quaternary floras?

    PubMed

    Birks, H John B; Birks, Hilary H

    2016-01-01

    499 I. 499 II. 500 III. 500 IV. 500 V. 500 VI. 501 VII. 502 VIII. 504 504 References 505 SUMMARY: Ancient DNA (aDNA) from lake sediments, peats, permafrost soils, preserved megafaunal gut contents and coprolites has been used to reconstruct late-Quaternary floras. aDNA is either used alone for floristic reconstruction or compared with pollen and/or macrofossil results. In comparative studies, aDNA may complement pollen and macrofossil analyses by increasing the number of taxa found. We discuss the relative contributions of each fossil group to taxon richness and the number of unique taxa found, and situations in which aDNA has refined pollen identifications. Pressing problems in aDNA studies are contamination and ignorance about taphonomy (transportation, incorporation, and preservation in sediments). Progress requires that these problems are reduced to allow aDNA to reach its full potential contribution to reconstructions of Quaternary floras. PMID:26402315

  5. The aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Sane, Sanjay P

    2003-12-01

    The flight of insects has fascinated physicists and biologists for more than a century. Yet, until recently, researchers were unable to rigorously quantify the complex wing motions of flapping insects or measure the forces and flows around their wings. However, recent developments in high-speed videography and tools for computational and mechanical modeling have allowed researchers to make rapid progress in advancing our understanding of insect flight. These mechanical and computational fluid dynamic models, combined with modern flow visualization techniques, have revealed that the fluid dynamic phenomena underlying flapping flight are different from those of non-flapping, 2-D wings on which most previous models were based. In particular, even at high angles of attack, a prominent leading edge vortex remains stably attached on the insect wing and does not shed into an unsteady wake, as would be expected from non-flapping 2-D wings. Its presence greatly enhances the forces generated by the wing, thus enabling insects to hover or maneuver. In addition, flight forces are further enhanced by other mechanisms acting during changes in angle of attack, especially at stroke reversal, the mutual interaction of the two wings at dorsal stroke reversal or wing-wake interactions following stroke reversal. This progress has enabled the development of simple analytical and empirical models that allow us to calculate the instantaneous forces on flapping insect wings more accurately than was previously possible. It also promises to foster new and exciting multi-disciplinary collaborations between physicists who seek to explain the phenomenology, biologists who seek to understand its relevance to insect physiology and evolution, and engineers who are inspired to build micro-robotic insects using these principles. This review covers the basic physical principles underlying flapping flight in insects, results of recent experiments concerning the aerodynamics of insect flight, as well

  6. Characterization of an Ancient Lepidopteran Lateral Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, David; Redding, Amanda J.; Werren, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT) are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31) from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65–145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea). Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material. PMID:23533610

  7. The impact of rare taxa on a fish index of biotic integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wan, H.; Chizinski, C.J.; Dolph, C.L.; Vondracek, B.; Wilson, B.N.

    2010-01-01

    The index of biotic integrity (IBI) is a commonly used bioassessment tool that integrates abundance and richness measures to assess water quality. In developing IBIs that are both responsive to human disturbance and resistant to natural variability and sampling error, water managers must decide how to weigh information about rare and abundant taxa, which in turn requires an understanding of the sensitivity of indices to rare taxa. Herein, we investigated the influence of rare fish taxa (within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves) on IBI metric and total scores for stream sites in two of Minnesota's major river basins, the St. Croix (n = 293 site visits) and Upper Mississippi (n = 210 site visits). We artificially removed rare taxa from biological samples by (1) separately excluding each individual taxon that fell within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves; (2) simultaneously excluding all taxa that had an abundance of one (singletons) or two (doubletons); and (3) simultaneously excluding all taxa that fell within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves. We then compared IBI metric and total scores before and after removal of rare taxa using the normalized root mean square error (nRMSE) and regression analysis. The difference in IBI metric and total scores increased as more taxa were removed. Moreover, when multiple rare taxa were removed, the nRMSE was related to sample abundance and to total taxa richness, with greater nRMSE observed in samples with a larger number of taxa or sample abundance. Metrics based on relative abundance of fish taxa were less sensitive to the loss of rare taxa, whereas those based on taxa richness were more sensitive, because taxa richness metrics give more weight to rare taxa compared to the relative abundance metrics. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Stripmining as it relates to benthic insect communities and their recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Vaughan, G.L.

    1980-01-01

    To determine effects of stripmining for coal on benthic insect communities four streams, one undisturbed and three disturbed by mining to different extents, have been monitored for four years. In addition eight streams recovering for varying lengths of time and an additional undisturbed stream have been monigored for one year. Eight Surber samples as well as various physical and chemical measurements were taken from each stream at each sampling date. Reductions in the nunber of taxa and individuals as well as species diversity were found in both intensive and recovery study streams with the onset of mining disturbance. In the recovery study streams the number of individuals/m/sup 2/ and diversity were lowest in the active-5 years since disturbance streams and the number of taxa were least in the 6 to 10 years since disturbance streams. Population density, taxa, and diversity increased with recovery of 16 to 20 years. Following a recovery period of approximately 24 years, the number of taxa and individuals were greater than the undisturbed streams. Faunal similarity was greater between the 24-year recovery stream and an undisturbed stream than between any other streams. Results show that insect communities can recover from the effects of mining disturbances given limited disturbance within a watershed and sufficient time.

  9. Integrated Syntenic and Phylogenomic Analyses Reveal an Ancient Genome Duplication in Monocots[W

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Yuannian; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H.

    2014-01-01

    Unraveling widespread polyploidy events throughout plant evolution is a necessity for inferring the impacts of whole-genome duplication (WGD) on speciation, functional innovations, and to guide identification of true orthologs in divergent taxa. Here, we employed an integrated syntenic and phylogenomic analyses to reveal an ancient WGD that shaped the genomes of all commelinid monocots, including grasses, bromeliads, bananas (Musa acuminata), ginger, palms, and other plants of fundamental, agricultural, and/or horticultural interest. First, comprehensive phylogenomic analyses revealed 1421 putative gene families that retained ancient duplication shared by Musa (Zingiberales) and grass (Poales) genomes, indicating an ancient WGD in monocots. Intergenomic synteny blocks of Musa and Oryza were investigated, and 30 blocks were shown to be duplicated before Musa-Oryza divergence an estimated 120 to 150 million years ago. Synteny comparisons of four monocot (rice [Oryza sativa], sorghum [Sorghum bicolor], banana, and oil palm [Elaeis guineensis]) and two eudicot (grape [Vitis vinifera] and sacred lotus [Nelumbo nucifera]) genomes also support this additional WGD in monocots, herein called Tau (τ). Integrating synteny and phylogenomic comparisons achieves better resolution of ancient polyploidy events than either approach individually, a principle that is exemplified in the disambiguation of a WGD series of rho (ρ)-sigma (σ)-tau (τ) in the grass lineages that echoes the alpha (α)-beta (β)-gamma (γ) series previously revealed in the Arabidopsis thaliana lineage. PMID:25082857

  10. Ciliates from ancient permafrost: Assessment of cold resistance of the resting cysts.

    PubMed

    Shatilovich, Anastasia; Stoupin, Daniel; Rivkina, Elizaveta

    2015-06-01

    There is evidence that resting cysts of soil ciliates and numerous taxa of other protists can survive in permafrost for thousands of years at subzero temperatures; however, our knowledge about mechanisms of long term cryobiosis remains incomplete. In order to better understand the means by which ancient cysts survive, we investigated resistance to cyclical supercooling stress of resting cysts of the soil ciliate Colpoda steinii (Colpodida, Ciliophora). Three clonal strains were used for comparison, isolated from Siberian tundra soil, ancient Holocene (5-7,000 y) and late Pleistocene (32-35,000 y) permafrost sediments. To determine the viability of the ancient and contemporary ciliate cysts we improved and validated a cultivation-independent method of vital fluorescent staining with a combination of two nucleic acid binding dyes, acridine orange and propidium iodide. The viability of Colpoda steinii cysts during low-temperature experiments was measured using both the proposed vital fluorescent staining method and standard germination test. Our results indicate that the dual-fluorescence technique is a more accurate, rapid, and efficient method for estimating cyst viability. We found that cysts of ancient ciliates display lower tolerance to the impact of cyclical cold compared to cysts of contemporary ciliates from Siberian permafrost affected soils. PMID:25966027

  11. Integrated syntenic and phylogenomic analyses reveal an ancient genome duplication in monocots.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yuannian; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H

    2014-07-01

    Unraveling widespread polyploidy events throughout plant evolution is a necessity for inferring the impacts of whole-genome duplication (WGD) on speciation, functional innovations, and to guide identification of true orthologs in divergent taxa. Here, we employed an integrated syntenic and phylogenomic analyses to reveal an ancient WGD that shaped the genomes of all commelinid monocots, including grasses, bromeliads, bananas (Musa acuminata), ginger, palms, and other plants of fundamental, agricultural, and/or horticultural interest. First, comprehensive phylogenomic analyses revealed 1421 putative gene families that retained ancient duplication shared by Musa (Zingiberales) and grass (Poales) genomes, indicating an ancient WGD in monocots. Intergenomic synteny blocks of Musa and Oryza were investigated, and 30 blocks were shown to be duplicated before Musa-Oryza divergence an estimated 120 to 150 million years ago. Synteny comparisons of four monocot (rice [Oryza sativa], sorghum [Sorghum bicolor], banana, and oil palm [Elaeis guineensis]) and two eudicot (grape [Vitis vinifera] and sacred lotus [Nelumbo nucifera]) genomes also support this additional WGD in monocots, herein called Tau (τ). Integrating synteny and phylogenomic comparisons achieves better resolution of ancient polyploidy events than either approach individually, a principle that is exemplified in the disambiguation of a WGD series of rho (ρ)-sigma (σ)-tau (τ) in the grass lineages that echoes the alpha (α)-beta (β)-gamma (γ) series previously revealed in the Arabidopsis thaliana lineage. PMID:25082857

  12. Linking metal bioaccumulation of aquatic insects to their distribution patterns in a mining-impacted river.

    PubMed

    Cain, Daniel J; Luoma, Samuel N; Wallace, William G

    2004-06-01

    Although the differential responses of stream taxa to metal exposure have been exploited for bioassessment and monitoring, the mechanisms affecting these responses are not well understood. In this study, the subcellular partitioning of metals in operationally defined metal-sensitive and detoxified fractions were analyzed in five insect taxa. Samples were collected in two separate years along an extensive metal contamination gradient in the Clark Fork River (MT, USA) to determine if interspecific differences in the metal concentrations of metal-sensitive fractions and detoxified fractions were linked to the differences in distributions of taxa relative to the gradient. Most of the Cd, Cu, and Zn body burdens were internalized and potentially biologically active in all taxa, although all taxa appeared to detoxify metals (e.g., metal bound to cytosolic metal-binding proteins). Metal concentrations associated with metal-sensitive fractions were highest in the mayflies Epeorus albertae and Serratella tibialis, which were rare or absent from the most contaminated sites but occurred at less contaminated sites. Relatively low concentrations of Cu were common to the tolerant taxa Hydropsyche spp. and Baetis spp., which were widely distributed and dominant in the most contaminated sections of the river. This suggested that distributions of taxa along the contamination gradient were more closely related to the bioaccumulation of Cu than of other metals. Metal bioaccumulation did not appear to explain the spatial distribution of the caddisfly Arctopsyche grandis, considered to be a bioindicator of metal effects in the river. Thus, in this system the presence/ absence of most of these taxa from sites where metal exposure was elevated could be differentiated on the basis of differences in metal bioaccumulation. PMID:15376532

  13. A cross-taxa phenological dataset from Mohonk Lake, NY and its relationship to climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, B. I.; Cook, E. R.; Huth, P. C.; Thompson, J. E.; Forster, A.; Smiley, D.

    2007-12-01

    We present a detailed analysis of a rare cross-taxa native species phenology dataset (plant flowering, insect first sighting, and amphibian first sighting) from Mohonk Lake, NY. This dataset is highly unusual in North America for its longevity of record, consistency of methodology and location, diversity of species available, and availability of local daily meteorological data. For each phenology series, we examined the flowering and first sighting Julian calendar dates for the existence of temporal trends. Only one of the five animal species (katydid) showed any evidence for a significant trend in first sighting. In contrast, the plant species showed a rich mixture of temporal trends in flowering that could be divided into four classes: woody plant (no trend), woody plant (negative trend), herbaceous plant (negative trend), and herbaceous plant (positive trend). Many of the trends were found to be statistically significant and robust to the method of trend estimation. The data within each of the four plant classes were also pooled as anomalies to provide more complete temporal coverage for tests of trend robustness. The results were strongly consistent with the individual species trends within each class and highly significant statistically. We next correlated the flowering and first sighting dates against growing degree-day (GDD) summations for each day of the year to measure the sensitivity of each species to this common form of climatic forcing on phenology. All species showed a significant sensitivity to GDD summations, with peak correlations falling on or near the varying median flowering or first sighting dates. These results were robust whether the GDD analyses were conducted over the complete set of observations for each species (beginning on or after 1928) or over a latter period with a more serially complete set of cross-taxa observations (1970-2002). The GDD correlations indicate significant climate sensitivity in all species, but the different

  14. Ancient Chinese Astronomy - An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    Documentary and archaeological evidence testifies the early origin and continuous development of ancient Chinese astronomy to meet both the ideological and practical needs of a society largely based on agriculture. There was a long period when the beginning of the year, month, and season was determined by direct observation of celestial phenomena, including their alignments with respect to the local skyline. As the need for more exact study arose, new instruments for more exact observation were invented and the system of calendrical astronomy became entirely mathematized.

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

    PubMed

    Van Itterbeeck, Joost; van Huis, Arnold

    2012-01-01

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin. PMID:22264307

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin. PMID:22264307

  17. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects

    PubMed Central

    Mitterboeck, T. Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne. PMID:23884090

  18. Peripheral olfactory signaling in insects

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Eunho; Bohbot, Jonathan; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory signaling is a crucial component in the life history of insects. The development of precise and parallel mechanisms to analyze the tremendous amount of chemical information from the environment and other sources has been essential to their evolutionary success. Considerable progress has been made in the study of insect olfaction fueled by bioinformatics- based utilization of genomics along with rapid advances in functional analyses. Here we review recent progress in our rapidly emerging understanding of insect peripheral sensory reception and signal transduction. These studies reveal that the nearly unlimited chemical space insects encounter is covered by distinct chemosensory receptor repertoires that are generally derived by species-specific, rapid gene gain and loss, reflecting the evolutionary consequences of adaptation to meet their specific biological needs. While diverse molecular mechanisms have been put forth, often in the context of controversial models, the characterization of the ubiquitous, highly conserved and insect-specific Orco odorant receptor co-receptor has opened the door to the design and development of novel insect control methods to target agricultural pests, disease vectors and even nuisance insects. PMID:25584200

  19. Metagenomic Analysis of Taxa Associated with Lutzomyia longipalpis, Vector of Visceral Leishmaniasis, Using an Unbiased High-Throughput Approach

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Christina B.; Diambra, Luis A.; Rivera Pomar, Rolando V.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from <100 years to 130 million years. The amino acids present in 40 to 130 million year old amber-entombed insects resemble those in a modern fly and are probably the most ancient, unaltered amino acids found so far on Earth. In comparison to other geochemical environments on the surface of the Earth, the amino acid racemization rate in amber insect inclusions is retarded by a factor of >10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  1. Effects of aerial applications of naled on nontarget insects at Parris Island, South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Breidenbaugh, M S; de Szalay, F A

    2010-04-01

    Testing impacts of large-scale aerial spraying to control public health pests under realistic field conditions are needed to understand impacts on natural populations of nontarget insects. Responses of terrestrial insects to aerial applications of an organophosphate insecticide, naled, used for mosquito and biting midge control were studied on Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. Aerial applications were made with C-130 aircraft at dusk in 2003 and in 2005. In 2003, we sampled two locations on Parris Island with Malaise traps before and after spraying, and used Before-After analyses to examine changes in terrestrial insect diversity and abundance. In 2005, we sampled insects with yellow pan traps at three locations on Parris Island and at an untreated control site. A Before-After Control-Impact analysis at each location was conducted to compare changes. In 2003, numbers of four of 12 common taxa (Dolichopodidae, Sarcophagidae, Syrphidae, Tachinidae) were lower after sprays. However, there were no significant changes in numbers of common taxa or total numbers in 2005. Shannon diversities (H') were not different in either year indicating that sprays had minimal impact on overall community biodiversity. In contrast, populations of pestiferous biting midges (Culicoides spp.) collected in CDC-style traps were reduced by 94-99% after spraying in both years; mosquito numbers declined by 88.2% in 2003 and 92.5% in 2005, after sprays. PMID:20388292

  2. Fungal Taxa Target Different Carbon Substrates in Harvard Forest Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, C. A.; Allison, S. D.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Mellilo, J. M.; Treseder, K. K.

    2006-12-01

    The mineralization of soil organic carbon is a major component of the global carbon cycle and is largely controlled by soil microbial communities. However, little is known about the functional roles of soil microbes or whether different microbial taxa target different carbon substrates under natural conditions. To examine this possibility, we assessed the community composition of active fungi by using a novel nucleotide analog technique in soils from the Harvard Forest. We hypothesized that fungal community composition would shift in response to the addition of different substrates and that specific fungal taxa would respond differentially to particular carbon sources. To test this hypothesis, we added a nucleotide analog probe directly to soils in conjunction with one of five carbon compounds of increasing recalcitrance: glycine, sucrose, cellulose, tannin-protein complex, and lignin. During 48 hour incubations, the nucleotide analog was incorporated into newly replicated DNA of soil organisms that proliferated following the addition of the substrates. In this way, we labeled the DNA of microbes that respond to a particular carbon source. Labeled DNA was isolated and fungal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were sequenced and analyzed to identify active fungi to near-species resolution. Diversity analyses at the ≥97% sequence similarity level indicated that taxonomic richness was greater under cellulose (Shannon Index: 3.23 ± 0.11 with ± 95% CI) and lignin (2.87 ± 0.15) additions than the other treatments (2.34 ± 0.16 to 2.64 ± 0.13). In addition, community composition of active fungi shifted under glycine, sucrose, and cellulose additions. Specifically, the community under glycine was significantly different from communities under control, cellulose, and tannin-protein (P<0.05). Additionally, the sucrose and cellulose communities were marginally different from the control community (P = 0.059 and 0.054, respectively) and

  3. Extinction, diversity and survivorship of taxa in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Newman, M. E. J.; Sibani, P.

    1999-01-01

    Using data drawn from large-scale databases, a number of interesting trends in the fossil record have been observed in recent years. These include the average decline in extinction rates throughout the Phanerozoic, the average increase in standing diversity, correlations between rates of origination and extinction, and simple laws governing the form of survivorship curves and the distribution of the lifetimes of taxa. In this paper we derive a number of mathematical relationships between these quantities and show how these different trends are interrelated. We also derive a variety of constraints on the possible forms of these trends, such as limits on the rate at which extinction may decline and limits on the allowed difference between extinction and origination rates at any given time.

  4. Alien Insects in Italy: Comparing Patterns from the Regional to European Level

    PubMed Central

    Inghilesi, Alberto F.; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of species outside their native range contributes to the loss of biodiversity, alters the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and damages economy and human health. Insects are one of the taxa with the highest frequency of introduction due to their high diversity, biological properties, and close association with human activities. Here, the allodiversity of Italian entomofauna was analyzed, with a focus on Tuscany (Central Italy). A list of alien insects in Tuscany is included. The status of the alien entomofauna in Italy was updated. The number of alien insects amounts to 122 in Tuscany and 923 in Italy. An introduction rate of 98 species per decade was estimated in Italy. In Tuscany, alien insects belong to 10 orders, mostly Coleoptera (38%), Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha) (23%), and Hymenoptera (13%). They have been most often introduced through vegetable items (ornamental plants or crops). Most species come from the Nearctic region (26%) and are both phytophagous (63%) and amphigonic (80%). Differences and similarities in introduction patterns and in insect abundances across orders among regional, national, and European scales, also considering worldwide abundances, are discussed. Finally, a paucity of information regarding the negative impacts of many species, except for economic pests, phytosanitary threats, and vectors of disease, is underlined. A deeper understanding of the alien insects' ecological impact might help designate policies aimed at preventing further introductions and control the invasive populations of already established species. PMID:24219427

  5. Sensory neuroanatomy of stick insects highlights the evolutionary diversity of the orthopteroid subgenual organ complex.

    PubMed

    Strauß, Johannes; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard

    2013-11-01

    The subgenual organ is a scolopidial sense organ located in the tibia of many insects. In this study the neuroanatomy of the subgenual organ complex of stick insects is clarified for two species, Carausius morosus and Siyploidea sipylus. Neuronal tracing shows a subgenual organ complex that consists of a subgenual organ and a distal organ. There are no differences in neuroanatomy between the three thoracic leg pairs, and the sensory structures are highly similar in both species. A comparison of the neuroanatomy with other orthopteroid insects highlights two features unique in Phasmatodea. The subgenual organ contains a set of densely arranged sensory neurons in the anterior-ventral part of the organ, and a distal organ with 16-17 scolopidial sensilla in C. morosus and 20-22 scolopidial sensilla in S. sipylus. The somata of sensory neurons in the distal organ are organized in a linear array extending distally into the tibia, with only a few exceptions of closely associated neurons. The stick insect sense organs show a case of an elaborate scolopidial sense organ that evolved in addition to the subgenual organ. The neuroanatomy of stick insects is compared to that studied in other orthopteroid taxa (cockroaches, locusts, crickets, tettigoniids). The comparison of sensory structures indicates that elaborate scolopidial organs have evolved repeatedly among orthopteroids. The distal organ in stick insects has the highest number of sensory neurons known for distal organs so far. PMID:23749306

  6. The current state of insect molecular systematics: a thriving Tower of Babel.

    PubMed

    Caterino, M S; Cho, S; Sperling, F A

    2000-01-01

    Insect molecular systematics has undergone remarkable recent growth. Advances in methods of data generation and analysis have led to the accumulation of large amounts of DNA sequence data from most major insect groups. In addition to reviewing theoretical and methodological advances, we have compiled information on the taxa and regions sequenced from all available phylogenetic studies of insects. It is evident that investigators have not usually coordinated their efforts. The genes and regions that have been sequenced differ substantially among studies and the whole of our efforts is thus little greater than the sum of its parts. The cytochrome oxidase I, 16S, 18S, and elongation factor-1 alpha genes have been widely used and are informative across a broad range of divergences in insects. We advocate their use as standards for insect phylogenetics. Insect molecular systematics has complemented and enhanced the value of morphological and ecological data, making substantial contributions to evolutionary biology in the process. A more coordinated approach focused on gathering homologous sequence data will greatly facilitate such efforts. PMID:10761569

  7. Identifying sighting clusters of endangered taxa with historical records.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Karl J

    2011-04-01

    The probability and time of extinction of taxa is often inferred from statistical analyses of historical records. Many of these analyses require the exclusion of multiple records within a unit of time (i.e., a month or a year). Nevertheless, spatially explicit, temporally aggregated data may be useful for identifying clusters of sightings (i.e., sighting clusters) in space and time. Identification of sighting clusters highlights changes in the historical recording of endangered taxa. I used two methods to identify sighting clusters in historical records: the Ederer-Myers-Mantel (EMM) test and the space-time permutation scan (STPS). I applied these methods to the spatially explicit sighting records of three species of orchids that are listed as endangered in the Republic of Ireland under the Wildlife Act (1976): Cephalanthera longifolia, Hammarbya paludosa, and Pseudorchis albida. Results with the EMM test were strongly affected by the choice of the time interval, and thus the number of temporal samples, used to examine the records. For example, sightings of P. albida clustered when the records were partitioned into 20-year temporal samples, but not when they were partitioned into 22-year temporal samples. Because the statistical power of EMM was low, it will not be useful when data are sparse. Nevertheless, the STPS identified regions that contained sighting clusters because it uses a flexible scanning window (defined by cylinders of varying size that move over the study area and evaluate the likelihood of clustering) to detect them, and it identified regions with high and regions with low rates of orchid sightings. The STPS analyses can be used to detect sighting clusters of endangered species that may be related to regions of extirpation and may assist in the categorization of threat status. PMID:21129031

  8. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foote, M.; Raup, D. M.

    1996-01-01

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

  9. [Ancient history of Indian pharmacy].

    PubMed

    Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko

    2010-01-01

    The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism. PMID:21032887

  10. Biparental Care in Insects: Paternal Care, Life History, and the Function of the Nest

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Seizi

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of parental care is a complex process, and many evolutionary pathways have been hypothesized. Maternal care is common, but paternal care is not. High confidence of paternity should favor the evolution of paternal attendance in caring for young; biparental care is rare because paternity assurance is typically low compared to maternity. Biparental care in insects has evolved several times and has high diversity. To evaluate the conditions for the evolution of biparental care, a comparison across taxa is suitable. In this review, common traits of biparental species are discussed in order to evaluate previous models of biparental care and the life history of insects. It will be shown that nesting is a common feature in biparental insects. Nest structure limits extra-pair copulations, contributing to the evolution of biparental care. PMID:24766389

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-31

    While it has long been known that in small animals, such as insects, sufficient gas transport could be provided by diffusion, it is now recognized that animals generate and control convective flows to improve oxygen delivery across a range of body sizes and taxa. However, size-based methodological limitations have constrained our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the production of these convective flows. Recently, new techniques have enabled the elucidation of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that contribute to creating and maintaining bulk flow in small animals. In particular, synchrotron X-ray imaging provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of internal functional morphology and is changing the way we understand gas exchange in insects. This symposium highlights recent efforts towards understanding the relationship between form, function, and control in the insect respiratory system. PMID:20347054

  13. Evolution of insect metamorphosis: a microarray-based study of larval and adult gene expression in the ant Camponotus festinatus.

    PubMed

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Isoe, Jun; Wheeler, Diana E; Wells, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    Holometabolous insects inhabit almost every terrestrial ecosystem. The evolutionary success of holometabolous insects stems partly from their developmental program, which includes discrete larval and adult stages. To gain an understanding of how development differs among holometabolous insect taxa, we used cDNA microarray technology to examine differences in gene expression between larval and adult Camponotus festinatus ants. We then compared expression patterns obtained from our study to those observed in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. We found that many genes showed distinct patterns of expression between the larval and adult ant life stages, a result that was confirmed through quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Genes involved in protein metabolism and possessing structural activity tended to be more highly expressed in larval than adult ants. In contrast, genes relatively upregulated in adults possessed a greater diversity of functions and activities. We also discovered that patterns of expression observed for homologous genes in D. melanogaster differed substantially from those observed in C. festinatus. Our results suggest that the specific molecular mechanisms involved in metamorphosis will differ substantially between insect taxa. Systematic investigation of gene expression during development of other taxa will provide additional information on how developmental pathways evolve. PMID:15926695

  14. Magnetite biomineralization and ancient life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Frankel, R B; Buseck, P R

    2000-04-01

    Certain chemical and mineral features of the Martian meteorite ALH84001 were reported in 1996 to be probable evidence of ancient life on Mars. In spite of new observations and interpretations, the question of ancient life on Mars remains unresolved. Putative biogenic, nanometer magnetite has now become a leading focus in the debate. PMID:10742183

  15. Women--Sex Objects in Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mutimer, Brian T. P.

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

  16. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullough, Vern L.

    1971-01-01

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

  17. Entomopathogenic nematodes and insect management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (genera Heterorhabditis, Steinernema, and Neosteinernema) are used as bioinsecticides. The nematodes are ubiquitous and have been isolated in soil of every continent except Antarctica. The nematodes kill insects through a mutualism with a bacterium (Photorhabdus spp. or ...

  18. Insect symbionts in food webs

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Lee M.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    PubMed

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Eicosanoid actions in insect immunology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Radar Observation of Insects - Mosquitoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, E.; Downing, J.

    1979-01-01

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

  2. Freshwater Biodiversity and Insect Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B.; Monaghan, Michael T.; Pauls, Steffen U.

    2016-01-01

    Inland waters cover less than one percent of Earth’s surface, but harbor more than six percent of all insect species: nearly 100,000 species from 12 orders spend one or more life stages in freshwater. Little is known about how this remarkable diversity arose, although allopatric speciation and ecological adaptation are thought to be primary mechanisms. Freshwater habitats are exceptionally susceptible to environmental change, and exhibit marked ecological gradients. The amphibiotic lifestyles of aquatic insects result in complex contributions of extinction and allopatric and non-allopatric speciation in species diversification. In contrast to the lack of evolutionary studies, the ecology and habitat preferences of aquatic insects have been intensively studied, in part because of their widespread use as bio-indicators. The combination of phylogenetics with the extensive ecological data provides a promising avenue for future research, making aquatic insects highly suitable models for the study of ecological diversification. PMID:24160433

  3. Flight of the smallest insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Laura; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Hedrick, Tyson; Robinson, Alice

    2009-11-01

    A vast body of research has described the complexity of flight in insects ranging from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to the hawk moth, Manduca sexta. Over this range of scales, flight aerodynamics as well as the relative lift and drag forces generated are surprisingly similar. The smallest flying insects (Re˜10) have received far less attention, although previous work has shown that flight kinematics and aerodynamics can be significantly different. In this presentation, we have used a three-pronged approach that consists of measurements of flight kinematics in the tiny insect Thysanoptera (thrips), measurements of flow velocities using physical models, and direct numerical simulations to compute lift and drag forces. We find that drag forces can be an order of magnitude larger than lift forces, particularly during the clap and fling motion used by all tiny insects recorded to date.

  4. Insect bites and stings (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Even though some insect bites or stings can be extremely painful they usually do not require emergency medical care. Although the stung or bitten area should be carefully observed for signs of infection or reaction to venom.

  5. Preface: Insect Pathology, 2nd ed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pathology is an essential component of entomology and provides a non-chemical alternative for insect pest management. There are several groups of organisms that can infect and kill insects including viruses, fungi, microsporidia, bacteria, protists, and nematodes. The dilemma in insect patho...

  6. Pollen Recovery from Insects: Light Microscopy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous insect species feed on the pollen, nectar, and other plant exudates that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to the insects. Analysis of the pollen attached to these insects can reveal what insects eat, their dispersal patterns in and...

  7. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  8. How Do Insects Help the Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hevel, Gary

    2005-01-01

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

  9. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  10. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  11. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  12. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  13. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  14. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  15. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  16. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  17. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  18. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  19. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  20. Don't Let Insects Bug You!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Doc; Abraham, Katy

    1977-01-01

    Are you one of those people who feel that the only good insect is a dead one? Do you suffer from entomophobia--dread fear of insects? Such attitudes, fears, and prejudices stem from insect ignorance. Authors explain what insects are good for and give students a more realistic and fascinating view of their world. (Editor/RK)

  1. Sacred psychiatry in ancient Greece

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    From the ancient times, there are three basic approaches for the interpretation of the different psychic phenomena: the organic, the psychological, and the sacred approach. The sacred approach forms the primordial foundation for any psychopathological development, innate to the prelogical human mind. Until the second millennium B.C., the Great Mother ruled the Universe and shamans cured the different mental disorders. But, around 1500 B.C., the predominance of the Hellenic civilization over the Pelasgic brought great changes in the theological and psychopathological fields. The Hellenes eliminated the cult of the Great Mother and worshiped Dias, a male deity, the father of gods and humans. With the Father's help and divinatory powers, the warrior-hero made diagnoses and found the right therapies for mental illness; in this way, sacerdotal psychiatry was born. PMID:24725988

  2. Ancient aqueous sedimentation on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspiel, Jules M.; Squyres, Steven W.

    1991-01-01

    Viking orbiter images are presently used to calculate approximate volumes for the inflow valleys of the ancient cratered terrain of Mars; a sediment-transport model is then used to conservatively estimate the amount of water required for the removal of this volume of debris from the valleys. The results obtained for four basins with well-developed inflow networks indicate basin sediment thicknesses of the order of tens to hundreds of meters. The calculations further suggest that the quantity of water required to transport the sediment is greater than that which could be produced by a single discharge of the associated aquifer, unless the material of the Martian highlands was very fine-grained and noncohesive to depths of hundreds of meters.

  3. Archimedes: Accelerator Reveals Ancient Text

    SciTech Connect

    Bergmann, Uwe

    2004-02-24

    Archimedes (287-212 BC), who is famous for shouting 'Eureka' (I found it) is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of all times. The 10th-century parchment document known as the 'Archimedes Palimpsest' is the unique source for two of the great Greek's treatises. Some of the writings, hidden under gold forgeries, have recently been revealed at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at SLAC. An intense x-ray beam produced in a particle accelerator causes the iron in original ink, which has been partly erased and covered, to send out a fluorescence glow. A detector records the signal and a digital image showing the ancient writings is produced. Please join us in this fascinating journey of a 1,000-year-old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to a particle accelerator in Menlo Park.

  4. Ancient legacy of cranial surgery.

    PubMed

    Ghannaee Arani, Mohammad; Fakharian, Esmaeil; Sarbandi, Fahimeh

    2012-01-01

    Cranial injury, as it is known today, is not a new concern of modern medicine. On stepping on the earth, the man was in reality encountered with various types of injuries, particularly those of a cranial nature. Leading a life, whether wild or civilized, has always been associated with injuries for human race from the very beginning of birth. Therefore, managing cases of this type has gradually forced him to establish and fix strategies and approaches to handle the dilemma. This study is thus focused on tracing the first documented traumatized cranial cases ever reported, ranging from those trials attributed to our ancient predecessors to the identical examples in the present time. PMID:24396747

  5. Ancient aqueous sedimentation on Mars

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-01

    Viking orbiter images are presently used to calculate approximate volumes for the inflow valleys of the ancient cratered terrain of Mars; a sediment-transport model is then used to conservatively estimate the amount of water required for the removal of this volume of debris from the valleys. The results obtained for four basins with well-developed inflow networks indicate basin sediment thicknesses of the order of tens to hundreds of meters. The calculations further suggest that the quantity of water required to transport the sediment is greater than that which could be produced by a single discharge of the associated aquifer, unless the material of the Martian highlands was very fine-grained and noncohesive to depths of hundreds of meters. 48 refs.

  6. HIV thrives in ancient traditions.

    PubMed

    Shreedhar, J

    1995-01-01

    Participation in ancient traditions is facilitating the current spread of HIV through India. For most of the year, Koovagam is a typical Indian village. Each April on the night of the full moon, however, the Chittirai-Pournami festival is held in Koovagam, a celebration in homage to Aravan during which up to 2000 pilgrims from across the country engage in thousands of acts of unprotected sexual intercourse. Aravan is a man depicted in a Hindu tale who asked to experience sexual bliss before being sacrificed to the gods. To fulfill this last wish, the god Krishna is said to have assumed the form of a beautiful woman and had sexual intercourse with Aravan. Many of the festival participants are hijras, eunuchs and transsexuals who sell sex for a living. Hijras may be accompanied by men who serve as their sex partners and bodyguards. Surveys suggest that one-third of the 10,000 hijras in New Delhi may be infected with HIV. Other participants are known as dangas, men who are either married or single and appear to lead strictly heterosexual lives throughout the year except during the Chittirai-Pournami festival when they dress as women and sell sex to other men attending the festival. The panthis comprise another group of participants and tend to be either single or married men who attend the festival to have sex with the hijras and dangas for fees up to ten rupees, approximately US$0.50, per sexual encounter. Prostitution within the devadasi sect and the sale of young, virgin girls in the state of Andhra Pradesh to the highest male bidders are other examples of how ancient traditions are facilitating the current spread of HIV in India. PMID:12319989

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically. PMID:24549110

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically. PMID:24549110

  9. The endocrine system controlling sexual reproduction in animals: Part of the evolutionary ancient but well conserved immune system?

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    Drastic changes in hormone titers, in particular of steroid hormones, are intuitively interpreted as necessary and beneficial for optimal functioning of animals. Peaks in progesterone- and estradiol titers that accompany the estrus cycle in female vertebrates as well as in ecdysteroids at each molt and during metamorphosis of holometabolous insects are prominent examples. A recent analysis of insect metamorphosis yielded the view that, in general, a sharp rise in sex steroid hormone titer signals that somewhere in the body some tissue(s) is undergoing programmed cell death/apoptosis. Increased steroid production is part of this process. Typical examples are ovarian follicle cells in female vertebrates and invertebrates and the prothoracic gland cells, the main production site of ecdysteroids in larval insects. A duality emerges: programmed cell death-apoptosis is deleterious at the cellular level, but it may yield beneficial effects at the organismal level. Reconciling both opposites requires reevaluating the probable evolutionary origin and role of peptidic brain hormones that direct steroid hormone synthesis. Do e.g. Luteinizing Hormone in vertebrates and Prothoracicotropic Hormone (PTTH: acting through the Torso receptor) in insects still retain an ancient role as toxins in the early immune system? Does the functional link of some neuropeptides with Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis make sense in endocrine archeology? The endocrine system as a remnant of the ancient immune system is undoubtedly counterintuitive. Yet, we will argue that such paradigm enables the logical framing of many aspects, the endocrine one inclusive of both male and female reproductive physiology. PMID:26707056

  10. Diet dependent metabolic responses in three generalist insect herbivores Spodoptera spp.

    PubMed

    Roy, A; Walker, W B; Vogel, H; Chattington, S; Larsson, M C; Anderson, P; Heckel, D G; Schlyter, F

    2016-04-01

    Adaption to dietary changes is critical in the evolution of host plant ranges in polyphagous insects. We compared three taxa of lepidopteran herbivores from the predominantly generalist genus Spodoptera showing different degrees of polyphagy: Spodoptera littoralis, with a broad host range including both mono- and dicotyledonous plants, and two Spodoptera frugiperda strains [Corn (i.e. maize) (C) and Rice (R)] adapted primarily to different grass species. When feeding on maize we show a lower performance in the broad generalist taxon compared to the grass adapted taxa. Among these taxa, the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain generally performed better than the R-strain on maize leaves. On artificial pinto diet, all taxa performed well. Our RNA-Seq analysis of midgut transcriptomes from 3rd instar larvae feeding on maize showed broader transcriptional readjustments in the generalist S. littoralis compared to grass adapted S. frugiperda strains. Substantial alteration in the expression levels of midgut physiological function related transcripts, such as digestive and detoxifying enzymes, transporters, immunity, and peritrophic membrane associated transcripts, existed in all taxa. We found high background expression of UDP-glucosyl transferases, which are known to neutralize maize leaf toxins, in the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain, contributing to its fitness on maize compared to the R-strain. Our findings provide evidence for divergent diet specific response of digestive physiology within these Spodoptera taxa. Unexpectedly, the C- and R-strains of S. frugiperda fed on the same diet showed large differences in expression patterns between these two closely related taxa. PMID:26908076

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

    PubMed Central

    Vea, Isabelle M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228–273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210–165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous. PMID:27000526

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

    PubMed

    Vea, Isabelle M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-01-01

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228-273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210-165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous. PMID:27000526

  13. DNA barcoding and taxonomy: dark taxa and dark texts.

    PubMed

    Page, Roderic D M

    2016-09-01

    Both classical taxonomy and DNA barcoding are engaged in the task of digitizing the living world. Much of the taxonomic literature remains undigitized. The rise of open access publishing this century and the freeing of older literature from the shackles of copyright have greatly increased the online availability of taxonomic descriptions, but much of the literature of the mid- to late-twentieth century remains offline ('dark texts'). DNA barcoding is generating a wealth of computable data that in many ways are much easier to work with than classical taxonomic descriptions, but many of the sequences are not identified to species level. These 'dark taxa' hamper the classical method of integrating biodiversity data, using shared taxonomic names. Voucher specimens are a potential common currency of both the taxonomic literature and sequence databases, and could be used to help link names, literature and sequences. An obstacle to this approach is the lack of stable, resolvable specimen identifiers. The paper concludes with an appeal for a global 'digital dashboard' to assess the extent to which biodiversity data are available online.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'. PMID:27481786

  14. Nested taxa-area curves for eastern United States floras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    1997-01-01

    The slopes of log-log species-area curves have been studied extensively and found to be influenced by the range of areas under study. Two such studies of eastern United States floras have yielded species-area curve slopes which differ by more than 100%: 0.251 and 0.113. The first slope may be too steep because the flora of the world was included, and both may be too steep because noncontiguous areas were used. These two hypotheses were tested using a set of nested floras centered in Ohio and continuing up to the flora of the world. The results suggest that this set of eastern United States floras produces a log-log species-area curve with a slope of approximately 0.20 with the flora of the world excluded, and regardless of whether or not the floras are from nested areas. Genera- and family-area curves are less steep than species-area curves and show similar patterns. Taxa ratio curves also increase with area, with the species/family ratio showing the steepest slope.

  15. Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites affect host behavior in several ways. They can alter activity, microhabitats or both. For trophically transmitted parasites (the focus of our study), decreased activity might impair the ability of hosts to respond to final-host predators, and increased activity and altered microhabitat choice might increase contact rates between hosts and final-host predators. In an analysis of trophically transmitted parasites, more parasite groups altered activity than altered microhabitat choice. Parasites that infected vertebrates were more likely to impair the host’s reaction to predators, whereas parasites that infected invertebrates were more likely to increase the host’s contact with predators. The site of infection might affect how parasites manipulate their hosts. For instance, parasites in the central nervous system seem particularly suited to manipulating host behavior. Manipulative parasites commonly occupy the body cavity, muscles and central nervous systems of their hosts. Acanthocephalans in the data set differed from other taxa in that they occurred exclusively in the body cavity of invertebrates. In addition, they were more likely to alter microhabitat choice than activity. Parasites in the body cavity (across parasite types) were more likely to be associated with increased host contact with predators. Parasites can manipulate the host through energetic drain, but most parasites use more sophisticated means. For instance, parasites target four physiological systems that shape behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates: neural, endocrine, neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory. The interconnections between these systems make it difficult to isolate specific mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation.

  16. Aquatic insects in Montezuma Well, Arizona, USA: A travertine spring mound with high alkalinity and dissolved carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

    Blinn, D.W.; Sanderson, M.W. )

    1989-01-31

    An annotated list of aquatic insects from the high carbonate system of Montezuma Well, Arizona, USA, is presented for collections taken during 1976-1986. Fifty-seven taxa in 16 families are reported, including new distribution records for Arizona (Anacaena signaticollis, Laccobius ellipticus, and Crenitulus sp. (nr. debilis)) and the USA (Enochrus sharpi). Larval stages for Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Chironomidae, and Anisoptera were absent even though the habitat lacks fish, and water temperature, dissolved oxygen, available food, and substrata appear adequate in Montezuma Well. The potential importance of alkalinity in restricting these insect groups is discussed.

  17. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Mikić, Aleksandar M

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350-1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl(-1) of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide. PMID:26635833

  18. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Mikić, Aleksandar M.

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350–1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl-1 of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide. PMID:26635833

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

    PubMed

    Gibson, Cara M; Kao, Rebecca H; Blevins, Kali K; Travers, Patrick D

    2012-01-01

    Although 21(st) century ecology uses unprecedented technology at the largest spatio-temporal scales in history, the data remain reliant on sound taxonomic practices that derive from 18(th) century science. The importance of accurate species identifications has been assessed repeatedly and in instances where inappropriate assignments have been made there have been costly consequences. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will use a standardized system based upon an integrative taxonomic foundation to conduct observations of the focal terrestrial insect taxa, ground beetles and mosquitoes, at the continental scale for a 30 year monitoring program. The use of molecular data for continental-scale, multi-decadal research conducted by a geographically widely distributed set of researchers has not been evaluated until this point. The current paper addresses the development of a reference library for verifying species identifications at NEON and the key ways in which this resource will enhance a variety of user communities. PMID:22666362

  20. Discontinuous gas exchange in insects.

    PubMed

    Quinlan, Michael C; Gibbs, Allen G

    2006-11-01

    Insect respiratory physiology has been studied for many years, and interest in this area of insect biology has become revitalized recently for a number of reasons. Technical advances have greatly improved the precision, accuracy and ease with which gas exchange can be measured in insects. This has made it possible to go beyond classic models such as lepidopteran pupae and examine a far greater diversity of species. One striking result of recent work is the realization that insect gas exchange patterns are much more diverse than formerly recognized. Current work has also benefited from the inclusion of comparative methods that rigorously incorporate phylogenetic, ecological and life history information. We discuss these advances in the context of the classic respiratory pattern of insects, discontinuous gas exchange. This mode of gas exchange was exhaustively described in moth pupae in the 1950s and 1960s. Early workers concluded that discontinuous gas exchange was an adaptation to reduce respiratory water loss. This idea is no longer universally accepted, and several competing hypotheses have been proposed. We discuss the genesis of these alternative hypotheses, and we identify some of the predictions that might be used to test them. We are pleased to report that what was once a mature discipline, in which the broad parameters and adaptive significance of discontinuous gas exchange were thought to be well understood, is now a thriving and vigorous field of research. PMID:16870512

  1. Purification and characterization of a scorpion defensin, a 4kDa antibacterial peptide presenting structural similarities with insect defensins and scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Cociancich, S; Goyffon, M; Bontems, F; Bulet, P; Bouet, F; Menez, A; Hoffmann, J

    1993-07-15

    Insect defensins are a group of inducible small-sized antibacterial peptides with three intramolecular disulfide bridges. NMR studies have recently shown that they share striking structural similarities with scorpion toxins. We have investigated in a scorpion species, Leiurus quinquestriatus, the potential presence of antibacterial molecules and report the isolation and structural characterization of a novel insect defensin homologue, which we refer to as scorpion defensin. This peptide shows a remarkably high degree of sequence homology with a defensin recently characterized in a species belonging to the ancient insect order of the Odonata with which it defines a novel ancient subclass of defensins. The scorpion defensin has in common with the scorpion toxins a consensus sequence Cys-[...]-Cys-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Cys-[...]-Gly-Xaa-Cys-[...]-Cys-Xaa-Cys present in all scorpion toxins characterized so far. PMID:8333834

  2. Sustaining salmonid populations: A caring understanding of naturalness of taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Extreme convergence in stick insect evolution: phylogenetic placement of the Lord Howe Island tree lobster

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Thomas R.; Attanayake, Dilini; Bradler, Sven

    2008-01-01

    The ‘tree lobsters’ are an enigmatic group of robust, ground-dwelling stick insects (order Phasmatodea) from the subfamily Eurycanthinae, distributed in New Guinea, New Caledonia and associated islands. Its most famous member is the Lord Howe Island stick insect Dryococelus australis (Montrouzier), which was believed to have become extinct but was rediscovered in 2001 and is considered to be one of the rarest insects in the world. To resolve the evolutionary position of Dryococelus, we constructed a phylogeny from approximately 2.4 kb of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from representatives of all major phasmatodean lineages. Our data placed Dryococelus and the New Caledonian tree lobsters outside the New Guinean Eurycanthinae as members of an unrelated Australasian stick insect clade, the Lanceocercata. These results suggest a convergent origin of the ‘tree lobster’ body form. Our reanalysis of tree lobster characters provides additional support for our hypothesis of convergent evolution. We conclude that the phenotypic traits leading to the traditional classification are convergent adaptations to ground-living behaviour. Our molecular dating analyses indicate an ancient divergence (more than 22 Myr ago) between Dryococelus and its Australian relatives. Hence, Dryococelus represents a long-standing separate evolutionary lineage within the stick insects and must be regarded as a key taxon to protect with respect to phasmatodean diversity. PMID:19129110

  4. Contaminants as habitat disturbers: PAH-driven drift by Andean paramo stream insects.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Contaminants can behave as toxicants, when toxic effects are observed in organisms, as well as habitat disturbers and fragmentors, by triggering avoidance responses and generating less- or uninhabited zones. Drift by stream insects has long been considered a mechanism to avoid contamination by moving to most favorable habitats. Given that exploration and transportation of crude oil represent a threat for surrounding ecosystems, the key goal of the present study was to assess the ability of autochthonous groups of aquatic insects from the Ecuadorian paramo streams to avoid by drift different concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) contained in the soluble fraction of locally transported crude oil. In the laboratory, different groups of insects were exposed to PAH for 12h. Three different assays, which varied in taxa and origin of the organisms, concentrations of PAH (0.6-38.8µgL(-1)), and environment settings (different levels of refuge and flow) were performed. For Anomalocosmoecus palugillensis (Limnephilidae), drift was a major cause of population decline in low concentration treatments but at higher concentrations mortality dominated. PAH was highly lethal, even at lower concentrations, for Chironomidae, Grypopterygidae (Claudioperla sp.) and Hydrobiosidae (Atopsyche sp.), and, therefore, no conclusion about drift can be drawn for these insects. Contamination by PAH showed to be a threat for benthic aquatic insects from Ecuadorian paramo streams as it can cause a population decline due to avoidance by drift and mortality. PMID:25042250

  5. Insect Phylogenomics: Exploring the Source of Incongruence Using New Transcriptomic Data

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Sabrina; Narechania, Apurva; DeSalle, Rob; Hadrys, Heike

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the diverse insect lineages is one of the most fascinating issues in evolutionary biology. Despite extensive research in this area, the resolution of insect phylogeny especially of interordinal relationships has turned out to be still a great challenge. One of the challenges for insect systematics is the radiation of the polyneopteran lineages with several contradictory and/or unresolved relationships. Here, we provide the first transcriptomic data for three enigmatic polyneopteran orders (Dermaptera, Plecoptera, and Zoraptera) to clarify one of the most debated issues among higher insect systematics. We applied different approaches to generate 3 data sets comprising 78 species and 1,579 clusters of orthologous genes. Using these three matrices, we explored several key mechanistic problems of phylogenetic reconstruction including missing data, matrix selection, gene and taxa number/choice, and the biological function of the genes. Based on the first phylogenomic approach including these three ambiguous polyneopteran orders, we provide here conclusive support for monophyletic Polyneoptera, contesting the hypothesis of Zoraptera + Paraneoptera and Plecoptera + remaining Neoptera. In addition, we employ various approaches to evaluate data quality and highlight problematic nodes within the Insect Tree that still exist despite our phylogenomic approach. We further show how the support for these nodes or alternative hypotheses might depend on the taxon- and/or gene-sampling. PMID:23175716

  6. Insects, infestations and nutrient fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalzik, B.

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Line following terrestrial insect biobots.

    PubMed

    Latif, Tahmid; Bozkurt, Alper

    2012-01-01

    The present day technology falls short in offering centimeter scale mobile robots that can function effectively under unknown and dynamic environmental conditions. Insects, on the other hand, exhibit an unmatched ability to navigate through a wide variety of environments and overcome perturbations by successfully maintaining control and stability. In this study, we use neural stimulation systems to wirelessly navigate cockroaches to follow lines to enable terrestrial insect biobots. We also propose a system-on-chip based ZigBee enabled wireless neurostimulation backpack system with on-board tissue-electrode bioelectrical coupling verification. Such a capability ensures an electrochemically safe stimulation and avoids irreversible damage to the interface which is often misinterpreted as habituation of the insect to the applied stimulation. PMID:23366056

  8. Neurosecretion: peptidergic systems in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Predel, R.; Eckert, Manfred

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

  9. Rice Reoviruses in Insect Vectors.

    PubMed

    Wei, Taiyun; Li, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Rice reoviruses, transmitted by leafhopper or planthopper vectors in a persistent propagative manner, seriously threaten the stability of rice production in Asia. Understanding the mechanisms that enable viral transmission by insect vectors is a key to controlling these viral diseases. This review describes current understanding of replication cycles of rice reoviruses in vector cell lines, transmission barriers, and molecular determinants of vector competence and persistent infection. Despite recent breakthroughs, such as the discoveries of actin-based tubule motility exploited by viruses to overcome transmission barriers and mutually beneficial relationships between viruses and bacterial symbionts, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of transmission mechanisms. Advances in genome sequencing, reverse genetics systems, and molecular technologies will help to address these problems. Investigating the multiple interaction systems among the virus, insect vector, insect symbiont, and plant during natural infection in the field is a central topic for future research on rice reoviruses. PMID:27296147

  10. Flower constancy in insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Ratnieks, Francis L.W.

    2011-01-01

    As first noted by Aristotle in honeybee workers, many insect pollinators show a preference to visit flowers of just one species during a foraging trip. This “flower constancy” probably benefits plants, because pollen is more likely to be deposited on conspecific stigmas. But it is less clear why insects should ignore rewarding alternative flowers. Many researchers have argued that flower constancy is caused by constraints imposed by insect nervous systems rather than because flower constancy is itself an efficient foraging method. We argue that this view is unsatisfactory because it both fails to explain why foragers flexibly adjust the degree of flower constancy and does not explain why foragers of closely related species show different degrees of constancy. While limitations of the nervous system exist and are likely to influence flower constancy to some degree, the observed behavioural flexibility suggests that flower constancy is a successful foraging strategy given the insect’s own information about different foraging options. PMID:22446521

  11. A New Approach to Reconstruct Ancient Bottom Water Oxygen Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathburn, A. E.; Willingham, J.; Corliss, B. H.; Burkett, A. M.; Ziebis, W.

    2014-12-01

    Oxygen availability controls many biological and geochemical processes, and serves as an important indicator of paleoceanographic characteristics. Recent work has demonstrated a direct relationship between oxygen acquisition and pores on benthic foraminiferal tests. Epifaunal foraminifera (living near or above the sediment-water interface) are directly exposed to bottom water, and can occur in abundance in a wide range of seafloor environments. In this study, a novel approach using ArcGIS and image analysis techniques was used to determine the percentage of test chamber surface area covered by pores in living and recently living (Rose Bengal stained) epifaunal taxa (Cibicides, Cibicidoides and Planulina). Analyses of Scanning Electron Microscope images of 97 specimens collected from 20 deep-sea locations having different bottom water oxygen concentrations (0.04 to 6.20 ml/L) revealed a robust (R2= 0.729; p < 0.001), negative relationship between pore surface area on test chambers and ambient bottom water oxygen concentration. The resulting calibration curve serves as new, quantitative proxy to assess bottom water oxygen of ancient oceans.

  12. Use of detrended correspondence analysis to evaluate factors controlling spatial distribution of benthic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leland, H.V.; Carter, J.L.; Fend, S.V.

    1986-01-01

    Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was evaluated for its effectiveness in displaying factors controlling the spatial distribution of benthic insects in an oligotrophic stream where an experimental gradient (copper) that selectively affects population abundances was imposed. DCA proved to be highly sensitive to differences among samples and consistently provided ecologically meaningful species ordinations. Seasonality of taxa was the major gradient displayed by DCA prior to copper exposure when data for all sampling dates were included. Sensitivity of taxa to copper was a more important factor affecting community structure than was seasonality during periods of continuous exposure to copper (2.5 to 15 ??g l-1 CuT; approximately 12 to 75 ng l-1 Cu2+. When pre-dose data for each sampling date were ordinated independently, substratum composition and biological interactions were the major gradients displayed in species ordinations. During periods of exposure, sensitivity of taxa to copper was the primary gradient. This gradient also reflected a generally greater sensitivity to copper of herbivorous than of detritivorous or predatory benthic insects. DCA revealed the persistence, eleven months after dosing ceased, of differences in community structure between the control and high treatment (5 and 10 ??g l-1 CuT) sections. Differences between sections were not evident on this sampling date from total biomass or total density (numerical) estimates. ?? 1986 Dr W. Junk Publishers.

  13. Distribution and diversity of aquatic insects of Vellayani lake in Kerala.

    PubMed

    Abhijna, U G; Ratheesh, R; Kumar, A Biju

    2013-05-01

    The diversity of insect fauna of Vellayani lake in Kerala was represented by 60 species classified under 37 families and 8 orders. Among the entomofauna collected from the lake, the order Coleoptera was diverse in number of genera (22). Shannon index was highest in station 2 (3.214) and lowest (2.839) in station 4. The higher richness index was also recorded in station 2 (6.331), though the lowest species richness was observed in Station 1 (5.205). The order Ephemeroptera is represented in Vellayani lake by the families Baetidae and Caenidae, which are considered as an indicator of water quality. Of the 15 metrices selected, taxa richness, Composition measures, Tolerance and Intolerance and Functional groups were also found out for all the stations. In the present study, the percentage of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera (EPT) taxa richness and diversity remained high in Station 1, 2 and 3 but reduced drastically in stations 4 and 5. The high HBI value recorded at station 4 is due to the abundance of pollution tolerant taxa such as Chironomidae, Tabanidae, Culicidae and Anophilinae. The results of the study reveal greater diversity of aquatic entomofauna in Vellayani freshwater lake and suggest the possibility of using insects effectively for biomonitoring programmes. PMID:24617149

  14. Vascular medicine and surgery in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Barr, Justin

    2014-07-01

    Lauded alike by ancient civilizations and modern society, pharaonic Egyptian medicine remains an object of fascination today. This article discusses its surprisingly sophisticated understanding of a cardiovascular system. The term "cardiovascular system," however, carries assumptions and meanings to a modern audience, especially readers of this journal, which simply do not apply when considering ancient conceptions of the heart and vessels. For lack of better language, this article will use "cardiovascular" and similar terms while recognizing the anachronistic inaccuracy. After briefly summarizing ancient Egyptian medicine generally, it will review the anatomy, pathology, and treatment of the vasculature. The practice of mummification in ancient Egypt provides a unique opportunity for paleopathology, and the conclusion will explore evidence of arterial disease from a modern scientific perspective. PMID:24970660

  15. Ancient Dry Spells Offer Clues About Drought

    NASA Video Gallery

    New research indicates that the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations of the Mayans and Aztecs amplified droughts in the Yucatán and southern Mexico by clearing rainforests to make room for pastures ...

  16. Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Kenneth A.

    1988-01-01

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

  17. Introducing Textual Criticisn to Ancient History Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitehorne, J. E. G.

    1975-01-01

    Describes an experiment made to illustrate to Ancient History students the value of textual criticism and the problems involved in transmitting a text through the centuries by means of imperfectly copied and preserved manuscripts. (CHK)

  18. Ancient pathogen DNA in archaeological samples detected with a Microbial Detection Array.

    PubMed

    Devault, Alison M; McLoughlin, Kevin; Jaing, Crystal; Gardner, Shea; Porter, Teresita M; Enk, Jacob M; Thissen, James; Allen, Jonathan; Borucki, Monica; DeWitte, Sharon N; Dhody, Anna N; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2014-01-01

    Ancient human remains of paleopathological interest typically contain highly degraded DNA in which pathogenic taxa are often minority components, making sequence-based metagenomic characterization costly. Microarrays may hold a potential solution to these challenges, offering a rapid, affordable, and highly informative snapshot of microbial diversity in complex samples without the lengthy analysis and/or high cost associated with high-throughput sequencing. Their versatility is well established for modern clinical specimens, but they have yet to be applied to ancient remains. Here we report bacterial profiles of archaeological and historical human remains using the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). The array successfully identified previously-verified bacterial human pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (cholera) in a 19th century intestinal specimen and Yersinia pestis ("Black Death" plague) in a medieval tooth, which represented only minute fractions (0.03% and 0.08% alignable high-throughput shotgun sequencing reads) of their respective DNA content. This demonstrates that the LLMDA can identify primary and/or co-infecting bacterial pathogens in ancient samples, thereby serving as a rapid and inexpensive paleopathological screening tool to study health across both space and time. PMID:24603850

  19. Relative densities of natural enemy and pest insects within California hedgerows.

    PubMed

    Gareau, Tara L Pisani; Letourneau, Deborah K; Shennan, Carol

    2013-08-01

    Research on hedgerow design for supporting communities of natural enemies for biological control lags behind farmer innovation in California, where assemblages of perennial plant species have been used on crop field margins in the last decade. We compared natural enemy to pest ratios between fields with hedgerows and fields with weedy margins by sampling beneficial insects and key pests of vegetables on sticky cards. We used biweekly vacuum samples to measure the distribution of key insect taxa among native perennial plant species with respect to the timing and intensity of bloom. Sticky cards indicated a trend that field margins with hedgerows support a higher ratio of natural enemies to pests compared with weedy borders. Hedgerow plant species hosted different relative densities of a generally overlapping insect community, and the timing and intensity of bloom only explained a small proportion of the variation in insect abundance at plant species and among hedgerows, with the exception of Orius spp. on Achillea millefolium L. and Baccharis pilularis De Candolle. Indicator Species Analysis showed an affinity of parasitic wasps, especially in the super-family Chalcidoidea, for B. pilularis whether or not it was in flower. A. millefolium was attractive to predatory and herbivorous homopterans; Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindley) Roemer and B. pilularis to Diabrotica undecimpunctata undecimpunctata Mannerheim; and Rhamnus californica Eschsch to Hemerobiidae. Perennial hedgerows can be designed through species selection to support particular beneficial insect taxa, but plant resources beyond floral availability may be critical in providing structural refuges, alternative prey, and other attractive qualities that are often overlooked. PMID:23905731

  20. Ancient history of flatfish research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berghahn, Rüdiger; Bennema, Floris Pieter

    2013-01-01

    Owing to both their special appearance and behavior flatfish have attracted the special attention of people since ages. The first records of humans having been in touch with flatfish date back to the Stone Age about 15,000 years B.C. Detailed descriptions were already given in the classical antiquity and were taken up 1400 years later in the Renaissance by the first ichthyologists, encyclopédists, and also by practical men. This was more than 200 years before a number of common flatfish species were given their scientific names by Linnaeus in 1758. Besides morphology, remarkable and sometimes amusing naturalistic observations and figures are bequeathed. Ancient history of flatfish research is still a wide and open array. Examples are presented how the yield of information and interpretation from these times increases with interdisciplinary cooperation including archeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, art historians, fisheries and fishery biologist. The timeline of this contribution ends with the start of modern fishery research at the end of the 19th century in the course of the rapidly increasing exploitation of fish stocks.

  1. Ancient technology in contemporary surgery.

    PubMed

    Buck, B A

    1982-03-01

    Archaeologists have shown that ancient man developed the ability to produce cutting blades of an extreme degree of sharpness from volcanic glass. The finest of these prismatic blades were produced in Mesoamerica about 2,500 years ago. The technique of production of these blades was rediscovered 12 years ago by Dr. Don Crabtree, who suggested possible uses for the blades in modern surgery. Blades produced by Dr. Crabtree have been used in experimental microsurgery with excellent results. Animal experiments have shown the tensile strength of obsidian produced wounds to be equal to or greater than that of wounds produced by steel scalpels after 14 days of healing. We have been able to demonstrate neither flaking of glass blades into the wounds nor any foreign body reaction in healed wounds. Skin incisions in human patients have likewise healed well without complications. The prismatic glass blade is infinitely sharper than a honed steel edge, and these blades can be produced in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is therefore suggested that this type of blade may find an appropriate use in special areas of modern surgery. PMID:7046256

  2. Ancient and modern environmental DNA.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F; Schmidt, Astrid M Z; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Hansen, Anders J; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-19

    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334

  3. Rethinking the Ancient Sulfur Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fike, David A.; Bradley, Alexander S.; Rose, Catherine V.

    2015-05-01

    The sulfur biogeochemical cycle integrates the metabolic activity of multiple microbial pathways (e.g., sulfate reduction, disproportionation, and sulfide oxidation) along with abiotic reactions and geological processes that cycle sulfur through various reservoirs. The sulfur cycle impacts the global carbon cycle and climate primarily through the remineralization of organic carbon. Over geological timescales, cycling of sulfur is closely tied to the redox state of Earth's exosphere through the burial of oxidized (sulfate) and reduced (sulfide) sulfur species in marine sediments. Biological sulfur cycling is associated with isotopic fractionations that can be used to trace the fluxes through various metabolic pathways. The resulting isotopic data provide insights into sulfur cycling in both modern and ancient environments via isotopic signatures in sedimentary sulfate and sulfide phases. Here, we review the deep-time δ34S record of marine sulfates and sulfides in light of recent advances in understanding how isotopic signatures are generated by microbial activity, how these signatures are encoded in marine sediments, and how they may be altered following deposition. The resulting picture shows a sulfur cycle intimately coupled to ambient carbon cycling, where sulfur isotopic records preserved in sedimentary rocks are critically dependent on sedimentological and geochemical conditions (e.g., iron availability) during deposition.

  4. Ancient Admixture in Human History

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Nick; Moorjani, Priya; Luo, Yontao; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Zhan, Yiping; Genschoreck, Teri; Webster, Teresa; Reich, David

    2012-01-01

    Population mixture is an important process in biology. We present a suite of methods for learning about population mixtures, implemented in a software package called ADMIXTOOLS, that support formal tests for whether mixture occurred and make it possible to infer proportions and dates of mixture. We also describe the development of a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array consisting of 629,433 sites with clearly documented ascertainment that was specifically designed for population genetic analyses and that we genotyped in 934 individuals from 53 diverse populations. To illustrate the methods, we give a number of examples that provide new insights about the history of human admixture. The most striking finding is a clear signal of admixture into northern Europe, with one ancestral population related to present-day Basques and Sardinians and the other related to present-day populations of northeast Asia and the Americas. This likely reflects a history of admixture between Neolithic migrants and the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe, consistent with recent analyses of ancient bones from Sweden and the sequencing of the genome of the Tyrolean “Iceman.” PMID:22960212

  5. Ancient and modern environmental DNA

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A.; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F.; Schmidt, Astrid M. Z.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Hansen, Anders J.; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-01

    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334

  6. [Metallurgic drugs in ancient Japan].

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, S

    2001-01-01

    Advancements in metallurgic and pharmaceutical chemistry in ancient Japan were made by people like Mangan-Shonin, who combined elements from Shinto, Buddhism, and Taoism to take advantage of technologies brought by Chinese and Korean immigrants. The Shonin himself, though it may be considered a wild speculation, could well be such an immigrant. Along with the immigrants, the Shonin established government-subsidized temples (Jingu-ji, Jogaku-ji) throughout the country under sponsorship by the Imperial Court for the purpose of raising funds through private donations. Research and educational activities conducted in these temples ultimately resulted in a well-established body of chemical engineers who could excavate chemical substances as well as alter their natures. According to a list of regional products (Sasaki,19) 1972) up to the 14th century, these chemical substances and their derivative products included iron from the Hitachi region, cast metal from Shimotsuke, swords from Sagami, face powder (lead carbonate) from Ise, mercury, and gold. PMID:11776993

  7. Ancient origin of mast cells.

    PubMed

    Wong, G William; Zhuo, Lisheng; Kimata, Koji; Lam, Bing K; Satoh, Nori; Stevens, Richard L

    2014-08-22

    The sentinel roles of mammalian mast cells (MCs) in varied infections raised the question of their evolutionary origin. We discovered that the test cells in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis morphologically and histochemically resembled cutaneous human MCs. Like the latter, C. intestinalis test cells stored histamine and varied heparin·serine protease complexes in their granules. Moreover, they exocytosed these preformed mediators when exposed to compound 48/80. In support of the histamine data, a C. intestinalis-derived cDNA was isolated that resembled that which encodes histidine decarboxylase in human MCs. Like heparin-expressing mammalian MCs, activated test cells produced prostaglandin D2 and contained cDNAs that encode a protein that resembles the synthase needed for its biosynthesis in human MCs. The accumulated morphological, histochemical, biochemical, and molecular biology data suggest that the test cells in C. intestinalis are the counterparts of mammalian MCs that reside in varied connective tissues. The accumulated data point to an ancient origin of MCs that predates the emergence of the chordates >500million years ago, well before the development of adaptive immunity. The remarkable conservation of MCs throughout evolution is consistent with their importance in innate immunity. PMID:25094046

  8. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future.

    PubMed

    Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S

    2015-11-01

    The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens

  9. Alternative medicine in ancient and medieval history.

    PubMed

    Prioreschi, P

    2000-10-01

    The author, in an attempt to clarify whether the rise of alternative medicine is a phenomenon characteristic of our time or whether it existed in the past as well, has identified at least three alternative medicines, which developed in ancient Rome, ancient India and in the medieval Islamic world. The circumstances leading to the development of alternative medicine in the past and in our time are discussed and compared. PMID:11000060

  10. An annotated list of aquatic insects of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, excluding diptera with notes on several new state records

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zuellig, R.E.; Kondratieff, B.C.; Schmidt, J.P.; Durfee, R.S.; Ruiter, D.E.; Prather, I.E.

    2006-01-01

    Qualitative collections of aquatic insects were made at Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma, between 2002 and 2004. Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Odonata, Coleoptera, aquatic Heteroptera, Neuroptera, and Megaloptera were targeted. Additional records are included from a survey that took place in 1999. More than 11,000 specimens from more than 290 collections were examined. Based on the current understanding of aquatic insect systematics, 276 taxa distributed over 8 orders, 46 families, and 141 genera were identified. Twenty-three of the 276 taxa, Plauditus texanus Wiersema, Tricorythodes allectus (Needham), Palmacorixa nana walleyi Hungerford, Climacia chapini Partin and Gurney, Oxyethira forcipata Mosely, Oxyethira janella Denning, Triaenodes helo Milne, Ylodes frontalis (Banks), Acilius fraternus Harris, Coptotomus loticus Hilsenhoff, Coptotomus venustus (Say), Desmopachria dispersa Crotch, Graphoderus liberus (Say), Hydrovatus pustulatus (Melsheimer), Hygrotus acaroides (LeConte), Liodessus flavicollis (LeConte), Uvarus texanus (Sharp), Gyrinus woodruffi Fall, Haliplus fasciatus Aube, Haliplus lewisii Crotch, Haliplus tortilipenis Brigham & Sanderson, Chaetarthria bicolor Sharp, Epimetopus costatus complex, and Hydrochus simplex LeConte are reported from Oklahoma for the first time. The three most diverse orders included Coleoptera (86 species), Odonata (67 species) and Trichoptera (59 species), and the remaining taxa were distributed among Heteroptera, (30 species), Ephemeroptera (21 species), Plecoptera (6 species), Megaloptera (4 species), and Neuroptera (3 species). Based on previous published records, many of the species collected during this study were expected to be found at Fort Sill; however, 276 taxa of aquatic insects identified from such a small geographic area is noteworthy, especially when considering local climatic conditions and the relatively small size of Fort Sill (38,300 ha). Despite agricultural practices in Oklahoma, the dust bowl days

  11. Insect growth regulators and insect control: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Siddall, J B

    1976-01-01

    Insect growth regulators (IGRs) of the juvenile hormone type alter physiological processes essential to insect development and appear to act specifically on insects. Three natural juvenile hormones have been found in insects but not in other organisms. Future use of antagonists or inhibitors of hormone synthesis may be technically possible as an advantageous extension of pest control by IGRs. A documented survey of the properties, metabolism, toxicology, and uses of the most commercially advanced chemical, methoprene, shows it to be environmentally acceptable and toxicologically innocuous. Derivation of its current use patterns is discussed and limitations on these are noted. Residue levels and their measurement in the ppb region have allowed exemption from the requirement of tolerances in the EPA registered use of methoprene for mosquito control. Tolerances for foods accompany its fully approved use for control of manure breeding flies through a cattle feed supplement. The human health effects of using this chemical appear to be purely beneficial, but further advances through new IGR chemicals appear unlikely without major changes in regulatory and legislative policy. PMID:976222

  12. Insect Screening Results: Assessment of Corn Hybrids for Insect Resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the growing season of 2006, the relatively dry environmental conditions in Tifton, Georgia were favorable for the rapid buildup of corn earworms, providing the potential for considerable damage to the corn crop. Six ear-feeding insects recorded in the order of infestation severity were: the...

  13. Using Ancient Samples in Projection Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Melinda A.; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2015-01-01

    Projection analysis is a tool that extracts information from the joint allele frequency spectrum to better understand the relationship between two populations. In projection analysis, a test genome is compared to a set of genomes from a reference population. The projection’s shape depends on the historical relationship of the test genome’s population to the reference population. Here, we explore in greater depth the effects on the projection when ancient samples are included in the analysis. First, we conduct a series of simulations in which the ancient sample is directly ancestral to a present-day population (one-population model), or the ancient sample is ancestral to a sister population that diverged before the time of sampling (two-population model). We find that there are characteristic differences between the projections for the one-population and two-population models, which indicate that the projection can be used to determine whether a test genome is directly ancestral to a present-day population or not. Second, we compute projections for several published ancient genomes. We compare two Neanderthals and three ancient human genomes to European, Han Chinese and Yoruba reference panels. We use a previously constructed demographic model and insert these five ancient genomes to assess how well the observed projections are recovered. PMID:26546309

  14. Using Ancient Samples in Projection Analysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Melinda A; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-01-01

    Projection analysis is a tool that extracts information from the joint allele frequency spectrum to better understand the relationship between two populations. In projection analysis, a test genome is compared to a set of genomes from a reference population. The projection's shape depends on the historical relationship of the test genome's population to the reference population. Here, we explore in greater depth the effects on the projection when ancient samples are included in the analysis. First, we conduct a series of simulations in which the ancient sample is directly ancestral to a present-day population (one-population model), or the ancient sample is ancestral to a sister population that diverged before the time of sampling (two-population model). We find that there are characteristic differences between the projections for the one-population and two-population models, which indicate that the projection can be used to determine whether a test genome is directly ancestral to a present-day population or not. Second, we compute projections for several published ancient genomes. We compare two Neanderthals and three ancient human genomes to European, Han Chinese and Yoruba reference panels. We use a previously constructed demographic model and insert these five ancient genomes to assess how well the observed projections are recovered. PMID:26546309

  15. Transnasal excerebration surgery in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Fanous, Andrew A; Couldwell, William T

    2012-04-01

    Ancient Egyptians were pioneers in many fields, including medicine and surgery. Our modern knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and surgical techniques stems from discoveries and observations made by Egyptian physicians and embalmers. In the realm of neurosurgery, ancient Egyptians were the first to elucidate cerebral and cranial anatomy, the first to describe evidence for the role of the spinal cord in the transmission of information from the brain to the extremities, and the first to invent surgical techniques such as trepanning and stitching. In addition, the transnasal approach to skull base and intracranial structures was first devised by Egyptian embalmers to excerebrate the cranial vault during mummification. In this historical vignette, the authors examine paleoradiological and other evidence from ancient Egyptian skulls and mummies of all periods, from the Old Kingdom to Greco-Roman Egypt, to shed light on the development of transnasal surgery in this ancient civilization. The authors confirm earlier observations concerning the laterality of this technique, suggesting that ancient Egyptian excerebration techniques penetrated the skull base mostly on the left side. They also suggest that the original technique used to access the skull base in ancient Egypt was a transethmoidal one, which later evolved to follow a transsphenoidal route similar to the one used today to gain access to pituitary lesions. PMID:22224784

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

    PubMed Central

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03676.001 PMID:25247700

  17. Relaxed phylogenetics and the palaeoptera problem: resolving deep ancestral splits in the insect phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jessica A; Trueman, John W H; Rambaut, Andrew; Welch, John J

    2013-03-01

    The order in which the 3 groups of winged insects (the Pterygota) diverged from their common ancestor has important implications for understanding the origin of insect flight. But despite this importance, the split between the Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Ephemeroptera (mayflies), and Neoptera (the other winged orders) remains very much unresolved. Indeed, previous studies have obtained strong apparent support for each of the 3 possible branching patterns. Here, we present a systematic reinvestigation of the basal pterygote split. Our results suggest that outgroup choice and limited taxon sampling have been major sources of systematic error, even for data sets with a large number of characters (e.g., in phylogenomic data sets). In particular, a data set of 113 taxa provides consistent support for the Palaeoptera hypothesis (the grouping of Odonata with Ephemeroptera), whereas results from data sets with fewer taxa give inconsistent results and are highly sensitive to minor changes in data and methods. We also focus on recent methods that exploit temporal information using fossil calibrations, combined with additional assumptions about the evolutionary process, and so reduce the influence of outgroup choice. These methods are shown to provide more consistent results, for example, supporting Palaeoptera, even for data sets that previously supported other hypotheses. Together, these results have implications for understanding insect origins and for resolving other problematic splits in the tree of life. PMID:23220768

  18. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa.

    PubMed

    Coddington, Jonathan A; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

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

  19. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa

    PubMed Central

    Coddington, Jonathan A.; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Aquatic insect assemblages associated with subalpine stream segment types in relict glaciated headwaters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Fragments of ATP synthase mediate plant perception of insect attack

    PubMed Central

    Schmelz, Eric A.; Carroll, Mark J.; LeClere, Sherry; Phipps, Stephen M.; Meredith, Julia; Chourey, Prem S.; Alborn, Hans T.; Teal, Peter E. A.

    2006-01-01

    Plants can perceive a wide range of biotic attackers and respond with targeted induced defenses. Specificity in plant non-self-recognition occurs either directly by perception of pest-derived elicitors or indirectly through resistance protein recognition of host targets that are inappropriately proteolyzed. Indirect plant perception can occur during interactions with pathogens, yet evidence for analogous events mediating the detection of insect herbivores remains elusive. Here we report indirect perception of herbivory in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) plants attacked by fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larvae. We isolated and identified a disulfide-bridged peptide (+ICDINGVCVDA−), termed inceptin, from S. frugiperda larval oral secretions that promotes cowpea ethylene production at 1 fmol leaf−1 and triggers increases in the defense-related phytohormones salicylic acid and jasmonic acid. Inceptins are proteolytic fragments of chloroplastic ATP synthase γ-subunit regulatory regions that mediate plant perception of herbivory through the induction of volatile, phenylpropanoid, and protease inhibitor defenses. Only S. frugiperda larvae that previously ingested chloroplastic ATP synthase γ-subunit proteins and produced inceptins significantly induced cowpea defenses after herbivory. Digestive fragments of an ancient and essential plant enzyme, inceptin functions as a potent indirect signal initiating specific plant responses to insect attack. PMID:16720701

  2. Spatially Heterogeneous Perturbations Homogenize the Regulation of Insect Herbivores.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Eric; MacDougall, Andrew S

    2015-11-01

    Anthropogenic influences on resources and consumers can affect food web regulation, with impacts on trophic structure and ecosystem processes. Identifying how these impacts unfold is challenging because alterations to one or both resources and consumers can similarly transform community structure, especially for intermediate consumers. To date, empirical testing of perturbations on trophic regulation has been limited by the difficulty in separating the direct effect of perturbations on species composition and diversity from those unfolding indirectly via altered feeding pathways. Moreover, disentangling the independent and interactive impacts of covarying stressors that characterize human-altered systems has been an ongoing analytical challenge. We used a large-scale metacommunity experiment in grasslands to test how resource inputs, stand perturbation, and spatial factors affect regulation of insect herbivores in tritrophic grassland food webs. Using path-model comparisons, we observed significant simplification of food web regulation on insect herbivores, shifting from mixed predator-resource regulation in unaltered mainland areas to strictly resource-based regulation with landscape perturbation and fragmentation. Most changes were attributed to homogenization of plant community caused by landscape fragmentation and the deterministic influence of eutrophication that reduced among-patch beta diversity. This led to a simplified food web dominated by fewer but more abundant herbivore taxa. Our work implies that anthropogenic perturbation relating to resources and spatial isolation can transform the regulation of food web diversity, structure, and function. PMID:26655775

  3. Introducing Virological Concepts Using an Insect Virus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Roger F.

    1980-01-01

    A technique is presented which utilizes wax moth larvae in a laboratory investigation of an insect virus. Describes how an insect virus can be used to introduce undergraduate biology students to laboratory work on viruses and several virological concepts. (SA)

  4. First Aid: Insect Stings and Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Can I Protect My Family From Ticks? Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Bug Bites and Stings Can I Use Bug Killers and Repellents During Pregnancy? Insect Sting Allergy How Do I Watch for Lyme ...

  5. Palaeontology: Chinese amber insects bridge the gap.

    PubMed

    Ross, Andrew

    2014-07-21

    n the study of fossil insects, Chinese amber from Fushun has been largely overlooked. A new study now reveals a highly diverse biota and provides a wealth of new information on the past Asian insect fauna. PMID:25050958

  6. Insects--How To Study Them

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, E. G.

    1975-01-01

    Describes an approach to the study of entomology directed at people with no special knowledge of insects. The aim of this approach is to reveal some biological principles by studying insects from an ecological point of view. (GS)

  7. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett A.

    2011-01-01

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans’ dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream’s significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives. PMID:26467945

  8. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett A

    2011-01-01

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans' dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream's significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives. PMID:26467945

  9. Registers of family-group and genus-group taxa of Aphidoidea

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This “Register of the genus-group taxa of Aphidoidea” corresponds to the proposal approved by the delegates attending the Eighth International Symposium on Aphids with the addition of taxa described since 31 December 2005, the cutoff date for the proposal. The genus-group names included here belong...

  10. The Seat of Insect Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, Fred C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes the role of mushroom bodies--cup-shaped structures perched atop the brain of an insect--in learning. Mushroom bodies may help fruit flies in learning meaningful odors, cockroaches in spatial learning, and honeybees both in locating pollen and nectar and in navigating back to the colony. (PVD)

  11. Evolution of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Missbach, Christine; Dweck, Hany KM; Vogel, Heiko; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory sense detects a plethora of behaviorally relevant odor molecules; gene families involved in olfaction exhibit high diversity in different animal phyla. Insects detect volatile molecules using olfactory (OR) or ionotropic receptors (IR) and in some cases gustatory receptors (GRs). While IRs are expressed in olfactory organs across Protostomia, ORs have been hypothesized to be an adaptation to a terrestrial insect lifestyle. We investigated the olfactory system of the primary wingless bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha), the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Zygentoma) and the neopteran leaf insect Phyllium siccifolium (Phasmatodea). ORs and the olfactory coreceptor (Orco) are with very high probability lacking in Lepismachilis; in Thermobia we have identified three Orco candidates, and in Phyllium a fully developed OR/Orco-based system. We suggest that ORs did not arise as an adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle, but evolved later in insect evolution, with Orco being present before the appearance of ORs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02115.001 PMID:24670956

  12. The insect SNMP gene family

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    SNMPs are membrane proteins that have been shown to associate with chemosensory neurons in insects; in Drosophila melanogaster, SNMP1 has been shown to be essential for the detection of the pheromone cis vaccenyl acetate (Benton et al., 2001; Jin et al., 2008). To extend these observations to other ...

  13. Bug City: Aquatic Insects [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1998

    "Bug City" is a video series created to help children learn about insects and other small critters. All aspects of bug life are touched upon including body structure, food, habitat, life cycle, mating habits, camouflage, mutualism (symbiosis), adaptations, social behavior, and more. Each program features dramatic microscopic photography, fun…

  14. Making Connections with Insect Royalty.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbie, Ann

    2000-01-01

    Describes a one-month sixth grade class activity with monarch butterflies called Monarch in the Classroom. Students learn about insects, especially the class material butterflies, including their life cycle, eating habits, migration, and how they overwinter. The lesson plan covers sorting animals, focusing on features, analyzing the community for…

  15. Rearing insects on artificial diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects are reared in the laboratory for various purposes. They may be reared either on their natural food or artificial diets. Developing artificial diets may be difficult and time consuming but once optimized, artificial diets usually are simple to prepare and easy to use. Because they are process...

  16. Transposable elements for insect transformation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The germ-line of more than 35 species from five orders of insects have been genetically transformed, using vectors derived from Class II transposable elements. Initially the P and hobo vector systems developed for D. melanogaster were not applicable to other species, but four transposons found in ot...

  17. Plant defense against insect herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Damage to maize crops by insect herbivores such as beet and fall army worm causes significant impact in the Southern United States in terms of both yield loss and insecticide use. Enhanced understanding of how maize can defend itself against such attacks at a molecular level will enable development ...

  18. Exaggerated trait growth in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Animal structures occasionally attain extreme proportions, eclipsing in size other, surrounding body parts. We review insect examples of exaggerated traits, such as the mandibles of stag beetles, the claspers of praying mantises, the elongated hindlimbs of grasshoppers, and the giant heads of soldie...

  19. Insects Affecting Man. MP-21.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Fred A.; Spackman, Everett

    The insects discussed in this document are those which have a direct effect upon humans either through a permanent association, as with lice, or a temporary association in the case of flies, bees, wasps, and spiders. In each case, life cycles and identifying characteristics are presented with remarks about the specific effect incurred by man. (CS)

  20. Nontoxic Antifreeze for Insect Traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Propylene glycol in water is a safe and effective alternative to ethylene glycol as a capture liquid in insect traps (pitfalls, flight intercepts, pan traps). Propylene glycol formulations are readily available because it is the primary (95%) ingredient in certain automotive antifreeze formulations...

  1. Burns treatment in ancient times.

    PubMed

    Pećanac, Marija; Janjić, Zlata; Komarcević, Aleksandar; Pajić, Milos; Dobanovacki, Dusanka; Misković, Sanja Skeledzija

    2013-01-01

    Discovery of fire at the dawn of prehistoric time brought not only the benefits to human beings offering the light and heat, but also misfortune due to burns; and that was the beginning of burns treatment. Egyptian doctors made medicines from plants, animal products and minerals, which they combined with magic and religious procedures. The earliest records described burns dressings with milk from mothers of male babies. Goddess Isis was called upon to help. Some remedies and procedures proved so successful that their application continued for centuries. The Edwin Smith papyrus (1500 BC) mentioned the treatment of burns with honey and grease. Ebers Papyrus (1500 BC) contains descriptions of application of mud, excrement, oil and plant extracts. They also used honey, Aloe and tannic acid to heal burns. Ancient Egyptians did not know about microorganisms but they knew that honey, moldy bread and copper salts could prevent infections from dirt in burns healing. Thyme, opium and belladona were used for pain relief. In the 4th century BC, Hippocrates recorded that Greek and Roman doctors used rendered pig fat, resin and bitumen to treat burns. Mixture of honey and bran, or lotion of wine and myrrh were used by Celsus. Honey was also known in Ayurveda (Indian medicine) time. Ayurvedic records Characa and Sushruta included honey in their dressing aids to purify sores and promote the healing. Burn treatment in Chinese medicine was traditional. It was a compilation of philosophy, knowledge and herbal medicine. The successful treatment of burns started in recent time and it has been made possible by better knowledge of the pathophysiology of thermal injuries and their consequences, medical technology advances and improved surgical techniques. PMID:23888738

  2. Using new technology and insect behavior in novel terrestrial and flying insect traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect traps are commonly used for both population sampling and insect control, the former as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program. We developed traps for two insects, one as part of a pesticide based IPM system and the other for population control. Our IPM trap is for crawling insect...

  3. A complete insect from the Late Devonian period.

    PubMed

    Garrouste, Romain; Clément, Gaël; Nel, Patricia; Engel, Michael S; Grandcolas, Philippe; D'Haese, Cyrille; Lagebro, Linda; Denayer, Julien; Gueriau, Pierre; Lafaite, Patrick; Olive, Sébastien; Prestianni, Cyrille; Nel, André

    2012-08-01

    After terrestrialization, the diversification of arthropods and vertebrates is thought to have occurred in two distinct phases, the first between the Silurian and the Frasnian stages (Late Devonian period) (425-385 million years (Myr) ago), and the second characterized by the emergence of numerous new major taxa, during the Late Carboniferous period (after 345 Myr ago). These two diversification periods bracket the depauperate vertebrate Romer's gap (360-345 Myr ago) and arthropod gap (385-325 Myr ago), which could be due to preservational artefact. Although a recent molecular dating has given an age of 390 Myr for the Holometabola, the record of hexapods during the Early-Middle Devonian (411.5-391 Myr ago, Pragian to Givetian stages) is exceptionally sparse and based on fragmentary remains, which hinders the timing of this diversification. Indeed, although Devonian Archaeognatha are problematic, the Pragian of Scotland has given some Collembola and the incomplete insect Rhyniognatha, with its diagnostic dicondylic, metapterygotan mandibles. The oldest, definitively winged insects are from the Serpukhovian stage (latest Early Carboniferous period). Here we report the first complete Late Devonian insect, which was probably a terrestrial species. Its 'orthopteroid' mandibles are of an omnivorous type, clearly not modified for a solely carnivorous diet. This discovery narrows the 45-Myr gap in the fossil record of Hexapoda, and demonstrates further a first Devonian phase of diversification for the Hexapoda, as in vertebrates, and suggests that the Pterygota diversified before and during Romer's gap. PMID:22859205

  4. Buckling failures in insect exoskeletons.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  5. The insect SNMP gene family.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Richard G; Miller, Natalie E; Litvack, Rachel; Fandino, Richard A; Sparks, Jackson; Staples, Jon; Friedman, Robert; Dickens, Joseph C

    2009-07-01

    SNMPs are membrane proteins observed to associate with chemosensory neurons in insects; in Drosophila melanogaster, SNMP1 has been shown to be essential for the detection of the pheromone cis-vaccenyl acetate (CVA). SNMPs are one of three insect gene clades related to the human fatty acid transporter CD36. We previously characterized the CD36 gene family in 4 insect Orders that effectively cover the Holometabola, or some 80% of known insect species and the 300 million years of evolution since this lineage emerged: Lepidoptera (e.g. Bombyx mori, Antheraea polyphemus, Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa assulta, Helicoverpa armigera, Mamestra brassicae); Diptera (D. melanogaster, Drosophila pseudoobscura, Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae, Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus); Hymenoptera (Apis mellifera); and Coleoptera (Tribolium castaneum). This previous study suggested a complex topography within the SNMP clade including a strongly supported SNMP1 sub-clade plus additional SNMP genes. To further resolve the SNMP clade here, we used cDNA sequences of SNMP1 and SNMP2 from various Lepidoptera species, D. melanogaster and Ae. aegypti, as well as BAC derived genomic sequences from Ae. aegypti as models for proposing corrected sequences of orthologues in the D. pseudoobscura and An. gambiae genomes, and for identifying orthologues in the B. mori and C. pipiens q. genomes. We then used these sequences to analyze the SNMP clade of the insect CD36 gene family, supporting the existence of two well supported sub-clades, SNMP1 and SNMP2, throughout the dipteran and lepidopteran lineages, and plausibly throughout the Holometabola and across a broad evolutionary time scale. We present indirect evidence based on evolutionary selection (dN/dS) that the dipteran SNMPs are expressed as functional proteins. We observed expansions of the SNMP1 sub-clade in C. pipiens q. and T. castaneum suggesting that the SNMP1s may have an expanded functional role in these species. PMID

  6. Applications of acoustics in insect pest management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acoustic technology has been applied for many years in studies of insect communication and in the monitoring of calling-insect population levels, geographic distributions, and diversity, as well as in the detection of cryptic insects in soil, wood, container crops, and stored products. Acoustic devi...

  7. Insect Control (1): Use of Pheromones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Jean L.

    1973-01-01

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

  8. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  9. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  10. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  11. Radar, Insect Population Ecology, and Pest Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  12. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  13. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  14. Mechanisms by which pesticides affect insect immunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The known effects of pesticides on insect immunity is reviewed here. A basic understanding of these interactions is needed for several reasons, including to improve methods for controlling pest insects in agricultural settings, for controlling insect vectors of human diseases, and for reducing morta...

  15. Molecular archives of climatic history: exploring patterns of genomic differentiation in endemic species radiations of ancient lakes (MOLARCH)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, K.

    2009-04-01

    Little is known about the evolutionary response of species to global climate change because time scales are too long to be directly studied. Recent phylogenetic studies on taxa inhabiting ancient lakes suggested that climate-induced environmental changes can be reconstructed by analyzing genetic patterns within and among species. In fact such evolutionary responses seem to coincide with climate driven lake level-fluctuations and to be concentrated within narrow periods of time. Yet, it remains unclear to what extent such changes occur simultaneously across taxonomic groups and ecological guilds. Our study combines phylogenetic and paleoclimate data to test how patterns of evolutionary diversification agree with predictions of three groups of hypotheses (i) the ‘turnover pulse' and ‘paleo-ecological incumbency' hypotheses, predicting that speciation pulses across major taxa coincide with times of major lake level changes; (ii) the ‘ecological locking' hypothesis, also predicts simultaneous speciation pulses but not necessarily at times of major lake level changes; (iii) the ‘individual response' hypothesis, predicts no correlation of speciation pulses across taxa. These hypotheses will be tested using mtDNA sequences from selected endemic taxa (fish, crustaceans) of Lakes Baikal and Tanganyika, the two oldest lakes on Earth. Patterns of intraspecific diversity (reflecting dynamics of population size changes) and of the synchrony of interspecific divergences across taxa are used to investigate the evolutionary effects of lake level changes on different time scales, in taxa occurring in different habitats, within lakes and across continents. Combined with paleoclimatic information this will elucidate the effects of global climatic induced changes on the more general dynamics of diversification, loss of variation, adaptive radiations and speciation events. Computer simulations of sequence evolution generated in various ecological scenarios will be used to

  16. Ancient dna from pleistocene fossils: Preservation, recovery, and utility of ancient genetic information for quaternary research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hong

    Until recently, recovery and analysis of genetic information encoded in ancient DNA sequences from Pleistocene fossils were impossible. Recent advances in molecular biology offered technical tools to obtain ancient DNA sequences from well-preserved Quaternary fossils and opened the possibilities to directly study genetic changes in fossil species to address various biological and paleontological questions. Ancient DNA studies involving Pleistocene fossil material and ancient DNA degradation and preservation in Quaternary deposits are reviewed. The molecular technology applied to isolate, amplify, and sequence ancient DNA is also presented. Authentication of ancient DNA sequences and technical problems associated with modern and ancient DNA contamination are discussed. As illustrated in recent studies on ancient DNA from proboscideans, it is apparent that fossil DNA sequence data can shed light on many aspects of Quaternary research such as systematics and phylogeny. conservation biology, evolutionary theory, molecular taphonomy, and forensic sciences. Improvement of molecular techniques and a better understanding of DNA degradation during fossilization are likely to build on current strengths and to overcome existing problems, making fossil DNA data a unique source of information for Quaternary scientists.

  17. History through Art and Architecture: Ancient Greek Architecture [and] Ancient Greek Sculpture. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ann

    This document consists of two teaching manuals designed to accompany a commercially-available "multicultural, interdisciplinary video program," consisting of four still videotape programs (72 minutes, 226 frames), one teaching poster, and these two manuals. "Teacher's Manual: Ancient Greek Architecture" covers: "Ancient Greek Architecture 1,"…

  18. Re-inventing ancient human DNA.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michael; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    For a long time, the analysis of ancient human DNA represented one of the most controversial disciplines in an already controversial field of research. Scepticism in this field was only matched by the long-lasting controversy over the authenticity of ancient pathogen DNA. This ambiguous view on ancient human DNA had a dichotomous root. On the one hand, the interest in ancient human DNA is great because such studies touch on the history and evolution of our own species. On the other hand, because these studies are dealing with samples from our own species, results are easily compromised by contamination of the experiments with modern human DNA, which is ubiquitous in the environment. Consequently, some of the most disputed studies published - apart maybe from early reports on million year old dinosaur or amber DNA - reported DNA analyses from human subfossil remains. However, the development of so-called next- or second-generation sequencing (SGS) in 2005 and the technological advances associated with it have generated new confidence in the genetic study of ancient human remains. The ability to sequence shorter DNA fragments than with PCR amplification coupled to traditional Sanger sequencing, along with very high sequencing throughput have both reduced the risk of sequencing modern contamination and provided tools to evaluate the authenticity of DNA sequence data. The field is now rapidly developing, providing unprecedented insights into the evolution of our own species and past human population dynamics as well as the evolution and history of human pathogens and epidemics. Here, we review how recent technological improvements have rapidly transformed ancient human DNA research from a highly controversial subject to a central component of modern anthropological research. We also discuss potential future directions of ancient human DNA research. PMID:25937886

  19. New interpretation of the ancient constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dementev, M. S.

    New method of study of the ancient constellations and mythes is discussed. It is based on the comparison of two maps - the sky and the Earth. The Stellar map is built in an equatorial system of coordinates, the geografic map - in the Mercator's projection and of the same scale. The former map is put on the laster one. The constellation of Pleiades (seven daughter of Atlant) is placed on the meridian of Atlant (Western coast of Africa). If the Stellar map is constructed for a epoch J-3000 (3000 years up to B.C.) then we could found the following. The constellations Andromeda (the daughter of the Ethiopian tsar), Cetus, Perseus and Cassiopeia (mother of Andromeda) are projected on the centre, south and west of Ancient Ethiopia and Mediterranean Sea, respectively. That is all the constellations fall to the places, where events described in mythes occured. A constellation Cepheus (Arabian name is "Burning") covers the Caucasus. Possibly, before a epoch J-1000 this group of stars was connected with Prometheus. It is known Prometheus was chained to the Caucasian rock because of stealing of a fire. Ancient Chineses divided the sky in other way. They called "The Heavenly Town" the area of sky consisting of stars in Herculis, Aquilae and Ophiuchi. Parts of the mentioned constellation were called as a provinces in Ancient China. If the Heavenly Town locate near the Ancient China then the Greek constellations (Andromeda, Perseus and Cetus) will appear over Africa. Three important conclusions follow from this: (i) the geography of the Earth is reflected on the sky; (ii) the ancient astronomers were investigating a connection between the sky and Earth; (iii) the ancient peoples exchanged by the information about a construction of the world.

  20. Specialists in ancient trees are more affected by climate than generalists.

    PubMed

    Gough, Leonie A; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne; Milberg, Per; Pilskog, Hanne E; Jansson, Nicklas; Jonsell, Mats; Birkemoe, Tone

    2015-12-01

    Ancient trees are considered one of the most important habitats for biodiversity in Europe and North America. They support exceptional numbers of specialized species, including a range of rare and endangered wood-living insects. In this study, we use a dataset of 105 sites spanning a climatic gradient along the oak range of Norway and Sweden to investigate the importance of temperature and precipitation on beetle species richness in ancient, hollow oak trees. We expected that increased summer temperature would positively influence all wood-living beetle species whereas precipitation would be less important with a negligible or negative impact. Surprisingly, only oak-specialist beetles with a northern distribution increased in species richness with temperature. Few specialist beetles and no generalist beetles responded to the rise of 4°C in summer as covered by our climatic gradient. The negative effect of precipitation affected more specialist species than did temperature, whereas the generalists remained unaffected. In summary, we suggest that increased summer temperature is likely to benefit a few specialist beetles within this dead wood community, but a larger number of specialists are likely to decline due to increased precipitation. In addition, generalist species will remain unaffected. To minimize adverse impacts of climate change on this important community, long-term management plans for ancient trees are important. PMID:27069612

  1. Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011 Genome Analysis Reveals Clues for Colonization of the Insect Gut

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Bifidobacteria are known as anaerobic/microaerophilic and fermentative microorganisms, which commonly inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of various animals and insects. Analysis of the 2,167,301 bp genome of Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011, a strain isolated from the hindgut of Apis mellifera var. ligustica, commonly known as the honey bee, revealed its predicted capability for respiratory metabolism. Conservation of the latter gene clusters in various B. asteroides strains enforces the notion that respiration is a common metabolic feature of this ancient bifidobacterial species, which has been lost in currently known mammal-derived Bifidobacterium species. In fact, phylogenomic based analyses suggested an ancient origin of B. asteroides and indicates it as an ancestor of the genus Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, the B. asteroides PRL2011 genome encodes various enzymes for coping with toxic products that arise as a result of oxygen-mediated respiration. PMID:23028506

  2. Root Damage by Insects Reverses the Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Eucalypt Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Scott N.; Riegler, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are widely anticipated to increase biomass accumulation by accelerating rates of photosynthesis in many plant taxa. Little, however, is known about how soil-borne plant antagonists might modify the effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2), with root-feeding insects being particularly understudied. Root damage by insects often reduces rates of photosynthesis by disrupting root function and imposing water deficits. These insects therefore have considerable potential for modifying plant responses to eCO2. We investigated how root damage by a soil-dwelling insect (Xylotrupes gideon australicus) modified the responses of Eucalyptus globulus to eCO2. eCO2 increased plant height when E. globulus were 14 weeks old and continued to do so at an accelerated rate compared to those grown at ambient CO2 (aCO2). Plants exposed to root-damaging insects showed a rapid decline in growth rates thereafter. In eCO2, shoot and root biomass increased by 46 and 35%, respectively, in insect-free plants but these effects were arrested when soil-dwelling insects were present so that plants were the same size as those grown at aCO2. Specific leaf mass increased by 29% under eCO2, but at eCO2 root damage caused it to decline by 16%, similar to values seen in plants at aCO2 without root damage. Leaf C:N ratio increased by >30% at eCO2 as a consequence of declining leaf N concentrations, but this change was also moderated by soil insects. Soil insects also reduced leaf water content by 9% at eCO2, which potentially arose through impaired water uptake by the roots. We hypothesise that this may have impaired photosynthetic activity to the extent that observed plant responses to eCO2 no longer occurred. In conclusion, soil-dwelling insects could modify plant responses to eCO2 predicted by climate change plant growth models. PMID:24260232

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Sex determination in most insects is structured as a gene cascade, wherein a primary signal is passed through a series of sex-determining genes, culminating in a downstream double-switch known as doublesex that decides the sexual fate of the embryo. From the literature available on sex determination cascades, it becomes apparent that sex determination mechanisms have evolved rapidly. The primary signal that provides the cue to determine the sex of the embryo varies remarkably, not only among taxa, but also within taxa. Furthermore, the upstream key gene in the cascade also varies between species and even among closely related species. The order Insecta alone provides examples of astoundingly complex diversity of upstream key genes in sex determination mechanisms. Besides, unlike key upstream genes, the downstream double-switch gene is alternatively spliced to form functional sex-specific isoforms. This sex-specific splicing is conserved across insect taxa. The genes involved in the sex determination cascade such as Sex-lethal (Sxl) in Drosophila melanogaster, transformer (tra) in many other dipterans, coleopterans and hymenopterans, Feminizer (fem) in Apis mellifera, and IGF-II mRNA-binding protein (Bmimp) in Bombyx mori are reported to be regulated by an autoregulatory positive feedback loop. In this review, by taking examples from various insects, we propose the hypothesis that autoregulatory loop mechanisms of sex determination might be a general strategy. We also discuss the possible reasons for the evolution of autoregulatory loops in sex determination cascades and their impact on binary developmental choices. PMID:27240989

  4. Diagnosis and management of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas

    PubMed Central

    Choudry, Haroon A; Nikfarjam, Mehrdad; Liang, John J; Kimchi, Eric T; Conter, Robert; Gusani, Niraj J; Staveley-O'Carroll, Kevin F

    2009-01-01

    Background Ancient schwannomas are degenerate peripheral nerve sheath tumors that very rarely occur in the retroperitoneum. They generally reach large proportions before producing symptoms due to mass effect. We describe three cases of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas and discuss the diagnosis and management of these tumors. Case presentations Three female patients with retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas were reviewed. One patient presented with several weeks of upper abdominal pain and lower chest discomfort, whereas back pain and leg pain with associated weakness were predominant symptoms in the remaining two. Abdominal imaging findings demonstrated heterogeneous masses in the retroperitoneum with demarcated margins, concerning for malignancy. The patients successfully had radical excision of their tumors. Histological examination showed encapsulated tumors that displayed alternating areas of dense cellularity and areas of myxoid matrix consistent with a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma. Conclusion A diagnosis of ancient schwannoma should be entertained for any heterogeneous, well encapsulated mass in the retroperitoneum. In these cases less radical surgical resection should be considered as malignant transformation of these tumors is extremely rare and recurrence is uncommon following excision. PMID:19187535

  5. The Ancient Martian Climate System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than

  6. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, T.; Schultheiß, R.; Albrecht, C.; Bornmann, N.; Trajanovski, S.; Kevrekidis, T.

    2010-06-01

    The Balkans is a biogeographically highly diverse region and a worldwide hotspot of endemic freshwater diversity. A substantial part of this diversity is attributed to well recognized and potential ancient lakes in its southwestern part. Despite considerable research efforts, faunal relationships among those lakes are, however, not well understood. Therefore, genetic information from native representatives of the mussel genus Dreissena is used here to test the biogeographical zonation of the Southwestern Balkans, to relate demographic changes to environmental changes, to assess the degree of eco-insularity, to reconstruct their evolutionary history, and to explore the potential of native taxa for becoming invasive. Phylogeographical and population genetic analyses indicate that most populations studied belong to two native species: D. presbensis (incl. the distinct genetic subgroup from Lake Ohrid, D. ''stankovici'') and D. blanci. In addition, the first confirmed record of invasive D. polymorpha in the Southwestern Balkan is presented. The distribution of native Dreissena spp. is largely in concordance with the biogeographical zonations previously proposed based on fish data. Disagreement, however, consists regarding the assignment of the ancient lakes in the area to biogeographical regions. The data for Lake Ohrid are not conclusive. For Lake Prespa, however, a closer biogeographical connection to lakes of the Vardar region and possibly the Northern Ionian region is suggested. While reconstructing the evolutionary histories of Dreissena spp., signs of major demographic and spatial expansions were found. They started some 320 000-300 000 years ago in D. ''stankovici'', some 160 000-140 000 years ago in D. blanci, and some 110 000-70 000 years ago in D. presbensis. These time frames are discussed within the context of available paleogeological data for lakes Ohrid and Prespa. It is suggested that regional environmental changes may have had pronounced effects on the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, T.; Schultheiß, R.; Albrecht, C.; Bornmann, N.; Trajanovski, S.; Kevrekidis, T.

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Variation in gene expression lies at the heart of this biodiversity and recent advances in sequencing technology have spawned a revolution in researchers' ability to survey tissue-specific transcriptional complexity across a wide range of insect taxa. Increasingly, studies are using a comparative approach (across species, sexes and life stages) that examines the transcriptional basis of phenotypic diversity within an evolutionary context. In the present review, we summarize much of this research, focusing in particular on three critical aspects of insect biology: morphological development and plasticity; physiological response to the environment; and sexual dimorphism. A common feature that is emerging from these investigations concerns the dynamic nature of transcriptome evolution as indicated by rapid changes in the overall pattern of gene expression, the differential expression of numerous genes with unknown function, and the incorporation of novel, lineage-specific genes into the transcriptional profile. PMID:25524309

  10. We can't all be supermodels: the value of comparative transcriptomics to the study of non-model insects

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Variation in gene expression lies at the heart of this biodiversity and recent advances in sequencing technology have spawned a revolution in researchers' ability to survey tissue-specific transcriptional complexity across a wide range of insect taxa. Increasingly, studies are using a comparative approach (across species, sexes and life stages) that examines the transcriptional basis of phenotypic diversity within an evolutionary context. In the present review, we summarize much of this research, focusing in particular on three critical aspects of insect biology: morphological development and plasticity; physiological response to the environment; and sexual dimorphism. A common feature that is emerging from these investigations concerns the dynamic nature of transcriptome evolution as indicated by rapid changes in the overall pattern of gene expression, the differential expression of numerous genes with unknown function, and the incorporation of novel, lineage-specific genes into the transcriptional profile. PMID:25524309

  11. Fungal allelochemicals in insect pest management.

    PubMed

    Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko

    2016-07-01

    Interactions between insects and fungi are widespread, and important mediators of these interactions are fungal chemicals that can therefore be considered as allelochemicals. Numerous studies suggest that fungal chemicals can affect insects in many different ways. Here, we apply the terminology established by insect-plant ecologists for categorizing the effect of fungal allelochemicals on insects and for evaluating the application potential of these chemicals in insect pest management. Our literature survey shows that fungal volatile and non-volatile chemicals have an enormous potential to influence insect behavior and fitness. Many of them still remain to be discovered, but some recent examples of repellents and toxins could open up new ways for developing safe insect control strategies. However, we also identified shortcomings in our understanding of the chemical ecology of insect-fungus interactions and the way they have been investigated. In particular, the mode-of-action of fungal allelochemicals has often not been appropriately designated or examined, and the way in which induction by insects affects fungal chemical diversity is poorly understood. This review should raise awareness that in-depth ecological studies of insect-fungus interactions can reveal novel allelochemicals of particular benefit for the development of innovative insect pest management strategies. PMID:27147531

  12. Insects as alternative hosts for phytopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nadarasah, Geetanchaly; Stavrinides, John

    2011-05-01

    Phytopathogens have evolved specialized pathogenicity determinants that enable them to colonize their specific plant hosts and cause disease, but their intimate associations with plants also predispose them to frequent encounters with herbivorous insects, providing these phytopathogens with ample opportunity to colonize and eventually evolve alternative associations with insects. Decades of research have revealed that these associations have resulted in the formation of bacterial-vector relationships, in which the insect mediates dissemination of the plant pathogen. Emerging research, however, has highlighted the ability of plant pathogenic bacteria to use insects as alternative hosts, exploiting them as they would their primary plant host. The identification of specific bacterial genetic determinants that mediate the interaction between bacterium and insect suggests that these interactions are not incidental, but have likely arisen following the repeated association of microorganisms with particular insects over evolutionary time. This review will address the biology and ecology of phytopathogenic bacteria that interact with insects, including the traditional role of insects as vectors, as well as the newly emerging paradigm of insects serving as alternative primary hosts. Also discussed is one case where an insect serves as both host and vector, which may represent a transitionary stage in the evolution of insect-phytopathogen associations. PMID:21251027

  13. Assessment of available anatomical characters for linking living mammals to fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Analyses of living and fossil taxa are crucial for understanding biodiversity through time. The total evidence method allows living and fossil taxa to be combined in phylogenies, using molecular data for living taxa and morphological data for living and fossil taxa. With this method, substantial overlap of coded anatomical characters among living and fossil taxa is vital for accurately inferring topology. However, although molecular data for living species are widely available, scientists generating morphological data mainly focus on fossils. Therefore, there are fewer coded anatomical characters in living taxa, even in well-studied groups such as mammals. We investigated the number of coded anatomical characters available in phylogenetic matrices for living mammals and how these were phylogenetically distributed across orders. Eleven of 28 mammalian orders have less than 25% species with available characters; this has implications for the accurate placement of fossils, although the issue is less pronounced at higher taxonomic levels. In most orders, species with available characters are randomly distributed across the phylogeny, which may reduce the impact of the problem. We suggest that increased morphological data collection efforts for living taxa are needed to produce accurate total evidence phylogenies. PMID:27146442

  14. Assessment of available anatomical characters for linking living mammals to fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Guillerme, Thomas; Cooper, Natalie

    2016-05-01

    Analyses of living and fossil taxa are crucial for understanding biodiversity through time. The total evidence method allows living and fossil taxa to be combined in phylogenies, using molecular data for living taxa and morphological data for living and fossil taxa. With this method, substantial overlap of coded anatomical characters among living and fossil taxa is vital for accurately inferring topology. However, although molecular data for living species are widely available, scientists generating morphological data mainly focus on fossils. Therefore, there are fewer coded anatomical characters in living taxa, even in well-studied groups such as mammals. We investigated the number of coded anatomical characters available in phylogenetic matrices for living mammals and how these were phylogenetically distributed across orders. Eleven of 28 mammalian orders have less than 25% species with available characters; this has implications for the accurate placement of fossils, although the issue is less pronounced at higher taxonomic levels. In most orders, species with available characters are randomly distributed across the phylogeny, which may reduce the impact of the problem. We suggest that increased morphological data collection efforts for living taxa are needed to produce accurate total evidence phylogenies. PMID:27146442

  15. Insect sodium channels and insecticide resistance

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials (i.e., electrical impulses) in excitable cells. Although most of our knowledge about sodium channels is derived from decades of studies of mammalian isoforms, research on insect sodium channels is revealing both common and unique aspects of sodium channel biology. In particular, our understanding of the molecular dynamics and pharmacology of insect sodium channels has advanced greatly in recent years, thanks to successful functional expression of insect sodium channels in Xenopus oocytes and intensive efforts to elucidate the molecular basis of insect resistance to insecticides that target sodium channels. In this review, I discuss recent literature on insect sodium channels with emphases on the prominent role of alternative splicing and RNA editing in the generation of functionally diverse sodium channels in insects and the current understanding of the interactions between insect sodium channels and insecticides. PMID:17206406

  16. Structure and Evolution of Insect Sperm: New Interpretations in the Age of Phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Dallai, Romano; Gottardo, Marco; Beutel, Rolf Georg

    2016-01-01

    This comprehensive review of the structure of sperm in all orders of insects evaluates phylogenetic implications, with the background of a phylogeny based on transcriptomes. Sperm characters strongly support several major branches of the phylogeny of insects-for instance, Cercophora, Dicondylia, and Psocodea-and also different infraordinal groups. Some closely related taxa, such as Trichoptera and Lepidoptera (Amphiesmenoptera), differ greatly in sperm structure. Sperm characters are very conservative in some groups (Heteroptera, Odonata) but highly variable in others, including Zoraptera, a small and morphologically uniform group with a tremendously accelerated rate of sperm evolution. Unusual patterns such as sperm dimorphism, the formation of bundles, or aflagellate and immotile sperm have evolved independently in several groups. PMID:26982436

  17. The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yu; Zwahlen, François; Wang, Yanxin

    2011-08-01

    The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology are summarized and interpreted, along with records of some related matters, like groundwater exploration and utilization, karst springs, water circulation, water conservation and saline-land transformation, mine drainage, and environmental hydrogeology. The report focuses only on the earliest recorded notes, mostly up until the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 25). Besides the references cited, the discussion in this report is based mainly on archaeological material, the preserved written classic literature, and some assumptions and/or conclusions that have been handed down in legends to later ages. Although most material relates to ancient China, the lessons learned may have practical significance worldwide. Compared to other contemporary parts of the world, ancient China, without doubt, took the lead in the field of groundwater hydrology. The great achievements and experience of the Chinese ancestors should provide motivation and inspiration for hydrogeologists to carry out their scientific research and exploration passionately and actively.

  18. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in Ancient Material.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Parasite finds in ancient material launched a new field of science: palaeoparasitology. Ever since the pioneering studies, parasites were identified in archaeological and palaeontological remains, some preserved for millions of years by fossilization. However, the palaeoparasitological record consists mainly of parasites found specifically in human archaeological material, preserved in ancient occupation sites, from prehistory until closer to 2015. The results include some helminth intestinal parasites still commonly found in 2015, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, besides others such as Amoebidae and Giardia intestinalis, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and arthropods. These parasites as a whole provide important data on health, diet, climate and living conditions among ancient populations. This chapter describes the principal findings and their importance for knowledge on the origin and dispersal of infectious diseases. PMID:26597072

  19. Did the ancient egyptians discover Algol?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jetsu, L.; Porceddu, S.; Porceddu, S.; Lyytinen, J.; Kajatkari, P.; Markkanen, T.; Toivari-Viitala, J.

    2013-02-01

    Fabritius discovered the first variable star, Mira, in 1596. Holwarda determined the 11 months period of Mira in 1638. Montanari discovered the next variable star, Algol, in 1669. Its period, 2.867 days, was determined by Goodricke (178). Algol was associated with demon-like creatures, "Gorgon" in ancient Greek and "ghoul" in ancient Arab mythology. This indicates that its variability was discovered much before 1669 (Wilk 1996), but this mythological evidence is ambiguous (Davis 1975). For thousands of years, the Ancient Egyptian Scribes (AES) observed stars for timekeeping in a region, where there are nearly 300 clear nights a year. We discovered a significant periodicity of 2.850 days in their calendar for lucky and unlucky days dated to 1224 BC, "the Cairo Calendar". Several astrophysical and astronomical tests supported our conclusion that this was the period of Algol three millennia ago. The "ghoulish habits" of Algol could explain this 0.017 days period increase (Battersby 2012).

  20. Twins in Ancient Greece: a synopsis.

    PubMed

    Malamitsi-Puchner, Ariadne

    2016-01-01

    This brief outline associates twins with several aspects of life in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology twins caused ambivalent reactions and were believed to have ambivalent feelings for each other. Very often, they were viewed as the representatives of the dualistic nature of the universe. Heteropaternal superfecundation, which dominates in ancient myths, explains on one hand, the god-like qualities and, on the other hand, the mortal nature of many twins. An assumption is presented that legends referring to twins might reflect the territorial expansions of Ancient Greeks in Northern Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, in Asia Minor, as well as North East Africa. In conclusion, in Greek antiquity, twins have been used as transitional figures between myth and reality. PMID:26135766

  1. Current therapies and the ancient East.

    PubMed

    MacHovec, F J

    1984-01-01

    Current therapies, their theories and techniques ebb and flow in popularity, but there is a residue of basic principles and practices which remain. Much of this useful residue has been present in ancient Eastern religions and philosophies. This article compares the content of several current theories of individual, group, and family therapies to seed ideas in ancient Taoist, Zen, Confucian, yoga, and Buddhist source materials. Gestalt, existential, psychoanalytic, transactional analysis, cognitive-behavioral and family therapy concepts are traced to these ancient precursors. Illustrative examples are presented such as satori (flash of insight), koans (insight riddles), parables, yanas (exercises), rituals, and written teachings. The article concludes with the Four Noble Truths and the 8-fold path of Buddhism, given 2500 years ago but very timely to contemporary problems of life adjustment and a useful guide to counseling and therapy. PMID:6711713

  2. The practice of dentistry in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Forshaw, R J

    2009-05-01

    This paper addresses the questions of whether a dental profession existed in ancient Egypt and if it did then considers whether these practitioners were operative dental surgeons as we know them today or whether they were pharmacists. Evidence from hieroglyphic inscriptions, from the dentitions of the surviving mummified and skeletal remains, and from ancient documents and artefacts are examined. The conclusion would suggest that operative dental treatment if it did exist at all was extremely limited. The dental treatment that appears to have been provided was mainly restricted to pharmaceutical preparations that were either applied to the gingival and mucosal tissues or used as mouthwashes, and these at best may only have provided some short term relief. It seems apparent that many ancient Egyptians suffered from widespread and painful dental disease, which the available treatments can have done relatively little to alleviate. PMID:19424250

  3. Ancient and Modern Hydrology: The Common Ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dagan, G.

    2005-12-01

    The archeological site of Tzipori (near Nazareth) in Israel contains a beautiful ancient mosaic that depicts the Nile in an allegoric manner. One of the striking details is a Nilometer, a graded pillar that was used in order to measure the Nile level. These data were used by ancient hydrologists in order to predict the Nile regime during the coming season. In turn, these assessments provided the Pharaoh administration with the basis for taxation of the peasant population. These historical findings render Hydrology as one of the oldest technical professions. Furthermore, a few features of ancient hydrology characterize the modern one also: it is a quantitative discipline, it has an applied nature, it makes prediction under uncertainty and it is intertwined with economical and social considerations. The presentation is focused on these analogies and mainly with the need to cope with uncertainty, with emphasis on the novel and distinctive features of stochastic modeling of subsurface flow and transport.

  4. The ancient lunar crust, Apollo 17 region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, O. B.

    1992-01-01

    The Apollo 17 highland collection is dominated by fragment-laden melt rocks, generally thought to represent impact melt from the Serenitatis basin-forming impact. Fortunately for our understanding of the lunar crust, the melt rocks contain unmelted clasts of preexisting rocks. Similar ancient rocks are also found in the regolith; most are probably clasts eroded out of melt rocks. The ancient rocks can be divided into groups by age, composition, and history. Oldest are plutonic igneous rocks, representing the magmatic components of the ancient crust. The younger are granulitic breccias, which are thoroughly recrystallized rocks of diverse parentages. The youngest are KREEPy basalts and felsites, products of relatively evolved magmas. Some characteristics of each group are given.

  5. Immunity in a Social Insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. Visual homing: an insect perspective.

    PubMed

    Zeil, Jochen

    2012-04-01

    The ability to learn the location of places in the world and to revisit them repeatedly is crucial for all aspects of animal life on earth. It underpins animal foraging, predator avoidance, territoriality, mating, nest construction and parental care. Much theoretical and experimental progress has recently been made in identifying the sensory cues and the computational mechanisms that allow insects (and robots) to find their way back to places, while the neurobiological mechanisms underlying navigational abilities are beginning to be unravelled in vertebrate and invertebrate models. Studying visual homing in insects is interesting, because they allow experimentation and view-reconstruction under natural conditions, because they are likely to have evolved parsimonious, yet robust solutions to the homing problem and because they force us to consider the viewpoint of navigating animals, including their sensory and computational capacities. PMID:22221863

  7. Corpse Management in Social Insects

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qian; Zhou, Xuguo

    2013-01-01

    Undertaking behavior is an essential adaptation to social life that is critical for colony hygiene in enclosed nests. Social insects dispose of dead individuals in various fashions to prevent further contact between corpses and living members in a colony. Focusing on three groups of eusocial insects (bees, ants, and termites) in two phylogenetically distant orders (Hymenoptera and Isoptera), we review mechanisms of death recognition, convergent and divergent behavioral responses toward dead individuals, and undertaking task allocation from the perspective of division of labor. Distinctly different solutions (e.g., corpse removal, burial and cannibalism) have evolved, independently, in the holometabolous hymenopterans and hemimetabolous isopterans toward the same problem of corpse management. In addition, issues which can lead to a better understanding of the roles that undertaking behavior has played in the evolution of eusociality are discussed. PMID:23569436

  8. Visual Navigation in Nocturnal Insects.

    PubMed

    Warrant, Eric; Dacke, Marie

    2016-05-01

    Despite their tiny eyes and brains, nocturnal insects have evolved a remarkable capacity to visually navigate at night. Whereas some use moonlight or the stars as celestial compass cues to maintain a straight-line course, others use visual landmarks to navigate to and from their nest. These impressive abilities rely on highly sensitive compound eyes and specialized visual processing strategies in the brain. PMID:27053732

  9. Benzoquinolinediones: activity as insect teratogens

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-10-28

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

  10. Gut immunity in Lepidopteran insects.

    PubMed

    Wu, Kai; Yang, Bing; Huang, Wuren; Dobens, Leonard; Song, Hongsheng; Ling, Erjun

    2016-11-01

    Lepidopteran insects constitute one of the largest fractions of animals on earth, but are considered pests in their relationship with man. Key to the success of this order of insects is its ability to digest food and absorb nutrition, which takes place in the midgut. Because environmental microorganisms can easily enter Lepidopteran guts during feeding, the innate immune response guards against pathogenic bacteria, virus and microsporidia that can be devoured with food. Gut immune responses are complicated by both resident gut microbiota and the surrounding peritrophic membrane and are distinct from immune responses in the body cavity, which depend on the function of the fat body and hemocytes. Due to their relevance to agricultural production, studies of Lepidopteran insect midgut and immunity are receiving more attention, and here we summarize gut structures and functions, and discuss how these confer immunity against different microorganisms. It is expected that increased knowledge of Lepidopteran gut immunity may be utilized for pest biological control in the future. PMID:26872544

  11. Macroecology of local insect communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Oliver; McGavin, George C.

    2000-01-01

    The inter-relationships between animal body weight, range size, species richness and abundance are currently the basis of macroecology. Using 41 099 insects sampled from 31 Acacia tree canopies in north-east Tanzania, we first documented the basic macroecological patterns. The relationship between body weight and both species richness and abundance was polygonal with the highest insect species richness and abundance occurring at intermediate body weights. Across individual tree communities, the most statistically robust relationships were found between range size, abundance and species richness and they were all linear. In a second part, we focused on the positive abundance-range size relationship and we could test predictions of six of the eight proposed hypotheses to explain this widely documented pattern of community structure. The relationship is most likely explained by the metapopulation hypothesis stating that with more patches being occupied, local abundance in a given patch increases due to a higher rate of immigration from nearby patches. In addition, we found high slopes for the species-area relationship, typical of island systems and thus it seems reasonable to characterise Acacia trees in the savannah as habitat islands for insects.

  12. Can Oxygen Set Thermal Limits in an Insect and Drive Gigantism?

    PubMed Central

    Verberk, Wilco C. E. P.; Bilton, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Background Thermal limits may arise through a mismatch between oxygen supply and demand in a range of animal taxa. Whilst this oxygen limitation hypothesis is supported by data from a range of marine fish and invertebrates, its generality remains contentious. In particular, it is unclear whether oxygen limitation determines thermal extremes in tracheated arthropods, where oxygen limitation may be unlikely due to the efficiency and plasticity of tracheal systems in supplying oxygen directly to metabolically active tissues. Although terrestrial taxa with open tracheal systems may not be prone to oxygen limitation, species may be affected during other life-history stages, particularly if these rely on diffusion into closed tracheal systems. Furthermore, a central role for oxygen limitation in insects is envisaged within a parallel line of research focussing on insect gigantism in the late Palaeozoic. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we examine thermal maxima in the aquatic life stages of an insect at normoxia, hypoxia (14 kPa) and hyperoxia (36 kPa). We demonstrate that upper thermal limits do indeed respond to external oxygen supply in the aquatic life stages of the stonefly Dinocras cephalotes, suggesting that the critical thermal limits of such aquatic larvae are set by oxygen limitation. This could result from impeded oxygen delivery, or limited oxygen regulatory capacity, both of which have implications for our understanding of the limits to insect body size and how these are influenced by atmospheric oxygen levels. Conclusions/Significance These findings extend the generality of the hypothesis of oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance, suggest that oxygen constraints on body size may be stronger in aquatic environments, and that oxygen toxicity may have actively selected for gigantism in the aquatic stages of Carboniferous arthropods. PMID:21818347

  13. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  14. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  15. Early Morphological Specialization for Insect-Spider Associations in Mesozoic Lacewings.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xingyue; Zhang, Weiwei; Winterton, Shaun L; Breitkreuz, Laura C V; Engel, Michael S

    2016-06-20

    Insects exhibit a wide diversity of anatomical specializations in their adult and immature stages associated with particular aspects of their biology. The order Neuroptera (lacewings, antlions, and their relatives) are a moderately diverse lineage of principally predatory animals, at least in their immature stages, as all have a modified piercing-sucking mandible-maxillary complex that allows them to drain fluids from their prey. As such, the larvae of various groups have evolved unique anatomical and behavioral specializations for approaching and subduing their prey, particularly the green lacewings (Chrysopidae), where immatures are also adept at camouflage [1-4]. Here we report the discovery of a unique mode of life among mid-Cretaceous mesochrysopids, an early stem group to modern green lacewings [5-7] exhibiting a combination of morphological modifications in both adults and larvae unknown among living and fossil Neuroptera, even across winged insects. The new mesochrysopids exhibit a uniquely prolonged thorax, elongate legs, and dramatically reduced hind wings in adults, and larvae have extremely elongate, slender legs with pectinate pretarsal claws and lacking trumpet-shaped empodia. The peculiarities of the larvae include features principally found in spider-associated insect groups, implying that these lacewings were early specialists on web-spinning spiders, either as active predators or kleptoparasites. This reveals a dramatic and ancient degree of ecological refinement in a major lineage of insect predators, for a food resource otherwise not utilized by most lacewings. PMID:27212405

  16. Seasonal Patterns of the Insect Community Structure in Urban Rain Pools of Temperate Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Fontanarrosa, M. Soledad; Collantes, Marta B.; Bachmann, Axel O.

    2009-01-01

    Temporary aquatic environments are widespread in the world, and although there are considerable regional differences in their type and method of formation they have many physical, chemical and biological properties in common. With the aim to increase knowledge of urban temporary pool fauna, the objectives of this work were to assess the seasonal patterns of species composition, richness, and diversity of the aquatic insect community inhabiting rain pools in urban temperate Argentina, and to identify the environmental variables associated to these patterns. Four temporary pools of an urban green space in Buenos Aires City were studied throughout a 1-year period. Eleven flood cycles with very varied hydroperiods and dry periods, mainly associated with rainfall, were identified. Insect species richness in these temporary urban pools, 86 taxa were documented, was found to be within the range reported for wild temporary water bodies of other regions of the world. The present results provide evidence for the existence of a clear link between habitat and community variability. Hydroperiod and seasonality were the main environmental factors involved in structuring the insect communities of the studied water bodies. Urban pools in green spaces have the potential to act to its dwellers like corridors through the urban matrix. Taking into account these characteristics and their accessibility, urban temporary pools can be considered as promising habitats for the study of ecological processes involving the insect community. PMID:19611261

  17. Can activity traps assess aquatic insect abundance at the landscape level?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boobar, L.R.; Gibbs, K.E.; Longcore, J.R.

    1994-01-01

    We used activity traps as designed by Riley and Bookhout (1990. Wetlands) to sample aquatic invertebrates as part of a study to characterize wetlands on a forested and an agricultural landscape (ca. 1,000 mi'2) in northern. Maine. Eight wetlands (5 from agricultural and 3 from forested landscapes) were sampled at random from 50 wetlands surveyed for waterfowl broods. At the landscape level, insect abundance (mean no./ trap), fish abundance (mean no./trap), percent vegetation, and water chemistry variables (pH, ANC, SPCOND, Ca, Mg, K, Na, Cl) were different between landscapes. Furthermore, nearly as many fish (2,112) were caught as were insects (2,443); 47% of the 332 traps contained fish, but 84 traps accounted for 94% of the fish caught. When >4 fish were in a trap fewer insects were in the trap. Differences in water temperature among wetlands and differences in rates of escape among insect orders affected the number of different taxa caught. Until capture success of activity traps is better understood, results from activity traps should be used with care.

  18. Analysis of insect cuticular hydrocarbons using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Cvacka, Josef; Jiros, Pavel; Sobotník, Jan; Hanus, Robert; Svatos, Ales

    2006-02-01

    Insect cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) were probed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry with a lithium 2,5-dihydroxybenzoate matrix. CHC profiles were obtained for 12 species of diverse insect taxa (termites, ants, a cockroach, and a flesh fly). MALDI spectra revealed the presence of high molecular weight CHCs on the insect cuticle. Hydrocarbons with more than 70 carbon atoms, both saturated and unsaturated, were detected. When compared with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), MALDI-TOF covered a wider range of CHCs and enabled CHCs of considerably higher molecular weight to be detected. Good congruity between GC/MS and MALDI-TOF was observed in the overlapping region of molecular weights. Moreover, a number of previously undiscovered hydrocarbons were detected in the high mass range beyond the analytical capabilities of current GC/MS instruments. MALDI was shown to hold potential to become an alternative analytical method for insect CHC analyses. The ability of MALDI to discriminate among species varying in the degree of their relatedness was found to be similar to GC/MS. However, neither MALDI-MS nor GC/MS data were able to describe the phylogenetic relationships. PMID:16555131

  19. Seasonal patterns of the insect community structure in urban rain pools of temperate Argentina.

    PubMed

    Fontanarrosa, M Soledad; Collantes, Marta B; Bachmann, Axel O

    2009-01-01

    Temporary aquatic environments are widespread in the world, and although there are considerable regional differences in their type and method of formation they have many physical, chemical and biological properties in common. With the aim to increase knowledge of urban temporary pool fauna, the objectives of this work were to assess the seasonal patterns of species composition, richness, and diversity of the aquatic insect community inhabiting rain pools in urban temperate Argentina, and to identify the environmental variables associated to these patterns. Four temporary pools of an urban green space in Buenos Aires City were studied throughout a 1-year period. Eleven flood cycles with very varied hydroperiods and dry periods, mainly associated with rainfall, were identified. Insect species richness in these temporary urban pools, 86 taxa were documented, was found to be within the range reported for wild temporary water bodies of other regions of the world. The present results provide evidence for the existence of a clear link between habitat and community variability. Hydroperiod and seasonality were the main environmental factors involved in structuring the insect communities of the studied water bodies. Urban pools in green spaces have the potential to act to its dwellers like corridors through the urban matrix. Taking into account these characteristics and their accessibility, urban temporary pools can be considered as promising habitats for the study of ecological processes involving the insect community. PMID:19611261

  20. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Yanben; Qiao, Qiyuan

    2009-11-01

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