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Sample records for affect plant fitness

  1. Population size and relatedness affect fitness of a self-incompatible invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Elam, Diane R; Ridley, Caroline E; Goodell, Karen; Ellstrand, Norman C

    2007-01-01

    One of the lingering paradoxes in invasion biology is how founder populations of an introduced species are able to overcome the limitations of small size and, in a "reversal of fortune," proliferate in a new habitat. The transition from colonist to invader is especially enigmatic for self-incompatible species, which must find a mate to reproduce. In small populations, the inability to find a mate can result in the Allee effect, a positive relationship between individual fitness and population size or density. Theoretically, the Allee effect should be common in founder populations of self-incompatible colonizing species and may account for the high rate of failed introductions, but little supporting evidence exists. We created a field experiment to test whether the Allee effect affects the maternal fitness of a self-incompatible invasive species, wild radish (Raphanus sativus). We created populations of varying size and relatedness. We measured maternal fitness in terms of both fruit set per flower and seed number per fruit. We found that both population size and the level of genetic relatedness among individuals influence maternal reproductive success. Our results explicitly define an ecological genetic obstacle faced by populations of an exotic species on its way to becoming invasive. Such a mechanistic understanding of the invasions of species that require a mate can and should be exploited for both controlling current outbreaks and reducing their frequency in the future. PMID:17197422

  2. Plant fitness in a rapidly changing world.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T

    2016-04-01

    81 I. 81 II. 82 III. 84 IV. 84 V. 85 85 References 85 SUMMARY: Modern reliance on fossil fuels has ushered in extreme temperatures globally and abnormal precipitation patterns in many regions. Although the climate is changing rapidly, other agents of natural selection such as photoperiod remain constant. This decoupling of previously reliable environmental cues shifts adaptive landscapes, favors novel suites of traits and likely increases the extinction risk of local populations. Here, I examine the fitness consequences of changing climates. Meta-analyses demonstrate that simulated future climates depress viability and fecundity components of fitness for native plant species in the short term, which could reduce population growth rates. Contracting populations that cannot adapt or adjust plastically to new climates might not be capable of producing sufficient migrants to track changing conditions. PMID:26445400

  3. Courting disaster: How diversification rate affects fitness under risk.

    PubMed

    Ratcliff, William C; Hawthorne, Peter; Libby, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Life is full of risk. To deal with this uncertainty, many organisms have evolved bet-hedging strategies that spread risk through phenotypic diversification. These rates of diversification can vary by orders of magnitude in different species. Here we examine how key characteristics of risk and organismal ecology affect the fitness consequences of variation in diversification rate. We find that rapid diversification is strongly favored when the risk faced has a wide spatial extent, with a single disaster affecting a large fraction of the population. This advantage is especially great in small populations subject to frequent disaster. In contrast, when risk is correlated through time, slow diversification is favored because it allows adaptive tracking of disasters that tend to occur in series. Naturally evolved diversification mechanisms in diverse organisms facing a broad array of environmental risks largely support these results. The theory presented in this article provides a testable ecological hypothesis to explain the prevalence of slow stochastic switching among microbes and rapid, within-clutch diversification strategies among plants and animals. PMID:25410817

  4. Courting disaster: How diversification rate affects fitness under risk

    PubMed Central

    Ratcliff, William C; Hawthorne, Peter; Libby, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Life is full of risk. To deal with this uncertainty, many organisms have evolved bet-hedging strategies that spread risk through phenotypic diversification. These rates of diversification can vary by orders of magnitude in different species. Here we examine how key characteristics of risk and organismal ecology affect the fitness consequences of variation in diversification rate. We find that rapid diversification is strongly favored when the risk faced has a wide spatial extent, with a single disaster affecting a large fraction of the population. This advantage is especially great in small populations subject to frequent disaster. In contrast, when risk is correlated through time, slow diversification is favored because it allows adaptive tracking of disasters that tend to occur in series. Naturally evolved diversification mechanisms in diverse organisms facing a broad array of environmental risks largely support these results. The theory presented in this article provides a testable ecological hypothesis to explain the prevalence of slow stochastic switching among microbes and rapid, within-clutch diversification strategies among plants and animals. PMID:25410817

  5. Florivory affects pollinator visitation and female fitness in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2008-04-01

    While herbivory has traditionally been studied as damage to leaves, florivory - herbivory to flowers prior to seed set - can also have large effects on plant fitness. Florivory can decrease fitness directly, either through the destruction of gametes or through alterations to plant physiology during fruit set, and can also change the appearance of a flower, deterring pollinators and reducing seed set. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, it is necessary to both damage flowers and add pollen in excess to study the effects of damage on pollen limitation. Very few studies have used this technique over the lifetime of a plant. Here I describe a series of experiments showing the effects of natural and artificial damage on reproductive success in the annual plant Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, sensu lato). I show that natural and artificial petal damage decreased radial symmetry relative to controls and that both types of damage deterred pollinator activity. Both naturally damaged flowers and artificially damaged flowers in the field set fewer fruit or seed relative to undamaged control flowers. Finally, in an experiment crossing artificial petal damage with pollen addition, petal damage alone over the lifetime of this plant decreased female fitness, but only after a threshold of damage was reached. The fitness effect appeared to be direct because there was no detectable effect of pollen addition on the relationship between florivory and fitness. This result implies that both damaged and undamaged plants show similar amounts of pollen limitation and suggests that pollinator-mediated effects contributed little to the negative effects of florivory on female fitness. Florivores may thus be an under-appreciated agent of selection in certain plants, although more experimental manipulation of florivory is needed to determine if it is important over a range of taxa. PMID:18188605

  6. Changing fitness of a necrotrophic plant pathogen under increasing temperature.

    PubMed

    Sabburg, Rosalie; Obanor, Friday; Aitken, Elizabeth; Chakraborty, Sukumar

    2015-08-01

    Warmer temperatures associated with climate change are expected to have a direct impact on plant pathogens, challenging crops and altering plant disease profiles in the future. In this study, we have investigated the effect of increasing temperature on the pathogenic fitness of Fusarium pseudograminearum, an important necrotrophic plant pathogen associated with crown rot disease of wheat in Australia. Eleven wheat lines with different levels of crown rot resistance were artificially inoculated with F. pseudograminearum and maintained at four diurnal temperatures 15/15°C, 20/15°C, 25/15°C and 28/15°C in a controlled glasshouse. To quantify the success of F. pseudograminearum three fitness measures, these being disease severity, pathogen biomass in stem base and flag leaf node, and deoxynivalenol (DON) in stem base and flag leaf node of mature plants were used. F. pseudograminearum showed superior overall fitness at 15/15°C, and this was reduced with increasing temperature. Pathogen fitness was significantly influenced by the level of crown rot resistance of wheat lines, but the influence of line declined with increasing temperature. Lines that exhibited superior crown rot resistance in the field were generally associated with reduced overall pathogen fitness. However, the relative performance of the wheat lines was dependent on the measure of pathogen fitness, and lines that were associated with one reduced measure of pathogen fitness did not always reduce another. There was a strong correlation between DON in stem base tissue and disease severity, but length of browning was not a good predictor of Fusarium biomass in the stem base. We report that a combination of host resistance and rising temperature will reduce pathogen fitness under increasing temperature, but further studies combining the effect of rising CO2 are essential for more realistic assessments. PMID:25767051

  7. Cyanobacteria Affect Fitness and Genetic Structure of Experimental Daphnia Populations.

    PubMed

    Drugă, Bogdan; Turko, Patrick; Spaak, Piet; Pomati, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Zooplankton communities can be strongly affected by cyanobacterial blooms, especially species of genus Daphnia, which are key-species in lake ecosystems. Here, we explored the effect of microcystin/nonmicrocystin (MC/non-MC) producing cyanobacteria in the diet of experimental Daphnia galeata populations composed of eight genotypes. We used D. galeata clones hatched from ephippia 10 to 60 years old, which were first tested in monocultures, and then exposed for 10 weeks as mixed populations to three food treatments consisting of green algae combined with cyanobacteria able/unable of producing MC. We measured the expression of nine genes potentially involved in Daphnia acclimation to cyanobacteria: six protease genes, one ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme gene, and two rRNA genes, and then we tracked the dynamics of the genotypes in mixed populations. The expression pattern of one protease and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme genes was positively correlated with the increased fitness of competing clones in the presence of cyanobacteria, suggesting physiological plasticity. The genotype dynamics in mixed populations was only partially related to the growth rates of clones in monocultures and varied strongly with the food. Our results revealed strong intraspecific differences in the tolerance of D. galeata clones to MC/non-MC-producing cyanobacteria in their diet, suggesting microevolutionary effects. PMID:26943751

  8. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Between-population crosses may replenish genetic variation of populations, but may also result in outbreeding depression. Apart from direct effects on plant fitness, these outbreeding effects can also alter plant-herbivore interactions by influencing plant tolerance and resistance to herbivory. We investigated effects of experimental within- and between-population outbreeding on herbivore resistance, tolerance and plant fitness using plants from 13 to 19 Lychnis flos-cuculi populations. We found no evidence for outbreeding depression in resistance reflected by the amount of leaf area consumed. However, herbivore performance was greater when fed on plants from between-population compared to within-population crosses. This can reflect outbreeding depression in resistance and/or outbreeding effects on plant quality for the herbivores. The effects of type of cross on the relationship between herbivore damage and plant fitness varied among populations. This demonstrates how between-population outbreeding effects on tolerance range from outbreeding depression to outbreeding benefits among plant populations. Finally, herbivore damage strengthened the observed outbreeding effects on plant fitness in several populations. These results raise novel considerations on the impact of outbreeding on the joint evolution of resistance and tolerance, and on the evolution of multiple defence strategies. PMID:20838662

  9. Fitness

    MedlinePlus

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  10. Adaptation to resistant hosts increases fitness on susceptible hosts in the plant parasitic nematode Globodera pallida.

    PubMed

    Fournet, Sylvain; Eoche-Bosy, Delphine; Renault, Lionel; Hamelin, Frédéric M; Montarry, Josselin

    2016-04-01

    Trade-offs between virulence (defined as the ability to infect a resistant host) and life-history traits are of particular interest in plant pathogens for durable management of plant resistances. Adaptation to plant resistances (i.e., virulence acquisition) is indeed expected to be associated with a fitness cost on susceptible hosts. Here, we investigated whether life-history traits involved in the fitness of the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida are affected in a virulent lineage compared to an avirulent one. Both lineages were obtained from the same natural population through experimental evolution on resistant and susceptible hosts, respectively. Unexpectedly, we found that virulent lineages were more fit than avirulent lineages on susceptible hosts: they produced bigger cysts, containing more larvae and hatching faster. We thus discuss possible reasons explaining why virulence did not spread into natural G. pallida populations. PMID:27066239

  11. Plant fitness assessment for wild relatives of insect resistant crops.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Hagen, Joy A

    2009-01-01

    Risk assessments of new insect-resistant crops will need to estimate the potential for increased weediness of wild crop relatives as a consequence of gene flow. When field experiments are precluded by containment concerns, simulation experiments can identify hazards or measure expected differences between GMOs and parental plants. To measure plant fitness consequences of wild plant protection from Bt-susceptible herbivores, we used topical sprays of bacterial Bacillus thuringiensis larvacide (Bt) on Brassica rapa. Spontaneous crosses between B. rapa and Bt cole crops cannot be precluded, especially if adoption of Bt varieties leads to high exposure. We compared survivorship and seed output of B. rapa that were either protected from or exposed to Bt-susceptible Lepidoptera in the various conditions where hybrids are likely to occur: cultivated (disked) soil, uncultivated agricultural field margins, and nearby non-crop habitats (meadows and ruderal areas). The relative effect of herbivore protection varied among years, habitats, and populations of seedlings. In 2003-2004, Bt sprays did not result in lower herbivory on B. rapa, and plant fitness was not increased. However, in 2004-2006 B. rapa seedlings protected from Bt-susceptible herbivores lived 25% longer, on average, than those that were exposed to these herbivores. In addition, an average B. rapa seedling sprayed with Bt throughout its lifetime was twice as likely to produce siliques and had 251% of the seed output of a seedling exposed to herbivores. The fitness advantage of Bt-based plant protection was apparent in 2004-2005 in half the plants that experienced higher herbivory, and for 2005-2006, was more pronounced in agricultural habitats than in meadows with established, perennial vegetation and less disturbance. Positive effects of Bt-based plant protection and greater fitness in disturbed habitats suggest that crop-wild gene flow may benefit weed populations, and that field tests with herbivore exclusion

  12. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A M; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  13. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G.; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  14. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  15. Proteasome-mediated turnover of the transcriptional activator FIT is required for plant iron-deficiency responses.

    PubMed

    Sivitz, Alicia; Grinvalds, Claudia; Barberon, Marie; Curie, Catherine; Vert, Grégory

    2011-06-01

    Plants display a number of responses to low iron availability in order to increase iron uptake from the soil. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the ferric-chelate reductase FRO2 and the ferrous iron transporter IRT1 control iron entry from the soil into the root epidermis. To maintain iron homeostasis, the expression of FRO2 and IRT1 is tightly controlled by iron deficiency at the transcriptional level. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor FIT represents the most upstream actor known in the iron-deficiency signaling pathway, and directly regulates the expression of the root iron uptake machinery genes FRO2 and IRT1. However, how FIT is controlled by iron and acts to activate transcription of its targets remains obscure. Here we show that FIT mRNA and endogenous FIT protein accumulate in Arabidopsis roots upon iron deficiency. However, using plants constitutively expressing FIT, we observed that FIT protein accumulation is reduced in iron-limited conditions. This post-transcriptional regulation of FIT is perfectly synchronized with the accumulation of endogenous FIT and IRT1 proteins, and therefore is part of the early responses to low iron. We demonstrated that such regulation affects FIT protein stability under iron deficiency as a result of 26S proteasome-dependent degradation. In addition, we showed that FIT post-translational regulation by iron is required for FRO2 and IRT1 gene expression. Taken together our results indicate that FIT transcriptional and post-translational regulations are integrated in plant roots to ensure that the positive regulator FIT accumulates as a short-lived protein following iron shortage, and to allow proper iron-deficiency responses. PMID:21426424

  16. Fitness costs of animal medication: antiparasitic plant chemicals reduce fitness of monarch butterfly hosts.

    PubMed

    Tao, Leiling; Hoang, Kevin M; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2016-09-01

    The emerging field of ecological immunology demonstrates that allocation by hosts to immune defence against parasites is constrained by the costs of those defences. However, the costs of non-immunological defences, which are important alternatives to canonical immune systems, are less well characterized. Estimating such costs is essential for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of alternative host defence strategies. Many animals have evolved medication behaviours, whereby they use antiparasitic compounds from their environment to protect themselves or their kin from parasitism. Documenting the costs of medication behaviours is complicated by natural variation in the medicinal components of diets and their covariance with other dietary components, such as macronutrients. In the current study, we explore the costs of the usage of antiparasitic compounds in monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), using natural variation in concentrations of antiparasitic compounds among plants. Upon infection by their specialist protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, monarch butterflies can selectively oviposit on milkweed with high foliar concentrations of cardenolides, secondary chemicals that reduce parasite growth. Here, we show that these antiparasitic cardenolides can also impose significant costs on both uninfected and infected butterflies. Among eight milkweed species that vary substantially in their foliar cardenolide concentration and composition, we observed the opposing effects of cardenolides on monarch fitness traits. While high foliar cardenolide concentrations increased the tolerance of monarch butterflies to infection, they reduced the survival rate of caterpillars to adulthood. Additionally, although non-polar cardenolide compounds decreased the spore load of infected butterflies, they also reduced the life span of uninfected butterflies, resulting in a hump-shaped curve between cardenolide non-polarity and the life span of infected butterflies

  17. Behavior-based rules for fitness-for-duty assessment of nuclear power plant personnel

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, R.S.; Turnage, J.J.; Price, H.E.; Lane, N.E.

    1989-01-01

    The safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants requires that plant personnel not be under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal, or mentally or physically impaired from any cause that in any way adversely affects their ability to safely and competently perform their duties. This goal has been formalized by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in their proposed rule for a fitness-for-duty program. The purpose of this paper is to describe a performance-based tool based on surrogate tests and dose equivalency methodologies that is a viable candidate for fitness-for-duty assessment. The automated performance test system (APTS) is a microcomputer-based human performance test battery that has been developed over a decade of research supported variously by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, US Department of Energy, and the US Navy and Army. Representing the most psychometrically sound test from evaluations of over 150 well-known tests of basic psychomotor and cognitive skills, the battery provides direct prediction of a worker's fitness for duty. Twenty-four tests are suitable for use, and a dozen have thus far been shown to be sensitive to the effects of legal and illegal drugs, alcohol, fatigue, stress, and other causes of impairment.

  18. THE HUNT FOR GREEN EVERY APRIL: FACTORS AFFECTING FITNESS IN SWITCHGRASS

    SciTech Connect

    Sarath, Gautam

    2014-12-10

    This grant funded work was undertaken to develop fundamental biological knowledge of the factors affecting the complex plant trait “fitness” in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a plant being developed as a biomass crop. Using a diverse range of latitudinally-adapted switchgrass plants, genomic, molecular and physiological studies were performed to track a number of different aspects of plant genetics and physiology over the course of the growing season. Work was performed on both genetically unrelated and genetically related plants. Plants were established in the field from seedlings raised in a greenhouse, or from clones present in other field nurseries. Field grown plants were used as the source of all tissues. The three objectives of this proposal were:(1) Transcript Profiling, Metabolomics, and C and N Partitioning and Recycling in Crowns and Rhizomes of Switchgrass over two growing seasons; (2) Gene Profiling During Regreening and Dormancy of Bulked Segregants; (3) Extent of Linkage Disequilibrium in Populations for Adaptation and Fitness Traits Being Developed for Central and Northern USA, that Show Significant Heterosis. Objective 1 results: Plants were labeled using 13CO2 (a stable isotope) using an acrylic chamber constructed specifically for this purpose. Plants became labeled with 13C and label decayed in aerial tissues over the course of the growing season. Varying amounts of 13C were recovered in the rhizomes. These data are being analyzed. Plants were also labeled with 15N-urea. Plants absorbed significant amounts of label that was remobilized to the growing shoots. N-dynamics would suggest that a portion of the 15N absorbed into the crowns and rhizomes is sequestered below ground. Variable amounts of 15N were translocated from the shoots to the roots over the course of the growing season. Polar metabolites extracted from a diverse array of rhizomes were analyzed using GCMS. Data indicated that there was a significant shift in metabolite pools

  19. The causes of selection on flowering time through male fitness in a hermaphroditic annual plant.

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-01-01

    Flowering is a key life-history event whose timing almost certainly affects both male and female fitness, but tests of selection on flowering time through male fitness are few. Such selection may arise from direct effects of flowering time, and indirect effects through covariance between flowering time and the environment experienced during reproduction. To isolate these intrinsically correlated associations, we staggered planting dates of Brassica rapa families with known flowering times, creating populations in which age at flowering (i.e., flowering time genotype) and Julian date of flowering (i.e., flowering time environment) were positively, negatively, or uncorrelated. Genetic paternity analysis revealed that male fitness was not strongly influenced by seasonal environmental changes. Instead, when age and date were uncorrelated, selection through male fitness strongly favored young age at flowering. Strategic sampling offspring for paternity analysis rejected covariance between sire age at flowering and dam quality as the cause of this selection. Results instead suggest a negative association between age at flowering and pollen competitive ability. The manipulation also revealed that, at least in B. rapa, the often-observed correlation between flowering time and flowering duration is environmental, not genetic, in origin. PMID:26596860

  20. Nectar chemistry mediates the behavior of parasitized bees: consequences for plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Leif L; Bowers, M Deane; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-02-01

    Plants produce an array of secondary metabolites that play important ecological roles as anti-herbivore and anti-pathogen defenses. Many herbivores experience physiological costs when they consume secondary metabolites, yet some also benefit, for example when these chemicals confer resistance to parasites and predators. Secondary metabolites are often present in nectar and pollen, which is paradoxical given that floral rewards are important in the attraction of mutualists rather than deterrence of antagonists. Motivated by studies of interactions among plants, herbivores, and parasites, as well as research showing that secondary metabolites can reduce bee disease, we characterized the occurrence of two iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, in floral rewards and other tissues of the bee pollinated plant, Chelone glabra. We then experimentally investigated effects of nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations on the foraging behavior of bumble bee pollinators naturally afflicted by a parasitoid fly and a protozoan intestinal parasite, and subsequent effects on an estimate of plant reproduction. We found that floral nectar had lower iridoid glycoside concentrations than leaves, pollen, and corollas, and that, compared to those plant parts, the relative ratio of the two primary iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, was reversed in nectar. Whether bees carried parasitoid fly larvae did not affect their response to nectar chemistry; however, there was a significant interaction between protozoan parasite infection and nectar treatment, with infected bees foraging longer at flowers with high compared to low nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations. Parasitized bees were also more likely to return to inflorescences with high iridoid glycoside nectar. Consequently, flowers in the high iridoid glycoside nectar treatment donated significantly more pollen to conspecific stigmas than did flowers in the low iridoid glycoside treatment, suggesting an increase in male plant

  1. A temporary social parasite of tropical plant-ants improves the fitness of a myrmecophyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Céréghino, Régis; Roux, Olivier; Hérault, Bruno; Rossi, Vivien; Guerrero, Roberto J.; Delabie, Jacques H. C.; Orivel, Jérôme; Boulay, Raphaël

    2010-10-01

    Myrmecophytes offer plant-ants a nesting place in exchange for protection from their enemies, particularly defoliators. These obligate ant-plant mutualisms are common model systems for studying factors that allow horizontally transmitted mutualisms to persist since parasites of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms exploit the rewards provided by host plants whilst providing no protection in return. In pioneer formations in French Guiana, Azteca alfari and Azteca ovaticeps are known to be mutualists of myrmecophytic Cecropia ( Cecropia ants). Here, we show that Azteca andreae, whose colonies build carton nests on myrmecophytic Cecropia, is not a parasite of Azteca- Cecropia mutualisms nor is it a temporary social parasite of A. alfari; it is, however, a temporary social parasite of A. ovaticeps. Contrarily to the two mutualistic Azteca species that are only occasional predators feeding mostly on hemipteran honeydew and food bodies provided by the host trees, A. andreae workers, which also attend hemipterans, do not exploit the food bodies. Rather, they employ an effective hunting technique where the leaf margins are fringed with ambushing workers, waiting for insects to alight. As a result, the host trees’ fitness is not affected as A. andreae colonies protect their foliage better than do mutualistic Azteca species resulting in greater fruit production. Yet, contrarily to mutualistic Azteca, when host tree development does not keep pace with colony growth, A. andreae workers forage on surrounding plants; the colonies can even move to a non- Cecropia tree.

  2. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Methods Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Key Results Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. Conclusions It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness. PMID:21196450

  3. Leaf damage and gender but not flower damage affect female fitness in Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae).

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2007-03-01

    Researchers can answer questions about the evolution or maintenance of separate sexes using dioecious plant systems. Because females in these species typically put more resources into reproductive effort than male plants, researchers have hypothesized that females may be less tolerant of the stresses found in marginal habitats. Herbivory can act as a biotic stressor that reduces resources in plants much like a marginal habitat can. Females may be limited by resources, and may thus be less tolerant to herbivory than males. Here, I explore the relationships between florivory, leaf herbivory, and gender in a gynodioecious, annual plant, Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, senso lato). I performed a crossed design experiment examining the main effects and interactions of plant gender, artificial leaf damage, and artificial flower damage on components of female plant fitness. Leaf damage decreased fruit set and females made significantly more fruit than hermaphrodites. However, contrary to theory, I found little evidence for a gender by damage interaction for either type of artificial herbivory. Based on these results, I propose more work exploring the effects of both source and sink damage in dioecious species to help elucidate where and when different sexual morphs are favored by natural selection. PMID:21636414

  4. Effect of plant nitrogen and water status on the foraging behavior and fitness of an omnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Han, Peng; Dong, Yongcheng; Lavoir, Anne-Violette; Adamowicz, Stéphane; Bearez, Philippe; Wajnberg, Eric; Desneux, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Omnivorous arthropods make dietary choices according to the environment in which they forage, mainly availability/quality of plant and/or prey resources. Such decisions and their subsequent impacts on life-history traits may be affected by the availability of nutrients and water to plants, that is, through bottom-up forces. By setting up arenas for feeding behavior observation as well as glasshouse cages for plant preference assessment, we studied effects of the presence of prey (Lepidoptera eggs) and nitrogen/water availability to host tomato plants on the foraging behavior and life-history traits in the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Heteroptera: Miridae). In the absence of prey, the predator fed equally on the plants treated with various levels of nitrogen and water. In the presence of prey, however, the feeding rate on plants decreased when the plant received low water input. The feeding rate on prey was positively correlated with feeding rate on plants; that is, prey feeding increased with plant feeding when the plants received high water input. Moreover, plants receiving high water input attracted more M. pygmaeus adults compared with those receiving low water input. For M. pygmaeus fitness, the presence of prey enhanced its fertility and longevity, but the longevity decreased when plants received low compared with high water input. In conclusion, the omnivorous predator may be obliged to feed on plants to obtain water, and plant water status may be a limiting factor for the foraging behavior and fitness of the omnivorous predator. PMID:27069598

  5. Plasticity and epistasis strongly affect bacterial fitness after losing multiple metabolic genes.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, Glen; Waschina, Silvio; Kaleta, Christoph; Kost, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Many bacterial lineages lack seemingly essential metabolic genes. Previous work suggested selective benefits could drive the loss of biosynthetic functions from bacterial genomes when the corresponding metabolites are sufficiently available in the environment. However, the factors that govern this "genome streamlining" remain poorly understood. Here we determine the effect of plasticity and epistasis on the fitness of Escherichia coli genotypes from whose genome biosynthetic genes for one, two, or three different amino acids have been deleted. Competitive fitness experiments between auxotrophic mutants and prototrophic wild-type cells in one of two carbon environments revealed that plasticity and epistasis strongly affected the mutants' fitness individually and interactively. Positive and negative epistatic interactions were prevalent, yet on average cancelled each other out. Moreover, epistasis correlated negatively with the expected effects of combined auxotrophy-causing mutations, thus producing a pattern of diminishing returns. Moreover, computationally analyzing 1,432 eubacterial metabolic networks revealed that most pairs of auxotrophies co-occurred significantly more often than expected by chance, suggesting epistatic interactions and/or environmental factors favored these combinations. Our results demonstrate that both the genetic background and environmental conditions determine the adaptive value of a loss-of-biochemical-function mutation and that fitness gains decelerate, as more biochemical functions are lost. PMID:25765095

  6. Epigallocatechin gallate affects glucose metabolism and increases fitness and lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Anika E.; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Rabe, Doerte; Baenas, Nieves; Schloesser, Anke; Eggersdorfer, Manfred; Stocker, Achim; Rimbach, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we tested whether a standardized epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) rich green tea extract (comprising > 90% EGCG) affects fitness and lifespan as well as parameters of glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Following the application of the green tea extract a significant increase in the mean lifespan (+ 3.3 days) and the 50% survival (+ 4.3 days) as well as improved fitness was detected. These effects went along an increased expression of Spargel, the homolog of mammalian PGC1α, which has been reported to affect lifespan in flies. Intriguingly, in flies, treatment with the green tea extract decreased glucose concentrations, which were accompanied by an inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity. Computational docking analysis proved the potential of EGCG to dock into the substrate binding pocket of α-amylase and to a greater extent into α-glucosidase. Furthermore, we demonstrate that EGCG downregulates insulin-like peptide 5 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, major regulators of glucose metabolism, as well as the Drosophila homolog of leptin, unpaired 2. We propose that a decrease in glucose metabolism in connection with an upregulated expression of Spargel contribute to the better fitness and the extended lifespan in EGCG-treated flies. PMID:26375250

  7. You are what you eat: food limitation affects reproductive fitness in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Barry, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  8. You Are What You Eat: Food Limitation Affects Reproductive Fitness in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  9. Impact of hormonal crosstalk on plant resistance and fitness under multi-attacker conditions

    PubMed Central

    Vos, Irene A.; Moritz, Liselotte; Pieterse, Corné M. J.; Van Wees, Saskia C. M.

    2015-01-01

    The hormone salicylic acid (SA) generally induces plant defenses against biotrophic pathogens. Jasmonic acid (JA) and its oxylipin derivatives together with ethylene (ET) are generally important hormonal regulators of induced plant defenses against necrotrophic pathogens, whereas JAs together with abscisic acid (ABA) are implicated in induced plant defenses against herbivorous insects. Hormonal crosstalk between the different plant defense pathways has often been hypothesized to be a cost-saving strategy that has evolved as a means of the plant to reduce allocation costs by repression of unnecessary defenses, thereby minimizing trade-offs between plant defense and growth. However, proof for this hypothesis has not been demonstrated yet. In this study the impact of hormonal crosstalk on disease resistance and fitness of Arabidopsis thaliana when under multi-species attack was investigated. Induction of SA- or JA/ABA-dependent defense responses by the biotrophic pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis or the herbivorous insect Pieris rapae, respectively, was shown to reduce the level of induced JA/ET-dependent defense against subsequent infection with the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea. However, despite the enhanced susceptibility to this second attacker, no additional long-term negative effects were observed on plant fitness when plants had been challenged by multiple attackers. Similarly, when plants were grown in dense competition stands to enlarge fitness effects of induced defenses, treatment with a combination of SA and MeJA did not cause additional negative effects on plant fitness in comparison to the single MeJA treatment. Together, these data support the notion that hormonal crosstalk in plants during multi-attacker interactions allows plants to prioritize their defenses, while limiting the fitness costs associated with induction of defenses. PMID:26347758

  10. The Use of Flagella and Motility for Plant Colonization and Fitness by Different Strains of the Foodborne Pathogen Listeria monocytogenes

    PubMed Central

    Gorski, Lisa; Duhé, Jessica M.; Flaherty, Denise

    2009-01-01

    The role of flagella and motility in the attachment of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes to various surfaces is mixed with some systems requiring flagella for an interaction and others needing only motility for cells to get to the surface. In nature this bacterium is a saprophyte and contaminated produce is an avenue for infection. Previous studies have documented the ability of this organism to attach to and colonize plant tissue. Motility mutants were generated in three wild type strains of L. monocytogenes by deleting either flaA, the gene encoding flagellin, or motAB, genes encoding part of the flagellar motor, and tested for both the ability to colonize sprouts and for the fitness of that colonization. The motAB mutants were not affected in the colonization of alfalfa, radish, and broccoli sprouts; however, some of the flaA mutants showed reduced colonization ability. The best colonizing wild type strain was reduced in colonization on all three sprout types as a result of a flaA deletion. A mutant in another background was only affected on alfalfa. The third, a poor alfalfa colonizer was not affected in colonization ability by any of the deletions. Fitness of colonization was measured in experiments of competition between mixtures of mutant and parent strains on sprouts. Here the flaA and motAB mutants of the three strain backgrounds were impaired in fitness of colonization of alfalfa and radish sprouts, and one strain background showed reduced fitness of both mutant types on broccoli sprouts. Together these data indicate a role for flagella for some strains to physically colonize some plants, while the fitness of that colonization is positively affected by motility in almost all cases. PMID:19357783

  11. Effects of plant-community composition on the vectorial capacity and fitness of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

    PubMed

    Stone, Christopher M; Jackson, Bryan T; Foster, Woodbridge A

    2012-10-01

    Dynamics of Anopheles gambiae abundance and malaria transmission potential rely strongly on environmental conditions. Female and male An. gambiae use sugar and are affected by its absence, but how the presence or absence of nectariferous plants affects An. gambiae abundance and vectorial capacity has not been studied. We report on four replicates of a cohort study performed in mesocosms with sugar-poor and sugar-rich plants, in which we measured mosquito survival, biting rates, and fecundity. Survivorship was greater with access to sugar-rich plant species, and mortality patterns were age-dependent. Sugar-poor populations experienced Weibull mortality patterns, and of four populations in the sugar-rich environment, two female and three male subpopulations were better fitted by Gompertz functions. A tendency toward higher biting rates in sugar-poor mesocosms, particularly for young females, was found. Therefore, vectorial capacity was pulled in opposing directions by nectar availability, resulting in highly variable vectorial capacity values. PMID:22927493

  12. Effects of Plant-Community Composition on the Vectorial Capacity and Fitness of the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Christopher M.; Jackson, Bryan T.; Foster, Woodbridge A.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamics of Anopheles gambiae abundance and malaria transmission potential rely strongly on environmental conditions. Female and male An. gambiae use sugar and are affected by its absence, but how the presence or absence of nectariferous plants affects An. gambiae abundance and vectorial capacity has not been studied. We report on four replicates of a cohort study performed in mesocosms with sugar-poor and sugar-rich plants, in which we measured mosquito survival, biting rates, and fecundity. Survivorship was greater with access to sugar-rich plant species, and mortality patterns were age-dependent. Sugar-poor populations experienced Weibull mortality patterns, and of four populations in the sugar-rich environment, two female and three male subpopulations were better fitted by Gompertz functions. A tendency toward higher biting rates in sugar-poor mesocosms, particularly for young females, was found. Therefore, vectorial capacity was pulled in opposing directions by nectar availability, resulting in highly variable vectorial capacity values. PMID:22927493

  13. Herbivores alter the fitness benefits of a plant-rhizobium mutualism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, Katy D.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2011-03-01

    Mutualisms are best understood from a community perspective, since third-party species have the potential to shift the costs and benefits in interspecific interactions. We manipulated plant genotypes, the presence of rhizobium mutualists, and the presence of a generalist herbivore and assessed the performance of all players in order to test whether antagonists might alter the fitness benefits of plant-rhizobium mutualism, and vice versa how mutualists might alter the fitness consequences of plant-herbivore antagonism. We found that plants in our experiment formed more associations with rhizobia (root nodules) in the presence of herbivores, thereby increasing the fitness benefits of mutualism for rhizobia. In contrast, the effects of rhizobia on herbivores were weak. Our data support a community-dependent view of these ecological interactions, and suggest that consideration of the aboveground herbivore community can inform ecological and evolutionary studies of legume-rhizobium interactions.

  14. Emotional Fitness and the Movement of Affective Science From Lab to Field

    PubMed Central

    Algoe, Sara B.; Fredrickson, Barbara L.

    2011-01-01

    Emotions provide a ubiquitous and consequential backdrop to daily life, influencing everything from physiology to interpersonal relationships in the blink of an eye. Instances of emotional experience accumulate and compound to impact overall mental and physical health. Under optimal conditions, emotions are adaptive for the successful navigation of daily life. However, situational features of military life likely amplify everyday emotions and their impact, creating the need for soldiers to have a well-oiled emotional resilience system in place from the start, to be maintained throughout their careers. Basic research in affective science has identified the active ingredients that would be required in order for such a system of skills and abilities to have maximum impact on overall emotional fitness. Results of this emotional resilience training may provide compounding benefits for the individual as well as have spreading impact for the benefit of the military unit and other social connections. The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative highlights important new frontiers in affective science and presents a challenge to our field that requires taking a second look at the theory-testing process. PMID:21219046

  15. Herbicide drift affects plant and arthropod communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field edges, old fields, and other semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes support diverse plant communities that help sustain pollinators, predators, and other beneficial arthropods. These plant and arthropod communities may be at persistent ecotoxicological risk from herbicides applied to...

  16. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

    This science study aid, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes a series of plant rooting activities for secondary science classes. The material in the pamphlet is written for students and includes background information on plant hormones, a vocabulary list, and five learning activities. Objectives, needed materials, and…

  17. Is Physiological Performance a Good Predictor for Fitness? Insights from an Invasive Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Montenegro, Marco A.; Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Oses, Rómulo; Torres-Díaz, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    Is physiological performance a suitable proxy of fitness in plants? Although, several studies have been conducted to measure some fitness-related traits and physiological performance, direct assessments are seldom found in the literature. Here, we assessed the physiology-fitness relationship using second-generation individuals of the invasive plant species Taraxacum officinale from 17 localities distributed in five continents. Specifically, we tested if i) the maximum quantum yield is a good predictor for seed-output ii) whether this physiology-fitness relationship can be modified by environmental heterogeneity, and iii) if this relationship has an adaptive consequence for T. officinale individuals from different localities. Overall, we found a significant positive relationship between the maximum quantum yield and fitness for all localities evaluated, but this relationship decreased in T. officinale individuals from localities with greater environmental heterogeneity. Finally, we found that those individuals from localities where environmental conditions are highly seasonal performed better under heterogeneous environmental conditions. Contrarily, under homogeneous controlled conditions, those individuals from localities with low environmental seasonality performed much better. In conclusion, our results suggest that the maximum quantum yield seem to be good predictors for plant fitness. We suggest that rapid measurements, such as those obtained from the maximum quantum yield, could provide a straightforward proxy of individual’s fitness in changing environments. PMID:24204626

  18. Individual dispersal decisions affect fitness via maternal rank effects in male rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Weiß, Brigitte M; Kulik, Lars; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina V; Widdig, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Natal dispersal may have considerable social, ecological and evolutionary consequences. While species-specific dispersal strategies have received much attention, individual variation in dispersal decisions and its fitness consequences remain poorly understood. We investigated causes and consequences of natal dispersal age in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a species with male dispersal. Using long-term demographic and genetic data from a semi-free ranging population on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, we analysed how the social environment such as maternal family, group and population characteristics affected the age at which males leave their natal group. While natal dispersal age was unrelated to most measures of group or population structure, our study confirmed earlier findings that sons of high-ranking mothers dispersed later than sons of low-ranking ones. Natal dispersal age did not affect males' subsequent survival, but males dispersing later were more likely to reproduce. Late dispersers were likely to start reproducing while still residing in their natal group, frequently produced extra-group offspring before natal dispersal and subsequently dispersed to the group in which they had fathered offspring more likely than expected. Hence, the timing of natal dispersal was affected by maternal rank and influenced male reproduction, which, in turn affected which group males dispersed to. PMID:27576465

  19. Individual dispersal decisions affect fitness via maternal rank effects in male rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Weiß, Brigitte M.; Kulik, Lars; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina V.; Widdig, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Natal dispersal may have considerable social, ecological and evolutionary consequences. While species-specific dispersal strategies have received much attention, individual variation in dispersal decisions and its fitness consequences remain poorly understood. We investigated causes and consequences of natal dispersal age in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a species with male dispersal. Using long-term demographic and genetic data from a semi-free ranging population on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, we analysed how the social environment such as maternal family, group and population characteristics affected the age at which males leave their natal group. While natal dispersal age was unrelated to most measures of group or population structure, our study confirmed earlier findings that sons of high-ranking mothers dispersed later than sons of low-ranking ones. Natal dispersal age did not affect males’ subsequent survival, but males dispersing later were more likely to reproduce. Late dispersers were likely to start reproducing while still residing in their natal group, frequently produced extra-group offspring before natal dispersal and subsequently dispersed to the group in which they had fathered offspring more likely than expected. Hence, the timing of natal dispersal was affected by maternal rank and influenced male reproduction, which, in turn affected which group males dispersed to. PMID:27576465

  20. Adaptations to increasing hydraulic stress: morphology, hydrodynamics and fitness of two higher aquatic plant species.

    PubMed

    Puijalon, Sara; Bornette, Gudrun; Sagnes, Pierre

    2005-02-01

    Sessile organisms often exhibit morphological changes in response to permanent exposure to mechanical stimulation (wind or water movements). The adaptive value of these morphological changes (hydrodynamic performance and consequences on fitness) has not been studied extensively, particularly for higher plants submitted to flow stress. The aim was to determine the adaptive value of morphological patterns observed within two higher aquatic plant species, Berula erecta and Mentha aquatica, growing along a natural flow stress gradient. The hydrodynamic ability of each ramet was investigated through quantitative variables (drag coefficient and E-value). Fitness-related traits based on vegetative growth and clonal multiplication were assessed for each individual. For both species, the drag coefficient and the E-value were explained only to a limited extent by the morphological traits used. B. erecta exhibited a reduction in size and low overall plant drag at higher flow velocities, despite high drag values relative to leaf area, due to a low flexibility. The plants maintained their fitness, at least in part, through biomass reallocation: one tall ramet at low velocity, but shorter individuals with many interconnected stolons when flow velocity increased. For M. aquatica, morphological differences along the velocity gradient did not lead to greater hydrodynamic performance. Plant size increased with increasing velocities, suggesting the indirect effects of current favouring growth in high velocities. The fitness-related traits did not demonstrate lower plant fitness for high velocities. Different developmental constraints linked to plant morphology and trade-offs between major plant functions probably lead to different plant responses to flow stress. PMID:15642713

  1. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    González-Browne, Catalina; Murúa, Maureen M.; Navarro, Luis; Medel, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas. PMID:26785039

  2. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    González-Browne, Catalina; Murúa, Maureen M; Navarro, Luis; Medel, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas. PMID:26785039

  3. Effect of crop plants on fitness costs associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in cabbage loopers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ran; Tetreau, Guillaume; Wang, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Fitness costs associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins critically impact the development of resistance in insect populations. In this study, the fitness costs in Trichoplusia ni strains associated with two genetically independent resistance mechanisms to Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab, individually and in combination, on four crop plants (cabbage, cotton, tobacco and tomato) were analyzed, in comparison with their near-isogenic susceptible strain. The net reproductive rate (R0) and intrinsic rate of increase (r) of the T. ni strains, regardless of their resistance traits, were strongly affected by the host plants. The ABCC2 gene-linked mechanism of Cry1Ac resistance was associated with relatively low fitness costs, while the Cry2Ab resistance mechanism was associated with higher fitness costs. The fitness costs in the presence of both resistance mechanisms in T. ni appeared to be non-additive. The relative fitness of Bt-resistant T. ni depended on the specific resistance mechanisms as well as host plants. In addition to difference in survivorship and fecundity, an asynchrony of adult emergence was observed among T. ni with different resistance mechanisms and on different host plants. Therefore, mechanisms of resistance and host plants available in the field are both important factors affecting development of Bt resistance in insects. PMID:26868936

  4. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants.

    PubMed

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  5. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  6. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes.

  7. Agroforestry planting design affects loblolly pine growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of plantation design on resource utilization has not been adequately investigated in agroforestry plantations. An experiment was conducted near Booneville, AR on a silt loam soil with a fragipan. Loblolly pine trees were planted in 1994 in an east-west row orientation in three designs: ...

  8. Do transgenic plants affect rhizobacteria populations?

    PubMed Central

    Filion, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Summary Plant genetic manipulation has led to the development of genetically modified plants (GMPs) expressing various traits. Since their first commercial use in 1996, GMPs have been increasingly used, reaching a global cultivating production area of 114.3 million hectares in 2007. The rapid development of agricultural biotechnology and release of GMPs have provided many agronomic and economic benefits, but has also raised concerns over the potential impact these plants might have on the environment. Among these environmental concerns, the unintentional impact that GMPs might have on soil‐associated microbes, especially rhizosphere‐inhabiting bacteria or rhizobacteria, represents one of the least studied and understood areas. As rhizobacteria are responsible for numerous key functions including nutrient cycling and decomposition, they have been defined as good indicator organisms to assess the general impact that GMPs might have on the soil environment. This minireview summarizes the results of various experiments that have been conducted to date on the impact of GMPs on rhizobacteria. Both biological and technical parameters are discussed and an attempt is made to determine if specific rhizobacterial responses exist for the different categories of GMPs developed to date. PMID:21261867

  9. Selective Pressure along a Latitudinal Gradient Affects Subindividual Variation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Mar; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo; Larrinaga, Asier R.

    2013-01-01

    Individual plants produce repeated structures such as leaves, flowers or fruits, which, although belonging to the same genotype, are not phenotypically identical. Such subindividual variation reflects the potential of individual genotypes to vary with micro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, variation in organ traits imposes costs to foraging animals such as time, energy and increased predation risk. Therefore, animals that interact with plants may respond to this variation and affect plant fitness. Thus, phenotypic variation within an individual plant could be, in part, an adaptive trait. Here we investigated this idea and we found that subindividual variation of fruit size of Crataegus monogyna, in different populations throughout the latitudinal gradient in Europe, was explained at some extent by the selective pressures exerted by seed-dispersing birds. These findings support the hypothesis that within-individual variation in plants is an adaptive trait selected by interacting animals which may have important implications for plant evolution. PMID:24069297

  10. Fitness consequences of plants growing with siblings: reconciling kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability

    PubMed Central

    File, Amanda L.; Murphy, Guillermo P.; Dudley, Susan A.

    2012-01-01

    Plant studies that have investigated the fitness consequences of growing with siblings have found conflicting evidence that can support different theoretical frameworks. Depending on whether siblings or strangers have higher fitness in competition, kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability have been invoked. Here, we bring together these processes in a conceptual synthesis and argue that they can be co-occurring. We propose that these processes can be reconciled and argue for a trait-based approach of measuring natural selection instead of the fitness-based approach to the study of sibling competition. This review will improve the understanding of how plants interact socially under competitive situations, and provide a framework for future studies. PMID:22072602

  11. Sesquiterpene lactone stereochemistry influences herbivore resistance and plant fitness in the field

    PubMed Central

    Ahern, Jeffrey R.; Whitney, Kenneth D.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Stereochemical variation is widely known to influence the bioactivity of compounds in the context of pharmacology and pesticide science, but our understanding of its importance in mediating plant–herbivore interactions is limited, particularly in field settings. Similarly, sesquiterpene lactones are a broadly distributed class of putative defensive compounds, but little is known about their activities in the field. Methods Natural variation in sesquiterpene lactones of the common cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium (Asteraceae), was used in conjunction with a series of common garden experiments to examine relationships between stereochemical variation, herbivore damage and plant fitness. Key Results The stereochemistry of sesquiterpene lactone ring junctions helped to explain variation in plant herbivore resistance. Plants producing cis-fused sesquiterpene lactones experienced significantly higher damage than plants producing trans-fused sesquiterpene lactones. Experiments manipulating herbivore damage above and below ambient levels found that herbivore damage was negatively correlated with plant fitness. This pattern translated into significant fitness differences between chemotypes under ambient levels of herbivore attack, but not when attack was experimentally reduced via pesticide. Conclusions To our knowledge, this work represents only the second study to examine sesquiterpene lactones as defensive compounds in the field, the first to document herbivore-mediated natural selection on sesquiterpene lactone variation and the first to investigate the ecological significance of the stereochemistry of the lactone ring junction. The results indicate that subtle differences in stereochemistry may be a major determinant of the protective role of secondary metabolites and thus of plant fitness. As stereochemical variation is widespread in many groups of secondary metabolites, these findings suggest the possibility of dynamic evolutionary histories

  12. The phytoestrogen prunetin affects body composition and improves fitness and lifespan in male Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Piegholdt, Stefanie; Rimbach, Gerald; Wagner, Anika E

    2016-02-01

    Dietary isoflavones, a group of secondary plant compounds that exhibit phytoestrogenic properties, are primarily found in soy. Prunetin, a representative isoflavone, was recently found to affect cell signaling in cultured cells; however, in vivo effects remain elusive. In this study, the model organism Drosophila melanogaster was used to investigate the effects of prunetin in vivo with respect to lifespan, locomotion, body composition, metabolism, and gut health. Adult flies were chronically administered a prunetin-supplemented diet. Prunetin improved median survival by 3 d, and climbing activity increased by 54% in males. In comparison with the females, male flies exhibited lower climbing activity, which was reversed by prunetin intake. Furthermore, prunetin-fed males exhibited increased expression of the longevity gene Sirtuin 1 (Sir2) (22%), as well as elevated AMPK activation (51%) and triglyceride levels (29%), whereas glucose levels decreased (36%). As females are long-lived compared with their male counterparts and exhibit higher triglyceride levels, prunetin apparently "feminizes" male flies via its estrogenicity. We conclude that the lifespan-prolonging effects of prunetin in the male fruit fly depend on changes in AMPK-regulated energy homeostasis via male "feminization." Collectively, we identified prunetin as a plant bioactive compound capable of improving health status and survival in male D. melanogaster. PMID:26538555

  13. Early herbivore alert matters: plant-mediated effects of egg deposition on higher trophic levels benefit plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Pashalidou, Foteini G; Frago, Enric; Griese, Eddie; Poelman, Erik H; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Fatouros, Nina E

    2015-09-01

    Induction of plant defences, specifically in response to herbivore attack, can save costs that would otherwise be needed to maintain defences even in the absence of herbivores. However, plants may suffer considerable damage during the time required to mount these defences against an attacker. This could be resolved if plants could respond to early cues, such as egg deposition, that reliably indicate future herbivory. We tested this hypothesis in a field experiment and found that egg deposition by the butterfly Pieris brassicae on black mustard (Brassica nigra) induced a plant response that negatively affected feeding caterpillars. The effect cascaded up to the third and fourth trophic levels (larval parasitoids and hyperparasitoids) by affecting the parasitisation rate and parasitoid performance. Overall, the defences induced by egg deposition had a positive effect on plant seed production and may therefore play an important role in the evolution of plant resistance to herbivores. PMID:26147078

  14. Can Programmed or Self-Selected Physical Activity Affect Physical Fitness of Adolescents?

    PubMed Central

    Neto, Cláudio F.; Neto, Gabriel R.; Araújo, Adenilson T.; Sousa, Maria S. C.; Sousa, Juliana B. C.; Batista, Gilmário R.; Reis, Victor M. M. R.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify the effects of programmed and self-selected physical activities on the physical fitness of adolescents. High school adolescents, aged between 15 and 17 years, were divided into two experimental groups: a) a self-selected physical activity group (PAS) with 55 students (aged 15.7 ± 0.7 years), who performed physical activities with self-selected rhythm at the following sports: basketball, volleyball, handball, futsal and swimming; and b) a physical fitness training group (PFT) with 53 students (aged 16.0 ± 0.7 years), who performed programmed physical fitness exercises. Both types of activity were developed during 60 min classes. To assess physical fitness the PROESP-BR protocol was used. The statistical analysis was performed by repeated measures ANOVA. The measurements of pre and post-tests showed significantly different values after PFT in: 9 minute running test, medicine ball throw, horizontal jump, abdominal endurance, running speed and flexibility. After PAS differences were detected in abdominal endurance, agility, running speed and flexibility. The intervention with programmed physical activity promoted more changes in the physical abilities; however, in the self-selected program, agility was improved probably because of the practice of sports. Therefore, physical education teachers can use PFT to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and power of lower and upper limbs and PAS to improve agility of high school adolescents. PMID:25713652

  15. Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent.

    PubMed

    Hiruma, Kei; Gerlach, Nina; Sacristán, Soledad; Nakano, Ryohei Thomas; Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Neumann, Ulla; Ramírez, Diana; Bucher, Marcel; O'Connell, Richard J; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2016-04-01

    A staggering diversity of endophytic fungi associate with healthy plants in nature, but it is usually unclear whether these represent stochastic encounters or provide host fitness benefits. Although most characterized species of the fungal genus Colletotrichum are destructive pathogens, we show here that C. tofieldiae (Ct) is an endemic endophyte in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations in central Spain. Colonization by Ct initiates in roots but can also spread systemically into shoots. Ct transfers the macronutrient phosphorus to shoots, promotes plant growth, and increases fertility only under phosphorus-deficient conditions, a nutrient status that might have facilitated the transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles. The host's phosphate starvation response (PSR) system controls Ct root colonization and is needed for plant growth promotion (PGP). PGP also requires PEN2-dependent indole glucosinolate metabolism, a component of innate immune responses, indicating a functional link between innate immunity and the PSR system during beneficial interactions with Ct. PMID:26997485

  16. Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Hiruma, Kei; Gerlach, Nina; Sacristán, Soledad; Nakano, Ryohei Thomas; Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Neumann, Ulla; Ramírez, Diana; Bucher, Marcel; O’Connell, Richard J.; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Summary A staggering diversity of endophytic fungi associate with healthy plants in nature, but it is usually unclear whether these represent stochastic encounters or provide host fitness benefits. Although most characterized species of the fungal genus Colletotrichum are destructive pathogens, we show here that C. tofieldiae (Ct) is an endemic endophyte in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations in central Spain. Colonization by Ct initiates in roots but can also spread systemically into shoots. Ct transfers the macronutrient phosphorus to shoots, promotes plant growth, and increases fertility only under phosphorus-deficient conditions, a nutrient status that might have facilitated the transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles. The host’s phosphate starvation response (PSR) system controls Ct root colonization and is needed for plant growth promotion (PGP). PGP also requires PEN2-dependent indole glucosinolate metabolism, a component of innate immune responses, indicating a functional link between innate immunity and the PSR system during beneficial interactions with Ct. PMID:26997485

  17. Laboratory study to assess causative factors affecting temporal changes in filtering facepiece respirator fit: part I - pilot study.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Ziqing; Benson, Stacey; Lynch, Stephanie; Palmiero, Andy; Roberge, Raymond

    2011-12-01

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is conducting a first-of-its-kind study that will assess respirator fit and facial dimension changes as a function of time and improve the scientific basis for decisions on the periodicity of fit testing. A representative sample of 220 subjects wearing filtering-facepiece respirators (FFR) will be evaluated to investigate factors that affect changes in respirator fit over time. The objective of this pilot study (n = 10) was to investigate the variation in fit test data collected in accordance with the study protocol. Inward leakage (IL) and filter penetration were measured for each donned respirator, permitting the calculation of face seal leakage (FSL) and fit factor (FF). The study included only subjects who (a) passed one of the first three fit tests (FF ≥ 100), and (b) demonstrated through a series of nine donnings that they achieved adequate fit (90th percentile FSL was ≤ 0.05). Following the respirator fit tests, 3-D scans of subjects were captured, and height, weight, and 13 traditional anthropometric facial dimensions were measured. The same data were collected 2 and 4 weeks after baseline. The mean change in FSL for the 10 subjects was 0.044% between Visits 1 and 2, and was 0.229% between Visits 1 and 3. Technicians achieved at least moderate reliability for all manual measurements except nose protrusion. Filter penetration was generally less than 0.03%. Geometric mean fit factors were not statistically different among the three visits. The large variability was observed with different respirator samples for the same model, between subjects (inter), and within each subject (intra). Although variability was observed, adequate fit was maintained for all 10 subjects. Pilot scans collected show subject faces remained the same over the 4 weeks. The consistent results during the pilot study indicate that the methods and procedures are appropriate for the 3-year main study. In addition, this baseline

  18. Interindividual anatomical variations affect the plate-to-bone fit during osteosynthesis of distal radius fractures.

    PubMed

    Yoneda, Hidemasa; Iwatsuki, Katsuyuki; Hara, Tatsuya; Kurimoto, Shigeru; Yamamoto, Michiro; Hirata, Hitoshi

    2016-06-01

    We hypothesized that interindividual variations in the teardrop, which represents the volar projection of the lunate facet of the distal radius, cause unsatisfactory fitting of the volar locking plate to the bone. This can cause flexor tendon ruptures. Herein, we conducted a cross-sectional study and measured the ratio of teardrop height and the teardrop inclination angle as parameters of teardrop configuration for 200 standardized lateral radiographs (average age of the patients, 51 years). We also quantified the influence of the teardrop morphology by analyzing the fit of three locking plates to three radii with differing teardrop inclination angles using a three-dimensional computer-aided design system. The average ratios of the teardrop height and teardrop inclination angle were 0.42° (0.30-0.56°) and 28.8° (9.9-44.9°), respectively. The teardrop inclination angle was moderately correlated with age in men but not in women. In the plate-to-bone fit analyses, the fit of all the plates was significantly different between bones, with the configuration of the radius with the lowest teardrop inclination angle being the closest approximation to that of each plate. We demonstrated the interindividual variation in the shape of the teardrop and its influence on the fit of the volar plate, highlighting the importance of careful plate selection for achieving osteosynthesis of bones with a high teardrop inclination angle. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:953-960, 2016. PMID:26648456

  19. Growth–Defense Tradeoffs in Plants: A Balancing Act to Optimize Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Huot, Bethany; Yao, Jian; Montgomery, Beronda L.; He, Sheng Yang

    2014-01-01

    Growth–defense tradeoffs are thought to occur in plants due to resource restrictions, which demand prioritization towards either growth or defense, depending on external and internal factors. These tradeoffs have profound implications in agriculture and natural ecosystems, as both processes are vital for plant survival, reproduction, and, ultimately, plant fitness. While many of the molecular mechanisms underlying growth and defense tradeoffs remain to be elucidated, hormone crosstalk has emerged as a major player in regulating tradeoffs needed to achieve a balance. In this review, we cover recent advances in understanding growth–defense tradeoffs in plants as well as what is known regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Specifically, we address evidence supporting the growth–defense tradeoff concept, as well as known interactions between defense signaling and growth signaling. Understanding the molecular basis of these tradeoffs in plants should provide a foundation for the development of breeding strategies that optimize the growth–defense balance to maximize crop yield to meet rising global food and biofuel demands. PMID:24777989

  20. Serobactins-mediated iron acquisition systems optimize competitive fitness of Herbaspirillum seropedicae inside rice plants.

    PubMed

    Rosconi, Federico; Trovero, María F; de Souza, Emanuel M; Fabiano, Elena

    2016-09-01

    Herbaspirillum seropedicae Z67 is a diazotrophic endophyte able to colonize the interior of many economically relevant crops such as rice, wheat, corn and sorghum. Under iron-deficient conditions, this organism secretes serobactins, a suite of lipopetide siderophores. The role of siderophores in the interaction between endophytes and their plant hosts are not well understood. In this work, we aimed to determine the importance of serobactins-mediated iron acquisition systems in the interaction of H. seropedicae with rice plants. First we provide evidence, by using a combination of genome analysis, proteomic and genetic studies, that the Hsero_2345 gene encodes a TonB-dependent receptor involved in iron-serobactin complex internalization when iron bioavailability is low. Our results show that survival of the Hsero_2345 mutant inside rice plants was not significantly different from that of the wild-type strain. However, when plants were co-inoculated at equal ratios with the wild-type strain and with a double mutant defective in serobactins synthesis and internalization, recovery of mutant was significantly impaired after 8 days post-inoculation. These results demonstrate that serobactins-mediated iron acquisition contributes to competitive fitness of H. seropedicae inside host plants. PMID:26715074

  1. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Tewksbury, Joshua, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Haddad, Nick, M.; Sargent, Sarah; Orrock, John, L.; Weldon, Aimee; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, Jory; Damschen, Ellen, I.; Townsend, Patricia

    2002-10-01

    Tewksbury, J.J., D.J. Levey, N.M. Haddad, S. Sargent, J.L. Orrock, A. Weldon, B.J. Danielson, J. Brinkerhoff, E.I. Damschen, and P. Townsend. 2002. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. PNAS 99(20):12923-12926. Among the most popular strategies for maintaining populations of both plants and animals in fragmented landscapes is to connect isolated patches with thin strips of habitat, called corridors. Corridors are thought to increase the exchange of individuals between habitat patches, promoting genetic exchange and reducing population fluctuations. Empirical studies addressing the effects of corridors have either been small in scale or have ignored confounding effects of increased habitat area created by the presence of a corridor. These methodological difficulties, coupled with a paucity of studies examining the effects of corridors on plants and plant-animal interactions, have sparked debate over the purported value of corridors in conservation planning. We report results of a large-scale experiment that directly address this debate. We demonstrate that corridors not only increase the exchange of animals between patches, but also facilitate two key plant-animal interactions: pollination and seed dispersal. Our results show that the beneficial effects of corridors extend beyond the area they add, and suggest that increased plant and animal movement through corridors will have positive impacts on plant populations and community interactions in fragmented landscapes.

  2. Does citrus leaf miner impair hydraulics and fitness of citrus host plants?

    PubMed

    Raimondo, Fabio; Trifilò, Patrizia; Gullo, Maria A Lo

    2013-12-01

    Gas exchange and hydraulic features were measured in leaves of three different Citrus species (Citrus aurantium L., Citrus limon L., Citrus  ×  paradisii Macfad) infested by Phyllocnistis citrella Staiton, with the aim to quantify the impact of this pest on leaf hydraulics and, ultimately, on plant fitness. Infested leaves were characterized by the presence on the leaf blade of typical snake-shaped mines and, in some cases, of a crumpled leaf blade. Light microscopy showed that leaf crumpling was induced by damage to the cuticular layer. In all three Citrus species examined: (a) the degree of infestation did not exceed 10% of the total surface area of infested plants; (b) control and infested leaves showed similar values of minimum diurnal leaf water potential, leaf hydraulic conductance and functional vein density; and (c) maximum diurnal values of stomatal conductance to water vapour, transpiration rate and photosynthetic rate (An) were similar in both control leaves and the green areas of infested leaves. A strong reduction of An was recorded only in mined leaf areas. Our data suggest that infestation with P. citrella does not cause conspicuous plant productivity reductions in young Citrus plants, at least not in the three Citrus species studied here. PMID:24319027

  3. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability. PMID:25883357

  4. Bt crops: predicting effects of escaped transgenes on the fitness of wild plants and their herbivores.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Robinson, Gaden S; Hagen, Joy A

    2003-01-01

    One prominent concern about genetically modified crops is the possibility of environmental impacts from the movement of fitness-enhancing traits to wild plant populations. Decisions to deregulate Bt crops in the USA have relied strongly on arguments that these crops will not interbreed with wild relatives in the permitted growing regions. Limited attention therefore has been directed to analyses of the consequences of gene flow. To provide a transparent evaluation process for risks associated with insecticidal transgene escape, we crafted a series of questions designed to guide this aspect of the risk assessment. We then explored the current knowledge base available for answering such risk-related questions for three Bt crops (cotton, rapeseed, and rice). First, we generated a list of wild relatives of these crops. A definitive list of potential transgene recipients is not yet possible for some crops. Sufficient data are not available for some crops to eliminate certain related plant species from consideration of fertile hybrid formation, thus making lists for these crops subject to speculation. Second, we queried the HOSTS database (UK) to obtain a worldwide listing of lepidopteran species that feed on these crops and their wild relatives, and to determine the host range of the larvae. To our knowledge, this list of 502 lepidopteran species is the first such list published for these crops and wild crop relatives. Third, we used a data set maintained by the Canadian Forest Service to assess Bt toxin susceptibility for these lepidopterans. Only 3% of those species have been tested for susceptibility; and the literature suggests that generalizations about susceptibility among taxa are difficult due to the variability within families. Fourth, we consulted the literature to interpret what is known about the ability of lepidopterans to regulate plant fitness or invasiveness. We could not eliminate the possibility of ecological release due to plant resistance against

  5. Gene–environment interplay in Drosophila melanogaster: Chronic food deprivation in early life affects adult exploratory and fitness traits

    PubMed Central

    Burns, James Geoffrey; Svetec, Nicolas; Rowe, Locke; Mery, Frederic; Dolan, Michael J.; Boyce, W. Thomas; Sokolowski, Marla B.

    2012-01-01

    Early life adversity has known impacts on adult health and behavior, yet little is known about the gene–environment interactions (GEIs) that underlie these consequences. We used the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to show that chronic early nutritional adversity interacts with rover and sitter allelic variants of foraging (for) to affect adult exploratory behavior, a phenotype that is critical for foraging, and reproductive fitness. Chronic nutritional adversity during adulthood did not affect rover or sitter adult exploratory behavior; however, early nutritional adversity in the larval period increased sitter but not rover adult exploratory behavior. Increasing for gene expression in the mushroom bodies, an important center of integration in the fly brain, changed the amount of exploratory behavior exhibited by sitter adults when they did not experience early nutritional adversity but had no effect in sitters that experienced early nutritional adversity. Manipulation of the larval nutritional environment also affected adult reproductive output of sitters but not rovers, indicating GEIs on fitness itself. The natural for variants are an excellent model to examine how GEIs underlie the biological embedding of early experience. PMID:23045644

  6. Multi range spectral feature fitting for hyperspectral imagery in extracting oilseed rape planting area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Zhuokun; Huang, Jingfeng; Wang, Fumin

    2013-12-01

    Spectral feature fitting (SFF) is a commonly used strategy for hyperspectral imagery analysis to discriminate ground targets. Compared to other image analysis techniques, SFF does not secure higher accuracy in extracting image information in all circumstances. Multi range spectral feature fitting (MRSFF) from ENVI software allows user to focus on those interesting spectral features to yield better performance. Thus spectral wavelength ranges and their corresponding weights must be determined. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the performance of MRSFF in oilseed rape planting area extraction. A practical method for defining the weighted values, the variance coefficient weight method, was proposed to set up criterion. Oilseed rape field canopy spectra from the whole growth stage were collected prior to investigating its phenological varieties; oilseed rape endmember spectra were extracted from the Hyperion image as identifying samples to be used in analyzing the oilseed rape field. Wavelength range divisions were determined by the difference between field-measured spectra and image spectra, and image spectral variance coefficient weights for each wavelength range were calculated corresponding to field-measured spectra from the closest date. By using MRSFF, wavelength ranges were classified to characterize the target's spectral features without compromising spectral profile's entirety. The analysis was substantially successful in extracting oilseed rape planting areas (RMSE ≤ 0.06), and the RMSE histogram indicated a superior result compared to a conventional SFF. Accuracy assessment was based on the mapping result compared with spectral angle mapping (SAM) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The MRSFF yielded a robust, convincible result and, therefore, may further the use of hyperspectral imagery in precision agriculture.

  7. Herbivory-induced volatiles function as defenses increasing fitness of the native plant Nicotiana attenuata in nature

    PubMed Central

    Schuman, Meredith C; Barthel, Kathleen; Baldwin, Ian T

    2012-01-01

    From an herbivore's first bite, plants release herbivory-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) which can attract enemies of herbivores. However, other animals and competing plants can intercept HIPVs for their own use, and it remains unclear whether HIPVs serve as an indirect defense by increasing fitness for the emitting plant. In a 2-year field study, HIPV-emitting N. attenuata plants produced twice as many buds and flowers as HIPV-silenced plants, but only when native Geocoris spp. predators reduced herbivore loads (by 50%) on HIPV-emitters. In concert with HIPVs, plants also employ antidigestive trypsin protease inhibitors (TPIs), but TPI-producing plants were not fitter than TPI-silenced plants. TPIs weakened a specialist herbivore's behavioral evasive responses to simulated Geocoris spp. attack, indicating that TPIs function against specialists by enhancing indirect defense. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00007.001 PMID:23066503

  8. Host-specific thermal profiles affect fitness of a widespread pathogen.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Lisa A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Alford, Ross A; Pike, David A

    2014-11-01

    pathogen fitness. Understanding the functional response of pathogens to conditions experienced by the host is important for determining the ecological drivers of disease outbreaks. PMID:25505533

  9. Host-specific thermal profiles affect fitness of a widespread pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Lisa A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Alford, Ross A; Pike, David A

    2014-01-01

    pathogen fitness. Understanding the functional response of pathogens to conditions experienced by the host is important for determining the ecological drivers of disease outbreaks. PMID:25505533

  10. Impact of Plant Cover on Fitness and Behavioural Traits of Captive Red-Eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas)

    PubMed Central

    Preziosi, Richard F.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of ex situ conservation programmes as highlighted in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, there are few empirical studies that examine the influence of captive conditions on the fitness of amphibians, even for basic components of enclosure design such as cover provision. Maintaining the fitness of captive amphibian populations is essential to the success of ex situ conservation projects. Here we examined the impact of plant cover on measures of fitness and behaviour in captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). We found significant effects of plant provision on body size, growth rates and cutaneous bacterial communities that together demonstrate a compelling fitness benefit from cover provision. We also demonstrate a strong behavioural preference for planted rather than non-planted areas. We also assessed the impact of plant provision on the abiotic environment in the enclosure as a potential driver of these behavioural and fitness effects. Together this data provides valuable information regarding enclosure design for a non-model amphibian species and has implications for amphibian populations maintained in captivity for conservation breeding programmes and research. PMID:24740289

  11. Impact of plant cover on fitness and behavioural traits of captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas).

    PubMed

    Michaels, Christopher J; Antwis, Rachael E; Preziosi, Richard F

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of ex situ conservation programmes as highlighted in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, there are few empirical studies that examine the influence of captive conditions on the fitness of amphibians, even for basic components of enclosure design such as cover provision. Maintaining the fitness of captive amphibian populations is essential to the success of ex situ conservation projects. Here we examined the impact of plant cover on measures of fitness and behaviour in captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). We found significant effects of plant provision on body size, growth rates and cutaneous bacterial communities that together demonstrate a compelling fitness benefit from cover provision. We also demonstrate a strong behavioural preference for planted rather than non-planted areas. We also assessed the impact of plant provision on the abiotic environment in the enclosure as a potential driver of these behavioural and fitness effects. Together this data provides valuable information regarding enclosure design for a non-model amphibian species and has implications for amphibian populations maintained in captivity for conservation breeding programmes and research. PMID:24740289

  12. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  13. Exercise training of late-pregnant and nonpregnant dairy cows affects physical fitness and acid-base homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Davidson, J A; Beede, D K

    2009-02-01

    The objective was to determine if exercise training improves physical fitness of nonlactating, late-pregnant and nonpregnant multiparous Holstein cows and alters acid-base homeostasis during an exercise test on a treadmill. Twenty-six pairs (each pair having 1 late-pregnant and 1 nonpregnant) of cows were assigned to treatments of exercise training or no exercise. Exercise training was walking (1.25 to 1.5 h at 3.25 km/h) every other day in an outdoor mechanical walker for 70 d. Cows completed treadmill exercise tests on d 0, 30, and 60 of the experiment or about d 70, 40, and 10 before expected parturition of the pregnant cow of each pair. On d 0, physical fitness was similar among all cows based on durations of treadmill tests, heart rates, and acid-base measurements at given workloads (21.1 +/- 0.6 min; 144 +/- 2.2 beats per min; plasma lactate 3.1 +/- 1.9 mmol/L; and venous blood pH 7.44 +/- 0.0035, respectively). After 60 d of training, exercised cows walked longer during treadmill exercise tests compared with nonexercised cows (23.7 vs. 18.3 +/- 0.85 min, respectively), indicating greater physical fitness (pooled across pregnancy status). Heart rates and plasma lactate concentrations at given workloads were less (144 vs. 156 +/- 2.7 beats per min; and 1.4 vs. 3.2 +/- 0.24 mmol/L for exercised compared with nonexercised cows, respectively). Additionally, exercised cows more effectively maintained acid-base homeostasis during treadmill tests compared with nonexercised cows. Metabolic, endocrine, and nutritional demands associated with late pregnancy did not affect responses differently to exercise training for late-pregnant compared with nonpregnant cows. Overall, exercise training of late-pregnant and nonpregnant cows for 60 d improved physical fitness. PMID:19164665

  14. Inclusive fitness in agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Kiers, E. Toby; Denison, R. Ford

    2014-01-01

    Trade-offs between individual fitness and the collective performance of crop and below-ground symbiont communities are common in agriculture. Plant competitiveness for light and soil resources is key to individual fitness, but higher investments in stems and roots by a plant community to compete for those resources ultimately reduce crop yields. Similarly, rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi may increase their individual fitness by diverting resources to their own reproduction, even if they could have benefited collectively by providing their shared crop host with more nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Past selection for inclusive fitness (benefits to others, weighted by their relatedness) is unlikely to have favoured community performance over individual fitness. The limited evidence for kin recognition in plants and microbes changes this conclusion only slightly. We therefore argue that there is still ample opportunity for human-imposed selection to improve cooperation among crop plants and their symbionts so that they use limited resources more efficiently. This evolutionarily informed approach will require a better understanding of how interactions among crops, and interactions with their symbionts, affected their inclusive fitness in the past and what that implies for current interactions. PMID:24686938

  15. Inclusive fitness in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kiers, E Toby; Denison, R Ford

    2014-05-19

    Trade-offs between individual fitness and the collective performance of crop and below-ground symbiont communities are common in agriculture. Plant competitiveness for light and soil resources is key to individual fitness, but higher investments in stems and roots by a plant community to compete for those resources ultimately reduce crop yields. Similarly, rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi may increase their individual fitness by diverting resources to their own reproduction, even if they could have benefited collectively by providing their shared crop host with more nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Past selection for inclusive fitness (benefits to others, weighted by their relatedness) is unlikely to have favoured community performance over individual fitness. The limited evidence for kin recognition in plants and microbes changes this conclusion only slightly. We therefore argue that there is still ample opportunity for human-imposed selection to improve cooperation among crop plants and their symbionts so that they use limited resources more efficiently. This evolutionarily informed approach will require a better understanding of how interactions among crops, and interactions with their symbionts, affected their inclusive fitness in the past and what that implies for current interactions. PMID:24686938

  16. A plant cell division algorithm based on cell biomechanics and ellipse-fitting

    PubMed Central

    Abera, Metadel K.; Verboven, Pieter; Defraeye, Thijs; Fanta, Solomon Workneh; Hertog, Maarten L. A. T. M.; Carmeliet, Jan; Nicolai, Bart M.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims The importance of cell division models in cellular pattern studies has been acknowledged since the 19th century. Most of the available models developed to date are limited to symmetric cell division with isotropic growth. Often, the actual growth of the cell wall is either not considered or is updated intermittently on a separate time scale to the mechanics. This study presents a generic algorithm that accounts for both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells with isotropic and anisotropic growth. Actual growth of the cell wall is simulated simultaneously with the mechanics. Methods The cell is considered as a closed, thin-walled structure, maintained in tension by turgor pressure. The cell walls are represented as linear elastic elements that obey Hooke's law. Cell expansion is induced by turgor pressure acting on the yielding cell-wall material. A system of differential equations for the positions and velocities of the cell vertices as well as for the actual growth of the cell wall is established. Readiness to divide is determined based on cell size. An ellipse-fitting algorithm is used to determine the position and orientation of the dividing wall. The cell vertices, walls and cell connectivity are then updated and cell expansion resumes. Comparisons are made with experimental data from the literature. Key Results The generic plant cell division algorithm has been implemented successfully. It can handle both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells coupled with isotropic and anisotropic growth modes. Development of the algorithm highlighted the importance of ellipse-fitting to produce randomness (biological variability) even in symmetrically dividing cells. Unlike previous models, a differential equation is formulated for the resting length of the cell wall to simulate actual biological growth and is solved simultaneously with the position and velocity of the vertices. Conclusions The algorithm presented can produce different

  17. Variation in Fitness of the Longhorned Beetle, Dectes texanus, as a Function of Host Plant

    PubMed Central

    Michaud, J.P.; Grant, Angela K.

    2010-01-01

    Dectes texanus LeConte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) has become a serious pest of two different crops in the American Midwest, sunflower, Helianthus annuus L. and soybean, Glycines max (L.). Laboratory and field studies were used to compare the effects of these two host plants on D. texanus life history and behavior. Insects from soybean were 40–60% smaller than those from sunflower and larval weight at collection was strongly correlated with survival to adulthood, whereas it was not in sunflower, suggesting that body size was more limiting to immature survival in soybean. Pupal weights increased more rapidly with increasing stem diameter in soybean than in sunflower and the correlation was stronger, indicating that body size was more limited by plant size in soybean. Adults collected as larvae from soybean had shorter longevities when starved, fed soybean, or fed an alternating diet of soybean and cultivated sunflower, than did those collected from sunflower, suggesting a negative larval legacy of soybean on adult fitness. Adult beetles that developed in soybean lived longer when fed soybean than when starved, but an adult diet of sunflower doubled longevity compared to soybean for beetles that developed in sunflower, and tripled it for those that developed in soybean. An adult diet of wild H. annuus yielded survivorship equivalent to cultivated H. annuus in one trial, and slightly lower in another. Larval host plant did not influence the numbers of ovipunctures or eggs laid by females in field trials, but adult diet did. Sunflower-fed females punctured more, and laid more eggs, on sunflowers than on soybeans in field cages and the reverse trend was evident, but not significant, in soybean-fed females. It can be concluded that H. annuus is a superior food source to G. max for both larval and adult D. texanus, and that wild sunflowers may represent a valuable food for adults during the pre-reproductive period, prior to invasion of soybean fields, even though they

  18. Aminoglycoside resistance 16S rRNA methyltransferases block endogenous methylation, affect translation efficiency and fitness of the host

    PubMed Central

    Lioy, Virginia S.; Goussard, Sylvie; Guerineau, Vincent; Yoon, Eun-Jeong; Courvalin, Patrice; Galimand, Marc; Grillot-Courvalin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    In Gram-negative bacteria, acquired 16S rRNA methyltransferases ArmA and NpmA confer high-level resistance to all clinically useful aminoglycosides by modifying, respectively, G1405 and A1408 in the A-site. These enzymes must coexist with several endogenous methyltransferases that are essential for fine-tuning of the decoding center, such as RsmH and RsmI in Escherichia coli, which methylate C1402 and RsmF C1407. The resistance methyltransferases have a contrasting distribution—ArmA has spread worldwide, whereas a single clinical isolate producing NpmA has been reported. The rate of dissemination of resistance depends on the fitness cost associated with its expression. We have compared ArmA and NpmA in isogenic Escherichia coli harboring the corresponding structural genes and their inactive point mutants cloned under the control of their native constitutive promoter in the stable plasmid pGB2. Growth rate determination and competition experiments showed that ArmA had a fitness cost due to methylation of G1405, whereas NpmA conferred only a slight disadvantage to the host due to production of the enzyme. MALDI MS indicated that ArmA impeded one of the methylations at C1402 by RsmI, and not at C1407 as previously proposed, whereas NpmA blocked the activity of RsmF at C1407. A dual luciferase assay showed that methylation at G1405 and A1408 and lack of methylation at C1407 affect translation accuracy. These results indicate that resistance methyltransferases impair endogenous methylation with different consequences on cell fitness. PMID:24398977

  19. Incest versus abstinence: reproductive trade-offs between mate limitation and progeny fitness in a self-incompatible invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Pierson, Jennifer C; Swain, Stephen M; Young, Andrew G

    2013-12-01

    Plant mating systems represent an evolutionary and ecological trade-off between reproductive assurance through selfing and maximizing progeny fitness through outbreeding. However, many plants with sporophytic self-incompatibility systems exhibit dominance interactions at the S-locus that allow biparental inbreeding, thereby facilitating mating between individuals that share alleles at the S-locus. We investigated this trade-off by estimating mate availability and biparental inbreeding depression in wild radish from five different populations across Australia. We found dominance interactions among S-alleles increased mate availability relative to estimates based on individuals that did not share S-alleles. Twelve of the sixteen fitness variables were significantly reduced by inbreeding. For all the three life-history phases evaluated, self-fertilized offspring suffered a greater than 50% reduction in fitness, while full-sib and half-sib offspring suffered a less than 50% reduction in fitness. Theory indicates that fitness costs greater than 50% can result in an evolutionary trajectory toward a stable state of self-incompatibility (SI). This study suggests that dominance interactions at the S-locus provide a possible third stable state between SI and SC where biparental inbreeding increases mate availability with relatively minor fitness costs. This strategy allows weeds to establish in new environments while maintaining a functional SI system. PMID:24455137

  20. Adverse influence on reproduction and potential fitness cost in survivors of orthene-treated tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By using dose response to Orthene at 80 mg/L (LC50 of the laboratory susceptible colony), a relative resistant population (71% survival rate) of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, was located near Tillar, Arkansas. This population was used in this study to evaluate potential fitness cost in ...

  1. Epistasis underlying a fitness trait within a natural population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, William E; Haggerty, Brian P; Holzapfel, Christina M

    2005-01-01

    We selected on divergent photoperiodic response in three separate lines from a natural population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Line crosses reveal that there exists within a population, diverse epistatic variation for a fitness trait that could contribute to adaptive potential following founder events or rapid climate change. PMID:15466431

  2. Epistasis Underlying a Fitness Trait Within a Natural Population of the Pitcher-Plant Mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, William E.; Haggerty, Brian P.; Holzapfel, Christina M.

    2005-01-01

    We selected on divergent photoperiodic response in three separate lines from a natural population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Line crosses reveal that there exists within a population, diverse epistatic variation for a fitness trait that could contribute to adaptive potential following founder events or rapid climate change. PMID:15466431

  3. Fitness benefits of trypsin proteinase inhibitor expression in Nicotiana attenuata are greater than their costs when plants are attacked.

    PubMed Central

    Zavala, Jorge A; Baldwin, Ian T

    2004-01-01

    Background The commonly invoked cost-benefit paradigm, central to most of functional biology, explains why one phenotype cannot be optimally fit in all environments; yet it is rarely tested. Trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TPIs) expression in Nicotiana attenuata is known to decrease plant fitness when plants compete with unattacked conspecifics that do not produce TPIs and also to decrease the performance of attacking herbivores. Results In order to determine whether the putative benefits of TPI production outweigh its cost, we transformed N. attenuata to silence endogenous TPI production or restore it in a natural mutant that was unable to produce TPIs. We compared the lifetime seed production of N. attenuata genotypes of the same genetic background with low or no TPI to that of genotypes with high TPI levels on which M. sexta larvae were allowed to feed freely. Unattacked low TPI-producing genotypes produced more seed capsules than did plants with high TPI levels. Caterpillar attack reduced seed capsule production in all genotypes and reversed the pattern of seed capsule production among genotypes. M. sexta larvae attacking genotypes with high TPI activity consumed more TPI, less protein, and move later to the young leaves. Larval masses were negatively correlated (R2 = 0.56) with seed capsule production per plant. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the fitness benefits of TPI production outweigh their costs in greenhouse conditions, when plants are attacked and that despite the ongoing evolutionary interactions between plant and herbivore, TPI-mediated decreases in M. sexta performance translates into a fitness benefit for the plant. PMID:15304198

  4. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids. PMID:27002323

  5. Antagonistic within-host interactions between plant viruses: molecular basis and impact on viral and host fitness.

    PubMed

    Syller, Jerzy; Grupa, Anna

    2016-06-01

    Double infections of related or unrelated viruses frequently occur in single plants, the viral agents being inoculated into the host plant simultaneously (co-infection) or sequentially (super-infection). Plants attacked by viruses activate sophisticated defence pathways which operate at different levels, often at significant fitness costs, resulting in yield reduction in crop plants. The occurrence and severity of the negative effects depend on the type of within-host interaction between the infecting viruses. Unrelated viruses generally interact with each other in a synergistic manner, whereas interactions between related viruses are mostly antagonistic. These can incur substantial fitness costs to one or both of the competitors. A relatively well-known antagonistic interaction is cross-protection, also referred to as super-infection exclusion. This type of interaction occurs when a previous infection with one virus prevents or interferes with subsequent infection by a homologous second virus. The current knowledge on why and how one virus variant excludes or restricts another is scant. Super-infection exclusion between viruses has predominantly been attributed to the induction of RNA silencing, which is a major antiviral defence mechanism in plants. There are, however, presumptions that various mechanisms are involved in this phenomenon. This review outlines the current state of knowledge concerning the molecular mechanisms behind antagonistic interactions between plant viruses. Harmful or beneficial effects of these interactions on viral and host plant fitness are also characterized. Moreover, the review briefly outlines the past and present attempts to utilize antagonistic interactions among viruses to protect crop plants against destructive diseases. PMID:26416204

  6. The Effects of Root-knot Nematode Infection and Mi-mediated Nematode Resistance in Tomato on Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Corbett, Brandon P.; Jia, Lingling; Sayler, Ronald J.; Arevalo-Soliz, Lirio Milenka

    2011-01-01

    The Mi-1.2 resistance gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) confers resistance against several species of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). This study examined the impact of M. javanica on the reproductive fitness of near-isogenic tomato cultivars with and without Mi-1.2 under field and greenhouse conditions. Surprisingly, neither nematode inoculation or host plant resistance impacted the yield of mature fruits in field microplots (inoculum=8,000 eggs/plant), or fruit or seed production in a follow-up greenhouse bioassay conducted with a higher inoculum level (20,000 eggs/plant). However, under heavy nematode pressure (200,000 eggs/plant), greenhouse-grown plants carrying Mi-1.2 had more than ten-fold greater fruit production than susceptible plants and nearly forty-fold greater estimated lifetime seed production, confirming prior reports of the benefits of Mi-1.2. In all cases Mi-mediated resistance significantly reduced nematode reproduction. These results indicated that tomato can utilize tolerance mechanisms to compensate for moderate levels of nematode infection, but that the Mi-1.2 resistance gene confers a dramatic fitness benefit under heavy nematode pressure. No significant cost of resistance was detected in the absence of nematode infection. PMID:22791916

  7. How do alien plants fit in the space-phylogeny matrix?

    PubMed

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

  8. How Do Alien Plants Fit in the Space-Phylogeny Matrix?

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

  9. STRESS ETHYLENE EVOLUTION: A MEASURE OF OZONE AFFECTS ON PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine if ethylene evolution by plants is correlated with the ozone stress, a range of plants species and cultivars was exposed to varying ozone concentrations. Following exposure, the plants were encapsulated in plastic bags and incubated for up to 22h. The stress-induced ...

  10. Affective imagery and acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed. PMID:21977961

  11. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field.

    PubMed

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-03-29

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits inArabidopsis thaliana To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics ofA. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  12. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of A. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  13. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Lamberti-Raverot, Barbara; Puijalon, Sara

    2012-10-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  14. Fitness Effects and Genetic Architecture of Plant-Herbivore Interactions in Sunflower Crop-Wild Hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop-to-wild gene flow is of concern if cultivar alleles persist in wild populations and lead to range expansion or enhanced weediness in wild species. The pervasiveness of cultivar alleles is primarily determined by their selective advantage and the selective advantage of linked loci. The fitness o...

  15. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turhan, Sule; Canan Ozbag, Basak; Cetin, Bahattin

    The main aim of this study is to examine the determinants of location choices for food processing plants using the results of 59 personal surveys. The 61.3% of the food processing plants that were interviewed are small scale plants, 9.1% are large scale plants and 29.6% are medium scale plants. Sixteen of the firms process vegetables, 12 process poultry, 12 process dairy and 9 process seafood products. Business climate factors are divided into six categories (market, infrastructure, raw material, labor, personal and environmental) and 17 specific location factors are considered. The survey responses are analyzed by types of raw materials processed and by plant size. 43.7, 55.3 and 42.2% of the respondents cited categories of Market, Raw Material and Infrastructure respectively as important, while 44.3, 50.7 and 74.4% of the respondents cited, labor, personal and environmental regulation categories of as not important. Thus survey findings indicate that plant location choices are mainly driven by market, raw material and infra structural factors. Environmental factors such as environmental regulations and permissions are relatively insignificant.

  16. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  17. Floral signposts: testing the significance of visual ‘nectar guides’ for pollinator behaviour and plant fitness

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Dennis M.; Van der Niet, Timotheüs; Johnson, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Nectar guides, contrasting patterns on flowers that supposedly direct pollinators towards a concealed nectar reward, are taxonomically widespread. However, there have been few studies of their functional significance and effects on plant fitness. Most previous studies focused on pollinator behaviour and used artificial flowers in laboratory settings. We experimentally investigated the role of putative nectar guides in a natural system: the South African iris Lapeirousia oreogena, whose flowers have a clearly visible pattern of six white arrow-markings pointing towards the narrow entrance of the long corolla tube, and its sole pollinator, a long-proboscid nemestrinid fly. We painted over none, some or all of the white arrow-markings with ink that matched the colour of the corolla background. Although arrow-marking removal had little effect on the approaches by flies to flowers from a distance, it dramatically reduced the likelihood of proboscis insertion. Export of pollen dye analogue (an estimate of male fitness) was reduced to almost zero in flowers from which all nectar guides had been removed, and fruit set (a measure of female fitness) was also significantly reduced. Our results confirm that the markings on L. oreogena flowers serve as nectar guides and suggest that they are under strong selective maintenance through both male and female fitness components in this pollination system. PMID:21795269

  18. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  19. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  20. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

  2. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  3. The impact of grazing on plant fractal architecture and fitness of a mediterranean shrub (Anthyllis cytisoidesL.)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Escos, J.; Alados, C.L.; Emlen, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    1. We examined natural grazing by livestock (sheep and goats) on Albaida Anthyllis cytisoides L. with the aim of determining whether variation in the allometric relationships between plant parts provides a sensitive indicator of the impact of grazing.2. The intra-individual variation in translatory symmetry with scale and increased complexity of fractal structures reflect environmental disturbance under heavy grazing pressure and lack of grazing.3. Fitness consequences of grazing were also investigated. Grazing promotes growth and adult survival, and a drop in seed production as a consequence of consumption. In spite of that, total inclusive fitness (population rate of change) tends to increase with grazing.4. Moderate grazing, while promoting growth, also enhances stability of vegetative structures. The favourable effect of moderate levels of herbivory on A. cytisoides is reflected in the homeostatic maintenance of its translatory symmetry and in the increased complexity of its fractal structures.

  4. Regression analysis of technical parameters affecting nuclear power plant performances

    SciTech Connect

    Ghazy, R.; Ricotti, M. E.; Trueco, P.

    2012-07-01

    Since the 80's many studies have been conducted in order to explicate good and bad performances of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs), but yet no defined correlation has been found out to be totally representative of plant operational experience. In early works, data availability and the number of operating power stations were both limited; therefore, results showed that specific technical characteristics of NPPs were supposed to be the main causal factors for successful plant operation. Although these aspects keep on assuming a significant role, later studies and observations showed that other factors concerning management and organization of the plant could instead be predominant comparing utilities operational and economic results. Utility quality, in a word, can be used to summarize all the managerial and operational aspects that seem to be effective in determining plant performance. In this paper operational data of a consistent sample of commercial nuclear power stations, out of the total 433 operating NPPs, are analyzed, mainly focusing on the last decade operational experience. The sample consists of PWR and BWR technology, operated by utilities located in different countries, including U.S. (Japan)) (France)) (Germany)) and Finland. Multivariate regression is performed using Unit Capability Factor (UCF) as the dependent variable; this factor reflects indeed the effectiveness of plant programs and practices in maximizing the available electrical generation and consequently provides an overall indication of how well plants are operated and maintained. Aspects that may not be real causal factors but which can have a consistent impact on the UCF, as technology design, supplier, size and age, are included in the analysis as independent variables. (authors)

  5. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  6. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Tremmel, D.C.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Plant competition occurs through the negative effects that individual plants have on resource availability to neighboring individuals. Therefore competition experiments need to examine how different species change resource availability to their neighbors, and how different species respond to these changes-allocationally, architecturally, and physiologically-through time. In a greenhouse study we used a model system of annuals to examine how canopies of species having differing morphologies differed in their architectures and light-interception abilities, and how different species performed when grown in these canopies. Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, and Polygonum pensylvanicum were grown as [open quotes]targets[close quotes]. Plants were grown in pots, with one target plant and four neighbor plants. Detailed measurements of neighbor canopy structure and target plant canopy architecture were made at five harvests. Species with different morphologies showed large differences in canopy structure, particularly when grass and forb species were compared. Setaria, a grass, had a more open canopy than the other species (all forbs), and was a consistently weak competitor. Overall, however, the relative effects of different neighbors on target biomass varied with target species. Target biomass was poorly correlated with neighbor biomass and leaf area, but was highly correlated with a measure of target light-interception ability that took into account both target leaf deployment and neighbor light interception. Despite clear differences among neighbor species in canopy structure and effect on light penetration, the results suggest no broad generalizations about the effects of different species as neighbors. Knowledge of morphological, physiological, and life history characteristics of both the target and neighbor species may be necessary to explain the results of their competition. 53 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Relative Fitness of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Seven Host Plants: A Perspective for IPM in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reigada, C; Guimarães, K F; Parra, J R P

    2016-01-01

    The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a widespread pest of many cultivated and wild plants in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In 2013, this species was reported in Brazil, attacking various host crops in the midwestern and northeastern regions of the country and is now found countrywide. Aiming to understand the effects of different host plants on the life cycle of H. armigera, we selected seven species of host plants that mature in different seasons and are commonly grown in these regions: cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, "FM993"), corn (Zea mays, "2B587"), soybean (Glycine max, "99R01"), rattlepods (Crotalaria spectabilis), millet (Pennisetum glaucum, "ADR300"), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, "AGROMEN70G35"), and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, "SEMPRE VERDE"). The development time of immatures, body weight, survivorship, and fecundity of H. armigera were evaluated on each host plant under laboratory conditions. The bollworms did not survive on corn, millet, or sorghum and showed very low survival rates on rattlepods. Survival rates were highest on soybean, followed by cotton and cowpea. The values for relative fitness found on soybean, cotton, cowpea, and rattlepods were 1, 0.5, 0.43, and 0.03, respectively. Survivorship, faster development time, and fecundity on soybean, cotton, and cowpea were positively correlated. Larger pupae and greater fecundity were found on soybean and cotton. The results indicated that soybean, cotton, and cowpea are the most suitable plants to support the reproduction of H. armigera in the field. PMID:26798139

  8. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation. PMID:16428643

  9. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  10. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms

  11. Trait-mediated interactions and lifetime fitness of the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants interact with numerous enemies and mutualists simultaneously and sequentially. Such multispecies interactions can give rise to trait-mediated indirect effects that are likely to be common in nature but which are also inherently difficult to study and predict. Understanding multispecies intera...

  12. Developmental Peculiarities and Seed-Borne Endophytes in Quinoa: Omnipresent, Robust Bacilli Contribute to Plant Fitness.

    PubMed

    Pitzschke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Among potential climate change-adapted crops for future agriculture, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), a facultative halophyte plant with exceptional nutritional properties, stands out as a prime candidate. This work examined how quinoa deals with extreme situations during seed rehydration. Quinoa distinguishes itself from other plants in multiple ways. It germinates within minutes, even under extremely hostile conditions. Broken seeds/split embryos are able to regenerate. Furthermore, quinoa seedlings are resurrection-competent. These peculiarities became in part explainable upon discovery of seed-borne microorganisms. 100% of quinoa seeds, from different sources, are inhabited by diverse members of the genus Bacillus. These endophytes are motile and reside in all seedling organs, indicating vertical transmission. Owing to their high catalase activities and superoxide contents the bacteria potentially manipulate the host's redox status. Superoxide-driven cell expansion enables quinoa to overcome a critical period in development, seedling establishment. Quinoa's immediate confrontation with "foreign" reactive oxygen species and bacterial elicitors likely induces a naturally primed state, enabling plants to withstand extreme situations. The endophytic bacteria, which are cultivable and highly robust themselves, have high potential for application in agriculture, food (amylase) and cosmetics (catalase) industry. This work also discusses the potential of transferring quinoa's microbiome to improve stress resistance in other plant species. PMID:26834724

  13. Developmental Peculiarities and Seed-Borne Endophytes in Quinoa: Omnipresent, Robust Bacilli Contribute to Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Pitzschke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Among potential climate change-adapted crops for future agriculture, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), a facultative halophyte plant with exceptional nutritional properties, stands out as a prime candidate. This work examined how quinoa deals with extreme situations during seed rehydration. Quinoa distinguishes itself from other plants in multiple ways. It germinates within minutes, even under extremely hostile conditions. Broken seeds/split embryos are able to regenerate. Furthermore, quinoa seedlings are resurrection-competent. These peculiarities became in part explainable upon discovery of seed-borne microorganisms. 100% of quinoa seeds, from different sources, are inhabited by diverse members of the genus Bacillus. These endophytes are motile and reside in all seedling organs, indicating vertical transmission. Owing to their high catalase activities and superoxide contents the bacteria potentially manipulate the host’s redox status. Superoxide-driven cell expansion enables quinoa to overcome a critical period in development, seedling establishment. Quinoa’s immediate confrontation with “foreign” reactive oxygen species and bacterial elicitors likely induces a naturally primed state, enabling plants to withstand extreme situations. The endophytic bacteria, which are cultivable and highly robust themselves, have high potential for application in agriculture, food (amylase) and cosmetics (catalase) industry. This work also discusses the potential of transferring quinoa’s microbiome to improve stress resistance in other plant species. PMID:26834724

  14. Parental Ploidy Strongly Affects Offspring Fitness in Heteroploid Crosses among Three Cytotypes of Autopolyploid Jacobaea carniolica (Asteraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sonnleitner, Michaela; Weis, Birgit; Flatscher, Ruth; García, Pedro Escobar; Suda, Jan; Krejčíková, Jana; Schneeweiss, Gerald M.; Winkler, Manuela; Schönswetter, Peter; Hülber, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive interactions among cytotypes in their contact zones determine whether these cytotypes can co-exist and form stable contact zones or not. In autopolyploids, heteroploid cross-compatibilities might depend on parental ploidy, but tests of this hypothesis in autopolyploid systems with more than two ploidies are lacking. Here, we study Jacobaea carniolica, which comprises diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid individuals regularly forming contact zones. Seeds obtained from in situ cross-pollinations within and among cytotypes were subjected to DNA flow cytometry and greenhouse germination experiments. Hybrid fitness and parental effects on hybrid fitness were tested with regression models comparing fitness parameters of early life stages. Irrespective of the direction of crosses, seed viability and seedling survival in diploid-polyploid crosses were substantially lower than in tetraploid-hexaploid crosses. In contrast, seedling growth traits indicated neither transgressive character expression nor any selection against hybrid offspring. Congruent with a model of genome dosage effects, these traits differed between reciprocal crosses, especially of diploids and tetraploids, where trait values resembled those of the maternal parent. The strong effect of parental ploidy on offspring fitness in heteroploid crosses may cause contact zones involving exclusively polyploid cytotypes to be less stable over longer terms than those involving diploids and polyploids. PMID:24265735

  15. Why oviposit there? Fitness consequences of a gall midge choosing the plant's youngest leaf.

    PubMed

    Ganehiarachchi, G A S M; Anderson, Kirk M; Harmon, Jason; Harris, Marion O

    2013-02-01

    For animals that lay eggs, a longstanding question is, why do females choose particular oviposition sites? For insects that lay eggs on plants there are three hypotheses: maximizing suitable habitat for juveniles, maximizing female lifespan, and maximizing egg survival. We investigated the function of the oviposition-site choice behavior of a gall midge, the Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say). In spite of living less than a day and having hundreds of eggs, the ovipositing female is choosy about the placement of eggs. Choosiness makes sense. The tiny gall-making neonate larva has limited movement and strict requirements for colonization. We examined whether offspring benefit from the Hessian fly female's preference for the plant's youngest leaf. To do this we restricted the female's access to the first, second, or third leaf of a seedling (wheat Triticum aestivum L.) plant. Being placed on older leaves did not impact egg survival or larval survival during migration to attack sites at the base of the plant, but did have negative impacts on egg-to-adult survival (reduced by 48%) and reproductive potential (reduced by 30-45%). These negative impacts appear to come from larvae having to search harder to find the limited number of reactive plant cells that can be reprogrammed to form the gall nutritive tissue. We propose that the ability of larvae to find these reactive cells in spite of being placed on an older leaf is important because it creates leeway for female behavior to evolve in the face of other selection pressures, e.g., attack by egg parasitoids. PMID:23339793

  16. Constitutive expression of transgenes encoding derivatives of the synthetic antimicrobial peptide BP100: impact on rice host plant fitness

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Biopeptide BP100 is a synthetic and strongly cationic α-helical undecapeptide with high, specific antibacterial activity against economically important plant-pathogenic bacteria, and very low toxicity. It was selected from a library of synthetic peptides, along with other peptides with activities against relevant bacterial and fungal species. Expression of the BP100 series of peptides in plants is of major interest to establish disease-resistant plants and facilitate molecular farming. Specific challenges were the small length, peptide degradation by plant proteases and toxicity to the host plant. Here we approached the expression of the BP100 peptide series in plants using BP100 as a proof-of-concept. Results Our design considered up to three tandemly arranged BP100 units and peptide accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), analyzing five BP100 derivatives. The ER retention sequence did not reduce the antimicrobial activity of chemically synthesized BP100 derivatives, making this strategy possible. Transformation with sequences encoding BP100 derivatives (bp100der) was over ten-fold less efficient than that of the hygromycin phosphotransferase (hptII) transgene. The BP100 direct tandems did not show higher antimicrobial activity than BP100, and genetically modified (GM) plants constitutively expressing them were not viable. In contrast, inverted repeats of BP100, whether or not elongated with a portion of a natural antimicrobial peptide (AMP), had higher antimicrobial activity, and fertile GM rice lines constitutively expressing bp100der were produced. These GM lines had increased resistance to the pathogens Dickeya chrysanthemi and Fusarium verticillioides, and tolerance to oxidative stress, with agronomic performance comparable to untransformed lines. Conclusions Constitutive expression of transgenes encoding short cationic α-helical synthetic peptides can have a strong negative impact on rice fitness. However, GM plants expressing, for

  17. Comparison of fitness traits and their plasticity on multiple plants for Sitobion avenae infected and cured of a secondary endosymbiont.

    PubMed

    Da Wang; Shi, Xiaoqin; Dai, Peng; Liu, Deguang; Dai, Xinjia; Shang, Zheming; Ge, Zhaohong; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Regiella insecticola has been found to enhance the performance of host aphids on certain plants, but its functional role in adaptation of host aphids to plants is still controversial. Here we evaluate the impacts of R. insecticola infections on vital life-history traits of Sitobion avenae (Fabricius), and their underlying genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity on three plants. It was shown that effects of R. insecticola on S. avenae's fitness (i.e., developmental time and fecundity) were neutral on oat or wheat, but negative on rye. Infections of R. insecticola modified genetic variation that underlies S. avenae's life-history traits. This was demonstrated by comparing life-history trait heritabilities between aphid lines with and without R. insecticola. Moreover, there were enhanced negative genetic correlations between developmental time and fecundity for R. insecticola infected lines, and structural differences in G-matrices of life-history traits for the two types of aphid lines. In R. insecticola-infected aphid lines, there were increases in plasticities for developmental times of first and second instar nymphs and for fecundity, showing novel functional roles of bacterial symbionts in plant-insect interactions. The identified effects of R. insecticola infections could have significant implications for the ecology and evolution of its host populations in natural conditions. PMID:26979151

  18. Comparison of fitness traits and their plasticity on multiple plants for Sitobion avenae infected and cured of a secondary endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Da Wang; Shi, Xiaoqin; Dai, Peng; Liu, Deguang; Dai, Xinjia; Shang, Zheming; Ge, Zhaohong; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Regiella insecticola has been found to enhance the performance of host aphids on certain plants, but its functional role in adaptation of host aphids to plants is still controversial. Here we evaluate the impacts of R. insecticola infections on vital life-history traits of Sitobion avenae (Fabricius), and their underlying genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity on three plants. It was shown that effects of R. insecticola on S. avenae’s fitness (i.e., developmental time and fecundity) were neutral on oat or wheat, but negative on rye. Infections of R. insecticola modified genetic variation that underlies S. avenae’s life-history traits. This was demonstrated by comparing life-history trait heritabilities between aphid lines with and without R. insecticola. Moreover, there were enhanced negative genetic correlations between developmental time and fecundity for R. insecticola infected lines, and structural differences in G-matrices of life-history traits for the two types of aphid lines. In R. insecticola-infected aphid lines, there were increases in plasticities for developmental times of first and second instar nymphs and for fecundity, showing novel functional roles of bacterial symbionts in plant-insect interactions. The identified effects of R. insecticola infections could have significant implications for the ecology and evolution of its host populations in natural conditions. PMID:26979151

  19. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure. PMID:26338267

  20. Volatile Exchange between Undamaged Plants - a New Mechanism Affecting Insect Orientation in Intercropping

    PubMed Central

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms. PMID:23922710

  1. ACCase mutations in Avena sterilis populations and their impact on plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Papapanagiotou, Aristeidis P; Paresidou, Maria I; Kaloumenos, Nikolaos S; Eleftherohorinos, Ilias G

    2015-09-01

    Avena sterilis (sterile oat) populations originating from wheat-growing regions of Greece, developed resistance to fenoxaprop, clodinafop and other herbicides. The partial ACCase gene sequence revealed six point mutations (Ile-1781-Leu, Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) in 24 out of the 26 resistant (R) populations, confirming the molecular mechanism of resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides. However, DNA sequence of two R populations did not reveal any known ACCase mutations, suggesting possible presence of unknown mutation or metabolism-based mechanism of resistance. The Cys-2088-Arg mutation is the first record for ACCase mutant conferring target-site resistance in A. sterilis worldwide. The evaluation of 12 R and 6 susceptible (S) populations under non-competitive field conditions did not indicate consistent mean growth rate differences, whereas the pot evaluation of the same (12 R and 6 S) populations grown in competition with wheat or in pure stands showed significant growth (fresh weight and panicle number) differences between six S populations and between six R populations containing the same ACCase mutation (Ile-2041-Asn). Finally, one S and five R (Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) populations grown under field competitive conditions indicated fresh weight and panicle number differences in competition with other populations as compared with pure stands. These findings suggest clearly that the inconsistent fitness differences between R and S A. sterilis populations are not related with the ACCase resistance trait but they may result from other non-resistance fitness traits selected in their different geographical locations. PMID:26267051

  2. Flowering schedule in a perennial plant; life-history trade-offs, seed predation, and total offspring fitness.

    PubMed

    Ehrlén, Johan; Raabova, Jana; Dahlgren, Johan P

    2015-08-01

    Optimal timing of reproduction within a season may be influenced by several abiotic and biotic factors. These factors sometimes affect different components of fitness, making assessments of net selection difficult. We used estimates of offspring fitness to examine how pre-dispersal seed predation influences selection on flowering schedule in an herb with a bimodal flowering pattern, Actaea spicata. Within individuals, seeds from flowers on early terminal inflorescences had a higher germination rate and produced larger seedlings than seeds from flowers on late basal inflorescences. Reproductive value, estimated using demographic integral projection models and accounting for size-dependent differences in future performance, was two times higher for intact seeds from early flowers than for seeds from late flowers. Fruits from late flowers were, however, much more likely to escape seed predation than fruits from early flowers. Reproductive values of early and late flowers balanced at a predation intensity of 63%. Across 15 natural populations, the strength of selection for allocation to late flowers was positively correlated with mean seed predation intensity. Our results suggest that the optimal shape of the flowering schedule, in terms of the allocation between early and late flowers, is determined by the trade-off between offspring number and quality, and that variation in antagonistic interactions among populations influences the balancing of this trade-off. At the same time they illustrate that phenotypic selection analyses that fail to account for differences in offspring fitness might be misleading. PMID:26405752

  3. Solanum malacoxylon: a toxic plant which affects animal calcium metabolism.

    PubMed

    Boland, R L

    1988-12-01

    The "enteque seco" is a disease of calcinosis, i.e., pathological deposition of calcium phosphate in soft tissues, which occurs in grazing cattle in Argentina and is of considerable economic importance. The ingestion of leaves of Solanum malacoxylon has been identified as the cause of the disease. Hypercalcemia and/or hyperphosphatemia and mineralization of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are usually seen in bovines or experimental animals exposed to this plant. The symptoms of the disease resemble those of vitamin D intoxication. In agreement with these observations, a glycoside derivative of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), the hormonally active form of vitamin D in animals, has been identified as the toxic principle of S. malacoxylon. Glycoside conjugates of its precursors, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and vitamin D3, may also be present. Recent studies indicate that the plant factor is modified in the rumen of bovines through cleavage of the glycosidic linkage and further conversion of the released 1,25(OH)2D3 to a more polar metabolite, possibly 1,24,25-trihydroxyvitamin D3. Excess free 1,25(OH)2D3 may alter extracellular and intracellular Ca homeostasis in intoxicated animals through a receptor-mediated mechanism and activation of membrane Ca channels. In addition, 1,24,25(OH)3D3 may potentiate the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on intestinal Ca transport. PMID:3077267

  4. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands. PMID:25871977

  5. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  6. Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length.

    PubMed

    Anderson, B; Pauw, A; Cole, W W; Barrett, S C H

    2016-08-01

    Mating patterns and natural selection play important roles in determining whether genetic polymorphisms are maintained or lost. Here, we document an atypical population of Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) with a bimodal distribution of floral-tube length and investigate the reproductive mechanisms associated with this pattern of variation. Flowers were visited exclusively by the long-proboscid fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris (Nemestrinidae), which exhibited a unimodal distribution of proboscis length and displayed a preference for long-tubed phenotypes. Despite being visited by a single pollinator species, allozyme markers revealed significant genetic differentiation between open-pollinated progeny of long- and short-tubed phenotypes suggesting mating barriers between them. We obtained direct evidence for mating barriers between the floral-tube phenotypes through observations of pollinator foraging, controlled hand pollinations and measurements of pollen competition and seed set. Intermediate tube-length phenotypes produced fewer seeds in the field than either long- or short-tubed phenotypes. Although floral-tube length bimodality may not be a stable state over long timescales, reproductive barriers to mating and low 'hybrid' fitness have the potential to contribute to the maintenance of this state in the short term. PMID:27206242

  7. Relative Fitness of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Seven Host Plants: A Perspective for IPM in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Reigada, C.; Guimarães, K. F.; Parra, J. R. P.

    2016-01-01

    The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a widespread pest of many cultivated and wild plants in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In 2013, this species was reported in Brazil, attacking various host crops in the midwestern and northeastern regions of the country and is now found countrywide. Aiming to understand the effects of different host plants on the life cycle of H. armigera, we selected seven species of host plants that mature in different seasons and are commonly grown in these regions: cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, “FM993”), corn (Zea mays, “2B587”), soybean (Glycine max, “99R01”), rattlepods (Crotalaria spectabilis), millet (Pennisetum glaucum, “ADR300”), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, “AGROMEN70G35”), and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, “SEMPRE VERDE”). The development time of immatures, body weight, survivorship, and fecundity of H. armigera were evaluated on each host plant under laboratory conditions. The bollworms did not survive on corn, millet, or sorghum and showed very low survival rates on rattlepods. Survival rates were highest on soybean, followed by cotton and cowpea. The values for relative fitness found on soybean, cotton, cowpea, and rattlepods were 1, 0.5, 0.43, and 0.03, respectively. Survivorship, faster development time, and fecundity on soybean, cotton, and cowpea were positively correlated. Larger pupae and greater fecundity were found on soybean and cotton. The results indicated that soybean, cotton, and cowpea are the most suitable plants to support the reproduction of H. armigera in the field. PMID:26798139

  8. A Fungal Endosymbiont Affects Host Plant Recruitment Through Seed- and Litter-mediated Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Many grass species are associated with maternally transmitted fungal endophytes. Increasing evidence shows that endophytes enhance host plant success under varied conditions, yet studies have rarely considered alternative mechanisms whereby these mutualistic symbionts may affect regeneration from...

  9. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  10. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. PMID:26147312

  11. The use of agrobiodiversity for plant improvement and the intellectual property paradigm: institutional fit and legal tools for mass selection, conventional and molecular plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Focused on the impact of stringent intellectual property mechanisms over the uses of plant agricultural biodiversity in crop improvement, the article delves into a systematic analysis of the relationship between institutional paradigms and their technological contexts of application, identified as mass selection, controlled hybridisation, molecular breeding tools and transgenics. While the strong property paradigm has proven effective in the context of major leaps forward in genetic engineering, it faces a systematic breakdown when extended to mass selection, where innovation often displays a collective nature. However, it also creates partial blockages in those innovation schemes rested between on-farm observation and genetic modification, i.e. conventional plant breeding and upstream molecular biology research tools. Neither overly strong intellectual property rights, nor the absence of well delineated protection have proven an optimal fit for these two intermediary socio-technological systems of cumulative incremental innovation. To address these challenges, the authors look at appropriate institutional alternatives which can create effective incentives for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the equitable distribution of technologies in plant improvement, using the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement, the liability rules set forth in patents or plant variety rights themselves (in the form of farmers', breeders' and research exceptions), and other ad hoc reward regimes. PMID:26085450

  12. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  13. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  14. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  15. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  16. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  17. Nitrogen and water affect direct and indirect plant systemic induced defense in cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested the affects of nitrogen levels and water availability on the ability of cotton plants to deter feeding by Spodoptera exigua larvae through induction of anti-feedant chemicals by the cotton plant, and to attract the biological control agent, Micropitis crociepes through induction of chemica...

  18. Within-Host Niche Differences and Fitness Trade-offs Promote Coexistence of Plant Viruses.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A; Gross, Kevin; Mitchell, Charles E

    2016-01-01

    Pathogens live in diverse, competitive communities, yet the processes that maintain pathogen diversity remain elusive. Here, we use a species-rich, well-studied plant virus system, the barley yellow dwarf viruses, to examine the mechanisms that regulate pathogen diversity. We empirically parameterized models of three viruses, their two aphid vectors, and one perennial grass host. We found that high densities of both aphids maximized virus diversity and that competition limited the coexistence of two closely related viruses. Even limited ability to simultaneously infect (coinfect) host individuals strongly promoted virus coexistence; preventing coinfection led to priority effects. Coinfection generated stabilizing niche differences by allowing viruses to share hosts. However, coexistence also required trade-offs between vector generalist and specialist life-history strategies. Our predicted outcomes broadly concur with previous field observations. These results show how competition within individual hosts and vectors may lead to unexpected population-level outcomes between pathogens, including coexistence, competitive exclusion, and priority effects, and how contemporary coexistence theory can help to predict these outcomes. PMID:27277413

  19. Male Age Affects Female Mate Preference, Quantity of Accessory Gland Proteins, and Sperm Traits and Female Fitness in D. melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Abolhasan; Krishna, Mysore Siddaiah; Santhosh, Hassan T

    2015-01-01

    For species in which mating is resource-independent and offspring do not receive parental care, theoretical models of age-based female mate preference predict that females should prefer to mate with older males as they have demonstrated ability to survive. Thus, females should obtain a fitness benefit from mating with older males. However, male aging is often associated with reductions in quantity of sperm. The adaptive significance of age-based mate choice is therefore unclear. Various hypotheses have made conflicting predictions concerning this issue, because published studies have not investigated the effect of age on accessory gland proteins and sperm traits. D. melanogaster exhibits resource-independent mating, and offspring do not receive parental care, making this an appropriate model for studying age-based mate choice. In the present study, we found that D. melanogaster females of all ages preferred to mate with the younger of two competing males. Young males performed significantly greater courtship attempts and females showed least rejection for the same than middle-aged and old males. Young males had small accessory glands that contained very few main cells that were larger than average. Nevertheless, compared with middle-aged or old males, the young males transferred greater quantities of accessory gland proteins and sperm to mated females. As a result, females that mated with young male produced more eggs and progeny than those that mated with older males. Furthermore, mating with young male reduced female's lifespan. These studies indicate that quantity of accessory gland proteins and sperm traits decreased with male age and females obtain direct fitness benefit from mating with preferred young males. PMID:25660692

  20. Drought stress affects plant metabolites and herbivore preference but not host location by its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Weldegergis, Berhane T; Zhu, Feng; Poelman, Erik H; Dicke, Marcel

    2015-03-01

    One of the main abiotic stresses that strongly affects plant survival and the primary cause of crop loss around the world is drought. Drought stress leads to sequential morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that can have severe effects on plant growth, development and productivity. As a consequence of these changes, the interaction between plants and insects can be altered. Using cultivated Brassica oleracea plants, the parasitoid Microplitis mediator and its herbivorous host Mamestra brassicae, we studied the effect of drought stress on (1) the emission of plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs), (2) plant hormone titres, (3) preference and performance of the herbivore, and (4) preference of the parasitoid. Higher levels of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid (ABA) were recorded in response to herbivory, but no significant differences were observed for salicylic acid (SA) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Drought significantly impacted SA level and showed a significant interactive effect with herbivory for IAA levels. A total of 55 VOCs were recorded and the difference among the treatments was influenced largely by herbivory, where the emission rate of fatty acid-derived volatiles, nitriles and (E)-4,8-dimethylnona-1,3,7-triene [(E)-DMNT] was enhanced. Mamestra brassicae moths preferred to lay eggs on drought-stressed over control plants; their offspring performed similarly on plants of both treatments. VOCs due to drought did not affect the choice of M. mediator parasitoids. Overall, our study reveals an influence of drought on plant chemistry and insect-plant interactions. PMID:25370387

  1. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flowering. The relative strength of these controls is unknown for ...

  2. Limits to Future Adaptation in the Invasive Plant Polygonum cespitosum: Expression of Functional and Fitness Traits at Elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Horgan-Kobelski, Tim; Matesanz, Silvia; Sultan, Sonia E

    2016-01-01

    For organisms to adapt to future environments, they must both evolve appropriate functional responses and phenotypically express those responses under future climatic and CO2 conditions. We examined these 2 components of future adaptation in an invasive annual plant (Polygonum cespitosum) by performing a "resurrection" experiment under field conditions simulating a future environment. Resurrection experiments reveal recent evolution by comparing genotypes from natural populations sampled across a multigeneration interval. We collected genotypes from the same 3 North American populations in 1994 and 2005 and raised inbred lines from these collections under free air CO2 enrichment to examine functional and fitness traits expressed in hot, dry conditions at both ambient and elevated CO2 (N = 295 plants). The species has rapidly evolved in its introduced range to increase photosynthetic rate (collection year effect P ≤ 0.011) and delay senescence (P = 0.017) under full-sun, dry field conditions, but these adaptive changes were not expressed when the field environment included elevated CO2 (within-treatment year effect P ≥ 0.20 for both traits). Populations showed different levels of reproductive output and its genetic variance in these novel, stressful conditions. These findings illustrate constraints on evolutionary adaptation to predicted future conditions at both the species and population levels. PMID:26324698

  3. The possibility of fitting a pumped storage plant within the complex water development on upper Barzava, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constantin, A. T.; David, I.; Chebutiu, A.; Nicoară, Ş. V.; Vişescu, M.

    2010-08-01

    The paper aims to explore the possibility of developing a Pumped Storage Hydropower Plant (PSHPP) within an existing complex hydro system on upper Barzava, by employing the given hydro potential of the accomplished water development. The present study analyses the hydropower parameters of a proposed Gozna-Semenic PSHPP, the power station looking to employ the existing Gozna water reservoir of a functional volume Vf = 10.0 mill.c.m. The plant assumes also to accomplish some new works: an upper reservoir - Semenic, the headrace, the press water conduits, the tailrace etc. The specific elements of the proposed solution are fitted in the general scheme of the complex water development, in special relation to Gozna reservoir for which the water level variation is analyzed with respect to PSHPP running in closed circuit with a reversibility coefficient aof 0.7. The study looks also to form a technical base for the special operations at local level, specifically to the upper Barzava region, with a special interest in improving the integrate water employment in hydropower as an objective of the national and European general strategy and directives for the following decades.

  4. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-01-01

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats. PMID:25763628

  5. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change. PMID:23640751

  6. Equestrian expertise affecting physical fitness, body compositions, lactate, heart rate and calorie consumption of elite horse riding players.

    PubMed

    Sung, Bong-Ju; Jeon, Sang-Yong; Lim, Sung-Ro; Lee, Kyu-Eon; Jee, Hyunseok

    2015-06-01

    Horse riding (HR) is a sport harmonized with rider and horse. HR is renowned as an effective sport for young and old women and men. There is rare study regarding comparison between elite horse riders and amateurs. We aimed to investigate comprehensive ranges of parameters such as change of lactate, heart rate, calorie, VO2max, skeletal muscle mass, body water, body fat, etc between amateurs and professionals to emphasize HR not only as a sport training but also as a therapeutic aspect. We performed 3 experiments for comparing physical fitness, body compositions, lactate value, heart rate and calorie consumption change before and after riding between amateurs and elites. Around 3 yr riding experienced elites are preeminent at balance capability compared to 1 yr riding experienced amateurs. During 18 min horse riding, skeletal muscle mass and body fat were interestingly increased and decreased, respectively. Lactate response was more sensitive in elites rather than amateurs and its recovery was reversely reacted. Exercise intensity estimated from heart rate was significantly higher in elites (P<0.05). The similar pattern of calorie consumption during riding between amateurs and elites was shown. Horse riding possibly induces various physiological (muscle strength, balance, oxidative capability, flexibility, and metabolic control) changes within body and is thus highly recommended as combined exercise for women, children, and aged as therapeutic and leisure sport activity. PMID:26171385

  7. Equestrian expertise affecting physical fitness, body compositions, lactate, heart rate and calorie consumption of elite horse riding players

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Bong-Ju; Jeon, Sang-Yong; Lim, Sung-Ro; Lee, Kyu-Eon; Jee, Hyunseok

    2015-01-01

    Horse riding (HR) is a sport harmonized with rider and horse. HR is renowned as an effective sport for young and old women and men. There is rare study regarding comparison between elite horse riders and amateurs. We aimed to investigate comprehensive ranges of parameters such as change of lactate, heart rate, calorie, VO2max, skeletal muscle mass, body water, body fat, etc between amateurs and professionals to emphasize HR not only as a sport training but also as a therapeutic aspect. We performed 3 experiments for comparing physical fitness, body compositions, lactate value, heart rate and calorie consumption change before and after riding between amateurs and elites. Around 3 yr riding experienced elites are preeminent at balance capability compared to 1 yr riding experienced amateurs. During 18 min horse riding, skeletal muscle mass and body fat were interestingly increased and decreased, respectively. Lactate response was more sensitive in elites rather than amateurs and its recovery was reversely reacted. Exercise intensity estimated from heart rate was significantly higher in elites (P<0.05). The similar pattern of calorie consumption during riding between amateurs and elites was shown. Horse riding possibly induces various physiological (muscle strength, balance, oxidative capability, flexibility, and metabolic control) changes within body and is thus highly recommended as combined exercise for women, children, and aged as therapeutic and leisure sport activity. PMID:26171385

  8. Negative effects of fluoranthene on the ecophysiology of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) Fluoranthene mists negatively affected tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Oguntimehin, Ilemobayo; Eissa, Fawzy; Sakugawa, Hiroshi

    2010-02-01

    Cherry tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) were sprayed with fluoranthene and mixture of fluoranthene and mannitol solutions for 30d. The exposure was carried out in growth chambers in field conditions, and the air was filtered through charcoal filters to remove atmospheric contaminants. Plants were sprayed with 10microM fluoranthene as mist until they reached the fruiting stage, and the eco-physiological parameters were measured to determine the effects of the treatments. We measured CO(2) uptake and water vapour exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf pigment contents, visual symptoms and biomass allocation. Fluoranthene which was deposited as mist onto leaves negatively affected both growth and the quality of tomato plants, while other treatments did not. The photosynthetic rate measured at saturated irradiance was approximately 37% lower in fluoranthene-treated plants compared with the control group. Other variables, such as stomata conductance, the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the dark, Chl a, Chl b, and the total chlorophyll contents of the tomato leaves were significantly reduced in the fluoranthene-treated plants. Tomato plants treated with fluoranthene showed severe visible injury symptoms on the foliage during the exposure period. Mannitol (a reactive oxygen scavenger) mitigated effects of fluoranthene; thus, reactive oxygen species generated through fluoranthene may be responsible for the damaged tomato plants. It is possible for fluoranthene to decrease the aesthetic and hence the economic value of this valuable crop plant. PMID:20006894

  9. Flavonoid accumulation in Arabidopsis repressed in lignin synthesis affects auxin transport and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Besseau, Sébastien; Hoffmann, Laurent; Geoffroy, Pierrette; Lapierre, Catherine; Pollet, Brigitte; Legrand, Michel

    2007-01-01

    In Arabidopsis thaliana, silencing of hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT), a lignin biosynthetic gene, results in a strong reduction of plant growth. We show that, in HCT-silenced plants, lignin synthesis repression leads to the redirection of the metabolic flux into flavonoids through chalcone synthase activity. Several flavonol glycosides and acylated anthocyanin were shown to accumulate in higher amounts in silenced plants. By contrast, sinapoylmalate levels were barely affected, suggesting that the synthesis of that phenylpropanoid compound might be HCT-independent. The growth phenotype of HCT-silenced plants was shown to be controlled by light and to depend on chalcone synthase expression. Histochemical analysis of silenced stem tissues demonstrated altered tracheary elements. The level of plant growth reduction of HCT-deficient plants was correlated with the inhibition of auxin transport. Suppression of flavonoid accumulation by chalcone synthase repression in HCT-deficient plants restored normal auxin transport and wild-type plant growth. By contrast, the lignin structure of the plants simultaneously repressed for HCT and chalcone synthase remained as severely altered as in HCT-silenced plants, with a large predominance of nonmethoxylated H units. These data demonstrate that the reduced size phenotype of HCT-silenced plants is not due to the alteration of lignin synthesis but to flavonoid accumulation. PMID:17237352

  10. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  11. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  12. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles-especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  13. Deviation from niche optima affects the nature of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Cheng, Lulu; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species. PMID:26740568

  14. Source population characteristics affect heterosis following genetic rescue of fragmented plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Pickup, M.; Field, D. L.; Rowell, D. M.; Young, A. G.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relative importance of heterosis and outbreeding depression over multiple generations is a key question in evolutionary biology and is essential for identifying appropriate genetic sources for population and ecosystem restoration. Here we use 2455 experimental crosses between 12 population pairs of the rare perennial plant Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) to investigate the multi-generational (F1, F2, F3) fitness outcomes of inter-population hybridization. We detected no evidence of outbreeding depression, with inter-population hybrids and backcrosses showing either similar fitness or significant heterosis for fitness components across the three generations. Variation in heterosis among population pairs was best explained by characteristics of the foreign source or home population, and was greatest when the source population was large, with high genetic diversity and low inbreeding, and the home population was small and inbred. Our results indicate that the primary consideration for maximizing progeny fitness following population augmentation or restoration is the use of seed from large, genetically diverse populations. PMID:23173202

  15. Genetic fitness and selection intensity in a population affected with high-incidence spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.

    PubMed

    Platonov, Fedor A; Tyryshkin, Kathrin; Tikhonov, Dmitriy G; Neustroyeva, Tatyana S; Sivtseva, Tatyana M; Yakovleva, Natalya V; Nikolaev, Valerian P; Sidorova, Oksana G; Kononova, Sardana K; Goldfarb, Lev G; Renwick, Neil M

    2016-07-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is the major and likely the only type of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia in the Sakha (Yakut) people of Eastern Siberia. The prevalence rate of SCA1 has doubled over the past 21 years peaking at 46 cases per 100,000 rural population. The age at death correlates closely with the number of CAG triplet repeats in the mutant ATXN1 gene (r = -0.81); most patients with low-medium (39-55) repeat numbers survived until the end of reproductive age. The number of CAG repeats expands in meiosis, particularly in paternal transmissions; the average total increase in intergenerational transmissions in our cohort was estimated at 1.6 CAG repeats. The fertility rates of heterozygous carriers of 39-55 CAG repeats in women were no different from those of the general Sakha population. Overall, the survival of mutation carriers through reproductive age, unaltered fertility rates, low childhood mortality in SCA1-affected families, and intergenerational transmission of increasing numbers of CAG repeats in the ATXN1 gene indicate that SCA1 in the Sakha population will be maintained at high prevalence levels. The low (0.19) Crow's index of total selection intensity in our SCA1 cohort implies that this mutation is unlikely to be eliminated through natural selection alone. PMID:27106293

  16. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  17. Accumulation of heavy metals in sunflower and sorghum plants affected by the Guadiamar spill.

    PubMed

    Murillo, J M; Marañón, T; Cabrera, F; López, R

    1999-12-01

    The collapse of a pyrite-mining, tailing dam on 25 April 1998 contaminated approximately 2000 ha of croplands along the Agrio and Guadiamar river valleys in southern Spain. This paper reports the accumulation of chemical elements in soil and in two crops--sunflower and sorghum--affected by the spill. Total concentrations of As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Sb, Tl and Zn in spill-affected soils were greater than in adjacent, unaffected soils. Leaves of spill-affected crop plants had higher nutrient (K, Ca and Mg for sunflower and N and K for sorghum) concentrations than controls, indicating a 'fertilising' effect caused by the sludge. Seeds of spill-affected sunflower plants did accumulate more As, Cd, Cu and Zn than controls, but values were below toxic levels. Leaves of sorghum plants accumulated more As, Bi, Cd, Mn, Pb, Tl and Zn than controls, but these values were also below toxic levels for livestock consumption. In general, none of the heavy metals studied in both crops reached either phytotoxic or toxic levels for humans or livestock. Nevertheless, a continuous monitoring of heavy metal accumulation in soil and plants must be established in the spill-affected area. PMID:10635586

  18. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools. PMID:25645061

  19. Ontogenetic shifts in plant interactions vary with environmental severity and affect population structure.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Peter C; Shaw, Justine D; Chown, Steven L

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions and plant size may both alter the outcome of inter-specific plant-plant interactions, with seedlings generally facilitated more strongly than larger individuals in stressful habitats. However, the combined impact of plant size and environmental severity on interactions is poorly understood. Here, we tested explicitly for the first time the hypothesis that ontogenetic shifts in interactions are delayed under increasingly severe conditions by examining the interaction between a grass, Agrostis magellanica, and a cushion plant, Azorella selago, along two severity gradients. The impact of A. selago on A. magellanica abundance, but not reproductive effort, was related to A. magellanica size, with a trend for delayed shifts towards more negative interactions under greater environmental severity. Intermediate-sized individuals were most strongly facilitated, leading to differences in the size-class distribution of A. magellanica on the soil and on A. selago. The A. magellanica size-class distribution was more strongly affected by A. selago than by environmental severity, demonstrating that the plant-plant interaction impacts A. magellanica population structure more strongly than habitat conditions. As ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions cannot be assumed to be constant across severity gradients and may impact species population structure, studies examining the outcome of interactions need to consider the potential for size- or age-related variation in competition and facilitation. PMID:23738758

  20. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M.; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  1. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  2. Revising traditional theory on the link between plant body size and fitness under competition: evidence from old-field vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Tracey, Amanda J; Aarssen, Lonnie W

    2014-01-01

    The selection consequences of competition in plants have been traditionally interpreted based on a “size-advantage” hypothesis – that is, under intense crowding/competition from neighbors, natural selection generally favors capacity for a relatively large plant body size. However, this conflicts with abundant data, showing that resident species body size distributions are usually strongly right-skewed at virtually all scales within vegetation. Using surveys within sample plots and a neighbor-removal experiment, we tested: (1) whether resident species that have a larger maximum potential body size (MAX) generally have more successful local individual recruitment, and thus greater local abundance/density (as predicted by the traditional size-advantage hypothesis); and (2) whether there is a general between-species trade-off relationship between MAX and capacity to produce offspring when body size is severely suppressed by crowding/competition – that is, whether resident species with a larger MAX generally also need to reach a larger minimum reproductive threshold size (MIN) before they can reproduce at all. The results showed that MIN had a positive relationship with MAX across resident species, and local density – as well as local density of just reproductive individuals – was generally greater for species with smaller MIN (and hence smaller MAX). In addition, the cleared neighborhoods of larger target species (which had relatively large MIN) generally had – in the following growing season – a lower ratio of conspecific recruitment within these neighborhoods relative to recruitment of other (i.e., smaller) species (which had generally smaller MIN). These data are consistent with an alternative hypothesis based on a ‘reproductive-economy-advantage’ – that is, superior fitness under competition in plants generally requires not larger potential body size, but rather superior capacity to recruit offspring that are in turn capable of producing grand

  3. Revising traditional theory on the link between plant body size and fitness under competition: evidence from old-field vegetation.

    PubMed

    Tracey, Amanda J; Aarssen, Lonnie W

    2014-04-01

    The selection consequences of competition in plants have been traditionally interpreted based on a "size-advantage" hypothesis - that is, under intense crowding/competition from neighbors, natural selection generally favors capacity for a relatively large plant body size. However, this conflicts with abundant data, showing that resident species body size distributions are usually strongly right-skewed at virtually all scales within vegetation. Using surveys within sample plots and a neighbor-removal experiment, we tested: (1) whether resident species that have a larger maximum potential body size (MAX) generally have more successful local individual recruitment, and thus greater local abundance/density (as predicted by the traditional size-advantage hypothesis); and (2) whether there is a general between-species trade-off relationship between MAX and capacity to produce offspring when body size is severely suppressed by crowding/competition - that is, whether resident species with a larger MAX generally also need to reach a larger minimum reproductive threshold size (MIN) before they can reproduce at all. The results showed that MIN had a positive relationship with MAX across resident species, and local density - as well as local density of just reproductive individuals - was generally greater for species with smaller MIN (and hence smaller MAX). In addition, the cleared neighborhoods of larger target species (which had relatively large MIN) generally had - in the following growing season - a lower ratio of conspecific recruitment within these neighborhoods relative to recruitment of other (i.e., smaller) species (which had generally smaller MIN). These data are consistent with an alternative hypothesis based on a 'reproductive-economy-advantage' - that is, superior fitness under competition in plants generally requires not larger potential body size, but rather superior capacity to recruit offspring that are in turn capable of producing grand-offspring - and hence

  4. Salinity and Alkaline pH in Irrigation Water Affect Marigold Plants: II. Mineral Ion Relations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scarcity of water of good quality for landscape irrigation is of outmost importance in arid and semiarid regions due to the competition with urban population. This is forcing the use of degraded waters with high levels of salinity and high pH, which may affect plant establishment and growth. The o...

  5. Poisonous plants affecting the central nervous system of horses in Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poisoning by Indigofera pascuori was recently reported in horses in the state of Roraima. It causes chronic signs of sleepiness, unsteady gait, severe ataxia, and progressive weight loss. Some animals are blind. Young horses are more affected than adults. After the end of plant consumption the anima...

  6. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  7. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  8. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth.

    PubMed

    Abreha, Kibrom B; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant's response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore's host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26053171

  9. Protocol for Fit Bodies, Fine Minds: a randomized controlled trial on the affect of exercise and cognitive training on cognitive functioning in older adults

    PubMed Central

    O'Dwyer, Siobhan T; Burton, Nicola W; Pachana, Nancy A; Brown, Wendy J

    2007-01-01

    Background Declines in cognitive functioning are a normal part of aging that can affect daily functioning and quality of life. This study will examine the impact of an exercise training program, and a combined exercise and cognitive training program, on the cognitive and physical functioning of older adults. Methods/Design Fit Bodies, Fine Minds is a randomized, controlled trial. Community-dwelling adults, aged between 65 and 75 years, are randomly allocated to one of three groups for 16 weeks. The exercise-only group do three 60-minute exercise sessions per week. The exercise and cognitive training group do two 60-minute exercise sessions and one 60-minute cognitive training session per week. A no-training control group is contacted every 4 weeks. Measures of cognitive functioning, physical fitness and psychological well-being are taken at baseline (0 weeks), post-test (16 weeks) and 6-month follop (40 weeks). Qualitative responses to the program are taken at post-test. Discussion With an increasingly aged population, interventions to improve the functioning and quality of life of older adults are particularly important. Exercise training, either alone or in combination with cognitive training, may be an effective means of optimizing cognitive functioning in older adults. This study will add to the growing evidence base on the effectiveness of these interventions. Trial Registration Australian Clinical Trials Register: ACTRN012607000151437 PMID:17915035

  10. How Do Earthworms, Soil Texture and Plant Composition Affect Infiltration along an Experimental Plant Diversity Gradient in Grassland?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Background Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications. PMID:24918943

  11. Physical Fitness and Counseling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helmkamp, Jill M.

    Human beings are a delicate balance of mind, body, and spirit, so an imbalance in one domain affects all others. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects that physical fitness may have on such human characteristics as personality and behavior. A review of the literature reveals that physical fitness is related to, and can affect,…

  12. Effect of DNA Gyrase Inhibitors in the NI Diet on Biological Fitness of the Western Tarnished Plant Bug (Heteroptera: Miridae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Addition of three DNA-gyrase inhibitors (i.e., novobiocin, nalidixic acid and oxolinic acid) individually to the NI diet was investigated to assess their effect on the biological fitness of Lygus hesperus Knight (Heteroptera: Miridae). Biological fitness of the insects was measured by the number, b...

  13. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals. PMID:26079739

  14. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

  15. Increased seed consumption by biological control weevil tempers positive CO2 effect on invasive plant (Centaurea diffusa) fitness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predicted increases in atmospheric CO2 and temperature may benefit some invasive plants, increasing the need for effective invasive plant management. Biological control can be an effective means of managing invasive plants, but the varied responses of plant-insect interactions to climate change make...

  16. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  17. Plant-bacteria bioremediation agents affect the response of plant bioindicators independent of 2-chlorobenzoic acid degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Germida, J.J.

    1995-12-31

    Plants are known to degrade toxicants in soil and are potentially useful bioremediation agents. The authors developed plant-bacteria associations (e.g., Meadow brome [Bromus riparius] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain R75) that degrade 2-chlorobenzoic acid (2CBA) in soil, and assessed their success using Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) germination as a bioindicator of 2CBA levels. Gas chromatography was used to chemically assess 2CBA levels. Specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments decreased soil 2CBA levels by 17 to 52%, but bioindicator response did not correspond to chemical analysis. Contaminated and uncontaminated soil was subjected to bioremediation treatments. After 42 days, uncontaminated soil was collected and amended to various 2CBA levels. This soil and the remediated soil were analyzed by the plant bioindicator and gas chromatography. Bioremediation treatments altered germination of Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass at low 2CBA levels, but increased the toxicity of 2CBA at high 2CBA levels. For example, germination in soil subjected to the Meadow brome and R75 treatment was increased by ca. 30% at 50 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA, but decreased by ca. 50% at 150 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA. The results indicate that specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments affect plant bioindicator response independent of 2CBA degradation, and may confound efforts to determine the toxicity of 2CBA in soil.

  18. Dioecy, more than monoecy, affects plant spatial genetic structure: the case study of Ficus

    PubMed Central

    Nazareno, Alison G; Alzate-Marin, Ana L; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    In this analysis, we attempt to understand how monoecy and dioecy drive spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plant populations. For this purpose, plants of the genus Ficus were used as a comparative model due to their particular characteristics, including high species diversity, variation in life histories, and sexual systems. One of the main issues we assessed is whether dioecious fig tree populations are more spatially genetically structured than monoecious populations. Using the Sp statistic, which allows for quantitative comparisons among different studies, we compared the extent of SGS between monoecious and dioecious Ficus species. To broaden our conclusions we used published data on an additional 27 monoecious and dioecious plant species. Furthermore, genetic diversity analyses were performed for two monoecious Ficus species using 12 microsatellite markers in order to strengthen our conclusions about SGS. Our results show that dioecy, more than monoecy, significantly contributes to SGS in plant populations. On average, the estimate of Sp was six times higher for dioecious Ficus species than monoecious Ficus species and it was two times higher in dioecious than monoecious plant species. Considering these results, we emphasize that the long-distance pollen dispersal mechanism in monoecious Ficus species seems to be the dominant factor in determining weak spatial genetic structure, high levels of genetic diversity, and lack of inbreeding. Although Ficus constitute a model species to study SGS, a more general comparison encompassing a wider range of plants is required in order to better understand how sexual systems affect genetic structure. PMID:24223285

  19. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    PubMed

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. PMID:24117700

  20. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P.; Floate, K.D.; Dungey, H.S. |; Potts, B.M.

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  1. Feeding Experience of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Affects Their Performance on Different Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    Shah, M. Mostafizur Rahman; Liu, Tong-Xian

    2013-01-01

    The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B is extremely polyphagous with >600 species of host plants. We hypothesized that previous experience of the whitefly on a given host plant affects their host selection and performance on the plants without previous experience. We investigated the host selection for feeding and oviposition of adults and development and survival of immatures of three host-plant-experienced populations of B. tabaci, namely Bemisia-eggplant, Bemisia-tomato and Bemisia-cucumber, on their experienced host plant and each of the three other plant species (eggplant, tomato, cucumber and pepper) without previous experience. We found that the influence of previous experience of the whiteflies varied among the populations. All populations refused pepper for feeding and oviposition, whereas the Bemisia-cucumber and the Bemisia-eggplant strongly preferred cucumber. Bemisia-tomato did not show strong preference to any of the three host palnts. Development time from egg to adult eclosion varied among the populations, being shortest on eggplant, longest on pepper, and intermediate on tomato and cucumber except for the Bemisia-cucumber developed similarly on tomato and pepper. The survivorship from egg to adult eclosion of all populations was highest on eggplant (80-98%), lowest on pepper (0-20%), and intermediate on tomato and cucumber. In conclusion, the effects of previous experience of whiteflies on host selection for feeding and oviposition, development, and survivorship varied depending on host plants, and host plants play a stronger role than previous experience. Preference of feeding and oviposition by adults may not accurately reflect host suitability of immatures. These results provided important information for understanding whitefly population dynamics and dispersal among different crop systems. PMID:24146985

  2. Factors Affecting the Distribution Pattern of Wild Plants with Extremely Small Populations in Hainan Island, China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yukai; Yang, Xiaobo; Yang, Qi; Li, Donghai; Long, Wenxing; Luo, Wenqi

    2014-01-01

    Understanding which factors affect the distribution pattern of extremely small populations is essential to the protection and propagation of rare and endangered plant species. In this study, we established 108 plots covering the entire Hainan Island, and measured the appearance frequency and species richness of plant species with extremely small populations, as well as the ecological environments and human disturbances during 2012–2013. We explored how the ecological environments and human activities affected the distribution pattern of these extremely small populations. Results showed that the extremely small populations underwent human disturbances and threats, and they were often found in fragmental habitats. The leading factors changing the appearance frequency of extremely small populations differed among plant species, and the direct factors making them susceptible to extinction were human disturbances. The peak richness of extremely small populations always occurred at the medium level across environmental gradients, and their species richness always decreased with increasing human disturbances. However, the appearance frequencies of three orchid species increased with the increasing human disturbances. Our study thus indicate that knowledge on how the external factors, such as the ecological environment, land use type, roads, human activity, etc., affect the distribution of the extremely small populations should be taken for the better protecting them in the future. PMID:24830683

  3. Factors affecting the distribution pattern of wild plants with extremely small populations in Hainan Island, China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yukai; Yang, Xiaobo; Yang, Qi; Li, Donghai; Long, Wenxing; Luo, Wenqi

    2014-01-01

    Understanding which factors affect the distribution pattern of extremely small populations is essential to the protection and propagation of rare and endangered plant species. In this study, we established 108 plots covering the entire Hainan Island, and measured the appearance frequency and species richness of plant species with extremely small populations, as well as the ecological environments and human disturbances during 2012-2013. We explored how the ecological environments and human activities affected the distribution pattern of these extremely small populations. Results showed that the extremely small populations underwent human disturbances and threats, and they were often found in fragmental habitats. The leading factors changing the appearance frequency of extremely small populations differed among plant species, and the direct factors making them susceptible to extinction were human disturbances. The peak richness of extremely small populations always occurred at the medium level across environmental gradients, and their species richness always decreased with increasing human disturbances. However, the appearance frequencies of three orchid species increased with the increasing human disturbances. Our study thus indicate that knowledge on how the external factors, such as the ecological environment, land use type, roads, human activity, etc., affect the distribution of the extremely small populations should be taken for the better protecting them in the future. PMID:24830683

  4. Modulation of Ethylene Responses Affects Plant Salt-Stress Responses1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Wan-Hong; Liu, Jun; He, Xin-Jian; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhou, Hua-Lin; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2007-01-01

    Ethylene signaling plays important roles in multiple aspects of plant growth and development. Its functions in abiotic stress responses remain largely unknown. Here, we report that alteration of ethylene signaling affected plant salt-stress responses. A type II ethylene receptor homolog gene NTHK1 (Nicotiana tabacum histidine kinase 1) from tobacco (N. tabacum) conferred salt sensitivity in NTHK1-transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants as judged from the phenotypic change, the relative electrolyte leakage, and the relative root growth under salt stress. Ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid suppressed the salt-sensitive phenotype. Analysis of Arabidopsis ethylene receptor gain-of-function mutants further suggests that receptor function may lead to salt-sensitive responses. Mutation of EIN2, a central component in ethylene signaling, also results in salt sensitivity, suggesting that EIN2-mediated signaling is beneficial for plant salt tolerance. Overexpression of the NTHK1 gene or the receptor gain-of-function activated expression of salt-responsive genes AtERF4 and Cor6.6. In addition, the transgene NTHK1 mRNA was accumulated under salt stress, suggesting a posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism. These findings imply that ethylene signaling may be required for plant salt tolerance. PMID:17189334

  5. Can corn plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi affect soil clay assemblage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamo, P.; Cozzolino, V.; Di Meo, V.; Velde, B.

    2012-04-01

    Plants can extract K from exchangeable and non-exchangeable sites in the soil clay mineral structures. The latter, known as fixed K, is usually seen as an illite layer, i.e. an anhydrous K layer that forms a 1.0 nm structural layer unit as seen by X-ray diffraction. Nutrient availability can be enhanced in the root zone by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi. In this study, the effects of non-inoculated and Glomus intraradices inoculated corn plant growth under different experimental conditions on soil K-bearing clay minerals were identified. The soil, a Vertic Xerofluvent, was planted in corn in a 2008-2010 randomized field experiment. Bulk and rhizosphere soil sampling was carried out from May to September 2010 from fertilized plots (N200P90K160 and N200P0K160) with and without plants. According to XRD analysis, three major K-bearing minerals were present in soil: smectite-rich mixed layer mineral, illite-rich mixed layer mineral and illite. Results at 40DAS indicate extraction of K from clay minerals by plant uptake, whereas at 130DAS much of the nutrient seems to be returned to the soil. There is an apparent difference between bulk and rhizophere clays. The XRD patterns are not unequivocally affected by Glomus inoculation. There are observable changes in clay mineralogy in fallow unfertilized compared with fertilized soil. In the studied soil, the illite rich mixed-layer minerals seem to be the source of K absorbed by plants, while illite acts as sink of K released from the plant-microorganisms system at the end of the growing season and as source for the following crop.

  6. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE WITHIN-PLANT SPREAD OF BROAD MITES ON AZALEA.

    PubMed

    Mechant, E; Pauwels, E; Gobin, B

    2014-01-01

    The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) is considered a major pest in potted azalea, Flanders' flagship ornamental crop of Rhododendron simsii hybrids. In addition to severe economic damage, the broad mite is dreaded for its increasing resistance to acaricides. Due to restrictions in the use of broad spectrum acaricides, Belgian azalea growers are left with only three compounds, belonging to two mode of action groups and restricted in their number of applications, for broad mite control: abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin. Although P. latus can be controlled with predatory mites, the high cost of this system makes it (not yet) feasible for integration into standard azalea pest management systems. Hence, a maximum efficacy of treatments with available compounds is essential. Because abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin are contact acaricides with limited trans laminar flow, only broad mites located on shoot tips of azalea plants will be controlled after spraying. Consequently, the efficacy of chemical treatments is influenced by the location and spread of P. latus on the plant. Unfortunately, little is known on broad mites' within-plant spread or how it is affected by climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity. Therefore, experiments were set up to verify whether climate conditions have an effect on the location and migration of broad mites on azalea. Broad mite infected azalea plants were placed in standard growth chambers under different temperature (T:2.5-25°C) and relative humidity (RH:55-80%) treatments. Within-plant spread was determined by counting mites on the shoot tips and inner leaves of azalea plants. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity have no significant effect on the within-plant spread of P. latus. To formulate recommendations for optimal spray conditions to maximize the efficacy of broad mite control with acaricides, further experiments on the effect of light intensity and rain are scheduled. PMID

  7. How plant architecture affects light absorption and photosynthesis in tomato: towards an ideotype for plant architecture using a functional–structural plant model

    PubMed Central

    Sarlikioti, V.; de Visser, P. H. B.; Buck-Sorlin, G. H.; Marcelis, L. F. M.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Manipulation of plant structure can strongly affect light distribution in the canopy and photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to find a plant ideotype for optimization of light absorption and canopy photosynthesis. Using a static functional structural plant model (FSPM), a range of different plant architectural characteristics was tested for two different seasons in order to find the optimal architecture with respect to light absorption and photosynthesis. Methods Simulations were performed with an FSPM of a greenhouse-grown tomato crop. Sensitivity analyses were carried out for leaf elevation angle, leaf phyllotaxis, leaflet angle, leaf shape, leaflet arrangement and internode length. From the results of this analysis two possible ideotypes were proposed. Four different vertical light distributions were also tested, while light absorption cumulated over the whole canopy was kept the same. Key Results Photosynthesis was augmented by 6 % in winter and reduced by 7 % in summer, when light absorption in the top part of the canopy was increased by 25 %, while not changing light absorption of the canopy as a whole. The measured plant structure was already optimal with respect to leaf elevation angle, leaflet angle and leaflet arrangement for both light absorption and photosynthesis while phyllotaxis had no effect. Increasing the length : width ratio of leaves by 1·5 or increasing internode length from 7 cm to 12 cm led to an increase of 6–10 % for light absorption and photosynthesis. Conclusions At high light intensities (summer) deeper penetration of light in the canopy improves crop photosynthesis, but not at low light intensities (winter). In particular, internode length and leaf shape affect the vertical distribution of light in the canopy. A new plant ideotype with more spacious canopy architecture due to long internodes and long and narrow leaves led to an increase in crop photosynthesis of up to 10 %. PMID:21865217

  8. Leaf-cutting ant nests near roads increase fitness of exotic plant species in natural protected areas

    PubMed Central

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that promote the invasion of natural protected areas by exotic plants is a central concern for ecology. We demonstrated that nests of the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex lobicornis, near roadsides promote the abundance, growth and reproduction of two exotic plant species, Carduus nutans and Onopordum acanthium, in a national park in northern Patagonia, Argentina and determine the mechanisms that produce these effects. Refuse dumps (RDs) from ant nests have a higher nutrient content than nearby non-nest soils (NNSs); foliar nutrient content and their 15N isotopic signature strongly suggest that plants reach and use these nutrients. Both species of exotic plants in RDs were 50–600% more abundant; seedlings had 100–1000% more foliar area and root and leaf biomass; and adult plants produced 100–300% more seeds than nearby NNS plants. Plants can thus gain access to and benefit from the nutrient content of ant RD, supporting the hypotheses that enhanced resource availability promotes exotic plant performance that could increase the likelihood of biological invasions. The two exotics produce an estimated of 8 385 000 more seeds ha−1 in areas with ant nests compared with areas without; this exceptional increase in seed production represents a potential threat to nearby non-invaded communities. We propose several management strategies to mitigate this threat. Removal efforts of exotics should be focused on ant RDs, where plants are denser and represent a higher source of propagules. PMID:18364316

  9. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  10. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  11. Colorimetric Method for Identifying Plant Essential Oil Components That Affect Biofilm Formation and Structure

    PubMed Central

    Niu, C.; Gilbert, E. S.

    2004-01-01

    The specific biofilm formation (SBF) assay, a technique based on crystal violet staining, was developed to locate plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation. SBF analysis determined that cinnamon, cassia, and citronella oils differentially affected growth-normalized biofilm formation by Escherichia coli. Examination of the corresponding essential oil principal components by the SBF assay revealed that cinnamaldehyde decreased biofilm formation compared to biofilms grown in Luria-Bertani broth, eugenol did not result in a change, and citronellol increased the SBF. To evaluate these results, two microscopy-based assays were employed. First, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to examine E. coli biofilms cultivated in flow cells, which were quantitatively analyzed by COMSTAT, an image analysis program. The overall trend for five parameters that characterize biofilm development corroborated the findings of the SBF assay. Second, the results of an assay measuring growth-normalized adhesion by direct microscopy concurred with the results of the SBF assay and CLSM imaging. Viability staining indicated that there was reduced toxicity of the essential oil components to cells in biofilms compared to the toxicity to planktonic cells but revealed morphological damage to E. coli after cinnamaldehyde exposure. Cinnamaldehyde also inhibited the swimming motility of E. coli. SBF analysis of three Pseudomonas species exposed to cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, or citronellol revealed diverse responses. The SBF assay could be useful as an initial step for finding plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation and structure. PMID:15574886

  12. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities. PMID:26481794

  13. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  14. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  15. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. PMID:27114578

  16. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  17. Increased fitness of rice plants to abiotic stress via habitat adapted symbiosis: a strategy for mitigating impacts of climate change.

    PubMed

    Redman, Regina S; Kim, Yong Ok; Woodward, Claire J D A; Greer, Chris; Espino, Luis; Doty, Sharon L; Rodriguez, Rusty J

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients.Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions.The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20-30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization).These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands. PMID:21750695

  18. Increased Fitness of Rice Plants to Abiotic Stress Via Habitat Adapted Symbiosis: A Strategy for Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Redman, Regina S.; Kim, Yong Ok; Woodward, Claire J. D. A.; Greer, Chris; Espino, Luis; Doty, Sharon L.; Rodriguez, Rusty J.

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization). These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands. PMID:21750695

  19. Increased fitness of rice plants to abiotic stress via habitat adapted symbiosis: A strategy for mitigating impacts of climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Redman, R.S.; Kim, Y.-O.; Woodward, C.J.D.A.; Greer, C.; Espino, L.; Doty, S.L.; Rodriguez, R.J.

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization). These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands.

  20. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  1. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen.

    PubMed

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-12-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  2. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  3. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  5. Dynamic Response of Large Wind Power Plant Affected by Diverse Conditions at Individual Turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Lu, Shuai; Lin, Guang; Wang, Shaobu

    2014-07-31

    Diverse operating conditions at individual wind turbine generators (WTG) within wind power plants (WPPs) can affect the WPP dynamic response to system faults. For example, individual WTGs can experience diverse terminal voltage and power output caused by different wind direction and speed, affecting the response of protection and control limiters. In this paper, we present a study to investigate the dynamic response of a detailed WPP model under diverse power outputs of its individual WTGs. Wake effect is considered as the reason for diverse power outputs. The diverse WTG power output is evaluated in a test system where a large 168-machine test WPP is connected to the IEEE-39-bus system. The power output from each WTG is derived from a wake effect model that uses realistic statistical data for incoming wind speed and direction. The results show that diverse WTG output due to wake effect can affect the WPP dynamic response activating specialized control in some turbines. In addition, transient stability is affected by exhibiting uncertainty in critical clearing time calculation.

  6. Testing a Model of the Relationship of Demographic, Affective, and Fitness Variables to Academic Achievement among Non-Science Majors at an Independent University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutra, Andrew Martin

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of specific attributes of college students to their academic achievement at an independent university in central Florida. Academic achievement was measured as the numeric score on the final exam in a survey-of-science course (EDS 1032) required for non-science majors. Attribute sets included personological, affective, and fitness variables. A hypothesized diagram of the direct and indirect effects among these attributes relative to academic achievement was developed and tested using data collected Spring 2014 from 168 students in four sections of EDS 1032 at Florida Institute of Technology. Multiple regression results revealed that 19% of the variance in a students' academic achievement was due to the influence of these three sets of research factors; this was found to be statistically significant. The results of mediation analyses also indicated that three variables had significant direct effects on academic achievement, namely gender, number of academic credits, and sports motivation. In addition, gender had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via stress, and the number of academic credits had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via sports motivation. These findings indicated that female students scored roughly six points higher than male students on this final exam. Also, gender's influence on academic achievement was partially attributable to the student's level of stress (e.g., male students with high levels of stress had lower grades on this final exam than female students with the same level of stress). In addition, it was found that students taking more academic credits were likely to score higher on this final exam than those students taking fewer credits. Further, as students' level of sports amotivation increased, the strength of the relationship between the number of student academic credits and academic achievement decreased. These results support Self

  7. Hydrolysis of phytic acid by intrinsic plant or supplemented microbial phytase (Aspergillus niger) in the stomach and small intestine of minipigs fitted with re-entrant cannulas.

    PubMed

    Rapp, C; Lantzsch, H J; Drochner, W

    2001-12-01

    Hydrolysis of phytate in the stomach and the small intestine as influenced by intrinsic plant (wheat) and supplemented microbial phytase (A. niger) were investigated with six minipigs (40-50 kg initial BW) fitted with re-entrant-cannulas in the duodenum, 30 cm posterior to the pylorus (animals 1, 4, 5, and 6) and ileocecal re-entrant cannulas, 5 cm prior the ileocecal junction (animals 1, 2, and 3), respectively. Dietary treatments were as follows: (1) diet 1, a corn-based diet (43 U Phytase/kg DM); (2) diet 2, diet 1 supplemented with microbial phytase (818 U/kg DM) and (3) diet 3, a wheat-based diet (1192 U/kg DM). At 0730 and 1930 per animal 350 g diet mixed with 1050 ml de-ionized water were fed. Digesta were collected continuously and completely during 12 h after feeding. Duodenal recovery of dry matter and total phosphorus were 100% in the period between two feedings, irrespective of dietary treatment. In animals fed the wheat-based diet, dry matter left the stomach faster (p < 0.05) during the first hour after feeding than in animals fed the corn-based diets (41.3 vs. 31.0 and 25.8% of intake, respectively). Supplemented microbial phytase did not affect ileal dry matter digestibility of the corn-based diet. In the first hour after feeding, phosphorus concentration of the duodenal digesta of animals fed corn-based diets with or without supplemented microbial phytase (5.86, 6.19 mg total P/g DM) exceeded the dietary level considerably (4.30 and 4.21 mg total P/g DM) indicating a higher solubility of corn than wheat phosphorus in the stomach. Apparent ileal P absorption was higher (p < 0.05) in the wheat-based diet (37.6%) and corn-based diet supplemented with microbial phytase (34.3%) than in the unsupplemented corn-based diet (17.6%). PMID:11906564

  8. Saprotrophic competitiveness and biocontrol fitness of a genetically modified strain of the plant-growth-promoting fungus Trichoderma hamatum GD12.

    PubMed

    Ryder, Lauren S; Harris, Beverley D; Soanes, Darren M; Kershaw, Michael J; Talbot, Nicholas J; Thornton, Christopher R

    2012-01-01

    Trichoderma species are ubiquitous soil fungi that hold enormous potential for the development of credible alternatives to agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers in sustainable crop production. In this paper, we show that substantial improvements in plant productivity can be met by genetic modification of a plant-growth-promoting and biocontrol strain of Trichoderma hamatum, but that these improvements are obtained in the absence of disease pressure only. Using a quantitative monoclonal antibody-based ELISA, we show that an N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase-deficient mutant of T. hamatum, generated by insertional mutagenesis of the corresponding gene, has impaired saprotrophic competitiveness during antagonistic interactions with Rhizoctonia solani in soil. Furthermore, its fitness as a biocontrol agent of the pre-emergence damping-off pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is significantly reduced, and its ability to promote plant growth is constrained by the presence of both pathogens. This work shows that while gains in T. hamatum-mediated plant-growth-promotion can be met through genetic manipulation of a single beneficial trait, such a modification has negative impacts on other aspects of its biology and ecology that contribute to its success as a saprotrophic competitor and antagonist of soil-borne pathogens. The work has important implications for fungal morphogenesis, demonstrating a clear link between hyphal architecture and secretory potential. Furthermore, it highlights the need for a holistic approach to the development of genetically modified Trichoderma strains for use as crop stimulants and biocontrol agents in plant agriculture. PMID:21835878

  9. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies

    PubMed Central

    Gerofotis, Christos D.; Ioannou, Charalampos S.; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful – dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  10. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  11. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies.

    PubMed

    Gerofotis, Christos D; Ioannou, Charalampos S; Nakas, Christos T; Papadopoulos, Nikos T

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful - dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  12. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca.

    PubMed

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female's sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  13. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca

    PubMed Central

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female’s sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  14. Does Plant Biomass Manipulation in Static Chambers Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils?

    PubMed

    Collier, Sarah M; Dean, Andrew P; Oates, Lawrence G; Ruark, Matthew D; Jackson, Randall D

    2016-03-01

    One of the most widespread approaches for measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from soils involves the use of static chambers. This method is relatively inexpensive, is easily replicated, and is ideally suited to plot-based experimental systems. Among its limitations is the loss of detection sensitivity with increasing chamber height, which creates challenges for deployment in systems including tall vegetation. It is not always possible to avoid inclusion of plants within chambers or to extend chamber height to fully accommodate plant growth. Thus, in many systems, such as perennial forages and biomass crops, plants growing within static chambers must either be trimmed or folded during lid closure. Currently, data on how different types of biomass manipulation affect measured results is limited. Here, we compare the effects of cutting vs. folding of biomass on nitrous oxide measurements in switchgrass ( L.) and alfalfa ( L.) systems. We report only limited evidence of treatment effects during discrete sampling events and little basis for concern that effects may intensify over time as biomass manipulation is repeatedly imposed. However, nonsignificant treatment effects that were consistently present amounted to significant overall trends in three out of the four systems studied. Such minor disparities in flux could amount to considerable quantities over time, suggesting that caution should be exercised when comparing cumulative emission values from studies using different biomass manipulation strategies. PMID:27065424

  15. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Lin; Xu, Hui; Mischke, Sue; Meinhardt, Lyndel W; Zhang, Dapeng; Zhu, Xujun; Li, Xinghui; Fang, Wanping

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant under drought stress is essential to develop drought-tolerant tea genotypes, along with crop management practices that can mitigate drought stress. The objective of the present investigation is evaluation of effects of exogenous ABA on the leaf proteome in tea plant exposed to drought stress. Leaf protein patterns of tea plants under simulated drought stress [(polyethylene glycol (PEG)-treated] and exogenous ABA treatment were analyzed in a time-course experiment using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Among the 72 protein spots identified by MALDI-TOF MS, 16 proteins were downregulated and two were upregulated by exogenous ABA. The upregulated proteins have roles in glycolysis and photosystem II stabilization. Twenty-one protein spots were responsive to drought stress and most participate in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, control of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defense, signaling or nucleic acid metabolism. The combined treatments of exogenous ABA and drought showed upregulation of 10 protein spots at 12 h and upregulation of 11 proteins at 72 h after initiation of drought stress. The results support the importance of the role that ABA plays in the tea plant during drought stress, by improving protein transport, carbon metabolism and expression of resistance proteins. PMID:27076915

  16. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    fraction (oxidaizable medium extraction procedure). Arsenic concentration in leaves was positively correlated with the arsenic extracted by HCl, with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides fraction and with the arsenic extracted by Mehra-Jackson extraction. According to our results, As is accumulated in the leaves of the plants and is linked with iron oxides of these soils affected by mining activities.

  17. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  18. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  19. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  20. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  1. Security during the Construction of New Nuclear Power Plants: Technical Basis for Access Authorization and Fitness-For-Duty Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, Kristi M.; Baker, Kathryn A.

    2009-09-01

    A technical letter report to the NRC summarizing the findings of a benchmarking study, literature review, and workshop with experts on current industry standards and expert judgments about needs for security during the construction phase of critical infrastructure facilities in the post-September 11 U.S. context, with a special focus on the construction phase of nuclear power plants and personnel security measures.

  2. Does vegetation complexity affect host plant chemistry, and thus multitrophic interactions, in a human-altered landscape?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-09-01

    Anthropogenic land use may shape vegetation composition and affect trophic interactions by altering concentrations of host plant metabolites. Here, we investigated the hypotheses that: (1) plant N and defensive secondary metabolite contents of the herb Plantago lanceolata are affected by land use intensity (LUI) and the surrounding vegetation composition (=plant species richness and P. lanceolata density), and that (2) changes in plant chemistry affect abundances of the herbivorous weevils Mecinus pascuorum and Mecinus labilis, as well as their larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus, in the field. We determined plant species richness, P. lanceolata density, and abundances of the herbivores and the parasitoid in 77 grassland plots differing in LUI index in three regions across Germany. We also measured the N and secondary metabolite [the iridoid glycosides (IGs) aucubin and catalpol] contents of P. lanceolata leaves. Mixed-model analysis revealed that: (1) concentrations of leaf IGs were positively correlated with plant species richness; leaf N content was positively correlated with the LUI index. Furthermore: (2) herbivore abundance was not related to IG concentrations, but correlated negatively with leaf N content. Parasitoid abundance correlated positively only with host abundance over the three regions. Structural equation models revealed a positive impact of IG concentrations on parasitoid abundance in one region. We conclude that changes in plant chemistry due to land use and/or vegetation composition may affect higher trophic levels and that the manifestation of these effects may depend on local biotic or abiotic features of the landscape. PMID:25986560

  3. Unpreferred plants affect patch choice and spatial distribution of European brown hares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuijper, D. P. J.; Bakker, J. P.

    2008-11-01

    Many herbivore species prefer to forage on patches of intermediate biomass. Plant quality and forage efficiency are predicted to decrease with increasing plant standing crop which explains the lower preference of the herbivore. However, often is ignored that on the long-term, plant species composition is predicted to change with increasing plant standing crop. The amount of low-quality, unpreferred food plants increases with increasing plant standing crop. In the present study the effects of unpreferred plants on patch choice and distribution of European brown hare in a salt-marsh system were studied. In one experiment, unpreferred plants were removed from plots. In the second experiment, plots were planted with different densities of an unpreferred artificial plant. Removal of unpreferred plants increased hare-grazing pressure more than fivefold compared to unmanipulated plots. Planting of unpreferred plants reduced hare-grazing pressure, with a significant reduction of grazing already occurring at low unpreferred plant density. Spatial distribution of hares within this salt-marsh system was related to spatial arrangement of unpreferred plants. Hare-grazing intensity decreased strongly with increasing abundance of unpreferred plants despite a high abundance of principal food plants. The results of this study indicate that plant species replacement is an important factor determining patch choice and spatial distribution of hares next to changing plant quality. Increasing abundance of unpreferred plant species can strengthen the decreasing patch quality with increasing standing crop and can decrease grazing intensity when preferred food plants are still abundantly present.

  4. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-06-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. The throughfall manipulation experiment started in 2004 and we report data up to the 2009 growing season. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 50 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction of precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodland. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long term soil C stocks.

  5. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in a Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-09-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 58 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to the control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction in precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodlands. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long-term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long-term soil C stocks.

  6. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  7. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  8. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  9. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  10. Glycogen catabolism, but not its biosynthesis, affects virulence of Fusarium oxysporum on the plant host.

    PubMed

    Corral-Ramos, Cristina; Roncero, M Isabel G

    2015-04-01

    The role of glycogen metabolism was investigated in the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Targeted inactivation was performed of genes responsible for glycogen biosynthesis: gnn1 encoding glycogenin, gls1 encoding glycogen synthase, and gbe1 encoding glycogen branching enzyme. Moreover genes involved in glycogen catabolism were deleted: gph1 encoding glycogen phosphorylase and gdb1 encoding glycogen de-branching enzyme. Glycogen reserves increased steadily during growth of the wild type strain in axenic cultures, to reach up to 1500μg glucose equivalents mg(-1) protein after 14 days. Glycogen accumulation was abolished in mutants lacking biosynthesis genes, whereas it increased by 20-40% or 80%, respectively, in the single and double mutants affected in catabolic genes. Transcript levels of glycogen metabolism genes during tomato plant infection peaked at four days post inoculation, similar to the results observed during axenic culture. Significant differences were observed between gdb mutants and the wild type strain for vegetative hyphal fusion ability. The single mutants defective in glycogen metabolism showed similar levels of virulence in the invertebrate animal model Galleria mellonella. Interestingly, the deletion of gdb1 reduced virulence on the plant host up to 40% compared to the wild type in single and in double mutant backgrounds, whereas the other mutants showed the virulence at the wild-type level. PMID:25865793

  11. Light Influences How the Fungal Toxin Deoxynivalenol Affects Plant Cell Death and Defense Responses

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, Khairul I.; Doyle, Siamsa M.; Kacprzyk, Joanna; Khan, Mojibur R.; Walter, Stephanie; Brennan, Josephine M.; Arunachalam, Chanemouga Soundharam; McCabe, Paul F.; Doohan, Fiona M.

    2014-01-01

    The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) can cause cell death in wheat (Triticum aestivum), but can also reduce the level of cell death caused by heat shock in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cell cultures. We show that 10 μg mL−1 DON does not cause cell death in Arabidopsis cell cultures, and its ability to retard heat-induced cell death is light dependent. Under dark conditions, it actually promoted heat-induced cell death. Wheat cultivars differ in their ability to resist this toxin, and we investigated if the ability of wheat to mount defense responses was light dependent. We found no evidence that light affected the transcription of defense genes in DON-treated roots of seedlings of two wheat cultivars, namely cultivar CM82036 that is resistant to DON-induced bleaching of spikelet tissue and cultivar Remus that is not. However, DON treatment of roots led to genotype-dependent and light-enhanced defense transcript accumulation in coleoptiles. Wheat transcripts encoding a phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene (previously associated with Fusarium resistance), non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes-1 (NPR1) and a class III plant peroxidase (POX) were DON-upregulated in coleoptiles of wheat cultivar CM82036 but not of cultivar Remus, and DON-upregulation of these transcripts in cultivar CM82036 was light enhanced. Light and genotype-dependent differences in the DON/DON derivative content of coleoptiles were also observed. These results, coupled with previous findings regarding the effect of DON on plants, show that light either directly or indirectly influences the plant defense responses to DON. PMID:24561479

  12. Light influences how the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol affects plant cell death and defense responses.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Khairul I; Doyle, Siamsa M; Kacprzyk, Joanna; Khan, Mojibur R; Walter, Stephanie; Brennan, Josephine M; Arunachalam, Chanemouga Soundharam; McCabe, Paul F; Doohan, Fiona M

    2014-02-01

    The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) can cause cell death in wheat (Triticum aestivum), but can also reduce the level of cell death caused by heat shock in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cell cultures. We show that 10 μg mL(-1) DON does not cause cell death in Arabidopsis cell cultures, and its ability to retard heat-induced cell death is light dependent. Under dark conditions, it actually promoted heat-induced cell death. Wheat cultivars differ in their ability to resist this toxin, and we investigated if the ability of wheat to mount defense responses was light dependent. We found no evidence that light affected the transcription of defense genes in DON-treated roots of seedlings of two wheat cultivars, namely cultivar CM82036 that is resistant to DON-induced bleaching of spikelet tissue and cultivar Remus that is not. However, DON treatment of roots led to genotype-dependent and light-enhanced defense transcript accumulation in coleoptiles. Wheat transcripts encoding a phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene (previously associated with Fusarium resistance), non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes-1 (NPR1) and a class III plant peroxidase (POX) were DON-upregulated in coleoptiles of wheat cultivar CM82036 but not of cultivar Remus, and DON-upregulation of these transcripts in cultivar CM82036 was light enhanced. Light and genotype-dependent differences in the DON/DON derivative content of coleoptiles were also observed. These results, coupled with previous findings regarding the effect of DON on plants, show that light either directly or indirectly influences the plant defense responses to DON. PMID:24561479

  13. Parental age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-05-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  14. Plant-derived decapeptide OSIP108 interferes with Candida albicans biofilm formation without affecting cell viability.

    PubMed

    Delattin, Nicolas; De Brucker, Katrijn; Craik, David J; Cheneval, Olivier; Fröhlich, Mirjam; Veber, Matija; Girandon, Lenart; Davis, Talya R; Weeks, Anne E; Kumamoto, Carol A; Cos, Paul; Coenye, Tom; De Coninck, Barbara; Cammue, Bruno P A; Thevissen, Karin

    2014-05-01

    We previously identified a decapeptide from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, OSIP108, which is induced upon fungal pathogen infection. In this study, we demonstrated that OSIP108 interferes with biofilm formation of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans without affecting the viability or growth of C. albicans cells. OSIP108 displayed no cytotoxicity against various human cell lines. Furthermore, OSIP108 enhanced the activity of the antifungal agents amphotericin B and caspofungin in vitro and in vivo in a Caenorhabditis elegans-C. albicans biofilm infection model. These data point to the potential use of OSIP108 in combination therapy with conventional antifungal agents. In a first attempt to unravel its mode of action, we screened a library of 137 homozygous C. albicans mutants, affected in genes encoding cell wall proteins or transcription factors important for biofilm formation, for altered OSIP108 sensitivity. We identified 9 OSIP108-tolerant C. albicans mutants that were defective in either components important for cell wall integrity or the yeast-to-hypha transition. In line with these findings, we demonstrated that OSIP108 activates the C. albicans cell wall integrity pathway and that its antibiofilm activity can be blocked by compounds inhibiting the yeast-to-hypha transition. Furthermore, we found that OSIP108 is predominantly localized at the C. albicans cell surface. These data point to interference of OSIP108 with cell wall-related processes of C. albicans, resulting in impaired biofilm formation. PMID:24566179

  15. Parental Age Affects Somatic Mutation Rates in the Progeny of Flowering Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-01-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  16. Modelling the Factors that Affect Individuals' Utilisation of Online Learning Systems: An Empirical Study Combining the Task Technology Fit Model with the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Tai-Kuei; Yu, Tai-Yi

    2010-01-01

    Understanding learners' behaviour, perceptions and influence in terms of learner performance is crucial to predict the use of electronic learning systems. By integrating the task-technology fit (TTF) model and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper investigates the online learning utilisation of Taiwanese students. This paper provides a…

  17. Population rules can apply to individual plants and affect their architecture: an evaluation on the cushion plant Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Puntieri, Javier G.; Damascos, María A.; Llancaqueo, Yanina; Svriz, Maya

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Plants are regarded as populations of modules such as axes and growth units (GUs, i.e. seasonally produced axis segments). Due to their dense arrays of GUs, cushion plants may resemble crowded plant populations in the way the number of components (GUs in plants, individuals in populations) relates to their individual sizes. Methodology The morphological differentiation of GUs and its relationship with biomass accumulation and plant size were studied for the cushion subshrub Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), a widespread species in dry areas of Patagonia. In 2009, GUs were sampled from one-quarter of each of 24 adult plants. Within- and between-plant variations in GU length, diameter, number of nodes and biomass were analysed and related to whole-plant size. Principal results Each year, an M. spinosum cushion develops flowering GUs and vegetative GUs. Flowering GUs are larger, twice as numerous and contain two to four times more dry mass (excluding reproductive structures) than vegetative GUs. The hemispherical area of the cushions was positively correlated with the biomass of last-year GUs. The biomass of flowering GUs was negatively correlated with the density of GUs. Mulinum spinosum plants exhibited a notable differentiation between flowering and vegetative GUs, but their axes, i.e. the sequences of GUs, were not differentiated throughout the plants. Flowering GUs comprised a major proportion of each plant's photosynthetic tissues. Conclusions A decrease in the size of flowering GUs and in their number relative to the total number of GUs per plant, parallel to an increase in GU density, is predicted as M. spinosum plants age over years. The assimilative role of vegetative GUs is expected to increase in summer because of their less exposed position in the cushion. These GUs would therefore gain more from warm and dry conditions than flowering GUs. PMID:22476077

  18. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally. PMID:26815170

  19. Rhizosphere microbial community composition affects cadmium and zinc uptake by the metal-hyperaccumulating plant Arabidopsis halleri.

    PubMed

    Muehe, E Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2015-03-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a "native" and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, "Candidatus Chloracidobacterium") of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  20. Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

    PubMed Central

    Muehe, E. Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J.; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  1. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection. PMID:26150068

  2. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  3. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  4. Genes of the most conserved WOX clade in plants affect root and flower development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The Wuschel related homeobox (WOX) family proteins are key regulators implicated in the determination of cell fate in plants by preventing cell differentiation. A recent WOX phylogeny, based on WOX homeodomains, showed that all of the Physcomitrella patens and Selaginella moellendorffii WOX proteins clustered into a single orthologous group. We hypothesized that members of this group might preferentially share a significant part of their function in phylogenetically distant organisms. Hence, we first validated the limits of the WOX13 orthologous group (WOX13 OG) using the occurrence of other clade specific signatures and conserved intron insertion sites. Secondly, a functional analysis using expression data and mutants was undertaken. Results The WOX13 OG contained the most conserved plant WOX proteins including the only WOX detected in the highly proliferating basal unicellular and photosynthetic organism Ostreococcus tauri. A large expansion of the WOX family was observed after the separation of mosses from other land plants and before monocots and dicots have arisen. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtWOX13 was dynamically expressed during primary and lateral root initiation and development, in gynoecium and during embryo development. AtWOX13 appeared to affect the floral transition. An intriguing clade, represented by the functional AtWOX14 gene inside the WOX13 OG, was only found in the Brassicaceae. Compared to AtWOX13, the gene expression profile of AtWOX14 was restricted to the early stages of lateral root formation and specific to developing anthers. A mutational insertion upstream of the AtWOX14 homeodomain sequence led to abnormal root development, a delay in the floral transition and premature anther differentiation. Conclusion Our data provide evidence in favor of the WOX13 OG as the clade containing the most conserved WOX genes and established a functional link to organ initiation and development in Arabidopsis, most likely by preventing premature

  5. How do land management practices affect net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an invasive plant infestation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Detto, M.; Runkle, B.; Kelly, M.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem gas and energy exchanges of invasive plant infestations under different land management practices have been subject of few studies and thus little is known. Our goal is to characterize seasonal changes in net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) through the processes of photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a grassland used as pasture yet infested by perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. We analyze eddy-covariance supported by environmental and canopy-scale hyperspectral reflectance measurements acquired in 2007-2009. Our study covers three summer drought periods with slightly different land management practices. Over the study period the site was subject to year-round grazing, and in 2008 the site was additionally mowed. Specific questions we address are a) how does pepperweed flowering affect GEP, b) does a mowing event affect NEE mainly through GEP or Reco, and c) can the combined effects of phenology and mowing on pepperweed NEE potentially be tracked using routinely applied remote sensing techniques? Preliminary results indicate that pepperweed flowering drastically decreases photosynthetic CO2 uptake due to shading by the dense arrangement of white flowers at the canopy top, causing the infestation to be almost CO2 neutral. In contrast, mowing causes the infestation to act as moderate net CO2 sink, mainly due to increased CO2 uptake during regrowth. We demonstrate that spectral regions other than commonly-used red and near-infrared might be more promising for pepperweed monitoring because of its spectral uniqueness during the flowering phase. Our results have important implications for land-use land-cover (LULC) change studies when biological invasions and their management alter ecosystem structure and functioning but not necessarily the respective LULC class.

  6. Fitness Basics

    MedlinePlus

    ... that gets your heart pumping, such as dancing, running, or swimming laps. How hard you exercise matters, too. You can learn how to measure your workout to see if it is light, medium, or intense. Fitness for all Do you have an illness or ...

  7. Identification of viral and phytoplasmal agents responsible for diseases affecting plants of Gaillardia Foug. in Lithuania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gaillardia plants exhibiting symptoms characteristic of viral and phytoplasmal diseases were collected at botanical gardens and floriculture farms in Lithuania. Cucumber mosaic virus was isolated from diseased plants exhibiting symptoms characterized stunting, color breaking and malformation of flo...

  8. Proteomic analysis reveals suppression of bark chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in citrus plants affected by the citrus sudden death disease.

    PubMed

    Cantú, M D; Mariano, A G; Palma, M S; Carrilho, E; Wulff, N A

    2008-10-01

    Citrus sudden death (CSD) is a disease of unknown etiology that greatly affects sweet oranges grafted on Rangpur lime rootstock, the most important rootstock in Brazilian citriculture. We performed a proteomic analysis to generate information related to this plant pathogen interaction. Protein profiles from healthy, CSD-affected and CSD-tolerant stem barks, were generated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The protein spots were well distributed over a pI range of 3.26 to 9.97 and a molecular weight (MW) range from 7.1 to 120 kDa. The patterns of expressed proteins on 2-DE gels made it possible to distinguish healthy barks from CSD-affected barks. Protein spots with MW around 30 kDa and pI values ranging from 4.5 to 5.2 were down-regulated in the CSD-affected root-stock bark. This set of protein spots was identified as chitinases. Another set of proteins, ranging in pI from 6.1 to 9.6 with an MW of about 20 kDa, were also suppressed in CSD-affected rootstock bark; these were identified as miraculin-like proteins, potential trypsin inhibitors. Down-regulation of chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in CSD-affected plants is relevant since chitinases are well-known pathogenesis-related protein, and their activity against plant pathogens is largely accepted. PMID:18943454

  9. Cognitive fitness.

    PubMed

    Gilkey, Roderick; Kilts, Clint

    2007-11-01

    Recent neuroscientific research shows that the health of your brain isn't, as experts once thought, just the product of childhood experiences and genetics; it reflects your adult choices and experiences as well. Professors Gilkey and Kilts of Emory University's medical and business schools explain how you can strengthen your brain's anatomy, neural networks, and cognitive abilities, and prevent functions such as memory from deteriorating as you age. The brain's alertness is the result of what the authors call cognitive fitness -a state of optimized ability to reason, remember, learn, plan, and adapt. Certain attitudes, lifestyle choices, and exercises enhance cognitive fitness. Mental workouts are the key. Brain-imaging studies indicate that acquiring expertise in areas as diverse as playing a cello, juggling, speaking a foreign language, and driving a taxicab expands your neural systems and makes them more communicative. In other words, you can alter the physical makeup of your brain by learning new skills. The more cognitively fit you are, the better equipped you are to make decisions, solve problems, and deal with stress and change. Cognitive fitness will help you be more open to new ideas and alternative perspectives. It will give you the capacity to change your behavior and realize your goals. You can delay senescence for years and even enjoy a second career. Drawing from the rapidly expanding body of neuroscience research as well as from well-established research in psychology and other mental health fields, the authors have identified four steps you can take to become cognitively fit: understand how experience makes the brain grow, work hard at play, search for patterns, and seek novelty and innovation. Together these steps capture some of the key opportunities for maintaining an engaged, creative brain. PMID:18159786

  10. Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Anna M; Noga, Georg; Hunsche, Mauricio

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m(-2) s(-1)) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations. PMID:25626402

  11. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  12. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  13. The impact of global warming on floral traits that affect the selfing rate in a high-altitude plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in the abiotic environment, as those expected under global warming, can influence plant mating systems through changes in floral traits that affect selfing. Herkogamy (spatial separation of male and female functions within a flower), dichogamy (temporal separation) and total flower number af...

  14. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows

    PubMed Central

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D.; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A.; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13–15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  15. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  16. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects interactions between Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae and two host plant species outdoors

    SciTech Connect

    Caulfield, F.; Bunce, J.A. )

    1994-08-01

    Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner), larvae were placed on sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) plants in outdoor chambers in which the plants were growing at either the ambient ([approximately] 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) or ambient plus 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] ([approximately] 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) carbon dioxide concentration. A series of experiments was performed to determine if larvae reduced plant growth differently at the two carbon dioxide concentrations in either species and if the insect growth or survival differed with carbon dioxide concentration. Leaf nitrogen, water, starch, and soluble carbohydrate contents were measured to assess carbon dioxide concentration effects on leaf quality. Insect feeding significantly reduced plant growth in sugarbeet plants at 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] but not at 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] nor in pigweed at either carbon dioxide concentration. Larval survival was greater on sugarbeet plants at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Increased survival occurred only if the insects were at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration and consumed leaf material grown at the elevated concentration. Leaf quality was only marginally affected by growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in these experiments. The results indicate that in designing experiments to predict effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on plant-insect interactions, both plants and insects should be exposed to the experimental carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as to as realistic environmental conditions as possible.

  17. Factors Affecting Distribution of Estrogenicity in the Influents, Effluents, and Biosolids of Canadian Wastewater Treatment Plants.

    PubMed

    Shieh, Ben H H; Louie, Alvin; Law, Francis C P

    2016-05-01

    Canadian wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) release significant amounts of estrogenic chemicals to nearby surface waters. Environmental estrogens have been implicated as the causative agents of many developmental and reproductive problems in animals, including fish. The goals of this study were to assess the estrogenic activity in the influents, effluents, and biosolids of thirteen Canadian WWTPs using the yeast estrogen screen (YES) bioassay and to investigate whether factors, such as wastewater treatment method, sample storage, extraction efficiency, population, and summer/winter temperature had any effects on the distribution of estrogenicity in the WWTPs. Results of the study showed that estrogenicity from the influent to the effluent decreased in seven WWTPs, increased in two WWTPs, and did not change in four WWTPs during the winter. Estrogenic concentrations generally decreased in the order of biosolids > influents > effluents and ranged from 1.57 to 24.6, 1.25E-02 to 3.84E-01, and 9.46E-03 to 3.90E-01 ng estradiol equivalents/g or ml, respectively. The estrogenicity in the final effluents, but not those in the influents and biosolids, was significantly higher in the summer than the winter. Among the WWTP treatment methods, advanced, biological nutrient removal appeared to be the most effective method to remove estrogenic chemicals from wastewaters in Canada. Our studies help to identify factors or mechanisms that affect the distribution of estrogenicity in WWTPs, providing a better understanding on the discharges of estrogenic chemicals from WWTPs. PMID:26433808

  18. The non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol affects cholesterol metabolism-related genes in microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Rimmerman, Neta; Juknat, Ana; Kozela, Ewa; Levy, Rivka; Bradshaw, Heather B; Vogel, Zvi

    2011-08-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid that is clinically used in a 1:1 mixture with the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Our group previously reported that CBD exerts anti-inflammatory effects on microglial cells. In addition, we found that CBD treatment increases the accumulation of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA), thus enhancing endocannabinoid signaling. Here we proceeded to investigate the effects of CBD on the modulation of lipid-related genes in microglial cells. Cell viability was tested using FACS analysis, AEA levels were measured using LC/MS/MS, gene array analysis was validated with real-time qPCR, and cytokine release was measured using ELISA. We report that CBD significantly upregulated the mRNAs of the enzymes sterol-O-acyl transferase (Soat2), which synthesizes cholesteryl esters, and of sterol 27-hydroxylase (Cyp27a1). In addition, CBD increased the mRNA of the lipid droplet-associated protein, perilipin2 (Plin2). Moreover, we found that pretreatment of the cells with the cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MBCD), reversed the CBD-induced increase in Soat2 mRNA but not in Plin2 mRNA. Incubation with AEA increased the level of Plin2, but not of Soat2 mRNA. Furthermore, MBCD treatment did not affect the reduction by CBD of the LPS-induced release of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. CBD treatment modulates cholesterol homeostasis in microglial cells, and pretreatment with MBCD reverses this effect without interfering with CBD's anti-inflammatory effects. The effects of the CBD-induced increase in AEA accumulation on lipid-gene expression are discussed. PMID:21533611

  19. Plant Products Affect Growth and Digestive Efficiency of Cultured Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Fed Compounded Diets

    PubMed Central

    Lech, Gregory P.; Reigh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25–30 percent SBM in combination with 43–39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient. PMID:22536344

  20. Modelling (18)O2 and (16)O2 unidirectional fluxes in plants. III: fitting of experimental data by a simple model.

    PubMed

    André, Marcel J

    2013-08-01

    Photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 in plants results in the balance between the photochemical energy developed by light in chloroplasts, and the consumption of that energy by the oxygenation processes, mainly the photorespiration in C3 plants. The analysis of classical biological models shows the difficulties to bring to fore the oxygenation rate due to the photorespiration pathway. As for other parameters, the most important key point is the estimation of the electron transport rate (ETR or J), i.e. the flux of biochemical energy, which is shared between the reductive and oxidative cycles of carbon. The only reliable method to quantify the linear electron flux responsible for the production of reductive energy is to directly measure the O2 evolution by (18)O2 labelling and mass spectrometry. The hypothesis that the respective rates of reductive and oxidative cycles of carbon are only determined by the kinetic parameters of Rubisco, the respective concentrations of CO2 and O2 at the Rubisco site and the available electron transport rate, ultimately leads to propose new expressions of biochemical model equations. The modelling of (18)O2 and (16)O2 unidirectional fluxes in plants shows that a simple model can fit the photosynthetic and photorespiration exchanges for a wide range of environmental conditions. Its originality is to express the carboxylation and the oxygenation as a function of external gas concentrations, by the definition of a plant specificity factor Sp that mimics the internal reactions of Rubisco in plants. The difference between the specificity factors of plant (Sp) and of Rubisco (Sr) is directly related to the conductance values to CO2 transfer between the atmosphere and the Rubisco site. This clearly illustrates that the values and the variation of conductance are much more important, in higher C3 plants, than the small variations of the Rubisco specificity factor. The simple model systematically expresses the reciprocal variations of

  1. Pulverizer tramp iron problems affect coal switching at Union Electric`s Labadie Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Fife, P.A.; Mahr, D.

    1997-07-01

    Union Electric`s Labadie Plant, is a 2400 MWe (4 x 600) coal-fired power generating plant. It is located 35 miles west of St. Louis. The four units were commissioned between 1970 and 1973. Major plant equipment is summarized. Coal is delivered via unit-trains and stacked by two tower style, radial stackers. The plant annually consumes approximately six million tons of coal. In 1981, a coal blending system was retrofitted to the plant. This system features a traveling stacker on an elevated berm and rotary plow reclaimers. The coal blending system feeds all four units. Bins weigh feeders, and belt scales precisely control blending proportions. The blending system has served the plant, increasing fuel flexibility in the types and blends of coal that can be used.

  2. Simulated climate-vegetation interaction in semi-arid regions affected by plant diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claussen, M.; Bathiany, S.; Brovkin, V.; Kleinen, T.

    2013-11-01

    The end of the African Humid Period between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago was associated with large changes in precipitation and vegetation cover. Sediment records from Lake Yoa, Chad, show a gradual decline in precipitation and fluctuation in vegetation over this interval, and have been suggested to demonstrate a weak interaction between climate and vegetation. However, interpretation of these data has neglected the potential effects of plant diversity on the stability of the climate-vegetation system. Here we use a conceptual model that represents plant diversity in terms of moisture requirement. Some of the plant types simulated are sensitive to changes in precipitation, which alone would lead to an unstable system with the possibility of abrupt changes. Other plants are more resilient, resulting in a stable system that changes gradually. We demonstrate that plant diversity tends to attenuate the instability of the interaction between climate and sensitive plant types, whereas it reduces the stability of the interaction between climate and less-sensitive plant types. Hence, despite large sensitivities of individual plant types to precipitation, a gradual decline in precipitation and shift in mean vegetation cover can occur. However, we suggest that the system could become unstable if some plant types were removed or introduced, leading to an abrupt regime shift.

  3. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition. PMID:25203485

  4. Soil moisture variations affect short-term plant-microbial competition for ammonium, glycine, and glutamate

    PubMed Central

    Månsson, Katarina F; Olsson, Magnus O; Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula; Bengtsson, Göran

    2014-01-01

    We tested whether the presence of plant roots would impair the uptake of ammonium (), glycine, and glutamate by microorganisms in a deciduous forest soil exposed to constant or variable moisture in a short-term (24-h) experiment. The uptake of 15NH4 and dual labeled amino acids by the grass Festuca gigantea L. and soil microorganisms was determined in planted and unplanted soils maintained at 60% WHC (water holding capacity) or subject to drying and rewetting. The experiment used a design by which competition was tested in soils that were primed by plant roots to the same extent in the planted and unplanted treatments. Festuca gigantea had no effect on microbial N uptake in the constant moist soil, but its presence doubled the microbial uptake in the dried and rewetted soil compared with the constant moist. The drying and rewetting reduced by half or more the uptake by F. gigantea, despite more than 60% increase in the soil concentration of . At the same time, the amino acid and -N became equally valued in the plant uptake, suggesting that plants used amino acids to compensate for the lower acquisition. Our results demonstrate the flexibility in plant-microbial use of different N sources in response to soil moisture fluctuations and emphasize the importance of including transient soil conditions in experiments on resource competition between plants and soil microorganisms. Competition between plants and microorganisms for N is demonstrated by a combination of removal of one of the potential competitors, the plant, and subsequent observations of the uptake of N in the organisms in soils that differ only in the physical presence and absence of the plant during a short assay. Those conditions are necessary to unequivocally test for competition. PMID:24772283

  5. Retention of OsNMD3 in the cytoplasm disturbs protein synthesis efficiency and affects plant development in rice.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yanyun; Liu, Xiangling; Li, Rui; Gao, Yaping; Xu, Zuopeng; Zhang, Baocai; Zhou, Yihua

    2014-07-01

    The ribosome is the basic machinery for translation, and biogenesis of ribosomes involves many coordinated events. However, knowledge about ribosomal dynamics in higher plants is very limited. This study chose a highly conserved trans-factor, the 60S ribosomal subunit nuclear export adaptor NMD3, to characterize the mechanism of ribosome biogenesis in the monocot plant Oryza sativa (rice). O. sativa NMD3 (OsNMD3) shares all the common motifs and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm via CRM1/XPO1. A dominant negative form of OsNMD3 with a truncated nuclear localization sequence (OsNMD3(ΔNLS)) was retained in the cytoplasm, consequently interfering with the release of OsNMD3 from pre-60S particles and disturbing the assembly of ribosome subunits. Analyses of the transactivation activity and cellulose biosynthesis level revealed low protein synthesis efficiency in the transgenic plants compared with the wild-type plants. Pharmaceutical treatments demonstrated structural alterations in ribosomes in the transgenic plants. Moreover, global expression profiles of the wild-type and transgenic plants were investigated using the Illumina RNA sequencing approach. These expression profiles suggested that overexpression of OsNMD3(ΔNLS) affected ribosome biogenesis and certain basic pathways, leading to pleiotropic abnormalities in plant growth. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that OsNMD3 is important for ribosome assembly and the maintenance of normal protein synthesis efficiency. PMID:24723395

  6. Overexpression of OsDof12 affects plant architecture in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qi; Li, Dayong; Li, Dejun; Liu, Xue; Zhao, Xianfeng; Li, Xiaobing; Li, Shigui; Zhu, Lihuang

    2015-01-01

    Dof (DNA binding with one finger) proteins, a class of plant-specific transcription factors, are involved in plant growth and developmental processes and stress responses. However, their biological functions remain to be elucidated, especially in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Previously, we have reported that OsDof12 can promote rice flowering under long-day conditions. Here, we further investigated the other important agronomical traits of the transgenic plants overexpressing OsDof12 and found that overexpressing OsDof12 could lead to reduced plant height, erected leaf, shortened leaf blade, and smaller panicle resulted from decreased primary and secondary branches number. These results implied that OsDof12 is involved in rice plant architecture formation. Furthermore, we performed a series of Brassinosteroid (BR)-responsive tests and found that overexpression of OsDof12 could also result in BR hyposensitivity. Of note, in WT plants the expression of OsDof12 was found up-regulated by BR treatment while in OsDof12 overexpression plants two positive BR signaling regulators, OsBRI1 and OsBZR1, were significantly down-regulated, indicating that OsDof12 may act as a negative BR regulator in rice. Taken together, our results suggested that overexpression of OsDof12 could lead to altered plant architecture by suppressing BR signaling. Thus, OsDof12 might be used as a new potential genetic regulator for future rice molecular breeding. PMID:26500670

  7. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought. PMID:24100190

  8. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  9. Are herbage yield and yield stability affected by plant species diversity in sown pasture mixtures?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A tenet of plant biodiversity theory in grasslands is that increased diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production as a result of increased plant species diversity would be beneficial. In this study, I combined ...

  10. Inclusive fitness affects both prosocial and antisocial behavior: target gender and insult domain moderate the link between genetic relatedness and aggression.

    PubMed

    Gesselman, Amanda N; Webster, Gregory D

    2012-01-01

    Although prior research has examined the relationship between genetic relatedness and helping behavior (Burnstein, Crandall, and Kitayama, 1994), less is known about its role in aggressive responses to insults (Fitzgerald and Ketterer, 2011). Drawing on inclusive fitness theory (Hamilton, 1964) and the Kinship, Acceptance, and Rejection Model of Altruism and Aggression (KARMAA; Webster, 2008; Webster et al., 2012), we designed a 2 (participant gender) × 2 (target gender) × 2 (insult: status vs. reproductive) × 3 (relatedness: stranger vs. cousin vs. sibling) between-person experiment in which 489 participants (a) read vignettes in which a stranger, cousin, or sibling was insulted and (b) reported their emotional reaction and retaliation likelihood (six-item α = .91) in response to the insult. Consistent with theory and prior research, men were significantly more aggressive than women, and people were significantly more aggressive responding to insults against kin than non-kin. These findings support theoretically-derived, dynamic, and domain-specific links among insults, gender, relatedness, and aggression. PMID:23182969

  11. Overexpression of an Arabidopsis heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein gene, AtRNP1, affects plant growth and reduces plant tolerance to drought and salt stresses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenyu; Zhao, Xiuyang; Wang, Bing; Liu, Erlong; Chen, Ni; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Heng

    2016-04-01

    Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) participate in diverse regulations of plant growth and environmental stress responses. In this work, an Arabidopsis hnRNP of unknown function, AtRNP1, was investigated. We found that AtRNP1 gene is highly expressed in rosette and cauline leaves, and slightly induced under drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. AtRNP1 protein is localized to both the nucleus and cytoplasm. We performed homologous overexpression of AtRNP1 and found that the transgenic plants showed shortened root length and plant height, and accelerated flowering. In addition, the transgenic plants also showed reduced tolerance to drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. Further studies revealed that under both normal and stress conditions, the proline contents in the transgenic plants are markedly decreased, associated with reduced expression levels of a proline synthase gene and several stress-responsive genes. These results suggested that the overexpression of AtRNP1 negatively affects plant growth and abiotic stress tolerance. PMID:26923071

  12. Effect of Modification of the NI Artificial Diet on the Biological Fitness Parameters of Mass Reared Western Tarnished Plant Bug, Lygus hesperus

    PubMed Central

    Portilla, Maribel; Snodgrass, Gordon; Streett, Doug

    2011-01-01

    The NI artificial diet is the only known successful diet for mass rearing the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae). This diet has been used for more than a decade. However, because it contains cooked chicken egg, and thus requires laborious preparation (Cohen 2000), this diet is difficult to use. Three modifications (D1, D2, D3) of the NI diet were investigated in hopes of developing a more easily prepared diet that avoids the cooked egg and improves mass fitness parameters of L. hesperus. The modified D3 diet, containing autoclaved chicken egg yolk based component, had the highest egg/cage/day production (13120 ± 812 SE). This was significantly greater than diets D1, containing autoclaved dry chicken egg yolk based component (9027 ± 811 SE), D2, containing autoclaved chicken egg white based component (8311 ± 628 SE), and NI, which contained autoclaved chicken egg yolk + cooked egg diet (7890 ± 761 SE). Significant differences were observed in the weights of all developmental stages except for eggs and first instar nymphs. Higher rates of fertility, hatchability, and low mortality in nymphs during the first instar were also obtained in the modified D3 diet. The results clearly indicated that the D3 diet provided an opportunity to significantly reduce rearing cost by avoiding time-consuming issues with preparation of a cooked egg diet. This should result in an increase in production capacity and a reduction in production costs. PMID:22224620

  13. Drought induced changes of plant belowground carbon allocation affect soil microbial community function in a subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Fritz, K.; Hasibeder, R.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that climate extremes may affect ecosystem carbon dynamics more strongly than gradual changes in temperatures or precipitation. Climate projections suggest more frequent heat waves accompanied by extreme drought periods in many parts of Europe, including the Alps. Drought is considered to decrease plant C uptake and turnover, which may in turn decrease belowground C allocation and potentially has significant consequences for microbial community composition and functioning. However, information on effects of drought on C dynamics at the plant-soil interface in real ecosystems is still scarce. Our study aimed at understanding how summer drought affects soil microbial community composition and the uptake of recently assimilated plant C by different microbial groups in grassland. We hypothesized that under drought 1) the microbial community shifts, fungi being less affected than bacteria, 2) plants decrease belowground C allocation, which further reduces C transfer to soil microbes and 3) the combined effects of belowground C allocation, reduced soil C transport due to reduced soil moisture and shift in microbial communities cause an accumulation of extractable organic C in the soil. Our study was conducted as part of a rain-exclusion experiment in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps. After eight weeks of rain exclusion we pulse labelled drought and control plots with 13CO2 and traced C in plant biomass, extractable organic C (EOC) and soil microbial communities using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Drought induced a shift of the microbial community composition: gram-positive bacteria became more dominant, whereas gram-negative bacteria were not affected by drought. Also the relative abundance of fungal biomass was not affected by drought. While total microbial biomass (as estimated by total microbial PLFA content) increased during drought, less 13C was taken up. This reduction was pronounced for bacterial biomarkers. It reflects

  14. Naturally segregating loci exhibit epistasis for fitness

    PubMed Central

    Monnahan, Patrick J.; Kelly, John K.

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which gene interaction or epistasis contributes to fitness variation within populations remains poorly understood, despite its importance to a myriad of evolutionary questions. Here, we report a multi-year field study estimating fitness of Mimulus guttatus genetic lines in which pairs of naturally segregating loci exist in an otherwise uniform background. An allele at QTL x5b—a locus originally mapped for its effect on flower size—positively affects survival if combined with one genotype at quantitative trait locus x10a (aa) but has negative effects when combined with the other genotypes (Aa and AA). The viability differences between genotypes parallel phenotypic differences for the time and node at which a plant flowers. Viability is negatively correlated with fecundity across genotypes, indicating antagonistic pleiotropy for fitness components. This trade-off reduces the genetic variance for total fitness relative to the individual fitness components and thus may serve to maintain variation. Additionally, we find that the effects of each locus and their interaction often vary with the environment. PMID:26246336

  15. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community. PMID:24127750

  16. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Marco; Erb, Matthias; Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C J

    2014-04-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community. PMID:24127750

  17. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  18. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  19. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  20. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C; Bronstein, Judith L

    2014-09-01

    Mutualism is an often complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and, in exchange, protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40 °C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0 °C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  1. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  2. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  3. Response of barley plants to Fe deficiency and Cd contamination as affected by S starvation.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, S; Zuchi, S; Neumann, G; Cesco, S; Sanità di Toppi, L; Pinton, R

    2012-02-01

    Both Fe deficiency and Cd exposure induce rapid changes in the S nutritional requirement of plants. The aim of this work was to characterize the strategies adopted by plants to cope with both Fe deficiency (release of phytosiderophores) and Cd contamination [production of glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins] when grown under conditions of limited S supply. Experiments were performed in hydroponics, using barley plants grown under S sufficiency (1.2 mM sulphate) and S deficiency (0 mM sulphate), with or without Fe(III)-EDTA at 0.08 mM for 11 d and subsequently exposed to 0.05 mM Cd for 24 h or 72 h. In S-sufficient plants, Fe deficiency enhanced both root and shoot Cd concentrations and increased GSH and phytochelatin levels. In S-deficient plants, Fe starvation caused a slight increase in Cd concentration, but this change was accompanied neither by an increase in GSH nor by an accumulation of phytochelatins. Release of phytosiderophores, only detectable in Fe-deficient plants, was strongly decreased by S deficiency and further reduced after Cd treatment. In roots Cd exposure increased the expression of the high affinity sulphate transporter gene (HvST1) regardless of the S supply, and the expression of the Fe deficiency-responsive genes, HvYS1 and HvIDS2, irrespective of Fe supply. In conclusion, adequate S availability is necessary to cope with Fe deficiency and Cd toxicity in barley plants. Moreover, it appears that in Fe-deficient plants grown in the presence of Cd with limited S supply, sulphur may be preferentially employed in the pathway for biosynthesis of phytosiderophores, rather than for phytochelatin production. PMID:22090437

  4. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  5. Regulation of Expansin Gene Expression Affects Growth and Development in Transgenic Rice Plants

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Dongsu; Lee, Yi; Cho, Hyung-Taeg; Kende, Hans

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the in vivo functions of expansins, we generated transgenic rice plants that express sense and antisense constructs of the expansin gene OsEXP4. In adult plants with constitutive OsEXP4 expression, 12% of overexpressors were taller and 88% were shorter than the average control plants, and most overexpressors developed at least two additional leaves. Antisense plants were shorter and flowered earlier than the average control plants. In transgenic plants with inducible OsEXP4 expression, we observed a close correlation between OsEXP4 protein levels and seedling growth. Coleoptile and mesocotyl length increased by up to 31 and 97%, respectively, in overexpressors, whereas in antisense seedlings, they decreased by up to 28 and 43%, respectively. The change in seedling growth resulted from corresponding changes in cell size, which in turn appeared to be a function of altered cell wall extensibility. Our results support the hypothesis that expansins are involved in enhancing growth by mediating cell wall loosening. PMID:12782731

  6. The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa affects the leaf ionome of plant hosts during infection.

    PubMed

    De La Fuente, Leonardo; Parker, Jennifer K; Oliver, Jonathan E; Granger, Shea; Brannen, Phillip M; van Santen, Edzard; Cobine, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that lives inside the host xylem vessels, where it forms biofilm believed to be responsible for disrupting the passage of water and nutrients. Here, Nicotiana tabacum was infected with X. fastidiosa, and the spatial and temporal changes in the whole-leaf ionome (i.e. the mineral and trace element composition) were measured as the host plant transitioned from healthy to diseased physiological status. The elemental composition of leaves was used as an indicator of the physiological changes in the host at a specific time and relative position during plant development. Bacterial infection was found to cause significant increases in concentrations of calcium prior to the appearance of symptoms and decreases in concentrations of phosphorous after symptoms appeared. Field-collected leaves from multiple varieties of grape, blueberry, and pecan plants grown in different locations over a four-year period in the Southeastern US showed the same alterations in Ca and P. This descriptive ionomics approach characterizes the existence of a mineral element-based response to X. fastidiosa using a model system suitable for further manipulation to uncover additional details of the role of mineral elements during plant-pathogen interactions. This is the first report on the dynamics of changes in the ionome of the host plant throughout the process of infection by a pathogen. PMID:23667547

  7. Drying and Storage Methods Affect Cyfluthrin Concentrations in Exposed Plant Samples.

    PubMed

    Moore, M T; Kröger, R; Locke, M A

    2016-08-01

    Standard procedures do not exist for drying and storage of plant samples prior to chemical analyses. Since immediate analysis is not always possible, current research examined which plant drying and storage method yielded the highest cyfluthrin recovery rates compared to traditional mechanical freeze-drying methods. Fifteen mesocosms were planted with rice. Cyfluthrin (5 mg L(-1)) was amended into the water column of individual mesocosms. 48 h later, plant material in the water column was collected from each mesocosm. Control (mechanical freeze drying) recovery was significantly greater (p < 0.001) than all 14 combinations of drying and storage. Significant differences also existed between all 14 different combinations. Greatest cyfluthrin recoveries in non-control plants were from the freezer-greenhouse-freezer drying and storage method. Results offer evidence for the efficient plant drying and storage methods prior to cyfluthrin analysis. Future studies should perform comparable analyses on various pesticide classes to determine possible relationships. PMID:27225509

  8. Population-related variation in plant defense more strongly affects survival of an herbivore than its solitary parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta

    2011-10-01

    The performance of natural enemies, such as parasitoid wasps, is affected by differences in the quality of the host's diet, frequently mediated by species or population-related differences in plant allelochemistry. Here, we compared survival, development time, and body mass in a generalist herbivore, the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, and its solitary endoparasitoid, Microplitis mediator, when reared on two cultivated (CYR and STH) and three wild (KIM, OH, and WIN) populations of cabbage, Brassica oleracea. Plants either were undamaged or induced by feeding of larvae of the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae. Development and biomass of M. brassicae and Mi. mediator were similar on both cultivated and one wild cabbage population (KIM), intermediate on the OH population, and significantly lower on the WIN population. Moreover, development was prolonged and biomass was reduced on herbivore-induced plants. However, only the survival of parasitized hosts (and not that of healthy larvae) was affected by induction. Analysis of glucosinolates in leaves of the cabbages revealed higher levels in the wild populations than cultivars, with the highest concentrations in WIN plants. Multivariate statistics revealed a negative correlation between insect performance and total levels of glucosinolates (GS) and levels of 3-butenyl GS. However, GS chemistry could not explain the reduced performance on induced plants since only indole GS concentrations increased in response to herbivory, which did not affect insect performance based on multivariate statistics. This result suggests that, in addition to aliphatic GS, other non-GS chemicals are responsible for the decline in insect performance, and that these chemicals affect the parasitoid more strongly than the host. Remarkably, when developing on WIN plants, the survival of Mi. mediator to adult eclosion was much higher than in its host, M. brassicae. This may be due to the fact that hosts parasitized by Mi. mediator pass through fewer

  9. A ptsP deficiency in PGPR Pseudomonas fluorescens SF39a affects bacteriocin production and bacterial fitness in the wheat rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Godino, Agustina; Príncipe, Analía; Fischer, Sonia

    2016-04-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens SF39a is a plant-growth-promoting bacterium isolated from wheat rhizosphere. In this report, we demonstrate that this native strain secretes bacteriocins that inhibit growth of phytopathogenic strains of the genera Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas. An S-type pyocin gene was detected in the genome of strain SF39a and named pys. A non-polar pys::Km mutant was constructed. The bacteriocin production was impaired in this mutant. To identify genes involved in bacteriocin regulation, random transposon mutagenesis was carried out. A miniTn5Km1 mutant, called P. fluorescens SF39a-451, showed strongly reduced bacteriocin production. This phenotype was caused by inactivation of the ptsP gene which encodes a phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase (EI(Ntr)) of the nitrogen-related phosphotransferase system (PTS(Ntr)). In addition, this mutant showed a decrease in biofilm formation and protease production, and an increase in surface motility and pyoverdine production compared with the wild-type strain. Moreover, we investigated the ability of strain SF39a-451 to colonize the wheat rhizosphere under greenhouse conditions. Interestingly, the mutant was less competitive than the wild-type strain in the rhizosphere. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence of both the relevance of the ptsP gene in bacteriocin production and functional characterization of a pyocin S in P. fluorescens. PMID:26708985

  10. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment. PMID:25288547

  11. Roads in northern hardwood forests affect adjacent plant communities and soil chemistry in proportion to the maintained roadside area.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A; Asmussen, David; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-04-01

    The spatial extent of the transported materials from three road types was studied in forest soil and vegetative communities in Vermont. Hypotheses were two-fold: 1) soil chemical concentrations above background environment would reflect traffic volume and road type (highway>2-lane paved>gravel), and 2) plant communities close to the road and near roads with greater traffic will be disturbance-tolerant and adept at colonization. Soil samples were gathered from 12 randomly identified transects for each of three road types classified as "highway," "two-lane paved," and "gravel." Using GIS mapping, transects were constructed perpendicular to the road, and samples were gathered at the shoulder, ditch, backslope, 10 m from the edge of the forest, and 50 m from road center. Sample locations were analyzed for a suite of soil elements and parameters, as well as percent area coverage by plant species. The main effects from roads depended on the construction modifications required for a roadway (i.e., vegetation clearing and topography modification). The cleared area defined the type of plant community and the distance that road pollutants travel. Secondarily, road presence affected soil chemistry. Metal concentrations (e.g., Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) correlated positively with road type. Proximity to all road types made the soils more alkaline (pH 7.7) relative to the acidic soil of the adjacent native forest (pH 5.6). Roadside microtopography had marked effects on the composition of plant communities based on the direction of water flow. Ditch areas supported wetland plant species, greater soil moisture and sulfur content, while plant communities closer to the road were characteristic of drier upland zones. The area beyond the edge of the forest did not appear to be affected chemically or physically by any of the road types, possibly due to the dense vegetation that typically develops outside of the managed right-of-way. PMID:23435063

  12. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2]. PMID:27317970

  13. Microbial composition in a deep saline aquifer in the North German Basin -microbiologically induced corrosion and mineral precipitation affecting geothermal plant operation and the effects of plant downtime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerm, Stephanie; Westphal, Anke; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Alawi, Mashal; Seibt, Andrea; Wolfgramm, Markus; Würdemann, Hilke

    2013-04-01

    The microbial composition in fluids of a deep saline geothermal used aquifer in the North German Basin was characterized over a period of five years. The genetic fingerprinting techniques PCR-SSCP and PCR-DGGE revealed distinct microbial communities in fluids produced from the cold and warm side of the aquifer. Direct cell counting and quantification of 16S rRNA genes and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) genes by real-time PCR proved different population sizes in fluids, showing higher abundance of Bacteria and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in cold fluids compared to warm fluids. Predominating SRB in the cold well probably accounted for corrosion damage to the submersible well pump, and iron sulfide precipitates in the near wellbore area and topside facility filters. This corresponded to a lower sulfate content in fluids produced from the cold well as well as higher content of hydrogen gas that was probably released from corrosion, and maybe favoured growth of hydrogenotrophic SRB. Plant downtime significantly influenced the microbial biocenosis in fluids. Samples taken after plant restart gave indications about the processes occurring downhole during those phases. High DNA concentrations in fluids at the beginning of the restart process with a decreasing trend over time indicated a higher abundance of microbes during plant downtime compared to regular plant operation. It is likely that a gradual drop in temperature as well as stagnant conditions favoured the growth of microbes and maturation of biofilms at the casing and in pores of the reservoir rock in the near wellbore area. Furthermore, it became obvious that the microorganisms were more associated to particles then free-living. This study reflects the high influence of microbial populations for geothermal plant operation, because microbiologically induced precipitative and corrosive processes adversely affect plant reliability. Those processes may favourably occur during plant downtime due to enhanced

  14. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  15. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2013-01-31

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  16. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2010-12-21

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  17. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    PubMed

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P < 0.01). We conclude that postfire mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area. PMID:22042409

  18. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications. PMID:26418514

  19. Morphological Characteristics of Maize Canopy Development as Affected by Increased Plant Density

    PubMed Central

    Song, Youhong; Rui, Yukui; Bedane, Guta; Li, Jincai

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop productivity through higher plant density requires a detailed understanding of organ development in response to increased interplant competition. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate the characteristics of organ development under increased interplant competition. A field experiment was conducted to investigate organ development across 4 maize plant densities i.e. 2, 6, 12 and 20 plants m–2 (referred to PD2, PD6, PD12 and PD20 respectively). In response to increased interplant competition, lengths of both laminae and sheaths increased in lower phytomers, but decreased in upper phytomers. Sheath extension appeared to be less sensitive to increased interplant competition than lamina extension. Extension of laminae and internodes responded to increased plant density as soon as onset of mild interplant competition, but did not respond any further to severe competition. Both lamina width and internode diameter were reduced due to a smaller growth rate in response to increased plant density. Overall, this study identified that organ expansion rate can be taken as the key morphological factor to determine the degree of interplant competition. PMID:27129101

  20. Characteristics of insertional mutants of Pseudomonas syringae with reduced epiphytic fitness

    SciTech Connect

    Lindown, S.E.; Andersen, G.; Beattie, G.A. )

    1993-05-01

    Bacteria are common inhabitants of leaf surfaces, and they can affect the plants on which they live (eg., inciting disease or ice formation, altering plant growth). This report describes randomly generated insertional mutants of Pseudomonas syringae that exhibited decreased abilities to grow or survive on leaves, and the characteristics of these epiphytic fitness mutants. Direct screening for altered epiphytic fitness was facilitated by estimating population size of mutants on leaves on the basis of measurements of ice nuclei, and allowed identification of many individual genes in P. syringae contributing to its epiphytic fitness. 45 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  1. "Fitness Freaks": A Healthier Lifestyle?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balding, John

    1989-01-01

    This article examines the extent to which the lifestyles of young people are affected by health and fitness considerations. An analysis of data from 3253 Health Related Behavior Questionnaires, completed by fourth-year secondary school pupils is presented. (IAH)

  2. How do increasing background concentrations of tropospheric ozone affect peatland plant growth and carbon gas exchange?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Jennifer L.; Mills, Gina; Hayes, Felicity; Jones, Timothy; Freeman, Chris

    2016-02-01

    In this study we have demonstrated that plants originating from upland peat bogs are sensitive to increasing background concentrations of ozone. Peatland mesocosms from an upland peat bog in North Wales, UK were exposed to eight levels of elevated background ozone in solardomes for 4 months from May to August, with 24 h mean ozone concentrations ranging from 16 to 94 ppb and cumulative AOT024hr ranging from 45.98 ppm h to 259.63 ppm h. Our results show that plant senescence increased with increasing exposure to ozone, although there was no significant effect of increasing ozone on plant biomass. Assessments of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from the mesocosms suggests that there was no change in carbon dioxide fluxes over the 4 month exposure period but that methane fluxes increased as cumulative ozone exposure increased to a maximum AOT 024hr of approximately 120 ppm h and then decreased as cumulative ozone exposure increased further.

  3. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  4. Plant species diversity affects soil-atmosphere fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Niklaus, Pascal A; Le Roux, Xavier; Poly, Franck; Buchmann, Nina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Barnard, Romain L

    2016-07-01

    Plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning can potentially interact with global climate by altering fluxes of the radiatively active trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). We studied the effects of grassland species richness (1-16) in combination with application of fertilizer (nitrogen:phosphorus:potassium = 100:43.6:83 kg ha(-1) a(-1)) on N2O and CH4 fluxes in a long-term field experiment. Soil N2O emissions, measured over 2 years using static chambers, decreased with species richness unless fertilizer was added. N2O emissions increased with fertilization and the fraction of legumes in plant communities. Soil CH4 uptake, a process driven by methanotrophic bacteria, decreased with plant species numbers, irrespective of fertilization. Using structural equation models, we related trace gas fluxes to soil moisture, soil inorganic N concentrations, nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activity, and the abundance of ammonia oxidizers, nitrite oxidizers, and denitrifiers (quantified by real-time PCR of gene fragments amplified from microbial DNA in soil). These analyses indicated that plant species richness increased soil moisture, which in turn increased N cycling-related activities. Enhanced N cycling increased N2O emission and soil CH4 uptake, with the latter possibly caused by removal of inhibitory ammonium by nitrification. The moisture-related indirect effects were surpassed by direct, moisture-independent effects opposite in direction. Microbial gene abundances responded positively to fertilizer but not to plant species richness. The response patterns we found were statistically robust and highlight the potential of plant biodiversity to interact with climatic change through mechanisms unrelated to carbon storage and associated carbon dioxide removal. PMID:27038993

  5. Study of Plant Cell Wall Polymers Affected by Metal Accumulation Using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Shi-You

    2015-03-02

    This project aims to employ newly-developed chemical imaging techniques to measure, in real-time, the concentration, dynamics and spatial distribution of plant cell wall polymers during biomass growth with inoculation of transgenic symbiotic fungi, and to explore a new pathway of delivering detoxified metal to plant apoplast using transgenic symbiotic fungi, which will enhance metal accumulation from soil, and potentially these metals may in turn be used as catalysts to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. The proposed new pathway of biomass production will: 1) benefit metal and radionuclide contaminant mobility in subsurface environments, and 2) potentially improve biomass production and process for bioenergy

  6. Overexpression of the CC-type glutaredoxin, OsGRX6 affects hormone and nitrogen status in rice plants

    PubMed Central

    El-Kereamy, Ashraf; Bi, Yong-Mei; Mahmood, Kashif; Ranathunge, Kosala; Yaish, Mahmoud W.; Nambara, Eiji; Rothstein, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small glutathione dependent oxidoreductases that belong to the Thioredoxin (TRX) superfamily and catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds of their substrate proteins. Plant GRXs include three different groups based on the motif sequence, namely CPYC, CGFS, and CC-type proteins. The rice CC-type proteins, OsGRX6 was identified during the screening for genes whose expression changes depending on the level of available nitrate. Overexpression of OsGRX6 in rice displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. The OsGRX6 overexpressors contain a higher nitrogen content than the wild type, indicating that OsGRX6 plays a role in homeostatic regulation of nitrogen use. Consistent with this, OsGRX6 overexpressors displayed delayed chlorophyll degradation and senescence compared to the wild type plants. To examine if the growth defect of these transgenic lines attribute to disturbed plant hormone actions, plant hormone levels were measured. The levels of two cytokinins (CKs), 2-isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin, and gibberellin A1 (GA1) were increased in these lines. We also found that these transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenously applied GA, suggesting that the increase in GA1 is a result of the feedback regulation. These data suggest that OsGRX6 affects hormone signaling and nitrogen status in rice plants. PMID:26579177

  7. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  8. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  9. Molecular analyses of nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions affecting plant growth and yield. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Newton, K.J.

    1998-11-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in the production of cellular energy. The biogenesis and functioning of mitochondria depends on the expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. One approach to investigating the role of nuclear-mitochondrial cooperation in plant growth and development is to identify combinations of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in altered but sublethal phenotypes. Plants that have certain maize nuclear genotypes in combination with cytoplasmic genomes from more distantly-related teosintes can exhibit incompatible phenotypes, such as reduced plant growth and yield and cytoplasmic male sterility, as well as altered mitochondrial gene expression. The characterization of these nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions was the focus of this grant. The authors were investigating the effects of two maize nuclear genes, RcmI and Mct, on mitochondrial function and gene expression. Plants with the teosinte cytoplasms and homozygous for the recessive rcm allele are small (miniature) and-slow-growing and the kernels are reduced in size. The authors mapped this locus to molecular markers on chromosome 7 and attempted to clone this locus by transposon tagging. The effects of the nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial protein profiles were also studied.

  10. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  11. Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Objectives: To compare the efficacy of single versus multiple doses of plant sterols on circulating lipid level and cholesterol trafficking. Subjects/Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, three-phase (6 days/phase) crossover, supervised feeding trial was conducted in 19 subjects. Sub...

  12. Drying and storage methods affect cyfluthrin concentrations in exposed plant samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standard procedures exist for collection and chemical analyses of pyrethroid insecticides in environmental matrices. However, less detail is given for drying and potential storage methods of plant samples prior to analyses. Due to equipment and financial limitations, immediate sample analysis is n...

  13. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant-insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  14. Artificial elevation of glutathione affects symptom development in ZYMV-infected Cucurbita pepo L. plants.

    PubMed

    Zechmann, B; Zellnig, G; Urbanek-Krajnc, A; Müller, M

    2007-01-01

    Styrian oil pumpkin seedlings (Cucurbita pepo L. subsp. pepo var. styriaca GREB: .) were treated for 48 h with 1 mM OTC (L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid) in order to artificially increase cellular glutathione content. They were inoculated with zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) 10 days later. The effects of OTC treatment and ZYMV infection on glutathione levels were examined at the subcellular level by immunogold labeling of glutathione using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). These effects were further tested at the whole-tissue level by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Such tests were carried out a) on roots, cotyledons and the first true leaves immediately after OTC treatment in order to analyze to which extent OTC increases glutathione levels in different cell compartments as well as in the whole organ; and b) in older and younger leaves and in roots three weeks after ZYMV inoculation in order to study how possible effects of OTC on symptom development would correlate with glutathione levels at the subcellular level and in the whole organ. Immunocytological and biochemical investigations revealed that, 48 h after OTC treatment, glutathione content had increased in all investigated organs, up to 144% in peroxisomes of cotyledons. Three weeks after ZYMV inoculation, glutathione labeling density had significantly increased within intact cells of infected leaves, up to 124% in the cytosol of younger leaves. Roots showed decreased amounts of glutathione in the TEM. Biochemical studies revealed that OTC treatment resulted in 41 and 51% higher glutathione content in older and younger ZYMV-infected leaves, respectively, in comparison to untreated and ZYMV-infected plants. Evaluation of symptom development at this point revealed that all untreated ZYMV-infected plants had symptoms, whereas only 42% of OTC-treated ZYMV-infected plants showed signs of symptoms. Quantification of ZYMV particles revealed that all organs of OTC-treated and ZYMV

  15. A cyst nematode effector binds to diverse plant proteins, increases nematode susceptibility and affects root morphology.

    PubMed

    Pogorelko, Gennady; Juvale, Parijat S; Rutter, William B; Hewezi, Tarek; Hussey, Richard; Davis, Eric L; Mitchum, Melissa G; Baum, Thomas J

    2016-08-01

    Cyst nematodes are plant-parasitic roundworms that are of significance in many cropping systems around the world. Cyst nematode infection is facilitated by effector proteins secreted from the nematode into the plant host. The cDNAs of the 25A01-like effector family are novel sequences that were isolated from the oesophageal gland cells of the soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines). To aid functional characterization, we identified an orthologous member of this protein family (Hs25A01) from the closely related sugar beet cyst nematode H. schachtii, which infects Arabidopsis. Constitutive expression of the Hs25A01 CDS in Arabidopsis plants caused a small increase in root length, accompanied by up to a 22% increase in susceptibility to H. schachtii. A plant-expressed RNA interference (RNAi) construct targeting Hs25A01 transcripts in invading nematodes significantly reduced host susceptibility to H. schachtii. These data document that Hs25A01 has physiological functions in planta and a role in cyst nematode parasitism. In vivo and in vitro binding assays confirmed the specific interactions of Hs25A01 with an Arabidopsis F-box-containing protein, a chalcone synthase and the translation initiation factor eIF-2 β subunit (eIF-2bs), making these proteins probable candidates for involvement in the observed changes in plant growth and parasitism. A role of eIF-2bs in the mediation of Hs25A01 virulence function is further supported by the observation that two independent eIF-2bs Arabidopsis knock-out lines were significantly more susceptible to H. schachtii. PMID:26575318

  16. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  17. Trichobaris weevils distinguish amongst toxic host plants by sensing volatiles that do not affect larval performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gisuk; Joo, Youngsung; Diezel, Celia; Lee, Eun Ju; Baldwin, Ian T; Kim, Sang-Gyu

    2016-07-01

    Herbivorous insects use plant metabolites to inform their host plant selection for oviposition. These host-selection behaviours are often consistent with the preference-performance hypothesis; females oviposit on hosts that maximize the performance of their offspring. However, the metabolites used for these oviposition choices and those responsible for differences in offspring performance remain unknown for ecologically relevant interactions. Here, we examined the host-selection behaviours of two sympatric weevils, the Datura (Trichobaris compacta) and tobacco (T. mucorea) weevils in field and glasshouse experiments with transgenic host plants specifically altered in different components of their secondary metabolism. Adult females of both species strongly preferred to feed on D. wrightii rather than on N. attenuata leaves, but T. mucorea preferred to oviposit on N. attenuata, while T. compacta oviposited only on D. wrightii. These oviposition behaviours increased offspring performance: T. compacta larvae only survived in D. wrightii stems and T. mucorea larvae survived better in N. attenuata than in D. wrightii stems. Choice assays with nicotine-free, JA-impaired, and sesquiterpene-over-produced isogenic N. attenuata plants revealed that although half of the T. compacta larvae survived in nicotine-free N. attenuata lines, nicotine did not influence the oviposition behaviours of both the nicotine-adapted and nicotine-sensitive species. JA-induced sesquiterpene volatiles are key compounds influencing T. mucorea females' oviposition choices, but these sesquiterpenes had no effect on larval performance. We conclude that adult females are able to choose the best host plant for their offspring and use chemicals different from those that influence larval performance to inform their oviposition decisions. PMID:27146082

  18. Atmospheric CO2 level affects plants' carbon use efficiency: insights from a 13C labeling experiment on sunflower stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Xiaoying; Schäufele, Rudi; Schnyder, Hans

    2015-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration has been shown to stimulate plant photosynthesis and (to a lesser extent) growth, thereby acting as a possible sink for the additional atmospheric CO2. However, this effect is dependent on the efficiency with which plants convert atmospheric carbon into biomass carbon, since a considerable proportion of assimilated carbon is returned to the atmosphere via plant respiration. As a core parameter for carbon cycling, carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE, the ratio of net primary production to gross primary production) quantifies the proportion of assimilated carbon that is incorporated into plant biomass. CUE has rarely been assessed based on measurements of complete carbon balance, due to methodological difficulties in measuring respiration rate of plants in light. Moreover, foliar respiration is known to be inhibited in light, thus foliar respiration rate is generally lower in light than in dark. However, this phenomenon, termed as inhibition of respiration in light (IRL), has rarely been assessed at the stand-scale and been incorporated into the calculation of CUE. Therefore, how CUE responses to atmospheric CO2 levels is still not clear. We studied CUE of sunflower stands grown at sub-ambient CO2 level (200 μmol mol-1) and elevated CO2 level (1000 μmol mol-1) using mesocosm-scale gas exchange facilities which enabled continuous measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 exchange. Appling steady-state 13C labeling, fluxes of respiration and photosynthesis in light were separated, and tracer kinetic in respiration was analyzed. This study provides the first data on CUE at a mesocosm-level including respiration in light in different CO2 environments. We found that CUE of sunflower was lower at an elevated CO2 level than at a sub-ambient CO2 level; and the ignorance of IRL lead to erroneous estimations of CUE. Variation in CUE at atmospheric CO2 levels was attributed to several mechanisms. In this study, CO2 enrichment i) affected the

  19. Modelling Plant and Soil Nitrogen Feedbacks Affecting Forest Carbon Gain at High CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMurtrie, R. E.; Norby, R. J.; Franklin, O.; Pepper, D. A.

    2007-12-01

    Short-term, direct effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on plant carbon gain are relatively well understood. There is considerable uncertainty, however, about longer-term effects, which are influenced by various plant and ecosystem feedbacks. A key feedback in terrestrial ecosystems occurs through changes in plant carbon (C) allocation patterns. For instance, if high CO2 were to increase C allocation to roots, then plants may experience positive feedback through improved plant nutrition. A second type of feedback, associated with decomposition of soil-organic matter, may reduce soil-nutrient availability at high CO2. This paper will consider mechanistic models of both feedbacks. Effects of high CO2 on plant C allocation will be investigated using a simple model of forest net primary production (NPP) that incorporates the primary mechanisms of plant carbon and nitrogen (N) balance. The model called MATE (Model Any Terrestrial Ecosystem) includes an equation for annual C balance that depends on light- saturated photosynthetic rate and therefore on [CO2], and an equation for N balance incorporating an expression for N uptake as a function of root mass. The C-N model is applied to a Free Air CO2 Exchange (FACE) experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, USA, where closed-canopy, monoculture stands of the deciduous hardwood sweetgum ( Liquidambar styraciflua) have been growing at [CO2] of 375 and 550 ppm for ten years. Features of this experiment are that the annual NPP response to elevated CO2 has averaged approximately 25% over seven years, but that annual fine-root production has almost doubled on average, with especially large increases in later years of the experiment (Norby et al. 2006). The model provides a simple graphical approach for analysing effects of elevated CO2 and N supply on leaf/root/wood C allocation and productivity. It simulates increases in NPP and fine-root production at the ORNL FACE site that are consistent

  20. Barium uptake by maize plants as affected by sewage sludge in a long-term field study.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Thiago Assis Rodrigues; deMelo, Wanderley José; Fonseca, Ivana Machado; Marques, Marcos Omir; He, Zhenli

    2010-09-15

    A long-term experiment was carried out under field conditions in Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil, with the objective of evaluating the concentration of Ba in soil and in maize plants grown in a soil treated with sewage sludge for nine consecutive years. During 2005/2006, maize was used as test plants and the experimental design was in randomized complete blocks with four treatments and five replicates. Treatments consisted of: 0.0, 45.0, 90.0 and 127.5 t ha(-1) sewage sludge (dry basis). Sewage sludge application increased soil Ba concentration. Barium accumulated in the parts of maize plants were generally affected by the successive applications of sewage sludge to the soil. However, the concentration of Ba in maize grain did not exceed the critical levels of Ba for human consumption. Sewage sludge applied to soil for a long time did not affect dry matter and grain production, nevertheless had the similar effect of mineral fertilization. PMID:20579810

  1. Medicinal plants extracts affect virulence factors expression and biofilm formation by the uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Wojnicz, Dorota; Kucharska, Alicja Z; Sokół-Łętowska, Anna; Kicia, Marta; Tichaczek-Goska, Dorota

    2012-12-01

    Medicinal plants are an important source for the therapeutic remedies of various diseases including urinary tract infections. This prompted us to perform research in this area. We decided to focus on medicinal plants species used in urinary tract infections prevention. The aim of our study was to determine the influence of Betula pendula, Equisetum arvense, Herniaria glabra, Galium odoratum, Urtica dioica, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea extracts on bacterial survival and virulence factors involved in tissue colonization and biofilm formation of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli rods. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of plant extracts were performed. Antimicrobial assay relied on the estimation of the colony forming unit number. Hydrophobicity of cells was established by salt aggregation test. Using motility agar, the ability of bacteria to move was examined. The erythrocyte hemagglutination test was used for fimbriae P screening. Curli expression was determined using YESCA agar supplemented with congo red. Quantification of biofilm formation was carried out using a microtiter plate assay and a spectrophotometric method. The results of the study indicate significant differences between investigated extracts in their antimicrobial activities. The extracts of H. glabra and V. vitis-idaea showed the highest growth-inhibitory effects (p < 0.05). Surface hydrophobicity of autoaggregating E. coli strain changed after exposure to all plant extracts, except V. vitis-idaea (p > 0.05). The B. pendula and U. dioica extracts significantly reduced the motility of the E. coli rods (p < 0.05). All the extracts exhibited the anti-biofilm activity. PMID:22915095

  2. Spatial heterogeneity in light supply affects intraspecific competition of a stoloniferous clonal plant.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pu; Lei, Jing-Pin; Li, Mai-He; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2012-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in light supply is common in nature. Many studies have examined the effects of heterogeneous light supply on growth, morphology, physiology and biomass allocation of clonal plants, but few have tested those effects on intraspecific competition. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew one (no competition) or nine ramets (with intraspecific competition) of a stoloniferous clonal plant, Duchesnea indica, in three homogeneous light conditions (high, medium and low light intensity) and two heterogeneous ones differing in patch size (large and small patch treatments). The total light in the two heterogeneous treatments was the same as that in the homogeneous medium light treatment. Both decreasing light intensity and intraspecific competition significantly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets and total stolon length) of D. indica. As compared with the homogeneous medium light treatment, the large patch treatment significantly increased the growth of D. indica without intraspecific competition. However, the growth of D. indica with competition did not differ among the homogeneous medium light, the large and the small patch treatments. Consequently, light heterogeneity significantly increased intraspecific competition intensity, as measured by the decreased log response ratio. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity in light supply can alter intraspecific interactions of clonal plants. PMID:22720041

  3. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions. PMID:26467257

  4. Comparison of Soybean Transformation Efficiency and Plant Factors Affecting Transformation during the Agrobacterium Infection Process

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yuying; Yao, Xingdong; Zhao, Mingzhe; Zhao, Qiang; Du, Yanli; Yu, Cuimei; Xie, Futi

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of soybean genotype to Agrobacterium infection is a key factor for the high level of genetic transformation efficiency. The objective of this study is to evaluate the plant factors related to transformation in cotyledonary nodes during the Agrobacterium infection process. This study selected three genotypes (Williams 82, Shennong 9 and Bert) with high transformation efficiency, which presented better susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection, and three low transformation efficiency genotypes (General, Liaodou 16 and Kottman), which showed a relatively weak susceptibility. Gibberellin (GA) levels and soybean GA20ox2 and CYP707A2 transcripts of high-efficiency genotypes increased and were higher than those of low-efficiency genotypes; however, the opposite performance was shown in abscisic acid (ABA). Higher zeatin riboside (ZR) content and DNA quantity, and relatively higher expression of soybean IPT5, CYCD3 and CYCA3 were obtained in high-efficiency genotypes. High-efficiency genotypes had low methyl jasmonate (MeJA) content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and relatively lower expression of soybean OPR3, PPO1 and PRX71. GA and ZR were positive plant factors for Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation by facilitating germination and growth, and increasing the number of cells in DNA synthesis cycle, respectively; MeJA, PPO, POD and ABA were negative plant factors by inducing defence reactions and repressing germination and growth, respectively. PMID:26262617

  5. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  6. Spatial Heterogeneity in Light Supply Affects Intraspecific Competition of a Stoloniferous Clonal Plant

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pu; Lei, Jing-Pin; Li, Mai-He; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2012-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in light supply is common in nature. Many studies have examined the effects of heterogeneous light supply on growth, morphology, physiology and biomass allocation of clonal plants, but few have tested those effects on intraspecific competition. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew one (no competition) or nine ramets (with intraspecific competition) of a stoloniferous clonal plant, Duchesnea indica, in three homogeneous light conditions (high, medium and low light intensity) and two heterogeneous ones differing in patch size (large and small patch treatments). The total light in the two heterogeneous treatments was the same as that in the homogeneous medium light treatment. Both decreasing light intensity and intraspecific competition significantly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets and total stolon length) of D. indica. As compared with the homogeneous medium light treatment, the large patch treatment significantly increased the growth of D. indica without intraspecific competition. However, the growth of D. indica with competition did not differ among the homogeneous medium light, the large and the small patch treatments. Consequently, light heterogeneity significantly increased intraspecific competition intensity, as measured by the decreased log response ratio. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity in light supply can alter intraspecific interactions of clonal plants. PMID:22720041

  7. Effect of maize lines on larval fitness costs of Cry1F resistance in the European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).

    PubMed

    Petzold-Maxwell, Jennifer L; Siegfried, Blair D; Hellmich, Richard L; Abel, Craig A; Coates, Brad S; Spencer, Terrence A; Gassmann, Aaron J

    2014-04-01

    Crops producing insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely planted and enable management of key insect pests while reducing the use of conventional insecticides. However, the evolution of Bt resistance could diminish these benefits. Fitness costs of Bt resistance occur in the absence of Bt toxin when individuals with resistance alleles show a reduction in fitness relative to susceptible individuals, and they can delay the evolution of resistance. Ecological factors including host-plant variety can affect the magnitude of fitness costs, and consequently, the degree to which fitness costs delay resistance. In this study, we measured fitness costs of resistance to Bt toxin Cry1F in the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) using Cry1F-resistant and Cry1F-susceptible strains sharing a similar genetic background. Fitness costs were tested on three lines of maize, Zea mays L., by measuring larval survival and development in two greenhouse experiments with plants in either the vegetative or reproductive stage. Both experiments showed that maize line significantly affected larval survival and developmental rate. However, larval survival, mass, and developmental rate did not differ between the Cry1F-resistant and susceptible strains, indicating a lack of fitness costs of resistance to Cry1F for the larval fitness components measured in this experiment. Future experiments should test for fitness costs of Cry1F resistance affecting survival to adulthood and adult life-history parameters. PMID:24772559

  8. The community structure of endophytic bacteria in different parts of Huanglongbing-affected citrus plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The analyses methods of Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), hierarchical cluster analysis and diversity index were used to study the relevance between citrus huanglongbing (HLB) and the endophytic bacteria in different branches and leaves as well as roots of huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus tr...

  9. Solubility and Plant Availability of Nutrients as Affected by Soil Drainage Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn growth is affected due to oxygen deficiency and root death in a perched water table (PWT). The study objective was to evaluate a surface application of FGD gypsum (FGDG) and glyphosate (GLY) on nutrient uptake in corn with different drainage conditions. The experiment was conducted in greenhous...

  10. Critical rearing parameters of Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) as affected by host-plant substrate and host-parasitoid group structure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory studies were conducted to evaluate the potential impact of host-plant substrate types, host-parasitoid group size and host to parasitoid ratios on select fitness parameters of the larval parasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang, newly introduced for biological control of the invasive eme...

  11. Methods and concepts in quantifying resistance to drought, salt and freezing, abiotic stresses that affect plant water status.

    PubMed

    Verslues, Paul E; Agarwal, Manu; Katiyar-Agarwal, Surekha; Zhu, Jianhua; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2006-02-01

    The abiotic stresses of drought, salinity and freezing are linked by the fact that they all decrease the availability of water to plant cells. This decreased availability of water is quantified as a decrease in water potential. Plants resist low water potential and related stresses by modifying water uptake and loss to avoid low water potential, accumulating solutes and modifying the properties of cell walls to avoid the dehydration induced by low water potential and using protective proteins and mechanisms to tolerate reduced water content by preventing or repairing cell damage. Salt stress also alters plant ion homeostasis, and under many conditions this may be the predominant factor affecting plant performance. Our emphasis is on experiments that quantify resistance to realistic and reproducible low water potential (drought), salt and freezing stresses while being suitable for genetic studies where a large number of lines must be analyzed. Detailed protocols for the use of polyethylene glycol-infused agar plates to impose low water potential stress, assay of salt tolerance based on root elongation, quantification of freezing tolerance and the use of electrolyte leakage experiments to quantify cellular damage induced by freezing and low water potential are also presented. PMID:16441347

  12. Ozone degrades common herbivore-induced plant volatiles: does this affect herbivore prey location by predators and parasitoids?

    PubMed

    Pinto, Delia M; Blande, James D; Nykänen, Riikka; Dong, Wen-Xia; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2007-04-01

    Inducible terpenes and lipoxygenase pathway products, e.g., green-leaf volatiles (GLVs), are emitted by plants in response to herbivory. They are used by carnivorous arthropods to locate prey. These compounds are highly reactive with atmospheric pollutants. We hypothesized that elevated ozone (O(3)) may affect chemical communication between plants and natural enemies of herbivores by degrading signal compounds. In this study, we have used two tritrophic systems (Brassica oleracea-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae and Phaseolus lunatus-Tetranychus urticae-Phytoseiulus persimilis) to show that exposure of plants to moderately enhanced atmospheric O(3) levels (60 and 120 nl l(-1)) results in complete degradation of most herbivore-induced terpenes and GLVs, which is congruent with our hypothesis. However, orientation behavior of natural enemies was not disrupted by O(3) exposure in either tritrophic system. Other herbivore-induced volatiles, such as benzyl cyanide, a nitrile in cabbage, and methyl salicylate in lima bean, were not significantly reduced in reactions with O(3). We suggest that more atmospherically stable herbivore-induced volatile compounds can provide important long-distance plant-carnivore signals and may be used by natural enemies of herbivores to orientate in O(3)-polluted environments. PMID:17333375

  13. Contamination of soil, medicinal, and fodder plants with lead and cadmium present in mine-affected areas, Northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Qamar, Zahir; Din, Islamud; Mahmood, Qaisar; Gul, Nayab; Huang, Qing

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in the soil and plants (medicinal and fodder) grown in chromite mining-affected areas, Northern Pakistan. Soil and plant samples were collected and analyzed for Pb and Cd concentrations using atomic absorption spectrometer. Soil pollution load indices (PLIs) were greater than 2 for both Cd and Pb, indicating high level of contamination in the study area. Furthermore, Cd concentrations in the soil surrounding the mining sites exceeded the maximum allowable limit (MAL) (0.6 mg kg(-1)), while the concentrations of Pb were lower than the MAL (350 mg kg(-1)) set by State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) for agriculture soil. The concentrations of Cd and Pb were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the soil of the mining-contaminated sites as compared to the reference site, which can be attributed to the dispersion of toxic heavy metals, present in the bed rocks and waste of the mines. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in majority of medicinal and fodder plant species grown in surrounding areas of mines were higher than their MALs set by World Health Organization/Food Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) for herbal (10 and 0.3 mg kg(-1), respectively) and edible (0.3 and 0.2 mg kg(-1), respectively) plants. The high concentrations of Cd and Pb may cause contamination of the food chain and health risk. PMID:26324064

  14. A Novel Role for Arabidopsis CBL1 in Affecting Plant Responses to Glucose and Gibberellin during Germination and Seedling Development

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Xu, Zhao-Shi; Chen, Yang; He, Guang-Yuan; Yang, Guang-Xiao; Chen, Ming; Li, Lian-Cheng; Ma, You-Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Glucose and phytohormones such as abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene, and gibberellin (GA) coordinately regulate germination and seedling development. However, there is still inadequate evidence to link their molecular roles in affecting plant responses. Calcium acts as a second messenger in a diverse range of signal transduction pathways. As calcium sensors unique to plants, calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins are well known to modulate abiotic stress responses. In this study, it was found that CBL1 was induced by glucose in Arabidopsis. Loss-of-function mutant cbl1 exhibited hypersensitivity to glucose and paclobutrazol, a GA biosynthetic inhibitor. Several sugar-responsive and GA biosynthetic gene expressions were altered in the cbl1 mutant. CBL1 protein physically interacted with AKINβ1, the regulatory β subunit of the SnRK1 complex which has a central role in sugar signaling. Our results indicate a novel role for CBL1 in modulating responses to glucose and GA signals. PMID:23437128

  15. Sharing a Host Plant (Wheat [Triticum aestivum]) Increases the Fitness of Fusarium graminearum and the Severity of Fusarium Head Blight but Reduces the Fitness of Grain Aphids (Sitobion avenae)

    PubMed Central

    Drakulic, Jassy; Caulfield, John; Woodcock, Christine; Jones, Stephen P. T.; Linforth, Robert; Bruce, Toby J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesized that interactions between fusarium head blight-causing pathogens and herbivores are likely to occur because they share wheat as a host plant. Our aim was to investigate the interactions between the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, and Fusarium graminearum on wheat ears and the role that host volatile chemicals play in mediating interactions. Wheat ears were treated with aphids and F. graminearum inoculum, together or separately, and disease progress was monitored by visual assessment and by quantification of pathogen DNA and mycotoxins. Plants exposed to both aphids and F. graminearum inoculum showed accelerated disease progression, with a 2-fold increase in disease severity and 5-fold increase in mycotoxin accumulation over those of plants treated only with F. graminearum. Furthermore, the longer the period of aphid colonization of the host prior to inoculation with F. graminearum, the greater the amount of pathogen DNA that accumulated. Headspace samples of plant volatiles were collected for use in aphid olfactometer assays and were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-coupled electroantennography. Disease-induced plant volatiles were repellent to aphids, and 2-pentadecanone was the key semiochemical underpinning the repellent effect. We measured aphid survival and fecundity on infected wheat ears and found that both were markedly reduced on infected ears. Thus, interactions between F. graminearum and grain aphids on wheat ears benefit the pathogen at the expense of the pest. Our findings have important consequences for disease epidemiology, because we show increased spread and development of host disease, together with greater disease severity and greater accumulation of pathogen DNA and mycotoxin, when aphids are present. PMID:25769834

  16. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  17. Initial Assessment of Sulfur-Iodine Process Safety Issues and How They May Affect Pilot Plant Design and Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Robert S. Cherry

    2006-09-01

    The sulfur-iodine process to make hydrogen by the thermochemical splitting of water is under active development as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program. An integrated lab scale system is currently being designed and built. The next planned stage of development is a pilot plant with a thermal input of about 500 kW, equivalent to about 30,000 standard liters per hour of hydrogen production. The sulfur-iodine process contains a variety of hazards, including temperatures up to 850 ºC and hazardous chemical species including SO2, H2SO4, HI, I2, and of course H2. The siting and design of a pilot plant must consider these and other hazards. This report presents an initial analysis of the hazards that might affect pilot plant design and should be considered in the initial planning. The general hazards that have been identified include reactivity, flammability, toxicity, pressure, electrical hazards, and industrial hazards such as lifting and rotating equipment. Personnel exposure to these hazards could occur during normal operations, which includes not only running the process at the design conditions but also initial inventory loading, heatup, startup, shutdown, and system flushing before equipment maintenance. Because of the complexity and severity of the process, these ancillary operations are expected to be performed frequently. In addition, personnel could be exposed to the hazards during various abnormal situations which could include unplanned phase changes of liquids or solids, leaks of process fluids or cooling water into other process streams, unintentional introducion of foreign species into the process, and unexpected side reactions. Design of a pilot plant will also be affected by various codes and regulations such as the International Building Code, the International Fire Code, various National Fire Protection Association Codes, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

  18. Lignin, land plants, and fungi: Biological evolution affecting Phanerozoic oxygen balance

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, J.M. )

    1990-07-01

    As dominance shifted from lycopsids and pteridophytes in the Paleozoic, to gymnosperms in the Mesozoic, to angiosperms in the Tertiary, plant architecture became more sparing in its use of lignin. Lignin-degrading organisms were rare or absent in the Paleozoic, but diverse and abundant in the Tertiary. Thus the terrigenous organic-carbon cycle has quickened over time, the fraction of terrestrial primary production preserved in coals and kerogens has declined, and terrestrial production has been able to increase over time without concomitant rises in atmospheric O{sub 2}.

  19. Factors Affecting the Extraction of Intact Ribonucleic Acid from Plant Tissues Containing Interfering Phenolic Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Newbury, H. John; Possingham, John V.

    1977-01-01

    Using conventional methods it is impossible to extract RNA as uncomplexed intact molecules from the leaves of grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) and from a number of woody perennial species that contain high levels of reactive phenolic compounds. A procedure involving the use of high concentrations of the chaotropic agent sodium perchlorate prevents the binding of phenolic compounds to RNA during extraction. Analyses of the phenolics present in plant tissues used in these experiments indicate that there is a poor correlation between the total phenolic content and the complexing of RNA. However, qualitative analyses suggest that proanthocyanidins are involved in the tanning of RNA during conventional extractions. PMID:16660134

  20. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression.

    PubMed

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect. PMID:26784701

  1. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression

    PubMed Central

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect. PMID:26784701

  2. Within plant distribution of Potato Virus Y in hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides): an inoculum source affecting PVY aphid transmission.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Felix A; Alvarez, Juan M

    2011-08-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is vectored by several potato-colonizing and non-colonizing aphid species in a non-persistent manner and has a wide host range. It occurs naturally in several plant families. Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae are the most efficient potato-colonizing aphid vectors of PVY. Rhopalosiphum padi, a cereal aphid that migrates in large numbers through potato fields during the middle of the growing season, does not colonize potato plants but can transmit PVY. Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides, a prevalent annual solanaceous weed in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, is an alternative host for PVY and a preferred host for M. persicae and M. euphorbiae. Hence, hairy nightshade plants might play an important role as an inoculum source in the epidemiology of PVY. We looked at titre accumulation and distribution of PVY(O), PVY(N:O) and PVY(NTN) in S. sarrachoides and potato after aphid inoculation with M. persicae and studied the transmission of PVY(O) and PVY(NTN), by M. persicae, M. euphorbiae and R. padi from hairy nightshade to potato plants. Virus titre at different positions on the plant was similar in S. sarrachoides and potato plants with strains PVY(O) and PVY(N:O). Titres of PVY(NTN) were similar in S. sarrachoides and potato but differences in titre were observed at different positions within the plant depending on the plant phenology. Percentage transmission of PVY(NTN) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was twice as high (46 and 34%, respectively) from hairy nightshade to potato than from potato to potato (20 and 14%). Percentage transmission of PVY(O) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was not affected by the inoculum source. No effect of the inoculum source was observed in the transmission of either PVY strain by R. padi. These results show that hairy nightshade may be an equal or better virus reservoir than potato and thus, important in the epidemiology of PVY. PMID:21601597

  3. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    PubMed

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application. PMID:24915641

  4. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  5. fits2hdf: FITS to HDFITS conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, D. C.; Barsdell, B. R.; Greenhill, L. J.

    2015-05-01

    fits2hdf ports FITS files to Hierarchical Data Format (HDF5) files in the HDFITS format. HDFITS allows faster reading of data, higher compression ratios, and higher throughput. HDFITS formatted data can be presented transparently as an in-memory FITS equivalent by changing the import lines in Python-based FITS utilities. fits2hdf includes a utility to port MeasurementSets (MS) to HDF5 files.

  6. Nanosecond electric pulses affect a plant-specific kinesin at the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Sebastian; Liu, Qiong; Eing, Christian; Frey, Wolfgang; Nick, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Electric pulses with high field strength and durations in the nanosecond range (nsPEFs) are of considerable interest for biotechnological and medical applications. However, their actual cellular site of action is still under debate--due to their extremely short rise times, nsPEFs are thought to act mainly in the cell interior rather than at the plasma membrane. On the other hand, nsPEFs can induce membrane permeability. We have revisited this issue using plant cells as a model. By mapping the cellular responses to nsPEFs of different field strength and duration in the tobacco BY-2 cell line, we could define a treatment that does not impinge on short-term viability, such that the physiological responses to the treatment can be followed. We observe, for these conditions, a mild disintegration of the cytoskeleton, impaired membrane localization of the PIN1 auxin-efflux transporter and a delayed premitotic nuclear positioning followed by a transient mitotic arrest. To address the target site of nsPEFs, we made use of the plant-specific KCH kinesin, which can assume two different states with different localization (either near the nucleus or at the cell membrane) driving different cellular functions. We show that nsPEFs reduce cell expansion in nontransformed cells but promote expansion in a line overexpressing KCH. Since cell elongation and cell widening are linked to the KCH localized at the cell membrane, the inverted response in the KCH overexpressor provides evidence for a direct action of nsPEFs, also at the cell membrane. PMID:24062185

  7. Plant Pathogenic Microbial Communication Affected by Elevated Temperature in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum.

    PubMed

    Saha, N D; Chaudhary, A; Singh, S D; Singh, D; Walia, S; Das, T K

    2015-11-01

    Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria regulate specific gene expression in a population density-dependent manner by sensing level of Acyl-Homoserine Lactone (HSL) molecules which they produce and liberate to the environment, called Quorum Sensing (QS). The production of virulence factors (extracellular enzyme viz. cellulase, pectinase, etc.) in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) is under strong regulation of QS. The QS signal molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-Homoserine Lactone (OHHL) was found as the central regulatory system for the virulence factor production in Pcc and is also under strict regulation of external environmental temperature. Under seven different incubation temperatures (24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, and 37 °C) in laboratory condition, highest amount of OHHL (804 violacein unit) and highest (79 %) Disease Severity Index (DSI) were measured at 33 °C. The OHHL production kinetics showed accumulation of highest concentration of OHHL at late log phase of the growth but diminution in the concentration occurred during stationary phase onwards to death phase. At higher temperature (35 and 37 °C) exposure, OHHL was not at detectable range. The effect of temperature on virulence factor production is the concomitant effect of HSL production and degradation which justifies less disease severity index in cross-inoculated tomato fruits incubated at 35 and 37 °C. The nondetection of the OHHL in the elevated temperature may because of degradation as these signal molecules are quite sensitive and prone to get degraded under different physical factors. This result provides the rationale behind the highest disease severity up to certain elevated temperature and leaves opportunities for investigation on mutation, co-evolution of superior plant pathogen with more stable HSL signals-mediated pathogenesis under global warming context. PMID:26271295

  8. Accumulation of N-Acetylglucosamine Oligomers in the Plant Cell Wall Affects Plant Architecture in a Dose-Dependent and Conditional Manner1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Vanholme, Bartel; Vanholme, Ruben; Turumtay, Halbay; Goeminne, Geert; Cesarino, Igor; Goubet, Florence; Morreel, Kris; Rencoret, Jorge; Bulone, Vincent; Hooijmaijers, Cortwa; De Rycke, Riet; Gheysen, Godelieve; Ralph, John; De Block, Marc; Meulewaeter, Frank; Boerjan, Wout

    2014-01-01

    To study the effect of short N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharides on the physiology of plants, N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINYLTRANSFERASE (NodC) of Azorhizobium caulinodans was expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The corresponding enzyme catalyzes the polymerization of GlcNAc and, accordingly, β-1,4-GlcNAc oligomers accumulated in the plant. A phenotype characterized by difficulties in developing an inflorescence stem was visible when plants were grown for several weeks under short-day conditions before transfer to long-day conditions. In addition, a positive correlation between the oligomer concentration and the penetrance of the phenotype was demonstrated. Although NodC overexpression lines produced less cell wall compared with wild-type plants under nonpermissive conditions, no indications were found for changes in the amount of the major cell wall polymers. The effect on the cell wall was reflected at the transcriptome level. In addition to genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, a whole set of genes encoding membrane-coupled receptor-like kinases were differentially expressed upon GlcNAc accumulation, many of which encoded proteins with an extracellular Domain of Unknown Function26. Although stress-related genes were also differentially expressed, the observed response differed from that of a classical chitin response. This is in line with the fact that the produced chitin oligomers were too small to activate the chitin receptor-mediated signal cascade. Based on our observations, we propose a model in which the oligosaccharides modify the architecture of the cell wall by acting as competitors in carbohydrate-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-protein interactions, thereby affecting noncovalent interactions in the cell wall or at the interface between the cell wall and the plasma membrane. PMID:24664205

  9. Hamiltonian inclusive fitness: a fitter fitness concept

    PubMed Central

    Costa, James T.

    2013-01-01

    In 1963–1964 W. D. Hamilton introduced the concept of inclusive fitness, the only significant elaboration of Darwinian fitness since the nineteenth century. I discuss the origin of the modern fitness concept, providing context for Hamilton's discovery of inclusive fitness in relation to the puzzle of altruism. While fitness conceptually originates with Darwin, the term itself stems from Spencer and crystallized quantitatively in the early twentieth century. Hamiltonian inclusive fitness, with Price's reformulation, provided the solution to Darwin's ‘special difficulty’—the evolution of caste polymorphism and sterility in social insects. Hamilton further explored the roles of inclusive fitness and reciprocation to tackle Darwin's other difficulty, the evolution of human altruism. The heuristically powerful inclusive fitness concept ramified over the past 50 years: the number and diversity of ‘offspring ideas’ that it has engendered render it a fitter fitness concept, one that Darwin would have appreciated. PMID:24132089

  10. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  11. Whole Genome Duplication Affects Evolvability of Flowering Time in an Autotetraploid Plant

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Sara L.; Husband, Brian C.

    2012-01-01

    Whole genome duplications have occurred recurrently throughout the evolutionary history of eukaryotes. The resulting genetic and phenotypic changes can influence physiological and ecological responses to the environment; however, the impact of genome copy number on evolvability has rarely been examined experimentally. Here, we evaluate the effect of genome duplication on the ability to respond to selection for early flowering time in lines drawn from naturally occurring diploid and autotetraploid populations of the plant Chamerion angustifolium (fireweed). We contrast this with the result of four generations of selection on synthesized neoautotetraploids, whose genic variability is similar to diploids but genome copy number is similar to autotetraploids. In addition, we examine correlated responses to selection in all three groups. Diploid and both extant tetraploid and neoautotetraploid lines responded to selection with significant reductions in time to flowering. Evolvability, measured as realized heritability, was significantly lower in extant tetraploids ( = 0.31) than diploids ( = 0.40). Neotetraploids exhibited the highest evolutionary response ( = 0.55). The rapid shift in flowering time in neotetraploids was associated with an increase in phenotypic variability across generations, but not with change in genome size or phenotypic correlations among traits. Our results suggest that whole genome duplications, without hybridization, may initially alter evolutionary rate, and that the dynamic nature of neoautopolyploids may contribute to the prevalence of polyploidy throughout eukaryotes. PMID:23028620

  12. Plant essential oils affect the toxicities of carbaryl and permethrin against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Tong, Fan; Bloomquist, Jeffrey R

    2013-07-01

    ABSTRACT Phytochemicals have been considered as alternatives for conventional pesticides because of their low mammalian toxicity and environmental safety. They usually display less potent insecticidal effects than synthetic compounds, but may express as yet unknown modes of action. In the current study, we evaluated 14 plant essential oils for their toxicities and synergistic effects with carbaryl and permethrin against fourth instars of Aedes aegypti (L.) as well as 5-7-d-old adults. Six essential oils showed significant synergistic effects with carbaryl at 10-50 mg/liter, but paradoxically all of them decreased the toxicity of permethrin against Ae. aegypti larvae. None showed toxicity or synergistic effects on Ae. aegypti adults, at doses up to 2,000 ng/ insect. The six essential oils displaying synergistic effects in Ae. aegypti larvae inhibited the in vitro activities of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and carboxylesterases in the low milligram per liter range. The data indicated that cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and carboxylesterase were probably targets for these natural synergists. Thus, the mechanism of synergism was most likely inhibition of metabolism and not interacting target site effects. PMID:23926781

  13. Factors affecting population of filamentous bacteria in wastewater treatment plants with nutrients removal.

    PubMed

    Miłobędzka, Aleksandra; Witeska, Anna; Muszyński, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Filamentous population in activated sludge and key operational parameters of full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with bulking problems representative for Poland were investigated with quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization. Statistical analyses revealed few relationships between operational parameters and biovolume of filamentous bacteria. Sludge age was not only positively correlated with abundance of Chloroflexi (parametric correlation and principal component analysis (PCA)), but also differentiated Microthrix population (analysis of variance (ANOVA)). Phylum Chloroflexi and pH presented a negative relation during the study (PCA). ANOVA showed that pH of influent and sludge volume index (SVI) differentiated abundance of types 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi and candidate division TM7. SVI increased along with higher abundance of Microthrix (positive parametric and non-parametric correlations and positive relation in PCA). Biovolumes of morphotypes 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi were differentiated by organic matter in influent, also by nutrients in the case of Chloroflexi type 1851. Chemical and biological oxygen demands (COD and BOD5, respectively) were negatively correlated with Microthrix. COD also differentiated the abundance of Haliscomenobacter hydrossis. Results of the study can be used to prevent WWTPs from excessive proliferation of filamentous bacteria and operational problems caused by them--bulking and foaming of activated sludge. PMID:26901721

  14. Factors affecting the uptake of 14C-labeled organic chemicals by plants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Topp, E.; Scheunert, I.; Attar, A.; Korte, F.

    1986-04-01

    The uptake of /sup 14/C from various /sup 14/C-labeled organic chemicals from different chemical classes by barley and cress seedlings from soil was studied for 7 days in a closed aerated laboratory apparatus. Uptake by roots and by leaves via the air was determined separately. Although comparative long-term outdoor studies showed that an equilibrium is not reached within a short time period, plant concentration factors after 7 days could be correlated to some physicochemical and structural substance properties. Barley root concentration factors due to root uptake, expressed as concentration in roots divided by concentration in soil, gave a fairly good negative correlation to adsorption coefficients based on soil organic carbon. Barley root concentration factors, expressed as concentration in roots divided by concentration in soil liquid, gave a positive correlation to the n-octanol/water partition coefficients. Uptake of chemicals by barley leaves via air was strongly positively correlated to volatilization of chemicals from soil. Both root and foliar uptake by barley could be correlated well to the molecular weight of 14 chemicals. Uptake of chemicals by cress differed from that by barley, and correlations to physicochemical substance properties mostly were poor.

  15. Solubility, mobility and plant uptake of toxic elements in retorted oil shales as affected by recarbonation

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, K.J.

    1986-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to develop a method of lowering the alkalinity of retorted shales and of reducing the solubility of toxic elements. The solubility relationships and mineral transformations associated with recarbonation of retorted shales were evaluated by determining the solubilities of different elements and by using X-ray diffraction analysis. An accurate method of measuring carbonate activity in shale extracts was developed. This method consisted of acidifying shale extracts with concentrated HCI. The evolved CO/sub 2/(g) was trapped in NaOH and titrated to pH 8.5. A computer speciation model was developed to calculate the equilibrium activities of different ions and the CO/sub 2/(g) partial pressure. Recarbonation dissolved silicates, restored the carbonate deficit, and lowered pH to near 8.5 when equilibrium with CaCO/sub 3/ and CO/sub 2/(g) partial pressure of approximately 10/sup -4.65/ atm. was attained. Furthermore, recarbonation decreased the solubilities of F, Ba, Cr, Sr, and Mo and lowered their concentrations in shale leachates, showing that recarbonation of spent shales can retard the movement of toxic elements into the groundwater. Tall wheatgrass (Agropyron elongatum) seeds placed in Lurgi shale without soil cover failed to germinate. On recarbonated Lurgi shale, plants grew normally without soil cover and accumulated normal levels of As, Se, Ba, B, Cu, Cd, Sr, and Ti. The results suggest that recarbonated retorted shales can be revegetated directly without a soil cover

  16. Seasonal timing of first rain storms affects rare plant population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levine, J.M.; McEachern, A.K.; Cowan, C.

    2011-01-01

    A major challenge in forecasting the ecological consequences of climate change is understanding the relative importance of changes to mean conditions vs. changes to discrete climatic events, such as storms, frosts, or droughts. Here we show that the first major storm of the growing season strongly influences the population dynamics of three rare and endangered annual plant species in a coastal California (USA) ecosystem. In a field experiment we used moisture barriers and water addition to manipulate the timing and temperature associated with first major rains of the season. The three focal species showed two- to fivefold variation in per capita population growth rates between the different storm treatments, comparable to variation found in a prior experiment imposing eightfold differences in season-long precipitation. Variation in germination was a major demographic driver of how two of three species responded to the first rains. For one of these species, the timing of the storm was the most critical determinant of its germination, while the other showed enhanced germination with colder storm temperatures. The role of temperature was further supported by laboratory trials showing enhanced germination in cooler treatments. Our work suggests that, because of species-specific cues for demographic transitions such as germination, changes to discrete climate events may be as, if not more, important than changes to season-long variables.

  17. Occurrence and transport of pharmaceuticals in a karst groundwater system affected by domestic wastewater treatment plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einsiedl, Florian; Radke, Michael; Maloszewski, Piotr

    2010-09-01

    The occurrence of two pharmaceuticals, ibuprofen and diclofenac, in a vulnerable karst groundwater system was investigated. The hydrogeology of the karst system was identified by collecting 3H samples in groundwater over 27 years and by performing tracer tests. The isotopes and tracer data were interpreted by mathematical modeling to estimate the mean transit time of water and to characterize the hydrogeological flow paths in the groundwater system. By this approach, a mean 3H transit time of 4.6 years for the fissured-porous karst aquifer was determined, whereas the fast flowing water in the conduit system showed a mean transit time of days. Both pharmaceuticals which infiltrated along sinkholes and small streams into the karst system were detected in concentrations of up to approximately 1 μg/L in effluent water of the wastewater treatment plants. Diclofenac was present in most samples collected from four springs discharging the karst groundwater to the rivers Altmühl and Anlauter in concentrations between 3.6 and 15.4 ng/L. In contrast, ibuprofen was rarely detected in groundwater. The results of this study suggest that both pharmaceuticals move into the fractured system of the karst system and go into storage. Thus dilution processes are the dominant control on the concentrations of both pharmaceuticals in the fractured system, whereas biodegradation is likely less important.

  18. Selenium bioavailability and uptake as affected by four different plants in a loamy clay soil with particular attention to mycorrhizae inoculated ryegrass.

    PubMed

    Munier-Lamy, C; Deneux-Mustin, S; Mustin, C; Merlet, D; Berthelin, J; Leyval, C

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of plant species, especially of their rhizosphere soil, and of inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus on the bioavailability of selenium and its transfer in soil-plant systems. A pot experiment was performed with a loamy clay soil and four plant species: maize, lettuce, radish and ryegrass, the last one being inoculated or not with an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus mosseae). Plant biomass and Se concentration in shoots and roots were estimated at harvest. Se bioavailability in rhizosphere and unplanted soil was evaluated using sequential extractions. Plant biomass and selenium uptake varied with plant species. The quantity of rhizosphere soil also differed between plants and was not proportional to plant biomass. The highest plant biomass, Se concentration in plants, and soil to plant transfer factor were obtained with radish. The lowest Se transfer factors were obtained with ryegrass. For the latter, mycorrhizal inoculation did not significantly affect plant growth, but reduced selenium transfer from soil to plant by 30%. In unplanted soil after 65 days aging, more than 90% of added Se was water-extractable. On the contrary, Se concentration in water extracts of rhizosphere soil represented less than 1% and 20% of added Se for ryegrass and maize, respectively. No correlation was found between the water-extractable fraction and Se concentration in plants. The speciation of selenium in the water extracts indicated that selenate was reduced, may be under organic forms, in the rhizosphere soil. PMID:17544553

  19. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  20. Inherited variability in multiple traits determines fitness in populations of an annual legume from contrasting latitudinal origins

    PubMed Central

    Milla, Rubén; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, Jose María

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Variation in fitness depends on corresponding variation in multiple traits which have both genetically controlled and plastic components. These traits are subjected to varying degrees of local adaptation in specific populations and, consequently, are genetically controlled to different extents. In this study it is hypothesized that modulation of different traits would have contrasting relevance for the fitness of populations of diverse origins. Specifically, assuming that environmental pressures vary across a latitudinal gradient, it is suggested that inherited variation in traits differentially determines fitness in annual Lupinus angustifolius populations from contrasting latitudinal origins in western Spain. Methods Seeds of L. angustifolius from three contrasting origins were grown in a common garden. Traits related to more plastic vegetative growth and more genetically conserved phenology were measured, together with estimates of reproductive success. Fitness was estimated by the number of viable seeds per plant. Structural Equation Models were used to infer causal relationships among multiple traits and fitness, separating the direct and indirect effects of morphological, phenological and reproductive traits. Key Results Phenological, vegetative and reproductive traits accounted for most of the fitness variation. Fitness was highest in plants of southernmost origin, mainly due to earlier flowering. Fitness within each seed origin was controlled by variation in different traits. Southern origin plants that grew to a larger size achieved higher fitness. However, plant size in plants of northernmost origin was irrelevant, but early flowering promoted higher fitness. Variation in fruit and seed set had a greater effect on the fitness of plants of central origin than phenological and size variation. Conclusions It is concluded that modulation of a functional trait can be relevant to fitness in a given population (i.e. affecting intensity and

  1. Metabonomics classifies pathways affected by bioactive compounds. Artificial neural network classification of NMR spectra of plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Ott, Karl-Heinz; Araníbar, Nelly; Singh, Bijay; Stockton, Gerald W

    2003-03-01

    The biochemical mode-of-action (MOA) for herbicides and other bioactive compounds can be rapidly and simultaneously classified by automated pattern recognition of the metabonome that is embodied in the 1H NMR spectrum of a crude plant extract. The ca. 300 herbicides that are used in agriculture today affect less than 30 different biochemical pathways. In this report, 19 of the most interesting MOAs were automatically classified. Corn (Zea mays) plants were treated with various herbicides such as imazethapyr, glyphosate, sethoxydim, and diuron, which represent various biochemical modes-of-action such as inhibition of specific enzymes (acetohydroxy acid synthase [AHAS], protoporphyrin IX oxidase [PROTOX], 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase [EPSPS], acetyl CoA carboxylase [ACC-ase], etc.), or protein complexes (photosystems I and II), or major biological process such as oxidative phosphorylation, auxin transport, microtubule growth, and mitosis. Crude isolates from the treated plants were subjected to 1H NMR spectroscopy, and the spectra were classified by artificial neural network analysis to discriminate the herbicide modes-of-action. We demonstrate the use and refinement of the method, and present cross-validated assignments for the metabolite NMR profiles of over 400 plant isolates. The MOA screen also recognizes when a new mode-of-action is present, which is considered extremely important for the herbicide discovery process, and can be used to study deviations in the metabolism of compounds from a chemical synthesis program. The combination of NMR metabolite profiling and neural network classification is expected to be similarly relevant to other metabonomic profiling applications, such as in drug discovery. PMID:12590124

  2. A Locus in Drosophila sechellia Affecting Tolerance of a Host Plant Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Hungate, Eric A.; Earley, Eric J.; Boussy, Ian A.; Turissini, David A.; Ting, Chau-Ti; Moran, Jennifer R.; Wu, Mao-Lien; Wu, Chung-I; Jones, Corbin D.

    2013-01-01

    Many insects feed on only one or a few types of host. These host specialists often evolve a preference for chemical cues emanating from their host and develop mechanisms for circumventing their host’s defenses. Adaptations like these are central to evolutionary biology, yet our understanding of their genetics remains incomplete. Drosophila sechellia, an emerging model for the genetics of host specialization, is an island endemic that has adapted to chemical toxins present in the fruit of its host plant, Morinda citrifolia. Its sibling species, D. simulans, and many other Drosophila species do not tolerate these toxins and avoid the fruit. Earlier work found a region with a strong effect on tolerance to the major toxin, octanoic acid, on chromosome arm 3R. Using a novel assay, we narrowed this region to a small span near the centromere containing 18 genes, including three odorant binding proteins. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of host specialization is facilitated by genetic linkage between alleles contributing to host preference and alleles contributing to host usage, such as tolerance to secondary compounds. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the effect of this tolerance locus on host preference behavior. Our data were inconsistent with the linkage hypothesis, as flies bearing this tolerance region showed no increase in preference for media containing M. citrifolia toxins, which D. sechellia prefers. Thus, in contrast to some models for host preference, preference and tolerance are not tightly linked at this locus nor is increased tolerance per se sufficient to change preference. Our data are consistent with the previously proposed model that the evolution of D. sechellia as a M. citrifolia specialist occurred through a stepwise loss of aversion and gain of tolerance to M. citrifolia’s toxins. PMID:24037270

  3. A locus in Drosophila sechellia affecting tolerance of a host plant toxin.

    PubMed

    Hungate, Eric A; Earley, Eric J; Boussy, Ian A; Turissini, David A; Ting, Chau-Ti; Moran, Jennifer R; Wu, Mao-Lien; Wu, Chung-I; Jones, Corbin D

    2013-11-01

    Many insects feed on only one or a few types of host. These host specialists often evolve a preference for chemical cues emanating from their host and develop mechanisms for circumventing their host's defenses. Adaptations like these are central to evolutionary biology, yet our understanding of their genetics remains incomplete. Drosophila sechellia, an emerging model for the genetics of host specialization, is an island endemic that has adapted to chemical toxins present in the fruit of its host plant, Morinda citrifolia. Its sibling species, D. simulans, and many other Drosophila species do not tolerate these toxins and avoid the fruit. Earlier work found a region with a strong effect on tolerance to the major toxin, octanoic acid, on chromosome arm 3R. Using a novel assay, we narrowed this region to a small span near the centromere containing 18 genes, including three odorant binding proteins. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of host specialization is facilitated by genetic linkage between alleles contributing to host preference and alleles contributing to host usage, such as tolerance to secondary compounds. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the effect of this tolerance locus on host preference behavior. Our data were inconsistent with the linkage hypothesis, as flies bearing this tolerance region showed no increase in preference for media containing M. citrifolia toxins, which D. sechellia prefers. Thus, in contrast to some models for host preference, preference and tolerance are not tightly linked at this locus nor is increased tolerance per se sufficient to change preference. Our data are consistent with the previously proposed model that the evolution of D. sechellia as a M. citrifolia specialist occurred through a stepwise loss of aversion and gain of tolerance to M. citrifolia's toxins. PMID:24037270

  4. Changes of the soil environment affected by fly ash dumping site of the electric power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Jerzy; Gwizdz, Marta; Jamroz, Elzbieta; Debicka, Magdalena; Kocowicz, Andrzej

    2014-05-01

    In this study the effect of fly ash dumping site of the electric power plant on the surrounding soil environment was investigated. The fly ash dumping site collect wastes form brown coal combustion of Belchatow electric power station, central Poland. The dumping site is surrounding by forest, where pine trees overgrow Podzols derived from loose quartz sands. The soil profiles under study were located at a distance of 50, 100, 400 and 500 m from the dumping site, while control profiles were located 8 km away from the landfill. In all horizons of soil profiles the mpain hysico-chemical and chemical properties were determined. The humic substances were extracted from ectohumus horizons by Shnitzer's method, purified using XAD resin and freeze-dried. The fulvic acids were passed through a cation exchange column and freeze-dried. Optical density, elemental composition and atomic ratios were determined in the humic and fulvic acids. Organic carbon by KMnO4 oxidation was also determined in the organic soil horizons. The fly ash from the landfill characterized by high salinity and strong alkaline reaction (pH=10), which contributed significantly to the changes of the pH values in soils horizons. The alkalization of soils adjacent to the landfill was found, which manifested in increasing of pH values in the upper soil horizons. The impact of the landfill was also noted in the changes of the soil morphology of Podzols analysed. As a result of the alkalization, Bhs horizons have been converted into a Bs horizons. Leaching of low molecular humus fraction - typical for podzolization - has been minimized as a result of pH changes caused by the impact of the landfill, and originally occurring humic substances in the Bhs horizon (present in the control profiles) have been probably transported out of the soil profile and then into the groundwater.

  5. Fitness of crop-wild hybrid sunflower under competitive conditions: implications for crop-to-wild introgression.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Kristin L; Emry, D Jason; Snow, Allison A; Kost, Matthew A; Pace, Brian A; Alexander, Helen M

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the likelihood and extent of introgression of novel alleles in hybrid zones requires comparison of lifetime fitness of parents and hybrid progeny. However, fitness differences among cross types can vary depending on biotic conditions, thereby influencing introgression patterns. Based on past work, we predicted that increased competition would enhance introgression between cultivated and wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus) by reducing fitness advantages of wild plants. To test this prediction, we established a factorial field experiment in Kansas, USA where we monitored the fitness of four cross types (Wild, F1, F2, and BCw hybrids) under different levels of interspecific and intraspecific competition. Intraspecific manipulations consisted both of density of competitors and of frequency of crop-wild hybrids. We recorded emergence of overwintered seeds, survival to reproduction, and numbers of seeds produced per reproductive plant. We also calculated two compound fitness measures: seeds produced per emerged seedling and seeds produced per planted seed. Cross type and intraspecific competition affected emergence and survival to reproduction, respectively. Further, cross type interacted with competitive treatments to influence all other fitness traits. More intense competition treatments, especially related to density of intraspecific competitors, repeatedly reduced the fitness advantage of wild plants when considering seeds produced per reproductive plant and per emerged seedling, and F2 plants often became indistinguishable from the wilds. Wild fitness remained superior when seedling emergence was also considered as part of fitness, but the fitness of F2 hybrids relative to wild plants more than quadrupled with the addition of interspecific competitors and high densities of intraspecific competitors. Meanwhile, contrary to prediction, lower hybrid frequency reduced wild fitness advantage. These results emphasize the importance of taking a full life cycle

  6. Fitness of Crop-Wild Hybrid Sunflower under Competitive Conditions: Implications for Crop-to-Wild Introgression

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, Kristin L.; Emry, D. Jason; Snow, Allison A.; Kost, Matthew A.; Pace, Brian A.; Alexander, Helen M.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the likelihood and extent of introgression of novel alleles in hybrid zones requires comparison of lifetime fitness of parents and hybrid progeny. However, fitness differences among cross types can vary depending on biotic conditions, thereby influencing introgression patterns. Based on past work, we predicted that increased competition would enhance introgression between cultivated and wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus) by reducing fitness advantages of wild plants. To test this prediction, we established a factorial field experiment in Kansas, USA where we monitored the fitness of four cross types (Wild, F1, F2, and BCw hybrids) under different levels of interspecific and intraspecific competition. Intraspecific manipulations consisted both of density of competitors and of frequency of crop-wild hybrids. We recorded emergence of overwintered seeds, survival to reproduction, and numbers of seeds produced per reproductive plant. We also calculated two compound fitness measures: seeds produced per emerged seedling and seeds produced per planted seed. Cross type and intraspecific competition affected emergence and survival to reproduction, respectively. Further, cross type interacted with competitive treatments to influence all other fitness traits. More intense competition treatments, especially related to density of intraspecific competitors, repeatedly reduced the fitness advantage of wild plants when considering seeds produced per reproductive plant and per emerged seedling, and F2 plants often became indistinguishable from the wilds. Wild fitness remained superior when seedling emergence was also considered as part of fitness, but the fitness of F2 hybrids relative to wild plants more than quadrupled with the addition of interspecific competitors and high densities of intraspecific competitors. Meanwhile, contrary to prediction, lower hybrid frequency reduced wild fitness advantage. These results emphasize the importance of taking a full life cycle

  7. Volatiles induced by larvae of asian corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis) in maize plants affect behavior of conspecific larvae and female adults

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Larvae of the Asian corn borer (ACB), Ostrinia furnacalis, (Guenée), feeding on maize (Zea mays L.) induced volatiles from the plants that affected orientation behaviors of ACB larvae and oviposition of ACB adult females. Nineteen volatile chemicals were identified from maize plants attacked by thir...

  8. Late Holocene to present climatic and anthropogenic drivers affecting wetland plant communities, Florida Everglades, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, C. E.; Willard, D. A.

    2011-12-01

    We synthesize the paleoecological results of dozens of sediment cores to evaluate the complex interactions of regional climate variability and anthropogenic modifications during the late Holocene affecting the development, stability, and resilience of the Florida Everglades wetlands. The Everglades is a mosaic of wetland types whose distributions are controlled by water depth, hydroperiod, fire, and substrate. External stressors could trigger shifts in the vegetation composition and change the community structure. Episodic severe periods of aridity during the late Holocene caused regional shifts in vegetation including the initiation and development of tree islands and sawgrass ridges, which became established during abrupt drought events. While the timing varies site to site, most droughts occurred during well-documented global climate events like the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age. However, slough vegetation is more resilient to climate variability and quickly returns to its original composition after droughts. Twentieth century modification to the natural Everglades hydrology saw the distribution wetlands severely altered. The response was not homogeneous. Some communities were drowned by prolonged hydroperiods whereas other communities, such as marl prairies became drier. However, slough vegetation in the ridge and slough landscape did not respond to 20th century land use but instead has been sensitive to changes in precipitation associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

  9. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  10. Presence of pharmaceuticals in benthic fauna living in a small stream affected by effluent from a municipal sewage treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Grabicova, Katerina; Grabic, Roman; Blaha, Martin; Kumar, Vimal; Cerveny, Daniel; Fedorova, Ganna; Randak, Tomas

    2015-04-01

    Aquatic organisms can be affected not only via polluted water but also via their food. In the present study, we examined bioaccumulation of seventy pharmaceuticals in two benthic organisms, Hydropsyche sp. and Erpobdella octoculata in a small stream affected by the effluent from a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Prachatice (South Bohemia region, Czech Republic). Furthermore, water samples from similar locations were analyzed for all seventy pharmaceuticals. In water samples from a control locality situated upstream of the STP, ten of the seventy pharmaceuticals were found with average total concentrations of 200 ng L(-1). In water samples collected at STP-affected sites (downstream the STP's effluent), twenty-nine, twenty-seven and twenty-nine pharmaceuticals were determined at average total concentrations of 2000, 2100 and 1700 ng L(-1), respectively. Six of the seventy pharmaceuticals (azithromycin, citalopram, clarithromycin, clotrimazole, sertraline, and verapamil) were found in Hydropsyche. Four pharmaceuticals (clotrimazole, diclofenac, sertraline, and valsartan) were detected in Erpobdella. Using evaluation criterion bioconcentration factor (BCF) is higher than 2000 we can assign azithromycin and sertraline as bioaccumulative pharmaceuticals. Even pharmaceuticals present at low levels in water were found in benthic organisms at relatively high concentrations (up to 85 ng g(-1) w.w. for azithromycin). Consequently, the uptake of pharmaceuticals via the food web could be an important exposure pathway for the wild fish population. PMID:25283339

  11. Increased nitrogen deposition did not affect the composition and turnover of plant and microbial biomarkers in forest soil density fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griepentrog, Marco; Bodé, Samuel; Boeckx, Pascal; Hagedorn, Frank; Wiesenberg, Guido L. B.; Schmidt, Michael W. I.

    2013-04-01

    Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and elevated CO2 concentrations affect many forests and their ecosystem functions, including organic matter cycling in soils, the largest carbon pool of terrestrial ecosystems. However, it is still not clear how, and what the underlying mechanisms are. Specific molecules of plant and microbial origin (biomarkers) might respond differently to N deposition, depending on their internal N content. Microbial cell-wall-constituents with high-N content like amino sugars are reliable biomarkers to distinguish between fungal- and bacterial-derived organic residues. Individual lipids are plant-specific biomarkers that lack N in their molecular structure. Here, we tested the effects of elevated CO2 and increased N deposition on the dynamics of plant and microbial biomarkers by studying their composition and turnover in forest soil density fractions. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis that these biomarkers respond differently to increased N deposition, depending on their internal N content. We used soil samples from a 4-year elevated CO2 and N deposition experiment in model forest ecosystems (open-top chambers), that were fumigated with ambient and 13C-depleted CO2 and treated with two levels of 15N-labeled fertilizer. Bulk soil was separated into free light fraction, occluded light fraction and heavy fraction by density fractionation and ultrasonic dispersion. The heavy fraction was further particle-size fractionated with 20 μm as a cut-off. We determined carbon and N concentrations and their isotopic compositions (δ13C, δ15N) within bulk soil and density fractions. Therein, we extracted and quantified individual amino sugars and lipids and conducted compound-specific stable-isotope-analysis using GC- and LC-IRMS. Results show that amino sugars were mainly stabilized in association with soil minerals. Especially bacterial amino sugars were preferentially associated with soil minerals, exemplified by a consistent decrease

  12. Physical Fitness at Camp.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steen, Thomas B.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Describes decline in youth fitness, emphasizing role of camping programs in youth fitness education. Describes Michigan camp's fitness program, consisting of daily workouts, fitness education, and record keeping. Describes fitness consultants' role in program. Discusses program's highlights and problems, suggesting changes for future use. Shows…

  13. Genetics of Pathogen Fitness: Correlations with Virulence and Effects of Host Genotype

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In plant pathology, a large body of work has focused on changes in virulence, the traits allowing infection of otherwise resistant hosts, while relatively few studies have examined changes in quantitative fitness traits, those affecting the reproductive success of the pathogen after infection has oc...

  14. Patchy Distributions of Competitors Affect the Growth of a Clonal Plant When the Competitor Density Is High

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wei; Huang, Lin; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Environments are patchy in not only abiotic factors but also biotic ones. Many studies have examined effects of spatial heterogeneity in abiotic factors such as light, water and nutrients on the growth of clonal plants, but few have tested those in biotic factors. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to examine how patchy distributions of competitors affect the growth of a rhizomatous wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis and whether such effects depend on the density of the competitors. We grew one ramet of B. planiculmis in the center of each of the experimental boxes without competitors (Schoenoplectus triqueter), with a homogeneous distribution of the competitors of low or high density, and with a patchy distribution of the competitors of low or high density. The presence of competitors markedly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets, number of tubers and rhizome length) of the B. planiculmis clones. When the density of the competitors was low, the growth of B. planiculmis did not differ significantly between the competitor patches and competitor-free patches. However, when the density of the competitors was high, the growth of B. planiculmis was significantly higher in the competitor-free patches than in the competitor patches. Therefore, B. planiculmis can respond to patchy distributions of competitors by placing more ramets in competition-free patches when the density of competitors is high, but cannot do so when the density of competitors is low. PMID:24205165

  15. Do selenium hyperaccumulators affect selenium speciation in neighboring plants and soil? An X-Ray Microprobe Analysis.

    PubMed

    El Mehdawi, Ali F; Lindblom, Stormy D; Cappa, Jennifer J; Fakra, Sirine C; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2015-01-01

    Neighbors of Se hyperaccumulators Stanleya pinnata and Astragalus bisulcatus were found earlier to have elevated Se levels. Here we investigate whether Se hyperaccumulators affect Se localization and speciation in surrounding soil and neighboring plants. X-ray fluorescence mapping and X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy were used to analyze Se localization and speciation in leaves of Artemisia ludoviciana, Symphyotrichum ericoides and Chenopodium album growing next to Se hyperaccumulators or non-accumulators at a seleniferous site. Regardless of neighbors, A. ludoviciana, S. ericoides and C. album accumulated predominantly (73-92%) reduced selenocompounds with XANES spectra similar to the C-Se-C compounds selenomethionine and methyl-selenocysteine. Preliminary data indicate that the largest Se fraction (65-75%), both in soil next to hyperaccumulator S. pinnata and next to nonaccumulator species was reduced Se with spectra similar to C-Se-C standards. These same C-Se-C forms are found in hyperaccumulators. Thus, hyperaccumulator litter may be a source of organic soil Se, but soil microorganisms may also contribute. These findings are relevant for phytoremediation and biofortification since organic Se is more readily accumulated by plants, and more effective for dietary Se supplementation. PMID:26030363

  16. Partnerships for the Fit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golding, Lawrence A.

    1984-01-01

    The YMCA has helped train and employ fitness leaders while educating the public on physical fitness. Colleges and universities can help develop careers in fitness while maintaining their traditional role of developing teachers and coaches. (DF)

  17. Analysis on radiocesium concentration in rivers that have catchment areas affected by the fallout from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taniguchi, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Kazuya; Sakaguchi, Aya; Yamamoto, Masayoshi; Onda, Yuichi

    2014-05-01

    Due to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, radioactive materials including Cs-134 and Cs-137 were widely distributed in surrounded area. The radiocesiums have been transported in river networks. This study showed the monitoring results of radiocesium concentration in river waters and suspended sediments in Abukuma river basin and smaller coastal river catchments. The monitoring started at 6 sites from June 2011. Subsequently, additional 24 monitoring sites were installed between October 2012 and January 2013. Flow and turbidity (for calculation of suspended sediment concentration) were measured at each site, while suspended sediments and river water were collected every one or half month to measure Cs-134 and Cs-137 activity concentrations by gamma spectrometry. Activity concentrations of Cs-134 and Cs- 137 on suspended sediments were generally decreasing at all sites. The decreasing rate changed lower at about one year later from the accident. Activity concentration in river waters also showed the same tendency although there are only few data within 1 year from the accident. Activity concentrations measured at the same day are proportional to the mean catchment inventory. Therefore, the activity concentration can be normalized by the mean catchment inventory. The normalized activity can be fitted to following double exponential function: [At] = 1.551 exp (-5.265t) + 0.069 exp (-0.266 t), where t [year] is the time from the accident. There is no time evolution of Kd between suspended sediments and river water. Instead, Kd was varied spatially. Although the reason of the spatial variation is not clear for now, geology of the catchment (i.e. mineral composition of suspended particles) seems to relate to the variation.

  18. Red:far-red light conditions affect the emission of volatile organic compounds from barley (Hordeum vulgare), leading to altered biomass allocation in neighbouring plants

    PubMed Central

    Kegge, Wouter; Ninkovic, Velemir; Glinwood, Robert; Welschen, Rob A. M.; Voesenek, Laurentius A. C. J.; Pierik, Ronald

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play various roles in plant–plant interactions, and constitutively produced VOCs might act as a cue to sense neighbouring plants. Previous studies have shown that VOCs emitted from the barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivar ‘Alva’ cause changes in biomass allocation in plants of the cultivar ‘Kara’. Other studies have shown that shading and the low red:far-red (R:FR) conditions that prevail at high plant densities can reduce the quantity and alter the composition of the VOCs emitted by Arabidopsis thaliana, but whether this affects plant–plant signalling remains unknown. This study therefore examines the effects of far-red light enrichment on VOC emissions and plant–plant signalling between ‘Alva’ and ‘Kara’. Methods The proximity of neighbouring plants was mimicked by supplemental far-red light treatment of VOC emitter plants of barley grown in growth chambers. Volatiles emitted by ‘Alva’ under control and far-red light-enriched conditions were analysed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). ‘Kara’ plants were exposed to the VOC blend emitted by the ‘Alva’ plants that were subjected to either of the light treatments. Dry matter partitioning, leaf area, stem and total root length were determined for ‘Kara’ plants exposed to ‘Alva’ VOCs, and also for ‘Alva’ plants exposed to either control or far-red-enriched light treatments. Key Results Total VOC emissions by ‘Alva’ were reduced under low R:FR conditions compared with control light conditions, although individual volatile compounds were found to be either suppressed, induced or not affected by R:FR. The altered composition of the VOC blend emitted by ‘Alva’ plants exposed to low R:FR was found to affect carbon allocation in receiver plants of ‘Kara’. Conclusions The results indicate that changes in R:FR light conditions influence the emissions of VOCs in barley, and that these altered emissions

  19. Zinc treatment increases the titre of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ in Huanglongbing-affected citrus plants while affecting the bacterial microbiomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus often display zinc deficiency symptoms. In this study, supplemental zinc was applied to citrus to determine its effect on Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) titer, HLB symptoms, and leaf microbiome. HLB-affected citrus were treated with various amounts of zi...

  20. Zinc treatment increases the titer of ‘Candidatus’ Liberibacter asiaticus’ in HLB-affected citrus plants while affecting the bacterial microbiomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus often display zinc deficiency symptoms. In this study, supplemental zinc was applied to citrus to determine its effect on Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) titer, HLB symptoms, and leaf microbiome. HLB-affected citrus were treated with various amounts of zi...

  1. Abiotic stresses affect differently the intron splicing and expression of chloroplast genes in coffee plants (Coffea arabica) and rice (Oryza sativa).

    PubMed

    Nguyen Dinh, Sy; Sai, Than Zaw Tun; Nawaz, Ghazala; Lee, Kwanuk; Kang, Hunseung

    2016-08-20

    Despite the increasing understanding of the regulation of chloroplast gene expression in plants, the importance of intron splicing and processing of chloroplast RNA transcripts under stress conditions is largely unknown. Here, to understand how abiotic stresses affect the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in dicots and monocots, we carried out a comprehensive analysis of the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in the coffee plant (Coffea arabica) as a dicot and rice (Oryza sativa) as a monocot under abiotic stresses, including drought, cold, or combined drought and heat stresses. The photosynthetic activity of both coffee plants and rice seedlings was significantly reduced under all stress conditions tested. Analysis of the transcript levels of chloroplast genes revealed that the splicing of tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings were significantly affected by abiotic stresses. Notably, abiotic stresses affected differently the splicing of chloroplast tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings. The transcript levels of most chloroplast genes were markedly downregulated in both coffee plants and rice seedlings upon stress treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that coffee and rice plants respond to abiotic stresses via regulating the intron splicing and expression of different sets of chloroplast genes. PMID:27448724

  2. Fitness Cost of Resistance to Bt Cotton Linked with Increased Gossypol Content in Pink Bollworm Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Jennifer L.; Ellers-Kirk, Christa; Orth, Robert G.; Gassmann, Aaron J.; Head, Graham; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Carrière, Yves

    2011-01-01

    Fitness costs of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops occur in the absence of Bt toxins, when individuals with resistance alleles are less fit than individuals without resistance alleles. As costs of Bt resistance are common, refuges of non-Bt host plants can delay resistance not only by providing susceptible individuals to mate with resistant individuals, but also by selecting against resistance. Because costs typically vary across host plants, refuges with host plants that magnify costs or make them less recessive could enhance resistance management. Limited understanding of the physiological mechanisms causing fitness costs, however, hampers attempts to increase costs. In several major cotton pests including pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), resistance to Cry1Ac cotton is associated with mutations altering cadherin proteins that bind this toxin in susceptible larvae. Here we report that the concentration of gossypol, a cotton defensive chemical, was higher in pink bollworm larvae with cadherin resistance alleles than in larvae lacking such alleles. Adding gossypol to the larval diet decreased larval weight and survival, and increased the fitness cost affecting larval growth, but not survival. Across cadherin genotypes, the cost affecting larval growth increased as the gossypol concentration of larvae increased. These results suggest that increased accumulation of plant defensive chemicals may contribute to fitness costs associated with resistance to Bt toxins. PMID:21738799

  3. Oxidative damage of workers in secondary metal recovery plants affected by smoking status and joining the smelting work.

    PubMed

    Chia, Taipau; Hsu, Ching Yi; Chen, Hsiu Ling

    2008-04-01

    In Taiwan, secondary copper smelters and zinc recovery plants primarily utilize recovering metal from scrap and dross, and handles mostly fly ash and slag with high temperature to produce ZnO from the iron and steel industry. The materials may contain organic impurities, such as plastic and organic chloride chemicals, and amounts of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) are produced during the smelting process. Therefore, secondary metal recovery industries are major emission sources of PCDD/Fs, which may have been demonstrated to elicit oxidative stress and to involve the production of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA). Many studies have also indicated that the intake of antioxidants, smoking, age and exposure to environmental pollutants may be implicated to DNA damage or lipid peroxidation. This study therefore aims to elucidate the roles of occupational exposure like joining the smelting work, age, smoking and alcohol status, and antioxidant intake on oxidative damage in secondary metal recovery workers in Taiwan. 73 workers were recruited from 2 secondary metal recovery plants. The analysis of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) in urine, DNA strand breakage (comet assay) and lipid peroxidation (MDA) in blood samples were completed for all of the workers. The results showed that the older subjects exhibited significantly lower levels of 8-OH-dG and MDA than younger subjects. Our investigation also showed that working departments were in related to plasma MDA and DNA strand breakage levels of nonsmokers, however, the observation become negligible in smokers. And it is implicated that cigarette type might affect 8-OH-dG levels in secondary metal recovery workers. Since, adding to results above, the MDA level in production workers was significantly higher than those in managerial departments, it is important for the employers to make efforts on improving occupational environments or serving protective equipments to protect workers

  4. Enforced Clonality Confers a Fitness Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Martínková, Jana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2016-01-01

    In largely clonal plants, splitting of a maternal plant into potentially independent plants (ramets) is usually spontaneous; however, such fragmentation also occurs in otherwise non-clonal species due to application of external force. This process might play an important yet largely overlooked role for otherwise non-clonal plants by providing a mechanism to regenerate after disturbance. Here, in a 5-year garden experiment on two short-lived, otherwise non-clonal species, Barbarea vulgaris and Barbarea stricta, we compared the fitness of plants fragmented by simulated disturbance (“enforced ramets”) both with plants that contemporaneously originate in seed and with individuals unscathed by the disturbance event. Because the ability to regrow from fragments is related to plant age and stored reserves, we compared the effects of disturbance applied during three different ontogenetic stages of the plants. In B. vulgaris, enforced ramet fitness was higher than the measured fitness values of both uninjured plants and plants established from seed after the disturbance. This advantage decreased with increasing plant age at the time of fragmentation. In B. stricta, enforced ramet fitness was lower than or similar to fitness of uninjured plants and plants grown from seed. Our results likely reflect the habitat preferences of the study species, as B. vulgaris occurs in anthropogenic, disturbed habitats where body fragmentation is more probable and enforced clonality thus more advantageous than in the more natural habitats preferred by B. stricta. Generalizing from our results, we see that increased fitness yielded by enforced clonality would confer an evolutionary advantage in the face of disturbance, especially in habitats where a seed bank has not been formed, e.g., during invasion or colonization. Our results thus imply that enforced clonality should be taken into account when studying population dynamics and life strategies of otherwise non-clonal species in disturbed

  5. Physical Fitness Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valdes, Alice

    This document presents baseline data on physical fitness that provides an outline for assessing the physical fitness of students. It consists of 4 tasks and a 13-item questionnaire on fitness-related behaviors. The fitness test evaluates cardiorespiratory endurance by a steady state jog; muscular strength and endurance with a two-minute bent-knee…

  6. Key regulatory drivers affecting shipments of mixed transuranic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Schumann, P.B.; Bacigalupa, G.A.; Kosiewicz, S.T.; Sinkule, B.J.

    1997-02-01

    A number of key regulatory drivers affect the nature, scope, and timing of Los Alamos National Laboratory`s (LANL`s) plans for mixed transuranic (MTRU) waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which are planned to commence as soon as possible following WIPP`s currently anticipated November, 1997 opening date. This paper provides an overview of some of the key drivers at LANL, particularly emphasizing those associated with the hazardous waste component of LANL`s MTRU waste (MTRU, like any mixed waste, contains both a radioactive and a hazardous waste component). The key drivers discussed here derive from the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and its amendments, including the Federal Facility Compliance Act (FFCAU), and from the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (NMHWA). These statutory provisions are enforced through three major mechanisms: facility RCRA permits; the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, set forth in the New Mexico Administrative Code, Title 20, Chapter 4, Part 1: and compliance orders issued to enforce these requirements. General requirements in all three categories will apply to MTRU waste management and characterization activities at both WIPP and LANL. In addition, LANL is subject to facility-specific requirements in its RCRA hazardous waste facility permit, permit conditions as currently proposed in RCRA Part B permit applications presently being reviewed by the New Mexico Environment Department (NNED), and facility-specific compliance orders related to MTRU waste management. Likewise, permitting and compliance-related requirements specific to WIPP indirectly affect LANL`s characterization, packaging, record-keeping, and transportation requirements for MTRU waste. LANL must comply with this evolving set of regulatory requirements to begin shipments of MTRU waste to WIPP in a timely fashion.

  7. Consuming functional foods enriched with plant sterol or stanol esters for 85 weeks does not affect neurocognitive functioning or mood in statin-treated hypercholesterolemic individuals.

    PubMed

    Schiepers, Olga J G; de Groot, Renate H M; van Boxtel, Martin P J; Jolles, Jelle; de Jong, Ariënne; Lütjohann, Dieter; Plat, Jogchum; Mensink, Ronald P

    2009-07-01

    Recent animal and human studies have shown that plant sterols and stanols, which are used as functional food ingredients to lower increased LDL cholesterol concentrations, pass the blood-brain barrier. Whether this affects neurocognitive functioning and mental well-being in humans has, to our knowledge, never been investigated. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine the effects of long-term plant sterol or stanol consumption on neurocognitive functioning and mood in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dietary intervention trial. To this end, hypercholesterolemic individuals, aged 43-69 y, receiving stable statin treatment were randomly assigned to an 85-wk supplementation with margarines enriched with plant sterol esters (2.5 g/d), plant stanol esters (2.5 g/d), or placebo. At baseline and at the end of the intervention period, all participants underwent a cognitive assessment. In addition, subjective cognitive functioning and mood were assessed by means of questionnaires (Cognitive Failure Questionnaire and depression subscale of the Symptom Checklist 90, respectively). Long-term supplementation with plant sterol or stanol esters did not affect cognitive performance (memory, simple information processing speed, complex information processing speed, Letter-Digit Substitution test performance), subjective cognitive functioning, or mood. In conclusion, the present results indicate that long-term use of plant sterols or stanols at recommended intakes of 2.5 g/d does not affect neurocognitive functioning or mood in hypercholesterolemic individuals receiving statin treatment. PMID:19458031

  8. Biochar amendment before or after composting affects compost quality and N losses, but not P plant uptake.

    PubMed

    Vandecasteele, Bart; Sinicco, Tania; D'Hose, Tommy; Vanden Nest, Thijs; Mondini, Claudio

    2016-03-01

    We investigated the use of biochar (10% on a dry weight basis) to improve the composting process and/or the compost quality by adding it to either the feedstock mixture or the mature compost. The addition of biochar to the feedstocks was essayed in a full scale trial using a mixture of green waste and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Addition of biochar to mature compost was performed in a medium scale experiment. The use of biochar, even in small amounts, changed the composting process and the properties of the end products. However these effects depended on the time of application. We observed a faster decomposition in the bio-oxidative phase and lower greenhouse gas emissions when biochar was added at the beginning of the composting process, and a reduction in readily available P when biochar was applied during compost storage. Biochar as a means to increase the C content of the compost was only effective during compost storage. The P fertilizer replacement value of the compost with and without biochar was tested in a plant trial with annual ryegrass. While there was a clear effect on readily available P concentrations in the compost, adding biochar to the feedstock or the compost did not affect the P fertilizer replacement value. PMID:26708650

  9. Factors affecting plant diversity during post-fire recovery and succession of mediterranean-climate shrublands in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Baer-Keeley, M.

    2005-01-01

    Plant community diversity, measured as species richness, is typically highest in the early post-fire years in California shrublands. However, this generalization is overly simplistic and the present study demonstrates that diversity is determined by a complex of temporal and spatial effects. Ninety sites distributed across southern California were studied for 5 years after a series of fires. Characteristics of the disturbance event, in this case fire severity, can alter post-fire diversity, both decreasing and increasing diversity, depending on life form. Spatial variability in resource availability is an important factor explaining patterns of diversity, and there is a complex interaction between landscape features and life form. Temporal variability in resource availability affects diversity, and the diversity peak in the immediate post-fire year (or two) appears to be driven by factors different from subsequent diversity peaks. Early post-fire diversity is influenced by life-history specialization, illustrated by species that spend the bulk of their life cycle as a dormant seed bank, which is then triggered to germinate by fire. Resource fluctuations, precipitation in particular, may be associated with subsequent post-fire diversity peaks. These later peaks in diversity comprise a flora that is compositionally different from the immediate post-fire flora, and their presence may be due to mass effects from population expansion of local populations in adjacent burned areas. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Gibberellins regulate the stem elongation rate without affecting the mature plant height of a quick development mutant of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ning; Xie, Yong-Dun; Guo, Hui-Jun; Zhao, Lin-Shu; Xiong, Hong-Chun; Gu, Jia-Yu; Li, Jun-Hui; Kong, Fu-Quan; Sui, Li; Zhao, Zi-Wei; Zhao, Shi-Rong; Liu, Lu-Xiang

    2016-10-01

    Gibberellin (GA) is essential for determining plant height. Alteration of GA content or GA signaling results in a dwarf or slender phenotype. Here, we characterized a novel wheat mutant, quick development (qd), in which GA regulates stem elongation but does not affect mature plant height. qd and wild-type plants did not exhibit phenotypic differences at the seedling stage. From jointing to heading stage, qd plants were taller than wild-type plants due to elongated cells. However, wild-type and qd plants were the same height at heading. Unlike wild-type plants, qd plants were sensitive to exogenous GA due to mutation of Rht-B1. With continuous GA stimulation, qd seedlings and adult plants were taller than wild-type. Thus, the GA content of qd plants might differ from that of wild-type during the growth process. Analysis of GA biosynthetic gene expression verified this hypothesis and showed that TaKAO, which is involved in catalyzing the early steps of GA biosynthesis, was differentially expressed in qd plants compared with wild-type. The bioactive GA associated gene TaGA20ox was downregulated in qd plants during the late growth stages. Measurements of endogenous GA content were consistent with the gene-expression analysis results. Consistent with the GA content variation, the first three basal internodes were longer and the last two internodes were shorter in qd than in wild-type plants. The qd mutant might be useful in dissecting the mechanism by which GA regulates stem-growing process, and it may be serve as a GA responsive semi-dwarf germplasm in breeding programs. PMID:27317908

  11. 9 CFR 91.30 - Defective fittings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Defective fittings. 91.30 Section 91.30 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... used fittings aboard an ocean vessel are employed, any portion thereof found by the inspector to...

  12. Viral fitness: definitions, measurement, and current insights

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wargo, Andrew R.; Kurath, Gael

    2012-01-01

    Viral fitness is an active area of research, with recent work involving an expanded number of human, non-human vertebrate, invertebrate, plant, and bacterial viruses. Many publications deal with RNA viruses associated with major disease emergence events, such as HIV-1, influenza virus, and Dengue virus. Study topics include drug resistance, immune escape, viral emergence, host jumps, mutation effects, quasispecies diversity, and mathematical models of viral fitness. Important recent trends include increasing use of in vivo systems to assess vertebrate virus fitness, and a broadening of research beyond replicative fitness to also investigate transmission fitness and epidemiologic fitness. This is essential for a more integrated understanding of overall viral fitness, with implications for disease management in the future.

  13. Plant Host Species and Geographic Distance Affect the Structure of Aboveground Fungal Symbiont Communities, and Environmental Filtering Affects Belowground Communities in a Coastal Dune Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    David, Aaron S; Seabloom, Eric W; May, Georgiana

    2016-05-01

    Microbial symbionts inhabit tissues of all plants and animals. Their community composition depends largely on two ecological processes: (1) filtering by abiotic conditions and host species determining the environments that symbionts are able to colonize and (2) dispersal-limitation determining the pool of symbionts available to colonize a given host and community spatial structure. In plants, the above- and belowground tissues represent such distinct habitats for symbionts that we expect different effects of filtering and spatial structuring on their symbiont communities. In this study, we characterized above- and belowground communities of fungal endophytes--fungi living asymptomatically within plants--to understand the contributions of filtering and spatial structure to endophyte community composition. We used a culture-based approach to characterize endophytes growing in leaves and roots of three species of coastal beachgrasses in dunes of the USA Pacific Northwest. For leaves, endophyte isolation frequency and OTU richness depended primarily on plant host species. In comparison, for roots, both isolation frequency and OTU richness increased from the nutrient-poor front of the dune to the higher-nutrient backdune. Endophyte community composition in leaves exhibited a distance-decay relationship across the region. In a laboratory assay, faster growth rates and lower spore production were more often associated with leaf- than root-inhabiting endophytes. Overall, our results reveal a greater importance of biotic filtering by host species and dispersal-limitation over regional geographic distances for aboveground leaf endophyte communities and stronger effects of abiotic environmental filtering and locally patchy distributions for belowground root endophyte communities. PMID:26626912

  14. A trial of production of the plant-derived high-value protein in a plant factory: photosynthetic photon fluxes affect the accumulation of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits.

    PubMed

    Kato, Kazuhisa; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Hirai, Tadayoshi; Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Mizoguchi, Tsuyoshi; Goto, Eiji; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2011-08-01

    One of the ultimate goals of plant science is to test a hypothesis obtained by basic science and to apply it to agriculture and industry. A plant factory is one of the ideal systems for this trial. Environmental factors affect both plant yield and the accumulation of recombinant proteins for industrial applications within transgenic plants. However, there have been few reports studying plant productivity for recombinant protein in closed cultivation systems called plant factories. To investigate the effects of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on tomato fruit yield and the accumulation of recombinant miraculin, a taste-modifying glycoprotein, in transgenic tomato fruits, plants were cultivated at various PPFs from 100 to 400 (µmol m(-2) s(-)1) in a plant factory. Miraculin production per unit of energy used was highest at PPF100, although miraculin production per unit area was highest at PPF300. The commercial productivity of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits largely depended on light conditions in the plant factory. Our trial will be useful to consider the trade-offs between the profits from production of high-value materials in plants and the costs of electricity. PMID:21791976

  15. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future. PMID:25537120

  16. Plant phenolic acids affect the virulence of Pectobacterium aroidearum and P. carotovorum ssp. brasiliense via quorum sensing regulation.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Janak Raj; Burdman, Saul; Lipsky, Alexander; Yariv, Shaked; Yedidia, Iris

    2016-05-01

    Several studies have reported effects of the plant phenolic acids cinnamic acid (CA) and salicylic acid (SA) on the virulence of soft rot enterobacteria. However, the mechanisms involved in these processes are not yet fully understood. Here, we investigated whether CA and SA interfere with the quorum sensing (QS) system of two Pectobacterium species, P. aroidearum and P. carotovorum ssp. brasiliense, which are known to produce N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) QS signals. Our results clearly indicate that both phenolic compounds affect the QS machinery of the two species, consequently altering the expression of bacterial virulence factors. Although, in control treatments, the expression of QS-related genes increased over time, the exposure of bacteria to non-lethal concentrations of CA or SA inhibited the expression of QS genes, including expI, expR, PC1_1442 (luxR transcriptional regulator) and luxS (a component of the AI-2 system). Other virulence genes known to be regulated by the QS system, such as pecS, pel, peh and yheO, were also down-regulated relative to the control. In agreement with the low levels of expression of expI and expR, CA and SA also reduced the level of the AHL signal. The effects of CA and SA on AHL signalling were confirmed in compensation assays, in which exogenous application of N-(β-ketocaproyl)-l-homoserine lactone (eAHL) led to the recovery of the reduction in virulence caused by the two phenolic acids. Collectively, the results of gene expression studies, bioluminescence assays, virulence assays and compensation assays with eAHL clearly support a mechanism by which CA and SA interfere with Pectobacterium virulence via the QS machinery. PMID:26177258

  17. ACSM Fit Society Page

    MedlinePlus

    ... Exercise Current Sports Medicine Reports Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal Guidelines Books & Multimedia Sports Medicine Basics Fact Sheets Sports Medicine & Physical Activity Marketplace Health & Physical Activity Reference Database Fit ...

  18. Proper fitting shoes (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... should be comfortable and fit well when you buy them. Never buy shoes that are tight, hoping they will stretch ... should be comfortable and fit well when you buy them. Never buy shoes that are tight, hoping ...

  19. Fitness Shoes and Clothes

    MedlinePlus

    ... My Go4Life Get Free Stuff Be a Partner Fitness Shoes and Clothes Choosing the right clothing and ... be a great motivator! Download the Tip Sheet Fitness Shoes and Clothes (PDF, 436.87 KB) You ...

  20. Family Activities for Fitness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grosse, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    This article discusses how families can increase family togetherness and improve physical fitness. The author provides easy ways to implement family friendly activities for improving and maintaining physical health. These activities include: walking, backyard games, and fitness challenges.

  1. ACSM Fit Society Page

    MedlinePlus

    ... Physical Activity Marketplace Health & Physical Activity Reference Database Public Information Newsletters ACSM Blog ACSM Blog Search By ... Activity Marketplace Health & Physical Activity Reference Database Home Public Information Newsletters Fit Society Page ACSM Fit Society ® ...

  2. Exercise frequency and bone mineral density development in exercising postmenopausal osteopenic women. Is there a critical dose of exercise for affecting bone? Results of the Erlangen Fitness and Osteoporosis Prevention Study.

    PubMed

    Kemmler, Wolfgang; von Stengel, Simon; Kohl, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    Due to older people's low sports participation rates, exercise frequency may be the most critical component for designing exercise protocols that address bone. The aims of the present article were to determine the independent effect of exercise frequency (ExFreq) and its corresponding changes on bone mineral density (BMD) and to identify the minimum effective dose that just relevantly affects bone. Based on the 16-year follow-up of the intense, consistently supervised Erlangen Fitness and Osteoporosis Prevention-Study, ExFreq was retrospectively determined in the exercise-group of 55 initially early-postmenopausal females with osteopenia. Linear mixed-effect regression analysis was conducted to determine the independent effect of ExFreq on BMD changes at lumbar spine and total hip. Minimum effective dose of ExFreq based on BMD changes less than the 90% quantile of the sedentary control-group (n=43). Cut-offs were determined after 4, 8, 12 and 16years using bootstrap with 5000 replications. After 16years, average ExFreq ranged between 1.02 and 2.96sessions/week (2.28±0.40sessions/week). ExFreq has an independent effect on LS-BMD (p<.001) and hip-BMD (p=.005) changes. Bootstrap analysis detected a minimum effective dose at about 2sessions/week/16years (cut-off LS-BMD: 2.11, 95% CI: 2.06-2.12; total hip-BMD: 2.22, 95% CI: 2.00-2.78sessions/week/16years). In summary, the minimum effective dose of exercise frequency that relevantly addresses BMD is quite high, at least compared with the low sport participation rate of older adults. This result might not be generalizable across all exercise types, protocols and cohorts, but it does indicate at least that even when applying high impact/high intensity programs, exercise frequency and its maintenance play a key role in bone adaptation. PMID:27108341

  3. Consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on medicinal plant selection: plant use for cultural bound syndromes affecting children in Suriname and Western Africa.

    PubMed

    Vossen, Tessa; Towns, Alexandra; Ruysschaert, Sofie; Quiroz, Diana; van Andel, Tinde

    2014-01-01

    Folk perceptions of health and illness include cultural bound syndromes (CBS), ailments generally confined to certain cultural groups or geographic regions and often treated with medicinal plants. Our aim was to compare definitions and plant use for CBS regarding child health in the context of the largest migration in recent human history: the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We compared definitions of four CBS (walk early, evil eye, atita and fontanels) and associated plant use among three Afro-Surinamese populations and their African ancestor groups in Ghana, Bénin and Gabon. We expected plant use to be similar on species level, and assumed the majority to be weedy or domesticated species, as these occur on both continents and were probably recognized by enslaved Africans. Data were obtained by identifying plants mentioned during interviews with local women from the six different populations. To analyse differences and similarities in plant use we used Detrended Component Analysis (DCA) and a Wald Chi-square test. Definitions of the four cultural bound syndromes were roughly the same on both continents. In total, 324 plant species were used. There was little overlap between Suriname and Africa: 15 species were used on two continents, of which seven species were used for the same CBS. Correspondence on family level was much higher. Surinamese populations used significantly more weedy species than Africans, but equal percentages of domesticated plants. Our data indicate that Afro-Surinamers have searched for similar plants to treat their CBS as they remembered from Africa. In some cases, they have found the same species, but they had to reinvent the largest part of their herbal pharmacopeia to treat their CBS using known plant families or trying out new species. Ideas on health and illness appear to be more resilient than the use of plants to treat them. PMID:25372485

  4. Consequences of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on Medicinal Plant Selection: Plant Use for Cultural Bound Syndromes Affecting Children in Suriname and Western Africa

    PubMed Central

    Vossen, Tessa; Towns, Alexandra; Ruysschaert, Sofie; Quiroz, Diana; van Andel, Tinde

    2014-01-01

    Folk perceptions of health and illness include cultural bound syndromes (CBS), ailments generally confined to certain cultural groups or geographic regions and often treated with medicinal plants. Our aim was to compare definitions and plant use for CBS regarding child health in the context of the largest migration in recent human history: the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We compared definitions of four CBS (walk early, evil eye, atita and fontanels) and associated plant use among three Afro-Surinamese populations and their African ancestor groups in Ghana, Bénin and Gabon. We expected plant use to be similar on species level, and assumed the majority to be weedy or domesticated species, as these occur on both continents and were probably recognized by enslaved Africans. Data were obtained by identifying plants mentioned during interviews with local women from the six different populations. To analyse differences and similarities in plant use we used Detrended Component Analysis (DCA) and a Wald Chi-square test. Definitions of the four cultural bound syndromes were roughly the same on both continents. In total, 324 plant species were used. There was little overlap between Suriname and Africa: 15 species were used on two continents, of which seven species were used for the same CBS. Correspondence on family level was much higher. Surinamese populations used significantly more weedy species than Africans, but equal percentages of domesticated plants. Our data indicate that Afro-Surinamers have searched for similar plants to treat their CBS as they remembered from Africa. In some cases, they have found the same species, but they had to reinvent the largest part of their herbal pharmacopeia to treat their CBS using known plant families or trying out new species. Ideas on health and illness appear to be more resilient than the use of plants to treat them. PMID:25372485

  5. Reaching Your Fitness Goals

    MedlinePlus

    Everyday Fitness Ideas from the National Institute on Aging at NIH www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life Reaching Your Fitness Goals You’ll begin to see results in ... longer, and more easily. As you increase your fitness level, you also might find that you need ...

  6. The clinical significance of marginal fit.

    PubMed

    Larson, Thomas D

    2012-01-01

    Clinical evaluation of restoration acceptability includes marginal adaptation, restoration and preservation of anatomic form, color match, cavosurface discoloration, and presence of marginal caries. This paper will review what is known about marginal fit of all materials relative to their acceptable fit. Some explanation will be given of how material properties affect marginal fit, what the expected longevity of different materials is relative to marginal fit, and how marginal fit affects development of secondary or marginal caries. Marginal fit is assumed to affect restoration longevity by either encouraging or discouraging microleakage and development of secondary or marginal caries. Marginal fit and its effect on the health of the gingival tissues have been reviewed in an earlier paper on polishing and will not be reviewed here. Is there some correlation between marginal fit of the various materials used in restorative dentistry and this assumption? This paper will review the literature found on Medline and present the science behind the clinical significance of marginal fit utilizing in vitro studies where necessary and in vivo studies whenever possible. Numerous authors replicating these studies are used to improve reliability and replicability. PMID:22439529

  7. ABA is an essential signal for plant resistance to pathogens affecting JA biosynthesis and the activation of plant defenses in Arabidopsis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant defense responses have been studied through a limited number of models that may have constrained our view of plant-pathogen interactions. Discovery of new defense mechanisms should be favored by broadening the range of pathogens under study. With this aim, Arabidopsis defense response to the ‘...

  8. Nickel tolerance of serpentine and non-serpentine Knautia arvensis plants as affected by arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Doubková, Pavla; Sudová, Radka

    2014-04-01

    Serpentine soils have naturally elevated concentrations of certain heavy metals, including nickel. This study addressed the role of plant origin (serpentine vs. non-serpentine) and symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in plant Ni tolerance. A semi-hydroponic experiment involving three levels of Ni and serpentine and non-serpentine AMF isolates and populations of a model plant species (Knautia arvensis) revealed considerable negative effects of elevated Ni availability on both plant and fungal performance. Plant growth response to Ni was independent of edaphic origin; however, higher Ni tolerance of serpentine plants was indicated by a smaller decline in the concentrations of photosynthetic pigments and restricted root-to-shoot Ni translocation. Serpentine plants also retained relatively more Mg in their roots, resulting in a higher shoot Ca/Mg ratio. AMF inoculation, especially with the non-serpentine isolate, further aggravated Ni toxicity to host plants. Therefore, AMF do not appear to be involved in Ni tolerance of serpentine K. arvensis plants. PMID:24136374

  9. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  10. Mycorrhizal symbiosis in leeks increases plant growth under low phosphorus and affects the levels of specific flavonoid glycosides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction- Mycorrhizae symbiosis is a universal phenomenon in nature that promotes plant growth and food quality in most plants, especially, under phosphorus deficiency and water stress. Objective- The objective of this study was to assess the effects of mycorrhizal symbiosis on changes in the le...

  11. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidermics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and ex...

  12. Salinity and Alkaline pH of Irrigation Water Affect Marigold Plants: I. Growth and Shoot Dry Weight Partitioning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Marigold, is one of the most popular annual ornamental plants. Both the short-statured cultivars (Tagetes patula L.) and the taller cultivars (T. erecta L.) are used as container plants, in landscape and garden settings. Tagetes erecta varieties make excellent cut and dried flowers for the florist...

  13. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  14. Parameters affecting the efficient delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle materials and gold nanorods into plant tissues by the biolistic method.

    PubMed

    Martin-Ortigosa, Susana; Valenstein, Justin S; Sun, Wei; Moeller, Lorena; Fang, Ning; Trewyn, Brian G; Lin, Victor S-Y; Wang, Kan

    2012-02-01

    Applying nanotechnology to plant science requires efficient systems for the delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) to plant cells and tissues. The presence of a cell wall in plant cells makes it challenging to extend the NP delivery methods available for animal research. In this work, research is presented which establishes an efficient NP delivery system for plant tissues using the biolistic method. It is shown that the biolistic delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) materials can be improved by increasing the density of MSNs through gold plating. Additionally, a DNA-coating protocol is used based on calcium chloride and spermidine for MSN and gold nanorods to enhance the NP-mediated DNA delivery. Furthermore, the drastic improvement of NP delivery is demonstrated when the particles are combined with 0.6 μm gold particles during bombardment. The methodology described provides a system for the efficient delivery of NPs into plant cells using the biolistic method. PMID:22174078

  15. Phosphorus and iron deficiencies induce a metabolic reprogramming and affect the exudation traits of the woody plant Fragaria×ananassa.

    PubMed

    Valentinuzzi, Fabio; Pii, Youry; Vigani, Gianpiero; Lehmann, Martin; Cesco, Stefano; Mimmo, Tanja

    2015-10-01

    Strawberries are a very popular fruit among berries, for both their commercial and economic importance, but especially for their beneficial effects for human health. However, their bioactive compound content is strictly related to the nutritional status of the plant and might be affected if nutritional disorders (e.g. Fe or P shortage) occur. To overcome nutrient shortages, plants evolved different mechanisms, which often involve the release of root exudates. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying root exudation and its regulation are as yet still poorly known, in particular in woody crop species. The aim of this work was therefore to characterize the pattern of root exudation of strawberry plants grown in either P or Fe deficiency, by investigating metabolomic changes of root tissues and the expression of genes putatively involved in exudate extrusion. Although P and Fe deficiencies differentially affected the total metabolism, some metabolites (e.g. raffinose and galactose) accumulated in roots similarly under both conditions. Moreover, P deficiency specifically affected the content of galactaric acid, malic acid, lysine, proline, and sorbitol-6-phosphate, whereas Fe deficiency specifically affected the content of sucrose, dehydroascorbic acid, galactonate, and ferulic acid. At the same time, the citrate content did not change in roots under both nutrient deficiencies with respect to the control. However, a strong release of citrate was observed, and it increased significantly with time, being +250% and +300% higher in Fe- and P-deficient plants, respectively, compared with the control. Moreover, concomitantly, a significant acidification of the growth medium was observed in both treatments. Gene expression analyses highlighted for the first time that at least two members of the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) transporter family and one member of the plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase family are involved in the response to both P and Fe

  16. Plant population size and isolation affect herbivory of Silene latifolia by the specialist herbivore Hadena bicruris and parasitism of the herbivore by parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Elzinga, Jelmer A; Turin, Hans; van Damme, Jos M M; Biere, Arjen

    2005-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation can affect levels of herbivory in plant populations if plants and herbivores are differentially affected by fragmentation. Moreover, if herbivores are top-down controlled by predators or parasitoids, herbivory may also be affected by differential effects of fragmentation on herbivores and their natural enemies. We used natural Silene latifolia populations to examine the effects of plant population size and isolation on the level of herbivory by the seed predating noctuid Hadena bicruris and the rate of parasitism of the herbivore by its parasitoids. In addition, we examined oviposition rate, herbivory and parasitism in differently sized experimental populations. In natural populations, the level of herbivory increased and the rate of parasitism decreased with decreasing plant population size and increasing degree of isolation. The number of parasitoid species also declined with decreasing plant population size. In the experimental populations, the level of herbivory was also higher in smaller populations, in accordance with higher oviposition rates, but was not accompanied by lower rates of parasitism. Similarly, oviposition rate and herbivory, but not parasitism rate, increased near the edges of populations. These results suggests that in this system with the well dispersing herbivore H. bicruris, habitat fragmentation increases herbivory of the plant through a behavioural response of the moth that leads to higher oviposition rates in fragmented populations with a reduced population size, increased isolation and higher edge-to-interior ratio. Although the rate of parasitism and the number of parasitoid species declined with decreasing population size in the natural populations, we argue that in this system it is unlikely that this decline made a major contribution to increased herbivory. PMID:15891816

  17. Fitness and structure landscapes for pre-miRNA processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundschuh, Ralf; de Meaux, Juliette; Lassig, Michael

    2011-03-01

    The processing from pre-miRNA to mature miRNA in plants involves a mechanism, which depends on an extended stem in the secondary structure of the pre-miRNA. Here, we show how natural selection acts on this secondary structure to produce evolutionary conservation of the processing mechanism together with modularity of the pre-miRNA molecules, making this molecular function independent of others. Our main results are: 1. Selection on miRNA processing can be described by a fitness landscape which depends directly on the secondary structure of the pre-miRNA. 2. This fitness landscape predicts the divergence of the phenotype between orthologous pre-miRNA molecules from different species. 3. Actual pre-miRNA structures are modular: their phenotype is significantly less affected by deleterious mutations in the remainder of the molecule than for random RNA molecules.

  18. Results of a Required Fitness Program.

    PubMed

    Emes, C; Davies, C; Evans, J; Kerr, B; Kinnear, G; Maxwell, T

    1981-12-01

    In brief: Based on the belief that physical education majors should have above-average fitness levels, 128 students were instructed to design and execute their own fitness development project to improve strength, endurance, and flexibility. Most relied on jogging, stair running, swimming, and cycling; others performed weight training, calisthenics, racket sports, and aerobic dancing. Generally, both men and women showed statistically significant increases in all the fitness tests. The authors believe that success was encouraged by the students' daily contact with instructors, the fact that their fitness improvement affected their grades, and the knowledge they gained from the course. PMID:27452707

  19. Leak test fitting

    DOEpatents

    Pickett, P.T.

    A hollow fitting for use in gas spectrometry leak testing of conduit joints is divided into two generally symmetrical halves along the axis of the conduit. A clip may quickly and easily fasten and unfasten the halves around the conduit joint under test. Each end of the fitting is sealable with a yieldable material, such as a piece of foam rubber. An orifice is provided in a wall of the fitting for the insertion or detection of helium during testing. One half of the fitting also may be employed to test joints mounted against a surface.

  20. Leak test fitting

    DOEpatents

    Pickett, Patrick T.

    1981-01-01

    A hollow fitting for use in gas spectrometry leak testing of conduit joints is divided into two generally symmetrical halves along the axis of the conduit. A clip may quickly and easily fasten and unfasten the halves around the conduit joint under test. Each end of the fitting is sealable with a yieldable material, such as a piece of foam rubber. An orifice is provided in a wall of the fitting for the insertion or detection of helium during testing. One half of the fitting also may be employed to test joints mounted against a surface.

  1. Soil microbial abundance, activity and diversity response in two different altitude-adapted plant communities affected by wildfire in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; Zavala, Lorena; Jordan, Antonio; Bååth, Erland; Mataix-Beneyto, Jorge

    2013-04-01

    Plant communities can play an important role in fire severity and post-fire ecosystem recovery due to their role as combustible and different plant-soil microorganisms interactions. Possible differences induced by plant and microorganisms response after fire could affect the general ecosystem short and long-term response and its sustainability. The main objective of this work was the evaluation of the effect of wildfire on soil microbial abundance, activity and diversity in two different plant communities associated to different altitudes in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Spain). Samples were collected in two areas located on the Sierra Nevada Mountain between 1700 and 2000 m above sea level which were affected by a large wildfire in 2005. Two samplings were carried out 8 and 20 months after fire and samples were collected in both burned and unburned (control) zones in each plant community area. Area A is located at 1700m and it is formed by Quercus rotundifolia forest while area B is located at 2000 m altitude and is composed of alpine vegetation formed by creeping bearing shrubs. Microbial biomass measured by Fumigation-Extraction method followed the same trend in both areas showing slight and no significant differences between burned and unburned area during the study period while viable and cultivable bacteria abundance were markedly higher in fire affected samples than in the control ones in both samplings. Viable and cultivable filamentous fungi had different behavior depending of plant vegetation community studied showing no differences between burned and unburned area in area A while was significantly higher in burned samples than in the control ones in area B. Microbial activity monitoring with soil microbial respiration appears to had been affected immediately after fire since microbial respiration was lower in burned samples from area A than in unburned one only 8 months after fire and no significant differences were observed between burned and

  2. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Background Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities) are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern. Aims and Methods In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment. Key Results In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly

  3. Nonlinear fitness landscape of a molecular pathway.

    PubMed

    Perfeito, Lilia; Ghozzi, Stéphane; Berg, Johannes; Schnetz, Karin; Lässig, Michael

    2011-07-01

    Genes are regulated because their expression involves a fitness cost to the organism. The production of proteins by transcription and translation is a well-known cost factor, but the enzymatic activity of the proteins produced can also reduce fitness, depending on the internal state and the environment of the cell. Here, we map the fitness costs of a key metabolic network, the lactose utilization pathway in Escherichia coli. We measure the growth of several regulatory lac operon mutants in different environments inducing expression of the lac genes. We find a strikingly nonlinear fitness landscape, which depends on the production rate and on the activity rate of the lac proteins. A simple fitness model of the lac pathway, based on elementary biophysical processes, predicts the growth rate of all observed strains. The nonlinearity of fitness is explained by a feedback loop: production and activity of the lac proteins reduce growth, but growth also affects the density of these molecules. This nonlinearity has important consequences for molecular function and evolution. It generates a cliff in the fitness landscape, beyond which populations cannot maintain growth. In viable populations, there is an expression barrier of the lac genes, which cannot be exceeded in any stationary growth process. Furthermore, the nonlinearity determines how the fitness of operon mutants depends on the inducer environment. We argue that fitness nonlinearities, expression barriers, and gene-environment interactions are generic features of fitness landscapes for metabolic pathways, and we discuss their implications for the evolution of regulation. PMID:21814515

  4. Physical characteristics related to bra fit.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chin-Man; LaBat, Karen; Bye, Elizabeth

    2010-04-01

    Producing well-fitting garments has been a challenge for retailers and manufacturers since mass production began. Poorly fitted bras can cause discomfort or pain and result in lost sales for retailers. Because body contours are important factors affecting bra fit, this study analyses the relationship of physical characteristics to bra-fit problems. This study has used 3-D body-scanning technology to extract upper body angles from a sample of 103 college women; these data were used to categorise physical characteristics into shoulder slope, bust prominence, back curvature and acromion placement. Relationships between these physical categories and bra-fit problems were then analysed. Results show that significant main effects and two-way interactions of the physical categories exist in the fit problems of poor bra support and bra-motion restriction. The findings are valuable in helping the apparel industry create better-fitting bras. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Poorly fitted bras can cause discomfort or pain and result in lost sales for retailers. The findings regarding body-shape classification provide researchers with a statistics method to quantify physical characteristics and the findings regarding the relationship analysis between physical characteristics and bra fit offer bra companies valuable information about bra-fit perceptions attributable to women with figure variations. PMID:20309747

  5. High-level hemicellulosic arabinose predominately affects lignocellulose crystallinity for genetically enhancing both plant lodging resistance and biomass enzymatic digestibility in rice mutants.

    PubMed

    Li, Fengcheng; Zhang, Mingliang; Guo, Kai; Hu, Zhen; Zhang, Ran; Feng, Yongqing; Yi, Xiaoyan; Zou, Weihua; Wang, Lingqiang; Wu, Changyin; Tian, Jinshan; Lu, Tiegang; Xie, Guosheng; Peng, Liangcai

    2015-05-01

    Rice is a major food crop with enormous biomass residue for biofuels. As plant cell wall recalcitrance basically decides a costly biomass process, genetic modification of plant cell walls has been regarded as a promising solution. However, due to structural complexity and functional diversity of plant cell walls, it becomes essential to identify the key factors of cell wall modifications that could not much alter plant growth, but cause an enhancement in biomass enzymatic digestibility. To address this issue, we performed systems biology analyses of a total of 36 distinct cell wall mutants of rice. As a result, cellulose crystallinity (CrI) was examined to be the key factor that negatively determines either the biomass enzymatic saccharification upon various chemical pretreatments or the plant lodging resistance, an integrated agronomic trait in plant growth and grain production. Notably, hemicellulosic arabinose (Ara) was detected to be the major factor that negatively affects cellulose CrI probably through its interlinking with β-1,4-glucans. In addition, lignin and G monomer also exhibited the positive impact on biomass digestion and lodging resistance. Further characterization of two elite mutants, Osfc17 and Osfc30, showing normal plant growth and high biomass enzymatic digestion in situ and in vitro, revealed the multiple GH9B candidate genes for reducing cellulose CrI and XAT genes for increasing hemicellulosic Ara level. Hence, the results have suggested the potential cell wall modifications for enhancing both biomass enzymatic digestibility and plant lodging resistance by synchronically overexpressing GH9B and XAT genes in rice. PMID:25418842

  6. Reduction of inositol (1,4,5)–trisphosphate affects the overall phosphoinositol pathway and leads to modifications in light signalling and secondary metabolism in tomato plants

    PubMed Central

    Alimohammadi, Mohammad; de Silva, Kanishka; Ballu, Clarisse; Ali, Nawab; Khodakovskaya, Mariya V.

    2012-01-01

    The phosphoinositol pathway is one of the major eukaryotic signalling pathways. The metabolite of the phosphoinositol pathway, inositol- (1,4,5) trisphosphate (InsP3), is a regulator of plant responses to a wide variety of stresses, including light, drought, cold, and salinity. It was found that the expression of InsP 5-ptase, the enzyme that hydrolyses InsP3, also dramatically affects the levels of inositol phosphate metabolites and the secondary metabolites in transgenic tomato plants. Tomato plants expressing InsP 5-ptase exhibited a reduction in the levels of several important inositol phosphates, including InsP1, InsP2, InsP3, and InsP4. Reduced levels of inositol phosphates accompanied an increase in the accumulation of phenylpropanoids (rutin, chlorogenic acid) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the transgenic fruits of tomato plants. The enhanced accumulation of these metabolites in transgenic tomato plants was in direct correspondence with the observed up-regulation of the genes that express the key enzymes of ascorbic acid metabolism (myo-inositol oxygenase, MIOX; L-galactono-γ-lactone dehydrogenase, GLDH) and phenylpropanoid metabolism (chalcone synthase, CHS1; cinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate transferase, HCT). To understand the molecular links between the activation of different branches of plant metabolism and InsP3 reduction in tomato fruits, the expression of transcription factors known to be involved in light signalling was analysed by real-time RT-PCR. The expression of LeHY5, SIMYB12, and LeELIP was found to be higher in fruits expressing InsP 5-ptase. These results suggest possible interconnections between phosphoinositol metabolism, light signalling, and secondary metabolism in plants. Our study also revealed the biotechnological potential for the genetic improvement of crop plants by the manipulation of the phosphoinositol pathway. PMID:21994174

  7. Increasing Plant Based Foods or Dairy Foods Differentially Affects Nutrient Intakes: Dietary Scenarios Using NHANES 2007-2010.

    PubMed

    Cifelli, Christopher J; Houchins, Jenny A; Demmer, Elieke; Fulgoni, Victor L

    2016-01-01

    Diets rich in plant foods and lower in animal-based products have garnered increased attention among researchers, dietitians and health professionals in recent years for their potential to, not only improve health, but also to lessen the environmental impact. However, the potential effects of increasing plant-based foods at the expense of animal-based foods on macro- and micronutrient nutrient adequacy in the U.S. diet is unknown. In addition, dairy foods are consistently under consumed, thus the impact of increased dairy on nutrient adequacy is important to measure. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to use national survey data to model three different dietary scenarios to assess the effects of increasing plant-based foods or dairy foods on macronutrient intake and nutrient adequacy. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2010 for persons two years and older (n = 17,387) were used in all the analyses. Comparisons were made of usual intake of macronutrients and shortfall nutrients of three dietary scenarios that increased intakes by 100%: (i) plant-based foods; (ii) protein-rich plant-based foods (i.e., legumes, nuts, seeds, soy); and (iii) milk, cheese and yogurt. Scenarios (i) and (ii) had commensurate reductions in animal product intake. In both children (2-18 years) and adults (≥19 years), the percent not meeting the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) decreased for vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin E, folate and iron when plant-based foods were increased. However the percent not meeting the EAR increased for calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin D in this scenario. Doubling protein-rich plant-based foods had no effect on nutrient intake because they were consumed in very low quantities in the baseline diet. The dairy model reduced the percent not meeting the EAR for calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, magnesium, and protein, while sodium and saturated fat levels increased. Our modeling shows that increasing plant

  8. Increasing Plant Based Foods or Dairy Foods Differentially Affects Nutrient Intakes: Dietary Scenarios Using NHANES 2007–2010

    PubMed Central

    Cifelli, Christopher J.; Houchins, Jenny A.; Demmer, Elieke; Fulgoni, Victor L.

    2016-01-01

    Diets rich in plant foods and lower in animal-based products have garnered increased attention among researchers, dietitians and health professionals in recent years for their potential to, not only improve health, but also to lessen the environmental impact. However, the potential effects of increasing plant-based foods at the expense of animal-based foods on macro- and micronutrient nutrient adequacy in the U.S. diet is unknown. In addition, dairy foods are consistently under consumed, thus the impact of increased dairy on nutrient adequacy is important to measure. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to use national survey data to model three different dietary scenarios to assess the effects of increasing plant-based foods or dairy foods on macronutrient intake and nutrient adequacy. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010 for persons two years and older (n = 17,387) were used in all the analyses. Comparisons were made of usual intake of macronutrients and shortfall nutrients of three dietary scenarios that increased intakes by 100%: (i) plant-based foods; (ii) protein-rich plant-based foods (i.e., legumes, nuts, seeds, soy); and (iii) milk, cheese and yogurt. Scenarios (i) and (ii) had commensurate reductions in animal product intake. In both children (2–18 years) and adults (≥19 years), the percent not meeting the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) decreased for vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin E, folate and iron when plant-based foods were increased. However the percent not meeting the EAR increased for calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin D in this scenario. Doubling protein-rich plant-based foods had no effect on nutrient intake because they were consumed in very low quantities in the baseline diet. The dairy model reduced the percent not meeting the EAR for calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, magnesium, and protein, while sodium and saturated fat levels increased. Our modeling shows that increasing plant

  9. Cell wall assembly and intracellular trafficking in plant cells are directly affected by changes in the magnitude of gravitational acceleration.

    PubMed

    Chebli, Youssef; Pujol, Lauranne; Shojaeifard, Anahid; Brouwer, Iman; van Loon, Jack J W A; Geitmann, Anja

    2013-01-01

    Plants are able to sense the magnitude and direction of gravity. This capacity is thought to reside in selected cell types within the plant body that are equipped with specialized organelles called statoliths. However, most plant cells do not possess statoliths, yet they respond to changes in gravitational acceleration. To understand the effect of gravity on the metabolism and cellular functioning of non-specialized plant cells, we investigated a rapidly growing plant cell devoid of known statoliths and without gravitropic behavior, the pollen tube. The effects of hyper-gravity and omnidirectional exposure to gravity on intracellular trafficking and on cell wall assembly were assessed in Camellia pollen tubes, a model system with highly reproducible growth behavior in vitro. Using an epi-fluorescence microscope mounted on the Large Diameter Centrifuge at the European Space Agency, we were able to demonstrate that vesicular trafficking is reduced under hyper-gravity conditions. Immuno-cytochemistry confirmed that both in hyper and omnidirectional gravity conditions, the characteristic spatial profiles of cellulose and callose distribution in the pollen tube wall were altered, in accordance with a dose-dependent effect on pollen tube diameter. Our findings suggest that in response to gravity induced stress, the pollen tube responds by modifying cell wall assembly to compensate for the altered mechanical load. The effect was reversible within few minutes demonstrating that the pollen tube is able to quickly adapt to changing stress conditions. PMID:23516452

  10. AtSWEET4, a hexose facilitator, mediates sugar transport to axial sinks and affects plant development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaozhu; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Chao; Tian, Zhihong; Li, Jianxiong

    2016-01-01

    Plants transport photoassimilates from source organs to sink tissues through the phloem translocation pathway. In the transport phloem, sugars that escape from the sieve tubes are released into the apoplasmic space between the sieve element/companion cell complex (SE/CC) and phloem parenchyma cells (PPCs) during the process of long-distance transport. The competition for sugar acquisition between SE/CC and adjoining PPCs is mediated by plasma membrane translocators. YFP-tagged AtSWEET4 protein is localized in the plasma membrane, and PromoterAtSWEET4-GUS analysis showed that AtSWEET4 is expressed in the stele of roots and veins of leaves and flowers. Overexpression of AtSWEET4 in Arabidopsis increases plant size and accumulates more glucose and fructose. By contrast, knock-down of AtSWEET4 by RNA-interference leads to small plant size, reduction in glucose and fructose contents, chlorosis in the leaf vein network, and reduction in chlorophyll content in leaves. Yeast assays demonstrated that AtSWEET4 is able to complement both fructose and glucose transport deficiency. Transgenic plants of AtSWEET4 overexpression exhibit higher freezing tolerance and support more growth of bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121. We conclude that AtSWEET4 plays an important role in mediating sugar transport in axial tissues during plant growth and development. PMID:27102826

  11. Multi-walled Сarbon Nanotubes Penetrate into Plant Cells and Affect the Growth of Onobrychis arenaria Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Smirnova, E A; Gusev, A A; Zaitseva, O N; Lazareva, E M; Onishchenko, G E; Kuznetsova, E V; Tkachev, A G; Feofanov, A V; Kirpichnikov, M P

    2011-01-01

    Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are now being used in many sectors of industry; however, the impact of ENPs on the environment still requires further study, since their use, recycling, and accidental spill can result in the accumulation of nanoparticles in the atmosphere, soil, and water. Plants are an integral part of ecosystems; hence their interaction with ENPs is inevitable. It is important to understand the consequences of this interaction and assess its potential effects. The present research is focused on studying the effects of the industrial material Taunit, containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), on plants, and testing of its ability to penetrate into plant cells and tissues. Taunit has been found to stimulate the growth of roots and stems and cause an increase in peroxidase activity inOnobrychis arenariaseedlings. Peroxidase activity increases with decreasing concentration of Taunit from 1,000 to 100 mg/l. MWNTs from Taunit were detected in the cells and tissues of seedling roots and leaves, implying the ability of MWNTs to penetrate into roots and accumulate there, as well as their ability to be transported into seedling leaves. Thus, the changes in the physiological parameters of plants are associated not only with MWNT adsorption on the root surface, as previously believed, but also with their penetration, uptake and accumulation in the plant cells and tissues. PMID:22649678

  12. AtSWEET4, a hexose facilitator, mediates sugar transport to axial sinks and affects plant development

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaozhu; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Chao; Tian, Zhihong; Li, Jianxiong

    2016-01-01

    Plants transport photoassimilates from source organs to sink tissues through the phloem translocation pathway. In the transport phloem, sugars that escape from the sieve tubes are released into the apoplasmic space between the sieve element/companion cell complex (SE/CC) and phloem parenchyma cells (PPCs) during the process of long-distance transport. The competition for sugar acquisition between SE/CC and adjoining PPCs is mediated by plasma membrane translocators. YFP-tagged AtSWEET4 protein is localized in the plasma membrane, and PromoterAtSWEET4-GUS analysis showed that AtSWEET4 is expressed in the stele of roots and veins of leaves and flowers. Overexpression of AtSWEET4 in Arabidopsis increases plant size and accumulates more glucose and fructose. By contrast, knock-down of AtSWEET4 by RNA-interference leads to small plant size, reduction in glucose and fructose contents, chlorosis in the leaf vein network, and reduction in chlorophyll content in leaves. Yeast assays demonstrated that AtSWEET4 is able to complement both fructose and glucose transport deficiency. Transgenic plants of AtSWEET4 overexpression exhibit higher freezing tolerance and support more growth of bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121. We conclude that AtSWEET4 plays an important role in mediating sugar transport in axial tissues during plant growth and development. PMID:27102826

  13. High School Students' Attitudes toward Fitness Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercier, Kevin; Silverman, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of high school students toward fitness testing. An instrument containing 18 items and four factors measuring student's attitudes toward fitness testing: cognitive, affect-enjoyment, affect-feelings, and affect-teacher was completed by 524 boys and 675 girls (N = 1199). MANOVA…

  14. Fun Fitness Runs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scantling, Ed; Strand, Brad

    1997-01-01

    Fitness runs are planned activities that make running more interesting. The paper outlines five types of fitness runs, all of which can be modified to conform to different facilities, age groups, or available time. The activities have students playing detective, playing cards, deciphering words, learning about calories, and playing wolf. (SM)

  15. Fitness and Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nordholm, Catherine R.

    This document makes a number of observations about physical fitness in America. Among them are: (1) the symptoms of aging (fat accumulation, lowered basal metabolic rate, loss of muscular strength, reduction in motor fitness, reduction in work capacity, etc.) are not the result of disease but disuse; (2) society conditions the individual to…

  16. Fun & Fitness with Balloons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, Anne; Faigenbaum, Avery; Radler, Tracy

    2010-01-01

    The urgency to improve fitness levels and decrease the rate of childhood obesity has been at the forefront of physical education philosophy and praxis. Few would dispute that school-age youth need to participate regularly in physical activities that enhance and maintain both skill- and health-related physical fitness. Regular physical activity…

  17. Fitness in Special Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shephard, Roy J.

    This book examines fitness research among special populations, including research on fitness assessment, programming, and performance for persons with various forms of physical disabilities. The book covers such topics as diseases that complicate life in a wheelchair, disability classifications, physiological responses to training, positive…

  18. Fitness Day. Lesson Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNamara, Jeanne

    This lesson plan introduces students to the concept of supply and demand by appealing to bodily/kinesthetic intelligences. Students participate in a fitness class and then analyze the economic motives behind making an individual feel better after a fitness activity; i.e., analyzing how much an individual would pay for a drink and snack after a…

  19. Fit 2-B FATHERS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maiorano, Joseph J.

    2001-01-01

    Fit 2-B FATHERS is a parenting-skills education program for incarcerated adult males. The goals of this program are for participants to have reduced recidivism rates and a reduced risk of their children acquiring criminal records. These goals are accomplished by helping participants become physically, practically, and socially fit for the demands…

  20. Modifications of Sphingolipid Content Affect Tolerance to Hemibiotrophic and Necrotrophic Pathogens by Modulating Plant Defense Responses in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Magnin-Robert, Maryline; Le Bourse, Doriane; Markham, Jonathan; Dorey, Stéphan; Clément, Christophe; Baillieul, Fabienne; Dhondt-Cordelier, Sandrine

    2015-11-01

    Sphingolipids are emerging as second messengers in programmed cell death and plant defense mechanisms. However, their role in plant defense is far from being understood, especially against necrotrophic pathogens. Sphingolipidomics and plant defense responses during pathogenic infection were evaluated in the mutant of long-chain base phosphate (LCB-P) lyase, encoded by the dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate lyase1 (AtDPL1) gene and regulating long-chain base/LCB-P homeostasis. Atdpl1 mutants exhibit tolerance to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea but susceptibility to the hemibiotrophic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst). Here, a direct comparison of sphingolipid profiles in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) during infection with pathogens differing in lifestyles is described. In contrast to long-chain bases (dihydrosphingosine [d18:0] and 4,8-sphingadienine [d18:2]), hydroxyceramide and LCB-P (phytosphingosine-1-phosphate [t18:0-P] and 4-hydroxy-8-sphingenine-1-phosphate [t18:1-P]) levels are higher in Atdpl1-1 than in wild-type plants in response to B. cinerea. Following Pst infection, t18:0-P accumulates more strongly in Atdpl1-1 than in wild-type plants. Moreover, d18:0 and t18:0-P appear as key players in Pst- and B. cinerea-induced cell death and reactive oxygen species accumulation. Salicylic acid levels are similar in both types of plants, independent of the pathogen. In addition, salicylic acid-dependent gene expression is similar in both types of B. cinerea-infected plants but is repressed in Atdpl1-1 after treatment with Pst. Infection with both pathogens triggers higher jasmonic acid, jasmonoyl-isoleucine accumulation, and jasmonic acid-dependent gene expression in Atdpl1-1 mutants. Our results demonstrate that sphingolipids play an important role in plant defense, especially toward necrotrophic pathogens, and highlight a novel connection between the jasmonate signaling pathway, cell death, and sphingolipids. PMID:26378098

  1. Modifications of Sphingolipid Content Affect Tolerance to Hemibiotrophic and Necrotrophic Pathogens by Modulating Plant Defense Responses in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Magnin-Robert, Maryline; Le Bourse, Doriane; Markham, Jonathan; Dorey, Stéphan; Clément, Christophe; Baillieul, Fabienne; Dhondt-Cordelier, Sandrine

    2015-01-01

    Sphingolipids are emerging as second messengers in programmed cell death and plant defense mechanisms. However, their role in plant defense is far from being understood, especially against necrotrophic pathogens. Sphingolipidomics and plant defense responses during pathogenic infection were evaluated in the mutant of long-chain base phosphate (LCB-P) lyase, encoded by the dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate lyase1 (AtDPL1) gene and regulating long-chain base/LCB-P homeostasis. Atdpl1 mutants exhibit tolerance to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea but susceptibility to the hemibiotrophic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst). Here, a direct comparison of sphingolipid profiles in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) during infection with pathogens differing in lifestyles is described. In contrast to long-chain bases (dihydrosphingosine [d18:0] and 4,8-sphingadienine [d18:2]), hydroxyceramide and LCB-P (phytosphingosine-1-phosphate [t18:0-P] and 4-hydroxy-8-sphingenine-1-phosphate [t18:1-P]) levels are higher in Atdpl1-1 than in wild-type plants in response to B. cinerea. Following Pst infection, t18:0-P accumulates more strongly in Atdpl1-1 than in wild-type plants. Moreover, d18:0 and t18:0-P appear as key players in Pst- and B. cinerea-induced cell death and reactive oxygen species accumulation. Salicylic acid levels are similar in both types of plants, independent of the pathogen. In addition, salicylic acid-dependent gene expression is similar in both types of B. cinerea-infected plants but is repressed in Atdpl1-1 after treatment with Pst. Infection with both pathogens triggers higher jasmonic acid, jasmonoyl-isoleucine accumulation, and jasmonic acid-dependent gene expression in Atdpl1-1 mutants. Our results demonstrate that sphingolipids play an important role in plant defense, especially toward necrotrophic pathogens, and highlight a novel connection between the jasmonate signaling pathway, cell death, and sphingolipids. PMID:26378098

  2. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. PMID:25764537

  3. Long-term feeding a plant-based diet devoid of marine ingredients strongly affects certain key metabolic enzymes in the rainbow trout liver.

    PubMed

    Véron, Vincent; Panserat, Stéphane; Le Boucher, Richard; Labbé, Laurent; Quillet, Edwige; Dupont-Nivet, Mathilde; Médale, Françoise

    2016-04-01

    Incorporation of a plant blend in the diet can affect growth parameters and metabolism in carnivorous fish. We studied for the first time the long-term (1 year) metabolic response of rainbow trout fed from first feeding with a plant-based diet totally devoid of marine ingredients. Hepatic enzymes were analyzed at enzymatic and molecular levels, at 3, 8 and 24 h after the last meal to study both the short-term effects of the last meal and long-term effects of the diet. The results were compared with those of fish fed a control diet of fish meal and fish oil. Growth, feed intake, feed efficiency and protein retention were lower in the group fed the plant-based diet. Glucokinase and pyruvate kinase activity were lower in the livers of trout fed the plant-based diet which the proportion of starch was lower than in the control diet. Glutamate dehydrogenase was induced by the plant-based diet, suggesting an imbalance of amino acids and a possible link with the lower protein retention observed. Gene expression of delta 6 desaturase was higher in fish fed the plant-based diet, probably linked to a high dietary level of linolenic acid and the absence of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils. Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase expression was also induced by plant-based diet because of the low rate of cholesterol in the diet. Changes in regulation mechanisms already identified through short-term nutritional experiments (<12 weeks) suggest that metabolic responses are implemented at short term and remain in the long term. PMID:26746847

  4. Fractions of calcium in the plant-soil system affected by the application of olive oil wastewater.

    PubMed

    Gallardo-Lara, F; Azcón, M; Quesada, J L; Polo, A

    1998-09-01

    A pot experiment using calcareous soil was conducted in a growth chamber to examine the effects of olive oil wastewater applications on Ca fractions in the plant and on exchangeable Ca in soil after plant growth. The experimental treatments consisted of two rates of olive oil wastewater, two mineral fertilizer treatments including K, which supplied K in amounts equivalent to the K supplied by the olive oil wastewater treatments, a mineral fertilizer without K treatment (F), and a control. The pots were sown with ryegrass which was harvested 3 times at monthly intervals. The high rate of olive oil wastewater resulted in a prolonged increases in dry matter production. It also resulted in a reduction in the concentrations of soluble Ca, bound Ca, inorganic insoluble Ca and organic insoluble Ca in the plant shoots relative to the control and the F treatment. The low rate of olive oil wastewater produced similar but less marked effects, with decreases being observed in the soluble Ca and bound Ca fractions. After 3 months of plant growth, soil exchangeable Ca was higher in the control and F treatment soils than in the soils receiving olive oil wastewater or K fertilizer. At this time, there were no significant differences in exchangeable Ca between the soils receiving olive oil wastewater and those treated with K fertilizer. PMID:9731309

  5. Soil Organic Matter Quality of an Oxisol Affected by Plant Residues and Crop Sequence under No-Tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cora, Jose; Marcelo, Adolfo

    2013-04-01

    Plant residues are considered the primarily resource for soil organic matter (SOM) formation and the amounts and properties of plant litter are important controlling factors for the SOM quality. We determined the amounts, quality and decomposition rate of plant residues and the effects of summer and winter crop sequences on soil organic C (TOC) content, both particulate organic C (POC) and mineral-associated organic C (MOC) pools and humic substances in a Brazilian Rhodic Eutrudox soil under a no-tillage system. The organic C analysis in specifics pools used in this study was effective and should be adopted in tropical climates to evaluate the soil quality and the sustainability of various cropping systems. Continuous growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on summer provided higher contents of soil POC and continuous growth of maize (Zea mays L.) provided higher soil humic acid and MOC contents. Summer soybean-maize rotation provided the higher plant diversity, which likely improved the soil microbial activity and the soil organic C consumption. The winter sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) enhanced the soil MOC, a finding that is attributable to the higher N content of the crop residue. Sunn hemp and pigeon pea provided the higher soil POC content. Sunn hemp showed better performance and positive effects on the SOM quality, making it a suitable winter crop choice for tropical conditions with a warm and dry winter.

  6. Weather and plant age affect the levels of steroidal saponin and Pithomyces chartarum spores in Brachiaria grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brachiaria species are cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical climates as the main forage source for ruminants. Numerous tropical and warm-season grasses cause hepatogenous photosensitization, among them several species of Brachiaria. Steroidal saponins present in these plants may be respo...

  7. Grasshopper herbivory affects native plant diversity and abundance in a grassland dominated by the exotic grass Agropyron cristatum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The indirect effects of native generalist insect herbivores on interactions between exotic and native grassland plants have received limited attention. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic grass in western North America. Crested wheatgrass communities are resistant to c...

  8. VLN2 Regulates Plant Architecture by Affecting Microfilament Dynamics and Polar Auxin Transport in Rice[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shengyang; Xie, Yurong; Guo, Xiuping; Sheng, Peike; Wang, Juan; Wu, Chuanyin; Wang, Haiyang; Wan, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    As a fundamental and dynamic cytoskeleton network, microfilaments (MFs) are regulated by diverse actin binding proteins (ABPs). Villins are one type of ABPs belonging to the villin/gelsolin superfamily, and their function is poorly understood in monocotyledonous plants. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant defective in VILLIN2 (VLN2), which exhibits malformed organs, including twisted roots and shoots at the seedling stage. Cellular examination revealed that the twisted phenotype of the vln2 mutant is mainly caused by asymmetrical expansion of cells on the opposite sides of an organ. VLN2 is preferentially expressed in growing tissues, consistent with a role in regulating cell expansion in developing organs. Biochemically, VLN2 exhibits conserved actin filament bundling, severing and capping activities in vitro, with bundling and stabilizing activity being confirmed in vivo. In line with these findings, the vln2 mutant plants exhibit a more dynamic actin cytoskeleton network than the wild type. We show that vln2 mutant plants exhibit a hypersensitive gravitropic response, faster recycling of PIN2 (an auxin efflux carrier), and altered auxin distribution. Together, our results demonstrate that VLN2 plays an important role in regulating plant architecture by modulating MF dynamics, recycling of PIN2, and polar auxin transport. PMID:26486445

  9. Deregulation of Plant Cell Death Through Disruption of Chloroplast Functionality Affects Asexual Sporulation of Zymoseptoria tritici on Wheat.

    PubMed

    Lee, Wing-Sham; Devonshire, B Jean; Hammond-Kosack, Kim E; Rudd, Jason J; Kanyuka, Kostya

    2015-05-01

    Chloroplasts have a critical role in plant defense as sites for the biosynthesis of the signaling compounds salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and nitric oxide (NO) and as major sites of reactive oxygen species production. Chloroplasts, therefore, regarded as important players in the induction and regulation of programmed cell death (PCD) in response to abiotic stresses and pathogen attack. The predominantly foliar pathogen of wheat Zymoseptoria tritici is proposed to exploit the plant PCD, which is associated with the transition in the fungus to the necrotrophic phase of infection. In this study virus-induced gene silencing was used to silence two key genes in carotenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis, phytoene desaturase (PDS) and Mg-chelatase H subunit (ChlH). The chlorophyll-deficient, PDS- and ChlH-silenced leaves of susceptible plants underwent more rapid pathogen-induced PCD but were significantly less able to support the subsequent asexual sporulation of Z. tritici. Conversely, major gene (Stb6)-mediated resistance to Z. tritici was partially compromised in PDS- and ChlH-silenced leaves. Chlorophyll-deficient wheat ears also displayed increased Z. tritici disease lesion formation accompanied by increased asexual sporulation. These data highlight the importance of chloroplast functionality and its interaction with regulated plant cell death in mediating different genotype and tissue-specific interactions between Z. tritici and wheat. PMID:25496594

  10. Chemical signals from plants previously infected with root knot nematodes affect behavior of infective juvenile root knot nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nematodes are a worldwide problem in agriculture, with losses estimated to $100 billion per year in the US. Damage caused by root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) (RKN) disrupts the flow of water and nutrients to the plant and increases the plant’s vulnerability to other pathogens. While studies ...

  11. Interactions between the jasmonic and salicylic acid pathway modulate the plant metabolome and affect herbivores of different feeding types.

    PubMed

    Schweiger, R; Heise, A-M; Persicke, M; Müller, C

    2014-07-01

    The phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) mediate induced plant defences and the corresponding pathways interact in a complex manner as has been shown on the transcript and proteine level. Downstream, metabolic changes are important for plant-herbivore interactions. This study investigated metabolic changes in leaf tissue and phloem exudates of Plantago lanceolata after single and combined JA and SA applications as well as consequences on chewing-biting (Heliothis virescens) and piercing-sucking (Myzus persicae) herbivores. Targeted metabolite profiling and untargeted metabolic fingerprinting uncovered different categories of plant metabolites, which were influenced in a specific manner, indicating points of divergence, convergence, positive crosstalk and pronounced mutual antagonism between the signaling pathways. Phytohormone-specific decreases of primary metabolite pool sizes in the phloem exudates may indicate shifts in sink-source relations, resource allocation, nutrient uptake or photosynthesis. Survival of both herbivore species was significantly reduced by JA and SA treatments. However, the combined application of JA and SA attenuated the negative effects at least against H. virescens suggesting that mutual antagonism between the JA and SA pathway may be responsible. Pathway interactions provide a great regulatory potential for the plant that allows triggering of appropriate defences when attacked by different antagonist species. PMID:24372400

  12. Limitations of inclusive fitness.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin; Nowak, Martin A; Wilson, Edward O

    2013-12-10

    Until recently, inclusive fitness has been widely accepted as a general method to explain the evolution of social behavior. Affirming and expanding earlier criticism, we demonstrate that inclusive fitness is instead a limited concept, which exists only for a small subset of evolutionary processes. Inclusive fitness assumes that personal fitness is the sum of additive components caused by individual actions. This assumption does not hold for the majority of evolutionary processes or scenarios. To sidestep this limitation, inclusive fitness theorists have proposed a method using linear regression. On the basis of this method, it is claimed that inclusive fitness theory (i) predicts the direction of allele frequency changes, (ii) reveals the reasons for these changes, (iii) is as general as natural selection, and (iv) provides a universal design principle for evolution. In this paper we evaluate these claims, and show that all of them are unfounded. If the objective is to analyze whether mutations that modify social behavior are favored or opposed by natural selection, then no aspect of inclusive fitness theory is needed. PMID:24277847

  13. Limitations of inclusive fitness

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin; Nowak, Martin A.; Wilson, Edward O.

    2013-01-01

    Until recently, inclusive fitness has been widely accepted as a general method to explain the evolution of social behavior. Affirming and expanding earlier criticism, we demonstrate that inclusive fitness is instead a limited concept, which exists only for a small subset of evolutionary processes. Inclusive fitness assumes that personal fitness is the sum of additive components caused by individual actions. This assumption does not hold for the majority of evolutionary processes or scenarios. To sidestep this limitation, inclusive fitness theorists have proposed a method using linear regression. On the basis of this method, it is claimed that inclusive fitness theory (i) predicts the direction of allele frequency changes, (ii) reveals the reasons for these changes, (iii) is as general as natural selection, and (iv) provides a universal design principle for evolution. In this paper we evaluate these claims, and show that all of them are unfounded. If the objective is to analyze whether mutations that modify social behavior are favored or opposed by natural selection, then no aspect of inclusive fitness theory is needed. PMID:24277847

  14. AN Fitting Reconditioning Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopez, Jason

    2011-01-01

    A tool was developed to repair or replace AN fittings on the shuttle external tank (ET). (The AN thread is a type of fitting used to connect flexible hoses and rigid metal tubing that carry fluid. It is a U.S. military-derived specification agreed upon by the Army and Navy, hence AN.) The tool is used on a drill and is guided by a pilot shaft that follows the inside bore. The cutting edge of the tool is a standard-size replaceable insert. In the typical Post Launch Maintenance/Repair process for the AN fittings, the six fittings are removed from the ET's GUCP (ground umbilical carrier plate) for reconditioning. The fittings are inspected for damage to the sealing surface per standard operations maintenance instructions. When damage is found on the sealing surface, the condition is documented. A new AN reconditioning tool is set up to cut and remove the surface damage. It is then inspected to verify the fitting still meets drawing requirements. The tool features a cone-shaped interior at 36.5 , and may be adjusted at a precise angle with go-no-go gauges to insure that the cutting edge could be adjusted as it wore down. One tool, one setting block, and one go-no-go gauge were fabricated. At the time of this reporting, the tool has reconditioned/returned to spec 36 AN fittings with 100-percent success of no leakage. This tool provides a quick solution to repair a leaky AN fitting. The tool could easily be modified with different-sized pilot shafts to different-sized fittings.

  15. Fitness for duty in the nuclear power industry: A review of technical issues

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, V.; Fleming, I.; Grant, T.; Hauth, J.; Hendrickson, J.; Kono, B.; Moore, C.; Olson, J.; Saari, L.; Toquam, J.; Wieringa, D.; Yost, P.; Hendrickson, P.; Moon, D.; Scott, W.

    1988-09-01

    This report presents information gathered and analyzed in support of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) efforts to develop a rule that will ensure that workers with unescorted access to protected areas in nuclear power plants are fit for duty. The primary potential fitness-for-duty concern addressed in the report is impairment caused by substance abuse, although other sources of impairment on the job are discussed. The report examines the prevalence of fitness-for-duty problems and discusses the use and effects of illicit drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter preparations and alcohol. The ways in which fitness-for-duty concerns are being addressed in both public- and private-sector industries are reviewed, and a description is provided of fitness-for-duty practices in six organizations that, like the nuclear industry, are regulated and whose operations can affect public health and safety. Methods of ensuring fitness for duty in the nuclear industry are examined in detail. The report also addresses methods of evaluating the effectiveness of fitness-for-duty programs in the nuclear power industry.

  16. Flared tube attachment fitting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alkire, I. D.; King, J. P., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    Tubes can be flared first, then attached to valves and other flow line components, with new fitting that can be disassembled and reused. Installed fitting can be disassembled so parts can be inspected. It can be salvaged and reused without damaging flared tube; tube can be coated, tempered, or otherwise treated after it has been flared, rather than before, as was previously required. Fitting consists of threaded male portion with conical seating surface, hexagonal nut with hole larger than other diameter of flared end of tube, and split ferrule.

  17. The pleiotropic ABNORMAL FLOWER AND DWARF1 affects plant height, floral development and grain yield in rice.

    PubMed

    Ren, Deyong; Rao, Yuchun; Wu, Liwen; Xu, Qiankun; Li, Zizhuang; Yu, Haiping; Zhang, Yu; Leng, Yujia; Hu, Jiang; Zhu, Li; Gao, Zhenyu; Dong, Guojun; Zhang, Guangheng; Guo, Longbiao; Zeng, Dali; Qian, Qian

    2016-06-01

    Moderate plant height and successful establishment of reproductive organs play pivotal roles in rice grain production. The molecular mechanism that controls the two aspects remains unclear in rice. In the present study, we characterized a rice gene, ABNORMAL FLOWER AND DWARF1 (AFD1) that determined plant height, floral development and grain yield. The afd1 mutant showed variable defects including the dwarfism, long panicle, low seed setting and reduced grain yield. In addition, abnormal floral organs were also observed in the afd1 mutant including slender and thick hulls, and hull-like lodicules. AFD1 encoded a DUF640 domain protein and was expressed in all tested tissues and organs. Subcellular localization showed AFD1-green fluorescent fusion protein (GFP) was localized in the nucleus. Meantime, our results suggested that AFD1 regulated the expression of cell division and expansion related genes. PMID:26486996

  18. The content and toxicity of heavy metals in soils affected by aerial emissions from the Pechenganikel plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evdokimova, G. A.; Mozgova, N. P.; Korneikova, M. V.

    2014-05-01

    The zoning of the terrestrial ecosystems exposed to the aerial emissions from the Pechenganikel plant (Murmansk oblast) was performed; it was based on the state of the soil cover in 2012. The following parameters were determined: the pH, the contents of heavy metals (HMs) and exchangeable calcium and magnesium, the proportion between the organic and mineral soil components, and the state of the soil micro-biota. Three zones differing in the intensity of the soil pollution were distinguished: the zone of strong pollution (at a distance of 3 km from the source of the emission), the zone of medium pollution (16 km), and the zone of weak pollution (25-30 km to the southwest from the pollution source). In the last ten years, the soil pollution in the zone influenced by aerial emissions from the Pechenganikel plant has remained the same. The amount of bacteria and fungi in the air is directly related to that in the soil. The results obtained point to the bacterial pollution of the atmosphere nearby the industrial center. In the vicinity of the plant, gram-negative bacteria ( Gracilicutes) predominate in the air; in remote areas, gram-positive bacteria ( Fermicutes) are dominants. In the air nearby the industrial center, potentially pathogenic fungi ( Gongronella butleri and Alternaria alternata) were revealed.

  19. Integrating the Levels of Person-Environment Fit: The Roles of Vocational Fit and Group Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogel, Ryan M.; Feldman, Daniel C.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research on fit has largely focused on person-organization (P-O) fit and person-job (P-J) fit. However, little research has examined the interplay of person-vocation (P-V) fit and person-group (P-G) fit with P-O fit and P-J fit in the same study. This article advances the fit literature by examining these relationships with data collected…

  20. Exercise and Physical Fitness

    MedlinePlus

    ... Increase your chances of living longer Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at ... fine. The key is to find the right exercise for you. It should be fun and should ...

  1. WOLF: FITS file processor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamir, Lior

    2012-12-01

    WOLF processes FITS files and generates photometry files, annotated JPGs, opacity maps, background, transient detection and luminance changes detection. This software was used to process data for the Night Sky Live project.

  2. Exercise and Physical Fitness

    MedlinePlus

    ... cancers Strengthen your bones and muscles Improve your mental health and mood Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult Increase your chances of living longer Fitting regular exercise ...

  3. The Langley Fitness Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    NASA Langley recognizes the importance of healthy employees by committing itself to offering a complete fitness program. The scope of the program focuses on promoting overall health and wellness in an effort to reduce the risks of illness and disease and to increase productivity. This is accomplished through a comprehensive Health and Fitness Program offered to all NASA employees. Various aspects of the program are discussed.

  4. The Manitoba Schools' Physical Fitness Survey (1976-77).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manitoba Dept. of Education, Winnipeg.

    An abundance of research relative to physical fitness and, more generally, physical education of school children, has surfaced during the past few years. Negative aspects of health and physical fitness are increasing year by year, and further evidence suggests that academic performance is negatively affected by low levels of fitness. A survey was…

  5. The Age Pattern of Increases in Mortality Affected by HIV: Bayesian Fit of the Heligman-Pollard Model to Data from the Agincourt HDSS Field Site in Rural Northeast South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Sharrow, David J.; Clark, Samuel J.; Collinson, Mark A.; Kahn, Kathleen; Tollman, Stephen M.

    2013-01-01

    Background We investigate the sex-age-specific changes in the mortality of a prospectively monitored rural population in South Africa. We quantify changes in the age pattern of mortality in a parsimonious way by estimating the eight parameters of the Heligman-Pollard (HP) model of age-specific mortality. In its traditional form this model is difficult to fit and does not account for uncertainty. Objective 1. To quantify changes in the sex-age pattern of mortality experienced by a population with endemic HIV. 2. To develop and demonstrate a robust Bayesian estimation method for the HP model that accounts for uncertainty. Methods Bayesian estimation methods are adapted to work with the HP model. Temporal changes in parameter values are related to changes in HIV prevalence. Results Over the period when the HIV epidemic in South Africa was growing, mortality in the population described by our data increased profoundly with losses of life expectancy of ~15 years for both males and females. The temporal changes in the HP parameters reflect in a parsimonious way the changes in the age pattern of mortality. We develop a robust Bayesian method to estimate the eight parameters of the HP model and thoroughly demonstrate it. Conclusions Changes in mortality in South Africa over the past fifteen years have been profound. The HP model can be fit well using Bayesian methods, and the results can be useful in developing a parsimonious description of changes in the age pattern of mortality. Comments The motivating aim of this work is to develop new methods that can be useful in applying the HP eight-parameter model of age-specific mortality. We have done this and chosen an interesting application to demonstrate the new methods. PMID:24453696

  6. Host plant resistance in romaine lettuce affects feeding behavior and biology of Trichoplusia ni and Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    PubMed

    Sethi, Amit; McAuslane, Heather J; Nagata, Russell T; Nuessly, Gregg S

    2006-12-01

    Lettuce quality and yield can be reduced by feeding of several lepidopterous pests, particularly cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni (Hübner), and beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Host plant resistance to these insects is an environmentally sound adjunct to conventional chemical control. In this study we compared the survival, development, and feeding behavior of cabbage looper and beet armyworm on two romaine lettuce cultivars, resistant 'Valmaine' and susceptible 'Tall Guzmaine'. Larval mortality of both species was significantly higher on resistant Valmaine than on susceptible Tall Guzmaine. The average weight per larva after feeding for 1 wk on Tall Guzmaine plants was 6 times (beet armyworm) and 2 times (cabbage looper) greater than that of larvae feeding on Valmaine plants. Significant reduction in larval growth on Valmaine compared with that on Tall Guzmaine resulted in a 5.9- (beet armyworm) and 2.6-d (cabbage looper) increase in larval duration and almost a 1-d increase in pupal duration. Average pupal and adult weights and successful pupation of cabbage looper and beet armyworm were reduced on Valmaine compared with Tall Guzmaine. The sex ratio of progeny did not deviate from 1:1 when larvae were reared on either Valmaine or Tall Guzmaine. The fecundity of cabbage looper and beet armyworm adults that developed from larvae reared on Valmaine was about one-third that of adults from Tall Guzmaine, but adult longevity did not significantly differ on the two lettuce cultivars. The two insect species showed different feeding preferences for leaves of different age groups on Valmaine and Tall Guzmaine. Cabbage loopers cut narrow trenches on the leaf before actual feeding to block the flow of latex to the intended site of feeding. In contrast, beet armyworms did not trench. The different feeding behavior of the two species on Valmaine may explain the superior performance of cabbage looper compared with beet armyworm. PMID:17195688

  7. In vitro regeneration and optimization of factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated transformation in Artemisia Pallens, an important medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Alok, Anshu; Shukla, Vishnu; Pala, Zarna; Kumar, Jitesh; Kudale, Subhash; Desai, Neetin

    2016-04-01

    Artemisia pallens is an important medicinal plant. In-vitro regeneration and multiplication of A. pallens have been established using attached cotyledons. Different growth regulators were considered for regeneration of multiple shoots. An average of 36 shoots per explants were obtained by culturing attached cotyledons on Murashige and Skoog's medium containing 2 mg/L BAP and 0.1 mg/L NAA, after 45 days. The shoots were rooted best on half Murashige and Skoog's medium with respect to media containing 1 mg/L IBA or 1 mg/L NAA. Different parameters such as type of bacterial strains, OD600 of bacterial culture, co-cultivation duration, concentration of acetosyringone and explants type were optimized for transient expression of the reporter gene. Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring pCambia1301 plasmid carrying β-glucuronidase as a reporter gene and hygromycin phosphotransferase as plant selectable marker genes were used for genetic transformation of A. pallens. Hygromycin lethality test showed concentration of 15 mg/L were sufficient to inhibit the growth of attached cotyledons and multiple shoot buds of nontransgenics in selection media. Up to 83 % transient transformation was found when attached cotyledons were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium strain AGL1 for 2 days at 22 °C on shoot induction medium. The bacterial growth was eliminated by addition of cefotaxime (200 mg/L) in selection media. T0 transgenic plants were confirmed by GUS histochemical assay and further by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using uidA and hpt gene specific primers. The study is useful in establishing technological improvement in A. pallens by genetic engineering. PMID:27436917