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Sample records for affect plant reproduction

  1. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

  2. Teaching Plant Reproduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tolman, Marvin N., Ed.; Hardy, Garry R., Ed.

    2000-01-01

    Recommends using Amaryllis hippeastrum to teach young children about plant reproduction. Provides tips for growing these plants, discusses the fast growing rate of the plant, and explains the anatomy. (YDS)

  3. 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

  4. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

  5. Global warming and sexual plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hedhly, Afif; Hormaza, José I; Herrero, María

    2009-01-01

    The sexual reproductive phase in plants might be particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. The direct effect of temperature changes on the reproductive process has been documented previously, and recent data from other physiological processes that are affected by rising temperatures seem to reinforce the susceptibility of the reproductive process to a changing climate. But the reproductive phase also provides the plant with an opportunity to adapt to environmental changes. Understanding phenotypic plasticity and gametophyte selection for prevailing temperatures, along with possible epigenetic changes during this process, could provide new insights into plant evolution under a global-warming scenario.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Plant reproduction in spaceflight environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musgrave, M. E.; Kuang, A.; Porterfield, D. M.

    1997-01-01

    Because plant reproduction is a complex developmental process there are many possible sites of perturbation by the unusual environments of orbital spacecraft. Previous long-duration experiments on Soviet platforms shared features of slowed development through the vegetative stage of plant growth and aborted reproductive function. Our goal has been to understand how special features of the spaceflight environment impact physiological function and reproductive development. In a series of short-duration experiments in the Shuttle mid-deck we studied early reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen and ovule development aborted at an early stage in the first experiment on STS-54 which utilized closed plant growth chambers. Post-flight analysis suggested that the plants may have been carbon dioxide limited. Subsequent experiments utilized carbon dioxide enrichment (on STS-51) and cabin air flow-through with an air exchange system (on STS-68). Both modifications allowed pollen and ovule development to occur normally on orbit, and full reproductive development up to the stage of an immature seed occurred on STS-68. However, analysis of plant roots from these experiments demonstrated a limitation in rootzone aeration in the spaceflight material that was not mitigated by these procedures. In the future, additional resources (crew time, upgraded flight hardware, and special platforms) will invite more elaborate, long-duration experimentation. On the ISS, a variable speed centrifuge and upgraded plant habitats will permit detailed experiments on the role of gravity in shaping the plant micro-environment, and what influence this plays during reproduction.

  9. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2015-01-01

    Flowering plants possess an unrivaled diversity of mechanisms for achieving sexual and asexual reproduction, often simultaneously. The commonest type of asexual reproduction is clonal growth (vegetative propagation) in which parental genotypes (genets) produce vegetative modules (ramets) that are capable of independent growth, reproduction, and often dispersal. Clonal growth leads to an expansion in the size of genets and increased fitness because large floral displays increase fertility and opportunities for outcrossing. Moreover, the clonal dispersal of vegetative propagules can assist “mate finding,” particularly in aquatic plants. However, there are ecological circumstances in which functional antagonism between sexual and asexual reproductive modes can negatively affect the fitness of clonal plants. Populations of heterostylous and dioecious species have a small number of mating groups (two or three), which should occur at equal frequency in equilibrium populations. Extensive clonal growth and vegetative dispersal can disrupt the functioning of these sexual polymorphisms, resulting in biased morph ratios and populations with a single mating group, with consequences for fertility and mating. In populations in which clonal propagation predominates, mutations reducing fertility may lead to sexual dysfunction and even the loss of sex. Recent evidence suggests that somatic mutations can play a significant role in influencing fitness in clonal plants and may also help explain the occurrence of genetic diversity in sterile clonal populations. Highly polymorphic genetic markers offer outstanding opportunities for gaining novel insights into functional interactions between sexual and clonal reproduction in flowering plants. PMID:26195747

  10. Asexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on asexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about asexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: plant reproduction methods,…

  11. Sexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on sexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about sexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: sexual and asexual plant…

  12. Temperature rise in plant reproductive organs under low gravity conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitaya, Yoshiaki; Hirai, Hiroaki

    Excess temperature rise in plant reproductive organs such as anthers and stigmas could cause fertility impediments and thus produce sterile seeds without adequately controlled environ-ments in closed plant growth facilities. There is a possibility such a situation could occur in Bioregenerative Life Support Systems under microgravity conditions in space because there will be little natural convective or thermal mixing. This study was conducted to determine the thermal situation of the plant reproductive organs as affected by gravity levels of 0.01, 1.0 and 2.0 g for 20 seconds each during parabolic airplane flights and to make an estimation of temperature increases in the reproductive organs in closed plant growth facilities under mi-crogravity in space. Thermal images of reproductive organs of rice and tomato were captured using infrared thermography at an air temperature of 31.5C, a relative humidity of 11

  13. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

    Avian timing of reproduction is strongly affected by ambient temperature. Here we show that there is an additional effect of sunspots on laying date, from five long-term population studies of great and blue tits (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus), demonstrating for the first time that solar activity not only has an effect on population numbers but that it also affects the timing of animal behaviour. This effect is statistically independent of ambient temperature. In years with few sunspots, birds initiate laying late while they are often early in years with many sunspots. The sunspot effect may be owing to a crucial difference between the method of temperature measurements by meteorological stations (in the shade) and the temperatures experienced by the birds. A better understanding of the impact of all the thermal components of weather on the phenology of ecosystems is essential when predicting their responses to climate change. PMID:19574283

  14. The influence of habitat fragmentation on multiple plant-animal interactions and plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2015-10-01

    Despite broad recognition that habitat loss represents the greatest threat to the world's biodiyersity, a mechanistic understanding of how habitat loss and associated fragmentation affect ecological systems has proven remarkably challenging. The challenge stems from the multiple interdependent ways that landscapes change following fragmentation and the ensuing complex impacts on populations and communities of interacting species. We confronted these challenges by evaluating how fragmentation affects individual plants through interactions with animals, across five herbaceous species native to longleaf pine savannas. We created a replicated landscape experiment that provides controlled tests of three major fragmentation effects (patch isolation, patch shape [i.e., edge-to-area ratio], and distance to edge), established experimental founder populations of the five species to control for spatial distributions and densities of individual plants, and employed structural equation modeling to evaluate the effects of fragmentation on plant reproductive output and the degree to which these impacts are mediated through altered herbivory, pollination, or pre-dispersal seed predation. Across species, the most consistent response to fragmentation was a reduction in herbivory. Herbivory, however, had little impact.on plant reproductive output, and thus we found little evidence for any resulting benefit to plants in fragments. In contrast, fragmentation rarely impacted pollination or pre-dispersal seed predation, but both of these interactions had strong and consistent impacts on plant reproductive output. As a result, our models robustly predicted plant reproductive output (r2 = 0.52-0.70), yet due to the weak effects of fragmentation on pollination and pre-dispersal seed predation, coupled with the weak effect of herbivory on plant reproduction, the effects of fragmentation on reproductive output were generally small in magnitude and inconsistent. This work provides mechanistic

  15. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation.

  16. Plant reproduction and environmental noise: how do plants do it?

    PubMed

    Lyles, Danielle; Rosenstock, Todd S; Hastings, Alan

    2015-04-21

    Plant populations exhibit a wide continuum of reproductive behavior, ranging from nearly constant reproductive output on one end to the extreme of masting (synchronized, highly variable reproduction) on the other. Here, we show that including variability (noise) in density-dependent pollen limitation in current models for pollen-limited plant reproduction may produce any behavior on this continuum. We previously showed that (large) variability in pollination efficiency (a related phenomenon) may induce masting in non-pollen-limited plant populations. Other modeling studies have shown that including variability in accumulated resources (and/or the threshold for reproduction) may induce masting, but do account for masting in non-pollen-limited plant populations. Thus, our results suggest that the range of plant reproductive behavior may be explained with the simple resource budget model combined with the biological realism of variability in density-dependent pollen limitation. This is a specific example of an important functional consequence of the interactions between stochasticity and nonlinearity, and highlights the importance of carefully considering both the biological basis and the mathematical effects of the noise term.

  17. Enhancement of reproductive heat tolerance in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The current study investigated the enhancement of plant reproductive heat tolerance through the use of a gene encoding the Arabidopsis thaliana heat shock protein 101 (AtHSP101) not normally expressed in pollen but reported to play a crucial role in vegetative thermotolerance. The Arabidopsis thali...

  18. Plant reproduction: GABA gradient, guidance and growth.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hong

    2003-10-28

    How a pollen tube manages to navigate through the female tissues during plant reproduction has been a mystery. A new analysis of an Arabidopsis mutant has provided the strongest evidence yet that a GABA gradient may be a critical signal for correct targeting of the pollen tube.

  19. Reproductive systems and evolution in vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    Holsinger, Kent E.

    2000-01-01

    Differences in the frequency with which offspring are produced asexually, through self-fertilization and through sexual outcrossing, are a predominant influence on the genetic structure of plant populations. Selfers and asexuals have fewer genotypes within populations than outcrossers with similar allele frequencies, and more genetic diversity in selfers and asexuals is a result of differences among populations than in sexual outcrossers. As a result of reduced levels of diversity, selfers and asexuals may be less able to respond adaptively to changing environments, and because genotypes are not mixed across family lineages, their populations may accumulate deleterious mutations more rapidly. Such differences suggest that selfing and asexual lineages may be evolutionarily short-lived and could explain why they often seem to be of recent origin. Nonetheless, the origin and maintenance of different reproductive modes must be linked to individual-level properties of survival and reproduction. Sexual outcrossers suffer from a cost of outcrossing that arises because they do not contribute to selfed or asexual progeny, whereas selfers and asexuals may contribute to outcrossed progeny. Selfing and asexual reproduction also may allow reproduction when circumstances reduce opportunities for a union of gametes produced by different individuals, a phenomenon known as reproductive assurance. Both the cost of outcrossing and reproductive assurance lead to an over-representation of selfers and asexuals in newly formed progeny, and unless sexual outcrossers are more likely to survive and reproduce, they eventually will be displaced from populations in which a selfing or asexual variant arises. PMID:10860968

  20. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success.

  1. Programmed cell death in plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wu, H M; Cheun, A Y

    2000-10-01

    Reproductive development is a rich arena to showcase programmed cell death in plants. After floral induction, the first act of reproductive development in some plants is the selective killing of cells destined to differentiate into an unwanted sexual organ. Production of functional pollen grains relies significantly on deterioration and death of the anther tapetum, a tissue whose main function appears to nurture and decorate the pollen grains with critical surface molecules. Degeneration and death in a number of anther tissues result ultimately in anther rupture and dispersal of pollen grains. Female sporogenesis frequently begins with the death of all but one of the meiotic derivatives, with surrounding nucellar cells degenerating in concert with embryo sac expansion. Female tissues that interact with pollen undergo dramatic degeneration, including death, to ensure the encounter of compatible male and female gametes. Pollen and pistil interact to kill invading pollen from an incompatible source. Most observations on cell death in reproductive tissues have been on the histological and cytological levels. We discuss various cell death phenomena in reproductive development with a view towards understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes.

  2. Influence of Environmental Factors on Reproduction of Polar Vascular Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellmann-Sopyła, Wioleta; Pastorczyk, Marta; Giełwanowska, Irena

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades, changes of reproductive pattern of polar vascular plants have been observed, for the benefit of generative propagation. The reasons for this phenomenon are attributed to intensively following climate change, whose effects may be various. Warming causes the production of the greater number of generative structures, with higher quality. Our macroscopic observations conducted on specimens of polar vascular plants, cultivated in University of Warmia and Mazury greenhouse, indicate that the effect of temperature increase on flower development and seed formation is inconsistent. On the other hand enhanced levels of UV-B radiation can negatively affect seedlings. The complexity of the climate change causes tremendous difficulties in defining a clear and unquestioned way of modifications during the reproductive phase of the described plants.

  3. Epigenetic processes in flowering plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guifeng; Köhler, Claudia

    2017-01-06

    Seeds provide up to 70% of the energy intake of the human population, emphasizing the relevance of understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms controlling seed formation. In flowering plants, seeds are the product of a double fertilization event, leading to the formation of the embryo and the endosperm surrounded by maternal tissues. Analogous to mammals, plants undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming during both gamete formation and early seed development, a process that is supposed to be required to enforce silencing of transposable elements and thus to maintain genome stability. Global changes of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small RNAs are closely associated with epigenome programming during plant reproduction. Here, we review current knowledge on chromatin changes occurring during sporogenesis and gametogenesis, as well as early seed development in major flowering plant models.

  4. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; Boutin, Sébastien; Tsuchida, Tsutomu; Koga, Ryuichi; Le Gallic, Jean-François; Frantz, Adrien; Outreman, Yannick; Fukatsu, Takema

    2011-01-01

    Some bacterial symbionts alter their hosts reproduction through various mechanisms that enhance their transmission in the host population. In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum harbors several facultative symbionts influencing several aspects of host ecology. Aphids reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis whereby clonal and sexual reproduction alternate within the annual life cycle. Many species, including the pea aphid, also show variation in their reproductive mode at the population level, with some lineages reproducing by cyclical parthenogenesis and others by permanent parthenogenesis. While the role of facultative symbionts has been well studied during the parthenogenetic phase of their aphid hosts, very little is known on their possible influence during the sexual phase. Here we investigated whether facultative symbionts modulate the capacity to produce sexual forms in various genetic backgrounds of the pea aphid with controlled symbiont composition and also in different aphid genotypes from natural populations with previously characterized infection status and reproductive mode. We found that most facultative symbionts exhibited detrimental effects on their hosts fitness under sex-inducing conditions in comparison with the reference lines. We also showed that the loss of sexual phase in permanently parthenogenetic lineages of A. pisum was not explained by facultative symbionts. Finally, we demonstrated that Spiroplasma infection annihilated the production of males in the host progeny by inducing a male-killing phenotype, an unexpected result for organisms such as aphids that reproduce primarily through clonal reproduction.

  5. Environmental color affects Nile tilapia reproduction.

    PubMed

    Volpato, G L; Duarte, C R A; Luchiari, A C

    2004-04-01

    We investigated the effects of environmental color on the reproductive behavior of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Two environmental colors were tested by covering the aquarium (60 x 60 x 40 cm) with white (12 groups) or blue (13 groups) cellophane and observing reproductive behavior in groups of 2 males (10.27 +/- 0.45 cm) and 3 females (10.78 +/- 0.45 cm) each. After assignment to the respective environmental color (similar luminosity = 100 to 120 Lux), the animals were observed until reproduction (identified by eggs in the female's mouth) or up to 10 days after the first nest building. Photoperiod was from 6:00 h to 18:00 h every day. Food was offered in excess once a day and water quality was similar among aquaria. Daily observations were made at 8:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 17:00 h regarding: a) latency to the first nest, b) number of nests, c) gravel weight removed (the male excavates the nest in the bottom of the aquarium), d) nest area, and e) mouthbrooding incubation (indication of reproduction). The proportion of reproducing fish was significantly higher (6 of 13) in the group exposed to the blue color compared the group exposed to the white color (1 of 12; Goodman's test of proportions). Moreover, males under blue light removed significantly larger masses of gravel (blue = 310.70 +/- 343.50 g > white = 130.38 +/- 102.70 g; P = 0.01) and constructed wider nests (blue = 207.93 +/- 207.80 cm(2) > white = 97.68 +/- 70.64 cm(2); P = 0.03) than the control (white). The other parameters did not differ significantly between light conditions. We concluded that reproduction in the presence of blue light was more frequent and intense than in the presence of white light.

  6. Antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

    While many studies demonstrate that herbivores alter selection on plant reproductive traits, little is known about whether antiherbivore defenses affect selection on these traits. We hypothesized that antiherbivore defenses could alter selection on reproductive traits by altering trait expression through allocation trade-offs, or by altering interactions with mutualists and/or antagonists. To test our hypothesis, we used white clover, Trifolium repens, which has a Mendelian polymorphism for the production of hydrogen cyanide-a potent antiherbivore defense. We conducted a common garden experiment with 185 clonal families of T. repens that included cyanogenic and acyanogenic genotypes. We quantified resistance to herbivores, and selection on six floral traits and phenology via male and female fitness. Cyanogenesis reduced herbivory but did not alter the expression of reproductive traits through allocation trade-offs. However, the presence of cyanogenic defenses altered natural selection on petal morphology and the number of flowers within inflorescences via female fitness. Herbivory influenced selection on flowers and phenology via female fitness independently of cyanogenesis. Our results demonstrate that both herbivory and antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits. We discuss the significance of these results for understanding how antiherbivore defenses interact with herbivores and pollinators to shape floral evolution.

  7. Reproductive cross-talk: seed development in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Nowack, Moritz K; Ungru, Alexander; Bjerkan, Katrine N; Grini, Paul E; Schnittger, Arp

    2010-04-01

    Flowering plants have evolved to be a predominant life form on earth. A common principle of flowering plants and probably one of the main reasons for their evolutionary success is the rapid development of an embryo next to a supporting tissue called the endosperm. The embryo and the endosperm are protected by surrounding maternal tissues, the integuments, and the trinity of integuments, embryo and endosperm comprise the plant seed. For proper seed development, these three structures have to develop in a highly controlled and co-ordinated manner, representing a paradigm for cell-cell communication during development. Communication pathways between the endosperm and the seed coat are now beginning to be unravelled. Moreover, recently isolated mutants affecting plant reproduction have allowed a genetic dissection of seed development, and revealed that the embryo plays a previously unrecognized yet important role in co-ordinating seed development.

  8. [Fluorosis of coal burning affects the male reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Feng; Feng, Jin; Xiao, Yue-Hai; Sun, Fa

    2014-01-01

    Fluorosis of coal burning is a new type of endemic fluorosis in China, which affects the male reproductive system. Furthermore, the content of fluoride in the semen, sperm mortality, sperm concentration and the incidence of infertility are higher in severe fluorosis areas than in mild- and non-fluorosis areas, so are the levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. However, the levels of inhibin B, serum testosterone and estradiol show different degrees of reduction in severe fluorosis areas. Accordingly, fluorosis of coal burning, just like other endemic fluorosis, may affect the structure of male reproductive organs, the generation of sperm and reproductive endocrinology, resulting in the decline of men's reproductive ability.

  9. Phenological change in a spring ephemeral: implications for pollination and plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Gezon, Zachariah J; Inouye, David W; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-05-01

    Climate change has had numerous ecological effects, including species range shifts and altered phenology. Altering flowering phenology often affects plant reproduction, but the mechanisms behind these changes are not well-understood. To investigate why altering flowering phenology affects plant reproduction, we manipulated flowering phenology of the spring herb Claytonia lanceolata (Portulacaceae) using two methods: in 2011-2013 by altering snow pack (snow-removal vs. control treatments), and in 2013 by inducing flowering in a greenhouse before placing plants in experimental outdoor arrays (early, control, and late treatments). We measured flowering phenology, pollinator visitation, plant reproduction (fruit and seed set), and pollen limitation. Flowering occurred approx. 10 days earlier in snow-removal than control plots during all years of snow manipulation. Pollinator visitation patterns and strength of pollen limitation varied with snow treatments, and among years. Plants in the snow removal treatment were more likely to experience frost damage, and frost-damaged plants suffered low reproduction despite lack of pollen limitation. Plants in the snow removal treatment that escaped frost damage had higher pollinator visitation rates and reproduction than controls. The results of the array experiment supported the results of the snow manipulations. Plants in the early and late treatments suffered very low reproduction due either to severe frost damage (early treatment) or low pollinator visitation (late treatment) relative to control plants. Thus, plants face tradeoffs with advanced flowering time. While early-flowering plants can reap the benefits of enhanced pollination services, they do so at the cost of increased susceptibility to frost damage that can overwhelm any benefit of flowering early. In contrast, delayed flowering results in dramatic reductions in plant reproduction through reduced pollination. Our results suggest that climate change may constrain the

  10. Caste ratios affect the reproductive output of social trematode colonies.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversification in social organisms often leads to formation of physical castes which are morphologically specialized for particular tasks within the colony. The optimal caste allocation theory argues that specialized morphological castes are efficient at specific tasks, and hence different caste ratios should affect the ergonomic efficiency, hence reproductive output of the colony. However, the reproductive output of different caste ratios has been documented in few species of insects with equivocal support for the theory. This study investigated whether the ratios of nonreproductive and reproductive morphs affect the reproductive output of a recently discovered social trematode, Philophthalmus sp., in which the nonreproductive members are hypothesized to be defensive specialists. A census of natural infections and a manipulative in vitro experiment demonstrated a positive association between the reproductive output of trematode colonies and the ratio of nonreproductive to reproductive morphs in the presence of an intra-host trematode competitor, Maritrema novaezealandensis. On the contrary, without the competitor, reproductive output was negatively associated with the proportion of nonreproductive castes in colonies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a clear fitness benefit associated with the nonreproductive castes in the presence of a competitor while illustrating the cost of maintaining such morphs in noncompetitive situations. Although the proximate mechanisms controlling caste ratio remain unclear in this trematode system, this study supports the prediction that the fitness of colonies is influenced by the composition of specialized functional morphs in social organisms, suggesting a potential for adaptive shifts of caste ratios over evolutionary time.

  11. Clonal Patch Size and Ramet Position of Leymus chinensis Affected Reproductive Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive allocation is critically important for population maintenance and usually varies with not only environmental factors but also biotic ones. As a typical rhizome clonal plant in China's northern grasslands, Leymus chinensis usually dominates the steppe communities and grows in clonal patches. In order to clarify the sexual reproductive allocation of L. chinensis in the process of the growth and expansion, we selected L. chinensis clonal patches of a range of sizes to examine the reproductive allocation and allometric growth of the plants. Moreover, the effects of position of L. chinensis ramets within the patch on their reproductive allocation were also examined. Clonal patch size and position both significantly affected spike biomass, reproductive tiller biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio. From the central to the marginal zone, both the spike biomass and reproductive tiller biomass displayed an increasing trend in all the five patch size categories except for reproductive tiller biomass in 15–40m2 category. L. chinensis had significantly larger SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio in marginal zone than in central zone of clonal patches that are larger than 15 m2 in area. Regression analysis showed that the spike biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio were negatively correlated with clonal patch size while patch size showed significantly positive effect on SEED/SPIKE biomass ratio, but the reproductive tiller biomass and SEED/TILLER biomass ratio were not dependent on clonal patch size. The relationships between biomass of spike and reproductive tiller, between mature seed biomass and spike biomass and between mature seed biomass and reproductive tiller biomass were significant allometric for all or some of patch size categories, respectively. The slopes of all these allometric relationships were significantly different from 1. The allometric growth of L. chinensis is patch size-dependent. This finding will be helpful for developing appropriate practices for

  12. Removal of the local geomagnetic field affects reproductive growth in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunxiao; Wei, Shufeng; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Yuxia; Chen, Chuanfang; Song, Tao

    2013-09-01

    The influence of the geomagnetic field-removed environment on Arabidopsis growth was investigated by cultivation of the plants in a near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field (45 µT) for the whole growth period under laboratory conditions. The biomass accumulation of plants in the near-null magnetic field was significantly suppressed at the time when plants were switching from vegetative growth to reproductive growth compared with that of plants grown in the local geomagnetic field, which was caused by a delay in the flowering of plants in the near-null magnetic field. At the early or later growth stage, no significant difference was shown in the biomass accumulation between the plants in the near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field. The average number of siliques and the production of seeds per plant in the near-null magnetic field was significantly lower by about 22% and 19%, respectively, than those of control plants. These resulted in a significant reduction of about 20% in the harvest index of plants in the near-null magnetic field compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that the removal of the local geomagnetic field negatively affects the reproductive growth of Arabidopsis, which thus affects the yield and harvest index.

  13. Effects of lighting and air movement on temperatures in reproductive organs of plants in a closed plant growth facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitaya, Y.; Hirai, H.

    Temperature increases in plant reproductive organs such as anthers and stigmas could cause fertility impediments and thus produce sterile seeds under artificial lighting conditions without adequately controlled environments in closed plant growth facilities. There is a possibility such a situation could occur in Bioregenerative Life Support Systems under microgravity conditions in space because there will be little natural convective or thermal mixing. This study was conducted to determine the temperature of the plant reproductive organs as affected by illumination and air movement under normal gravitational forces on the earth and to make an estimation of the temperature increase in reproductive organs in closed plant growth facilities under microgravity in space. Thermal images of reproductive organs of rice and strawberry were captured using infrared thermography at air temperatures of 10 11 °C. Compared to the air temperature, temperatures of petals, stigmas and anthers of strawberry increased by 24, 22 and 14 °C, respectively, after 5 min of lighting at an irradiance of 160 W m-2 from incandescent lamps. Temperatures of reproductive organs and leaves of strawberry were significantly higher than those of rice. The temperatures of petals, stigmas, anthers and leaves of strawberry decreased by 13, 12, 13 and 14 °C, respectively, when the air velocity was increased from 0.1 to 1.0 ms-1. These results show that air movement is necessary to reduce the temperatures of plant reproductive organs in plant growth facilities.

  14. Melatonin, But not auxin, affects postnatal reproductive development in the marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris).

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Kent E

    2013-06-01

    Melatonin and the plant hormone auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) have some structural similarity and, may thus exert comparable physiological effects on reproduction and growth. To test this possibility, I examined the effects of melatonin and auxin administration on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development in an animal model, the marsh rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Juvenile males housed under 14L:10D conditions were injected daily for four weeks with saline, melatonin, auxin, or melatonin and auxin, and the development of the testes and other organs was assessed. Melatonin alone significantly inhibited the development of the testes, seminal vesicles, Harderian glands, and overall somatic growth, but not the spleen. Auxin did not affect any endpoint measured. When melatonin was administered simultaneously with auxin, the melatonin effects dominated in suppressing reproduction and growth. The administration of melatonin or auxin in the drinking water produced results similar to the effects of melatonin and auxin injections reported herein. Lastly, both melatonin and auxin in the drinking water failed to alter any short photoperiod-induced reproductive inhibition. These data suggest that structural similarities between melatonin and auxin do not result in similar postnatal effects on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development on a long photoperiod and further suggest that melatonin and auxin do not operate through a common physiological mechanism.

  15. Altitude affects the reproductive performance in monoicous and dioicous bryophytes: examples from a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S.; Marques Valio, Ivany F.; Rydin, Håkan

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims Short life cycles and trade-offs linked to breeding systems make bryophytes good models for the study of plant reproductive strategies. Our aim was to test if differences in sexual reproductive performance of bryophytes in tropical rainforests are driven by the breeding system of the species (monoicous or dioicous) or are mainly affected by the habitat. Methodology The reproductive performance (sexual branches, gametangia (sex organs), fertilization and sporophyte production) of 11 species was repeatedly monitored and analysed from populations at sea-level and montane sites of a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest over 15 months. Principal results Monoicous species had the highest reproductive performance, particularly for sexual branches, fertilized gametangia and sporophyte production. Species at the sea-level site produced more sexual branches and had more female-biased sex ratios of gametangia than species in the montane site. Fertilizations were more frequent at the montane site, but sporophyte frequency was similar between the two sites. Fertilization tended to occur mostly in the periods of heavy rain (October to December). Conclusions Breeding system is not the only major influence on the reproductive performance of bryophytes. We show that habitat is also an important factor determining life-history differentiation. Female-biased sex ratios and low rates of fertilization are seen to be compensated for by high production of reproductive structures at the initial phases of the reproductive cycle. PMID:22822422

  16. TERRESTRIAL PLANT REPRODUCTIVE TESTING: SHOULD WILDLIFE TOXICOLOGISTS CARE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Standard phytotoxicity testing using the seedling emergence and vegetative vigor tests have been shown to be inadequate for the protection of plant reproduction. Both experimental evidence and unintended field exposures have shown vegetation can be minimally or not significantly...

  17. Advertising to the enemy: enhanced floral fragrance increases beetle attraction and reduces plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Theis, Nina; Adler, Lynn S

    2012-02-01

    Many organisms face challenges in avoiding predation while searching for mates. For plants, emitting floral fragrances to advertise reproductive structures could increase the attraction of detrimental insects along with pollinators. Very few studies have experimentally evaluated the costs and benefits of fragrance emission with explicit consideration of how plant fitness is affected by both pollinators and florivores. To determine the reproductive consequences of increasing the apparency of reproductive parts, we manipulated fragrance, pollination, and florivores in the wild Texas gourd, Cucurbita pepo var. texana. With enhanced fragrance we found an increase in the attraction of florivores, rather than pollinators, and a decrease in seed production. This study is the first to demonstrate that enhanced floral fragrance can increase the attraction of detrimental florivores and decrease plant reproduction, suggesting that florivory as well as pollination has shaped the evolution of floral scent.

  18. Plant Reproduction. Plant Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Plants are vital to all other life on this planet - without them, there would be no food, shelter or oxygen. Luckily, over millions of years plants have developed many different features in order to survive and reproduce. In Plant Reproduction, students will discover that primitive mosses and algae are dependent upon water for their reproduction.…

  19. Reproductive compensation in the evolution of plant mating systems.

    PubMed

    Porcher, Emmanuelle; Lande, Russell

    2005-05-01

    Reproductive compensation, the replacement of dead embryos by potentially viable ones, is known to play a major role in the maintenance of deleterious mutations in mammalian populations. However, it has received little attention in plant evolution. Here we model the joint evolution of mating system and inbreeding depression with reproductive compensation. We used a dynamic model of inbreeding depression, allowing for partial purging of recessive lethal mutations by selfing. We showed that reproductive compensation tended to increase the mean number of lethals in a population, but favored self-fertilization by effectively decreasing early inbreeding depression. When compensation depended on the selfing rate, stable mixed mating systems can occur, with low to intermediate selfing rates. Experimental evidence of reproductive compensation is required to confirm its potential importance in the evolution of plant mating systems. We suggest experimental methods to detect reproductive compensation.

  20. ATP binding cassette G transporters and plant male reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Guochao; Shi, Jianxin; Liang, Wanqi; Zhang, Dabing

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The function of ATP Binding Cassette G (ABCG) transporters in the regulation of plant vegetative organs development has been well characterized in various plant species. In contrast, their function in reproductive development particularly male reproductive development received considerably less attention till some ABCG transporters was reported to be associated with anther and pollen wall development in Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) during the past decade. This mini-review summarizes current knowledge of ABCG transporters regarding to their roles in male reproduction and underlying genetic and biochemical mechanisms, which makes it evident that ABCG transporters represent one of those conserved and divergent components closely related to male reproduction in plants. This mini-review also discusses the current challenges and future perspectives in this particular field. PMID:26906115

  1. From Flowers to Fruits: How Children's Books Represent Plant Reproduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schussler, Elisabeth E.

    2008-01-01

    Children's trade books about science may be playing an increasing role in science instruction; however, the potential effects on student learning are unknown. To investigate whether a subset of books would be appropriate for classroom instruction about a specific science topic (plant reproduction), a selection of children's books about plants was…

  2. Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based microdevices for studying plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Arata, Hideyuki; Higashiyama, Tetsuya

    2014-04-01

    Long-term holding and precise handling of growing plant tissues during in vitro cultivation has been a major hurdle for experimental studies related to plant development and reproduction. In the present review, we introduce two of our newly developed poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based microdevices: a T-shaped microchannel device for pollen tube chemoattraction and a microcage array for long-term live imaging of ovules. Their design, usage and advantages are described, and future prospects of experimental approaches to plant reproduction using such microdevices are discussed.

  3. Fungal symbionts as manipulators of plant reproductive biology.

    PubMed

    Gorischek, Alexander M; Afkhami, Michelle E; Seifert, Elizabeth K; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-04-01

    Symbioses have shaped the evolution of life, most notably through the fixation of heritable symbionts into organelles. The inheritance of symbionts promotes mutualism and fixation by coupling partner fitness. However, conflicts arise if symbionts are transmitted through only one sex and can shift host resources toward the sex through which they propagate. Such reproductive manipulators have been documented in animals with separate sexes but not in other phyla or sexual systems. Here we investigated whether the investment in male relative to female reproduction differed between hermaphroditic host plants with versus without a maternally inherited fungal symbiont. Plants with the fungus produced more seeds and less pollen than plants lacking the fungus, resulting in an ~40% shift in functional gender and a switch from male-biased to female-biased sex allocation. Given the ubiquity of endophytes in plants, reproductive manipulators of hermaphrodites may be widespread in nature.

  4. Callose synthesis during reproductive development in monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Han, Xiao; Lu, Tie-gang

    2016-01-01

    Callose, a linear β-1,3-glucan molecule, plays important roles in a variety of processes in angiosperms, including development and the response to biotic and abiotic stress. Despite the importance of callose deposition, our understanding of the roles of callose in rice reproductive development and the regulation of callose biosynthesis is limited. GLUCAN SYNTHASE-LIKE genes encode callose synthases (GSLs), which function in the production of callose at diverse sites in plants. Studies have shown that callose participated in plant reproductive development, and that the timely deposition and degradation of callose were essential for normal male gametophyte development. In this mini-review, we described conserved sequences found in GSL family proteins from monocotyledonous (Oryza sativa and Zea mays) and dicotyledonous (Arabidopsis thaliana and Glycine max) plants. We also describe the latest findings on callose biosynthesis and deposition during reproductive development and discuss future challenges in unraveling the mechanism of callose synthesis and deposition in higher plants.

  5. Callose synthesis during reproductive development in monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiao; Han, Xiao; Lu, Tie-gang

    2016-01-01

    Callose, a linear β-1,3-glucan molecule, plays important roles in a variety of processes in angiosperms, including development and the response to biotic and abiotic stress. Despite the importance of callose deposition, our understanding of the roles of callose in rice reproductive development and the regulation of callose biosynthesis is limited. GLUCAN SYNTHASE-LIKE genes encode callose synthases (GSLs), which function in the production of callose at diverse sites in plants. Studies have shown that callose participated in plant reproductive development, and that the timely deposition and degradation of callose were essential for normal male gametophyte development. In this mini-review, we described conserved sequences found in GSL family proteins from monocotyledonous (Oryza sativa and Zea mays) and dicotyledonous (Arabidopsis thaliana and Glycine max) plants. We also describe the latest findings on callose biosynthesis and deposition during reproductive development and discuss future challenges in unraveling the mechanism of callose synthesis and deposition in higher plants. PMID:26451709

  6. Simulated warming shifts the flowering phenology and sexual reproduction of Cardamine hirsuta under different Planting densities

    PubMed Central

    Cao, YuSong; Xiao, Yian; Huang, Haiqun; Xu, Jiancheng; Hu, Wenhai; Wang, Ning

    2016-01-01

    Climate warming can shift the reproductive phenology of plant, and hence dramatically reduced the reproductive capacity both of density-dependent and -independent plant species. But it is still unclear how climate warming affects flowering phenology and reproductive allocation of plant under different planting densities. Here, we assessed the impact of simulated warming on flowering phenology and sexual reproduction in the ephemeral herb Cardamine hirsuta under four densities. We found that simulated warming delayed the onset of flowering averagely for 3.6 days but preceded the end of flowering for about 1 day, which indicated climate warming shortened the duration of the flowering. And the flowering amplitude in the peak flowering day also dramatically increased in the simulated warming treatment, which caused a mass-flowering pattern. Climate warming significantly increased the weights of the fruits, seeds and seed, but reduced fruit length and sexual reproductive allocation under all the four densities. The duration of flowering was shortened and the weights of the fruits, seeds and seed, and sexual reproductive allocation were reduced under The highest density. PMID:27296893

  7. Reproductive consequences of mate quantity versus mate diversity in a wind-pollinated plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandepitte, K.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Honnay, O.

    2009-07-01

    Since most pollen travels limited distances in wind-pollinated plants, both the local quantity and diversity of mates may limit female reproductive success. Yet little evidence exists on their relative contribution, despite the importance of viable seed production to population dynamics. To study how variation in female reproductive success is affected by the quantity versus the diversity of surrounding mates contributing pollen, we integrated pollination experiments, data on natural seed set and seed viability, and AFLP genetic marker data in the wind-pollinated dioecious clonal forest herb Mercurialis perennis. Pollination experiments indicated weak quantitative pollen limitation effects on seed set. Among-population crosses showed reduced seed viability, suggesting outbreeding depression due to genetic divergence. Pollination with pollen from a single source did not negatively affect reproductive success. These findings were consistent with results of the survey of natural female reproductive success. Seed set decreased with the distance to males in a female plants' local neighborhood, suggesting a shortage of pollen in isolated female plants, and increased with the degree of local genetic diversity. Spatial isolation to other populations and population size did not affect seed set. None of these variables were related to seed viability. We conclude that pollen movement in M. perennis is likely very limited. Both male proximity and the local degree of genetic diversity influenced female reproductive success.

  8. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs.

  9. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior.

  10. Temperature stress and plant sexual reproduction: uncovering the weakest links

    PubMed Central

    Zinn, Kelly E.; Tunc-Ozdemir, Meral; Harper, Jeffrey F.

    2010-01-01

    The reproductive (gametophytic) phase in flowering plants is often highly sensitive to hot or cold temperature stresses, with even a single hot day or cold night sometimes being fatal to reproductive success. This review describes studies of temperature stress on several crop plants, which suggest that pollen development and fertilization may often be the most sensitive reproductive stage. Transcriptome and proteomic studies on several plant species are beginning to identify stress response pathways that function during pollen development. An example is provided here of genotypic differences in the reproductive stress tolerance between two ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia (Col) and Hilversum (Hi-0), when reproducing under conditions of hot days and cold nights. Hi-0 exhibited a more severe reduction in seed set, correlated with a reduction in pollen tube growth potential and tropism defects. Hi-0 thus provides an Arabidopsis model to investigate strategies for improved stress tolerance in pollen. Understanding how different plants cope with stress during reproductive development offers the potential to identify genetic traits that could be manipulated to improve temperature tolerance in selected crop species being cultivated in marginal climates. PMID:20351019

  11. Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, R.J.; Freeman, D. Carl; McArthur, E.D.; Kim, Y.-O.; Redman, R.S.

    2009-01-01

    The growth and development of rice (Oryzae sativa) seedlings was shown to be regulated epigenetically by a fungal endophyte. In contrast to un-inoculated (nonsymbiotic) plants, endophyte colonized (symbiotic) plants preferentially allocated resources into root growth until root hairs were well established. During that time symbiotic roots expanded at five times the rate observed in nonsymbiotic plants. Endophytes also influenced sexual reproduction of mature big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plants. Two spatially distinct big sagebrush subspecies and their hybrids were symbiotic with unique fungal endophytes, despite being separated by only 380 m distance and 60 m elevation. A double reciprocal transplant experiment of parental and hybrid plants, and soils across the hybrid zone showed that fungal endophytes interact with the soils and different plant genotypes to confer enhanced plant reproduction in soil native to the endophyte and reduced reproduction in soil alien to the endophyte. Moreover, the most prevalent endophyte of the hybrid zone reduced the fitness of both parental subspecies. Because these endophytes are passed to the next generation of plants on seed coats, this interaction provides a selective advantage, habitat specificity, and the means of restricting gene flow, thereby making the hybrid zone stable, narrow and potentially leading to speciation. ?? 2009 Landes Bioscience.

  12. Fast-slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide.

    PubMed

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon P; Hodgson, David J; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Zuidema, Pieter A; de Kroon, Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2016-01-05

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population performance. We show that 55% of the variation in plant life-history strategies is adequately characterized using two independent axes: the fast-slow continuum, including fast-growing, short-lived plant species at one end and slow-growing, long-lived species at the other, and a reproductive strategy axis, with highly reproductive, iteroparous species at one extreme and poorly reproductive, semelparous plants with frequent shrinkage at the other. Our findings remain consistent across major habitats and are minimally affected by plant growth form and phylogenetic ancestry, suggesting that the relative independence of the fast-slow and reproduction strategy axes is general in the plant kingdom. Our findings have similarities with how life-history strategies are structured in mammals, birds, and reptiles. The position of plant species populations in the 2D space produced by both axes predicts their rate of recovery from disturbances and population growth rate. This life-history framework may complement trait-based frameworks on leaf and wood economics; together these frameworks may allow prediction of responses of plants to anthropogenic disturbances and changing environments.

  13. Fast–slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R.; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon P.; Hodgson, David J.; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Zuidema, Pieter A.; de Kroon, Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M.

    2016-01-01

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population performance. We show that 55% of the variation in plant life-history strategies is adequately characterized using two independent axes: the fast–slow continuum, including fast-growing, short-lived plant species at one end and slow-growing, long-lived species at the other, and a reproductive strategy axis, with highly reproductive, iteroparous species at one extreme and poorly reproductive, semelparous plants with frequent shrinkage at the other. Our findings remain consistent across major habitats and are minimally affected by plant growth form and phylogenetic ancestry, suggesting that the relative independence of the fast–slow and reproduction strategy axes is general in the plant kingdom. Our findings have similarities with how life-history strategies are structured in mammals, birds, and reptiles. The position of plant species populations in the 2D space produced by both axes predicts their rate of recovery from disturbances and population growth rate. This life-history framework may complement trait-based frameworks on leaf and wood economics; together these frameworks may allow prediction of responses of plants to anthropogenic disturbances and changing environments. PMID:26699477

  14. Plant Reproduction: Self-Incompatibility to Go.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Mendez, Alejandro; McClure, Bruce

    2016-02-08

    In a new study, the Papaver rhoeas (poppy family) self-incompatibility system has been transferred into Arabidopsis thaliana, a distantly related plant with a very different floral structure. The simple poppy self-incompatibility system may finally make it possible to introduce this potentially valuable trait into any plant.

  15. The Role of Gravity on the Reproduction of Arabidopsis Plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoshizaki, T.

    1985-01-01

    The presence of gravity as a necessary environmental factor for higher plants to complete their life cycle was examined. Arabidopsis thalliana (L.) Heynh. Columbia strain plants were grown continuously for three generations in a simulated micro-g environment as induced by horizontal clinostats. Growth, development and reproduction were followed. The Arabidopsis plants were selected for three generations on clinostats because: (1) a short life cycle of around 35 days; (2) the cells of third generation plants would in theory be free of gravity imprint; and (3) a third generation plant would therefore more than likely grow and respond like a plant growing in a micro-g environment. It is found that gravity is not a required environmental factor for higher plants to complete their life cycle, at least as tested by a horizontal clinostat. Clinostatting does not prevent the completion of the plant life cycle. However, clinostatting does appear to slow down the reproductive process of Arabidopsis plants. Whether higher plants can continue to reproduce for many generations in a true micro-g environment of space can only be determined by long duration experiments in space.

  16. Molecular evolution and genetics of postzygotic reproductive isolation in plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In just the last few years, plant geneticists have made tremendous progress in identifying the molecular genetic basis of postzygotic reproductive isolation. With more than a dozen genes now cloned, it is clear that plant hybrid incompatibilities usually evolve via two or more mutational steps, as is predicted by the Dobzhansky-Muller model. There is evidence that natural selection or random genetic drift can be responsible for these incompatibilities. PMID:23236340

  17. Reproduction on orbit by plants in the Brassicaceae family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musgrave, Mary E.; Kuang, Anxiu; Xiao, Ying; Matthews, Sharon W.

    1999-01-01

    Previous studies on growth and development during spaceflight had indicated that the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth was particularly difficult for plants. Our objective has been to study how the spaceflight environment impacts the different steps in plant reproduction. This goal has been pursued in two general ways: by using plants that had been pre-grown to the flowering stage on earth, and by using plants that developed completely on orbit. Our objectives have been met by a combination of experiments that required essentially no crew time on orbit, and those that required an extensive commitment of crew time. The plants chosen for the studies were closely related members of the family Brassicaceae: Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa. In a series of short-duration experiments with Arabidopsis on the space shuttle we found that depletion of carbon dioxide in closed chambers resulted in aborted development of both the male and female reproductive apparatus in microgravity. Normal development was restored by addition of carbon dioxide or by providing air flow. A subsequent shuttle experiment with Brassica utilizing hardware that provides a vigorous air flow confirmed embryo development following pollination on orbit. Brassica plants grown from seed on the Mir space station produced seed that germinated and grew when replanted on orbit. Future experiments will determine effects of multiple generations in space.

  18. [Reproduction features of reflectance spectrum of natural plant flower color].

    PubMed

    Li, Sui-Xian; Sun, Yi; Liao, Ning-Fang

    2009-10-01

    Based on the sRGB color space as an important color space of computer display, the authors explored color reproduction features in sRGB. In the terms of "color clipping" of color space transformation from CIE1931XYZ to sRGB, the color reproduction errors in sRGB of 218 reflectance spectra of natural plant flower color were examined. Considering the importance of D65 illumination, the reproduction features of natural color under D65 were emphasized. It was concluded as follows. Firstly, "color clipping" is the key cause of color transformation error of the natural plant color when it is transformed from CIE1931XYZ to sRGB color space. Secondly, under D65 eight orange and yellow reflectance spectra in 218 natural color show clipping in sRGB color space, accounting for 3.7% of all samples. Finally, the color reproduction of natural plant flower color in sRGB under D65 is the best, while the A illumination is the worst.

  19. Epigenetic reprogramming during plant reproduction and seed development.

    PubMed

    Wollmann, Heike; Berger, Frédéric

    2012-02-01

    Epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation are crucial for the development of flowering plants, and for protection of genome integrity via silencing of transposable elements (TEs). Recent advances in genome-wide profiling suggest that during reproduction DNA methylation patterns are at least partially transmitted or even enhanced in the next generation to ensure stable silencing of TEs. At the same time, parent-of-origin specific removal of DNA methylation in the accompanying tissue allows imprinted expression of genes. Here we summarize the dynamics of DNA methylation as a major epigenetic regulatory pathway during reproduction and seed development.

  20. Autophagy in sexual plant reproduction as an emerging field

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Peng; Zhou, Xue-Mei; Sun, Meng-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved system for clearing and recycling cellular components. Critical roles of autophagy in the responses of plant to different environmental stresses have been revealed during past decades. However, little is known about the role of autophagy in plant developmental processes, especially in the processes of sexual plant reproduction. Here, we briefly discuss recent advances in the emerging field and wish to bring some potential research directions into attention. Possible divergence of molecular mechanism of autophagy in respect to the current debatable view is also discussed. PMID:26515232

  1. Autophagy in sexual plant reproduction as an emerging field.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Peng; Zhou, Xue-Mei; Sun, Meng-Xiang

    2016-10-02

    Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved system for clearing and recycling cellular components. Critical roles of autophagy in the responses of plant to different environmental stresses have been revealed during past decades. However, little is known about the role of autophagy in plant developmental processes, especially in the processes of sexual plant reproduction. Here, we briefly discuss recent advances in the emerging field and wish to bring some potential research directions into attention. Possible divergence of molecular mechanism of autophagy in respect to the current debatable view is also discussed.

  2. Quantum dot nanoparticles affect the reproductive system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Pei-Chun L; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Al-Salim, Najeh; Hurst, Mark R H

    2012-10-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) are an increasingly important class of nanoparticle, but little ecotoxicological data for QDs has been published to date. The effects of mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA)-capped QDs (QDs-MSA) and equivalent concentrations of cadmium (Cd) from cadmium chloride on growth and reproduction of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Rhabditidae) were assessed in laboratory experiments. Growth from larvae to adults of C. elegans was unaffected by exposure to 1 µM fluorescent QDs-MSA, but adults produced more embryos and laid them prematurely. Furthermore, C. elegans exposed to QDs-MSA (1 µM) showed a high percentage of embryo mortality (19.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.001, percentage ± standard deviation) compared with unexposed nematodes (11.6 ± 0.4). An egg-laying defect phenotype was also observed at high frequency in response to 1 µM QDs-MSA exposure (38.3 ± 3.6%, p < 0.01; control 10.0 ± 2.2%). This resulted in a reduced mean life span (20.5 ± 1.1 d, p < 0.05) compared with the control (24.6 ± 1.0 d). Cadmium also caused reduced life span in C. elegans, but a low incidence of egg-laying defects was observed, suggesting that Cd and QDs-MSA affected C. elegans by different mechanisms. Furthermore, egg-laying defects caused by QDs-MSA responded to the addition of the anticonvulsant ethosuximide and to a lesser extent to the neurotransmitter serotonin, suggesting that QDs-MSA might have disrupted motor neurons during the reproduction process.

  3. Fungal plant endosymbionts alter life history and reproductive success of aphid predators

    PubMed Central

    de Sassi, Claudio; Müller, Christine B; Krauss, Jochen

    2006-01-01

    Endosymbionts occur in most plant species and may affect interactions among herbivores and their predators through the production of toxic alkaloids. Here, we ask whether effects of mycotoxins produced by the symbiosis of the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium lolii and the grass Lolium perenne are transmitted to the aphidophagous ladybird Coccinella septempunctata when feeding on cereal aphids Rhopalosiphum padi on infected plants. The larval development of coccinellids was extended, while their survival was reduced when feeding exclusively on aphids from infected plants. Ladybirds developing on aphids from infected plants showed reduced fecundity and impaired reproductive performance. Body size and symmetries of ladybird adults were not affected by the endophytes. Consistently strong, negative effects of endophytes on the lifetime performance of ladybirds indicates that mycotoxins are transmitted along food chains, causing significant damage for top predators. Such cascading effects will influence the population dynamics of aphid predators in the long term and could feedback to the primary plant producers. PMID:16720406

  4. Effect of reproductive mode on host plant utilization of melon aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiangdong; Gao, Xue

    2010-12-01

    Variation in the reproductive mode of melon aphid Aphis gossypii Glover occurred on the large geographic scale, but the performance of different reproductive modes to use host plant is poorly understood. Life tables of melon aphid population that undergo the anholocyclic, androcyclic, and intermediate reproductive mode were conducted on different host plants. The results showed that the anholocyclic and androcyclic strains could become adults and produce offspring on cotton Gossypium hirsutum L., whereas the intermediate strain could not. The survival rate, net reproductive rate (R(0)), and intrinsic rate of natural increase (r(m)) of the androcyclic strain on cotton were significantly greater than that of the anholocyclic strain. The three strains could aptly use cucurbits host plants including cucumber Cucumis sativa L., pumpkin Cucurbita moschata (Duchesne ex Lam.), and zucchini Cucurbita pepo L.; survival rate and R(0) were not significantly different on these two host plants. Moreover, the r(m) of the anholocyclic strain on cucumber and the androcyclic strain on pumpkin and zucchini were significantly greater than that of the other two strains. The abilities of the three strains to use a host plant were flexible, because their r(m) on pumpkin or zucchini became equal after rearing for four successive generations; furthermore, the intermediate strain attained the ability to use cotton, and the performance of anholocyclic and intermediate strains to use cotton also significantly increased after feeding on pumpkin or zucchini for one or three generations. It was concluded that the reproductive mode and feeding experience affected the performance of melon aphid to use a host plant.

  5. Do submerged aquatic plants influence their periphyton to enhance the growth and reproduction of invertebrate mutualists?

    PubMed

    Jones, J I; Young, J O; Haynes, G M; Moss, B; Eaton, J W; Hardwick, K J

    1999-08-01

    It has been suggested that submerged aquatic plants can influence the nutritional quality of the periphyton which grows on their surfaces, making it more nutritious for grazing invertebrates, particularly snails. In return, these grazers might preferentially feed on the periphyton and clear the plants of a potential competitor, with the plants and grazers both gaining from this mutualistic relationship. A highly replicated experiment was conducted, in which the nature of the plant (isoetid and elodeid types compared with similar-shaped inert substrata), the nutrient loading, and the influence of periphyton grazers (the bladder snail, Physa fontinalis) of similar size and history were controlled. Plant growth and survival significantly increased in the presence of the periphyton grazer. Whilst the presence of the grazers had the largest influence on periphyton abundance, nutrient availability and plant type also had effects. Plant type had little influence on the nutritional quality of the periphyton measured as carbohydrate, protein and C:N. Effects of treatment on snail growth, and the timing and extent of snail reproduction disappeared when they were compared with the quantity of periphyton available. There was no evidence of enhanced grazer success in the presence of the live plants compared with inert substrata. Although submerged plants affect the growth and reproduction of the grazers which feed on their surfaces, through differences in the amount of periphyton which grows there, we found no evidence that they manipulate the periphyton to encourage such grazers.

  6. Effects of light intensity light quality and air velocity on temperature in plant reproductive organs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitaya, Y.; Hirai, H.

    Excess temperature increase in plant reproductive organs such as anthers and stigmata could cause fertility impediments and thus produce sterile seeds under artificial lighting conditions in closed plant growth facilities There is a possibility that the aberration was caused by an excess increase in temperatures of reproductive organs in Bioregenerative Life Support Systems under microgravity conditions in space The fundamental study was conducted to know the thermal situation of the plant reproductive organs as affected by light intensity light quality and air velocity on the earth and to estimate the excess temperature increase in the reproductive organs in closed plant growth facilities in space Thermal images of reproductive organs of rice and strawberry were captured using infrared thermography at an air temperature of 10 r C The temperatures in flowers at 300 mu mol m -2 s -1 PPFD under the lights from red LEDs white LEDs blue LEDs fluorescent lamps and incandescent lamps increased by 1 4 1 7 1 9 6 0 and 25 3 r C respectively for rice and by 2 8 3 4 4 1 7 8 and 43 4 r C respectively for strawberry The flower temperatures increased with increasing PPFD levels The temperatures in petals anthers and stigmas of strawberry at 300 mu mol m -2 s -1 PPFD under incandescent lamps increased by 32 7 29 0 and 26 6 r C respectively at 0 1 m s -1 air velocity and by 20 6 18 5 and 15 9 r C respectively at 0 8 m s -1 air velocity The temperatures of reproductive organs decreased with increasing

  7. Population dynamics of a monocarpic thistle: simulated effects of reproductive timing and grazing of flowering plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramula, Satu

    2008-03-01

    In monocarpic plants, which die after flowering once, the timing of reproduction plays an important role. The optimal time for reproduction is when reproductive output and survival are maximized. This optimum may be altered by herbivores that consume reproductive plants of different sizes disproportionally. I examined plant survival, flowering probability, reproductive output and the probability of becoming grazed in relation to plant size in two populations of the short-lived monocarpic herb Cirsium palustre. Moreover, I simulated the consequences of changes in reproductive timing and grazing preference for population dynamics. Plant survival, flowering probability and reproductive output tended to increase with plant size, whereas the probability of becoming grazed was unaffected by plant size. According to the stochastic simulations, intense grazing would have been required to significantly reduce the stochastic population growth rate (log λs) and therefore, the observed levels of grazing had no impact on log λs in the study populations. Stochastic simulations conducted with selective grazing focusing on either early or late flowering plants and with different reproductive timings revealed that the grazing of early flowering plants had a constant effect on log λs despite the proportions of early and late flowering plants in the population, suggesting that there is no optimal time for reproduction. The grazing of late flowering plants reduced log λs with delayed reproduction, favouring reproduction early in the life cycle.

  8. Calcium signaling during reproduction and biotrophic fungal interactions in plants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Junyi; Gutjahr, Caroline; Bleckmann, Andrea; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Many recent studies have indicated that cellular communications during plant reproduction, fungal invasion, and defense involve identical or similar molecular players and mechanisms. Indeed, pollen tube invasion and sperm release shares many common features with infection of plant tissue by fungi and oomycetes, as a tip-growing intruder needs to communicate with the receptive cells to gain access into a cell and tissue. Depending on the compatibility between cells, interactions may result in defense, invasion, growth support, or cell death. Plant cells stimulated by both pollen tubes and fungal hyphae secrete, for example, small cysteine-rich proteins and receptor-like kinases are activated leading to intracellular signaling events such as the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the generation of calcium (Ca(2+)) transients. The ubiquitous and versatile second messenger Ca(2+) thereafter plays a central and crucial role in modulating numerous downstream signaling processes. In stimulated cells, it elicits both fast and slow cellular responses depending on the shape, frequency, amplitude, and duration of the Ca(2+) transients. The various Ca(2+) signatures are transduced into cellular information via a battery of Ca(2+)-binding proteins. In this review, we focus on Ca(2+) signaling and discuss its occurrence during plant reproduction and interactions of plant cells with biotrophic filamentous microbes. The participation of Ca(2+) in ROS signaling pathways is also discussed.

  9. Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting reproduction in pigs.

    PubMed

    Cassady, J P; Johnson, R K; Pomp, D; Rohrer, G A; Van Vleck, L D; Spiegel, E K; Gilson, K M

    2001-03-01

    The objective of this research was to identify chromosomal regions harboring QTL affecting reproduction in pigs. A three-generation resource population was developed by crossing low-indexing pigs from a randomly selected control line (C) with high-indexing pigs of a line selected for increased index of ovulation rate and embryonic survival (I). Differences between Lines I and C at Generation 10 were 6.7 ova and 3.3 fetuses at 50 d of gestation and 3.1 fully formed and 1.6 live pigs at birth. Phenotypic data were collected on F2 females, born in three replicates, for ovulation rate (n = 423), age at puberty (n = 295), litter size (n = 370), and number of nipples (n = 428). Litter-size data included number of fully formed, live, stillborn, and mummified pigs. Grandparent, F1, and F2 animals were genotyped for 151 microsatellite markers distributed across all 18 autosomes and the X chromosome. Genotypic data were available on 423 F2 females. Average spacing between markers was 19.3 Kosambi centimorgans. Calculations of logarithms of odds (LOD) scores were by least squares, and fixed effects for sire-dam combination and replicate were included in the models. Genome-wide significance level thresholds of 5% and 10% were calculated using a permutation approach. There was evidence (P < 0.05) for QTL affecting ovulation rate on SSC9, age at puberty on SSC7 and SSC8, number of nipples on SSC8 and SSC11, number of stillborn pigs on SSC5 and SSC13, and number of fully formed pigs on SSC11. There was evidence (P < 0.10) for additional QTL affecting age at puberty on SSC7, SSC8, and SSC12, number born live on SSC11, and number of nipples on SSC1, SSC6, and SSC7. Litter size is lowly heritable and sex-limited. Therefore, accuracy of selection for litter size may be enhanced by marker-assisted selection. Ovulation rate and age at puberty are laborious to measure, and thus marker-assisted selection may provide a practical and efficient method of selection.

  10. Plant reproduction in the Central Amazonian floodplains: challenges and adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Cristiane Silva; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; de Oliveira Wittmann, Astrid; Franco, Augusto César

    2010-01-01

    Background The Central Amazonian floodplain forests are subjected to extended periods of flooding and to flooding amplitudes of 10 m or more. The predictability, the length of the flood pulse, the abrupt transition in the environmental conditions along topographic gradients on the banks of major rivers in Central Amazonia, and the powerful water and sediment dynamics impose a strong selective pressure on plant reproduction systems. Scope In this review, we examine how the hydrological cycle influences the strategies of sexual and asexual reproduction in herbaceous and woody plants. These are of fundamental importance for the completion of the life cycle. Possible constraints to seed germination, seedling establishment and formation of seed banks are also covered. Likewise, we also discuss the importance of river connectivity for species propagation and persistence in floodplains. Conclusions The propagation and establishment strategies employed by the highly diversified assortment of different plant life forms result in contrasting successional stages and a zonation of plant assemblages along the flood-level gradient, whose species composition and successional status are continuously changing not only temporally but also spatially along the river channel. PMID:22476067

  11. NADPH Oxidase-Dependent Superoxide Production in Plant Reproductive Tissues.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Quesada, María J; Traverso, José Á; Alché, Juan de Dios

    2016-01-01

    In the life cycle of a flowering plant, the male gametophyte (pollen grain) produced in the anther reaches the stigmatic surface and initiates the pollen-pistil interaction, an important step in plant reproduction, which ultimately leads to the delivery of two sperm cells to the female gametophyte (embryo sac) inside the ovule. The pollen tube undergoes a strictly apical expansion characterized by a high growth rate, whose targeting should be tightly regulated. A continuous exchange of signals therefore takes place between the haploid pollen and diploid tissue of the pistil until fertilization. In compatible interactions, theses processes result in double fertilization to form a zygote (2n) and the triploid endosperm. Among the large number of signaling mechanisms involved, the redox network appears to be particularly important. Respiratory burst oxidase homologs (Rbohs) are superoxide-producing enzymes involved in a broad range of processes in plant physiology. In this study, we review the latest findings on understanding Rboh activity in sexual plant reproduction, with a particular focus on the male gametophyte from the anther development stages to the crowning point of fertilization. Rboh isoforms have been identified in both the male and female gametophyte and have proven to be tightly regulated. Their role at crucial points such as proper growth of pollen tube, self-incompatibility response and eventual fertilization is discussed.

  12. Multiple roles for small RNAs during plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Van Ex, Frédéric; Jacob, Yannick; Martienssen, Robert A

    2011-10-01

    Germline development and early embryogenesis in eukaryotes are characterized by large-scale genome reprogramming events. In companion cells of the Arabidopsis male gametophyte, epigenome reorganization leads to loss of heterochromatin and production of a distinct small RNA (sRNA) population. A specific class of sRNA derived from transposons appears to be mobile and can accumulate in germ cells. In the germline of maize, rice, and Arabidopsis, specific ARGONAUTE-sRNA silencing complexes appear to play key roles in reproductive development, including meiosis and regulation of germ cell fate. These results reveal new roles for sRNAs during plant reproduction and suggest that mobility of sRNAs could be critical for some of these functions.

  13. Assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent effects on fish reproduction

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are known contributors of chemical mixtures into the environment. Of particular concern are endocrine-disrupting compounds that can affect hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in exposed organisms. The present study examined t...

  14. Tracking Official Development Assistance for Reproductive Health in Conflict-Affected Countries

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Preeti; Roberts, Bayard; Guy, Samantha; Lee-Jones, Louise; Conteh, Lesong

    2009-01-01

    Background Reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries affected by armed conflict. Reliable information on aid investment for reproductive health in these countries is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid. The purpose of this study was to analyse official development assistance (ODA) for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006. Methods and Findings The Creditor Reporting System and the Financial Tracking System databases were the chosen data sources for the study. ODA disbursement for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries was analysed for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. An average of US$20.8 billion in total ODA was disbursed annually to the 18 conflict-affected countries between 2003 and 2006, of which US$509.3 million (2.4%) was allocated to reproductive health. This represents an annual average of US$1.30 disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Non-conflict-affected least-developed countries received 53.3% more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected least-developed countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment increased by 119.4% from 2003 to 2006. The ODA disbursed for other direct reproductive health activities declined by 35.9% over the same period. Conclusions This study provides evidence of inequity in disbursement of reproductive health ODA between conflict-affected countries and non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities. These findings and the study's recommendations seek to support initiatives to make aid financing more responsive to need in the context of armed conflict. PMID:19513098

  15. Getting the Right Traits: Reproductive and Dispersal Characteristics Predict the Invasiveness of Herbaceous Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr; Pergl, Jan

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effect of species traits on plant invasion, we collected comparative data on 20 reproductive and dispersal traits of 93 herbaceous alien species in the Czech Republic, central Europe, introduced after 1500 A. D. We explain plant invasion success, expressed by two measures: invasiveness, i.e. whether the species is naturalized but non-invasive, or invasive; and dominance in plant communities expressed as the mean cover in vegetation plots. We also tested how important reproductive and dispersal traits are in models including other characteristics generally known to predict invasion outcome, such as plant height, life history and residence time. By using regression/classification trees we show that the biological traits affect invasion success at all life stages, from reproduction (seed production) to dispersal (propagule properties), and the ability to compete with resident species (height). By including species traits information not usually available in multispecies analyses, we provide evidence that traits do play important role in determining the outcome of invasion and can be used to distinguish between alien species that reach the final stage of the invasion process and dominate the local communities from those that do not. No effect of taxonomy ascertained in regression and classification trees indicates that the role of traits in invasiveness should be assessed primarily at the species level. PMID:25906399

  16. Plants used for reproductive health in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Browner, C H

    1985-01-01

    Despite the existence of 2 government health centers in Mexico's San Francisco township, the use of herbal remedies for the treatment of reproductive health problems and the management of reproduction is almost universal. An ethnographic study conducted in 1980-1981 of 180 women and 126 women investigated use of specific herbal remedies in this highland area. The largest number of reproduction-related medicinal plants used San Francisco are for postpartum recovery. In fact, 80% of the women interviewed reported using only herbal remedies after their last delivery. These remedies are relied on to restore lost blood, heal the birth scar, and stop bleeding. Of the 40% of respondents who reported postpartum hemorrhaging, 70% used herbal remedies. Several of the plants used to treat menorrhagia and hemorrhaging are also used for infertility. The infertility remedies are believed to cleanse the blood and uterus, heal or strengthen the back so the fetus can adhere, help the womb retain the fetus, and cool the blood. Both infertility and miscarriage are attributed to incomplete postpartum recovery. Another large group of medicinal remedies is employed to speed labor or ease labor pains. These remedies are thought to stimulate blood flow or uterine contractions. An additional 15 plants are used to prevent or terminate pregnancy. The mechanism of action in these case is believed to be to both warm the blood to facilitate its flow and irritate the uterus so it will evacuate its contents. Reliance on these remedies derives from Chinantec ethnomedical understandings. Given the persistence of use of herbal remedies in many communities in the Third World, research is needed on their safety and efficacy.

  17. Legal issues affecting confidentiality and informed consent in reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

    The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions.

  18. Effects of nectar robbing on male and female reproductive success of a pollinator-dependent plant

    PubMed Central

    Rojas-Nossa, Sandra V.; Sánchez, José María; Navarro, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Nectar robbers affect host fitness in different ways and by different magnitudes, both directly and indirectly, and potentially constitute an important part of pollination interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nectar robbing on several variables that characterize the reproductive success of Lonicera etrusca, a pollinator-dependent plant with long, tubular flowers that produce abundant nectar. Methods Using fluorescent powder dye as a proxy for pollen, the distance of pollen dispersal was compared for robbed and non-robbed flowers. Artificial nectar robbing treatments were applied to test its effects on four additional measures of reproductive success, namely the quantity of pollen exported, fruit set, seed/ovule ratio and seed weight. Key Results Nectar robbing was not found to have any significant negative consequences on female and male components of reproductive success as determined through the five variables that were measured. Conclusions Although L. etrusca exhibits high levels of nectar robbing and nectar robbers are common floral visitors, no evidence was found of detrimental changes in the components of reproductive success. A combination of morphological and ecological mechanisms is proposed to explain how plants may compensate for the energetic loss caused by the nectar robbers. PMID:26482653

  19. Convergence beyond flower morphology? Reproductive biology of hummingbird-pollinated plants in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, C; Maruyama, P K; Oliveira, P E

    2016-03-01

    Convergent reproductive traits in non-related plants may be the result of similar environmental conditions and/or specialised interactions with pollinators. Here, we documented the pollination and reproductive biology of Bionia coriacea (Fabaceae), Esterhazya splendida (Orobanchaceae) and Ananas ananassoides (Bromeliaceae) as case studies in the context of hummingbird pollination in Cerrado, the Neotropical savanna of Central South America. We combined our results with a survey of hummingbird pollination studies in the region to investigate the recently suggested association of hummingbird pollination and self-compatibility. Plant species studied here differed in their specialisation for ornithophily, from more generalist A. ananassoides to somewhat specialist B. coriacea and E. splendida. This continuum of specialisation in floral traits also translated into floral visitor composition. Amazilia fimbriata was the most frequent pollinator for all species, and the differences in floral display and nectar energy availability among plant species affect hummingbirds' behaviour. Most of the hummingbird-pollinated Cerrado plants (60.0%, n = 20), including those studied here, were self-incompatible, in contrast to other biomes in the Neotropics. Association to more generalist, often territorial, hummingbirds, and resulting reduced pollen flow in open savanna areas may explain predominance of self-incompatibility. But it is possible that mating system is more associated with the predominance of woody hummingbird plants in the Cerrado plant assemblage than to the pollination system itself.

  20. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  1. 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. ...

  2. Effects of short-term grazing exclusion on plant phenology and reproductive succession in a Tibetan alpine meadow

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-01-01

    Grazing exclusion (GE) has been widely considered as an effective avenue for restoring degraded grasslands throughout the world. GE, via modifying abiotic and biotic environments, inevitably affects phenological development. A five-year manipulative experiment was conducted in a Tibetan alpine meadow to examine the effects of GE on phenological processes and reproductive success. The study indicated that GE strongly affected phenological development of alpine plant species. Specifically, the low-growing, shallow-rooted species (LSS), such as Kobresia pygmaea, are more sensitive to GE-caused changes on upper-soil moisture and light. GE advanced each phonological process of K. pygmaea, except in the case of the treatment of fencing for 5 years (F5), which postponed the reproductive stage and lowered the reproductive success of K. pygmaea. Increased soil moisture triggered by GE, especially in the upper soil, may stimulate growth of LSS. However, the thick litter layer under the F5 treatment can influence the photoperiod of LSS, resulting in suppression of its reproductive development. These findings indicate that plant traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and plant height, mediate plant phenology and reproductive responses to grazing exclusion treatments. PMID:27301554

  3. Effects of short-term grazing exclusion on plant phenology and reproductive succession in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-06-15

    Grazing exclusion (GE) has been widely considered as an effective avenue for restoring degraded grasslands throughout the world. GE, via modifying abiotic and biotic environments, inevitably affects phenological development. A five-year manipulative experiment was conducted in a Tibetan alpine meadow to examine the effects of GE on phenological processes and reproductive success. The study indicated that GE strongly affected phenological development of alpine plant species. Specifically, the low-growing, shallow-rooted species (LSS), such as Kobresia pygmaea, are more sensitive to GE-caused changes on upper-soil moisture and light. GE advanced each phonological process of K. pygmaea, except in the case of the treatment of fencing for 5 years (F5), which postponed the reproductive stage and lowered the reproductive success of K. pygmaea. Increased soil moisture triggered by GE, especially in the upper soil, may stimulate growth of LSS. However, the thick litter layer under the F5 treatment can influence the photoperiod of LSS, resulting in suppression of its reproductive development. These findings indicate that plant traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and plant height, mediate plant phenology and reproductive responses to grazing exclusion treatments.

  4. Recent progress in plant reproduction research: the story of the male gametophyte through to successful fertilization.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Go

    2009-11-01

    Sexual reproduction is an important biological event not only for evolution but also for breeding in plants. It is a well known fact that Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was interested in the reproduction system of plants as part of his concept of 'species' and 'evolution.' His keen observation and speculation is timeless even in the current post-genome era. In the Darwin anniversary year of 2009, I have summarized recent molecular genetic studies of plant reproduction, focusing especially on male gametophyte development, pollination and fertilization. We are just beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms of the elaborate reproduction system in flowering plants, which have been a mystery for >100 years.

  5. Ghrelin: a metabolic signal affecting the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, Teresa; Meli, Rosaria; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico; Baragli, Alessandra; Castellucci, Mario; Gualillo, Oreste; Muccioli, Giampiero

    2009-04-01

    Ghrelin, an acylated 28 amino acid gastric peptide, was isolated from the stomach as an endogenous ligand for growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor in 1999. Circulating ghrelin is mainly produced by specific cells in the stomach's oxyntic glands. Ghrelin potently stimulates GH release and food intake and exhibits diverse effects, including ones on glucose metabolism and on secretion and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Besides these effects on food intake and energy homeostasis, ghrelin is also involved in controlling reproductive functions, and a role for it as a novel regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis is clearly emerging. We review recent ghrelin research with emphasis on its roles in the reproductive axis.

  6. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  7. Nectar alkaloids decrease pollination and female reproduction in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lynn S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2012-04-01

    The evolution of floral traits may be shaped by a community of floral visitors that affect plant fitness, including pollinators and floral antagonists. The role of nectar in attracting pollinators has been extensively studied, but its effects on floral antagonists are less understood. Furthermore, the composition of non-sugar nectar components, such as secondary compounds, may affect plant reproduction via changes in both pollinator and floral antagonist behavior. We manipulated the nectar alkaloid gelsemine in wild plants of the native perennial vine Gelsemium sempervirens. We crossed nectar gelsemine manipulations with a hand-pollination treatment, allowing us to determine the effect of both the trait and the interaction on plant female reproduction. We measured pollen deposition, pollen removal, and nectar robbing to assess whether gelsemine altered the behavior of mutualists and antagonists. High nectar gelsemine reduced conspecific pollen receipt by nearly half and also reduced the proportion of conspecific pollen grains received, but had no effect on nectar robbing. Although high nectar gelsemine reduced pollen removal, an estimate of male reproduction, by one-third, this effect was not statistically significant. Fruit set was limited by pollen receipt. However, this effect varied across sites such that the sites that were most pollen-limited were also the sites where nectar alkaloids had the least effect on pollen receipt, resulting in no significant effect of nectar alkaloids on fruit set. Finally, high nectar gelsemine significantly reduced seed weight; however, this effect was mediated by a mechanism other than pollen limitation. Taken together, our work suggests that nectar alkaloids are more costly than beneficial in our system, and that relatively small-scale spatial variation in trait effects and interactions could determine the selective impacts of traits such as nectar composition.

  8. Structure and development of 'witches' broom' galls in reproductive organs of Byrsonima sericea (Malpighiaceae) and their effects on host plants.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, A L A; Neufeld, P M; Santiago-Fernandes, L D R; Vieira, A C M

    2015-03-01

    Galls are anomalies in plant development of parasitic origin that affect the cellular differentiation or growth and represent a remarkable plant-parasite interaction. Byrsonima sericea DC. (Malpighiaceae) is a super host of several different types of gall in both vegetative and reproductive organs. The existence of galls in reproductive organs and their effects on the host plant are seldom described in the literature. In this paper, we present a novel study of galls in plants of the Neotropical region: the 'witches' broom' galls developed in floral structures of B. sericea. The unaffected inflorescences are characterised by a single indeterminate main axis with spirally arranged flower buds. The flower buds developed five unaffected brownish hairy sepals and five pairs of elliptical yellow elaiophores, five yellow fringed petals, 10 stamens and a pistil with superior tricarpellar and trilocular ovary. The affected inflorescences showed changes in architecture, with branches arising from the main axis and flower buds. The flower buds exhibited several morphological and anatomical changes. The sepals, petals and carpels converted into leaf-like structures after differentiation. Stamens exhibited degeneration of the sporogenous tissue and structures containing hyphae and spores. The gynoecium did not develop, forming a central meristematic region, from which emerges the new inflorescence. In this work, we discuss the several changes in development of reproductive structures caused by witches' broom galls and their effects on reproductive success of the host plants.

  9. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring.

  10. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics

    PubMed Central

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L−1) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (−38%), diameter (−5%), and sperm velocity (−23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  11. Genetic causes of transitions from sexual reproduction to asexuality in plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Neiman, M; Sharbel, T F; Schwander, T

    2014-07-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction in the face of competition from asexual invaders is more likely if asexual lineages are produced infrequently or have low fitness. The generation rate and success of new asexual lineages will be influenced by the proximate mechanisms underlying transitions to asexuality. As such, characterization of these mechanisms can help explain the distribution of reproductive modes among natural populations. Here, we synthesize the literature addressing proximate causes of transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction in plants and animals. In cyclical and facultatively asexual taxa, individual mutations can cause obligate asexuality. The evolution of asexuality in obligately sexual groups is more complex, requiring the simultaneous acquisition of two traits generally controlled by different genetic factors: unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous development of unfertilized gametes. At least three 'pre-adaptations' could favour transitions to obligate asexuality in obligate sexuals. First, linkage among loci affecting separate key components of asexuality facilitates its spread, with evidence for these linkage blocks in plants. Second, asexuality should evolve more readily in haplodiploids; support for this hypothesis comes from two examples where a single locus causes transitions to asexuality. Third, standing genetic variation for the production of unreduced gametes could facilitate transitions to asexuality, but whether the ability to produce unreduced gametes contributes to the evolution of obligate asexuality remains unclear. We close by reviewing the associations between asexuality, hybridization and polyploidy, and argue that current data suggest that hybridization is more likely to play a causal role in transitions to asexuality than polyploidy.

  12. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1987-12-08

    Our completed research program concentrated on the direct in vivo effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Direct air pollution effects on plant sexual reproduction have been studied for SO{sub 2} and NO{sub 2}, two of the three major air pollutants.

  13. Plant Reproduction and the Pollen Tube Journey--How the Females Lure the Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorbiecke, Rene

    2012-01-01

    The growth of pollen tubes is one of the most characteristic events in angiosperm reproduction. This article describes an activity for visualizing the journey and guidance of pollen tubes in the reproductive structures of a flowering plant. The activity uses a semi-in vivo system with rapid-cycling "Brassica rapa," also known as Fast Plants.…

  14. Prepartum nutritional strategy affects reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, F C; LeBlanc, S J; Murphy, M R; Drackley, J K

    2013-09-01

    Negative energy balance during early postpartum is associated with reduced reproductive performance in dairy cows. A pooled statistical analysis of 7 studies completed in our group from 1993 to 2010 was conducted to investigate the association between prepartum energy feeding regimen and reproductive performance. The interval from calving to pregnancy (days to pregnancy, DTP) was the dependent variable to assess reproductive performance. Individual data for 408 cows (354 multiparous and 54 primiparous) were included in the analysis. The net energy for lactation (NEL) intake was determined from each cow's average dry matter intake and calculated dietary NEL density. Treatments applied prepartum were classified as either controlled-energy (CE; limited NEL intake to ≤100% of requirement) or high-energy (HE; cows were allowed to consume >100%) diets fed during the far-off (FO) or close-up (CU) dry periods. Cow was the experimental unit. The Cox proportional hazard model revealed that days to pregnancy was shorter for CE (median=157 d) than HE (median=167 d) diets during the CU period [hazard ratio (HR)=0.70]. Cows fed HE diets during the last 4 wk prepartum lost more body condition score in the first 6 wk postpartum than those fed CE diets (-0.43 and -0.30, respectively). Cows fed CE diets during the FO period had lower nonesterified fatty acids concentrations in wk 1, 2, and 3 of lactation than cows fed HE diets. Higher nonesterified fatty acids concentration in wk 1 postpartum was associated with a greater probability of disease (n=251; odds ratio=1.18). Cows on the CE regimen during the FO period had greater plasma glucose concentrations during wk 1 and 3 after calving than cows fed the HE regimen. Higher plasma glucose (HG) concentration compared with lower glucose (LG) in wk 3 (HG: n=154; LG: n=206) and wk 4 (HG: n=71; LG: n=254) after calving was associated with shorter days to pregnancy (wk 3: median=151 and 171 d for HG and LG, respectively, and HR=1.3; wk 4

  15. Does Coxiella burnetii affect reproduction in cattle? A clinical update.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Ispierto, I; Tutusaus, J; López-Gatius, F

    2014-08-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis produced by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that is widely distributed worldwide. Domestic ruminants are the most important source of C. burnetii for human infection. In sheep and goats, abortion is the main clinical consequence of infection, yet the symptoms described in cattle have so far been inconsistent. Q fever has been also scarcely reported in cattle, most likely because of its difficult diagnosis at the farm level and because of the many existing responsible C. burnetii strains. In this report, the effects of C. burnetii infection or Q fever disease on the reproductive behaviour of dairy cattle are reviewed, with special emphasis placed on the scarcity of data available and possible control actions discussed.

  16. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Behari, Jitendra

    2010-09-01

    The object of present study is to investigate the effects of 50 GHz microwave frequency electromagnetic fields on reproductive system of male rats. Male rats of Wistar strain were used in the study. Animals 60 days old were divided into two groups--group I sham exposed and group II experimental (microwave exposed). During exposure, rats were confined in Plexiglas cages with drilled ventilation holes for 2 h a day for 45 days continuously at a specified specific absorption rate of 8.0 x 10(-4) W/kg. After the last exposure, the rats were sacrificed immediately and sperms were collected. Antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase), histone kinase, apoptosis, and cell cycle were analyzed in sperm cells. Result shows a significant decrease in the level of sperm GPx and SOD activity (p < or = 0.05), whereas catalase shows significant increase in exposed group of sperm samples as compared with control (p < 0.02). We observed a statistically significant decrease in mean activity of histone kinase as compared to the control (p < 0.016). The percentage of cells dividing in a spermatogenesis was estimated by analyzing DNA per cell by flow cytometry. The percentage of apoptosis in electromagnetic field exposed group shows increased ratio as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.004). There were no significant differences in the G(0)/G(1) phase; however, a significant decrease (p < 0.026) in S phase was obtained. Results also indicate a decrease in percentage of G(2)/M transition phase of cell cycle in exposed group as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.019). We conclude that these radiations may have a significant effect on reproductive system of male rats, which may be an indication of male infertility.

  17. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  18. Pollinator limitation and the effect of breeding systems on plant reproduction in forest fragments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nayak, K. Geetha; Davidar, Priya

    2010-03-01

    Reproduction of plants in fragmented habitats may be limited because of lower diversity or abundance of pollinators, and/or variation in local plant density. We assessed natural fruit set and pollinator limitation in ten species of woody plants in natural and restored fragments in the Pondicherry region of southern India, to see whether breeding system of plants (self-compatible and self-incompatible) affected fruit set. We tested whether the number of flowering individuals in the fragments affected the fruit set and further examined the adult and sapling densities of self-compatible (SC) and self-incompatible (SI) species. We measured the natural level of fruit set and pollinator limitation (calculated as the difference in fruit set between hand cross-pollinated and naturally pollinated flowers). Our results demonstrate that there was a higher level of pollinator limitation and hence lower levels of natural fruit set in self-incompatible species as compared to self-compatible species. However, the hand cross-pollinated flowers in SC and SI species produced similar levels of fruit set, further indicating that lower fruit set was due to pollinator limitation and not due to lack of cross-compatible individuals in the fragments. There was no significant relation between number of flowering individuals and the levels of natural fruit set, except for two species Derris ovalifolia, Ixora pavetta. In these species the natural fruit set decreased with increasing population size, again indicating pollinator limitation. The adult and sapling densities in self-compatible species were significantly higher than in self-incompatible species. These findings indicate that the low reproductive output in self-incompatible species may eventually lead to lower population sizes. Restoration of pollinator services along with plant species in fragmented habitats is important for the long-term conservation of biodiversity.

  19. Induced plant-defenses suppress herbivore reproduction but also constrain predation of their offspring.

    PubMed

    Ataide, Livia M S; Pappas, Maria L; Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Lopez-Orenes, Antonio; Alba, Juan M; Duarte, Marcus V A; Pallini, Angelo; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2016-11-01

    Inducible anti-herbivore defenses in plants are predominantly regulated by jasmonic acid (JA). On tomato plants, most genotypes of the herbivorous generalist spider mite Tetranychus urticae induce JA defenses and perform poorly on it, whereas the Solanaceae specialist Tetranychus evansi, who suppresses JA defenses, performs well on it. We asked to which extent these spider mites and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes preying on these spider mites eggs are affected by induced JA-defenses. By artificially inducing the JA-response of the tomato JA-biosynthesis mutant def-1 using exogenous JA and isoleucine (Ile), we first established the relationship between endogenous JA-Ile-levels and the reproductive performance of spider mites. For both mite species we observed that they produced more eggs when levels of JA-Ile were low. Subsequently, we allowed predatory mites to prey on spider mite-eggs derived from wild-type tomato plants, def-1 and JA-Ile-treated def-1 and observed that they preferred, and consumed more, eggs produced on tomato plants with weak JA defenses. However, predatory mite oviposition was similar across treatments. Our results show that induced JA-responses negatively affect spider mite performance, but positively affect the survival of their offspring by constraining egg-predation.

  20. Differential costs of reproduction in females and hermaphrodites in a gynodioecious plant

    PubMed Central

    Toivonen, Eija; Mutikainen, Pia

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Plants exhibit a variety of reproductive systems where unisexual (females or males) morphs coexist with hermaphrodites. The maintenance of dimorphic and polymorphic reproductive systems may be problematic. For example, to coexist with hermaphrodites the females of gynodioecious species have to compensate for the lack of male function. In our study species, Geranium sylvaticum, a perennial gynodioecious herb, the relative seed fitness advantage of females varies significantly between years within populations as well as among populations. Differences in reproductive investment between females and hermaphrodites may lead to differences in future survival, growth and reproductive success, i.e. to differential costs of reproduction. Since females of this species produce more seeds, higher costs of reproduction in females than in hermaphrodites were expected. Due to the higher costs of reproduction, the yearly variation in reproductive output of females might be more pronounced than that of hermaphrodites. Methods Using supplemental hand-pollination of females and hermaphrodites of G. sylvaticum we examined if increased reproductive output leads to differential costs of reproduction in terms of survival, probability of flowering, and seed production in the following year. Key Results Experimentally increased reproductive output had differential effects on the reproduction of females and hermaphrodites. In hermaphrodites, the probability of flowering decreased significantly in the following year, whereas in females the costs were expressed in terms of decreased future seed production. Conclusions When combining the probability of flowering and seed production per plant to estimate the multiplicative change in fitness, female plants showed a 56 % and hermaphrodites showed a 39 % decrease in fitness due to experimentally increased reproduction. Therefore, in total, female plants seem to be more sensitive to the cost of reproduction in terms of seed

  1. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals.

  2. Kin selection and the evolution of plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Bawa, Kamaljit S

    2016-11-16

    Competition among developing seeds and sibling rivalry within multiovulated ovaries can be deleterious for both the maternal parent and the siblings. Increased genetic relatedness of seeds within the ovary may foster kin selection and reduce the deleterious consequences of sibling competition. The pollen parent may also be selected for siring all progeny within a fruit. I propose a series of hypotheses to explain the evolution of a number of reproductive traits in angiosperms in the context of kin selection and sibling rivalry within the ovaries of angiosperms. I present evidence to show that a single-pollen parent, indeed, often sires seeds within multiovulated ovaries. Various types of pollen aggregations and transfer of such pollen masses to the stigmas of flowers by specialized pollinators make this increased genetic relatedness possible. An alternative mode to reduce sibling rivalry may be the reduction of ovule number to one, an evolutionary trend that has independently occurred many times in flowering plants. Finally, I build on previously established correlations to predict two sets of correlations among reproductive traits. In the first case, large showy flowers, transfer of pollen en masse by specialized pollinators, and multiovulated ovaries and multisided fruits seem to be correlated. In the second case, the previously established correlations among small and inconspicuous flowers, pollination by wind, water or generalist insects, flowers and fruits with few or single ovules and seeds, respectively, may also include monoecy or dioecy. Although correlations among many of these traits have been established in the past, I invoke kin selection and sibling competition to explain the evolution of correlated traits as two distinct evolutionary pathways in angiosperms.

  3. Kin selection and the evolution of plant reproductive traits

    PubMed Central

    Bawa, Kamaljit S.

    2016-01-01

    Competition among developing seeds and sibling rivalry within multiovulated ovaries can be deleterious for both the maternal parent and the siblings. Increased genetic relatedness of seeds within the ovary may foster kin selection and reduce the deleterious consequences of sibling competition. The pollen parent may also be selected for siring all progeny within a fruit. I propose a series of hypotheses to explain the evolution of a number of reproductive traits in angiosperms in the context of kin selection and sibling rivalry within the ovaries of angiosperms. I present evidence to show that a single-pollen parent, indeed, often sires seeds within multiovulated ovaries. Various types of pollen aggregations and transfer of such pollen masses to the stigmas of flowers by specialized pollinators make this increased genetic relatedness possible. An alternative mode to reduce sibling rivalry may be the reduction of ovule number to one, an evolutionary trend that has independently occurred many times in flowering plants. Finally, I build on previously established correlations to predict two sets of correlations among reproductive traits. In the first case, large showy flowers, transfer of pollen en masse by specialized pollinators, and multiovulated ovaries and multisided fruits seem to be correlated. In the second case, the previously established correlations among small and inconspicuous flowers, pollination by wind, water or generalist insects, flowers and fruits with few or single ovules and seeds, respectively, may also include monoecy or dioecy. Although correlations among many of these traits have been established in the past, I invoke kin selection and sibling competition to explain the evolution of correlated traits as two distinct evolutionary pathways in angiosperms. PMID:27852800

  4. Implant Size Availability Affects Reproduction of Distal Femoral Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Morris, William Z; Gebhart, Jeremy J; Goldberg, Victor M; Wera, Glenn D

    2016-07-01

    A total knee arthroplasty system offers more distal femoral implant anterior-posterior (AP) sizes than its predecessor. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of increased size availability on an implant system's ability to reproduce the AP dimension of the native distal femur. We measured 200 cadaveric femora with the AP-sizing guides of Zimmer (Warsaw, IN) NexGen (8 sizes) and Zimmer Persona (12 sizes) total knee arthroplasty systems. We defined "size deviation" as the difference in the AP dimension between the anatomic size of the native femur and the closest implant size. We defined satisfactory reproduction of distal femoral dimensions as < 1 mm difference between the implant and native femur size. The NexGen system was associated with a mean 0.46 mm greater implant size deviation than Persona (p < 0.001). When using a 1 mm size deviation as a cutoff for satisfactory replication of the native distal femoral anatomy, 85/200 specimens (42.5%) were a poor fit by NexGen, but a satisfactory fit by Persona. Only 1/200 specimens (0.5%) was a poor fit by Persona, but a satisfactory fit by NexGen (p < 0.001). The novel knee system with 12 versus 8 sizes reproduces the AP dimension of the native distal femur more closely than its predecessor. Further study is needed to determine the clinical impact of these differences.

  5. [A sociological study of factors affecting reproductive health of female teenagers and young women].

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

  6. Development and reproduction of Panonychus citri (Prostigmata: Tetranychidae) on different species and varieties of citrus plants.

    PubMed

    Zanardi, Odimar Zanuzo; Bordini, Gabriela Pavan; Franco, Aline Aparecida; de Morais, Matheus Rovere; Yamamoto, Pedro Takao

    2015-12-01

    The species and varieties of citrus plants that are currently grown can favor the population growth of the citrus red mite Panonychus citri (McGregor) (Prostigmata: Tetranychidae) and alter the pest management programs in citrus groves. In this study we evaluated, in the laboratory, the development and reproduction of P. citri and estimated its life table parameters when reared on four varieties of Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (Valencia, Pera, Natal, and Hamlin), one variety of Citrus reticulata Blanco (Ponkan) and one variety of Citrus limon (L.) Burm. (Sicilian). The incubation period and egg viability were not affected by the host plant. However, the development and survival of the immature stage were significantly lower on Hamlin orange than on Valencia, Pera and Natal oranges, Ponkan mandarin and Sicilian lemon. The fecundity and oviposition period of females were lower on Hamlin orange than on the other hosts. Mites reared on Valencia orange and Sicilian lemon had a higher net reproductive rate (R 0 ), intrinsic growth rate (r) and finite rate of increase (λ), and a shorter interval between generations (T) than on Pera, Natal and Hamlin oranges and Ponkan mandarin. On the other hand, mites reared on Hamlin orange had the lowest R 0 , r and λ and the highest T among the hosts. Based on the results obtained we recommend that for Valencia orange and Sicilian lemon, the mite monitoring programs should be more intense to detect the initial infestation of pest, avoiding the damage in plants and the increase in production costs.

  7. Herbicide impact on non-target plant reproduction: what are the toxicological and ecological implications?

    PubMed

    Boutin, C; Strandberg, B; Carpenter, D; Mathiassen, S K; Thomas, P J

    2014-02-01

    Declining plant diversity and abundance have been widely reported in agro-ecosystems of North America and Europe. Intensive use of herbicides within cropfields and the associated drift in adjacent habitats are partly responsible for this change. The objectives of this work were to quantify the phenological stages of non-target plants in in-situ field situations during herbicide spray and to compare plant susceptibility at different phenological stages. Results demonstrated that a large number of non-target plants had reached reproductive stages during herbicide spray events in woodlots and hedgerows, both in Canada and Denmark where vegetation varies considerably. In addition, delays in flowering and reduced seed production occurred widely on plants sprayed at the seedling stage or at later reproductive periods, with plants sprayed at reproductive stages often exhibiting more sensitivity than those sprayed as seedlings. Ecological risk assessments need to include reproductive endpoints.

  8. Number of conspecifics and reproduction in the invasive plant Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae): is there a pollinator-mediated Allee effect?

    PubMed

    Anic, V; Henríquez, C A; Abades, S R; Bustamante, R O

    2015-05-01

    The component Allee effect has been defined as 'a positive relationship between any measure of individual fitness and the number or density of conspecifics'. Larger plant populations or large patches have shown a higher pollinator visitation rate, which may give rise to an Allee effect in reproduction of the plants. We experimentally tested the effect of number of conspecifics on reproduction and pollinator visitation in Eschscholzia californica Cham., an invasive plant in Chile. We then built patches with two, eight and 16 flowering individuals of E. californica (11 replicates per treatment) in an area characterised by dominance of the study species. We found that E. californica exhibits a component Allee effect, as the number of individuals of this species has a positive effect on individual seed set. However, individual fruit production was not affected by the number of plants examined. Pollinator visitation rate was also independent of the number of plants, so this factor would not explain the Allee effect. This rate was positively correlated with the total number of flowers in the patches. We also found that the number of plants did not affect the seed mass or proportion of germinated seeds in the patches. Higher pollen availability in patches with 16 plants and pollination by wind could explain the Allee effect. The component Allee effect identified could lead to a weak demographic Allee effect that might reduce the rate of spread of E. californica. Knowledge of this would be useful for management of this invasive plant in Chile.

  9. The reproduction in women affected by cooley disease

    PubMed Central

    Pafumi, Carlo; Leanza, Vito; Coco, Luana; Vizzini, Stefania; Ciotta, Lilliana; Messina, Alessandra; Leanza, Gianluca; Zarbo, Giuseppe; D'Agati, Alfio; Palumbo, Marco Antonio; Iemmola, Alessandra; Gulino, Ferdinando Antonio; Teodoro, Maria Cristina; Attard, Matthew; Plesca, Alina Cristina; Soares, Catarina; Kouloubis, Nina; Chammas, Mayada

    2011-01-01

    The health background management and outcomes of 5 pregnancies in 4 women affected by Cooley Disease, from Paediatric Institute of Catania University, are described, considering the preconceptual guidances and cares for such patients. These patients were selected among a group of 100 thalassemic women divided into three subgroups, according to their first and successive menstruation characteristics: i) patients with primitive amenorrhoea, ii) patients with secondary amenorrhoea and iii) patients with normal menstruation. Only one woman, affected by primitive amenorrhoea, needed the induction of ovulation. A precise and detailed pre-pregnancy assessment was effected before each conception. This was constituted by a series of essays, including checks for diabetes and hypothyroidism, for B and C hepatitis and for blood group antibodies. Moreover were evaluated: cardiac function, rubella immunity and transaminases. Other pregnancy monitoring, and cares during labour and delivery were effected according to usual obstetrics practice. All the women were in labour when she were 38 week pregnant, and the outcome were five healthy babies born at term, weighting between 2600 and 3200gs. The only complication was the Caesarean section. The improvements of current treatments, especially in the management of iron deposits, the prolongation of survival rate, will result in a continuous increase of pregnancies in thalassemic women. Pregnancy is now a real possibility for women affected by such disease. We are furthermore studying the possibility to collect the fetus' umbilical cord blood, after the delivery, to attempt eterologus transplantation to his mother trying to get a complete marrow reconstitution. PMID:22184526

  10. Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates.

    PubMed

    Amat, María E; Silvertown, Jonathan; Vargas, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem.

  11. Evaluating the interacting influences of pollination, seed predation, invasive species and isolation on reproductive success in a threatened alpine plant.

    PubMed

    Krushelnycky, Paul D

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai'i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0-55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10-20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  12. Styrene dimers and trimers affect reproduction of daphnid (Ceriodaphnia dubia).

    PubMed

    Tatarazako, Norihisa; Takao, Yuji; Kishi, Katsuyuki; Onikura, Norio a; Arizono, Koji; Iguchi, Taisen

    2002-08-01

    The endocrine disruptor activity of styrene in humans and other vertebrates appears to be negligible. However, offspring numbers were reduced in Ceriodaphnia dubia bred in polystyrene cups. Styrene dimers and trimers were found to be eluted from the polystyrene cups by hexane and methanol with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Styrene dimers and trimers at concentrations of 0.04-1.7 microg/l affected C. dubia fertility (25% reduction after seven days), suggesting that styrenes have the potential to impair crustacean populations in the aquatic environment.

  13. Physical stress modifies top-down and bottom-up forcing on plant growth and reproduction in a coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Bruschetti, Carlos Martin; Pascual, Jesos; Iribarne, Oscar; Silliman, Brian R

    2015-08-01

    Bottom-up and top-down effects act together to exert strong control over plant growth and reproduction, but how physical stress modifies those interactive forces remains unclear. Even though empirical evidence is scarce, theory predicts that the importance of both top-down- and bottom-up forces may decrease as physical stress increases. Here, we experimentally evaluate in the field the separate and interactive effect of salinity, nutrient availability, and crab herbivory on plant above- and belowground biomass, as well as on sexual and clonal reproduction in the salt marsh plant Spartina densiflora. Results show that the outcome of the interaction between nutrient availability and herbivory is highly context dependent, not only varying with the abiotic context (i.e., with or without increased salinity stress), but also with the dependent variable considered. Contrary to theoretical predictions, our results show that, consistently across different measured variables, salinity stress did not cancel bottom-up (i.e., nutrients) or top-down (i.e., consumers) control, but has additive effects. Our results support emerging theory by highlighting that, under many conditions, physical stress can act additively with, or even stimulate, consumer control, especially in cases where the physical stress is only experienced by basal levels of the trophic chain. Abiotic stress, as well as bottom-up and top-down factors, can affect salt marsh structure and function not only by affecting biomass production but also by having other indirect effects, such as changing patterns in plant biomass allocation and reproduction.

  14. Influence of plant maturity, shoot reproduction and sex on vegetative growth in the dioecious plant Urtica dioica

    PubMed Central

    Oñate, Marta; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a herbaceous, dioecious perennial that is widely distributed around the world, reproduces both sexually and asexually, and is characterized by rapid growth. This work was aimed at evaluating the effects of plant maturity, shoot reproduction and sex on the growth of leaves and shoots. Methods Growth rates of apical shoots, together with foliar levels of phytohormones (cytokinins, auxins, absicisic acid, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid) and other indicators of leaf physiology (water contents, photosynthetic pigments, α-tocopherol and Fv/Fm ratios) were measured in juvenile and mature plants, with a distinction made between reproductive and non-reproductive shoots in both males and females. Vegetative growth rates were not only evaluated in field-grown plants, but also in cuttings obtained from these plants. All measurements were performed during an active vegetative growth phase in autumn, a few months after mature plants reproduced during spring and summer. Key Results Vegetative growth rates in mature plants were drastically reduced compared with juvenile ones (48 % and 78 % for number of leaves and leaf biomass produced per day, respectively), which was associated with a loss of photosynthetic pigments (up to 24 % and 48 % for chlorophylls and carotenoids, respectively) and increases of α-tocopherol (up to 2·7-fold), while endogenous levels of phytohormones did not differ between mature and juvenile plants. Reductions in vegetative growth were particularly evident in reproductive shoots of mature plants, and occurred similarly in both males and females. Conclusions It is concluded that (a) plant maturity reduces vegetative growth in U. dioica, (b) effects of plant maturity are evident both in reproductive and non-reproductive shoots, but particularly in the former, and (c) these changes occur similarly in both male and female plants. PMID:19633309

  15. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria; Gutierrez, Rodrigo A.; Nero, Damion C.

    2016-10-11

    Provided herein are compositions and methods for producing transgenic plants. In specific embodiments, transgenic plants comprise a construct comprising a polynucleotide encoding CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1, operably linked to a plant-specific promote, wherein the CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 is ectopically overexpressed in the transgenic plants, and wherein the promoter is optionally a constitutive or inducible promoter. In other embodiments, transgenic plants in which express a lower level of CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 are provided. Also provided herein are commercial products (e.g., pulp, paper, paper products, or lumber) derived from the transgenic plants (e.g., transgenic trees) produced using the methods provided herein.

  16. Carica papaya (Caricaceae): a case study into the effects of domestication on plant vegetative growth and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Niklas, Karl J; Marler, Thomas E

    2007-06-01

    Few studies have quantitatively evaluated the gender specific effects of cultivation on plant growth and reproduction. The availability of cultivated and wild populations of different genders of Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae) on Guam provided an opportunity to study these effects quantitatively. We compared the gender specific allometry of height vs. basal stem diameter (H vs. D), stem slenderness ratio (H/D), and the height at first flowering (H(fl)) of carpellate and staminate plants growing under natural conditions (N = 150 each) with those of carpellate and hermaphroditic plants (N = 250 each) from two cultivars (Sunrise and Tainung 2). These comparisons indicated that (1) wild carpellate and staminate plants are significantly taller than either gender of the two cultivars with equivalent D; (2) the scaling exponent governing the H vs. D relationship of both genders of wild plants is significantly higher than that of either cultivated gender; (3) cultivar type does not affect the H vs. D exponent, but gender expression does; (4) gender expression (but not cultivar-type) also affects H(fl) (cultivation substantially reduces carpellate plant H(fl)); and (5) the onset of sexual maturity is associated with a dramatic reversal in H/D ontogeny. Cultivation therefore has "condensed" patterns of vegetative growth in a gender specific manner, whereas gender expression alters both vegetative and reproductive growth significantly more so than does cultivar-type.

  17. The Importance of Pollinator Generalization and Abundance for the Reproductive Success of a Generalist Plant

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, María Belén; Lomáscolo, Silvia Beatriz; Vázquez, Diego Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae). We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact) is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator’s impact on plant reproduction. PMID:24116049

  18. Scale-dependent feedbacks between patch size and plant reproduction in desert grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Svejcar, Lauren N.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Duniway, Michael C.; James, Darren K.

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical models suggest that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant reproductive success and plant patch size govern transitions from highly to sparsely vegetated states in drylands, yet there is scant empirical evidence for these mechanisms. Scale-dependent feedback models suggest that an optimal patch size exists for growth and reproduction of plants and that a threshold patch organization exists below which positive feedbacks between vegetation and resources can break down, leading to critical transitions. We examined the relationship between patch size and plant reproduction using an experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. We tested the hypothesis that reproductive effort and success of a dominant grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) would vary predictably with patch size. We found that focal plants in medium-sized patches featured higher rates of grass reproductive success than when plants occupied either large patch interiors or small patches. These patterns support the existence of scale-dependent feedbacks in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and indicate an optimal patch size for reproductive effort and success in B. eriopoda. We discuss the implications of these results for detecting ecological thresholds in desert grasslands.

  19. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, María Belén; Lomáscolo, Silvia Beatriz; Vázquez, Diego Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae). We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact) is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator's impact on plant reproduction.

  20. Plant invasion phenomenon enhances reproduction performance in an endangered spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pétillon, Julien; Puzin, Charlène; Acou, Anthony; Outreman, Yannick

    2009-10-01

    Current models in evolutionary ecology predict life history alterations in response to habitat suitability to optimize fitness. Only few empirical studies have demonstrated how life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other differ among environments. In Europe, many salt marshes have been recently invaded by the grass Elymus athericus. Previous studies however showed higher densities of the endangered spider Arctosa fulvolineata (Araneae: Lycosidae) in invaded salt marshes compared to natural habitats, which suggests a lower habitat suitability in the latter. The aim of this study was to determine if this emerging habitat (1) affects the amount of resource acquisition and (2) alters the balance between life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other in this stenotopic salt marsh species. As suggested by theoretical studies, an optimization of fitness by increasing egg size at the cost of decreasing fecundity in unsuitable (i.e., natural) habitats was expected. Females presenting cocoon were then collected in close invaded and natural salt marsh areas within the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (France). By considering female mass as covariate, cocoon mass, number of eggs, and egg volume were compared between both habitats. Clutch mass was strongly determined by female mass in both habitats. Clutch mass was however significantly smaller in the natural habitat compared to the invaded habitat, indicating a higher resource acquisition in the latter. When correcting for female size, fecundity was additionally increased in the invaded habitat through a significant decrease in egg size. This phenotypic response can be explained by differences in habitat structure between invaded and natural habitats: the former offers a more complex litter favoring nocturnal wanderers like A. fulvolineata. The existence of such an adaptive reproduction strategy depending on habitat suitability constitutes an original case of an invasion that favors an

  1. Plant invasion phenomenon enhances reproduction performance in an endangered spider.

    PubMed

    Pétillon, Julien; Puzin, Charlène; Acou, Anthony; Outreman, Yannick

    2009-10-01

    Current models in evolutionary ecology predict life history alterations in response to habitat suitability to optimize fitness. Only few empirical studies have demonstrated how life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other differ among environments. In Europe, many salt marshes have been recently invaded by the grass Elymus athericus. Previous studies however showed higher densities of the endangered spider Arctosa fulvolineata (Araneae: Lycosidae) in invaded salt marshes compared to natural habitats, which suggests a lower habitat suitability in the latter. The aim of this study was to determine if this emerging habitat (1) affects the amount of resource acquisition and (2) alters the balance between life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other in this stenotopic salt marsh species. As suggested by theoretical studies, an optimization of fitness by increasing egg size at the cost of decreasing fecundity in unsuitable (i.e., natural) habitats was expected. Females presenting cocoon were then collected in close invaded and natural salt marsh areas within the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (France). By considering female mass as covariate, cocoon mass, number of eggs, and egg volume were compared between both habitats. Clutch mass was strongly determined by female mass in both habitats. Clutch mass was however significantly smaller in the natural habitat compared to the invaded habitat, indicating a higher resource acquisition in the latter. When correcting for female size, fecundity was additionally increased in the invaded habitat through a significant decrease in egg size. This phenotypic response can be explained by differences in habitat structure between invaded and natural habitats: the former offers a more complex litter favoring nocturnal wanderers like A. fulvolineata. The existence of such an adaptive reproduction strategy depending on habitat suitability constitutes an original case of an invasion that favors an

  2. 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…

  3. Plant reproductive susceptibility to habitat fragmentation: review and synthesis through a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Ramiro; Ashworth, Lorena; Galetto, Leonardo; Aizen, Marcelo Adrián

    2006-08-01

    The loss and fragmentation of natural habitats by human activities are pervasive phenomena in terrestrial ecosystems across the Earth and the main driving forces behind current biodiversity loss. Animal-mediated pollination is a key process for the sexual reproduction of most extant flowering plants, and the one most consistently studied in the context of habitat fragmentation. By means of a meta-analysis we quantitatively reviewed the results from independent fragmentation studies throughout the last two decades, with the aim of testing whether pollination and reproduction of plant species may be differentially susceptible to habitat fragmentation depending on certain reproductive traits that typify the relationship with and the degree of dependence on their pollinators. We found an overall large and negative effect of fragmentation on pollination and on plant reproduction. The compatibility system of plants, which reflects the degree of dependence on pollinator mutualism, was the only reproductive trait that explained the differences among the species' effect sizes. Furthermore, a highly significant correlation between the effect sizes of fragmentation on pollination and reproductive success suggests that the most proximate cause of reproductive impairment in fragmented habitats may be pollination limitation. We discuss the conservation implications of these findings and give some suggestions for future research into this area.

  4. Herbivory and competition interact to affect reproductive traits and mating system expression in Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    Steets, Janette A; Salla, Rhiannon; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2006-04-01

    As a step toward understanding how community context shapes mating system evolution, we investigated the combined role of two plant antagonisms, vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition, for reproduction and mating system expression (relative production of selfing, cleistogamous and facultatively outcrossing, chasmogamous flowers and fruits) of Impatiens capensis. In a survey of I. capensis populations, we found that vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition were positively correlated. In a greenhouse experiment where leaf damage and plant density were manipulated, multispecies interactions had dramatic effects on reproductive and mating system traits. Despite having additive effects on growth, herbivory and competition had nonadditive effects for mating system expression, chasmogamous fruit production, flower number and size, and cleistogamous flower production. Our results demonstrate that competitive interactions influence the effect of herbivory (and vice versa) on fitness components and mating system, and thus antagonisms may have unforeseen consequences for mating system evolution, population genetic diversity, and persistence.

  5. The impact of sulfur dioxide on plant sexual reproduction: in vivo and in vitro effects compared

    SciTech Connect

    DuBay, D.T.; Murdy, W.H.

    1983-01-01

    In Lepidium virginicum L., exposure of pollen to 0.6 ppm sulfur dioxide (SO/sub 2/) for 4 h reduced pollen germination in vitro 94% from the control, whereas exposure to 0.6 ppm SO/sub 2/ for 2, 4, and 8 h during flowering reduced pollen germination in vivo 50% from the control, but did not affect seed set.An interaction between SO/sub 2/ and water may have caused the inhibition of pollen germination in a liquid culture medium, as well as on the moist surface of an intact stigma. However, the results suggest that the use of pollen germination and pollen tube elongation in vitro to asses the direct effects of SO/sub 2/ on plant sexual reproduction in vivo is not valid.

  6. Plant-based porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus VLPs induce an immune response in mice.

    PubMed

    Uribe-Campero, Laura; Monroy-García, Alberto; Durán-Meza, Ana L; Villagrana-Escareño, María V; Ruíz-García, Jaime; Hernández, Jesús; Núñez-Palenius, Héctor G; Gómez-Lim, Miguel A

    2015-10-01

    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) significantly affects the swine industry worldwide. An efficient, protective vaccine is still lacking. Here, we report for the first time the generation and purification of PRRSV virus like particles (VLPs) by expressing GP5, M and N genes in Nicotiana silvestris plants. The particles were clearly visible by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with a size of 60-70 nm. Hydrodynamic diameter of the particles was obtained and it was confirmed that the VLPs had the appropriate size for PRRS virions and that the VLPs were highly pure. By measuring the Z potential we described the electrophoretic mobility behavior of VLPs and the best conditions for stability of the VLPs were determined. The particles were immunogenic in mice. A western blot of purified particles allowed detection of three coexpressed genes. These VLPs may serve as a platform to develop efficient PRRSV vaccines.

  7. Effect of seed morph and light level on growth and reproduction of the amphicarpic plant Amphicarpaea edgeworthii (Fabaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Keliang; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.; Yang, Xuejun; Huang, Zhenying

    2017-01-01

    Amphicarpic plants produce aerial and subterranean fruits on an individual plant, and these heteromorphic diaspores give rise to plants that differ in growth and ecology. Amphicarpaea edgeworthii is a summer annual amphicarpic species that grows over a range of light levels. We aimed to compare the response to shading intensity of plants of A. edgeworthii grown throughout their life cycle from aerial seeds (ASP) and from subterranean seeds (SSP). We hypothesized that vegetative and reproductive growth of plants from ASP and SSP respond differently to light. Plants were grown from ASP and SSP under 0, 46, 71 and 90% shading intensities. With plant height as a covariate, vegetative biomass of ASP and SSP did not differ. Leaf area and seed production of SSP were greater and internode length less than they were for ASP in all shading intensities. Aerial and subterranean seed yield, seed mass and number for both ASP and SSP were highest in full light. Aerial seed yield was affected more than subterranean seed yield by shading intensity. The growth and reproductive responses of ASP and SSP of A. edgeworthii may be adaptive to the range of low to high light environments in which this species grows. PMID:28071671

  8. Medicinal plants used in Northern Peru for reproductive problems and female health

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Infections of the reproductive tract, complications after childbirth, and reproductive problems continue to be a major health challenge worldwide. An impressive number of plant species is traditionally used to remedy such afflictions, and some have been investigated for their efficacy with positive results. A total of 105 plant species belonging to 91 genera and 62 families were documented and identified as herbal remedies for reproductive problems in Northern Peru. Most species used were Asteraceae (9.52%), followed by Lamiaceae and Fabaceae (8.57% and 6.67%). The most important families are clearly represented very similarly to their overall importance in the local pharmacopoeia. The majority of herbal preparations for reproductive afflictions were prepared from the leaves of plants (22.72%), the whole plant (21.97%), and stems (21.21%), while other plant parts were used less frequently. More than 60% of the cases fresh plant material was used to prepare remedies. Over 70% of the remedies were applied orally, while the remaining ones were applied topically. Many remedies were prepared as mixtures of multiple ingredients. Little scientific evidence exists to prove the efficacy of the species employed as reproductive disorder remedies in Northern Peru. Only 34% of the plants found or their congeners have been studied at all for their medicinal properties. The information gained on frequently used traditional remedies might give some leads for future targets for further analysis in order to develop new drugs. PMID:21040536

  9. Honeybees enhance reproduction without affecting the outcrossing rate in endemic Pedicularis densispica (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Sun, S G; Guo, Y H

    2007-11-01

    There has been substantial debate in recent years surrounding the impact of introduced honeybees on native biota. This study reports on an investigation of Pedicularis densispica, a subalpine annual herb endemic to Southwest China, in an attempt to determine the impact of introduced domestic honeybees on pollen dispersal and thus on their reproductive success and mating system. Honeybees were introduced into the study site in 2004, and a sudden seasonal pollinator shift from bumblebees to honeybees was observed. Intra- and inter-plant visits by different pollinators were recorded in the field in 2003 and 2004. Fruit and seed sets prior to and after the pollinator shift were measured. Experimental pollinations were performed to characterize the breeding system. Outcrossing rates at the seed stage were estimated for both years using RAPD markers. Our results indicated that honeybees foraged between plants more frequently than bumblebees did. Our results also revealed that the introduction of honeybees significantly enhanced reproductive success. However, no significant difference was detected between the outcrossing rates due to bumblebee and honeybee pollination. P. densispica was almost completely outcrossing ( T(m) = 0.956 and 0.967, respectively in 2003 and 2004) but partially self-compatible. This study presents the first report of the outcrossing rate in the genus pedicularis and reveals a limited influence of pollination on the mating system in P. densispica. The pollinator shift did not reduce reproductive success of the plants and honeybees may be used to augment pollinator services for nectariferous P. densispica.

  10. Is sexual reproduction of high-mountain plants endangered by heat?

    PubMed

    Ladinig, Ursula; Pramsohler, Manuel; Bauer, Ines; Zimmermann, Sonja; Neuner, Gilbert; Wagner, Johanna

    2015-04-01

    Strong solar irradiation in combination with still air and dry soil can cause prostrate high-mountain plants to heat up considerably and ultimately suffer heat damage. Such heat damage has been repeatedly shown for vegetative structures, but not for reproductive structures, which we expected to be particularly vulnerable to heat. Heat effects on cold-adapted plants may increase with rising global temperatures and the predicted increase in heat waves. We have tested the heat tolerance of reproductive versus vegetative shoots at different reproductive stages, comparing ten common plant species from different elevation belts in the European Alps. Plant samples were exposed to temperatures in 2-K steps of 30 min each between 42 and 56 °C. Heat damage was assessed by visual rating and vital staining. Reproductive shoots were on average 2.5 K less heat tolerant (LT50, i.e. the mean temperature causing 50 % heat damage, 47.2 °C) than vegetative shoots (mean LT50 49.7 °C). Initial heat injuries (mean LT10) were observed at 43-45 °C in heat-susceptible species and at 45-47 °C in more heat-tolerant species, in at least one reproductive stage. Generally, heat tolerance was significantly higher during fruiting than during the bud stages and anthesis. Prostrate species with acaulescent buds and flowers tolerated heat better than those with caulescent buds and flowers. Petals were the most heat-susceptible plant structure and mature pollen the most heat tolerant. Based on these data, heat tolerance of reproductive structures appears to be adapted to the prevailing maximum temperatures which the plants experience during different reproductive stages in their environment. During hot spells, however, heat tolerance thresholds may be exceeded. More frequent heat waves would decrease the reproductive output and, consequently, the competitiveness of heat-susceptible species.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Interactions for pollinator visitation and their consequences for reproduction in a plant community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Ørjan

    2012-08-01

    Competition and facilitation in species interactions attract much attention in ecology, but their relative importance has seldom been evaluated in a community context. We assessed competitive and facilitative interactions for pollinator visitation among co-flowering species in a plant community, investigated the subsequent consequences for plant reproduction, and investigated whether effects could be trait-based. We removed the flowers of two species attractive to pollinators, in two separate experiments and assessed the effects on pollinator visitation rates and components of reproductive success in 11 co-flowering focal herb species. Overall, most focal species appear not to interact with the removal species with respect to pollinator visitation and subsequent reproduction (neutral interactions). Three focal species in the community had significantly higher reproductive responses (fruit production and seed weight) in the presence of the attractive removal species (facilitative interactions), but species interaction effects were less pronounced in species' flower visitation rates. A community-wide meta-analysis demonstrated that the two experiments did not have a significant effect on either facilitation or competition, and that there was no overall correlation between effect sizes for visitation and reproduction. Based on species-specific responses, it seems likely that floral traits such as similar flower colors contribute to interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation and, in particular, that high pollinator dependence for plant reproduction, and associated pollen limitation, may contribute to subsequent interaction effects on reproduction in the focal species.

  14. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  15. Male Seminal Fluid Substances Affect Sperm Competition Success and Female Reproductive Behavior in a Seed Beetle

    PubMed Central

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females’ initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females’ initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species. PMID:25893888

  16. Frost resistance of reproductive tissues during various stages of development in high mountain plants.

    PubMed

    Neuner, Gilbert; Erler, Agnes; Ladinig, Ursula; Hacker, Jürgen; Wagner, Johanna

    2013-01-01

    Frost resistance of reproductive vs aboveground vegetative structures was determined for six common European high alpine plant species that can be exposed to frosts throughout their whole reproductive cycle. Freezing tests were carried out in the bud, anthesis and fruit stage. Stigma and style, ovary, placenta, ovule, flower stalk/peduncle and, in Ranunculus glacialis, the receptacle were separately investigated. In all species, the vegetative organs tolerated on an average 2-5 K lower freezing temperatures than the most frost-susceptible reproductive structures that differed in their frost resistance. In almost all species, stigma, style and the flower stalk/peduncle were the most frost-susceptible reproductive structures. Initial frost damage (LT₁₀) to the most susceptible reproductive structure usually occurred between -2 and -4°C independent of the reproductive stage. The median LT₅₀ across species for stigma and style ranged between -3.4 and -3.7°C and matched the mean ice nucleation temperature (-3.7 ± 1.4°C). In R. glacialis, the flower stalk was the most frost-susceptible structure (-5.4°C), and was in contrast to the other species ice-tolerant. The ovule and the placenta were usually the most frost-resistant structures. During reproductive development, frost resistance (LT₅₀) of single reproductive structures mostly showed no significant change. However, significant increases or decreases were also observed (2.1 ± 1.2 K). Reproductive tissues of nival species generally tolerated lower temperatures than species occurring in the alpine zone. The low frost resistance of reproductive structures before, during and shortly after anthesis increases the probability of frost damage and thus, may restrict successful sexual plant reproduction with increasing altitude.

  17. Unveiling the Redox Control of Plant Reproductive Development during Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Zinta, Gaurav; Khan, Asif; AbdElgawad, Hamada; Verma, Vipasha; Srivastava, Ashish Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Plants being sessile in nature are often challenged to various abiotic stresses including temperature fluctuations, water supply, salinity, and nutrient availability. Exposure of plants to such environmental perturbations result in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. To scavenge ROS, enzymatic and molecular antioxidants are produced at a cellular level. ROS act as a signaling entity at lower concentrations maintaining normal growth and development, but if their levels increase beyond certain threshold, they produce toxic effects in plants. Some developmental stages, such as development of reproductive organs are more sensitive to abiotic stress than other stages of growth. As success of plant reproductive development is directly correlated with grain yield, stresses coinciding with reproductive phase results in the higher yield losses. In this article, we summarize the redox control of plant reproductive development, and elaborate how redox homeostasis is compromised during abiotic stress exposure. We highlight why more emphasis should be given to understand redox control of plant reproductive organ development during abiotic stress exposure96to engineer crops with better crop yield. We specifically discuss the role of ROS as a signaling molecule and its cross-talk with other signaling molecules such as hormones and sugars. PMID:27379102

  18. Scale-dependent feedbacks between patch size and plant reproduction in desert grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Theoretical models suggest that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant reproductive success and plant patch size govern transitions from highly to sparsely vegetated states in drylands, yet there is scant empirical evidence for these mechanisms. Scale-dependent feedback models suggest that an optim...

  19. Why cellular communication during plant reproduction is particularly mediated by CRP signalling.

    PubMed

    Bircheneder, Susanne; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2016-08-01

    Secreted cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) represent one of the main classes of signalling peptides in plants. Whereas post-translationally modified small non-CRP peptides (psNCRPs) are mostly involved in signalling events during vegetative development and interactions with the environment, CRPs are overrepresented in reproductive processes including pollen germination and growth, self-incompatibility, gamete activation and fusion as well as seed development. In this opinion paper we compare the involvement of both types of peptides in vegetative and reproductive phases of the plant lifecycle. Besides their conserved cysteine pattern defining structural features, CRPs exhibit hypervariable primary sequences and a rapid evolution rate. As a result, CRPs represent a pool of highly polymorphic signalling peptides involved in species-specific functions during reproduction and thus likely represent key players to trigger speciation in plants by supporting reproductive isolation. In contrast, precursers of psNCRPs are proteolytically processed into small functional domains with high sequence conservation and act in more general processes. We discuss parallels in downstream processes of CRP signalling in both reproduction and defence against pathogenic fungi and alien pollen tubes, with special emphasis on the role of ROS and ion channels. In conclusion we suggest that CRP signalling during reproduction in plants has evolved from ancient defence mechanisms.

  20. PMRD: a curated database for genes and mutants involved in plant male reproduction

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Male reproduction is an essential biological event in the plant life cycle separating the diploid sporophyte and haploid gametophyte generations, which involves expression of approximately 20,000 genes. The control of male reproduction is also of economic importance for plant breeding and hybrid seed production. With the advent of forward and reverse genetics and genomic technologies, a large number of male reproduction-related genes have been identified. Thus it is extremely challenging for individual researchers to systematically collect, and continually update, all the available information on genes and mutants related to plant male reproduction. The aim of this study is to manually curate such gene and mutant information and provide a web-accessible resource to facilitate the effective study of plant male reproduction. Description Plant Male Reproduction Database (PMRD) is a comprehensive resource for browsing and retrieving knowledge on genes and mutants related to plant male reproduction. It is based upon literature and biological databases and includes 506 male sterile genes and 484 mutants with defects of male reproduction from a variety of plant species. Based on Gene Ontology (GO) annotations and literature, information relating to a further 3697 male reproduction related genes were systematically collected and included, and using in text curation, gene expression and phenotypic information were captured from the literature. PMRD provides a web interface which allows users to easily access the curated annotations and genomic information, including full names, symbols, locations, sequences, expression patterns, functions of genes, mutant phenotypes, male sterile categories, and corresponding publications. PMRD also provides mini tools to search and browse expression patterns of genes in microarray datasets, run BLAST searches, convert gene ID and generate gene networks. In addition, a Mediawiki engine and a forum have been integrated within the

  1. Live-cell analysis of plant reproduction: live-cell imaging, optical manipulation, and advanced microscopy technologies.

    PubMed

    Kurihara, Daisuke; Hamamura, Yuki; Higashiyama, Tetsuya

    2013-05-01

    Sexual reproduction ensures propagation of species and enhances genetic diversity within populations. In flowering plants, sexual reproduction requires complicated and multi-step cell-to-cell communications among male and female cells. However, the confined nature of plant reproduction processes, which occur in the female reproductive organs and several cell layers of the pistil, limits our ability to observe these events in vivo. In this review, we discuss recent live-cell imaging in in vitro systems and the optical manipulation techniques that are used to capture the dynamic mechanisms representing molecular and cellular communications in sexual plant reproduction.

  2. Food availability during migratory stopover affects testis growth and reproductive behaviour in a migratory passerine.

    PubMed

    Bauchinger, Ulf; Van't Hof, Thomas; Biebach, Herbert

    2009-03-01

    Long-distance migratory passerines initiate testicular recrudescence during spring migration to meet the demands of timely reproduction upon immediate arrival on the breeding grounds. The degree of testicular development is known to depend on environmental factors like stopover habitat quality; reproductive performance may be strongly impacted by testicular maturation upon arrival on the breeding grounds. We investigated the effect of stopover food availability on subsequent reproductive performance in garden warblers (Sylvia borin). Spring migration was simulated by repeated food deprivation and re-feeding to imitate the alternation of flight and stopover periods. During the two final stopover periods, males were either kept under ad libitum food (ad libitum males) or under limited food conditions (limited males). After simulated arrival in the breeding area, manipulation of previous stopover food availability resulted in significantly slower testicular recrudescence (p<0.001) and decreased plasma testosterone (p<0.01) in limited males compared to ad libitum males. Body mass change was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.38). Limited males also exhibited reduced performance in reproductive behaviours employed in territorial and sexual contexts. Limited males had a longer 'freezing' interval (p<0.05) and decreased activity (p<0.01) when challenged with a live male decoy. In direct confrontation between limited and ad libitum males in the presence of a female, limited males exhibited significantly fewer behavioural traits in sexual context, i.e. directed to the female (p<0.001). Therefore, we suggest that conditions encountered during previous migratory stopover may affect subsequent annual reproductive success by influencing key reproductive behaviours.

  3. Plant germline formation: common concepts and developmental flexibility in sexual and asexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Anja; Schmid, Marc W; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2015-01-15

    The life cycle of flowering plants alternates between two heteromorphic generations: a diploid sporophytic generation and a haploid gametophytic generation. During the development of the plant reproductive lineages - the germlines - typically, single sporophytic (somatic) cells in the flower become committed to undergo meiosis. The resulting spores subsequently develop into highly polarized and differentiated haploid gametophytes that harbour the gametes. Recent studies have provided insights into the genetic basis and regulatory programs underlying cell specification and the acquisition of reproductive fate during both sexual reproduction and asexual (apomictic) reproduction. As we review here, these recent advances emphasize the importance of transcriptional, translational and post-transcriptional regulation, and the role of epigenetic regulatory pathways and hormonal activity.

  4. Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Stimulate Vegetative Growth and Asexual Reproduction of Kalanchoe daigremontiana.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Park, Kyungseok; Kloepper, Joseph W; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2015-09-01

    Certain bacterial species associate with plant roots in soil. The plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) stimulate plant growth and yield in greenhouse and field. Here, we examined whether application of known bacilli PGPR strains stimulated growth and asexual reproduction in the succulent plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Four PGPR strains B. amyloliquefaciens IN937a, B. cereus BS107, B. pumilus INR7, and B. subtilis GB03 were applied to young plantlets by soil-drenching, and plant growth and development was monitored for three months. Aerial growth was significantly stimulated in PGPR-inoculated plants, which was observed as increases in plant height, shoot weight, and stem width. The stimulated growth influenced plant development by increasing the total number of leaves per plant. Treatment with bacilli also increased the total root biomass compared with that of control plants, and led to a 2-fold increase in asexual reproduction and plantlet formation on the leaf. Collectively, our results firstly demonstrate that Bacillus spp. promote vegetative development of K. daigremontiana, and the enhanced growth stimulates asexual reproduction and plantlet formation.

  5. Effects of tidal action on pollination and reproductive allocation in an estuarine emergent wetland plant-Sagittaria graminea (Alismataceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanwen; Zhang, Lihui; Zhao, Xingnan; Huang, Shengjun; Zhao, Jimin

    2013-01-01

    In estuarine wetlands, the daily periodic tidal activity has a profound effect on plant growth and reproduction. We studied the effects of tidal action on pollination and reproductive allocation of Sagittaria graminea. Results showed that the species had very different reproductive allocation in tidal and non-tidal habitats. In the tidal area, seed production was only 9.7% of that in non-tidal habitat, however, plants produced more male flowers and nearly twice the corms compared to those in non-tidal habitat. An experiment showed that the time available for effective pollination determined the pollination rate and pollen deposition in the tidal area. A control experiment suggested that low pollen deposition from low visitation frequency is not the main cause of very low seed sets or seed production in this plant in tidal habitat. The negative effects of tides (water) on pollen germination may surpass the influence of low pollen deposition from low visitation frequency. The length of time from pollen deposition to flower being submerged by water affected pollen germination rate on stigmas; more than three hours is necessary to allow pollen germination and complete fertilization to eliminate the risk of pollen grains being washed away by tidal water.

  6. CO2 and fertility affect growth and reproduction but not susceptibility to aphids in field grown Solanum ptycanthum

    SciTech Connect

    Long, T.M.

    1995-09-01

    In general, C3 annual plants respond positively in terms of growth, reproduction and biomass accrued when grown under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, most studies documenting this response have been conducted in growth chambers where plants can be reared under conditions free form environmental stressors such as nutrient and water constraints, UV exposure and damage from pests. During the 1993 fieldseason, I grew 200 individuals of Solanum ptycanthum in an array of 10 outdoor, open-topped CO2 enclosures (5 @ 700 ppm CO2) at the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, MI. Half of the plants were grown in a 50;50 mix of native C-horizon soil and topsoil (low fertility); the other half were grown in 100% topsoil (high-fertility). Plants were censused throughout the growing season for flower and fruit production, growth rate and degree of infestation of aphids. Fertility and CO2 both significantly affected production of flowers and fruits, but only fertility was significantly related to vegetative growth. Aphid infestation varied significantly among enclosures, but was not related to CO2 or fertility.

  7. 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

  8. Reproductive health policy affecting low-income women: historical precedents and current need for social work action.

    PubMed

    Averitt Taylor, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    This article provides an overview of the historical arguments surrounding reproductive health policy and current policy initiatives. Because reproductive policy itself is a vast subject matter with sometimes blurry boundaries, the struggle concerning the advent of birth control is used to illustrate the historic complexities of policy affecting such a wide array of individuals. The battle over introduction of the birth control pill is pertinent because the very same arguments are used today in debates over reproductive health policy.

  9. PFRU, a single dominant locus regulates the balance between sexual and asexual plant reproduction in cultivated strawberry.

    PubMed

    Gaston, Amèlia; Perrotte, Justine; Lerceteau-Köhler, Estelle; Rousseau-Gueutin, Mathieu; Petit, Aurélie; Hernould, Michel; Rothan, Christophe; Denoyes, Béatrice

    2013-04-01

    Strawberry (Fragaria sp.) stands as an interesting model for studying flowering behaviour and its relationship with asexual plant reproduction in polycarpic perennial plants. Strawberry produces both inflorescences and stolons (also called runners), which are lateral stems growing at the soil surface and producing new clone plants. In this study, the flowering and runnering behaviour of two cultivated octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch., 2n = 8× = 56) genotypes, a seasonal flowering genotype CF1116 and a perpetual flowering genotype Capitola, were studied along the growing season. The genetic bases of the perpetual flowering and runnering traits were investigated further using a pseudo full-sibling F1 population issued from a cross between these two genotypes. The results showed that a single major quantitative trait locus (QTL) named FaPFRU controlled both traits in the cultivated octoploid strawberry. This locus was not orthologous to the loci affecting perpetual flowering (SFL) and runnering (R) in Fragaria vesca, therefore suggesting different genetic control of perpetual flowering and runnering in the diploid and octoploid Fragaria spp. Furthermore, the FaPFRU QTL displayed opposite effects on flowering (positive effect) and on runnering (negative effect), indicating that both traits share common physiological control. These results suggest that this locus plays a major role in strawberry plant fitness by controlling the balance between sexual and asexual plant reproduction.

  10. Interactions in the patterns of vegetative growth and reproduction in woody dioecious plants.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, A J; Alliende, M C

    1984-01-01

    Interactions between vegetative growth and reproduction were evaluated in Peumus boldus, Lithraea caustica and Laretia acaulis, three woody dioecious species in central Chile. Phenological observations were made periodically on marked branches of male and female plants, and biomass allocation (dry weight) to vegetative and reproductive tissues was measured. The magnitude of flowering was evaluated in groups of plants in three successive seasons. The patterns of activities are species- and sex-dependent, and cycles of 2-4 years have been established. Branches that produce flowers either do not grow or grow less than branches without flowers, and males and females have differential resource allocation: male branches attain higher biomass values. Groups of plants show seasonal behavior that suggest synchrony in their reproductive activities.

  11. Caterpillar biomass depends on temperature and precipitation, but does not affect bird reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöll, Eva Maria; Ohm, Judith; Hoffmann, Konstantin Frank; Hille, Sabine Marlene

    2016-07-01

    Complex changes in phenological events appear as temperatures are increasing: In deciduous forests bud burst, hatching of herbivorous caterpillars, egg laying and nestling time of birds when feeding chicks on caterpillars, may differentially shift into early season and alter synchronization. If timing of bird reproduction has to match with short periods of food availability, phenological mismatch could negatively affect reproductive success. Using a unique empirical approach along an altitudinal temperature gradient, we firstly asked whether besides temperature, also precipitation and leaf phenology interplay and affect caterpillar biomass, since impacts of rainfall on caterpillars have been largely neglected so far. Secondly, we asked whether abundance of caterpillars and thereby body mass of great tit nestlings, which are mainly fed with caterpillars, vary along the altitudinal temperature gradient. We demonstrated that next to temperature also precipitation and leaf phenology affected caterpillar biomass. In our beech forest, even along altitudes, caterpillars were available throughout the great tit breeding season but in highly variable amounts. Our findings revealed that although timing of leaf phenology and great tit breeding season were delayed with decreasing temperature, caterpillars occurred synchronously and were not delayed according to altitude. However, altitude negatively affected caterpillar biomass, but body mass of fledglings at high altitude sites was not affected by lower amounts of caterpillar biomass. This might be partially outweighed by larger territory sizes in great tits.

  12. Thiol-based redox regulation in sexual plant reproduction: new insights and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Traverso, Jose A; Pulido, Amada; Rodríguez-García, María I; Alché, Juan D

    2013-01-01

    The success of sexual reproduction in plants involves (i) the proper formation of the plant gametophytes (pollen and embryo sac) containing the gametes, (ii) the accomplishment of specific interactions between pollen grains and the stigma, which subsequently lead to (iii) the fusion of the gametes and eventually to (iv) the seed setting. Owing to the lack of mobility, plants have developed specific regulatory mechanisms to control all developmental events underlying the sexual plant reproduction according to environmental challenges. Over the last decade, redox regulation and signaling have come into sight as crucial mechanisms able to manage critical stages during sexual plant reproduction. This regulation involves a complex redox network which includes reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), glutathione and other classic buffer molecules or antioxidant proteins, and some thiol/disulphide-containing proteins belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily, like glutaredoxins (GRXs) or thioredoxins (TRXs). These proteins participate as critical elements not only in the switch between the mitotic to the meiotic cycle but also at further developmental stages of microsporogenesis. They are also implicated in the regulation of pollen rejection as the result of self-incompatibility. In addition, they display precise space-temporal patterns of expression and are present in specific localizations like the stigmatic papillae or the mature pollen, although their functions and subcellular localizations are not clear yet. In this review we summarize insights and perspectives about the presence of thiol/disulphide-containing proteins in plant reproduction, taking into account the general context of the cell redox network.

  13. Predicting the effects of nectar robbing on plant reproduction: implications of pollen limitation and plant mating system.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Irwin, Rebecca E; Newman, Daniel A

    2007-12-01

    The outcome of species interactions is often difficult to predict, depending on the organisms involved and the ecological context. Nectar robbers remove nectar from flowers, often without providing pollination service, and their effects on plant reproduction vary in strength and direction. In two case studies and a meta-analysis, we tested the importance of pollen limitation and plant mating system in predicting the impacts of nectar robbing on female plant reproduction. We predicted that nectar robbing would have the strongest effects on species requiring pollinators to set seed and pollen limited for seed production. Our predictions were partially supported. In the first study, natural nectar robbing was associated with lower seed production in Delphinium nuttallianum, a self-compatible but non-autogamously selfing, pollen-limited perennial, and experimental nectar robbing reduced seed set relative to unrobbed plants. The second study involved Linaria vulgaris, a self-incompatible perennial that is generally not pollen limited. Natural levels of nectar robbing generally had little effect on estimates of female reproduction in L. vulgaris, while experimental nectar robbing reduced seed set per fruit but not percentage of fruit set. A meta-analysis revealed that nectar robbing had strong negative effects on pollen-limited and self-incompatible plants, as predicted. Our results suggest that pollination biology and plant mating system must be considered to understand and predict the ecological outcome of both mutualistic and antagonistic plant-animal interactions.

  14. Conspecific reproductive success affects age of recruitment in a great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, colony.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

    Few studies have addressed the proximate factors affecting the age at which individuals of long-lived bird species are recruited into the breeding population. We use capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 16 birth cohorts of colour-ringed great cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, in a Danish colony to assess the evidence for two hypotheses: conspecific attraction (earlier recruitment when the colony is large) and conspecific reproductive success (earlier recruitment following years of high breeding success). For both males and females, conspecific reproductive success was the most important covariate explaining the interannual variation in age of recruitment; colony size was also important for females. These covariates explained nearly 60% of the year-to-year variation for both sexes. The age of recruitment increased for cohorts born after 1990, and this increase was correlated with a decline in breeding success in the colony; we interpret this as an indirect and delayed density-dependent effect. Females were recruited earlier than males (mean age of recruitment for cohorts born before 1990: 2.98 years versus 3.53 years); the most plausible reason for this is a skewed sex ratio in favour of males in the adult population. Recruitment of males may thus, to some extent, be constrained by the availability of females. This study provides the first evidence that conspecific reproductive success can affect the age at which individual birds start to breed.

  15. Mitochondrial gamma carbonic anhydrases are required for complex I assembly and plant reproductive development.

    PubMed

    Fromm, Steffanie; Braun, Hans-Peter; Peterhansel, Christoph

    2016-07-01

    Complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (mETC) in plants contains an extra domain that is made up from proteins homologous to prokaryotic gamma-carbonic anhydrases (γCA). This domain has been suggested to participate in complex I assembly or to support transport of mitochondrial CO2 to the chloroplast. Here, we generated mutants lacking CA1 and CA2 - two out of three CA proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. Double mutants were characterized at the developmental and physiological levels. Furthermore, the composition and activity of the mETC were determined, and mutated CA versions were used for complementation assays. Embryo development of double mutants was strongly delayed and seed development stopped before maturation. Mutant plants could only be rescued on sucrose media, showed severe stress symptoms and never produced viable seeds. By contrast, callus cultures were only slightly affected in growth. Complex I was undetectable in the double mutants, but complex II and complex IV were upregulated concomitant with increased oxygen consumption in mitochondrial respiration. Ectopic expression of inactive CA variants was sufficient to complement the mutant phenotype. Data indicate that CA proteins are structurally required for complex I assembly and that reproductive development is dependent on the presence of complex I.

  16. 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.

  17. Is there a missing link? Effects of root herbivory on plant-pollinator interactions and reproductive output in a monocarpic species.

    PubMed

    Ghyselen, C; Bonte, D; Brys, R

    2016-01-01

    Herbivores can have a major influence on plant fitness. The direct impact of herbivory on plant reproductive output has long been studied, and recently also indirect effects of herbivory on plant traits and pollinator attraction have received increasing attention. However, the link between these direct and indirect effects has seldom been studied. In this study, we investigated effects of root herbivory on plant and floral traits, pollination success and reproductive outcome in the monocarpic perennial Cynoglossum officinale. We exposed 119 C. officinale plants to a range of root herbivore damage by its specialist herbivore Mogulones cruciger. We assessed the effect of herbivory on several plant traits, pollinator foraging behaviour and reproductive output, and to elucidate the link between these last two we also quantified pollen deposition and pollen tube growth and applied a pollination experiment to test whether seed set was pollen-limited. Larval root herbivory induced significant changes in plant traits and had a negative impact on pollinator visitation. Infested plants were reduced in size, had fewer flowers and received fewer pollinator visits at plant and flower level than non-infested plants. Also, seed set was negatively affected by root herbivory, but this could not be attributed to pollen limitation since neither stigmatic pollen loads and pollen tube growth nor the results of the hand-pollination experiment differed between infested and non-infested plants. Our observations demonstrate that although herbivory may induce significant changes in flowering behaviour and resulting plant-pollinator interactions, it does not necessarily translate into higher rates of pollen limitation. The observed reductions in reproductive output following infection can mainly be attributed to higher resource limitation compared to non-infested plants.

  18. Low investment in sexual reproduction threatens plants adapted to phosphorus limitation.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yuki; Venterink, Harry Olde; van Bodegom, Peter M; Douma, Jacob C; Heil, Gerrit W; Hölzel, Norbert; Jabłońska, Ewa; Kotowski, Wiktor; Okruszko, Tomasz; Pawlikowski, Paweł; de Ruiter, Peter C; Wassen, Martin J

    2014-01-02

    Plant species diversity in Eurasian wetlands and grasslands depends not only on productivity but also on the relative availability of nutrients, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorus. Here we show that the impacts of nitrogen:phosphorus stoichiometry on plant species richness can be explained by selected plant life-history traits, notably by plant investments in growth versus reproduction. In 599 Eurasian sites with herbaceous vegetation we examined the relationship between the local nutrient conditions and community-mean life-history traits. We found that compared with plants in nitrogen-limited communities, plants in phosphorus-limited communities invest little in sexual reproduction (for example, less investment in seed, shorter flowering period, longer lifespan) and have conservative leaf economy traits (that is, a low specific leaf area and a high leaf dry-matter content). Endangered species were more frequent in phosphorus-limited ecosystems and they too invested little in sexual reproduction. The results provide new insight into how plant adaptations to nutrient conditions can drive the distribution of plant species in natural ecosystems and can account for the vulnerability of endangered species.

  19. Low investment in sexual reproduction threatens plants adapted to phosphorus limitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Yuki; Venterink, Harry Olde; van Bodegom, Peter M.; Douma, Jacob C.; Heil, Gerrit W.; Hölzel, Norbert; Jabłońska, Ewa; Kotowski, Wiktor; Okruszko, Tomasz; Pawlikowski, Paweł; de Ruiter, Peter C.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Plant species diversity in Eurasian wetlands and grasslands depends not only on productivity but also on the relative availability of nutrients, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorus. Here we show that the impacts of nitrogen:phosphorus stoichiometry on plant species richness can be explained by selected plant life-history traits, notably by plant investments in growth versus reproduction. In 599 Eurasian sites with herbaceous vegetation we examined the relationship between the local nutrient conditions and community-mean life-history traits. We found that compared with plants in nitrogen-limited communities, plants in phosphorus-limited communities invest little in sexual reproduction (for example, less investment in seed, shorter flowering period, longer lifespan) and have conservative leaf economy traits (that is, a low specific leaf area and a high leaf dry-matter content). Endangered species were more frequent in phosphorus-limited ecosystems and they too invested little in sexual reproduction. The results provide new insight into how plant adaptations to nutrient conditions can drive the distribution of plant species in natural ecosystems and can account for the vulnerability of endangered species.

  20. Evaluation of reproductive health indicators in women affected by East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bahmanjanbeh, Farideh; Kohan, Shahnaz; Yarmohammadian, Mohammad Hossein; Haghshenas, Abbas

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ignoring reproductive health services during natural disasters leads to some negative consequences such as reduced access to contraceptive methods, sexual disorders, and pregnancy complications. Despite previous researches, there is still more need for research on this area of health. This study attempts to identify the indicators of reproductive health in the women affected by the East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study, reproductive health information pertaining to the years before, during, and after the earthquake were collected and compared in the health centers of the three affected cities including Ahar, Heriss, and Varzaghan as well as the health and forensics centers of the East Azarbaijan province in Iran by census method. Results: Findings indicated a decrease in live birth rate, general marriage fertility rate, stillbirth rate, contraceptive methods coverage, and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases during and after the earthquake. Moreover, important indicators such as neonatal mortality rate and percentage of infants screened for breast milk, decreased during the disaster year in comparison with the years before and after. Other indicators such as preconception care, pregnancy first visit, rate of caesarian delivery, and under 1-year formula milk-fed infants’ percentages increased during the year of disaster in comparison with the years before and after. Conclusions: During the earthquake, some indicators of reproductive health have been reported to decrease whereas some others have gone through negative changes. Despite the partly favorable status of services, decision-makers and health service providers should pay more attention to the needs of women during disasters. PMID:27904635

  1. Reproduction during spaceflight by plants in the family Brassicaceae.

    PubMed

    Musgrave, M E; Kuang, A

    2001-07-01

    Researchers report on studies of reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana in space during during the Chromex-03 on STS-54, Chromex-04 on STS-51, and Chromex-05 on STS-68 missions. The obstacles to seed formation were related to carbon dioxide levels. Other experiments examined in flight pollination and seed production in Brassica rapa during parabolic flight, a 4-1/2 month stay on Mir, and on STS-87. During the Mir experiment, Brassica seeds were harvested from seeds sown in flight. The second generation seeds grew to produce new seeds that contained more starch and less protein and lipid when compared to ground control seeds.

  2. Reproduction during spaceflight by plants in the family Brassicaceae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musgrave, M. E.; Kuang, A.

    2001-01-01

    Researchers report on studies of reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana in space during during the Chromex-03 on STS-54, Chromex-04 on STS-51, and Chromex-05 on STS-68 missions. The obstacles to seed formation were related to carbon dioxide levels. Other experiments examined in flight pollination and seed production in Brassica rapa during parabolic flight, a 4-1/2 month stay on Mir, and on STS-87. During the Mir experiment, Brassica seeds were harvested from seeds sown in flight. The second generation seeds grew to produce new seeds that contained more starch and less protein and lipid when compared to ground control seeds.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Comparative studies on plant range size: Linking reproductive and regenerative traits in two Ipomoea species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astegiano, Julia; Funes, Guillermo; Galetto, Leonardo

    2010-09-01

    Reproductive and regenerative traits associated with colonization and persistence ability may determine plant range size. However, few comparative studies on plant distribution have assessed these traits simultaneously. Pollinator richness and frequency of visits, autonomous self-pollination ability, reproductive output (i.e., reproductive traits), seed bank strategy and seedling density (i.e., regenerative traits) were compared between the narrowly distributed Ipomoea rubriflora O'Donnell (Convolvulaceae) and its widespread congener Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth. The narrowly distributed species showed higher ecological specialization to pollinators and lower autonomous self-pollination ability. Frequency of visits, natural seed/ovule ratio and fruit set, and total fruit production did not differ between species. However, the number of seeds produced per fruit was lower in the narrowly distributed species, translating into lower total seed production per plant. Indeed, I. rubriflora formed smaller transient and persistent seed banks and showed lower seedling density than the widespread I. purpurea. These reproductive and regenerative trait results suggest that the narrowly distributed species may have lower colonization and persistence ability than its widespread congener. They further suggest that the negative effects of lower fecundity in the narrowly distributed species might persist in time through the long-lasting effects of total seed production on seed bank size, reducing the species' ability to buffered environmental stochasticity. However, other regenerative traits, such as seed size, and processes such as pre- and post-dispersal seed predation, might modulate the effects of plant fecundity on plant colonization and persistence ability and thus range size.

  6. Evolutionary demography of iteroparous plants: incorporating non-lethal costs of reproduction into integral projection models.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Williams, Jennifer L; Jongejans, Eelke; Brys, Rein; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2012-07-22

    Understanding the selective forces that shape reproductive strategies is a central goal of evolutionary ecology. Selection on the timing of reproduction is well studied in semelparous organisms because the cost of reproduction (death) can be easily incorporated into demographic models. Iteroparous organisms also exhibit delayed reproduction and experience reproductive costs, although these are not necessarily lethal. How non-lethal costs shape iteroparous life histories remains unresolved. We analysed long-term demographic data for the iteroparous orchid Orchis purpurea from two habitat types (light and shade). In both the habitats, flowering plants had lower growth rates and this cost was greater for smaller plants. We detected an additional growth cost of fruit production in the light habitat. We incorporated these non-lethal costs into integral projection models to identify the flowering size that maximizes fitness. In both habitats, observed flowering sizes were well predicted by the models. We also estimated optimal parameters for size-dependent flowering effort, but found a strong mismatch with the observed flower production. Our study highlights the role of context-dependent non-lethal reproductive costs as selective forces in the evolution of iteroparous life histories, and provides a novel and broadly applicable approach to studying the evolutionary demography of iteroparous organisms.

  7. Effects of thermal power plant effluents on formation and senescence of reproductive parts of Anagallis arvensis L

    SciTech Connect

    Iqbal, M.; Khan, F.A.; Saquib, M.; Ahmad, Z.; Ghouse, A.K.M. )

    1989-04-01

    Oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon and particulates are the major air pollutants emitted in huge amounts by the Thermal Power Plant Complex of Kasimpur (Aligarh, UP, India) running on 3192 MT of coal/day. These effluents significantly affect reproductive phase of Anagallis arvensis L. Samples of 10 plants each were randomly collected at monthly intervals at seedling to mature stage from 0.5, 2, 6, 12 and 20 km leeward from the power plant complex. Bud formation and flowering were delayed in the population thriving at 0.5 km from the pollution source. As a 2 month old stage, 60% of the population showed a decline in bud formation in the vicinity of the source compared to a heavy bud emergence in the whole population thriving 20 km away from it. Bud formation, flowering fruit set and seed set showed a correlation with multiple growth factors viz productivity, shoot length and distance from the source.

  8. Plant reproduction: teaching a new language of love.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark A

    2012-07-10

    Species-preferential proteins attract pollen tubes to female gametes in flowering plants. In a new study, Arabidopsis was taught to say "come hither" to maize pollen when it was engineered to express a maize attractant.

  9. Grape variety affects larval performance and also female reproductive performance of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Moreau, J; Benrey, B; Thiéry, D

    2006-04-01

    For insect herbivores, the quality of the larval host plant is a key determinant of fitness. Therefore, insect populations are supposed to be positively correlated with the nutritional quality of their host plant. This study aimed to determine if and how different varieties of grapes (including the wild grape Lambrusque) affect both larval and adult performance of the polyphagous European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller). Significant differences were found in larval development time, but not in pupal mass, adult emergence rate, or sex ratio. Although the fecundity of females is not different among varieties, females fed on some varieties produced eggs of different sizes which are correlated to their fertility. Thus, females adapt resource allocation to eggs depending on their diet as larvae. Using a fitness index, the average reproductive output was found to be highest for females reared on cv. Chardonnay. Females reared on wild grape produced a fitness index identical to the cultivated grapes. However, Lambrusque and Gewurztraminer separate themselves from the cultivated varieties according to our discriminant analyses. It is emphasized, through this study, that cultivars fed on by larvae should be considered in the population dynamics of L. botrana and that egg number is insufficient to determine host plant quality.

  10. Reproduction of Pseudocalanus newmani (Copepoda: Calanoida) is deleteriously affected by diatom blooms A field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halsband-Lenk, Claudia; Pierson, James J.; Leising, Andrew W.

    2005-11-01

    Copepod secondary production has traditionally been linked to the spring diatom bloom in temperate and high latitudes, but laboratory studies have recently challenged this view and have shown either reduced fecundity or viability of offspring when copepods were fed high concentrations of - mostly unialgal - diatoms. However, field evidence that diatoms affect copepod reproduction is still scarce. We analyzed the reproductive response of a common, small calanoid copepod of the boreal Pacific, Pseudocalanus newmani, to spring diatom blooms in Dabob Bay, a semi-enclosed fjord of Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Abundance patterns, egg production rates, egg hatching success, and naupliar viability of the egg-carrying copepod were examined between February and early May in the years 2002-2004. The population underwent strong variations in abundance during both years, with high abundance of all stages from February to mid-March, but dramatically decreasing individual numbers later in spring. A recovery to higher numbers occurred in July. While egg production rates were independent of chlorophyll concentrations, the reproductive success of P. newmani was negatively affected by certain phytoplankton bloom conditions. Hatching success and - more markedly - naupliar survival were reduced following peaks of Thalassiosira species that were producing anti-mitotic aldehydes, but were high during periods when phytoplankton blooms were more diverse or dominated by other prey taxa including diatoms. As a consequence, recruitment of the naupliar population was considerably affected by the Thalassiosira blooms. This study shows for the first time that the so-called diatom effect operates in nature when all prerequisites - (1) high concentration of aldehyde producers, (2) few prey alternatives, and (3) feeding of copepods on these algae - are given. However, the effect was transient in Dabob Bay and may be so in other pelagic ecosystems. It remains to discern the potential sources of

  11. Emerging Roles for Non-Coding RNAs in Male Reproductive Development in Flowering Plants

    PubMed Central

    Grant-Downton, Robert; Rodriguez-Enriquez, Josefina

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of sexual reproduction systems in flowering plants is essential to humankind, with crop fertility vitally important for food security. Here, we review rapidly emerging new evidence for the key importance of non-coding RNAs in male reproductive development in flowering plants. From the commitment of somatic cells to initiating reproductive development through to meiosis and the development of pollen—containing the male gametes (sperm cells)—in the anther, there is now overwhelming data for a diversity of non-coding RNAs and emerging evidence for crucial roles for them in regulating cellular events at these developmental stages. A particularly exciting development has been the association of one example of cytoplasmic male sterility, which has become an unparalleled breeding tool for producing new crop hybrids, with a non-coding RNA locus. PMID:24970151

  12. Emerging Roles for Non-Coding RNAs in Male Reproductive Development in Flowering Plants.

    PubMed

    Grant-Downton, Robert; Rodriguez-Enriquez, Josefina

    2012-12-04

    Knowledge of sexual reproduction systems in flowering plants is essential to humankind, with crop fertility vitally important for food security. Here, we review rapidly emerging new evidence for the key importance of non-coding RNAs in male reproductive development in flowering plants. From the commitment of somatic cells to initiating reproductive development through to meiosis and the development of pollen-containing the male gametes (sperm cells)-in the anther, there is now overwhelming data for a diversity of non-coding RNAs and emerging evidence for crucial roles for them in regulating cellular events at these developmental stages. A particularly exciting development has been the association of one example of cytoplasmic male sterility, which has become an unparalleled breeding tool for producing new crop hybrids, with a non-coding RNA locus.

  13. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Final report, February 1, 1979--January 31, 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1987-12-08

    Our completed research program concentrated on the direct in vivo effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Direct air pollution effects on plant sexual reproduction have been studied for SO{sub 2} and NO{sub 2}, two of the three major air pollutants.

  14. Pattern matching and adaptive image segmentation applied to plant reproduction by tissue culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vazquez Rueda, Martin G.; Hahn, Federico

    1999-03-01

    This paper shows the results obtained in a system vision applied to plant reproduction by tissue culture using adaptive image segmentation and pattern matching algorithms, this analysis improves the number of tissue obtained and minimize errors, the image features of tissue are considered join to statistical analysis to determine the best match and results. Tests make on potato plants are used to present comparative results with original images processed with adaptive segmentation algorithm and non adaptive algorithms and pattern matching.

  15. Host plant species affects virulence in monarch butterfly parasites.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    1. Studies have considered how intrinsic host and parasite properties determine parasite virulence, but have largely ignored the role of extrinsic ecological factors in its expression. 2. We studied how parasite genotype and host plant species interact to determine virulence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers 1970) in the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus L. We infected monarch larvae with one of four parasite genotypes and reared them on two milkweed species that differed in their levels of cardenolides: toxic chemicals involved in predator defence. 3. Parasite infection, replication and virulence were affected strongly by host plant species. While uninfected monarchs lived equally long on both plant species, infected monarchs suffered a greater reduction in their life spans (55% vs. 30%) on the low-cardenolide vs. the high-cardenolide host plant. These life span differences resulted from different levels of parasite replication in monarchs reared on the two plant species. 4. The virulence rank order of parasite genotypes was unaffected by host plant species, suggesting that host plant species affected parasite genotypes similarly, rather than through complex plant species-parasite genotype interactions. 5. Our results demonstrate that host ecology importantly affects parasite virulence, with implications for host-parasite dynamics in natural populations.

  16. Plant reproductive allocation predicts herbivore dynamics across spatial and temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tyre, Andrew J; Louda, Svata M

    2006-11-01

    Life-history theory suggests that iteroparous plants should be flexible in their allocation of resources toward growth and reproduction. Such plasticity could have consequences for herbivores that prefer or specialize on vegetative versus reproductive structures. To test this prediction, we studied the response of the cactus bug (Narnia pallidicornis) to meristem allocation by tree cholla cactus (Opuntia imbricata). We evaluated the explanatory power of demographic models that incorporated variation in cactus relative reproductive effort (RRE; the proportion of meristems allocated toward reproduction). Field data provided strong support for a single model that defined herbivore fecundity as a time-varying, increasing function of host RRE. High-RRE plants were predicted to support larger insect populations, and this effect was strongest late in the season. Independent field data provided strong support for these qualitative predictions and suggested that plant allocation effects extend across temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, late-season insect abundance was positively associated with interannual changes in cactus RRE over 3 years. Spatial variation in insect abundance was correlated with variation in RRE among five cactus populations across New Mexico. We conclude that plant allocation can be a critical component of resource quality for insect herbivores and, thus, an important mechanism underlying variation in herbivore abundance across time and space.

  17. 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

  18. Plant Reproduction: AMOR Enables Males to Respond to Female Signals.

    PubMed

    Dresselhaus, Thomas; Coimbra, Silvia

    2016-04-25

    The pollen tube of flowering plants undertakes a long journey to transport two sperm cells for double fertilization. New work on pollen tube guidance has identified an arabinogalactan-derived ovular factor that primes tubes to respond to female gametophyte-secreted attraction signals.

  19. Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction is impaired in aged oil sands process-affected waters.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Frank, Richard A; Oakes, Ken D; Servos, Mark R; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Mike D; Solomon, Keith R; Dixon, D George; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2011-01-17

    Large volumes of fluid tailings are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands. As part of their reclamation plan, oil sands operators in Alberta propose to transfer these fluid tailings to end pit lakes and, over time, these are expected to develop lake habitats with productive capabilities comparable to natural lakes in the region. This study evaluates the potential impact of various oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) on the reproduction of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) under laboratory conditions. Two separate assays with aged OPSW (>15 years) from the experimental ponds at Syncrude Canada Ltd. showed that water containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs; >25 mg/l) and elevated conductivity (>2000 μS/cm) completely inhibited spawning of fathead minnows and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics. Measurement of plasma sex steroid levels showed that male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone whereas females had lower concentrations of 17β-estradiol. In a third assay, fathead minnows were first acclimated to the higher salinity conditions typical of OSPW for several weeks and then exposed to aged OSPW from Suncor Energy Inc. (NAs ∼40 mg/l and conductivity ∼2000 μS/cm). Spawning was significantly reduced in fathead minnows held in this effluent and male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that aged OSPW has the potential to negatively affect the reproductive physiology of fathead minnows and suggest that aquatic habitats with high NAs concentrations (>25 mg/l) and conductivities (>2000 μS/cm) would not be conducive for successful fish reproduction.

  20. Hormonal, biochemical, and hematological profiles in female camels (Camelus dromedarius) affected with reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Ali, A; Tharwat, M; Al-Sobayil, F A

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the blood profiles in female camels affected with common reproductive disorders. Estradiol-17beta (E(2)), progesterone (P(4)), thyroxin (T(4)), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, total protein, albumin, globulin, hematocrite, and total and differential white blood cell counts (WBC) were determined in blood of female camels affected with endometritis (n=15), vaginal adhesions (n=15), and ovarian cysts (n=15). Normal cyclic animals were used as controls (n=15). Diagnosis of reproductive disorders was based on transrectal palpation, ultrasonographic examination, and exploration of the vagina. Increased WBC counts (P=0.03) and a tendency for neutrophelia (P=0.05) were noted in female camels with vaginal adhesions. These animals were also characterized by having higher concentration of serum P(4) (P=0.0001), T(4) (P=0.001) and total protein (P=0.007), in comparison with female camels with endometritis, ovarian cysts, or controls. Animals having ovarian cysts with thin walls and homogenous hypoechogenic contents had greater serum E(2) (P=0.001) and P(4) (P=0.0001) than those having ovarian cysts with thick walls and non-homogenous echogenic contents. Animals with endometritis, vaginal adhesions, and ovarian cysts revealed lower serum Zn concentration than that of control group (P=0.003). Other blood parameters did not differ significantly compared to controls. In conclusion, this is the first report characterizing blood constituents in female camels with various reproductive disorders. These profiles may be valuable in clarifying the etio-pathogenesis of these disorders.

  1. The entomopathogenic fungal endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana negatively affect cotton aphid reproduction under both greenhouse and field conditions.

    PubMed

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  2. The Entomopathogenic Fungal Endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (Formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana Negatively Affect Cotton Aphid Reproduction under Both Greenhouse and Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  3. Recognition and rejection of self in plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Nasrallah, June B

    2002-04-12

    Plant self-incompatibility (SI) systems are unique among self/nonself recognition systems in being based on the recognition of self rather than nonself. SI in crucifer species is controlled by highly polymorphic and co-evolving genes linked in a complex. Self recognition is based on allele-specific interactions between stigma receptors and pollen ligands that result in the arrest of pollen tube development. Commonalities and differences between SI and other self/nonself discrimination systems are discussed.

  4. Variation in pollination: causes and consequences for plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Richards, Shane A; Williams, Neal M; Harder, Lawrence D

    2009-09-01

    Pollen dispersal by animals varies extensively because of differences in pollinator visitation rates among plants, dissimilar pollination by the various pollinators that visit individual plants, and stochastic variation in deposition as an individual pollinator disperses a plant's pollen to subsequently visited recipient flowers. Such variation reduces expected female and male success if seed production decelerates with increasing pollen receipt, because less than average receipt diminishes mean seed production more than copious pollination increases it (Jensen's inequality). We report empirical studies of the nature and magnitude of pollen dispersal variance, which provide the basis for a numerical model of the consequences of dispersal for expected seed production. Model fitting revealed that dispersal of Brassica napus pollen by bumblebees and especially butterflies exhibited much more variation than is expected of a binomial process and was best modeled as a beta-binomial process with a constant mean. Overdispersion arose primarily during pollen dispersal by individual insects, since differences between individuals of the same pollinator type were limited. Our model revealed variance limitation as a previously unrecognized, substantial, and ubiquitous component of pollen limitation of seed production. Variance limitation should select for floral traits that increase pollinator visitation, reduce dispersal variance, or reduce the postpollination nonlinearities that cause Jensen's inequality.

  5. Reproductive strategies and isolation-by-demography in a marine clonal plant along an eutrophication gradient.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Silvia; Romero, Javier; Pérez, Marta; Manent, Pablo; Mascaró, Oriol; Serrão, Ester A; Coelho, Nelson; Alberto, Filipe

    2014-12-01

    Genetic diversity in clonal organisms includes two distinct components, (i) the diversity of genotypes or clones (i.e. genotypic richness) in a population and (ii) that of the alleles (i.e. allelic and gene diversity within populations, and differentiation between populations). We investigated how population differentiation and genotypic components are associated across a gradient of eutrophication in a clonal marine plant. To that end, we combined direct measurements of sexual allocation (i.e. flower and seed counts) and genotypic analyses, which are used as an estimator of effective sexual reproduction across multiple generations. Genetic differentiation across sites was also modelled according to a hypothesis here defined as isolation-by-demography, in which we use population-specific factors, genotypic richness and eutrophication that are hypothesized to affect the source-sink dynamics and thus influence the genetic differentiation between a pair of populations. Eutrophic populations exhibited lower genotypic richness, in agreement with lower direct measurements of sexual allocation and contemporaneous gene flow. Genetic differentiation, while not explained by distance, was best predicted by genotypic richness and habitat quality. A multiple regression model using these two predictors was considered the best model (R(2) = 0.43). In this study, the relationship between environment and effective sexual-asexual balance is not simply (linearly) predicted by direct measurements of sexual allocation. Our results indicate that population-specific factors and the isolation-by-demography model should be used more often to understand genetic differentiation.

  6. Experimental charcoalification of plant reproductive organs: Taphonomic implications for taxonomic information loss

    SciTech Connect

    Lupia, R. )

    1992-01-01

    Charcoalification can preserve reproductive organs of plants in exceptional detail, but it has not been clear to what extent these taxonomically important structures suffer non-allometric size reduction during this process. To address this problem, seven angiosperm and two gymnosperm species were buried in sand and experimentally charcoalified in a muffle furnace at 325--350 degrees Celsius for two hours, and percent size reduction measured. Carpels, stamens, and petals never shrank by the same amount for a given angiosperm species. To determine the effect of different periods of heating on organs, one angiosperm species was treated for 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 6 hours. Organs continued to shrink over this entire period without reaching a plateau. This is important in designing future experiments, and in terms of interpreting fossils, since heat treatment varies across a single site in natural fires. Observations made during this study suggest that some carpels and petals never become charcoalified, that stamens are particularly susceptible to fragmentation after charcoalification, that some organs show predictable damage which is correlated with time, and that the saturation of a structure with water can significantly retard charcoalification for heat exposure of less than one hour. These factors may severely affect the entry of the charred remains into the fossil record. Despite the suggestion that female structures can be expected to shrink the least, it is impossible to prescribe quantitative correction factors to permit accurate reconstructions without constraining additional variables such as temperature and duration of heating.

  7. Functional analysis of a reproductive organ predominant expressing promoter in cotton plants.

    PubMed

    Ren, Maozhi; Chen, Quanjia; Li, Li; Zhang, Rui; Guo, Sandui

    2005-10-01

    Transgenic Bt insect-resistant cotton plants have high insect resistance in the early stage of development, but relatively low resistance in the late stage. Substituting a reproductive organ-specific promoter for the CaMV35S promoter presently being used could be an ideal solution. For the first time, the promoter sequence of ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (arf1) gene was isolated from Gossypium hirsutumY18 by means of inverse PCR. The sequencing result discovered the unique structure of the arf1 promoter, including four promoter-specific elements, the initiator, TATA box, CAAT box and GC box, and also an intron in 5'-untranslation region. Four plant expression vectors were constructed for functional analysis of the promoter. Based on the pBl121 plant expression vector, four truncated arf1 promoters took the place of the CaMV35S promoter. These vectors were different only in their promoter regions. They were introduced into cotton plants via pollen tube pathway. Histochemical GUS staining and fluorescence quantitative analyses were performed to examine the expression patterns of the GUS gene driven by the 4 arf1 truncated promoters in transgenic cotton plants respectively. The results showed that the arf1 promoter was a typical reproductive organ-specific promoter. Hopefully, the arf1 promoter can be a regulatory element for designing cotton reproductive organs with desired characteristics.

  8. Cross-talk between environmental stresses and plant metabolism during reproductive organ abscission

    PubMed Central

    Sawicki, Mélodie; Aït Barka, Essaïd; Clément, Christophe; Vaillant-Gaveau, Nathalie; Jacquard, Cédric

    2015-01-01

    In plants, flowering is a crucial process for reproductive success and continuity of the species through time. Fruit production requires the perfect development of reproductive structures. Abscission, a natural process, can occur to facilitate shedding of no longer needed, infected, or damaged organs. If stress occurs during flower development, abscission can intervene at flower level, leading to reduced yield. Flower abscission is a highly regulated developmental process simultaneously influenced and activated in response to exogenous (changing environmental conditions, interactions with microorganisms) and endogenous (physiological modifications) stimuli. During climate change, plant communities will be more susceptible to environmental stresses, leading to increased flower and fruit abscission, and consequently a decrease in fruit yield. Understanding the impacts of stress on the reproductive phase is therefore critical for managing future agricultural productivity. Here, current knowledge on flower/fruit abscission is summarized by focusing specifically on effects of environmental stresses leading to this process in woody plants. Many of these stresses impair hormonal balance and/or carbohydrate metabolism, but the exact mechanisms are far from completely known. Hormones are the abscission effectors and the auxin/ethylene balance is of particular importance. The carbohydrate pathway is the result of complex regulatory processes involving the balance between photosynthesis and mobilization of reserves. Hormones and carbohydrates together participate in complex signal transduction systems, especially in response to stress. The available data are discussed in relation to reproductive organ development and the process of abscission. PMID:25711702

  9. Chromatin dynamics during cellular differentiation in the female reproductive lineage of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Baroux, Célia; Autran, Daphné

    2015-07-01

    Sexual reproduction in flowering plants offers a number of remarkable aspects to developmental biologists. First, the spore mother cells - precursors of the plant reproductive lineage - are specified late in development, as opposed to precocious germline isolation during embryogenesis in most animals. Second, unlike in most animals where meiosis directly produces gametes, plant meiosis entails the differentiation of a multicellular, haploid gametophyte, within which gametic as well as non-gametic accessory cells are formed. These observations raise the question of the factors inducing and modus operandi of cell fate transitions that originate in floral tissues and gametophytes, respectively. Cell fate transitions in the reproductive lineage imply cellular reprogramming operating at the physiological, cytological and transcriptome level, but also at the chromatin level. A number of observations point to large-scale chromatin reorganization events associated with cellular differentiation of the female spore mother cells and of the female gametes. These include a reorganization of the heterochromatin compartment, the genome-wide alteration of the histone modification landscape, and the remodeling of nucleosome composition. The dynamic expression of DNA methyltransferases and actors of small RNA pathways also suggest additional, global epigenetic alterations that remain to be characterized. Are these events a cause or a consequence of cellular differentiation, and how do they contribute to cell fate transition? Does chromatin dynamics induce competence for immediate cellular functions (meiosis, fertilization), or does it also contribute long-term effects in cellular identity and developmental competence of the reproductive lineage? This review attempts to review these fascinating questions.

  10. Late snowmelt delays plant development and results in lower reproductive success in the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Elisabeth J; Dullinger, Stefan; Semenchuk, Philipp

    2011-01-01

    In tundra areas where the growing season is short, any delay in the start of summer may have a considerable effect on plant development, growth and reproductive success. Climate models suggest long-term changes in winter precipitation in the Arctic, which may lead to deeper snow cover and a resultant delay in date of snow melt. In this paper, we investigated the role of snow depth and melt out date on the phenological development and reproductive success of vascular plants in Adventdalen, Svalbard (78° 10'N, 16° 06'E). Effects of natural variations in snow accumulation were demonstrated using two vegetation types (snow depth: meadow 21 cm, heath 32 cm), and fences were used to experimentally increase snow depth by over 1m. Phenological delay was greatest directly after snowmelt in the earlier phenological phases, and had the largest effect on the early development of those species which normally green-up early (i.e. Dryas, Papaver, Salix, Saxifraga). Compressed growing seasons and length of the reproductive period led to a reduced reproductive success in some of the study species. There were fewer flowers, fewer plots with dispersing seeds, and lower germination rates. This can have consequences for plant establishment and community composition in the long-term.

  11. Achievement of genetics in plant reproduction research: the past decade for the coming decade.

    PubMed

    Suwabe, Keita; Suzuki, Go; Watanabe, Masao

    2010-01-01

    In the last decade, a variety of innovations of emerging technologies in science have been accomplished. Advanced research environment in plant science has made it possible to obtain whole genome sequence in plant species. But now we recognize this by itself is not sufficient to understand the overall biological significance. Since Gregor Mendel established a principle of genetics, known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance, genetics plays a prominent role in life science, and this aspect is indispensable even in modern plant biology. In this review, we focus on achievements of genetics on plant sexual reproduction research in the last decade and discuss the role of genetics for the coming decade. It is our hope that this will shed light on the importance of genetics in plant biology and provide valuable information to plant biologists.

  12. Thiol-based redox regulation in sexual plant reproduction: new insights and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Traverso, Jose A.; Pulido, Amada; Rodríguez-García, María I.; Alché, Juan D.

    2013-01-01

    The success of sexual reproduction in plants involves (i) the proper formation of the plant gametophytes (pollen and embryo sac) containing the gametes, (ii) the accomplishment of specific interactions between pollen grains and the stigma, which subsequently lead to (iii) the fusion of the gametes and eventually to (iv) the seed setting. Owing to the lack of mobility, plants have developed specific regulatory mechanisms to control all developmental events underlying the sexual plant reproduction according to environmental challenges. Over the last decade, redox regulation and signaling have come into sight as crucial mechanisms able to manage critical stages during sexual plant reproduction. This regulation involves a complex redox network which includes reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), glutathione and other classic buffer molecules or antioxidant proteins, and some thiol/disulphide-containing proteins belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily, like glutaredoxins (GRXs) or thioredoxins (TRXs). These proteins participate as critical elements not only in the switch between the mitotic to the meiotic cycle but also at further developmental stages of microsporogenesis. They are also implicated in the regulation of pollen rejection as the result of self-incompatibility. In addition, they display precise space-temporal patterns of expression and are present in specific localizations like the stigmatic papillae or the mature pollen, although their functions and subcellular localizations are not clear yet. In this review we summarize insights and perspectives about the presence of thiol/disulphide-containing proteins in plant reproduction, taking into account the general context of the cell redox network. PMID:24294217

  13. Effect of effluents of a thermal power plant complex on reproductive processs of a winter season weed

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, F.A.; Iqbal, M.; Ghouse, A.K.M. )

    1990-05-01

    The Kasimpur Thermal Power Plant Complex (located in the District Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India) runs on a low grade, sulphur rich, bituminous type of coal with a daily average consumption rte of about 3,192 metric tons during winter season. Its effluents, mainly consisting of oxides of sulphur, nitrogen and carbon as well as particulate matters, were noted to affect the reproductive behavior of Melilotus indica-a winter season weed growing wild as a component of a grassland community. The samples consisting of 10 plants were collected at monthly intervals from 5 sites located about 0.5, 2, 6, 12 and 20 km leaward from the Complex. Emergence of inflorescence was delayed at the polluted sites. However, fruit formation started simultaneously (in March) at all the five sites. The pollution induced senescence of floral buds, flowers and fruits, but did not alter markedly weight of seed and fruit.

  14. Plant reproduction systems in microgravity: experimental data and hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordyum, E. L.

    Elucidation of the possibilities for higher plants to realize complete ontogenesis, from seed to seed, and to propagate by seeds in microgravity, is a fundamental task of space biology connected with the working of the CELSS program. At present, there are results of only 6 spaceflight experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana, an ephemeral plant which will flower and fruit in orbit. Morphogenesis of generative organs occurs normally in microgravity, but unlike the ground control, buds and flowers mainly contain sterile elements of the androecium and gynoecium which degenerate at different stages of development in microgravity. Cytological peculiarities of male and female sterility in microgravity are similar to those occurring naturally during sexual differentiation. Many of the seed formed in microgravity are: 1) nutritional deficiency, 2) insufficient light, 3) intensification of the influence of the above-mentioned factors by microgravity, 4) disturbances of a hormonal nature, and 5) the absence of pollination and fertilization. Possible ways for testing these hypotheses and obtaining viable seeds in microgravity are discussed.

  15. The transmission of light affect the color reproduction of plastic print

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Yi-xin; Shi, Gongcheng

    2011-01-01

    By analyzing the different paths that the incident light traverses in the printing, the paper aims to study the effect the transmission of light produces on the color reproduction of the plastic printing. The article also analyzes object characteristics about the three color properties and the color density, so as to make an accurate prediction on the color reproduction of the printing where ink is printed on the end of the plastic base directly. In the research, the incident light on the plastic print are divided into two parts: the reflection of diffuse light in the ink and the optical multi-layer internal reflection of the light through ink layer onto the plastic substrate. In this paper, we use kubelka-munk theory to analyze the transmission of the incident light on the surface of the printing product and Clapper-Yule theory to analyze the incident light which through the ink to the plastic film surface. When the incident light through the ink to the film surface, we have a series of mutually parallel reflected beam and refracted beam, and then obtain the synthesis of the reflected light complex amplitude, using the similar methods to obtain the total reflected and refraction light intensity. Combining the total reflection light intensity through the plastic substrate and the overall reflectivity through a plastic print surface by the kubelka-munk theory, color density and light transmission factor of the plastic substrate can be drawn in the formula: D ∞ f (δ,d,i1 ). From the above equation, we can find that optical phase retardation δ, the thickness of plastic d and the angle of incidence on the plastic surface i1 affect the color reproduction of plastic print.

  16. Delayed breeding affects lifetime reproductive success differently in male and female green woodhoopoes.

    PubMed

    Hawn, Amanda T; Radford, Andrew N; du Plessis, Morné A

    2007-05-15

    In cooperatively breeding species, many individuals only start breeding long after reaching physiological maturity [1], and this delay is expected to reduce lifetime reproductive success (LRS) [1-3]. Although many studies have investigated how nonbreeding helpers might mitigate the assumed cost of delayed breeding (reviewed in [3]), few have directly quantified the cost itself [4, 5] (but see [6, 7]). Moreover, although life-history tradeoffs frequently influence the sexes in profoundly different ways [8, 9], it has been generally assumed that males and females are similarly affected by a delayed start to breeding [7]. Here, we use 24 years of data to investigate the sex-specific cost of delayed breeding in the cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) and show that age at first breeding is related to LRS differently in males and females. As is traditionally expected, males that started to breed earlier in life had greater LRS than those that started later. However, females showed the opposite pattern: Those individuals that started to breed later in life actually had greater LRS than those that started earlier. In both sexes, the association between age at first breeding and LRS was driven by differences in breeding-career length, rather than per-season productivity. We hypothesize that the high mortality rate of young female breeders, and thus their short breeding careers, is related to a reduced ability to deal with the high physiological costs of reproduction in this species. These results demonstrate the importance of considering sex-specific reproductive costs when estimating the payoffs of life-history decisions and bring into question the long-held assumption that delayed breeding is necessarily costly.

  17. Honey and honey-based sugars partially affect reproductive trade-offs in parasitoids exhibiting different life-history and reproductive strategies.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Essens, Tijl A; Las, Rutger A; van Veen, Cindy; Visser, Bertanne; Ellers, Jacintha; Heinen, Robin; Gols, Rieta

    2016-12-23

    Adult dietary regimes in insects may affect egg production, fecundity and ultimately fitness. This is especially relevant in parasitoid wasps where many species serve as important biological control agents of agricultural pests. Here, we tested the effect of honey and sugar diets on daily fecundity schedules, lifetime reproductive success and longevity in four species of parasitoid wasps when reared on their respective hosts. The parasitoid species were selected based on dichotomies in host usage strategies and reproductive traits. Gelis agilis and G. areator are idiobiont ecto-parasitoids that develop in non-growing hosts, feed on protein-rich host fluids to maximize reproduction as adults and produce small numbers of large eggs. Meteorus pulchricornis and Microplitis mediator are koinobiont endoparasitoids that develop inside the bodies of growing hosts, do not host-feed, and produce greater numbers of small eggs. Parasitoids were reared on diets of either pure honey (containing trace amounts of proteins), heated honey (with denatured proteins) and a honey-mimic containing sugars only. We hypothesized that the benefits of proteins in honey would enhance reproduction in the ectoparasitoids due to their high metabolic investment per egg, but not in the koinobionts. Pure honey diet resulted in higher lifetime fecundity in G. agilis compared with the honey-mimic, whereas in both koinobionts, reproductive success did not vary significantly with diet. Longevity was less affected by diet in all of the parasitoids, although there were variable trade-offs between host access and longevity in the four species. We argue that there are both trait-based and association-specific effects of supplementary nutrients in honey on reproductive investment and success in parasitoid wasps.

  18. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary.

  19. Plant size and leaf area influence phenological and reproductive responses to warming in semiarid Mediterranean species.

    PubMed

    Valencia, Enrique; Méndez, Marcos; Saavedra, Noelia; Maestre, Fernando T

    2016-08-01

    Changes in vegetative and reproductive phenology rank among the most obvious plant responses to climate change. These responses vary broadly among species, but it is largely unknown whether they are mediated by functional attributes, such as size or foliar traits. Using a manipulative experiment conducted over two growing seasons, we evaluated the responses in reproductive phenology and output of 14 Mediterranean semiarid species belonging to three functional groups (grasses, nitrogen-fixing legumes and forbs) to a ~3°C increase in temperature, and assessed how leaf and size traits influenced them. Overall, warming advanced flowering and fruiting phenology, extended the duration of flowering and reduced the production of flowers and fruits. The observed reduction in flower and fruit production with warming was likely related to the decrease in soil moisture promoted by this treatment. Phenological responses to warming did not vary among functional groups, albeit forbs had an earlier reproductive phenology than legumes and grasses. Larger species with high leaf area, as well as those with small specific leaf area, had an earlier flowering and a longer flowering duration. The effects of warming on plant size and leaf traits were related to those on reproductive phenology and reproductive output. Species that decreased their leaf area under warming advanced more the onset of flowering, while those that increased their vegetative height produced more flowers. Our results advance our understanding of the phenological responses to warming of Mediterranean semiarid species, and highlight the key role of traits such as plant size and leaf area as determinants of such responses.

  20. Plant size and leaf area influence phenological and reproductive responses to warming in semiarid Mediterranean species

    PubMed Central

    Valencia, Enrique; Méndez, Marcos; Saavedra, Noelia; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in vegetative and reproductive phenology rank among the most obvious plant responses to climate change. These responses vary broadly among species, but it is largely unknown whether they are mediated by functional attributes, such as size or foliar traits. Using a manipulative experiment conducted over two growing seasons, we evaluated the responses in reproductive phenology and output of 14 Mediterranean semiarid species belonging to three functional groups (grasses, nitrogen-fixing legumes and forbs) to a ~3°C increase in temperature, and assessed how leaf and size traits influenced them. Overall, warming advanced flowering and fruiting phenology, extended the duration of flowering and reduced the production of flowers and fruits. The observed reduction in flower and fruit production with warming was likely related to the decrease in soil moisture promoted by this treatment. Phenological responses to warming did not vary among functional groups, albeit forbs had an earlier reproductive phenology than legumes and grasses. Larger species with high leaf area, as well as those with small specific leaf area, had an earlier flowering and a longer flowering duration. The effects of warming on plant size and leaf traits were related to those on reproductive phenology and reproductive output. Species that decreased their leaf area under warming advanced more the onset of flowering, while those that increased their vegetative height produced more flowers. Our results advance our understanding of the phenological responses to warming of Mediterranean semiarid species, and highlight the key role of traits such as plant size and leaf area as determinants of such responses. PMID:27330405

  1. Climate change alters reproductive isolation and potential gene flow in an annual plant

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Steven J; Weis, Arthur E

    2009-01-01

    Climate change will likely cause evolution due not only to selection but also to changes in reproductive isolation within and among populations. We examined the effects of a natural drought on the timing of flowering in two populations of Brassica rapa and the consequences for predicted reproductive isolation and potential gene flow. Seeds were collected before and after a 5-year drought in southern California from two populations varying in soil moisture. Lines derived from these seeds were raised in the greenhouse under wet and drought conditions. We found that the natural drought caused changes in reproductive timing and that the changes were greater for plants from the wet than from the dry site. This differential shift caused the populations to become more phenological similar, which should lead to less reproductive isolation and increased gene flow. We estimated a high level of assortative mating by flowering time, which potentially contributed to the rapid evolution of phenological traits following the drought. Estimates of assortative mating were higher for the wet site population, and assortative mating was reduced following the drought. This study shows that climate change can potentially alter gene flow and reproductive isolation within and among populations, strongly influencing evolution. PMID:25567893

  2. Plant growth with new fluorescent lamps : II. Growth and reproduction of mature bean plants and dwarf marigold plants.

    PubMed

    Thomas, A S; Dunn, S

    1966-06-01

    Bean and marigold plants were grown to maturity under several kinds of fluorescent lamps to evaluate the effects of spectral differences on development and reproduction. Six kinds of lamps were tested including five lamps that were used in closely related experiments on tomato seedling growth (THOMAS and DUNN, 1967). Evaluation was by fresh- and dry-weight yields of immature and mature pods, and of vegetative tops of plants for bean; and by flowering and fresh-and dry-weight yields for marigold.Bean plants grown under two experimental lamps, Com I and IR III produced significantly higher fresh- and dry-weight yields of both mature and total pods than under Warm-white lamps. This effect could be attributed largely to the considerable energy emitted by the experimental lamps in the red and far-red, as compared to a larger emission in the green and blue for the Warm-white lamps. The differences in the yields for immature pods and vegetative portions of the mature tops were not significant.In a comparison of the effects of three experimental lamps with those of three commercial lamps on growth response of bean plants, the yields were in general higher for the experimental lamps, except for immature pods. The yields of vegetative tops were significantly greater for the 78/22 lamp over the yields for all other lamps. The larger proportion of red and far-red light emitted by the experimental lamps is again the probable cause of the higher yields with these lamps.Two sets of experiments on growth and flowering of marigold under various experimental and commercial lamps were largely inconclusive although there was some indication of beneficial effects by the experimental lamps.In general, the results with bean agree with those for tomato (THOMAS and DUNN, 1967), in that best growth was obtained with a lamp high in red light emission, a moderate amount in the far-red, and very little in the blue part of the spectrum.

  3. Strategic rehabilitation of the earthquake affected microhydropower plants in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baidar, B.; Koirala, R.; Neopane, H. P.; Shrestha, M. V.; Thapa, B.

    2016-11-01

    Most people in the rural areas of Nepal rely on Micro-hydro Power Plants (MHPs) for their energy sources. With around four decade experiences in design and development of MHPs, Nepalese techno-entrepreneurs have gained wider reputation in the South Asian region and the beyond. However with the lack of competences in developing Francis turbines, majority of the MHPs are equipped with either Pelton of Cross Flow turbine, even though Francis units are suitable. With the devastating earthquake of a 7.6 magnitude that struck in the Gorkha district on Saturday, 25 April 2015, about 76 km northwest of the capital city Kathmandu, and the aftershocks followed claimed more than 8000 lives. It did not leave hydropower plants either. Many big plants have been affected and hundreds of MHPs were damaged, needing short to long term rehabilitation. The preliminary assessment of the 61 affected MHPs in the 6 earthquake affected districts shows more than 50% sites are suitable for Francis turbine. Hence the strategic rehabilitation plan has been developed in the present paper for the affected plants considering issues like geographical shift, dislocation of people and also with the focus on replacing the old turbine with Francis turbine in the suitable sites. The similar strategy can also be implemented in other developing countries with such situations.

  4. Landscape composition, patch size, and distance to edges: Interactions affecting duck reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horn, David Joseph; Phillips, Michael L.; Koford, Rolf R.; Clark, William R.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Greenwood, Raymond J.

    2005-01-01

    Prairies and other North American grasslands, although highly fragmented, provide breeding habitat for a diverse array of species, including species of tremendous economic and ecological importance. Conservation and management of these species requires some understanding of how reproductive success is affected by edge effects, patch size, and characteristics of the landscape. We examined how differences in the percentage of grassland in the landscape influenced the relationships between the success of nests of upland-nesting ducks and (1) field size and (2) distance to nearest field and wetland edges. We collected data on study areas composed of 15–20% grassland and areas composed of 45–55% grassland in central North Dakota, USA during the 1996 and 1997 nesting seasons. Daily survival rates (DSRs) of duck nests were greater in study areas with 45–55% grassland than with 15–20% grassland. Within study areas, we detected a curvilinear relationship between DSR and field size: DSRs were highest in small and large fields and lowest in moderately sized fields. In study areas with 15–20% grassland, there was no relationship between probability of hatching and distance to nearest field edge, whereas in study areas with 45–55% grassland, there was a positive relationship between these two variables. Results of this study support the conclusion that both landscape composition and configuration affect reproductive success of ground-nesting birds. We are prompted to question conservation strategies that favor clustering moderately sized patches of nesting habitat within agricultural landscapes because our results show that such patches would have low nest success, most likely caused by predation. Understanding the pattern of nest success, and the predator–prey mechanisms that produce the pattern, will enable design of patch configurations that are most conducive to meeting conservation goals.

  5. Modulation of diabetes-mellitus-induced male reproductive dysfunctions in experimental animal models with medicinal plants

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Gyan Chand; Jangir, Ram Niwas

    2014-01-01

    Today diabetes mellitus has emerged as a major healthcare problem throughout the world. It has recently broken the age barrier and has been diagnosed in younger people also. Sustained hyperglycemia is associated with many complications including male reproductive dysfunctions and infertility. Numerous medicinal plants have been used for the management of the diabetes mellitus in various traditional system of medicine and in folklore worldwide as they are a rich source of bioactive phytoconstituents, which lower blood glucose level and/or also act as antioxidants resulting in the amelioration of oxidative-stress-induced diabetic complications. The present review describes the ameliorative effects of medicinal plants or their products, especially on male reproductive dysfunctions, in experimental diabetic animal models. PMID:25125884

  6. Effects of acid precipitation on reproduction in alpine plant species. [Erythronium grandiflorum; Aquilegia caerulea

    SciTech Connect

    McKenna, M.A.; Hille-Salgueiro, M.; Musselman, R.C. Dept. of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO )

    1990-01-01

    A series of experiments were designed to determine the impact of acid rain on plant reproductive processes, a critical component of a species life history. Research was carried out in herbaceous alpine communities at the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Forest Service Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site in the Snowy Mts. of Wyoming. A range of species were surveyed to monitor the sensitivity of pollen to acidification during germination and growth, and all species demonstrated reduced in vitro pollen germination in acidified media. Field pollinations were carried out in Erythronium grandiflorum and Aquilegia caerulea to determine the reproductive success of plants exposed to simulated ambient precipitation (pH 5.6) or simulated acid precipitation (pH 3.6) prior to pollination. In Erythronium, no differences were observed in seed set and seed weight of fruits resulting from the two pollination treatments. In Aquilegia, fruits resulting from the acid spray treatment produced fewer seeds and lighter seeds.

  7. The emerging importance of type I MADS box transcription factors for plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Masiero, Simona; Colombo, Lucia; Grini, Paul E; Schnittger, Arp; Kater, Martin M

    2011-03-01

    Based on their evolutionary origin, MADS box transcription factor genes have been divided into two classes, namely, type I and II. The plant-specific type II MIKC MADS box genes have been most intensively studied and shown to be key regulators of developmental processes, such as meristem identity, flowering time, and fruit and seed development. By contrast, very little is known about type I MADS domain transcription factors, and they have not attracted interest for a long time. A number of recent studies have now indicated a key regulatory role for type I MADS box factors in plant reproduction, in particular in specifying female gametophyte, embryo, and endosperm development. These analyses have also suggested that type I MADS box factors are decisive for setting reproductive boundaries between species.

  8. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  9. Plant-fungus mutualism affects spider composition in successional fields.

    PubMed

    Finkes, Laura K; Cady, Alan B; Mulroy, Juliana C; Clay, Keith; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2006-03-01

    Mutualistic symbionts are widespread in plants and may have strong, bottom-up influences on community structure. Here we show that a grass-endophyte mutualism shifts the composition of a generalist predator assemblage. In replicated, successional fields we manipulated endophyte infection by Neotyphodium coenophialum in a dominant, non-native plant (Lolium arundinaceum). We compared the magnitude of the endophyte effect with manipulations of thatch biomass, a habitat feature of known importance to spiders. The richness of both spider families and morphospecies was greater in the absence of the endophyte, although total spider abundance was not affected. Thatch removal reduced both spider abundance and richness, and endophyte and thatch effects were largely additive. Spider families differed in responses, with declines in Linyphiidae and Thomisidae due to the endophyte and declines in Lycosidae due to thatch removal. Results demonstrate that the community impacts of non-native plants can depend on plants' mutualistic associates, such as fungal endophytes.

  10. Ungulate Reproductive Parameters Track Satellite Observations of Plant Phenology across Latitude and Climatological Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Stoner, David C.; Sexton, Joseph O.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Bernales, Heather H.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2016-01-01

    The effect of climatically-driven plant phenology on mammalian reproduction is one key to predicting species-specific demographic responses to climate change. Large ungulates face their greatest energetic demands from the later stages of pregnancy through weaning, and so in seasonal environments parturition dates should match periods of high primary productivity. Interannual variation in weather influences the quality and timing of forage availability, which can influence neonatal survival. Here, we evaluated macro-scale patterns in reproductive performance of a widely distributed ungulate (mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) across contrasting climatological regimes using satellite-derived indices of primary productivity and plant phenology over eight degrees of latitude (890 km) in the American Southwest. The dataset comprised > 180,000 animal observations taken from 54 populations over eight years (2004–2011). Regionally, both the start and peak of growing season (“Start” and “Peak”, respectively) are negatively and significantly correlated with latitude, an unusual pattern stemming from a change in the dominance of spring snowmelt in the north to the influence of the North American Monsoon in the south. Corresponding to the timing and variation in both the Start and Peak, mule deer reproduction was latest, lowest, and most variable at lower latitudes where plant phenology is timed to the onset of monsoonal moisture. Parturition dates closely tracked the growing season across space, lagging behind the Start and preceding the Peak by 27 and 23 days, respectively. Mean juvenile production increased, and variation decreased, with increasing latitude. Temporally, juvenile production was best predicted by primary productivity during summer, which encompassed late pregnancy, parturition, and early lactation. Our findings offer a parsimonious explanation of two key reproductive parameters in ungulate demography, timing of parturition and mean annual production

  11. Ungulate Reproductive Parameters Track Satellite Observations of Plant Phenology across Latitude and Climatological Regimes.

    PubMed

    Stoner, David C; Sexton, Joseph O; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Bernales, Heather H; Edwards, Thomas C

    2016-01-01

    The effect of climatically-driven plant phenology on mammalian reproduction is one key to predicting species-specific demographic responses to climate change. Large ungulates face their greatest energetic demands from the later stages of pregnancy through weaning, and so in seasonal environments parturition dates should match periods of high primary productivity. Interannual variation in weather influences the quality and timing of forage availability, which can influence neonatal survival. Here, we evaluated macro-scale patterns in reproductive performance of a widely distributed ungulate (mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) across contrasting climatological regimes using satellite-derived indices of primary productivity and plant phenology over eight degrees of latitude (890 km) in the American Southwest. The dataset comprised > 180,000 animal observations taken from 54 populations over eight years (2004-2011). Regionally, both the start and peak of growing season ("Start" and "Peak", respectively) are negatively and significantly correlated with latitude, an unusual pattern stemming from a change in the dominance of spring snowmelt in the north to the influence of the North American Monsoon in the south. Corresponding to the timing and variation in both the Start and Peak, mule deer reproduction was latest, lowest, and most variable at lower latitudes where plant phenology is timed to the onset of monsoonal moisture. Parturition dates closely tracked the growing season across space, lagging behind the Start and preceding the Peak by 27 and 23 days, respectively. Mean juvenile production increased, and variation decreased, with increasing latitude. Temporally, juvenile production was best predicted by primary productivity during summer, which encompassed late pregnancy, parturition, and early lactation. Our findings offer a parsimonious explanation of two key reproductive parameters in ungulate demography, timing of parturition and mean annual production, across

  12. 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.

  13. Contemporary evolution of plant reproductive strategies under global change is revealed by stored seeds.

    PubMed

    Thomann, M; Imbert, E; Engstrand, R C; Cheptou, P-O

    2015-04-01

    Global change is expected to impose new selection pressures on natural populations. Phenotypic responses, such as earlier phenology in response to climate warming, have been repeatedly observed in the field. The recent pollinator decline is also expected to change selection on reproductive traits in flowering plants. However, it remains unclear whether short-term adaptation of plant reproductive strategies occurs in response to global change. In this study, we report the evolution of some important reproductive traits of the annual self-incompatible weed Centaurea cyanus. In a common garden experiment, we germinated stored seeds, sampled 18 years apart from the same location, in a region where warmer springs and indices of pollinator decline have been reported. Compared to the ancestral population (1992), our results showed that plants of the descendant population (2010) flowered earlier and also produced larger capitula with longer receptivity and a larger floral display. QST -FST comparisons indicated that natural selection has likely contributed to the evolution of some of the traits investigated. Lower FST within temporal samples than among spatial samples further suggests a limited role of gene flow from neighbouring populations. We therefore propose that trait shifts could partly be due to adaptation to global change.

  14. Medicinal plants used in British Columbia, Canada for reproductive health in pets.

    PubMed

    Lans, Cheryl; Turner, Nancy; Brauer, Gerhard; Khan, Tonya

    2009-08-01

    In 2003, semi-structured interviews were conducted in British Columbia, Canada with participants obtained using a purposive sample on the ethnoveterinary remedies used for animals. Twenty-nine participants provided the information in this paper on the ethnoveterinary remedies used for reproductive health in dogs and cats. The plants used for pregnancy support and milk production in pets were raspberry-leaf (Rubus idaeus), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale). Uterine infections were treated with black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Most of the studies conducted on these plants have not been conducted on companion animals.

  15. Zinc stress affects ionome and metabolome in tea plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yinfei; Wang, Yu; Ding, Zhaotang; Wang, Hui; Song, Lubin; Jia, Sisi; Ma, Dexin

    2017-02-01

    The research of physiological responses to Zn stress in plants has been extensively studied. However, the ionomics and metabolomics responses of plants to Zn stress remain largely unknown. In present study, the nutrient elements were identified involved in ion homeostasis and metabolomics changes related to Zn deficiency or excess in tea plants. Nutrient element analysis demonstrated that the concentrations of Zn affected the ion-uptake in roots and the nutrient element transportation to leaves, leading to the different distribution of P, S, Al, Ca, Fe and Cu in the tea leaves or roots. Metabolomics analysis revealed that Zn deficiency or excess differentially influenced the metabolic pathways in the tea leaves. More specifically, Zn deficiency affected the metabolism of carbohydrates, and Zn excess affected flavonoids metabolism. Additionally, the results showed that both Zn deficiency and Zn excess led to reduced nicotinamide levels, which speeded up NAD(+) degradation and thus reduced energy metabolism. Furthermore, element-metabolite correlation analysis illustrated that Zn contents in the tea leaves were positively correlated with organic acids, nitrogenous metabolites and some carbohydrate metabolites, and negatively correlated with the metabolites involved in secondary metabolism and some other carbohydrate metabolites. Meanwhile, metabolite-metabolite correlation analysis demonstrated that organic acids, sugars, amino acids and flavonoids played dominant roles in the regulation of the tea leaf metabolism under Zn stress. Therefore, the conclusion should be drawn that the tea plants responded to Zn stress by coordinating ion-uptake and regulation of metabolism of carbohydrates, nitrogenous metabolites, and flavonoids.

  16. Host plant effects on development and reproduction of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development, survivorship, longevity, reproduction and life table parameters of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), were examined in the laboratory using three host plants, sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), Chrysanthemum morifolium L. and euonymus (Euonymus japonica Thu...

  17. Trace concentrations of imazethapyr (IM) affect floral organs development and reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana: IM-induced inhibition of key genes regulating anther and pollen biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Li, Yali; Sun, Chongchong; Lavoie, Michel; Xie, Jun; Bai, Xiaocui; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how herbicides affect plant reproduction and growth is critical to develop herbicide toxicity model and refine herbicide risk assessment. Although our knowledge of herbicides toxicity mechanisms at the physiological and molecular level in plant vegetative phase has increased substantially in the last decades, few studies have addressed the herbicide toxicity problematic on plant reproduction. Here, we determined the long-term (4-8 weeks) effect of a chiral herbicide, imazethapyr (IM), which has been increasingly used in plant crops, on floral organ development and reproduction in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. More specifically, we followed the effect of two IM enantiomers (R- and S-IM) on floral organ structure, seed production, pollen viability and the transcription of key genes involved in anther and pollen development. The results showed that IM strongly inhibited the transcripts of genes regulating A. thaliana tapetum development (DYT1: DYSFUNCTIONAL TAPETUM 1), tapetal differentiation and function (TDF1: TAPETAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION1), and pollen wall formation and developments (AMS: ABORTED MICROSPORES, MYB103: MYB DOMAIN PROTEIN 103, MS1: MALE STERILITY 1, MS2: MALE STERILITY 2). Since DYT1 positively regulates 33 genes involved in cell-wall modification (such as, TDF1, AMS, MYB103, MS1, MS2) that can catalyze the breakdown of polysaccharides to facilitate anther dehiscence, the consistent decrease in the transcription of these genes after IM exposure should hamper anther opening as observed under scanning electron microscopy. The toxicity of IM on anther opening further lead to a decrease in pollen production and pollen viability. Furthermore, long-term IM exposure increased the number of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites (AP sites) in the DNA of A. thaliana and also altered the DNA of A. thaliana offspring grown in IM-free soils. Toxicity of IM on floral organs development and reproduction was generally higher in the presence of the R

  18. The dynamics of resource allocation and costs of reproduction in a sexually dimorphic, wind-pollinated dioecious plant.

    PubMed

    Teitel, Z; Pickup, M; Field, D L; Barrett, S C H

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in resource allocation is expected to change during the life cycle of dioecious plants because of temporal differences between the sexes in reproductive investment. Given the potential for sex-specific differences in reproductive costs, resource availability may contribute to variation in reproductive allocation in females and males. Here, we used Rumex hastatulus, a dioecious, wind-pollinated annual plant, to investigate whether sexual dimorphism varies with life-history stage and nutrient availability, and determine whether allocation patterns differ depending on reproductive commitment. To examine if the costs of reproduction varied between the sexes, reproduction was either allowed or prevented through bud removal, and biomass allocation was measured at maturity. In a second experiment to assess variation in sexual dimorphism across the life cycle, and whether this varied with resource availability, plants were grown in high and low nutrients and allocation to roots, aboveground vegetative growth and reproduction were measured at three developmental stages. Males prevented from reproducing compensated with increased above- and belowground allocation to a much larger degree than females, suggesting that male reproductive costs reduce vegetative growth. The proportional allocation to roots, reproductive structures and aboveground vegetative growth varied between the sexes and among life-cycle stages, but not with nutrient treatment. Females allocated proportionally more resources to roots than males at peak flowering, but this pattern was reversed at reproductive maturity under low-nutrient conditions. Our study illustrates the importance of temporal dynamics in sex-specific resource allocation and provides support for high male reproductive costs in wind-pollinated plants.

  19. Cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) mediate diverse aspects of cell-cell communication in plant reproduction and development.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Eleanor; Costa, Liliana M; Gutierrez-Marcos, Jose

    2011-03-01

    Cell-cell communication in plants is essential for the correct co-ordination of reproduction, growth, and development. Studies to dissect this mode of communication have previously focussed primarily on the action of plant hormones as mediators of intercellular signalling. In animals, peptide signalling is a well-documented intercellular communication system, however, relatively little is known about this system in plants. In recent years, numerous reports have emerged about small, secreted peptides controlling different aspects of plant reproduction. Interestingly, most of these peptides are cysteine-rich, and there is convincing evidence suggesting multiple roles for related cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) as signalling factors in developmental patterning as well as during plant pathogen responses and symbiosis. In this review, we discuss how CRPs are emerging as key signalling factors in regulating multiple aspects of vegetative growth and reproductive development in plants.

  20. Intermittent fasting during winter and spring affects body composition and reproduction of a migratory duck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barboza, P.S.; Jorde, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    We compared food intake, body mass and body composition of male and female black ducks (Anas rubripes) during winter (January-March). Birds were fed the same complete diet ad libitum on consecutive days each week without fasting (control; nine male; nine female) or with either short fasts (2 day.week-1; nine male; nine female), or long fasts (4 day.week-1; eleven male; twelve female). We continued treatments through spring (March-May) to measure the effect of intermittent fasts on body mass and egg production. Daily food intake of fasted birds was up to four times that of unfasted birds. Weekly food intake of males was similar among treatments (364 g.kg-1.week-1) but fasted females consumed more than unfasted females in January (363 g.kg-1.week-1 vs. 225 g.kg-1.week-1). Although both sexes lost 10-14% body mass, fasted females lost less mass and lipid than unfasted females during winter. Total body nitrogen was conserved over winter in both sexes even though the heart and spleen lost mass while the reproductive tract and liver gained mass. Intermittent fasting increased liver, intestinal tissue and digesta mass of females but not of males. Fasting delayed egg production in spring but did not affect size, fertility or hatching of the clutch. Females on long fasts were still heavier than controls after laying eggs. Thus black ducks combine flexibility of food intake with plasticity of digestive tract, liver and adipose tissue when food supply is interrupted during winter. Females modulate body mass for survival and defer reproduction when food supply is interrupted in spring.

  1. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs. PMID:24391508

  2. ADP1 affects plant architecture by regulating local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruixi; Li, Jieru; Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs.

  3. Chromatin dynamics during cellular differentiation in the female reproductive lineage of flowering plants

    PubMed Central

    Baroux, Célia; Autran, Daphné

    2015-01-01

    Sexual reproduction in flowering plants offers a number of remarkable aspects to developmental biologists. First, the spore mother cells – precursors of the plant reproductive lineage – are specified late in development, as opposed to precocious germline isolation during embryogenesis in most animals. Second, unlike in most animals where meiosis directly produces gametes, plant meiosis entails the differentiation of a multicellular, haploid gametophyte, within which gametic as well as non-gametic accessory cells are formed. These observations raise the question of the factors inducing and modus operandi of cell fate transitions that originate in floral tissues and gametophytes, respectively. Cell fate transitions in the reproductive lineage imply cellular reprogramming operating at the physiological, cytological and transcriptome level, but also at the chromatin level. A number of observations point to large-scale chromatin reorganization events associated with cellular differentiation of the female spore mother cells and of the female gametes. These include a reorganization of the heterochromatin compartment, the genome-wide alteration of the histone modification landscape, and the remodeling of nucleosome composition. The dynamic expression of DNA methyltransferases and actors of small RNA pathways also suggest additional, global epigenetic alterations that remain to be characterized. Are these events a cause or a consequence of cellular differentiation, and how do they contribute to cell fate transition? Does chromatin dynamics induce competence for immediate cellular functions (meiosis, fertilization), or does it also contribute long-term effects in cellular identity and developmental competence of the reproductive lineage? This review attempts to review these fascinating questions. PMID:26031902

  4. Ecotoxicological assessments show sucralose and fluoxetine affect the aquatic plant, Lemna minor.

    PubMed

    Amy-Sagers, Cherisse; Reinhardt, Keith; Larson, Danelle M

    2017-04-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are prevalent in aquatic systems, yet the fate and impacts on aquatic plants needs quantification for many compounds. We measured and detected sucralose (an artificial sweetener), fluoxetine (an antidepressant), and other PPCP in the Portneuf River in Idaho, USA, where Lemna minor (an aquatic plant in the environment and used in ecotoxicology studies) naturally occurs. Sucralose was hypothesized to negatively affect photosynthesis and growth of L. minor because sucralose is a chlorinated molecule that may be toxic or unusable for plant metabolism. A priori hypotheses were not created for fluoxetine due to lack of previous studies examining its impacts on plants. We conducted laboratory ecotoxicological assessments for a large range of concentrations of sucralose and fluoxetine on L. minor physiology and photosynthetic function. Frond green leaf area, root length, growth rate, photosynthetic capacity, and plant carbon isotopic composition (discrimination relative to a standard; δ(13)C) were measured among treatments ranging from 0 to 15000nmol/L-sucralose and 0-323nmol/L-fluoxetine. Contrary to our predictions, sucralose significantly increased green leaf area, photosynthetic capacity, and δ (13)C of L. minor at environmentally relevant concentrations. The increase of δ (13)C from sucralose amendments and an isotope-mixing model indicated substantial sucralose uptake and assimilation within the plant. Unlike humans who cannot break down and utilize sucralose, we documented that L. minor-a mixotrophic plant-can use sucralose as a sugar substitute to increase its green leaf area and photosynthetic capacity. Fluoxetine significantly decreased L. minor root growth, daily growth rate, and asexual reproduction at 323nmol/L-fluoxetine; however, ambiguity remains regarding the mechanisms responsible and the applicability of these extreme concentrations unprecedented in the natural environment. To our knowledge, this was

  5. Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins affect lifespan and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua adults.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Ma, Yan; Wan, Pin-Jun; Mu, Li-Li; Li, Guo-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Being delivered as sprays or expressed in plant, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline proteins (Cry toxins) display insecticidal activities against numerous Lepidopteran, Dipteran, and Coleopteran larvae. Comparative study of toxicities of Bt Cry toxins between larvae and adults may afford important new insights into the interactions of the toxins with receptor proteins in host insect, and represent intriguing targets for the control of insect pests. However, the effectiveness of Bt Cry toxins in insect adults has paid less attention. In the present article, the effectiveness of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca on lifespans and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) adults were evaluated by in vivo experiments. Considering transgenic plants express modified, truncated versions of cry genes yielding active toxin fragment, we used activated Bt toxins at the concentration of 500, 100, and 20 microg/ml in a 10% sucrose aquous solution. At the highest concentration, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca shortened 48.1 and 48.9% of H. armigera female lifespan, and 43.5 and 38.5% of S. exigua female lifespan, and they reduced 37.8 and 40.3%, and 50.5 and 47.4% of H. armigera and S. exigua male lifespans respectively. Bt toxins negatively affected copulation. Exposure to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca greatly reduced 50.0 and 46.8%, and 58.7 and 57.3% spermatophore acceptance by H. armigera and S. exigua females, respectively. Similarly, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca exposure decreased 40.0 and 50.3%, and 61.3 and 60.0% of spermatophore transfer by H. armigera and S. exigua males, respectively. Moreover, exposure females rather than males to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca significantly dropped 57.5 and 57.5% of the number of eggs laid by H. armigera, and 35.4 and 45.8% of the number of egg masses deposited by S. exigua. In contrast, both Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca did not negatively influence the egg hatchability. At the middle and the lowest concentrations, however

  6. The impact of environmental stress on male reproductive development in plants: biological processes and molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    de Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2014-01-01

    In plants, male reproductive development is extremely sensitive to adverse climatic environments and (a)biotic stress. Upon exposure to stress, male gametophytic organs often show morphological, structural and metabolic alterations that typically lead to meiotic defects or premature spore abortion and male reproductive sterility. Depending on the type of stress involved (e.g. heat, cold, drought) and the duration of stress exposure, the underlying cellular defect is highly variable and either involves cytoskeletal alterations, tapetal irregularities, altered sugar utilization, aberrations in auxin metabolism, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS; oxidative stress) or the ectopic induction of programmed cell death (PCD). In this review, we present the critically stress-sensitive stages of male sporogenesis (meiosis) and male gametogenesis (microspore development), and discuss the corresponding biological processes involved and the resulting alterations in male reproduction. In addition, this review also provides insights into the molecular and/or hormonal regulation of the environmental stress sensitivity of male reproduction and outlines putative interaction(s) between the different processes involved. PMID:23731015

  7. A highly infective plant-associated bacterium influences reproductive rates in pea aphids

    PubMed Central

    Hendry, Tory A.; Clark, Kelley J.; Baltrus, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, have the potential to increase reproduction as a defence against pathogens, though how frequently this occurs or how infection with live pathogens influences this response is not well understood. Here we determine the minimum infective dose of an environmentally common bacterium and possible aphid pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, to determine the likelihood of pathogenic effects to pea aphids. Additionally, we used P. syringae infection to investigate how live pathogens may alter reproductive rates. We found that oral bacterial exposure decreased subsequent survival of aphids in a dose-dependent manner and we estimate that ingestion of less than 10 bacterial cells is sufficient to increase aphid mortality. Pathogen dose was positively related to aphid reproduction. Aphids exposed to low bacterial doses showed decreased, although statistically indistinguishable, fecundity compared to controls. Aphids exposed to high doses reproduced significantly more than low dose treatments and also more, but not significantly so, than controls. These results are consistent with previous studies suggesting that pea aphids may use fecundity compensation as a response to pathogens. Consequently, even low levels of exposure to a common plant-associated bacterium may therefore have significant effects on pea aphid survival and reproduction. PMID:26998321

  8. Cyclic variations in nitrogen uptake rate in soybean plants: uptake during reproductive growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vessey, J. K.; Raper, C. D. Jr; Henry, L. T.; Raper CD, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1990-01-01

    Net uptake of NO3- by non-nodulated soybean plants [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Ransom] growing in flowing hydroponic culture was measured daily during a 63 d period of reproductive development between the first florally inductive photoperiod and [unknown word] seed growth. Removal of NO3- from a replenished solution containing 1.0 mol m-3 NO3- was determined by ion chromatography. Uptake of NO3- continued throughout reproductive development. The net uptake rate of NO3- cycled between maxima and minima with a periodicity of oscillation of 3 to 7 d during the floral stage and about 6 d during the fruiting stage. Coupled with increasing concentrations of carbon and C : N ratios in tissues, the oscillations in net uptake rates of NO3- are evidence that the demand for carbohydrate by reproductive organs is contingent on the availability of nitrogen in the shoot pool rather than that the demand for nitrogen follows the flux of carbohydrate into reproductive tissues.

  9. Shift in egg-laying strategy to avoid plant defense leads to reproductive isolation in mutualistic and cheating yucca moths.

    PubMed

    Althoff, David M

    2014-01-01

    Through the process of ecological speciation, insect populations that adapt to new host plant species or to different plant tissues could speciate if such adaptations cause reproductive isolation. One of the key issues in this process is identifying the mechanisms by which adaptation in ecological traits leads directly to reproductive isolation. Here I show that within a radiation of specialist moths that pollinate and feed on yuccas, shifts in egg placement resulted in changes in female moth egg-laying structures that led to concomitant changes in male reproductive morphology. As pollinator moths evolved to circumvent the ability of yuccas to selectively abscise flowers that contain pollinator eggs, ovipositor length became shorter. Because mating occurs through the ovipositor, shortening of the ovipositor also led to significantly shorter and wider male intromittent organs. In instances where two pollinator moth species occur in sympatry and on the same host plant species, there is one short and one long ovipositor species that are reproductively isolated. Given that many plant-feeding insects lay eggs into plant tissues, changes in ovipositor morphology that lead to correlated changes in reproductive morphology may be a mechanism that maintains reproductive isolation among closely related species using the same host plant species.

  10. Does iodine biofortification affect oxidative metabolism in lettuce plants?

    PubMed

    Blasco, Begoña; Ríos, Juan Jose; Leyva, Rocío; Cervilla, Luis Miguel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Eva; Rubio-Wilhelmi, María Mar; Rosales, Miguel Angel; Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Romero, Luis

    2011-09-01

    Plants produce low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which form part of basic cell chemical communication; however, different types of stress can lead to an overexpression of ROS that can damage macromolecules essential for plant growth and development. Iodine is vital to human health, and iodine biofortification programs help improve the human intake through plant consumption. This biofortification process has been shown to influence the antioxidant capacity of lettuce plants, suggesting that the oxidative metabolism of the plant may be affected. The results of this study demonstrate that the response to oxidative stress is variable and depends on the form of iodine applied. Application of iodide (I(-)) to lettuce plants produces a reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and an increase in catalase (CAT) and L-galactono dehydrogenase enzyme activities and in the activity of antioxidant compounds such as ascorbate (AA) and glutathione. This did not prove a very effective approach since a dose of 80 μM produced a reduction in the biomass of the plants. For its part, application of iodate (IO (3) (-) ) produced an increase in the activities of SOD, ascorbate peroxidase, and CAT, the main enzymes involved in ROS detoxification; it also increased the concentration of AA and the regenerative activities of the Halliwell-Asada cycle. These data confirm the non-phytotoxicity of IO (3) (-) since there is no lipid peroxidation or biomass reduction. According to our results, the ability of IO (3) (-) to induce the antioxidant system indicates that application of this form of iodine may be an effective strategy to improve the response of plants to different types of stress.

  11. 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.

  12. Aboveground Feeding by Soybean Aphid, Aphis glycines, Affects Soybean Cyst Nematode, Heterodera glycines, Reproduction Belowground

    PubMed Central

    McCarville, Michael T.; Soh, David H.; Tylka, Gregory L.; O’Neal, Matthew E.

    2014-01-01

    Heterodera glycines is a cyst nematode that causes significant lost soybean yield in the U.S. Recent studies observed the aphid Aphis glycines and H. glycines interacting via their shared host, soybean, Glycine max. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to discern the effect of A. glycines feeding on H. glycines reproduction. An H. glycines-susceptible cultivar, Kenwood 94, and a resistant cultivar, Dekalb 27–52, were grown in H. glycines-infested soil for 30 and 60 d. Ten days after planting, plants were infested with either zero, five, or ten aphids. At 30 and 60 d, the number of H. glycines females and cysts (dead females) and the number of eggs within were counted. In general, H. glycines were less abundant on the resistant than the susceptible cultivar, and H. glycines abundance increased from 30 to 60 d. At 30 d, 33% more H. glycines females and eggs were produced on the resistant cultivar in the ten-aphid treatment compared to the zero-aphid treatment. However, at 30 d the susceptible cultivar had 50% fewer H. glycines females and eggs when infested with ten aphids. At 60 d, numbers of H. glycines females and cysts and numbers of eggs on the resistant cultivar were unaffected by A. glycines feeding, while numbers of both were decreased by A. glycines on the susceptible cultivar. These results indicate that A. glycines feeding improves the quality of soybean as a host for H. glycines, but at higher herbivore population densities, this effect is offset by a decrease in resource quantity. PMID:24466080

  13. Invasion of Tomato Roots and Reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita as Affected by Raw Sewage Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe; Kermarrec, Alain

    1991-01-01

    The antagonistic effects of raw sewage sludge on infection of tomato by Meloidogyne incognita were tested in greenhouse pot experiments. Sludge was mixed with the soil or added on its surface before and after inoculation of tomato plants with nematode eggs. Juvenile penetration was determined 1 and 10 days after inoculation, and 6 weeks later root systems were assessed for nematode reproduction. Fewer juveniles penetrated roots in pots with sludge added to the soil than in unamended control pots. In both experiments, roots were severely galled despite a significant reduction in gall ratings in amended relative to unamended soils. Egg production in treated soil was less (P = 0.05) than in control pots, regardless of whether sludge was incorporated or added 1 day before or after inoculation. In treated pots, RF values (final egg number/inoculation egg number) were strongly reduced. The toxic effects observed on the parasite may result from the ammoniacal nitrogen released in the soil within 7 days after treatment, associated with possible poor host suitability of tomatoes grown in amended substrate and short-lasting compound(s) active after root invasion. PMID:19283192

  14. Native pollen thieves reduce the reproductive success of a hermaphroditic plant, Aloe maculata.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2010-06-01

    Pollen is unique among floral rewards in functioning as both a carrier of gametes and an attractant and nutritious resource for floral visitors. Animals that collect pollen without pollinating (pollen thieves) could reduce siring success of thieved plants and cause pollen limitation of seed set at the population level; however, such impacts on plant reproduction have not been demonstrated experimentally. To test these effects we added hives of native honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to populations of a primarily bird-pollinated plant, Aloe maculata, in eastern South Africa. In field and aviary trials, bee addition increased pollen removal from anthers but decreased pollen deposition on stigmas, and so reduced both male and female pollination components. Further, total seed production decreased with hive addition in the aviary experiment and in three of four field populations, indicating that population-level pollen theft can also compromise reproductive success. In the field, naturally occurring allodapine bees also seemed to act as pollen thieves, outweighing the effect of honey bee hive addition at one of the four aloe populations. Our results highlight the importance of social bees as pollen thieves, even of plants that have evolved in their presence, and the role of dichogamy in promoting pollen theft. Given the commonness of both social bees and dichogamy, pollen theft is likely a much more common influence on floral ecology and evolution than suggested by the sparse literature.

  15. Superiority of reproductive histories to sperm counts in detecting infertility at a dibromochloropropane manufacturing plant

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, R.J.; Blunden, P.B.; DalCorso, R.D.; Starr, T.B.; Ross, C.E.

    1983-08-01

    Sperm count distributions among exposed and control groups at a dibromochloropropane (DBCP) manufacturing plant were remarkably similar. Yet reproductive histories from 60 exposed men obtained in conjunction with the semen analyses indicated that fertility had been reduced during exposure. Ratios of observed to expected births or standardized fertility ratios (SFRs) were computed for reproductive experience at parities of 1 or greater. The SFR for the period at risk from DBCP exposure (SFR . 0.63) was significantly lower than those derived from the entire not-at-risk period (SFR . 1.21) or the portion related to nonexposed employment at the plant preceding exposure (SFR . 1.33). Significant reductions would have been evident at least 18 years prior to the year in which the histories were obtained. The effect on fertility seems to have been greatest during the initial period of DBCP production. Most fertility reduction occurred after 3.5 years of exposure. Fertility returned to normal following cessation of exposure (SFR . 1.18), although it appeared to remain subnormal for about two years. Wherever there is concern about the potential for adverse reproductive effects in the workplace, data suitable for fertility analyses should be collected during annual medical examinations.

  16. Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra J; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J W; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

  17. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-01-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses. PMID:27982121

  18. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-12-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses.

  19. Marker gene tethering by nucleoporins affects gene expression in plants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah; Galinha, Carla; Desset, Sophie; Tolmie, Frances; Evans, David; Tatout, Christophe; Graumann, Katja

    2015-01-01

    In non-plant systems, chromatin association with the nuclear periphery affects gene expression, where interactions with nuclear envelope proteins can repress and interactions with nucleoporins can enhance transcription. In plants, both hetero- and euchromatin can localize at the nuclear periphery, but the effect of proximity to the nuclear periphery on gene expression remains largely unknown. This study explores the putative function of Seh1 and Nup50a nucleoporins on gene expression by using the Lac Operator / Lac Repressor (LacI-LacO) system adapted to Arabidopsis thaliana. We used LacO fused to the luciferase reporter gene (LacO:Luc) to investigate whether binding of the LacO:Luc transgene to nucleoporin:LacI protein fusions alters luciferase expression. Two separate nucleoporin-LacI-YFP fusions were introduced into single insert, homozygous LacO:Luc Arabidopsis plants. Homozygous plants carrying LacO:Luc and a single insert of either Seh1-LacI-YFP or Nup50a-LacI-YFP were tested for luciferase activity and compared to plants containing LacO:Luc only. Seh1-LacI-YFP increased, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP decreased luciferase activity. Seh1-LacI-YFP accumulated at the nuclear periphery as expected, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP was nucleoplasmic and was not selected for further study. Protein and RNA levels of luciferase were quantified by western blotting and RT-qPCR, respectively. Increased luciferase activity in LacO:Luc+Seh1-LacI-YFP plants was correlated with increased luciferase protein and RNA levels. This change of luciferase expression was abolished by disruption of LacI-LacO binding by treating with IPTG in young seedlings, rosette leaves and inflorescences. This study suggests that association with the nuclear periphery is involved in the regulation of gene expression in plants.

  20. Altered expression of the bZIP transcription factor DRINK ME affects growth and reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Sotomayor, Paulina; Chávez Montes, Ricardo A; Silvestre-Vañó, Marina; Herrera-Ubaldo, Humberto; Greco, Raffaella; Pablo-Villa, Jeanneth; Galliani, Bianca M; Diaz-Ramirez, David; Weemen, Mieke; Boutilier, Kim; Pereira, Andy; Colombo, Lucia; Madueño, Francisco; Marsch-Martínez, Nayelli; de Folter, Stefan

    2016-11-01

    Here we describe an uncharacterized gene that negatively influences Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development. DRINK ME (DKM; bZIP30) is a member of the bZIP transcription factor family, and is expressed in meristematic tissues such as the inflorescence meristem (IM), floral meristem (FM), and carpel margin meristem (CMM). Altered DKM expression affects meristematic tissues and reproductive organ development, including the gynoecium, which is the female reproductive structure and is determinant for fertility and sexual reproduction. A microarray analysis indicates that DKM overexpression affects the expression of cell cycle, cell wall, organ initiation, cell elongation, hormone homeostasis, and meristem activity genes. Furthermore, DKM can interact in yeast and in planta with proteins involved in shoot apical meristem maintenance such as WUSCHEL, KNAT1/BP, KNAT2 and JAIBA, and with proteins involved in medial tissue development in the gynoecium such as HECATE, BELL1 and NGATHA1. Taken together, our results highlight the relevance of DKM as a negative modulator of Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development.

  1. Reproductive health concerns in six conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Kottegoda, Sepali; Samuel, Kumudini; Emmanuel, Sarala

    2008-05-01

    This article draws on a study conducted by the Women and Media Collective between 2004 and 2005 to highlight some of the reproductive health concerns of women from Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups, living in situations of conflict in Sri Lanka. The study focussed on women from six conflict-affected areas in the north and east of the country: Jaffna (Northern Province), Mannar and Puttalam (North-Western Province), Polonnaruwa (North-Central Province), Batticaloa and Ampara (Eastern Province). Higher levels of poverty, higher rates of school drop-out, low pay and precarious access to work, mainly in the informal sector, higher rates of early marriage, pregnancy and home births, higher levels of maternal mortality and lower levels of contraceptive use were found. Economic, social and physical insecurity were key to these phenomena. Physically and psychologically, women were at high risk of sexual and physical violence, mainly from their partners/spouses but also from family members, often related to dowry. The article brings out the voices of women whose lives have been overshadowed by conflict and displacement, and the nature of structural barriers that impede their right to health care services, to make informed decisions about their lives and to live free of familial violence.

  2. An insulin-like signaling pathway affects both longevity and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, H A; Ruvkun, G

    1998-01-01

    Mutations in daf-2 and age-1 cause a dramatic increase in longevity as well as developmental arrest at the dauer diapause stage in Caenorhabditis elegans. daf-2 and age-1 encode components of an insulin-like signaling pathway. Both daf-2 and age-1 act at a similar point in the genetic epistasis pathway for dauer arrest and longevity and regulate the activity of the daf-16 gene. Mutations in daf-16 cause a dauer-defective phenotype and are epistatic to the diapause arrest and life span extension phenotypes of daf-2 and age-1 mutants. Here we show that mutations in this pathway also affect fertility and embryonic development. Weak daf-2 alleles, and maternally rescued age-1 alleles that cause life span extension but do not arrest at the dauer stage, also reduce fertility and viability. We find that age-1(hx546) has reduced both maternal and zygotic age-1 activity. daf-16 mutations suppress all of the daf-2 and age-1 phenotypes, including dauer arrest, life span extension, reduced fertility, and viability defects. These data show that insulin signaling, mediated by DAF-2 through the AGE-1 phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase, regulates reproduction and embryonic development, as well as dauer diapause and life span, and that DAF-16 transduces these signals. The regulation of fertility, life span, and metabolism by an insulin-like signaling pathway is similar to the endocrine regulation of metabolism and fertility by mammalian insulin signaling. PMID:9504918

  3. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-01-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  4. No evidence for external genital morphology affecting cryptic female choice and reproductive isolation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    LeVasseur-Viens, Hélène; Polak, Michal; Moehring, Amanda J

    2015-07-01

    Genitalia are one of the most rapidly diverging morphological features in animals. The evolution of genital morphology is proposed to be driven by sexual selection via cryptic female choice, whereby a female selectively uptakes and uses a particular male's sperm on the basis of male genital morphology. The resulting shifts in genital morphology within a species can lead to divergence in genitalia between species, and consequently to reproductive isolation and speciation. Although this conceptual framework is supported by correlative data, there is little direct empirical evidence. Here, we used a microdissection laser to alter the morphology of the external male genitalia in Drosophila, a widely used genetic model for both genital shape and cryptic female choice. We evaluate the effect of precision alterations to lobe morphology on both interspecific and intraspecific mating, and demonstrate experimentally that the male genital lobes do not affect copulation duration or cryptic female choice, contrary to long-standing assumptions regarding the role of the lobes in this model system. Rather, we demonstrate that the lobes are essential for copulation to occur. Moreover, slight alterations to the lobes significantly reduced copulatory success only in competitive environments, identifying precopulatory sexual selection as a potential contributing force behind genital diversification.

  5. Female reproductive function in areas affected by radiation after the Chernobyl power station accident

    SciTech Connect

    Kulakov, V.I.; Sokur, T.N.; Volobuev, A.I.

    1993-07-01

    This paper reports the results of a comprehensive survey of the effects of the accidental release of radiation caused by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986. The accident and the resulting release of radiation and radioactive products into the atmosphere produced the most serious environmental contamination so far recorded. We have concentrated on evaluating the outcomes and health risks to women, their reproductive situation, and consequences for their progeny. We have concentrated on two well-defined areas: the Chechersky district of the Gomel region in Belorussia and the Polessky district of the Kiev region in the Ukraine. A number of investigations were carried out on 688 pregnant women and their babies, and data were obtained from 7000 labor histories of the development of newborns for a period of 8 years (3 years before the accident and 5 years after it). Parameters examined included birth rate, thyroid pathology, extragenital pathology such as anemias, renal disorders, hypertension, and abnormalities in the metabolism of fats, complications of gestation, spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries, perinatal morbidity and mortality, stillbirths and early neonatal mortality, infections and inflammatory diseases, neurological symptoms and hemic disturbances in both mothers and infants, trophic anomalies, and biochemical and structural changes in the placenta. Several exogenous, complicating influences were also considered such as psycho-emotional factors, stress, lifestyle changes, and others caused directly by the hazardous situation and by its consequences such as treatment, removal from affected areas, etc. 9 figs.

  6. Shifting phenology and abundance under experimental warming alters trophic relationships and plant reproductive capacity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yinzhan; Reich, Peter B; Li, Guoyong; Sun, Shucun

    2011-06-01

    Phenological mismatches due to climate change may have important ecological consequences. In a three-year study, phenological shifts due to experimental warming markedly altered trophic relationships between plants and insect herbivores, causing a dramatic decline of reproductive capacity for one of the plant species. In a Tibetan meadow, the gentian (Gentiana formosa) typically flowers after the peak larva density of a noctuid moth (Melanchra pisi) that primarily feeds on a dominant forb (anemone, Anemone trullifolia var. linearis). However, artificial warming of approximately 1.5 degrees C advanced gentian flower phenology and anemone vegetative phenology by a week, but delayed moth larvae emergence by two weeks. The warming increased larval density 10-fold, but decreased anemone density by 30%. The phenological and density shifts under warmed conditions resulted in the insect larvae feeding substantially on the gentian flowers and ovules; there was approximately 100-fold more damage in warmed than in unwarmed chambers. This radically increased trophic connection reduced gentian plant reproduction and likely contributed to its reduced abundance in the warmed chambers.

  7. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens.

    PubMed

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J; Carey, James R; Brakefield, Paul M

    2008-10-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction-last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field.

  8. Determination of factors affecting relapse of vaginitis among reproductive-aged women: An experimental study

    PubMed Central

    Parsapour, Roxana; Majlessi, Fereshteh; Rahimiforoushani, Abbas; Sadeghi, Roya

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Vaginitis is a common problem for women, especially in reproductive-aged women. It is a worldwide health problem with many side effects but could be prevented by a health-promoting lifestyle related to vagina health. The aim of this study was to determine the factors affecting relapse of vaginitis. Methods In this experimental study, 350 reproductive-aged women with vaginitis were selected from 10 health centers in Kermanshah (Iran) during 2015 and were equally included in the intervention and control groups. To collect data, a researcher-created questionnaire, which included sociodemographic and health-promoting lifestyle questions, was used. The educational intervention was performed over 20 sessions, each lasting 25–35 minutes. An intervention group was educated by face-to-face education, pamphlets, phone contacts, text messages, and social media. Another group continued the routine clinic education and treatment without contacting the intervention group. Data were analyzed through chi-square and a logistics regression model using IBM-SPSS version 20. Results The results of the study indicated a significant relation between sociodemographic characteristics such as women and their husbands’ literacy, job, family size, income, area for each member of family, tendency of pregnancy, body mass index (BMI), and caesarean experience (p<0.001) and vaginitis. In addition, significant relationships between health-promoting lifestyle dimensions and prevention of vaginitis were identified. Relapse after intervention in the intervention group was 27.7% and 72.3% in the control group. According to the logistic regression analysis, chance for relapse of vaginitis in the group that did not receive intervention was more than the same chance in the intervention group (OR=5.14). Conclusion Health-promoting lifestyle intervention influences prevention of vaginitis. Health-promoting lifestyle, literacy promotion, prevention of caesarian, and obesity are beneficial

  9. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds

  10. Survival, reproduction, and recruitment of woody plants after 14 years on a reforested landfill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, George R.; Handel, Steven N.; Schmalhofer, Victoria R.

    1992-03-01

    With the advent of modern sanitary landfill closure techniques, the opportunity exists for transforming municipal landfills into urban woodlands. While costs of fullscale reforestation are generally prohibitive, a modest planting of clusters of trees and shrubs could initiate or accelerate population expansions and natural plant succession from open field to diverse forest. However, among woody species that have been screened for use on landfills, these ecological potentials have not yet been investigated. We examined a 14-yr-old landfill plantation in New Jersey, USA, established to test tolerance of 19 species of trees and shrubs to landfill environments. We measured survivorship, reproduction, and recruitment within and around the experimental installation. Half of the original 190 plants were present, although survival and growth rates varied widely among species. An additional 752 trees and shrubs had colonized the plantation and its perimeter, as well as 2955 stems of vines. However, the great majority (>95%) of woody plants that had colonized were not progeny of the planted cohort, but instead belonged to 18 invading species, mostly native, bird-dispersed, and associated with intermediate stages of secondary plant succession. Based on this evidence, we recommend that several ecological criteria be applied to choices of woody species for the restoration of municipal landfills and similar degraded sites, in order to maximize rapid and economical establishment of diverse, productive woodlands.

  11. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... such as lead and mercury Chemicals such as pesticides Cigarettes Some viruses Alcohol For men, a reproductive hazard can affect the sperm. For a woman, a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. ...

  12. Can aircraft noise less than or equal 115 to dBA adversely affect reproductive outcome in USAF women?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brubaker, P. A.

    1985-06-01

    It has been suggested, mainly through animal studies, that exposure to high noise levels may be associated with lower birth weight, reduced gestational length and other adverse reproductive outcomes. Few studies have been done on humans to show this association. The Air Force employs pregnant women in areas where there is a high potential for exposure to high noise levels. This study proposes a method to determine if there is an association between high frequency noise levels or = 115 dBA and adverse reproductive outcomes through a review of records and self-administered questionnaires in a case-comparison design. Prevelance rates will be calculated and a multiple logistic regression analysis computed for the independent variables that can affect reproduction.

  13. Perspective: the origin of flowering plants and their reproductive biology--a tale of two phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Friedman, W E; Floyd, S K

    2001-02-01

    Recently, two areas of plant phylogeny have developed in ways that could not have been anticipated, even a few years ago. Among extant seed plants, new phylogenetic hypotheses suggest that Gnetales, a group of nonflowering seed plants widely hypothesized to be the closest extant relatives of angiosperms, may be less closely related to angiosperms than was believed. In addition, recent phylogenetic analyses of angiosperms have, for the first time, clearly identified the earliest lineages of flowering plants: Amborella, Nymphaeales, and a clade that includes Illiciales/ Trimeniaceae/Austrobaileyaceae. Together, the new seed plant and angiosperm phylogenetic hypotheses have major implications for interpretation of homology and character evolution associated with the origin and early history of flowering plants. As an example of the complex and often unpredictable interplay of phylogenetic and comparative biology, we analyze the evolution of double fertilization, a process that forms a diploid embryo and a triploid endosperm, the embryo-nourishing tissue unique to flowering plants. We demonstrate how the new phylogenetic hypotheses for seed plants and angiosperms can significantly alter previous interpretations of evolutionary homology and firmly entrenched assumptions about what is synapomorphic of flowering plants. In the case of endosperm, a solution to the century-old question of its potential homology with an embryo or a female gametophyte (the haploid egg-producing generation within the life cycle of a seed plant) remains complex and elusive. Too little is known of the comparative reproductive biology of extant nonflowering seed plants (Gnetales, conifers, cycads, and Ginkgo) to analyze definitively the potential homology of endosperm with antecedent structures. Remarkably, the new angiosperm phylogenies reveal that a second fertilization event to yield a biparental endosperm, long assumed to be an important synapomorphy of flowering plants, cannot be

  14. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens

    PubMed Central

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J.; Carey, James R.; Brakefield, Paul M.

    2009-01-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction–last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field. PMID:19774093

  15. The evolution of plant reproductive systems: how often are transitions irreversible?

    PubMed

    Barrett, Spencer C H

    2013-08-22

    Flowering plants are characterized by striking variation in reproductive systems, and the evolutionary lability of their sexual traits is often considered a major driver of lineage diversification. But, evolutionary transitions in reproductive form and function are never entirely unconstrained and many changes exhibit strong directionality. Here, I consider why this occurs by examining transitions in pollination, mating and sexual systems, some of which have been considered irreversible. Among pollination systems, shifts from bee to hummingbird pollination are rarely reversible, whereas transitions from animal to wind pollination are occasionally reversed. Specialized pollination systems can become destabilized through a loss of pollinator service resulting in a return to generalized pollination, or more commonly a reliance on self-pollination. Homomorphic and heteromorphic self-incompatibility systems have multiple origins but breakdown to self-compatibility occurs much more frequently with little evidence for subsequent gains, at least over short time-spans. Similarly, numerous examples of the shift from outcrossing to predominant self-fertilization are known, but cases of reversal are very limited supporting the view that autogamy usually represents an evolutionary dead-end. The evolution of dioecy from hermaphroditism has also been considered irreversible, although recent evidence indicates that the occurrence of sex inconstancy and hybridization can lead to the origin of derived sexual systems from dioecy. The directionality of many transitions clearly refutes the notion of unconstrained reproductive flexibility, but novel adaptive solutions generally do not retrace earlier patterns of trait evolution.

  16. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  17. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control

    PubMed Central

    Mariño, Yobana A.; Verle Rodrigues, José C.; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. PMID:28085049

  18. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control.

    PubMed

    Mariño, Yobana A; Verle Rodrigues, José C; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-11

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R₀), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management.

  19. Big plants — Do they affect neighbourhood species richness and composition in herbaceous vegetation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Schamp, Brandon S.; Wight, Stephanie

    2014-02-01

    According to traditional theory, success in competition between plant species generally involves a 'size-advantage'. We predicted therefore that plants with larger body size should impose greater limits on the number of species — especially relatively small ones — that can reside within their immediate neighbourhoods. Species composition was compared within local neighbourhoods surrounding target plants of different sizes belonging to one of the largest herbaceous species found within old-field vegetation in eastern Ontario Canada — Centaurea jacea. Resident species density was generally greater within immediate 'inner' target neighbourhoods than within adjacent circular 'outer' neighbourhoods, and mean body size of resident neighbour species was unrelated to increases in target plant size. As target plant size increased, the proportion of resident neighbour species that were reproductive increased. Relatively big plants of C. jacea do not limit the number or the proportion of reproductive species that can coexist within their immediate neighbourhoods, nor do they cause local exclusion of relatively small species from these neighbourhoods. These results fail to support the 'size-advantage' hypothesis and are more consistent with the 'reproductive economy advantage' hypothesis: success under intense competition is promoted by capacity to recruit offspring that — despite severe suppression — are able to reach their minimum body size needed for reproduction, and hence produce grand-offspring for the next generation. The latter is facilitated by a relatively small minimum reproductive threshold size, which is generally negatively correlated with a relatively large maximum potential body size.

  20. Within- and trans-generational effects of herbivores and detritivores on plant performance and reproduction.

    PubMed

    González-Megías, Adela

    2016-01-01

    Mutualistic and antagonistic above-ground and below-ground species have the potential to be involved in strong interactions that can either weaken or strengthen their individual impacts on plants. Their impacts can also have delayed effects on a plant's progeny by altering offspring traits and survival. Few studies have explored the effect of herbivore and detritivore interactions with parent plants on offspring vital life-cycle processes, such as seedling emergence rate, seedling establishment and offspring survival. In the field, I experimentally studied the combined effects of floral herbivores (FH), root herbivores (RH) and detritivores on plant growth and reproduction of Moricandia moricandioides (Brassicaceae). In particular, I analysed the trans-generational effects of herbivores and detritivores on seed and juvenile production as well as on vital life-cycle processes (i.e. seedling emergence rates, survival). Floral herbivores strongly reduced the number of flowers, fruits, seeds and juveniles. Detritivores had an impact on plant success by increasing seed quality (% N and N : C ratio), although the effect was altered by the presence of floral and RH. I found maternal effects (trans-generational effects) of FH, RH and detritivores. Floral herbivores reduced seedling emergence and establishment. Floral and RH in combination reduced seedling emergence timing, but the effect was counteracted by detritivores. Detritivores also reduced the negative effect of FH on offspring mortality rate. This study shows that the impact of above-ground and below-ground organisms on M. moricandioides plants go beyond seed production and were evident in the probability of establishment and survival of the following generation. Trans-generational effects were induced by all three groups of interacting organisms and the net consequences for plant offspring depended on the organisms interacting with the plant.

  1. Ranunculus glacialis L.: successful reproduction at the altitudinal limits of higher plant life.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Johanna; Steinacher, Gerlinde; Ladinig, Ursula

    2010-07-01

    Biodiversity decreases with increasing altitude, mainly because of the increasingly adverse climate. In the European Alps, only a few plant species occur above 4,000 m a.s.l., among these is Ranunculus glacialis L. Current studies have shown that R. glacialis has a highly conservative growth strategy and low developmental plasticity in response to different dates of snowmelt. Therefore, it was of particular interest to observe whether this strategy is maintained at higher altitudes and to reveal the reproductive limits. We examined the effect of the date of snowmelt on reproductive development and reproductive success in R. glacialis over several years at two subnival sites (2,650 and 2,880 m a.s.l.) and at a nival site (3,440 m a.s.l.) in the Austrian Alps. At the subnival sites, reproductive performance was relatively stable (prefloration period, i.e. snowmelt to onset of anthesis, 2-3 weeks; postfloration period, i.e. onset of anthesis until fruit maturity, 4-5 weeks). Depending on the date of flowering, the mean seed/ovule (S/O) ratio was 0.5-0.8. The temporal safety margin between seed maturation and the onset of winter conditions was at least 1 month. The situation was quite different in the nival zone: the prefloration period usually lasted 1 month, anthesis up to 2 weeks, and seed development 6-7 weeks; when seeds matured in time, the S/O ratio was 0.4-0.6. Overall, R. glacialis shows a high developmental plasticity. At higher altitudes, R. glacialis can double the time taken for seed development but runs a high risk of seeds not maturing in time.

  2. Greater sexual reproduction contributes to differences in demography of invasive plants and their noninvasive relatives.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jean H; Pardini, Eleanor A; Schutzenhofer, Michele R; Chung, Y Anny; Seidler, Katie J; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-05-01

    An understanding of the demographic processes contributing to invasions would improve our mechanistic understanding of the invasion process and improve the efficiency of prevention and control efforts. However, field comparisons of the demography of invasive and noninvasive species have not previously been conducted. We compared the in situ demography of 17 introduced plant species in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to contrast the demographic patterns of invasive species with their less invasive relatives across a broad sample of angiosperms. Using herbarium records to estimate spread rates, we found higher maximum spread rates in the landscape for species classified a priori as invasive than for noninvasive introduced species, suggesting that expert classifications are an accurate reflection of invasion rate. Across 17 species, projected population growth was not significantly greater in invasive than in noninvasive introduced species. Among five taxonomic pairs of close relatives, however, four of the invasive species had higher projected population growth rates compared with their noninvasive relative. A Life Table Response Experiment suggested that the greater projected population growth rate of some invasive species relative to their noninvasive relatives was primarily a result of sexual reproduction. The greater sexual reproduction of invasive species is consistent with invaders having a life history strategy more reliant on fecundity than survival and is consistent with a large role of propagule pressure in invasion. Sexual reproduction is a key demographic correlate of invasiveness, suggesting that local processes influencing sexual reproduction, such as enemy escape, might be of general importance. However, the weak correlation of projected population growth with spread rates in the landscape suggests that regional processes, such as dispersal, may be equally important in determining invasion rate.

  3. 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

  4. High summer temperatures affect the survival and reproduction of olive fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Geng; Johnson, Marshall W; Daane, Kent M; Nadel, Hannah

    2009-10-01

    The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an invasive pest in California. Identifying environmental constraints that affect the geographic distribution and abundance of any invasive insect pest is fundamental to its effective management. California's Central Valley, where most commercial olives are grown, is extremely hot during the summer, with maximum daily temperatures consistently >35.0 degrees C. This study examined the effects of two diurnal temperature regimens (low 18.3 degrees C, high 35.0 or 37.8 degrees C) reflecting summer conditions in the valley, and one control temperature regimen (low 18.3 degrees C, high 23.9 degrees C) on the fly's survival and reproductive success in the laboratory. The temperature regimen of 18.3-35.0 degrees C resulted in delayed egg maturation and reduced production of mature eggs compared with the control temperature regimen. Egg maturation was possible at the higher temperature regimen when females were provided with water and food, and egg-laying occurred during the cold phase of the temperature cycle. Access to olive fruit and oviposition itself further promoted egg maturation. Under exposure to the 18.3-35.0 degrees C temperature regimen, approximately 50% of eggs died, and the remainder that hatched died as first instars. No egg hatch occurred at the temperature treatment of 18.3-37.8 degrees C. We confirmed these laboratory results through field cage studies with adult B. oleae, conducted in the summer of 2007 and 2008. Under ambient summer temperatures, adult B. oleae survived for 1-2 wk, and females readily laid eggs when provided water and food. No offspring developed in midsummer of 2007, and <2% of the offspring developed to adults in summer 2008 trials. These results suggest that high summer temperatures limit the fly's abundance in California's Central Valley.

  5. ANDROGENS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANTIANDROGENS AFFECT REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND PLAY BEHAVIOR IN THE SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In mammals, exposure to androgens early in development is essential for masculinization of the male reproductive phenotype. Male fetuses exposed to antiandrogens during perinatal life are permanently demasculinized in their morphology and physiology, whereas exposure to...

  6. The effect of host plant phenology on reproduction of the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, in tropical Florida.

    PubMed

    Miller, Elizabeth Ruth; Dingle, Hugh

    1982-01-01

    A field study of the relationship between host plant phenology and the reproductive pattern of the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, was conducted in south Florida. Since O. fasciatus need seeds of either milkweed or Nerium oleander plants to reproduce, reproduction takes place on only those host plants that are producing seed pods.Two of four major host plants, Asclepias incarnata and Sarcostemma clausa fruit seasonally, producing pods in early autumn and early winter, respectively. The third milkweed host, Asclepias curassavica, produces almost no pods midsummer (although it flowers abundantly) and few pods midwinter. Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae) produces some pods all year but is only used by O. fasciatus in the summer when milkweeds are not producing pods. Correspondingly, reproduction of O. fasciatus has been observed year round, but relatively few females reproduce in midwinter, coinciding with decreased pod production and low temperatures. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that a photoperiodic cue of short day lengths under conditions of cool temperatures may cause adult females to enter diapause and delay reproduction in the field.A comparison of plant phenologies and rainfall between 1976, a very dry year, and 1978, a year with normal rainfall, showed that extreme dryness disrupted the seasonal fruiting of the milkweeds and consequently the reproduction of O. fasciatus.

  7. Perceived Risk of Predation Affects Reproductive Life-History Traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but Not in Heterandria formosa

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R.; Trexler, Joel C.; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes. PMID:24551171

  8. Perceived risk of predation affects reproductive life-history traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but not in Heterandria formosa.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R; Trexler, Joel C; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes.

  9. Reproductive rate, not dominance status, affects fecal glucocorticoid levels in breeding female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Barrette, Marie-France; Monfort, Steven L; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Russell, Andrew F

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females.

  10. Apomixis in plant reproduction: a novel perspective on an old dilemma.

    PubMed

    Barcaccia, Gianni; Albertini, Emidio

    2013-09-01

    Seed is one of the key factors of crop productivity. Therefore, a comprehension of the mechanisms underlying seed formation in cultivated plants is crucial for the quantitative and qualitative progress of agricultural production. In angiosperms, two pathways of reproduction through seed exist: sexual or amphimictic, and asexual or apomictic; the former is largely exploited by seed companies for breeding new varieties, whereas the latter is receiving continuously increasing attention from both scientific and industrial sectors in basic research projects. If apomixis is engineered into sexual crops in a controlled manner, its impact on agriculture will be broad and profound. In fact, apomixis will allow clonal seed production and thus enable efficient and consistent yields of high-quality seeds, fruits, and vegetables at lower costs. The development of apomixis technology is expected to have a revolutionary impact on agricultural and food production by reducing cost and breeding time, and avoiding the complications that are typical of sexual reproduction (e.g., incompatibility barriers) and vegetative propagation (e.g., viral transfer). However, the development of apomixis technology in agriculture requires a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate reproductive development in plants. This knowledge is a necessary prerequisite to understanding the genetic control of the apomictic process and its deviations from the sexual process. Our molecular understanding of apomixis will be greatly advanced when genes that are specifically or differentially expressed during embryo and embryo sac formation are discovered. In our review, we report the main findings on this subject by examining two approaches: i) analysis of the apomictic process in natural apomictic species to search for genes controlling apomixis and ii) analysis of gene mutations resembling apomixis or its components in species that normally reproduce sexually. In fact, our opinion is that a novel

  11. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    PubMed

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  12. Pulsed resources affect the timing of first breeding and lifetime reproductive success of tawny owls.

    PubMed

    Millon, A; Petty, S J; Lambin, X

    2010-03-01

    1. According to life-history theory, environmental variability and costs of reproduction account for the prevalence of delayed reproduction in many taxa. Empirical estimates of the fitness consequences of different ages at first breeding in a variable environment are few however such that the contributions of environmental and individual variability remains poorly known. 2. Our objectives were to elucidate processes that underpin variation in delayed reproduction and to assess lifetime consequences of the age of first breeding in a site-faithful predator, the tawny owl Strix aluco L. subjected to fluctuating selection linked to cyclical variation in vole density (typically 3-year cycles with low, increasing and decreasing vole densities in successive years). 3. A multistate capture-recapture model revealed that owl cohorts had strikingly different juvenile survival prospects, with estimates ranging from 0.08 to 0.33 respectively for birds born in Decrease and Increase phases of the vole cycle. This resulted in a highly skewed population structure with >75% of local recruits being reared during Increase years. In contrast, adult survival remained constant throughout a vole cycle. The probability of commencing reproduction was lower at age 1 than at older ages, and especially so for females. From age 2 onwards, pre-breeders had high probabilities of entering the breeding population. 4. Variation in lifetime reproductive success was driven by the phase of the vole cycle in which female owls started their breeding career (26-47% of variance explained, whether based on the number of local recruits or fledglings), more than by age at first breeding or by conditions experienced at birth. Females who postponed reproduction to breed for the first time at age 3 during an Increase phase, produced more recruits, even when accounting for birds that may have died before reproduction. No such effects were detected for males. 5. Sex-specific costs of early reproduction may have

  13. Single pollinator species losses reduce floral fidelity and plant reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Brosi, Berry J; Briggs, Heather M

    2013-08-06

    Understanding the functional impacts of pollinator species losses on plant populations is critical given ongoing pollinator declines. Simulation models of pollination networks suggest that plant communities will be resilient to losing many or even most of the pollinator species in an ecosystem. These predictions, however, have not been tested empirically and implicitly assume that pollination efficacy is unaffected by interactions with interspecific competitors. By contrast, ecological theory and data from a wide range of ecosystems show that interspecific competition can drive variation in ecological specialization over short timescales via behavioral or morphological plasticity, although the potential implications of such changes in specialization for ecosystem functioning remain unexplored. We conducted manipulative field experiments in which we temporarily removed single pollinator species from study plots in subalpine meadows, to test the hypothesis that interactions between pollinator species can shape individual species' functional roles via changes in foraging specialization. We show that loss of a single pollinator species reduces floral fidelity (short-term specialization) in the remaining pollinators, with significant implications for ecosystem functioning in terms of reduced plant reproduction, even when potentially effective pollinators remained in the system. Our results suggest that ongoing pollinator declines may have more serious negative implications for plant communities than is currently assumed. More broadly, we show that the individual functional contributions of species can be dynamic and shaped by the community of interspecific competitors, thereby documenting a distinct mechanism for how biodiversity can drive ecosystem functioning, with potential relevance to a wide range of taxa and systems.

  14. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule’s nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule’s megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism. PMID:26441311

  15. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    PubMed

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  16. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Progress report, February 1, 1981-January 31, 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1982-10-07

    Direct effects of SO/sub 2/ and NO/sub 2/ on plant sexual reproduction were studied including essential botanical research into modes of anthesis, pollination, pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Much of the present scientific knowledge of the direct in vivo effects of the major air pollutants, SO/sub 2/ and NO/sub 2/, on plant sexual reproduction is a direct result of studies accomplished under this DOE contract. It is our intention to carry this research forward to include similar assessment of a third major air pollutant, ozone.

  17. Host plant phenology affects performance of an invasive weevil, Phyllobius oblongus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in a northern hardwood forest.

    PubMed

    Coyle, David R; Jordan, Michelle S; Raffa, Kenneth F

    2010-10-01

    We investigated how host plant phenology and plant species affected longevity, reproduction, and feeding behavior of an invasive weevil. Phyllobius oblongus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is common in northern hardwood forests of the Great Lakes Region. Adults emerge in spring, feed on foliage of woody understory plants, and oviposit in the soil. Preliminary data indicate that adults often feed on sugar maple, Acer saccharum Marshall, foliage early in the season, then feed on other species such as raspberry, Rubus spp. Whether this behavior reflects temporal changes in the quality of A. saccharum tissue or merely subsequent availability of later-season plants is unknown. We tested adult P. oblongus in laboratory assays using young (newly flushed) sugar maple foliage, old (2-3 wk postflush) sugar maple foliage, and raspberry foliage. Raspberry has indeterminate growth, thus always has young foliage available for herbivores. Survival, oviposition, and leaf consumption were recorded. In performance assays under no-choice conditions, mated pairs were provided one type of host foliage for the duration of their lives. In behavioral choice tests, all three host plants were provided simultaneously and leaf area consumption was compared. Adults survived longer on and consumed greater amounts of young maple and raspberry foliage than old maple foliage. P. oblongus preferred young maple foliage to old maple foliage early in the season, however, later in the growing season weevils showed less pronounced feeding preferences. These results suggest how leaf phenology, plant species composition, and feeding plasticity in host utilization may interact to affect P. oblongus population dynamics.

  18. Silencing of ACO decreases reproduction and energy metabolism in triazophos-treated female brown plant hoppers, Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Zong-Yu; Jiang, Yi-Ping; Li, Lei; You, Lin-Lin; Wu, You; Xu, Bin; Ge, Lin-Quan; Wu, Jin-Cai

    2016-03-01

    The brown plant hopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), is a major pest affecting rice in Asia, and outbreaks of this pest are closely linked to pesticide-induced stimulation of reproduction. Therefore, the BPH is a classic example of a resurgent pest. However, the effects of different genes on the regulation of pesticide-induced reproductive stimulation in the BPH are unclear. In this study, the regulatory effects of acyl-coenzyme A oxidase (ACO) on the reproduction and biochemistry of the BPH were investigated with gene silencing. The number of eggs laid per female by triazophos (TZP)+dsACO BPH females was significantly lower than those of TZP-treated (without ACO silencing) or TZP+GFP females (negative control), with the number of eggs decreasing by 30.8% (from 529.5 to 366.3) and 32.0% (from 540.5 to 366.3), respectively. The preoviposition period, oviposition period, and longevity of the TZP-treated females were also influenced by dsACO treatment. Additionally, the amounts of crude fat, protein, and some fatty acids (oleic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, and myristoleic acid) in TZP+dsACO females were significantly lower than in TZP-treated females. Thus, ACO is one of the key genes regulating the TZP-induced stimulation of reproduction in BPH females.

  19. Pathway-based approaches for assessment of real-time exposure to an estrogenic wastewater treatment plant effluent on fathead minnow reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cavallin, Jenna E.; Jensen, Kathleen M.; Kahl, Michael D.; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Lee, Kathy E.; Schroeder, Anthony L.; Mayasich, Joe; Eid, Evan P.; Nelson, Krysta R.; Milsk, Rebecca Y.; Blackwell, Brett R.; Berninger, Jason P.; LaLone, Carlie A.; Blanskma, Chad; Jicha, Terri M.; Elonen, Colleen M.; Johnson, Rodney C.; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2016-01-01

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are known contributors of chemical mixtures into the environment. Of particular concern are endocrine-disrupting compounds, such as estrogens, which can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in exposed organisms. The present study examined reproductive effects in fathead minnows exposed for 21 d to a historically estrogenic WWTP effluent. Fathead minnow breeding pairs were held in control water or 1 of 3 effluent concentrations (5%, 20%, and 100%) in a novel onsite, flow-through system providing real-time exposure. The authors examined molecular and biochemical endpoints representing key events along adverse outcome pathways linking estrogen receptor activation and other molecular initiating events to reproductive impairment. In addition, the authors used chemical analysis of the effluent to construct a chemical-gene interaction network to aid in targeted gene expression analyses and identifying potentially impacted biological pathways. Cumulative fecundity was significantly reduced in fish exposed to 100% effluent but increased in those exposed to 20% effluent, the approximate dilution factor in the receiving waters. Plasma vitellogenin concentrations in males increased in a dose-dependent manner with effluent concentration; however, male fertility was not impacted. Although in vitro analyses, analytical chemistry, and biomarker responses confirmed the effluent was estrogenic, estrogen receptor agonists were unlikely the primary driver of impaired reproduction. The results provide insights into the significance of pathway-based effects with regard to predicting adverse reproductive outcomes.

  20. Pathway-based approaches for assessment of real-time exposure to an estrogenic wastewater treatment plant effluent on fathead minnow reproduction.

    PubMed

    Cavallin, Jenna E; Jensen, Kathleen M; Kahl, Michael D; Villeneuve, Daniel L; Lee, Kathy E; Schroeder, Anthony L; Mayasich, Joe; Eid, Evan P; Nelson, Krysta R; Milsk, Rebecca Y; Blackwell, Brett R; Berninger, Jason P; LaLone, Carlie A; Blanksma, Chad; Jicha, Terri; Elonen, Colleen; Johnson, Rodney; Ankley, Gerald T

    2016-03-01

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are known contributors of chemical mixtures into the environment. Of particular concern are endocrine-disrupting compounds, such as estrogens, which can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in exposed organisms. The present study examined reproductive effects in fathead minnows exposed for 21 d to a historically estrogenic WWTP effluent. Fathead minnow breeding pairs were held in control water or 1 of 3 effluent concentrations (5%, 20%, and 100%) in a novel onsite, flow-through system providing real-time exposure. The authors examined molecular and biochemical endpoints representing key events along adverse outcome pathways linking estrogen receptor activation and other molecular initiating events to reproductive impairment. In addition, the authors used chemical analysis of the effluent to construct a chemical-gene interaction network to aid in targeted gene expression analyses and identifying potentially impacted biological pathways. Cumulative fecundity was significantly reduced in fish exposed to 100% effluent but increased in those exposed to 20% effluent, the approximate dilution factor in the receiving waters. Plasma vitellogenin concentrations in males increased in a dose-dependent manner with effluent concentration; however, male fertility was not impacted. Although in vitro analyses, analytical chemistry, and biomarker responses confirmed the effluent was estrogenic, estrogen receptor agonists were unlikely the primary driver of impaired reproduction. The results provide insights into the significance of pathway-based effects with regard to predicting adverse reproductive outcomes.

  1. Tropical photoperiods affect reproductive development in the musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

    The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether reproductive development in male musk shrews (original stock from Guam Island, 13 degrees N latitude) could be altered by small, ecologically relevant changes in photoperiod. In the first experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the 2 solstices on Guam Island (90 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that a 90-min difference in photoperiod had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Furthermore, there was little evidence that the preweaning photoperiod had an effect on the response to the postweaning photoperiod. In the second experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the equinoxes and solstices on Guam Island (45 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that both a decrease and an increase in photoperiod by 45 min had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Overall, these results suggest that animals living close to the equator can potentially use small changes in day length to alter or time reproductive function.

  2. Sexual experience affects reproductive behavior and preoptic androgen receptors in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Swaney, William T.; Dubose, Brittany N.; Curley, James P.; Champagne, Frances A.

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive behavior in male rodents is made up of anticipatory and consummatory elements which are regulated in the brain by sensory systems, reward circuits and hormone signaling. Gonadal steroids play a key role in the regulation of male sexual behavior via steroid receptors in the hypothalamus and preoptic area. Typical patterns of male reproductive behavior have been characterized, however these are not fixed but are modulated by adult experience. We assessed the effects of repeated sexual experience on male reproductive behavior of C57BL/6 mice; including measures of olfactory investigation of females, mounting, intromission and ejaculation. The effects of sexual experience on the number of cells expressing either androgen receptor (AR) or estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in the primary brain nuclei regulating male sexual behavior was also measured. Sexually experienced male mice engaged in less sniffing of females before initiating sexual behavior and exhibited shorter latencies to mount and intromit, increased frequency of intromission, and increased duration of intromission relative to mounting. No changes in numbers of ERα-positive cells were observed, however sexually experienced males had increased numbers of AR-positive cells in the medial preoptic area (MPOA); the primary regulatory nucleus for male sexual behavior. These results indicate that sexual experience results in a qualitative change in male reproductive behavior in mice that is associated with increased testosterone sensitivity in the MPOA and that this nucleus may play a key integrative role in mediating the effects of sexual experience on male behavior. PMID:22266118

  3. Castration affects reproductive but not aggressive behavior in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Canário, Adelino V M; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics. Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol, and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and subsequently to a male on day 9. The urine bladder damaged treatment was included in the experimental design because a full castration procedure in this species causes quite often damage to the urine bladder. Gonadectomy lowers dramatically the circulating levels of androgens measured at 4 and 8days post-castration and abolishes the expression of nest building, courtship behavior and nuptial coloration, but has no effect on the expression of aggressive behavior. These results confirm the gonads as the main source of androgens in this species and show that androgens are necessary for the expression of reproductive behaviors. However, the expression of aggressive behavior seems to be decoupled from gonadal steroids, namely androgens, suggesting the action of independent central mechanisms.

  4. Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica on Plant Roots Genetically Transformed by Agrobacterium rhizogenes.

    PubMed

    Verdejo, S; Jaffee, B A; Mankau, R

    1988-10-01

    Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica was compared on several Agrobacterium rhizogenes-transformed root cultures under monoxenic conditions. M. javanica reproduced on all transformed roots tested; however, more females and eggs were obtained on potato and South Australian Early Dwarf Red tomato than on bindweed, Tropic tomato, lima bean, or carrot. Roots that grew at moderate rates into the agar and produced many secondary roots supported the highest reproduction. Numbers of females produced in cultures of transformed potato roots increased with increasing nematode inoculum levels, whether inoculum was dispersed eggs or juveniles. Females appeared smaller, produced fewer eggs, and were found in coalesced galls at the higher inoculum levels. The ratio between the final and initial population decreased sharply as the juvenile inoculum increased. The second-stage juvenile was preferred to dispersed eggs or egg masses for inoculation of tissue culture systems because quantity and viability of inoculum were easily assessed. Meloidogyne javanica reared on transformed root cultures were able to complete their life cycles on new transformed root cultures or greenhouse tomato plants.

  5. Reproductive biology of the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas in its center of origin

    PubMed Central

    Rincón-Rabanales, Manuel; Vargas-López, Laura I.; Adriano-Anaya, Lourdes; Salvador-Figueroa, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we studied the main characteristics of flowering, reproductive system and diversity of pollinators for the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas (L.) in a site of tropical southeastern Mexico, within its center of origin. The plants were monoecious with inflorescences of unisexual flowers. The male flowers produced from 3062–5016 pollen grains (266–647 per anther). The plants produced fruits with both geitonogamy and xenogamy, although insect pollination significantly increased the number and quality of fruits. A high diversity of flower visiting insects (36 species) was found, of which nine were classified as efficient pollinators. The native stingless bees Scaptotrigona mexicana (Guérin-Meneville) and Trigona (Tetragonisca) angustula (Latreille) were the most frequent visitors and their presence coincided with the hours when the stigma was receptive. It is noteworthy that the female flowers open before the male flowers, favoring xenogamy, which may explain the high genetic variability reported in J. curcas for this region of the world. PMID:26989640

  6. Global warming reduces plant reproductive output for temperate multi-inflorescence species on the Tibetan plateau.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yinzhan; Mu, Junpeng; Niklas, Karl J; Li, Guoyong; Sun, Shucun

    2012-07-01

    • Temperature is projected to increase more during the winter than during the summer in cold regions. The effects of winter warming on reproductive effort have not been examined for temperate plant species. • Here, we report the results of experimentally induced seasonal winter warming (0.4 and 2.4°C increases in growing and nongrowing seasons, respectively, using warmed and ambient open-top chambers in a Tibetan Plateau alpine meadow) for nine indeterminate-growing species producing multiple (single-flowered or multi-flowered) inflorescences and three determinate-growing species producing single inflorescences after a 3-yr period of warming. • Warming reduced significantly flower number and seed production per plant for all nine multi-inflorescence species, but not for the three single-inflorescence species. Warming had an insignificant effect on the fruit to flower number ratio, seed size and seed number per fruit among species. The reduction in seed production was largely attributable to the decline in flower number per plant. The flowering onset time was unaffected for nine of the 12 species. Therefore, the decline in flower production and seed production in response to winter warming probably reflects a physiological response (e.g. metabolic changes associated with flower production). • Collectively, the data indicate that global warming may reduce flower and seed production for temperate herbaceous species and will probably have a differential effect on single- vs multi-inflorescence species.

  7. Chromosome stickiness impairs meiosis and influences reproductive success in Panicum maximum (Poaceae) hybrid plants.

    PubMed

    Pessim, C; Pagliarini, M S; Silva, N; Jank, L

    2015-04-28

    Chromosome stickiness has been studied in several species of higher plants and is characterized by sticky clumps of chromatin resulting in sterility. Chromosome stickiness was recorded in Panicum maximum hybrid plants that were cultivated in the field. In the meiocytes affected, chromosomes clumped into amorphous masses that did not orient themselves on the equatorial plate, and anaphase I disjunction failed to occur. After a normal cytokinesis, the masses of chromatin were divided between both daughter cells. Metaphase and anaphase of the second division also did not occur, and after the second cytokinesis, polyads were formed. This abnormality arose spontaneously. Abnormalities that cause male sterility are an important tool for obtaining hybrid seeds in plant breeding. This is the first report of an abnormality affecting pollen viability in P. maximum. This finding can open a new opportunity in the breeding program of this species that is devoted to hybridization where manual cross-pollination is difficult and time consuming.

  8. Carbon nanotubes as plant growth regulators: effects on tomato growth, reproductive system, and soil microbial community.

    PubMed

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya V; Kim, Bong-Soo; Kim, Jong Nam; Alimohammadi, Mohammad; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mustafa, Thikra; Cernigla, Carl E

    2013-01-14

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can affect plant phenotype and the composition of soil microbiota. Tomato plants grown in soil supplemented with CNTs produce two times more flowers and fruit compared to plants grown in control soil. The effect of carbon nanotubes on microbial community of CNT-treated soil is determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and pyrosequencing analysis. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes are the most dominant groups in the microbial community of soil. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes are found to increase, whereas Proteobacteria and Verrucomicorbia decrease with increasing concentration of CNTs. The results of comparing diversity indices and species level phylotypes (OTUs) between samples showed that there is not a significant affect on bacterial diversity.

  9. Human affection exchange: VI. Further tests of reproductive probability as a predictor of men's affection with their adult sons.

    PubMed

    Floyd, Kory; Sargent, Jack E; Di Corcia, Mark

    2004-04-01

    The authors examined the communication of affection in men's relationships with their fathers. Drawing from Affection Exchange Theory, the authors advanced four predictions: (a) heterosexual men receive more affection from their own fathers than do homosexual or bisexual men, (b) fathers communicate affection to their sons more through supportive activities than through direct verbal statements or nonverbal gestures, (c) affectionate communication between fathers and sons is linearly related to closeness and interpersonal involvement between them, and (d) fathers' awareness of their sons' sexual orientation is associated with the amount of affection that the fathers communicate to them. Participants were 170 adult men who completed questionnaires regarding affectionate communication in their relationships with their fathers. Half of the men were self-identified as exclusively heterosexual, and the other half were self-identified as exclusively homosexual or bisexual. The results supported all predictions substantially.

  10. Social Variables Affecting Mate Preferences, Copulation and Reproductive Outcome in a Pack of Free-Ranging Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  11. A survey of Canadian mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents: insights concerning the potential to affect fish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Tibor G; Martel, Pierre H; O'Connor, Brian I; Hewitt, L Mark; Parrott, Joanne L; McMaster, Mark E; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Van Der Kraak, Glen J; Van Den Heuvel, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Building on breakthroughs recently made at kraft mills, a survey of mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents was undertaken to gain insights concerning potential effects on fish reproduction. Effluents from seven Canadian mills were characterized chemically for conventional parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS). Each sample was further subjected to solvent extraction followed by gas chromatographic separation for the determination of resin/fatty acids and for the estimation of a gas chromatography (GC) profile index. Each mill effluent was assessed for the potential to affect fish reproduction in the laboratory using a five day adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) egg production bioassay with exposures to 100% effluent. The seven effluents were found to have substantial variation both in terms of chemical characterization and effects on fish reproduction. Temporal variations were also noted in effluent quality at mills sampled on different occasions. Similar to what has been observed for kraft mills, a general trend of greater reductions in egg production caused by effluents with greater BOD concentrations and GC profile indices was noted. Effluents with BOD > 25 mg/L and GC Profile indices >5.0 caused a complete cessation of egg production. At the same time, about half of the total effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused no significant effects on egg production, suggesting these values may be useful as effluent quality targets for mechanical pulp and paper mills. However, 3 out of 14 effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused significant reductions in egg production. The reason(s) for reproductive effects caused by such effluents is presently unclear. The effluent quality parameters considered in this study may require further refinement to address their utility in predicting the adverse reproductive effects induced by effluents from mechanical

  12. Vegetative and reproductive innovations of early land plants: implications for a unified phylogeny.

    PubMed Central

    Renzaglia, K S; Duff RJT; Nickrent, D L; Garbary, D J

    2000-01-01

    As the oldest extant lineages of land plants, bryophytes provide a living laboratory in which to evaluate morphological adaptations associated with early land existence. In this paper we examine reproductive and structural innovations in the gametophyte and sporophyte generations of hornworts, liverworts, mosses and basal pteridophytes. Reproductive features relating to spermatogenesis and the architecture of motile male gametes are overviewed and evaluated from an evolutionary perspective. Phylogenetic analyses of a data set derived from spermatogenesis and one derived from comprehensive morphogenetic data are compared with a molecular analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial small subunit rDNA sequences. Although relatively small because of a reliance on water for sexual reproduction, gametophytes of bryophytes are the most elaborate of those produced by any land plant. Phenotypic variability in gametophytic habit ranges from leafy to thalloid forms with the greatest diversity exhibited by hepatics. Appendages, including leaves, slime papillae and hairs, predominate in liverworts and mosses, while hornwort gametophytes are strictly thalloid with no organized external structures. Internalization of reproductive and vegetative structures within mucilage-filled spaces is an adaptive strategy exhibited by hornworts. The formative stages of gametangial development are similar in the three bryophyte groups, with the exception that in mosses apical growth is intercalated into early organogenesis, a feature echoed in moss sporophyte ontogeny. A monosporangiate, unbranched sporophyte typifies bryophytes, but developmental and structural innovations suggest the three bryophyte groups diverged prior to elaboration of this generation. Sporophyte morphogenesis in hornworts involves non-synchronized sporogenesis and the continued elongation of the single sporangium, features unique among archegoniates. In hepatics, elongation of the sporophyte seta and archegoniophore is rapid

  13. Vegetative and reproductive innovations of early land plants: implications for a unified phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Renzaglia, K S; Duff RJT; Nickrent, D L; Garbary, D J

    2000-06-29

    As the oldest extant lineages of land plants, bryophytes provide a living laboratory in which to evaluate morphological adaptations associated with early land existence. In this paper we examine reproductive and structural innovations in the gametophyte and sporophyte generations of hornworts, liverworts, mosses and basal pteridophytes. Reproductive features relating to spermatogenesis and the architecture of motile male gametes are overviewed and evaluated from an evolutionary perspective. Phylogenetic analyses of a data set derived from spermatogenesis and one derived from comprehensive morphogenetic data are compared with a molecular analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial small subunit rDNA sequences. Although relatively small because of a reliance on water for sexual reproduction, gametophytes of bryophytes are the most elaborate of those produced by any land plant. Phenotypic variability in gametophytic habit ranges from leafy to thalloid forms with the greatest diversity exhibited by hepatics. Appendages, including leaves, slime papillae and hairs, predominate in liverworts and mosses, while hornwort gametophytes are strictly thalloid with no organized external structures. Internalization of reproductive and vegetative structures within mucilage-filled spaces is an adaptive strategy exhibited by hornworts. The formative stages of gametangial development are similar in the three bryophyte groups, with the exception that in mosses apical growth is intercalated into early organogenesis, a feature echoed in moss sporophyte ontogeny. A monosporangiate, unbranched sporophyte typifies bryophytes, but developmental and structural innovations suggest the three bryophyte groups diverged prior to elaboration of this generation. Sporophyte morphogenesis in hornworts involves non-synchronized sporogenesis and the continued elongation of the single sporangium, features unique among archegoniates. In hepatics, elongation of the sporophyte seta and archegoniophore is rapid

  14. Sexual and apomictic plant reproduction in the genomics era: exploring the mechanisms potentially useful in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Dwivedi, Sangam L; Perotti, Enrico; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2010-12-01

    Arabidopsis, Mimulus and tomato have emerged as model plants in researching genetic and molecular basis of differences in mating systems. Variations in floral traits and loss of self-incompatibility have been associated with mating system differences in crops. Genomics research has advanced considerably, both in model and crop plants, which may provide opportunities to modify breeding systems as evidenced in Arabidopsis and tomato. Mating system, however, not recombination per se, has greater effect on the level of polymorphism. Generating targeted recombination remains one of the most important factors for crop genetic enhancement. Asexual reproduction through seeds or apomixis, by producing maternal clones, presents a tremendous potential for agriculture. Although believed to be under simple genetic control, recent research has revealed that apomixis results as a consequence of the deregulation of the timing of sexual events rather than being the product of specific apomixis genes. Further, forward genetic studies in Arabidopsis have permitted the isolation of novel genes reported to control meiosis I and II entry. Mutations in these genes trigger the production of unreduced or apomeiotic megagametes and are an important step toward understanding and engineering apomixis.

  15. Role of plants in the vegetative and reproductive growth of saprobic basidiomycetous ground fungi.

    PubMed

    Gramss, Gerhard; Bergmann, Hans

    2008-11-01

    Non-symbiotic microorganisms engineered or expensively selected to degrade xenobiotic hydrocarbons or modify heavy-metal uptake of plants in soil remediations die back after their introduction into the target soils. Mycelia of saprobic basidiomycetes were therefore inoculated into soil samples of 1 l in glass vessels to record mycelial growth and reproduction in the immediate rhizosphere of up to 11 herbaceous plant species, or to study their responses to the separate volatiles from whole plant swards or their root balls whose emanations had been collected in 1.5-l plastic bags fixed to the glass vessels. Excess CO2 was controlled with NaOH solution. Volatiles from root balls of parsley and pea but not wheat, from unplanted soils, from the fungus-permeated, unplanted substrate soil itself, and from the rooting soil of whole wheat sward increased mycelial densities in Clitocybe sp. more than in Agaricus macrocarpus and indicated thus a higher nutrient state of the mycelia. Organic volatiles proved therefore to be a significant carbon source for certain basidiomycetes in poor natural soils. The contemporary decline in the number of basidiocarp initials to 0 to 36% in both fungi relative to the unplanted and aerated controls was caused by volatiles from rooted and unplanted soil and pointed thus to their ecological role as antibiotics, fumigants, toxins, and hormonal compounds. Aqueous extracts from root balls of wheat stimulated mycelial density and fruiting in A. macrocarpus contemporarily because of their contents in soil-derived macronutrients. They suppressed once more fruiting in the more sensitive Clitocybe sp. by active agents in the aqueous phase. Within plant rhizospheres, densities of Clitocybe sp. mycelia were stimulated in the presence of alfalfa, carrot, red clover, ryegrass, and spinach, whereas those of A. macrocarpus were halved by 7 of 10 plant species including alfalfa, red clover, ryegrass, and spinach. Mycelia of A. macrocarpus may thereby have

  16. Influence of arbuscular mycorrhiza on growth and reproductive response of plants under water deficit: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Jayne, Benjamin; Quigley, Martin

    2014-02-01

    Despite a large body of literature that describes the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization on plant response to water deficit, reviews of these works have been mainly in narrative form, and it is therefore difficult to quantify the magnitude of the effect. We performed a meta-analysis to examine the effect of mycorrhizal colonization on growth and yield of plants exposed to water deficit stress. Data were compared in the context of annual vs. perennial plants, herbaceous vs. woody plants, field vs. greenhouse conditions, degree of stress, functional group, regions of plant growth, and mycorrhizal and host species. We found that, in terms of biomass measurements, mycorrhizal plants have better growth and reproductive response under water stress compared to non-mycorrhizal plants. When variables such as habit, life cycle, or water stress level are considered, differences in mycorrhizal effect on plant growth between variables are observed. While growth of both annual and perennial plants is improved by symbiosis, perennials respond more favorably to colonization than annuals. Overall, our meta-analysis reveals a quantifiable corroboration of the commonly held view that, under water-deficit conditions, plants colonized by mycorrhizal fungi have better growth and reproductive response than those that are not.

  17. Reproduction, physiology and biochemistry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter summarizes fundamental knowledge and recent discoveries about the reproduction, physiology and biochemistry of plant-parasitic nematodes. Various types of reproduction are reviewed, including sexual reproduction and mitotic and meiotic parthenogenesis. Although much is known about the p...

  18. Perceptions and uses of plants for reproductive health among traditional midwives in Ecuador: moving towards intercultural pharmacological practices.

    PubMed

    Torri, Maria Costanza

    2013-07-01

    Despite the fact that plants have played an important role in midwifery in many cultures, there are very few in-depth studies on the plants traditionally used by midwives. The aim of this study is to analyse the perceptions and the uses of medicinal plants for reproductive health among indigenous midwives in the city of Otavalo, Ecuador. The article also aims to analyse the perceptions of traditional midwives regarding allopathic drugs for reproductive health and their possible overlapping uses of medicinal plants and allopathic drugs. The data are drawn from an ethnographic study carried out in Ecuador. In total, 20 traditional midwives have been interviewed. Individual and in-depth interviews also took place with a sample of 35 women as well as with five nurses and two doctors working at San Luis Hospital in Otavalo. The study shows that cultural health management and the incorporation of the beliefs and practices relating to women's reproductive health can represent a starting point towards the search for more successful strategies in reproductive health.

  19. Microcystin-LR impairs zebrafish reproduction by affecting oogenesis and endocrine system.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanyan; Xie, Liqiang; Yan, Yunjun

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that microcystins (MCs) are able to exert negative effects on the reproductive system of fish. However, few data are actually available on the effects of MC-LR on the reproductive system of female fish. In the present study, female zebrafish were exposed to 2, 10, and 50 μg L(-1) of MC-LR for 21 d, and its effects on oogenesis, sex hormones, transcription of genes on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, and reproduction were investigated for the first time. It was observed that egg production significantly declined at ⩾ 10 μg L(-1) MC-LR. MC-LR exposure to zebrafish increased the concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) and vitellogenin (VTG) at 10 μg L(-1) level, whereas concentrations of E2, VTG and testosterone declined at 50 μg L(-1) MC-LR. The transcriptions of steroidogenic pathway gene (cyp19a, cyp19b, 17βhsd, cyp17 and hmgra) changed as well after the exposure and corresponded well with the alterations of hormone levels. A number of intra- and extra-ovarian factors, such as gnrh3, gnrhr1, fshβ, fshr, lhr, bmp15, mrpβ, ptgs2 and vtg1 which regulate oogenesis, were significantly changed with a different dose-related effect. Moreover, MC-LR exposure to female zebrafish resulted in decreased fertilization and hatching rates, and may suggest the possibility of trans-generational effects of MC-LR exposure. The results demonstrate that MC-LR could modulate endocrine function and oogenesis, eventually leading to disruption of reproductive performance in female zebrafish. These data suggest there is a risk for aquatic population living in MC polluted areas.

  20. Defoliation negatively affects plant growth and the ectomycorrhizal community of Pinus pinaster in Spain.

    PubMed

    Pestaña, Montserrat; Santolamazza-Carbone, Serena

    2011-03-01

    In this work, by artificially reproducing severe (75%) and moderate (25%) defoliation on maritime pines Pinus pinaster in NW Spain, we investigated, under natural conditions, the consequences of foliage loss on reproduction, abundance, diversity and richness of the fungal symbionts growing belowground and aboveground. The effect of defoliation on tree growth was also assessed. Mature needles were clipped during April 2007 and 2008. Root samples were collected in June-July 2007 and 2008. Collection of sporocarps was performed weekly from April 2007 to April 2009. Taxonomic identity of ectomycorrhizal fungi was assessed by using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rDNA through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, subsequent direct sequencing and BLAST search. Ectomycorrhizal colonization was significantly reduced (from 54 to 42%) in 2008 by 75% defoliation, accompanied with a decline in species richness and diversity. On the other hand, sporocarp abundance, richness and diversity were not affected by foliage loss. Some ECM fungal symbionts, which are assumed to have a higher carbon cost according to the morphotypes structure, were reduced due to severe (75%) defoliation. Furthermore, 75% foliage loss consistently depressed tree growth, which in turn affected the ectomycorrhizal growth pattern. Defoliation impact on ECM symbionts largely depends on the percentage of foliage removal and on the number of defoliation bouts. Severe defoliation (75%) in the short term (2 years) changed the composition of the ECM community likely because root biomass would be adjusted to lower levels in parallel with the depletion of the aboveground plant biomass, which probably promoted the competition among mycorrhizal types for host resources. The persistence of fungal biomass in mycorrhizal roots would be crucial for nutrient up-take and recovery from defoliation stress of the host plants.

  1. A microsystem-based assay for studying pollen tube guidance in plant reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yetisen, A. K.; Jiang, L.; Cooper, J. R.; Qin, Y.; Palanivelu, R.; Zohar, Y.

    2011-05-01

    We present a novel microsystem-based assay to assess and quantify pollen tube behavior in response to pistil tissues. During plant reproduction, signals from female tissues (pistils) guide the sperm-carrying pollen tube to the egg cell to achieve fertilization and initiate seed development. Existing pollen tube guidance bioassays are performed in an isotropically diffusive environment (for example, a semi in vivo assay in petri dishes) instead of anisotropically diffusive conditions required to characterize guidance signal gradients. Lack of a sensitive pollen tube guidance bioassay has therefore compounded the difficulties of identifying and characterizing the guidance signals that are likely produced in minute quantities by the ovules. We therefore developed a novel microsystem-based assay that mimics the in vivo micro-environment of ovule fertilization by pollen tubes in the model research plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In this microdevice, the pollen tube growth rate, length and ovule targeting frequencies were similar to those obtained using a semi in vivo plate assay. As a direct measure of the microdevice's utility in monitoring pollen tube guidance, we demonstrated that in this device, pollen tubes preferentially enter chambers with unfertilized ovules, suggesting that the pollen tubes sense the concentration gradient and respond to the chemoattractants secreted by unfertilized ovules.

  2. Divergence for residual feed intake of Holstein-Friesian cattle during growth did not affect production and reproduction during lactation.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, K A; Thomson, B P; Waghorn, G C

    2016-11-01

    Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between actual and predicted dry matter intake (DMI) of individual animals. Recent studies with Holstein-Friesian calves have identified an ~20% difference in RFI during growth (calf RFI) and these groups remained divergent in RFI during lactation. The objective of the experiment described here was to determine if cows selected for divergent RFI as calves differed in milk production, reproduction or in the profiles of BW and body condition score (BCS) change during lactation, when grazing pasture. The cows used in the experiment (n=126) had an RFI of -0.88 and +0.75 kg DM intake/day for growth as calves (efficient and inefficient calf RFI groups, respectively) and were intensively grazed at four stocking rates (SR) of 2.2, 2.6, 3.1 and 3.6 cows/ha on self-contained farmlets, over 3 years. Each SR treatment had equal number of cows identified as low and high calf RFI, with 24, 28, 34 and 40/11 ha farmlet. The cows divergent for calf RFI were randomly allocated to each SR. Although SR affected production, calf RFI group (low or high) did not affect milk production, reproduction, BW, BCS or changes in these parameters throughout lactation. The most efficient animals (low calf RFI) lost similar BW and BCS as the least efficient (high calf RFI) immediately post-calving, and regained similar BW and BCS before their next calving. These results indicate that selection for RFI as calves to increase efficiency of feed utilisation did not negatively affect farm productivity variables (milk production, BCS, BW and reproduction) as adults when managed under an intensive pastoral grazing system.

  3. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... 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...

  4. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... 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...

  5. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting plant and animal... 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...

  6. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... 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...

  7. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... 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...

  8. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  9. A single hot event that does not affect survival but decreases reproduction in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth.

  10. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-05-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

  11. A Single Hot Event That Does Not Affect Survival but Decreases Reproduction in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth. PMID:24116081

  12. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of “high-quality” queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and “low-quality” queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone (“QMP”) components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the “queen-specific” developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  13. The effects of inbreeding, genetic dissimilarity and phenotype on male reproductive success in a dioecious plant

    PubMed Central

    Austerlitz, Frédéric; Gleiser, Gabriela; Teixeira, Sara; Bernasconi, Giorgina

    2012-01-01

    Pollen fate can strongly affect the genetic structure of populations with restricted gene flow and significant inbreeding risk. We established an experimental population of inbred and outbred Silene latifolia plants to evaluate the effects of (i) inbreeding depression, (ii) phenotypic variation and (iii) relatedness between mates on male fitness under natural pollination. Paternity analysis revealed that outbred males sired significantly more offspring than inbred males. Independently of the effects of inbreeding, male fitness depended on several male traits, including a sexually dimorphic (flower number) and a gametophytic trait (in vitro pollen germination rate). In addition, full-sib matings were less frequent than randomly expected. Thus, inbreeding, phenotype and genetic dissimilarity simultaneously affect male fitness in this animal-pollinated plant. While inbreeding depression might threaten population persistence, the deficiency of effective matings between sibs and the higher fitness of outbred males will reduce its occurrence and counter genetic erosion. PMID:21561968

  14. The effects of inbreeding, genetic dissimilarity and phenotype on male reproductive success in a dioecious plant.

    PubMed

    Austerlitz, Frédéric; Gleiser, Gabriela; Teixeira, Sara; Bernasconi, Giorgina

    2012-01-07

    Pollen fate can strongly affect the genetic structure of populations with restricted gene flow and significant inbreeding risk. We established an experimental population of inbred and outbred Silene latifolia plants to evaluate the effects of (i) inbreeding depression, (ii) phenotypic variation and (iii) relatedness between mates on male fitness under natural pollination. Paternity analysis revealed that outbred males sired significantly more offspring than inbred males. Independently of the effects of inbreeding, male fitness depended on several male traits, including a sexually dimorphic (flower number) and a gametophytic trait (in vitro pollen germination rate). In addition, full-sib matings were less frequent than randomly expected. Thus, inbreeding, phenotype and genetic dissimilarity simultaneously affect male fitness in this animal-pollinated plant. While inbreeding depression might threaten population persistence, the deficiency of effective matings between sibs and the higher fitness of outbred males will reduce its occurrence and counter genetic erosion.

  15. Sublethal effects of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium on crops and wild plants: short-term effects compared to vegetative recovery and plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline

    2010-10-01

    Current guidelines for phytotoxicity testing rely heavily on short-term testing of primarily crop species to predict the sensitivity of non-target, wild plants to herbicides. However, little is known on how plants recover following initial growth inhibitions in standard 14-28 day greenhouse tests conducted for pesticide assessment and registration. The objectives of this study were to assess the ability of plant species to recover (biomass and reproduction) when tested at the juvenile stage (routine regulatory testing), comparing crop and wild species and using the herbicide glufosinate ammonium. Ten crops and 10 wild species were tested with a one-time exposure to glufosinate ammonium in a greenhouse. Half the plants of each species (9 doses × 6 replicates) were harvested 3 weeks after being sprayed (short-term). The remaining plants were harvested several weeks later, coinciding with seed set or natural senescence (long-term). Total aboveground biomass and several endpoints related to crop production and plant reproduction were measured. Calculated IC50 values (dosage that results in a 50% decrease in the biomass of a plant as compared to the untreated controls) based solely on aboveground biomass, for species harvested in the long-term were generally higher than those obtained in the short-term (with two exceptions), indicating recovery over time. Crop species did not differ from wild species in terms of sensitivity. However, in seven out of 12 cases where reproduction was measurable, reproductive endpoints were more sensitive than either short or long-term biomass endpoints, indicating the importance of examining these parameters in phytotoxicity testing. Glufosinate ammonium was found to be phytotoxic at low doses (2.64-7.74% g ai/ha of the label rate).

  16. Traffic monitors at the cell periphery: the role of cell walls during early female reproductive cell differentiation in plants.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Matthew R; Koltunow, Anna M G

    2014-02-01

    The formation of female gametes in plants occurs within the ovule, a floral organ that is also the precursor of the seed. Unlike animals, plants lack a typical germline separated from the soma early in development and rely on positional signals, including phytohormones, mobile mRNAs and sRNAs, to direct diploid somatic precursor cells onto a reproductive program. In addition, signals moving between plant cells must overcome the architectural limitations of a cell wall which surrounds the plasma membrane. Recent studies have addressed the molecular and histological signatures of young ovule cells and indicate that dynamic cell wall changes occur over a short developmental window. These changes in cell wall properties impact signal flow and ovule cell identity, thereby aiding the establishment of boundaries between reproductive and somatic ovule domains.

  17. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  18. Methuselah-like genes affect development, stress resistance, lifespan and reproduction in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Li, Chengjun; Zhang, Yi; Yun, Xiaopei; Wang, Yanyun; Sang, Ming; Liu, Xing; Hu, Xingxing; Li, Bin

    2014-10-01

    Methuselah (Mth) is associated with lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster, but Mth is not present in nondrosophiline insects. A number of methuselah-likes (mthls) have been identified in nondrosophiline insects, but it is unknown whether the functions of mth are shared by mthls or are divergent from them. Five mthls have been identified in Tribolium castaneum. Although they have different developmental expression patterns, they all enhance resistance to starvation. Only mthl1 and mthl2 enhance resistance to high temperature, whereas mthl4 and mthl5 negatively regulate oxidative stress in T. castaneum. Unlike in the fly with mth mutation, knockdown of mthls, except mthl3, shortens the lifespan of T. castaneum. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 are critical for Tribolium development. mthl1 plays important roles in larval and pupal development and adult eclosion, while mthl2 is required for eclosion. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 silencing reduces the fertility of T. castaneum, and mthl1 and mthl4 are also essential for embryo development. In conclusion, mthls have a significant effect on insect development, lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction. These results provide experimental evidence for functional divergence among mthls/mth and clues for the signal transduction of Mthls.

  19. 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.

  20. Digestion, growth and reproductive performance of the zoophytophagous rove beetle Philonthus quisquiliarius (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) fed on animal and plant based diets.

    PubMed

    García, Matías; Farinós, Gema P; Castañera, Pedro; Ortego, Félix

    2012-10-01

    The zoophytophagous feeding habits of larvae and adults of the rove beetle, Philonthus quisquiliarius (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), are reported for the first time. This study evaluates the effects of different feeding regimes on its growth and reproductive performance (i.e., larval growth, adult weight gain, consumption, fecundity and fertility) and digestive physiology. Larvae presented similar growth rates when fed on living animal or on green plant material for 48 h. However, higher consumption rates and lower efficiencies of conversion of digested matter to body mass were obtained when leaves were consumed. Adults presented also positive weight gains regardless of the food consumed (plant or animal material). Interestingly, the highest weight gain rate and efficiency of digestion resulted when adults fed on a rearing diet containing nutrients from both animals and plants. Moreover, we have found negative effects upon P. quisquiliarius fecundity and fertility when supplemental plant nutrients were removed from the optimum rearing diet. Physiological adaptations to allow trophic switching between predation and phytophagy have been found, such as the higher ratio of α-amylase activity to protease activity to deal with the inverted protein-carbohydrate ratio of plant versus animal tissues. Furthermore, this species has an arsenal of digestive proteases whose activity is affected by the type of diet ingested. All together, our results suggest that P. quisquiliarius needs certain nutrients, which are obtained only from plant material. This knowledge will help to understand the complex trophic interactions that occur in agroecosystems.

  1. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

    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

  2. Genetic selection for temperament affects behaviour and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones in sheep subjected to stress.

    PubMed

    Hawken, P A R; Luckins, N; Tilbrook, A; Fiol, C; Martin, G B; Blache, D

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effect of genetic selection for temperament on the way that stressors affect the behaviour and the adrenal and reproductive axes of sheep. We tested three hypotheses: (i) isolation would increase cortisol secretion and decrease luteinising hormone (LH) secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep; (ii) isolation combined with simulated human presence would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep and (iii) isolation combined with stressors that were not specific to the selection process (i.e. non-selection stressors) would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion equally in calm and nervous sheep. Isolation alone increased cortisol secretion and decreased LH secretion in nervous sheep but not in calm sheep. Compared to calm sheep, nervous sheep were more agitated during the first 2 h of isolation but not during the second 2 h of isolation. Exposure to non-selection stressors increased cortisol secretion, decreased LH pulse amplitude and the mean plasma concentrations of LH in both calm and nervous sheep. We conclude that genetic selection for temperament affects the behavioural expression of the stress response and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones during isolation, but has less impact on their reactivity to non-selection stressors.

  3. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development*

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Benjamin M.; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development. PMID:26742840

  4. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Benjamin M; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-03-04

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development.

  5. A review of sexually transmitted bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis affecting cattle reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Michi, Aubrey N; Favetto, Pedro H; Kastelic, John; Cobo, Eduardo R

    2016-03-15

    The objective is to discuss sexually transmitted diseases caused by Tritrichomonas foetus (T foetus) and Campylobacter fetus (C fetus) subsp. venerealis, with a focus on prevalence, pathogenesis, and diagnosis in cows and bulls. Diagnosis and control are problematic because these diseases cause severe reproductive losses in cows, but in bulls are clinically asymptomatic, which allows the disease to flourish, especially in the absence of legislated control programs. We review research regarding prophylactic systemic immunization of bulls and cows with antigens of T foetus and C fetus venerealis and their efficacy in preventing or clearing preexisting infections in the genital tract. Current diagnostic methods of C fetus venerealis and T foetus (microbial culture and PCR) should be improved. Review of the latest advances in bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis should promote knowledge and provide an impetus to pursue further efforts to control bovine sexually transmitted diseases.

  6. Overexpression of the kiwifruit SVP3 gene affects reproductive development and suppresses anthocyanin biosynthesis in petals, but has no effect on vegetative growth, dormancy, or flowering time.

    PubMed

    Wu, Rongmei; Wang, Tianchi; McGie, Tony; Voogd, Charlotte; Allan, Andrew C; Hellens, Roger P; Varkonyi-Gasic, Erika

    2014-09-01

    SVP-like MADS domain transcription factors have been shown to regulate flowering time and both inflorescence and flower development in annual plants, while having effects on growth cessation and terminal bud formation in perennial species. Previously, four SVP genes were described in woody perennial vine kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.), with possible distinct roles in bud dormancy and flowering. Kiwifruit SVP3 transcript was confined to vegetative tissues and acted as a repressor of flowering as it was able to rescue the Arabidopsis svp41 mutant. To characterize kiwifruit SVP3 further, ectopic expression in kiwifruit species was performed. Ectopic expression of SVP3 in A. deliciosa did not affect general plant growth or the duration of endodormancy. Ectopic expression of SVP3 in A. eriantha also resulted in plants with normal vegetative growth, bud break, and flowering time. However, significantly prolonged and abnormal flower, fruit, and seed development were observed, arising from SVP3 interactions with kiwifruit floral homeotic MADS-domain proteins. Petal pigmentation was reduced as a result of SVP3-mediated interference with transcription of the kiwifruit flower tissue-specific R2R3 MYB regulator, MYB110a, and the gene encoding the key anthocyanin biosynthetic step, F3GT1. Constitutive expression of SVP3 had a similar impact on reproductive development in transgenic tobacco. The flowering time was not affected in day-neutral and photoperiod-responsive Nicotiana tabacum cultivars, but anthesis and seed germination were significantly delayed. The accumulation of anthocyanin in petals was reduced and the same underlying mechanism of R2R3 MYB NtAN2 transcript reduction was demonstrated.

  7. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree.

  8. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  9. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees

    PubMed Central

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C.; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  10. Pentachlorophenol affected both reproductive and interrenal systems: In silico and in vivo evidence.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lihua; Zha, Jinmiao; Wang, Zijian

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects on reproductive and interrenal system by pentachlorophenol (PCP) using in silico and in vivo assays. Molecular docking results indicated interacting potency of PCP with steroid receptors (ERα, ERβ, AR, GR) but not Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). In the in vivo assay, sexually matured rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) was exposed to environmental relevant concentrations of PCP (0, 0.5, 5, 50 μg L(-1)). In male fish, 14-d exposure caused up-regulation of mRNA levels of hepatic erα, erβ, ar, gr, vtg and gonadal erα, vtg, ar, dmrt1, providing evidence for agonistic activities for steroid receptors by PCP. The up-regulated mRNA of gnrh, crf, pomc in the brain also indicated feed-forward responses of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal/interrenal (HPG/I) axis. However, at 28th d the feed-forward response of the HPG axis seemed eased back and the HPI axis showed negative feedback responses. Corresponding changes including increases of plasma steroid hormones, inhibition of spermatogenesis, and decreased RSI were observed in male fish upon 28-d exposure to PCP. In the females, a transition from feed-forward responses to negative feedbacks of the HPG/I axis was also indicated by the transcriptional profiles at 14th and 28th day. Corresponding changes including increased E2, T and decreased C levels, degenerated ovaries, and decreased GSI and RSI were also observed. Overall, we concluded that PCP could interfere with steroid receptors, evoke responses of HPG/I axis, and finally result in adverse effects on reproductive and interrenal system in rare minnow at environmental relevant concentrations.

  11. 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

  12. Acetylesterase-Mediated Deacetylation of Pectin Impairs Cell Elongation, Pollen Germination, and Plant Reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Gou J. Y.; Liu C.; Miller, L. M.; Hou, G.; Yu, X.-H.; Chen, X.-Y.

    2012-01-01

    Pectin is a major component of the primary cell wall of higher plants. Some galacturonyl residues in the backbone of pectinaceous polysaccharides are often O-acetylated at the C-2 or C-3 position, and the resulting acetylesters change dynamically during the growth and development of plants. The processes involve both enzymatic acetylation and deacetylation. Through genomic sequence analysis, we identified a pectin acetylesterase (PAE1) from black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). Recombinant Pt PAE1 exhibited preferential activity in releasing the acetate moiety from sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) pectin in vitro. Overexpressing Pt PAE1 in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) decreased the level of acetyl esters of pectin but not of xylan. Deacetylation engendered differential changes in the composition and/or structure of cell wall polysaccharides that subsequently impaired the cellular elongation of floral styles and filaments, the germination of pollen grains, and the growth of pollen tubes. Consequently, plants overexpressing PAE1 exhibited severe male sterility. Furthermore, in contrast to the conventional view, PAE1-mediated deacetylation substantially lowered the digestibility of pectin. Our data suggest that pectin acetylesterase functions as an important structural regulator in planta by modulating the precise status of pectin acetylation to affect the remodeling and physiochemical properties of the cell wall's polysaccharides, thereby affecting cell extensibility.

  13. Acetylesterase-mediated deacetylation of pectin impairs cell elongation, pollen germination, and plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Gou, Jin-Ying; Miller, Lisa M; Hou, Guichuan; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Chen, Xiao-Ya; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2012-01-01

    Pectin is a major component of the primary cell wall of higher plants. Some galacturonyl residues in the backbone of pectinaceous polysaccharides are often O-acetylated at the C-2 or C-3 position, and the resulting acetylesters change dynamically during the growth and development of plants. The processes involve both enzymatic acetylation and deacetylation. Through genomic sequence analysis, we identified a pectin acetylesterase (PAE1) from black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). Recombinant Pt PAE1 exhibited preferential activity in releasing the acetate moiety from sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) pectin in vitro. Overexpressing Pt PAE1 in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) decreased the level of acetyl esters of pectin but not of xylan. Deacetylation engendered differential changes in the composition and/or structure of cell wall polysaccharides that subsequently impaired the cellular elongation of floral styles and filaments, the germination of pollen grains, and the growth of pollen tubes. Consequently, plants overexpressing PAE1 exhibited severe male sterility. Furthermore, in contrast to the conventional view, PAE1-mediated deacetylation substantially lowered the digestibility of pectin. Our data suggest that pectin acetylesterase functions as an important structural regulator in planta by modulating the precise status of pectin acetylation to affect the remodeling and physiochemical properties of the cell wall's polysaccharides, thereby affecting cell extensibility.

  14. Reproduction and distribution of fishes in a cooling lake: Wisconsin power plant impact study

    SciTech Connect

    Rondorf, D.W.; Kitchell, J.F.

    1985-06-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns during reproduction and early-life history of fishes were studied in a manmade cooling lake. Lake Columbia, impounded in 1974, near Portage, Wisconsin, has an area of 190 ha, a mean depth of 2.1 m, and a 15C temperature gradient derived from the thermal effluent of a 527-MW fossil-fueled generating station that began operating in 1975. The lake was initially colonized by fishes when filled with Wisconsin River water. Observations suggest a decline of species diversity of the fish community due to direct action of upper lethal temperatures, absence of colonization by warm-water, lake-dwelling species, and lack of recruitment for certain species. Spatial and temporal patterns of spawning of black crappie were altered by a rapid rise in water temperatures following plant startup after a three-week shutdown. Elevated temperatures subsequently shortened the spawning season, induced resorption of ova, and caused loss of secondary sexual characteristics. After initially drifting with water current, juvenile stages of sunfish and gizzard shad responded to changes in the thermal gradient by horizontal and vertical shifts in abundance.

  15. Variation in resource limitation of plant reproduction influences natural selection on floral traits of Asclepias syriaca.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Christina M; Remington, Davin L D; Ostergren, Kate E

    2005-11-01

    The availability of both pollen and resources can influence natural selection on floral traits, but their relative importance in shaping floral evolution is unclear. We experimentally manipulated pollinator and resource (fertilizer and water) availability in the perennial wildflower Asclepias syriaca L. Nine floral traits, one male fitness component (number of pollinia removed), and two female fitness components (number of pollinia inserted and number of fruits initiated) were measured for plants in each of three treatments (unmanipulated control, decreased pollinator access, and resource supplementation). Although decreasing pollinators' access to flowers did result in fewer pollinia inserted and removed, fruit set and phenotypic selection on floral traits via female and male fitness did not differ from the control. In contrast, resource supplementation increased fruit set, and phenotypic selection on seven out of nine floral traits was stronger via female than male fitness, consistent with the prediction that selection via female fitness would be greater when reproduction was less resource-limited. Our results support the hypothesis that abiotic resource availability can influence floral evolution by altering gender-specific selection.

  16. The molecular dialog between flowering plant reproductive partners defined by SNP-informed RNA-Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Leydon, Alexander R; Weinreb, Caleb; Venable, Elena; Reinders, Anke; Ward, John M; Johnson, Mark A

    2017-04-11

    The molecular interactions between reproductive cells are critical for determining whether sexual reproduction between individuals results in fertilization and can result in barriers to interspecific hybridization. However, it is a challenge to define the complete molecular exchange between reproductive partners because parents contribute to a complex mixture of cells during reproduction. We unambiguously defined male- and female-specific patterns of gene expression during Arabidopsis reproduction using single nucleotide polymorphism-informed RNA-seq analysis. Importantly, we defined the repertoire of pollen tube secreted proteins controlled by a group of MYB transcription factors that are required for sperm release from the pollen tube to the female gametes, a critical barrier to interspecific hybridization. Our work defines the pollen tube gene products that respond to the pistil and are required for reproductive success; moreover, we find that these genes are highly evolutionarily plastic both at the level of coding sequence and expression across Arabidopsis accessions.

  17. 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.

  18. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale.

    PubMed

    Esteves, E; Pohl, P C; Klafke, G M; Reck, J; Fogaça, A C; Martins, J R; Daffre, S

    2015-12-15

    Anaplasma marginale is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects the erythrocytes of calves, causing bovine anaplasmosis. This rickettsia is biologically transmitted by several species of ticks. In tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Rhipicephalus microplus is the main vector. Due to their mobility and longevity, the adult males play an important role in the transmission of A. marginale to calves. Some studies have demonstrated that A. marginale can be intrastadially and interstadially transmitted in R. microplus, but the transovarial transmission has not been demonstrated so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of low temperature on both the A. marginale migration from infected females to their offspring and reproductive parameters of the tick R. microplus. The larvae of R. microplus fed on a calf infected with the strain Jaboticabal of A. marginale. At the end of the parasitic phase, fully engorged females were incubated at either 18°C or 28°C for oviposition. Although A. marginale was detected in the salivary glands of the females, demonstrating that the ticks were successfully infected, the presence of rickettsia was not detected in the offspring. However, the preoviposition period of the non-infected females maintained at 18°C was longer than that of those maintained at 28°C. In addition, the average weight of the mass of eggs as well as the egg production efficiency (ratio of the egg mass weight to the female weight) of the females maintained at 18°C were significantly lower than those of the females incubated at 28°C. There was no larval hatching from the eggs maintained exclusively at 18°C, even at 65 days after female detachment. Hatching occurred only when the eggs maintained at 18°C were transferred to 28°C at 20 days after female detachment (18°C/28°C). We also verified a significantly higher larvae conversion efficiency (ratio of the larvae mass weight to the egg mass weight) in the group of females

  19. The formation and function of the female reproductive tract in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Brian C W; Yanofsky, Martin F

    2008-10-28

    In angiosperms, sexual reproduction requires a sperm cell, contained within a pollen tube, to fertilize the egg cell. The pollen tubes are capable of growth but have a difficult journey, as egg cells are buried within the ovary of the carpel. Several tissues, known collectively as the reproductive tract, develop within the carpel to facilitate the journey of the pollen tube. The genes involved in the formation and function of the reproductive tract have largely remained a mystery but are crucial for successful fertilization. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic control of reproductive tract development.

  20. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  1. 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.

  2. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-01-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex. PMID:9541101

  3. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-03-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Does cadmium pollution affect reproduction in the clam Ruditapes decussatus? A one-year case study.

    PubMed

    Smaoui-Damak, W; Rebai, T; Berthet, B; Hamza-Chaffai, A

    2006-06-01

    The effect of cadmium (Cd) on the reproduction of Ruditapes decussatus was monitored over a period of 12 months, from June 2001 to June 2002. Two sites "Bordj d'Ungha" and "El Hofra" differing by their degree of cadmium contamination were chosen in the Gulf of Gabès area (Tunisia). Annual mean concentrations of Cd in the whole soft tissues of clams from the site El Hofra were more than 4 times higher than those from the site Bordj d'Ungha (reference site). The gametogenic cycle of the clam R. decussatus was also investigated by histological examination and monthly observations of gonadal sections in a population of clams from both sites. The results show that gametogenesis occurred from March to December in clams from both sites. Nevertheless, spawning and emission of gametes were synchronized in both sexes from only the clams of the reference site. Although this species is considered as gonochoristic, 6.6% of hermaphroditic cases were observed in clams from both sites in which gametes of both males and females were in ripe stage. Moreover, the period of ripening of sexual products led to an increase of condition index and to a decrease of Cd concentrations in the whole soft tissues of clams from both sites, hence reflecting the phenomenon of "biological dilution".

  9. An investigation into the factors affecting the natural reproduction of Opsaridium peringueyi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moyo, N. A. G.

    An endangered freshwater fish, Opsaridium peringueyi, was studied from January, 2009 to December, 2009. The analysis of the environmental conditions indicated that the fish is found in streams with moderate to fast flow, high oxygen levels, a depth greater than 0.6 m and temperatures between 10 and 24 °C. O. peringueyi is sexually dimorphic with males growing at a faster rate and attaining a larger size than females. The breeding biology of this species was investigated in glass aquarium tanks. The spawning behaviour is described for the first time. The breeding colour of the male is deep red on the operculum, ventral part, caudal and ventral fins. The breeding colour in the female is the same as the male except the red colour is lighter. The breeding of O. peringueyi is a four stage process which begins with the appearance of breeding colour culminating in the laying of eggs after courtship. Temperature, flow-rate, conductivity and substrate were identified as the environmental cues important in the reproduction of this species. All these factors had a significant effect on the breeding activity of O. peringueyi. The possible effect of climate change on O. peringueyi is discussed.

  10. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  11. Floral scents affect reproductive success in fly-pollinated Alocasia odora (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

    We evaluated the role of floral scents in the reproductive success of Alocasia odora C. Koch (Araceae). Alocasia odora is pollinated by its specific pollinators, Colocasiomyia alocasiae (Okada) and C. xenalocasiae (Okada) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These flies use the spadix of A. odora as breeding sites. The appendix, which is at an upper part of the spadix and is the most attractive region, attracted these pollinators by emitting volatiles, although the male zone of the inflorescence was also attractive. The number of flies attracted was positively correlated with appendix size. During the pistillate phase of the protogynous spadix, attracted flies aggregated in the lower part (female zone) to mate, lay eggs, and perhaps obtain nutrients. The flies moved to the upper part (male zone) of the spadix by the tightening of the constriction separating the upper and lower parts, and then the staminate phase started. This movement of the flies on the spadix promotes outcrossing of A. odora. Removal of the appendix or the whole upper part of the spadix resulted in much reduced fruit set, suggesting that the absence of the scent-producing region leads to insufficient pollination because of reduced pollinator attraction.

  12. Reproductive biology and breeding system of Saraca asoca (Roxb.) De Wilde: a vulnerable medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Smitha, G R; Thondaiman, V

    2016-01-01

    Ashoka (Saraca asoca) is a perennial, evergreen tree valued for its ornamental flowers and medicinal values. This species is classified as 'vulnerable' under IUCN list due to its dwindling population because of destructive harvesting from natural habitats. Therefore, conservation and multiplication of this species is need of the hour to utilize its astonishing medicinal uses eternally. Conservation approaches of any plant species require in-depth study of its reproductive biology, which is lacking in this species. The present study is the first detailed report on reproductive biology of S. asoca. This tree bears fragrant flowers in paniculate corymbose inflorescence from December end to May, with peak flowering during February-March. The fruits attain its maturity during last week of May-July. Seeds were dispersed from the pod to the tree premises upon complete maturity. The time of anthesis in this species is noticed in the early morning from 3.00 to 5.30 am, which coincided with anther dehiscence, stigma receptivity and insect activity. The length of the stamen and pistil points towards the pollination compatibility in both male and female parts. Pollen viability was maximum within 2 h of anthesis, which decreased thereafter and no pollens were viable after 6 h. The stigma was receptive at the time of anthesis and continued for 24 h. The tree produces bright colour attractive flowers, which changed from yellow/light orange to scarlet/red from the inception of buds to wilting. The bright color of the flowers attracted floral visitors/pollinators thereby facilitated the pollination in this species. The observations of the floral biology and breeding system indicated the cross pollination behaviour, which limited the production of selfed seeds and would help to maintain the sustainable levels of heterozygosity among the various populations. Considerable amount of seeds produced in this species indicated that the species is capable of sustaining its progenies in

  13. The unmanaged reproductive ecology of domesticated plants in traditional agroecosystems: An example involving cassavaand a call for data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Marianne; McKey, Doyle

    2000-05-01

    Although cassava is a strictly vegetatively propagated crop, in many traditional Amazonian agroecosystems, Amerindian farmers recognise volunteer seedlings of cassava and allow them to grow. If their properties are deemed desirable, plants originating from seedlings are included in the harvest of tuberous roots, and their stems are used to prepare cuttings for propagation. Incorporation of these products of spontaneous sexual reproduction appears to be important in origin and maintenance of genetic diversity in this clonally propagated plant. Our observations conducted in an Amerindian village in Guyana suggest that volunteer seedlings arise from a bank of viable seeds stored in soil, and that dispersal and burial of seeds by ants may be important in its constitution. Future investigations of the dynamics of genetic diversity in this crop in traditional agroecosystems must consider the role of the 'wild' sexual reproduction that occurs in parallel with vegetative propagation. We suggest that unmanaged processes of sexual reproduction play important but neglected roles in the evolutionary ecology of many domesticated plants in traditional agroecosystems.

  14. The (r)evolution of gene regulatory networks controlling Arabidopsis plant reproduction: a two-decade history.

    PubMed

    Pajoro, Alice; Biewers, Sandra; Dougali, Evangelia; Leal Valentim, Felipe; Mendes, Marta Adelina; Porri, Aimone; Coupland, George; Van de Peer, Yves; van Dijk, Aalt D J; Colombo, Lucia; Davies, Brendan; Angenent, Gerco C

    2014-09-01

    Successful plant reproduction relies on the perfect orchestration of singular processes that culminate in the product of reproduction: the seed. The floral transition, floral organ development, and fertilization are well-studied processes and the genetic regulation of the various steps is being increasingly unveiled. Initially, based predominantly on genetic studies, the regulatory pathways were considered to be linear, but recent genome-wide analyses, using high-throughput technologies, have begun to reveal a different scenario. Complex gene regulatory networks underlie these processes, including transcription factors, microRNAs, movable factors, hormones, and chromatin-modifying proteins. Here we review recent progress in understanding the networks that control the major steps in plant reproduction, showing how new advances in experimental and computational technologies have been instrumental. As these recent discoveries were obtained using the model species Arabidopsis thaliana, we will restrict this review to regulatory networks in this important model species. However, more fragmentary information obtained from other species reveals that both the developmental processes and the underlying regulatory networks are largely conserved, making this review also of interest to those studying other plant species.

  15. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Thomson M.; Hall, David G.; Hentz, Matthew G.; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences. PMID:27833820

  16. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae).

    PubMed

    Paris, Thomson M; Allan, Sandra A; Hall, David G; Hentz, Matthew G; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences.

  17. Generation of a specific immunological response to FGF-2 does not affect wound healing or reproduction.

    PubMed

    Plum, Stacy M; Vu, Hong A; Mercer, Bobby; Fogler, William E; Fortier, Anne H

    2004-02-01

    Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from pre-existing vessels, has been established as an important mechanism involved in pathologic processes, such as cancer, as well as in normal physiology (Ribatti, D.; Vacca, A.; Roncali, L.; Dammacco, F. Angiogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. Haematologica 1991, 76 (4), 311-320). Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a critical mediator of angiogenesis that is important for normal reproduction and wound healing. FGF-2 mediates its pro-angiogenic effects by binding to heparin sulfate proteoglycan in addition to a tyrosine kinase receptor (Baird, A.; Schubert, D.; Ling, N.; Guillemin, R. Receptor and heparin-binding domain of basic fibroblast growth factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 1998, 5 (7), 2324-2328; Richard, C.; Roghani, M.; Moscatelli, D. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 mediates cell attachment through interactions with two FGF receptor-1 isoforms and extracellular matrix or cell-associated heparin sulfate proteoglycans. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2000, 276 (2), 399-405; Casu, B.; Guerrini, M.; Naggi, A.; Perez, M.; Torri, G.; Ribatti, D.; Carminati, P.; Giannini, G.; Penco, S.; Pisano, C.; Belleri, M.; Rusnati, M.; Presta, M. Short heparin sequences spaced by glycol-split urinate residues are antagonists of fibroblast growth factor 2 and angiogenesis inhibitors. Biochemistry 2002, 41 (33), 10519-10528; Murphy, P.V.; Pitt, N.; O'Brien, A.; Enright, P.M.; Dunne, A.; Wilson, S.J.; Duane, R.M.; O'Boyle, K.M. Identification of novel inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) binding to heparin and endothelial cell survival from a structurally diverse carbohybrid library. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12 (22), 3287-3290). We developed a liposomal-based peptide vaccine, L(HBD) that targets the heparin binding domain of the FGF-2 molecule. This vaccine, when inoculated into mice, inhibits angiogenesis in response to FGF-2 in a hepatic sponge model as well as tumor progression

  18. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats

    SciTech Connect

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 {mu}g/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P < 0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P < 0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor {beta} was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P < 0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P < 0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis.

  19. Male age is not an independent factor to affect the outcome of assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Kumtepe, Yakup; Yakin, Kayhan; Kahraman, Semra; Sertyel, Semra; Vanlioğlu, Faruk; Cengiz, Sami; Dönmez, Ersan

    2003-06-01

    Controversy exists whether advanced male age is associated with poor sperm quality and subsequent failure in the assisted reproductive techniques (ART). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of male age on sperm quality and the outcome of ART as well as the association of male age with other relevant factors, particularly with the female age. A retrospective study was performed in order to evaluate the effect of male age on the sperm parameters in 880 routine seminal analyses. Additionally, sperm parameters were also compared among different age groups in 919 cases with male factor infertility who had been included in an ART programme. The laboratory and clinical results of ART (fertilization rate, number and quality of embryos transferred, as well as pregnancy rates) were compared according to different age groups. The results were also evaluated by one-way correlation and also step-wise logistic regression analysis to identify the interactions and correlations between different parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between male age groups in terms of sperm concentration, motility and morphology either in routine seminal analyses or in ART groups. In the ART group, a statistically significant linear correlation was present between male and female ages. Male age was increasing in parallel to female age. Female age was also correlated significantly with ART results. In one-way correlation analysis, male age was found to be correlated with the pregnancy rate, but not with fertilization rate and the quality of the transferred embryos. However, regression analysis revealed that correlation between male age and pregnancy results was simply dependent on the effect of the female age. Seminal parameters did not reveal a significant change with the increasing male age. The effect of male age on ART results in cases with male factor infertility is not a direct effect but a reflection of the negative impact of the parallel increase in

  20. 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.

  1. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  2. 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.

  3. Acute exposure to gas-supersaturated water does not affect reproductive success of female adult chinook salmon late in maturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gale, William L.; Maule, A.G.; Postera, A.; Peters, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    At times, total dissolved gas concentrations in the Columbia and Snake rivers have been elevated due to involuntary spill from high spring runoff and voluntary spill used as a method to pass juvenile salmonids over dams. The goal of this project was to determine if acute exposure to total dissolved gas supersaturation (TDGS) affects the reproductive performance of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. During this study, adult female spring chinook salmon were exposed to mean TDGS levels of 114.1 % to 125.5%. We ended exposures at first mortality, or at the appearance of impending death. Based on this criterion, exposures lasted from 10 to 68 h and were inversely related to TDGS. There was no effect of TDGS on pre-spawning mortality or fecundity when comparing treatment fish to experimental controls or the general hatchery population four to six weeks after exposures. Egg quality, based on egg weight and egg diameter, did not differ between treatment and control fish. Fertilization rate and survival to eyed-stage was high (>94%) for all groups. With the exception of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease; BKD), no viral or bacterial fish pathogens were isolated from experimental fish. The prevalence (about 45%) and severity of R. salmoninarum did not differ among the groups or the general hatchery population. We conclude that these acute exposures to moderate levels of gas-supersaturated water-perhaps similar to that experienced by immigrating adult salmon as they approach and pass a hydropower dam on the Columbia River-did not affect reproductive success of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. These results are most applicable to summer and fall chinook salmon, which migrate in the summer/fall and spawn shortly after reaching their natal streams. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  4. Disentangling Facilitation Along the Life Cycle: Impacts of Plant-Plant Interactions at Vegetative and Reproductive Stages in a Mediterranean Forb.

    PubMed

    García-Cervigón, Ana I; Iriondo, José M; Linares, Juan C; Olano, José M

    2016-01-01

    Facilitation enables plants to improve their fitness in stressful environments. The overall impact of plant-plant interactions on the population dynamics of protégées is the net result of both positive and negative effects that may act simultaneously along the plant life cycle, and depends on the environmental context. This study evaluates the impact of the nurse plant Juniperus sabina on different stages of the life cycle of the forb Helleborus foetidus. Growth, number of leaves, flowers, carpels, and seeds per flower were compared for 240 individuals collected under nurse canopies and in open areas at two sites with contrasting stress levels. Spatial associations with nurse plants and age structures were also checked. A structural equation model was built to test the effect of facilitation on fecundity, accounting for sequential steps from flowering to seed production. The net impact of nurse plants depended on a combination of positive and negative effects on vegetative and reproductive variables. Although nurse plants caused a decrease in flower production at the low-stress site, their net impact there was neutral. In contrast, at the high-stress site the net outcome of plant-plant interactions was positive due to an increase in effective recruitment, plant density, number of viable carpels per flower, and fruit set under nurse canopies. The naturally lower rates of secondary growth and flower production at the high-stress site were compensated by the net positive impact of nurse plants here. Our results emphasize the need to evaluate entire processes and not only final outcomes when studying plant-plant interactions.

  5. 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.

  6. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  7. 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...

  8. Grazing Intensity Does Not Affect Plant Diversity in Shortgrass Steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Responses of livestock gain and forage production to grazing intensity in shortgrass steppe are well-established, but effects on basal cover and plant diversity are less so. A long-term grazing intensity study was initiated on shortgrass steppe at the Central Plains Experimental Range (USDA-Agricult...

  9. Plant community and target species affect responses to restoration strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome on northern Great Plains rangelands have the potential to negatively impact ecosystem function, lower plant diversity and alter seasonal forage distribution, but control strategies are lacking in the region. A project was initiated on a heavily invad...

  10. The Arabidopsis DSO/ABCG11 transporter affects cutin metabolism in reproductive organs and suberin in roots.

    PubMed

    Panikashvili, David; Shi, Jian Xin; Bocobza, Samuel; Franke, Rochus Benni; Schreiber, Lukas; Aharoni, Asaph

    2010-05-01

    Apart from its significance in the protection against stress conditions, the cuticular cover is essential for proper development of the diverse surface structures formed on aerial plant organs. This layer mainly consists of a cutin matrix, embedded and overlaid with cuticular waxes. Following their biosynthesis in epidermal cells, cutin and waxes were suggested to be exported across the plasma membrane by ABCG-type transporters such as DSO/ABCG11 to the cell wall and further to extracellular matrix. Here, additional aspects of DSO/ABCG11 function were investigated, predominantly in reproductive organs, which were not revealed in the previous reports. This was facilitated by the generation of a transgenic DSO/ABCG11 silenced line (dso-4) that displayed relatively subtle morphological and chemical phenotypes. These included altered petal and silique morphology, fusion of seeds, and changes in levels of cutin monomers in flowers and siliques. The dso-4 phenotypes corresponded to the strong DSO/ABCG11 gene expression in the embryo epidermis as well as in the endosperm tissues of the developing seeds. Moreover, the DSO/ABCG11 protein displayed polar localization in the embryo protoderm. Transcriptome analysis of the dso-4 mutant leaves and stems showed that reduced DSO/ABCG11 activity suppressed the expression of a large number of cuticle-associated genes, implying that export of cuticular lipids from the plasma membrane is a rate-limiting step in cuticle metabolism. Surprisingly, root suberin composition of dso-4 was altered, as well as root expression of two suberin biosynthetic genes. Taken together, this study provides new insights into cutin and suberin metabolism and their role in reproductive organs and roots development.

  11. Living in isolation – population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink)

    PubMed Central

    Putz, Christina M; Schmid, Christoph; Reisch, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    The endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus exhibits a highly fragmented distribution range comprising many isolated populations. Based upon this pattern of distribution, we selected a study region in Switzerland with a lower magnitude of isolation (Swiss Jura) and another study region in Germany with a higher degree of isolation (Franconian Jura). In each region, we chose ten populations to analyze population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation in a comparative approach. Therefore, we determined population density, cushion size, and cushion density to analyze population structure, investigated reproductive traits, including number of flowers, capsules, and germination rate, and analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphisms to study genetic variation. Population and cushion density were credibly higher in German than in Swiss populations, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were similar in both study regions. However, genetic variation among populations and isolation by distance were stronger in Germany than in Switzerland. Generally, cushion size and density as well as flower and capsule production increased with population size and density, whereas genetic variation decreased with population density. In contrast to our assumptions, we observed denser populations and cushions in the region with the higher magnitude of isolation, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were comparable in both regions. This corroborates the assumption that stronger isolation must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation. Furthermore, it supports our conclusion that the protection of strongly isolated populations contributes essentially to the conservation of a species' full evolutionary potential. PMID:26380690

  12. Living in isolation - population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink).

    PubMed

    Putz, Christina M; Schmid, Christoph; Reisch, Christoph

    2015-09-01

    The endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus exhibits a highly fragmented distribution range comprising many isolated populations. Based upon this pattern of distribution, we selected a study region in Switzerland with a lower magnitude of isolation (Swiss Jura) and another study region in Germany with a higher degree of isolation (Franconian Jura). In each region, we chose ten populations to analyze population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation in a comparative approach. Therefore, we determined population density, cushion size, and cushion density to analyze population structure, investigated reproductive traits, including number of flowers, capsules, and germination rate, and analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphisms to study genetic variation. Population and cushion density were credibly higher in German than in Swiss populations, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were similar in both study regions. However, genetic variation among populations and isolation by distance were stronger in Germany than in Switzerland. Generally, cushion size and density as well as flower and capsule production increased with population size and density, whereas genetic variation decreased with population density. In contrast to our assumptions, we observed denser populations and cushions in the region with the higher magnitude of isolation, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were comparable in both regions. This corroborates the assumption that stronger isolation must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation. Furthermore, it supports our conclusion that the protection of strongly isolated populations contributes essentially to the conservation of a species' full evolutionary potential.

  13. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xu; Ping, Yunmei; Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types.

  14. The concentration of plasma metabolites varies throughout reproduction and affects offspring number in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    PubMed

    Gauthey, Zoé; Freychet, Marine; Manicki, Aurélie; Herman, Alexandre; Lepais, Olivier; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    In wild populations, measuring energy invested in the reproduction and disentangling investment in gametes versus investment in reproductive behavior (such as intrasexual competition or intersexual preference) remain challenging. In this study, we investigated the energy expenditure in brown trout reproductive behavior by using two proxies: variation in weight and variation of plasma metabolites involved in energy production, over the course of reproductive season in a semi natural experimental river. We estimated overall reproductive success using genetic assignment at the end of the reproductive season. Results show that triglycerides and free fatty acid concentrations vary negatively during reproduction, while amino-acids and glucose concentrations remain stable. Decrease in triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations during reproduction is not related to initial concentration levels or to weight variation. Both metabolite concentration variations and weight variations are correlated to the number of offspring produced, which could indicate that gametic and behavioral reproductive investments substantially contribute to reproductive success in wild brown trout. This study opens a path to further investigate variations in reproductive investment in wild populations.

  15. The movement and distribution of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) larvae on pea plants is affected by egg placement and flowering.

    PubMed

    Perkins, L E; Cribb, B W; Hanan, J; Zalucki, M P

    2010-10-01

    The distribution and movement of 1st instar Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae on whole garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants were determined in glasshouse trials. This economically-important herbivore attacks a wide variety of agricultural, horticultural and indigenous plants. To investigate the mechanisms underlying larval intra-plant movement, we used early-flowering and wild-type plant genotypes and placed eggs at different vertical heights within the plants, one egg per plant. Leaf water and nitrogen content and cuticle hardness were measured at the different plant heights. Of 92 individual larvae, 41% did not move from the node of eclosion, 49% moved upwards and 10% moved downwards with the distance moved being between zero and ten plant nodes. Larvae from eggs placed on the lower third of the plant left the natal leaf more often and moved further than larvae from eggs placed in the middle or upper thirds. The low nutritive value of leaves was the most likely explanation for more movement away from lower plant regions. Although larvae on flowering plants did not move further up or down than larvae on non-flowering plants, they more often departed the leaflet (within a leaf) where they eclosed. The final distribution of larvae was affected by plant genotype, with larvae on flowering plants found less often on leaflets and more often on stipules, tendrils and reproductive structures. Understanding intra-plant movement by herbivorous insects under natural conditions is important because such movement determines the value of economic loss to host crops. Knowing the behaviour underlying the spatial distribution of herbivores on plants will assist us to interpret field data and should lead to better informed pest management decisions.

  16. Fern Gametophytes in Culture--A Simple System for Studying Plant Development and Reproduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, A. F.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses fern life cycle and basic techniques for culturing fern gametophytes in the classroom. Also discusses investigations into the reproductive biology of ferns and into the early development of gametophytes. (JN)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Appropriate timing of uterine cavity length measurement positively affects assisted reproduction cycle outcome.

    PubMed

    Madani, Tahereh; Ashrafi, Mahnaz; Abadi, Akram Bahman; Kiani, Kiandokht

    2009-11-01

    An appropriate and easy embryo transfer has a direct impact on pregnancy rates. Proper evaluation of the uterocervical axis and uterine depth are necessary for suitable embryo transfer. The aim of this study was to assess the appropriate time for cervical axis evaluation and uterine measurement. A total of 124 patients undergoing IVF treatment were included in the study. They were divided equally into two groups. In group I (62 women), uterine cavity depth was measured and the uterocervical axis was determined on day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, and in group II (62 women) at the time of oocyte retrieval. There was a statistically significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between the two groups (P = 0.006). Thirty-four women became pregnant in group I (64.2%) versus 19 women in group II (35.8%). In conclusion, uterine cavity measurement is necessary for suitable embryo transfer. It seems that the time of measurement significantly affects clinical pregnancy rate in IVF cycles. The best time for uterine measurement is on day 2 or 3 of menstruation.

  20. Individual heterogeneity and offspring sex affect the growth-reproduction trade-off in a mammal with indeterminate growth.

    PubMed

    Gélin, Uriel; Wilson, Michelle E; Cripps, Jemma; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of eastern grey kangaroos to test the predictions (1) that reproduction decreases skeletal growth and mass gain and (2) that mass loss leads to reproductive failure. We also tested if sex-allocation strategies influenced these trade-offs. Experimental reproductive suppression revealed negative effects of reproduction on mass gain and leg growth from 1 year to the next. Unmanipulated females, however, showed a positive correlation between number of days lactating and leg growth over periods of 2 years and longer, suggesting that over the long term, reproductive costs were masked by individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition. Mass gain was necessary for reproductive success the subsequent year. Although mothers of daughters generally lost more mass than females nursing sons, mothers in poor condition experienced greater mass gain and arm growth if they had daughters than if they had sons. The strong links between individual mass changes and reproduction suggest that reproductive tactics are strongly resource-dependent.

  1. Interhaplotype Fertility and Effects of Host Plant on Reproductive Traits of Three Haplotypes of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae).

    PubMed

    Mustafa, T; Horton, D R; Cooper, W R; Swisher, K D; Zack, R S; Munyaneza, J E

    2015-04-01

    Potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a serious pest of solanaceous crops in North and Central America and New Zealand. This insect vectors the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Four distinct genetic populations, or haplotypes, of B. cockerelli have been identified. Three of the haplotypes may co-occur in potato fields in the Pacific Northwest of United States. Solanaceous weeds, including the perennial Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade), may provide refuge for psyllid populations which then migrate to potato crops. This study tested whether fecundity, fertility (% egg hatch), and adult longevity of potato psyllid were affected by host plant (S. dulcamara or potato) and whether these reproductive traits were similar among the three haplotypes that are most common in the Pacfic Northwest: Northwestern, Central, and Western. We hypothesized that the locally resident haplotype (Northwestern), which is known to overwinter extensively on S. dulcamara, would show relatively higher fitness on nightshade than the other two haplotypes. Fecundity differed significantly among haplotypes, with an average lifetime fecundity of 1050, 877, and 629 eggs for Northwestern, Western, and Central females, respectively. Egg hatch was significantly reduced in psyllids reared on bittersweet nightshade (61.9%) versus potato (81.3%). Adult psyllids lived longer on nightshade than on potato, averaging 113.9 and 108.4 d on nightshade and 79.0 and 85.5 d on potato for males and females, respectively. However, the longer life span of psyllids on nightshade than potato failed to lead to higher fecundity, because females on nightshade often ended egglaying well before death, unlike those on potato. There was no evidence for any of the fitness traits to suggest that the locally resident haplotype (Northwestern) performed relatively better on nightshade than the other two haplotypes. Lastly, we examined whether

  2. Decomposers (Lumbricidae, Collembola) affect plant performance in model grasslands of different diversity.

    PubMed

    Partsch, Stephan; Milcu, Alexandru; Scheu, Stefan

    2006-10-01

    Decomposer invertebrates influence soil structure and nutrient mineralization as well as the activity and composition of the microbial community in soil and therefore likely affect plant performance and plant competition. We established model grassland communities in a greenhouse to study the interrelationship between two different functional groups of decomposer invertebrates, Lumbricidae and Collembola, and their effect on plant performance and plant nitrogen uptake in a plant diversity gradient. Common plant species of Central European Arrhenatherion grasslands were transplanted into microcosms with numbers of plant species varying from one to eight and plant functional groups varying from one to four. Separate and combined treatments with earthworms and collembolans were set up. Microcosms contained 15N labeled litter to track N fluxes into plant shoots. Presence of decomposers strongly increased total plant and plant shoot biomass. Root biomass decreased in the presence of collembolans and even more in the presence of earthworms. However, it increased when both animal groups were present. Also, presence of decomposers increased total N concentration and 15N enrichment of grasses, legumes, and small herbs. Small herbs were at a maximum in the combined treatment with earthworms and collembolans. The impact of earthworms and collembolans on plant performance strongly varied with plant functional group identity and plant species diversity and was modified when both decomposers were present. Both decomposer groups generally increased aboveground plant productivity through effects on litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization leading to an increased plant nutrient acquisition. The non-uniform effects of earthworms and collembolans suggest that functional diversity of soil decomposer animals matters and that the interactions between soil animal functional groups affect the structure of plant communities.

  3. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture.

  4. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture. PMID:27213896

  5. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedbacks increases per capita reproductive biomass of species at an establishment disadvantage.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jean H; Brandt, Angela J; Murphy, Jennifer E; Kaczowka, Angela M; Burke, David J

    2017-04-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks have been widely implicated as a driver of plant community diversity, and the coexistence prediction generated by a negative plant-soil feedback can be tested using the mutual invasibility criterion: if two populations are able to invade one another, this result is consistent with stable coexistence. We previously showed that two co-occurring Rumex species exhibit negative pairwise plant-soil feedbacks, predicting that plant-soil feedbacks could lead to their coexistence. However, whether plants are able to reproduce when at an establishment disadvantage ("invasibility"), or what drivers in the soil might correlate with this pattern, are unknown. To address these questions, we created experimental plots with heterogeneous and homogeneous soils using field-collected conditioned soils from each of these Rumex species. We then allowed resident plants of each species to establish and added invader seeds of the congener to evaluate invasibility. Rumex congeners were mutually invasible, in that both species were able to establish and reproduce in the other's resident population. Invaders of both species had twice as much reproduction in heterogeneous compared to homogeneous soils; thus the spatial arrangement of plant-soil feedbacks may influence coexistence. Soil mixing had a non-additive effect on the soil bacterial and fungal communities, soil moisture, and phosphorous availability, suggesting that disturbance could dramatically alter soil legacy effects. Because the spatial arrangement of soil patches has coexistence implications, plant-soil feedback studies should move beyond studies of mean effects of single patch types, to consider how the spatial arrangement of patches in the field influences plant communities.

  6. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N; MacLean, Allyson M; Grieve, Victoria M; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2011-11-29

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect performance. Previously, we sequenced and mined the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB) and identified 56 candidate effectors. Here, we report that the secreted AY-WB protein 11 (SAP11) effector modulates plant defense responses to the advantage of the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus. SAP11 binds and destabilizes Arabidopsis CINCINNATA (CIN)-related TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, PROLIFERATING CELL FACTORS 1 and 2 (TCP) transcription factors, which control plant development and promote the expression of lipoxygenase (LOX) genes involved in jasmonate (JA) synthesis. Both the Arabidopsis SAP11 lines and AY-WB-infected plants produce less JA on wounding. Furthermore, the AY-WB insect vector produces more offspring on AY-WB-infected plants, SAP11 transgenic lines, and plants impaired in CIN-TCP and JA synthesis. Thus, SAP11-mediated destabilization of CIN-TCPs leads to the down-regulation of LOX2 expression and JA synthesis and an increase in M. quadrilineatus progeny. Phytoplasmas are obligate inhabitants of their plant host and insect vectors, in which the latter transmits AY-WB to a diverse range of plant species. This finding demonstrates that pathogen effectors can reach beyond the pathogen-host interface to modulate a third organism in the biological interaction.

  7. The evolution of reproductive structures in seed plants: a re-examination based on insights from developmental genetics.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Sarah; Kramer, Elena M

    2012-06-01

    The study of developmental genetics is providing insights into how plant morphology can and does evolve, and into the fundamental nature of specific organs. This new understanding has the potential to revise significantly the way we think about seed plant evolution, especially with regard to reproductive structures. Here, we have sought to take a step in bridging the divide between genetic data and critical fields such as paleobotany and systematics. We discuss the evidence for several evolutionarily important interpretations, including the possibility that ovules represent meristematic axes with their own type of lateral determinate organs (integuments) and a model that considers carpels as analogs of complex leaves. In addition, we highlight the aspects of reproductive development that are likely to be highly labile and homoplastic, factors that have major implications for the understanding of seed plant relationships. Although these hypotheses may suggest that some long-standing interpretations are misleading, they also open up whole new avenues for comparative study and suggest concrete best practices for evolutionary analyses of development.

  8. Factors affecting effective communication about sexual and reproductive health issues between parents and adolescents in zandspruit informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Motsomi, Kegaugetswe; Makanjee, Chandra; Basera, Tariro; Nyasulu, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Communication between parents and adolescents regarding sexuality is an important reproductive health topic. Due to complexities associated with adolescent's physiological development, sexuality should be dealt with holistically. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting effective communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Methods An exploratory qualitative study using the focus group discussions method was done to explore amongst other things; social, cultural and religious barriers to communication. Thematic content analysis was done. Results Factors identified included: embarrassment when discussing sexual topics; adolescent misperceptions that guardians want to engage in sexual activities with them; strong belief amongst guardians that reproductive health discussions with adolescents encourages sexual experimentation; belief that adolescents were too young to understand; non-conducive environment for open discussions of sexual and reproductive health matters; cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion In view of these findings, there are still barriers in terms of parent-adolescent engagement on issues related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices among adolescents. Therefore, there is a need to encourage engagement by creating neutral platforms facilitated by community healthcare providers and/ or social workers. This will help create awareness and bridge the communication and interaction gap by emphasising the importance of effective engagement among adolescents and their parents on matters related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices. Post implantation intervention studies are needed to inform on the outcomes of the intervention. PMID:28292083

  9. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens.

    PubMed

    Harwood, James F; Chen, Kehui; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Morice, Amy E; Carey, James R

    2015-03-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males' access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability.

  10. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

  11. Fusion and metabolism of plant cells as affected by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Hampp, R; Hoffmann, E; Schönherr, K; Johann, P; De Filippis, L

    1997-01-01

    Plant cell protoplasts derived from leaf tissue of two different tobacco species (Nicotiana tabacum., N. rustica L.) were exposed to short-term (sounding rocket experiments) and long-term (spacelab) microgravity environments in order to study both (electro) cell fusion and cell metabolism during early and later stages of tissue regeneration. The period of exposure to microgravity varied from 10 min (sounding rocket) to 10 d (space shuttle). The process of electro fusion of protoplasts was improved under conditions of microgravity: the time needed to establish close membrane contact between protoplasts (alignment time) was reduced (5 as compared to 15 s under 1 g) and numbers of fusion products between protoplasts of different specific density were increased by a factor of about 10. In addition, viability of fusion products, as shown by the ability to form callus, increased from about 60% to more than 90%. Regenerated fusion products obtained from both sounding-rocket and spacelab experiments showed a wide range of intermediate properties between the two parental plants. This was verified by isozyme analysis and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). In order to address potential metabolic responses, more general markers such as the overall energy state (ATP/ADP ratio), the redox charge of the diphosphopyridine nucleotide system (NADH/NAD ratio), and the pool size of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru 2,6 bisp), a regulator of the balance between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were determined. Responses of these parameters were different with regard to short-term and long-term exposure. Shortly after transition to reduced gravitation (sounding rocket) ratios of ATP/ADP exhibited strong fluctuation while the pool size of NAD decreased (indicating an increased NADH/NAD ratio) and that of Fru 2,6 bisp increased. As similar changes can be observed under stress conditions, this response is probably indicative of a metabolic stress

  12. CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE 7 modulates plant growth, reproduction, senescence, and determinate nodulation in the model legume Lotus japonicus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Junwei; Novero, Mara; Charnikhova, Tatsiana; Ferrandino, Alessandra; Schubert, Andrea; Ruyter-Spira, Carolien; Bonfante, Paola; Lovisolo, Claudio; Bouwmeester, Harro J.; Cardinale, Francesca

    2013-01-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) are newly identified hormones that regulate multiple aspects of plant development, infection by parasitic weeds, and mutualistic symbiosis in the roots. In this study, the role of SLs was studied for the first time in the model plant Lotus japonicus using transgenic lines silenced for CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE 7 (LjCCD7), the orthologue of Arabidopsis More Axillary Growth 3. Transgenic LjCCD7-silenced plants displayed reduced height due to shorter internodes, and more branched shoots and roots than the controls, and an increase in total plant biomass, while their root:shoot ratio remained unchanged. Moreover, these lines had longer primary roots, delayed senescence, and reduced flower/pod numbers from the third round of flower and pod setting onwards. Only a mild reduction in determinate nodule numbers and hardly any impact on the colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were observed. The results show that the impairment of CCD7 activity in L. japonicus leads to a phenotype linked to SL functions, but with specific features possibly due to the peculiar developmental pattern of this plant species. It is believed that the data also link determinate nodulation, plant reproduction, and senescence to CCD7 function for the first time. PMID:23567864

  13. THE ESTROGENIC AND ANTIANDROGENIC PESTICIDE METHOXYCHLOR ALTERS THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT AND BEHAVIOR WITHOUT AFFECTING PITUITARY SIZE OR LH AND PROLACTIN SECRETION IN MALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The estrogenic and antiandrogenic pesticide methoxychlor alters the reproductive tract and behavior without affecting pituitary size or LH and prolactin secretion in male rats.

    Gray LE Jr, Ostby J, Cooper RL, Kelce WR.

    Endocrinology Branch, United States Environment...

  14. Understand the air-pollution laws that affect CPI plants

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-01

    The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 promise to further refine and strengthen air-pollution control. The resulting Clean Air Act has a more direct and pervasive impact on our everyday lives than any other environmental law. The Act: establishes health-based air-quality standards; provides for the preparation, approval, and enforcement of state implementation plans to meet the air-quality standards; and provides for the control of new emissions that have the potential to endanger public health. It also provides for the control of new sources of emissions of hazardous air pollutants, for the prevention of significant deterioration of clean air areas, for the reduction of emissions from automobile and other mobile sources, and for the control of acid ran. Finally, the Act provides for permit programs and civil and criminal enforcement. Compliance with the Clean Air Act and the regulations and standards established under it must be integrated into the design and operation of every chemical process industries (CPI) plant. This article provides a brief overview of the Clean Air Act's various air-quality programs.

  15. 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.

  16. Reproductive responses of male fathead minnows exposed to wastewater treatment plant effluent, effluent treated with XAD8 resin, and an environmentally relevant mixture of alkylphenol compounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barber, L.B.; Lee, K.E.; Swackhamer, D.L.; Schoenfuss, H.L.

    2007-01-01

    On-site, continuous-flow experiments were conducted during August and October 2002 at a major metropolitan wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to determine if effluent exposure induced endocrine disruption as manifested in the reproductive competence of sexually mature male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). The fathead minnows were exposed in parallel experiments to WWTP effluent and WWTP effluent treated with XAD8 macroreticular resin to remove the hydrophobic-neutral fraction which contained steroidal hormones, alkylphenolethoxylates (APEs), and other potential endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). The effluent composition varied on a temporal scale and the continuous-flow experiments captured the range of chemical variability that occurred during normal WWTP operations. Exposure to WWTP effluent resulted in vitellogenin induction in male fathead minnows, with greater response in October than in August. Concentrations of ammonia, APEs, 17??-estradiol, and other EDCs also were greater in October than in August, reflecting a change in effluent composition. In the October experiment, XAD8 treatment significantly reduced vitellogenin induction in the male fathead minnows relative to the untreated effluent, whereas in August, XAD8 treatment had little effect. During both experiments, XAD8 treatment removed greater than 90% of the APEs. Exposure of fish to a mixture of APEs similar in composition and concentration to the WWTP effluent, but prepared in groundwater and conducted at a separate facility, elicited vitellogenin induction during both experiments. There was a positive relation between vitellogenin induction and hepatosomatic index (HSI), but not gonadosomatic index (GSI), secondary sexual characteristics index (SSCI), or reproductive competency. In contrast to expectations, the GSI and SSCI increased in males exposed to WWTP effluent compared to groundwater controls. The GSI, SSCI, and reproductive competency were positively affected by XAD8 treatment of

  17. Developmental Exposure to Ethinylestradiol Affects Reproductive Physiology, the GnRH Neuroendocrine Network and Behaviors in Female Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Derouiche, Lyes; Keller, Matthieu; Martini, Mariangela; Duittoz, Anne H.; Pillon, Delphine

    2015-01-01

    During development, environmental estrogens are able to induce an estrogen mimetic action that may interfere with endocrine and neuroendocrine systems. The present study investigated the effects on the reproductive function in female mice following developmental exposure to pharmaceutical ethinylestradiol (EE2), the most widespread and potent synthetic steroid present in aquatic environments. EE2 was administrated in drinking water at environmentally relevant (ENVIR) or pharmacological (PHARMACO) doses [0.1 and 1 μg/kg (body weight)/day respectively], from embryonic day 10 until postnatal day 40. Our results show that both groups of EE2-exposed females had advanced vaginal opening and shorter estrus cycles, but a normal fertility rate compared to CONTROL females. The hypothalamic population of GnRH neurons was affected by EE2 exposure with a significant increase in the number of perikarya in the preoptic area of the PHARMACO group and a modification in their distribution in the ENVIR group, both associated with a marked decrease in GnRH fibers immunoreactivity in the median eminence. In EE2-exposed females, behavioral tests highlighted a disturbed maternal behavior, a higher lordosis response, a lack of discrimination between gonad-intact and castrated males in sexually experienced females, and an increased anxiety-related behavior. Altogether, these results put emphasis on the high sensitivity of sexually dimorphic behaviors and neuroendocrine circuits to disruptive effects of EDCs. PMID:26696819

  18. Factors affecting reproductive performance of white-tailed deer subjected to fixed-time artificial insemination or natural mating.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Orta, Claudia G; Lozano, Eloy A; García, Jose E; Veliz, Francisco G; de Santiago, Angeles

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of several factors affecting fawning rate, litter size, litter weight and neonatal fawn mortality in white-tailed deer inseminated either transcervically or by means of laparoscopy. Oestrus synchronisation with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-based protocol and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) was conducted in 130 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) during three reproductive seasons (2007-2009; 271 services) in a game-hunting ranch in a hot-arid environment (26°4' N, 101°25' W). Ninety additional non-treated does were exposed to bucks for natural mating. Fawning rate did not differ between AI methods (40.0 vs 45.0% for transcervical and laparoscopic AI, respectively). Overall fawning rate (proportion of all does fawning after FTAI and a subsequent period of buck exposure) did not differ between transcervical (89.5%), laparoscopic (80.3%) or natural (88.9%) insemination. Litter size per fawning doe was higher (P<0.05) in naturally-served does (1.65±0.48) than in transcervically-inseminated does (1.40±0.51) or in laparoscopically-inseminated does (1.48±0.50). The main conclusion was that no enhancement of fawning rate or litter size occurred as a result of intrauterine deposition of semen by laparoscopy compared with the transcervical insemination technique.

  19. Active immunization against leptin fails to affect reproduction and exerts only marginal effects on glucose metabolism in young female goats.

    PubMed

    Sauerwein, H; Heintges, U; Bruhns, S C; Hennies, M; Gertler, A

    2006-08-01

    Approximately 150 days before expected breeding time, 12 female goats (3 months of age) were actively immunized against ovine leptin. Booster injections were given throughout the following year. Control animals (n = 6) were sham-immunized. After the first observed oestrus, a buck was introduced and goats were mated. Blood samples were collected twice weekly and frequent blood sampling series were performed on days -15, 76, 153 and 286 relative to the first immunization. Nine of the immunized goats developed titres within 3 months and had elevated serum concentrations of leptin compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Hematological parameters and blood chemistry were not affected by the immunization. No differences were detectable in all reproductive parameters recorded. Serum insulin was higher in immunized goats during the frequent blood sampling series of day 287 after the first immunization. Glucose metabolism was investigated during pregnancy using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic clamps. None of the parameters derived from the clamp studies was different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. During the hyperglycaemic clamp there was a trend (p < 0.15) towards increased insulin concentrations in immunized animals whereas glucose infusion rates were not different between the groups. This indicates decreased insulin sensitivity in immunized goats. Our study describes the ontogenesis of serum concentrations of leptin during growth, puberty and first pregnancy and parturition for the caprine species. The effects of the immunization were not detectable or only marginal and the approach aimed at therefore not effective to investigate leptin action in detail.

  20. Plant water use efficiency over geological time--evolution of leaf stomata configurations affecting plant gas exchange.

    PubMed

    Assouline, Shmuel; Or, Dani

    2013-01-01

    Plant gas exchange is a key process shaping global hydrological and carbon cycles and is often characterized by plant water use efficiency (WUE - the ratio of CO2 gain to water vapor loss). Plant fossil record suggests that plant adaptation to changing atmospheric CO2 involved correlated evolution of stomata density (d) and size (s), and related maximal aperture, amax . We interpreted the fossil record of s and d correlated evolution during the Phanerozoic to quantify impacts on gas conductance affecting plant transpiration, E, and CO2 uptake, A, independently, and consequently, on plant WUE. A shift in stomata configuration from large s-low d to small s-high d in response to decreasing atmospheric CO2 resulted in large changes in plant gas exchange characteristics. The relationships between gas conductance, gws , A and E and maximal relative transpiring leaf area, (amax ⋅d), exhibited hysteretic-like behavior. The new WUE trend derived from independent estimates of A and E differs from established WUE-CO2 trends for atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceeding 1,200 ppm. In contrast with a nearly-linear decrease in WUE with decreasing CO2 obtained by standard methods, the newly estimated WUE trend exhibits remarkably stable values for an extended geologic period during which atmospheric CO2 dropped from 3,500 to 1,200 ppm. Pending additional tests, the findings may affect projected impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 on components of the global hydrological cycle.

  1. Factors affecting the incidence of postpartum oestrus, ovarian activity and reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares bred at foal heat under Indian subtropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sumeet; Davies Morel, M C G; Dhaliwal, G S

    2010-07-01

    Decreased reproductive performance due to summer stress is a well known phenomenon in farm livestock. Whether this occurs in the mare and specifically how this might affect postpartum reproductive activity and performance, especially at Foal Heat (FH), is unknown. This study, therefore, aims to investigate this and the factors that might affect postpartum reproductive activity. Reproductive records of 228 Thoroughbred mares (694 mare years) bred in subtropical north-western India were retrospectively analysed. Overt oestrous activity occurred within 21 d postpartum in 92.94% (645/694) of mares. Significantly (p<0.001) more April foaling mares (97.37%, 185/190) expressed postpartum oestrous activity than those foaling in January (83.61%; 51/61) and February (88.49; 123/139). Similarly significantly (p<0.01) fewer multiparous mares failed to demonstrate oestrous activity than primiparous mares (6.12% vs.15.07%; 38/621 vs. 11/73, respectively). 190 of these 694 mares were additionally monitored to confirm ovulation; in these mares onset of FH (oestrus plus confirmed ovulation) occurred 8.42+/-0.17 d and first ovulation 13.64+/-0.20 d postpartum. Month, stud farm, year, and parity did not affect interval from parturition to FH onset or to first ovulation; or FH onset to ovulation. In FH bred mares Day 16 pregnancy rate and overall foaling rate were 53.76% (100/186) and 46.24% (86/186) respectively and were similar to those of mares bred later postpartum. FH pregnancy rates were not affected by stud, season, month, year, number of matings, or day of ovulation but were significantly (p<0.008) lowered by increasing mare age. Significantly (p<0.01) lower Day 16 pregnancy rates were observed in uterine treated mares compared to untreated mares (31.09% vs. 57.96%; 9/29 vs. 91/157, respectively), this difference was not evident during the rest of pregnancy. In conclusion, postpartum reproductive and ovarian activity appears to be affected by environment, i.e., delayed in

  2. Long-term reproductive behaviour of woody plants across seven Bornean forest types in the Gunung Palung National Park (Indonesia): suprannual synchrony, temporal productivity and fruiting diversity.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Charles H; Curran, Lisa M; Marshall, Andrew J; Leighton, Mark

    2007-10-01

    For 68 months, we observed the reproductive behaviour of 7288 woody plants (172 figs, 1457 climbers and 5659 trees) spanning major soil and elevational gradients. Two 2-3 month community-wide supra-annual fruiting events were synchronized across five forest types, coinciding with ENSO events. At least 27 genera in 24 families restricted their reproduction to these events, which involved a substantial proportion of tree diversity (> 80% of phylogenetic diversity). During these events, mean reproductive levels (8.5%) represented an almost four-fold increase compared with other months. These patterns indicate a strong behavioural advantage to this unusual reproductive behaviour. Montane forest experienced a single, separate fruiting peak while the peat swamp forest did not participate. Excluding these events, no temporal reproductive pattern was detectable, at either the landscape or forest type. These phenological patterns have major implications for the conservation of frugivore communities, with montane and swamp forests acting as 'keystone' forests.

  3. Florivory and nectar-robbing perforations in flowers of pointleaf manzanita Arctostaphylos pungens (Ericaceae) and their effects on plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Eliyahu, Dorit; McCall, Andrew C.; Lauck, Marina; Trakhtenbrot, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Damage to petals may have varying effects on the reproductive success of the plant. The variation may depend on the kind of damage to the corolla. Whether the damage is limited to the corolla, as is usually the case with nectar-robbing perforations, or extending to the reproductive parts of the flower, as in the case of florivory holes, might determine the extent of the effect on the plant's reproduction. We examined the various perforations in the flowers of Arctostaphylos pungens and correlated their presence with fruiting success. We found that though florivory holes were highly associated with damage to reproductive parts, fruiting success did not differ significantly between flowers with the two kinds of damage. Although nectar-robbing perforations were not associated with reduced number of fruit produced, they were significantly correlated with reduced number of fruit that contained seemingly viable seeds. The implications of our findings are discussed in the context of pollination and antagonism. PMID:26811740

  4. Effect of different combinations of MGK-264 or piperonyl butoxide with plant-derived molluscicides on snail reproduction.

    PubMed

    Singh, K; Singh, D K

    2000-02-01

    Effect of sublethal treatment (20% and 60% of LC(50)/24 h) of plant-derived molluscicides, viz. Polianthes tuberosa, Trachyspermum ammi, Allium sativum powder; Azadirachta indica oil; oleoresin of Zingiber officinale; and their active molluscicidal component in combination (1:5) with MGK-264 or piperonyl butoxide on the reproduction of snail Lymnaea acuminata have been studied. It was observed that the combination of plant derived molluscicide and their active molluscicidal components, viz. tigogenin, hecogenin, azadirachtin, allicin, thymol, and [6]-gingerol combination with MGK-264 or piperonyl butoxide caused a significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survival of young snails. Withdrawal of snails to fresh water after the above treatment caused a significant recovery in the fecundity of L. acuminata.

  5. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types. PMID:28129405

  6. 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.

  7. Limited mate availability decreases reproductive success of fragmented populations of Linnaea borealis, a rare, clonal self-incompatible plant

    PubMed Central

    Scobie, A. R.; Wilcock, C. C.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Small populations of rare plant species are increasingly reported to have high levels of reproductive failure. The objective of this study was to understand the principal constraints on sexual reproduction in small fragmented populations of a rare clonal self-incompatible plant. Methods The pollinator spectrum, diversity of flower colour, natural pollination and fruit-set levels of L. borealis were examined in Scotland. Artificially crossed seed production was compared within and between different flower colour types and patches. Key Results Linnaea borealis was pollinated by a diverse spectrum of insect species and the principal pollinators were muscid, syrphid and empid flies which mostly moved only small distances (<0·25 m) between flowers when foraging. Natural pollination levels were high, indicating high pollinator effectiveness, but fruit set was very low in most patches. Flower colour diversity was low in most patches and only those with a diversity of flower colour types had high fruiting success. Pollination experiments showed L. borealis to be highly self-incompatible and artificial crosses within and between patches and flower colour types confirmed that low fruit success was the result of a lack of compatible mates and limited pollen movement between them. Evidence of isolation from pollen exchange was apparent at as little as 6 m and severe at 30 m and beyond. Conclusions Limited mate availability and isolation from pollen exchange compromise the reproductive success of fragmented populations of L. borealis in Scotland. A diversity of compatible mates situated within close proximity (<6 m) is the key requirement to ensure high natural fruiting success. This study emphasizes that an understanding of the breeding system, pollinator spectrum and potential for interconnectivity via pollinator movement are fundamental to identify isolation distances and to establish when conservation intervention is necessary for rare species. PMID

  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.

  9. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior.

  10. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    PubMed

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success.

  11. How endangered is sexual reproduction of high-mountain plants by summer frosts? Frost resistance, frequency of frost events and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Ladinig, Ursula; Hacker, Jürgen; Neuner, Gilbert; Wagner, Johanna

    2013-03-01

    In temperate-zone mountains, summer frosts usually occur during unpredictable cold spells with snow-falls. Earlier studies have shown that vegetative aboveground organs of most high-mountain plants tolerate extracellular ice in the active state. However, little is known about the impact of frost on reproductive development and reproductive success. In common plant species from the European Alps (Cerastium uniflorum, Loiseleuria procumbens, Ranunculus glacialis, Rhododendron ferrugineum, Saxifraga bryoides, S. moschata, S. caesia), differing in growth form, altitudinal distribution and phenology, frost resistance of reproductive and vegetative shoots was assessed in different reproductive stages. Intact plants were exposed to simulated night frosts between -2 and -14 °C in temperature-controlled freezers. Nucleation temperatures, freezing damage and subsequent reproductive success (fruit and seed set, seed germination) were determined. During all reproductive stages, reproductive shoots were significantly less frost resistant than vegetative shoots (mean difference for LT50 -4.2 ± 2.7 K). In most species, reproductive shoots were ice tolerant before bolting and during fruiting (mean LT50 -7 and -5.7 °C), but were ice sensitive during bolting and anthesis (mean LT50 around -4 °C). Only R. glacialis remained ice tolerant during all reproductive stages. Frost injury in reproductive shoots usually led to full fruit loss. Reproductive success of frost-treated but undamaged shoots did not differ significantly from control values. Assessing the frost damage risk on the basis of summer frost frequency and frost resistance shows that, in the alpine zone, low-statured species are rarely endangered as long as they are protected by snow. The situation is different in the subnival and nival zone, where frost-sensitive reproductive shoots may become frost damaged even when covered by snow. Unprotected individuals are at high risk of suffering from frost damage, particularly

  12. Plants and Photosynthesis: Level III, Unit 3, Lesson 1; The Human Digestive System: Lesson 2; Functions of the Blood: Lesson 3; Human Circulation and Respiration: Lesson 4; Reproduction of a Single Cell: Lesson 5; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells: Lesson 6; The Human Reproductive System: Lesson 7; Genetics and Heredity: Lesson 8; The Nervous System: Lesson 9; The Glandular System: Lesson 10. Advanced General Education Program. A High School Self-Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manpower Administration (DOL), Washington, DC. Job Corps.

    This self-study program for the high-school level contains lessons in the following subjects: Plants and Photosynthesis; The Human Digestive System; Functions of the Blood; Human Circulation and Respiration; Reproduction of a Single Cell; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells; The Human Reproductive System; Genetics and Heredity; The Nervous…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Clifton, Mark E; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G

    2014-05-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as "activating" egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: (1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? (2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? (3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female's resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle's likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the "activating" effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes.

  16. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Mark E.; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as “activating” egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: 1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? 2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? 3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female’s resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle’s likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the “activating” effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes. PMID:24657670

  17. Iron deficiency affects plant defence responses and confers resistance to Dickeya dadantii and Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    Kieu, Nam Phuong; Aznar, Aude; Segond, Diego; Rigault, Martine; Simond-Côte, Elizabeth; Kunz, Caroline; Soulie, Marie-Christine; Expert, Dominique; Dellagi, Alia

    2012-10-01

    Iron is an essential element for most living organisms, and pathogens are likely to compete with their hosts for the acquisition of this element. The bacterial plant pathogen Dickeya dadantii has been shown to require its siderophore-mediated iron uptake system for systemic disease progression on several host plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effect of the iron status of Arabidopsis on the severity of disease caused by D. dadantii. We showed that symptom severity, bacterial fitness and the expression of bacterial pectate lyase-encoding genes were reduced in iron-deficient plants. Reduced symptoms correlated with enhanced expression of the salicylic acid defence plant marker gene PR1. However, levels of the ferritin coding transcript AtFER1, callose deposition and production of reactive oxygen species were reduced in iron-deficient infected plants, ruling out the involvement of these defences in the limitation of disease caused by D. dadantii. Disease reduction in iron-starved plants was also observed with the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea. Our data demonstrate that the plant nutritional iron status can control the outcome of an infection by acting on both the pathogen's virulence and the host's defence. In addition, iron nutrition strongly affects the disease caused by two soft rot-causing plant pathogens with a large host range. Thus, it may be of interest to take into account the plant iron status when there is a need to control disease without compromising crop quality and yield in economically important plant species.

  18. Does host plant quality affect the oviposition decisions of an omnivore?

    PubMed

    Vankosky, Meghan A; VanLaerhoven, Sherah L

    2016-01-22

    Optimal oviposition theory predicts a positive relationship between female preference for oviposition hosts and offspring performance. Interspecies effects on oviposition preference have been widely investigated, especially for herbivores. However, intraspecies variation, such as nitrogen content, might also influence female preference for oviposition hosts and subsequent offspring performance. To evaluate this possibility, we investigated the oviposition preference of a zoophytophagous omnivore and the development and survival of its nymphs on a single species of host plant that varied in nitrogen content. In choice and no-choice experiments without prey, female omnivores were allowed to oviposit on plants that had been fertilized using four rates of nitrogen fertilizer (39, 78, 156 and 311 mg/L nitrogen) for 72 h. After 72 h, the most females were found on tomato plants receiving high concentrations of nitrogen fertilizer and more eggs were laid on those plants. First instar nymphs developed more rapidly on high nitrogen plants and third instar nymphs developed faster on low nitrogen plans. Plant nitrogen did not affect nymph survival to the adult stage, or the probability of survival over time. Although female omnivores did discriminate between potential oviposition hosts based on plant nitrogen, their choices did not significantly impact nymph development or survival. This is the first study to show that intraspecies variation in nitrogen content between plants affects the oviposition preference of female omnivores, but not offspring performance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Realistic diversity loss and variation in soil depth independently affect community-level plant nitrogen use.

    PubMed

    Selmants, Paul C; Zavaleta, Erika S; Wolf, Amelia A

    2014-01-01

    Numerous experiments have demonstrated that diverse plant communities use nitrogen (N) more completely and efficiently, with implications for how species conservation efforts might influence N cycling and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most such experiments have randomly manipulated species richness and minimized environmental heterogeneity, two design aspects that may reduce applicability to real ecosystems. Here we present results from an experiment directly comparing how realistic and randomized plant species losses affect plant N use across a gradient of soil depth in a native-dominated serpentine grassland in California. We found that the strength of the species richness effect on plant N use did not increase with soil depth in either the realistic or randomized species loss scenarios, indicating that the increased vertical heterogeneity conferred by deeper soils did not lead to greater complementarity among species in this ecosystem. Realistic species losses significantly reduced plant N uptake and altered N-use efficiency, while randomized species losses had no effect on plant N use. Increasing soil depth positively affected plant N uptake in both loss order scenarios but had a weaker effect on plant N use than did realistic species losses. Our results illustrate that realistic species losses can have functional consequences that differ distinctly from randomized losses, and that species diversity effects can be independent of and outweigh those of environmental heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning. Our findings also support the value of conservation efforts aimed at maintaining biodiversity to help buffer ecosystems against increasing anthropogenic N loading.

  1. 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....

  2. Soil contamination with olive mill wastes negatively affects microbial communities, invertebrates and plants.

    PubMed

    Hentati, Olfa; Oliveira, Vanessa; Sena, Clara; Bouji, Mohamed Seddik Mahmoud; Wali, Ahmed; Ksibi, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ecotoxicological effects of olive mill waste (OMW) on soil habitat function. To this end, soil samples from OMW evaporating ponds (S1-S5) located at Agareb (Sfax, Tunisia) and a reference soil (R) were collected. The effects of OMW on the springtails Folsomia candida (F.c.), the earthworm species Eisenia fetida (E.f.), Enchytraeus crypticus (E.c.) reproduction and on the soil living microbial communities were investigated. E.f. reproduction and tomato growth assays were performed in the reference soil amended with 0.43 to 7.60 % (wOMW/wref-soil) mass ratios of dried OMW. Changes in microbial function diversity were explored using sole-carbon-source utilization profiles (BiologEcoPlates(®)). E.f. absolutely avoided (100 %) the most polluted soil (S4) while the F.c. moderately avoided (37.5 ± 7.5 %) the same soil. E.c. reproduction in S4 was significantly lower than in S1, S2, S3 and S5, and was the highest in R soil. Estimated effect concentration EC50 for juveniles' production by E.f., and for tomato fresh weight and chlorophyll content were 0.138, 0.6 and 1.13 %, respectively. Community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) were remarkably different in R and S4 and a higher similarity was observed between soils S1, S2, S3 and S5. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that differences between soil microbial functional diversity were mainly due to high polyphenol concentrations, while the salinity negatively affected E.c. reproduction in OMW contaminated soils. These results clearly reflect the high toxicity of dried OMW when added to agricultural soils, causing severe threats to terrestrial ecosystem functions and services provided by invertebrates and microbial communities.

  3. The Pollen Coat Proteome: At the Cutting Edge of Plant Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Rejón, Juan David; Delalande, François; Schaeffer-Reiss, Christine; Alché, Juan de Dios; Rodríguez-García, María Isabel; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Castro, Antonio Jesús

    2016-01-29

    The tapetum is a single layer of secretory cells which encloses the anther locule and sustains pollen development and maturation. Upon apoptosis, the remnants of the tapetal cells, consisting mostly of lipids and proteins, fill the pits of the sculpted exine to form the bulk of the pollen coat. This extracellular matrix forms an impermeable barrier that protects the male gametophyte from water loss and UV light. It also aids pollen adhesion and hydration and retains small signaling compounds involved in pollen-stigma communication. In this study, we have updated the list of the pollen coat's protein components and also discussed their functions in the context of sexual reproduction.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Target detect system in 3D using vision apply on plant reproduction by tissue culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vazquez Rueda, Martin G.; Hahn, Federico

    2001-03-01

    This paper presents the preliminary results for a system in tree dimension that use a system vision to manipulate plants in a tissue culture process. The system is able to estimate the position of the plant in the work area, first calculate the position and send information to the mechanical system, and recalculate the position again, and if it is necessary, repositioning the mechanical system, using an neural system to improve the location of the plant. The system use only the system vision to sense the position and control loop using a neural system to detect the target and positioning the mechanical system, the results are compared with an open loop system.

  9. Influence of relative humidity on direct sulfur dioxide damage to plant sexual reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Murdy, W.H.; Ragsdale, H.L.

    1980-07-01

    Results of in vivo experiments with Geranium carolinianum L. showed that sulfur dioxide (SO/sub 2/) damaged sexual reproduction (in terms of decreased seed set) when relative humdity (RH) was 80% or above but not when RH was 70% or below. Relative humidity alone, if 80% or higher, damaged sexual reproduction; the addition of SO/sub 2/ increased the damage. A high SO/sub 2/ dosage of 1.5 ppM/7 hours at 50% RH caused leaf injury, but decreased percent seed set <5%, whereas a low SO/sub 2/ dosage of 0.2 ppM/7 hours at 90% RH decreased percent seed set by 32% without visible leaf injury. At an SO/sub 2/ dosage of 0.4 ppM/7 hours administered during anthesis, percent seed set was virtually identical with the control at 70% RH, 35% below the control at 80% RH, and 68% below the control at 90% RH.

  10. Utilization of early soybeans for food and reproduction by the tarnished plant bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) in the delta of Mississippi.

    PubMed

    Snodgrass, G L; Jackson, R E; Abel, C A; Perera, O P

    2010-08-01

    Commercially produced maturity group (MG) IV soybeans, Glycine max L., were sampled during bloom for tarnished plant bugs, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), during May and June 1999 (3 fields) and 2001 (18 fields). The adults and nymphs were found primarily in single population peaks in both years, indicating a single new generation was produced during each year. The peak mean numbers of nymphs were 0.61 and 0.84 per drop cloth sample in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Adults peaked at 3.96 (1999) and 3.76 (2001) per sweep net sample (25 sweeps). Tests using laboratory-reared and field-collected tarnished plant bugs resulted in very poor survival of nymphs on 16 different soybean varieties (MG III, one; IV, four; V, nine; VI, two). A large cage (0.06 ha) field test found that the number of nymphs produced on eight soybean varieties after mated adults were released into the cages was lower than could be expected on a suitable host. These results indicated that soybean was a marginal host for tarnished plant bugs. However, the numbers of adults and nymphs found in the commercially produced fields sampled in the study may have been high enough to cause feeding damage to the flowering soybeans. The nature of the damage and its possible economic importance were not determined. Reproduction of tarnished plant bugs in the commercially produced early soybean fields showed that the early soybeans provided tarnished plant bugs with a very abundant host at a time when only wild hosts were previously available.

  11. Fertilization recovery system is dependent on the number of pollen grains for efficient reproduction in plants.

    PubMed

    Kasahara, Ryushiro D; Maruyama, Daisuke; Higashiyama, Tetsuya

    2013-04-01

    For over a century, plant fertilization has been thought to depend on the fertility of a single pollen tube. However, we reported recently a "fertilization recovery system" in flowering plants that actively rescues failed fertilization of a defective mutant pollen tube by attracting a second, functional pollen tube. In typical flowering plants, two synergid cells beside the egg cell attract pollen tubes, one of which degenerates upon pollen tube discharge. We observed that fertilization was rescued when the second synergid cell accepted a wild-type pollen tube. Our results suggest that flowering plants precisely control the number of pollen tubes that arrive at each ovule and use a fertilization recovery mechanism to maximize the likelihood of successful seed set. Restricted pollination experiments showed that if sufficient pollen grains are provided, ovules attract a second pollen tube for recovery. These results support our previous finding that a long period of time is required for ovules to complete the system.

  12. Assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent on fish reproduction utilizing the adverse outcome pathway conceptual framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are a known contributor of chemical mixture inputs into the environment. Whole effluent testing guidelines were developed to screen these complex mixtures for acute toxicity. However, efficient and cost-effective approaches for screenin...

  13. EFFECTS OF SINGLE, BINARY AND TERTIARY COMBINATIONS WITH Jatropha gossypifolia AND OTHER PLANT-DERIVED MOLLUSCICIDES ON REPRODUCTION AND SURVIVAL OF THE SNAIL Lymnaea acuminata

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Ram P.; Singh, Ajay

    2014-01-01

    The effect of sub-lethal doses (40% and 80% of LC50/24h) of plant derived molluscicides of singly, binary (1:1) and tertiary (1:1:1) combinations of the Rutin, Ellagic acid, Betulin and taraxerol with J. gossypifolia latex, leaf and stem bark powder extracts and their active component on the reproduction of freshwater snail Lymnaea acuminata have been studied. It was observed that the J. gossypifolia latex, stem bark, individual leaf and their combinations with other plant derived active molluscicidal components caused a significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability and survival of young snails. It is believed that sub-lethal exposure of these molluscicides on snail reproduction is a complex process involving more than one factor in reducing the reproductive capacity. PMID:25229223

  14. Effects of single, binary and tertiary combinations with Jatropha gossypifolia and other plant-derived molluscicides on reproduction and survival of the snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Ram P; Singh, Ajay

    2014-01-01

    The effect of sub-lethal doses (40% and 80% of LC(50)/24h) of plant derived molluscicides of singly, binary (1:1) and tertiary (1:1:1) combinations of the Rutin, Ellagic acid, Betulin and taraxerol with J. gossypifolia latex, leaf and stem bark powder extracts and their active component on the reproduction of freshwater snail Lymnaea acuminata have been studied. It was observed that the J. gossypifolia latex, stem bark, individual leaf and their combinations with other plant derived active molluscicidal components caused a significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability and survival of young snails. It is believed that sub-lethal exposure of these molluscicides on snail reproduction is a complex process involving more than one factor in reducing the reproductive capacity.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Methane transport and emissions from soil as affected by water table and vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The important greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is produced naturally in anaerobic wetland soils. By affecting the production, oxidation and transport of methane to the atmosphere, plants have a major influence upon the quantities emitted by wetlands. Different species and functional plant groups have been shown to affect these processes differently, but our knowledge about how these effects are influenced by abiotic factors such as water regime and temperature remains limited. Here we present a mesocosm experiment comparing eight plant species for their effects on internal transport and overall emissions of methane under contrasting hydrological conditions. To quantify how much methane was transported internally through plants (the chimney effect), we blocked diffusion from the soil surface with an agar seal. Results We found that graminoids caused higher methane emissions than forbs, although the emissions from mesocosms with different species were either lower than or comparable to those from control mesocosms with no plant (i.e. bare soil). Species with a relatively greater root volume and a larger biomass exhibited a larger chimney effect, though overall methane emissions were negatively related to plant biomass. Emissions were also reduced by lowering the water table. Conclusions We conclude that plant species (and functional groups) vary in the degree to which they transport methane to the atmosphere. However, a plant with a high capacity to transport methane does not necessarily emit more methane, as it may also cause more rhizosphere oxidation of methane. A shift in plant species composition from graminoids to forbs and/or from low to high productive species may lead to reduction of methane emissions. PMID:24010540

  19. Soil particle heterogeneity affects the growth of a rhizomatous wetland plant.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lin; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Xue, Wei; Peng, Yi-Ke; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Soil is commonly composed of particles of different sizes, and soil particle size may greatly affect the growth of plants because it affects soil physical and chemical properties. However, no study has tested the effects of soil particle heterogeneity on the growth of clonal plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which individual ramets of the wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis were grown in three homogeneous soil treatments with uniformly sized quartz particles (small: 0.75 mm, medium: 1.5 mm, or large: 3 mm), one homogeneous treatment with an even mixture of large and medium particles, and two heterogeneous treatments consisting of 16 or 4 patches of large and medium particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and spacer length were significantly greater in the treatment with only medium particles than in the one with only large particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and tuber number in the patchy treatments were greater in patches of medium than of large particles; this difference was more pronounced when patches were small than when they were large. Soil particle size and soil particle heterogeneity can greatly affect the growth of clonal plants. Thus, studies to test the effects of soil heterogeneity on clonal plants should distinguish the effects of nutrient heterogeneity from those of particle heterogeneity.

  20. The Pollen Coat Proteome: At the Cutting Edge of Plant Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Rejón, Juan David; Delalande, François; Schaeffer-Reiss, Christine; Alché, Juan de Dios; Rodríguez-García, María Isabel; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Castro, Antonio Jesús

    2016-01-01

    The tapetum is a single layer of secretory cells which encloses the anther locule and sustains pollen development and maturation. Upon apoptosis, the remnants of the tapetal cells, consisting mostly of lipids and proteins, fill the pits of the sculpted exine to form the bulk of the pollen coat. This extracellular matrix forms an impermeable barrier that protects the male gametophyte from water loss and UV light. It also aids pollen adhesion and hydration and retains small signaling compounds involved in pollen–stigma communication. In this study, we have updated the list of the pollen coat’s protein components and also discussed their functions in the context of sexual reproduction PMID:28248215

  1. Florivore impacts on plant reproductive success and pollinator mortality in an obligate pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Althoff, David M; Xiao, Wei; Sumoski, Sarah; Segraves, Kari A

    2013-12-01

    Florivores are present in many pollination systems and can have direct and indirect effects on both plants and pollinators. Although the impact of florivores are commonly examined in facultative pollination mutualisms, their effects on obligate mutualism remain relatively unstudied. Here, we used experimental manipulations and surveys of naturally occurring plants to assess the effect of florivory on the obligate pollination mutualism between yuccas and yucca moths. Yucca filamentosa (Agavaceae) is pollinated by the moth Tegeticula cassandra (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae), and the mutualism also attracts two florivores: a generalist, the leaf-footed bug Leptoglossus phyllopus (Hemiptera: Coreidae), and a specialist, the beetle Hymenorus densus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Experimental manipulations of leaf-footed bug densities on side branches of Y. filamentosa inflorescences demonstrated that feeding causes floral abscission but does not reduce pollen or seed production in the remaining flowers. Similar to the leaf-footed bugs, experimental manipulations of beetle densities within individual flowers demonstrated that beetle feeding also causes floral abscission, but, in addition, the beetles also cause a significant reduction in pollen availability. Path analyses of phenotypic selection based on surveys of naturally occurring plants revealed temporal variation in the plant traits important to plant fitness and the effects of the florivores on fitness. Leaf-footed bugs negatively impacted fitness when fewer plants were flowering and leaf-footed bug density was high, whereas beetles had a positive effect on fitness when there were many plants flowering and their densities were low. This positive effect was likely due to adult beetles consuming yucca moth eggs while having a negligible effect on floral abscission. Together, the actions of both florivores either augmented the relationship of plant traits and fitness or slightly weakened the relationship. Overall, the

  2. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 unde...

  4. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid source ...

  5. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid sourc...

  6. The Effects of Concept and Vee Mappings under Three Learning Modes on Jamaican Eighth Graders' Knowledge of Nutrition and Plant Reproduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ugwu, Okechukwu; Soyibo, Kola

    2004-01-01

    The first objective of this study was to investigate if the experimental students' post-test knowledge of nutrition and plant reproduction would be improved more significantly than that of their control group counterparts based on their treatment, attitudes to science, self-esteem, gender and socio-economic background. Treatment involved teaching…

  7. Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) on 11th Graders' Attitudes to Biology and CAI and Understanding of Reproduction in Plants and Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soyibo, Kola; Hudson, Ann

    2000-01-01

    Investigates whether the use of the combination of lecture, discussion, and computer-assisted instruction (CAI) significantly improved students' attitudes toward biology and their understanding of reproduction in plants and animals. Studies grade 11 Jamaican female students (n=77) from two traditional high schools in Kingston. (Contains 19…

  8. 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