Science.gov

Sample records for affect plant reproduction

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future. PMID:25537120

  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. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Spencer C H

    2015-07-21

    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.

  11. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Spencer C H

    2015-07-21

    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

  12. 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,…

  13. Congenital uterine anomalies affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reichman, David E; Laufer, Marc R

    2010-04-01

    The following review seeks to summarise the current data regarding reproductive outcomes associated with congenital uterine anomalies. Such malformations originate from adverse embryologic events ranging from agenesis to lateral and vertical fusion defects. Associated renal anomalies are common both for the symmetric and asymmetric malformations. While fertility is minimally impacted upon by müllerian anomalies in most cases, such malformations have historically been associated with poor obstetric outcomes such as recurrent miscarriage, second trimester loss, preterm delivery, malpresentation and intrauterine foetal demise (IUFD). The following review delineates the existing literature regarding such outcomes and indicates therapies, where applicable, to optimise the care of such patients.

  14. [Morpho-functional characteristics of reproductive organs of rodents from the area affected by a plant, processing gas with the increased content of sulfur compounds].

    PubMed

    Shevliuk, N N; Blinova, E V; Bokov, D A; Demina, L L

    2008-01-01

    The biology of reproduction of 5 rodent species--small gopher (Spermophilus pygmaeus Pallas, 1778), reddish gopher (Spermophilus major Pallas, 1779), sasin lemmer (Lagurus lagurus Pallas,1773), forest mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus Linnaeus) and bank vole(Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber, 1780)--inhabiting the sanitary protective zone of the gas processing plant, was investigated with the use of histological, electron microscopical, immunocytochemical and morphometric methods. Intensification of the reproduction (growth of female fecundity, reduction of the puberty age) in some species (forest mouse) compensated for the negative changes in the reproduction, which resulted from the influence of the industrial factors (premature loss of ovarian follicular reserve, accelerated embryonic death rate, increased destructive changes in the gonads) and provided for the preservation of the population sizes. The intense functioning of reproductive organs in the other species (small and reddish gophers) was insufficient to compensate for the damage inflicted by the man-caused actions.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity–pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship. PMID:23034701

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:18410290

  5. 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

  6. Paternal smoking habits affect the reproductive life span of daughters.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Misao; Fukuda, Kiyomi; Shimizu, Takashi; Nobunaga, Miho; Andersen, Elisabeth Wreford; Byskov, Anne Grete; Andersen, Claus Yding

    2011-06-30

    The present study assessed whether the smoking habits of fathers around the time of conception affected the period in which daughters experienced menstrual cycles (i.e., the reproductive life span). The study revealed that the smoking habits of the farther shortened the daughters' reproductive life span compared with daughters whose fathers did not smoke.

  7. 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. PMID:26940904

  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. 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.

  10. Quantitative trait loci affecting reproductive phenology in peach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The reproductive phenology of perennial plants in temperate climates is largely conditioned by the duration of bud dormancy, and fruit developmental processes. Bud dormancy release and bud break depends on the perception of cumulative chilling and heat during the bud development. The objective of this work was to identify new quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated to temperature requirements for bud dormancy release and flowering and to fruit harvest date, in a segregating population of peach. Results We have identified QTLs for nine traits related to bud dormancy, flowering and fruit harvest in an intraspecific hybrid population of peach in two locations differing in chilling time accumulation. QTLs were located in a genetic linkage map of peach based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for eight linkage groups (LGs) of the peach genome sequence. QTLs for chilling requirements for dormancy release and blooming clustered in seven different genomic regions that partially coincided with loci identified in previous works. The most significant QTL for chilling requirements mapped to LG1, close to the evergrowing locus. QTLs for heat requirement related traits were distributed in nine genomic regions, four of them co-localizing with QTLs for chilling requirement trait. Two major loci in LG4 and LG6 determined fruit harvest time. Conclusions We identified QTLs associated to nine traits related to the reproductive phenology in peach. A search of candidate genes for these QTLs rendered different genes related to flowering regulation, chromatin modification and hormone signalling. A better understanding of the genetic factors affecting crop phenology might help scientists and breeders to predict changes in genotype performance in a context of global climate change. PMID:24559033

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population. PMID:24647012

  15. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population.

  16. Enhancement of reproductive heat tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Burke, John J; Chen, Junping

    2015-01-01

    Comparison of average crop yields with reported record yields has shown that major crops exhibit annual average yields three- to seven-fold lower than record yields because of unfavorable environments. The current study investigated the enhancement of pollen heat tolerance through expressing an Arabidopsis thaliana heat shock protein 101 (AtHSP101) that is not normally expressed in pollen but reported to play a crucial role in vegetative thermotolerance. The AtHSP101 construct under the control of the constitutive ocs/mas 'superpromoter' was transformed into cotton Coker 312 and tobacco SRI lines via Agrobacterium mediated transformation. Thermotolerance of pollen was evaluated by in vitro pollen germination studies. Comparing with those of wild type and transgenic null lines, pollen from AtHSP101 transgenic tobacco and cotton lines exhibited significantly higher germination rate and much greater pollen tube elongation under elevated temperatures or after a heat exposure. In addition, significant increases in boll set and seed numbers were also observed in transgenic cotton lines exposed to elevated day and night temperatures in both greenhouse and field studies. The results of this study suggest that enhancing heat tolerance of reproductive tissues in plant holds promise in the development of crops with improved yield production and yield sustainability in unfavorable environments.

  17. Enhancement of reproductive heat tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Burke, John J; Chen, Junping

    2015-01-01

    Comparison of average crop yields with reported record yields has shown that major crops exhibit annual average yields three- to seven-fold lower than record yields because of unfavorable environments. The current study investigated the enhancement of pollen heat tolerance through expressing an Arabidopsis thaliana heat shock protein 101 (AtHSP101) that is not normally expressed in pollen but reported to play a crucial role in vegetative thermotolerance. The AtHSP101 construct under the control of the constitutive ocs/mas 'superpromoter' was transformed into cotton Coker 312 and tobacco SRI lines via Agrobacterium mediated transformation. Thermotolerance of pollen was evaluated by in vitro pollen germination studies. Comparing with those of wild type and transgenic null lines, pollen from AtHSP101 transgenic tobacco and cotton lines exhibited significantly higher germination rate and much greater pollen tube elongation under elevated temperatures or after a heat exposure. In addition, significant increases in boll set and seed numbers were also observed in transgenic cotton lines exposed to elevated day and night temperatures in both greenhouse and field studies. The results of this study suggest that enhancing heat tolerance of reproductive tissues in plant holds promise in the development of crops with improved yield production and yield sustainability in unfavorable environments. PMID:25849955

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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. PMID:22624324

  1. 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.…

  2. Diabetes prevention: Reproductive age women affected by insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Rezai, Shadi; LoBue, Stephen; Henderson, Cassandra E

    2016-07-01

    In the United States, 29.1 million people are affected by diabetes, of which 95% have type 2 diabetes. There has been a fivefold increase in type 2 diabetes in the latter half of the 20th century, an increase strongly linked to the obesity epidemic in the United States. In addition, insulin resistance affects 86 million Americans, or more than one-third of the adult population, as manifested by impaired fasting glucose tolerance with random glucose values ranging from ⩾100 to <126 mg/dL. In all, 90% of those affected by impaired fasting glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes are unaware of their metabolic derangement. Although impaired fasting glucose tolerance increases one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, once identified, application of lifestyle changes by affected individuals may avoid or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. For reproductive age women who are found to have impaired fasting glucose tolerance, lifestyle changes may be an effective tool to diminish the reproductive health consequences of insulin resistance related diseases. PMID:27638898

  3. 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

  4. ATP binding cassette G transporters and plant male reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. 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. PMID:23778256

  6. 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. PMID:17303746

  7. Genetic strain and reproductive status affect endometrial fatty acid concentrations.

    PubMed

    Meier, S; Peterson, A J; Mitchell, M D; Littlejohn, M; Walker, C G; Roche, J R

    2009-08-01

    Poor reproductive performance limits cow longevity in seasonal, pasture-based dairy systems. Few differences in ovarian dynamics have been reported in different strains of Holstein-Friesian cows, implying that the uterine environment may be a key component determining reproductive success. To test the hypothesis that the uterine environment differs among genetic strains of the Holstein-Friesian cow, endometrial fatty acids (FA) were analyzed from New Zealand (NZ), and North American (NA) Holstein-Friesian cows. The effect of reproductive status was also investigated, with cows from both Holstein-Friesian strains slaughtered on either d 17 of the estrous cycle (termed cyclic) or d 17 of pregnancy (after embryo transfer; termed pregnant). Endometrial tissues were collected from 22 cows (NZ pregnant, n = 6; NZ cyclic, n = 4; NA pregnant, n = 6; NA cyclic, n = 6), and FA composition was analyzed. Daily plasma progesterone concentrations, milk production, milk FA composition, body weight, and body condition score were determined. Milk yield (4% fat-corrected milk) was similar for the NZ (28.5 kg/d) and NA (29.3 kg/d; SE 2.07 kg/d) cows, but NZ cows had a greater mean milk fat percentage. Mean plasma progesterone concentrations were significantly greater in NZ cows. Plasma progesterone concentrations were similar in the pregnant and cyclic groups. Mean length of the trophoblast recovered from the pregnant cows (NZ: 20.8 +/- 2.84 cm; NA: 27.9 +/- 10.23 cm) was not affected by genetic strain. Endometrial tissues from NZ cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:3n-3, and total polyunsaturated FA. The endometria from pregnant cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:2, and C20:3n-6, and less C20:1, C20:2, C20:5n-3. The observed changes in endometrial FA between Holstein-Friesian cows of different genetic origins or reproductive states may reflect differences in endometrial function and may affect reproductive function.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. Plant Reproduction: Self-Incompatibility to Go.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Mendez, Alejandro; McClure, Bruce

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26859267

  17. Plant reproductive traits mediate tritrophic feedback effects within an obligate brood-site pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Anusha; Ghara, Mahua; Kasinathan, Srinivasan; Pramanik, Gautam Kumar; Revadi, Santosh; Borges, Renee M

    2015-11-01

    Plants, herbivores and parasitoids affect each other directly and indirectly; however, feedback effects mediated by host plant traits have rarely been demonstrated in these tritrophic interactions. Brood-site pollination mutualisms (e.g. those involving figs and fig wasps) represent specialised tritrophic communities where the progeny of mutualistic pollinators and of non-mutualistic gallers (both herbivores) together with that of their parasitoids develop within enclosed inflorescences called syconia (hence termed brood-sites or microcosms). Plant reproductive phenology (which affects temporal brood-site availability) and inflorescence size (representing brood-site size) are plant traits that could affect reproductive resources, and hence relationships between trees, pollinators and non-pollinating wasps. Analysing wasp and seed contents of syconia, we examined direct, indirect, trophic and non-trophic relationships within the interaction web of the fig-fig wasp community of Ficus racemosa in the context of brood site size and availability. We demonstrate that in addition to direct resource competition and predator-prey (host-parasitoid) interactions, these communities display exploitative or apparent competition and trait-mediated indirect interactions. Inflorescence size and plant reproductive phenology impacted plant-herbivore and plant-parasitoid associations. These plant traits also influenced herbivore-herbivore and herbivore-parasitoid relationships via indirect effects. Most importantly, we found a reciprocal effect between within-tree reproductive asynchrony and fig wasp progeny abundances per syconium that drives a positive feedback cycle within the system. The impact of a multitrophic feedback cycle within a community built around a mutualistic core highlights the need for a holistic view of plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions in the community ecology of mutualisms. PMID:26160003

  18. Plant reproductive traits mediate tritrophic feedback effects within an obligate brood-site pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Anusha; Ghara, Mahua; Kasinathan, Srinivasan; Pramanik, Gautam Kumar; Revadi, Santosh; Borges, Renee M

    2015-11-01

    Plants, herbivores and parasitoids affect each other directly and indirectly; however, feedback effects mediated by host plant traits have rarely been demonstrated in these tritrophic interactions. Brood-site pollination mutualisms (e.g. those involving figs and fig wasps) represent specialised tritrophic communities where the progeny of mutualistic pollinators and of non-mutualistic gallers (both herbivores) together with that of their parasitoids develop within enclosed inflorescences called syconia (hence termed brood-sites or microcosms). Plant reproductive phenology (which affects temporal brood-site availability) and inflorescence size (representing brood-site size) are plant traits that could affect reproductive resources, and hence relationships between trees, pollinators and non-pollinating wasps. Analysing wasp and seed contents of syconia, we examined direct, indirect, trophic and non-trophic relationships within the interaction web of the fig-fig wasp community of Ficus racemosa in the context of brood site size and availability. We demonstrate that in addition to direct resource competition and predator-prey (host-parasitoid) interactions, these communities display exploitative or apparent competition and trait-mediated indirect interactions. Inflorescence size and plant reproductive phenology impacted plant-herbivore and plant-parasitoid associations. These plant traits also influenced herbivore-herbivore and herbivore-parasitoid relationships via indirect effects. Most importantly, we found a reciprocal effect between within-tree reproductive asynchrony and fig wasp progeny abundances per syconium that drives a positive feedback cycle within the system. The impact of a multitrophic feedback cycle within a community built around a mutualistic core highlights the need for a holistic view of plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions in the community ecology of mutualisms.

  19. 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.

  20. Quantifying and understanding reproductive allocation schedules in plants.

    PubMed

    Wenk, Elizabeth Hedi; Falster, Daniel S

    2015-12-01

    A plant's reproductive allocation (RA) schedule describes the fraction of surplus energy allocated to reproduction as it increases in size. While theorists use RA schedules as the connection between life history and energy allocation, little is known about RA schedules in real vegetation. Here we review what is known about RA schedules for perennial plants using studies either directly quantifying RA or that collected data from which the shape of an RA schedule can be inferred. We also briefly review theoretical models describing factors by which variation in RA may arise. We identified 34 studies from which aspects of an RA schedule could be inferred. Within those, RA schedules varied considerably across species: some species abruptly shift all resources from growth to reproduction; most others gradually shift resources into reproduction, but under a variety of graded schedules. Available data indicate the maximum fraction of energy allocated to production ranges from 0.1 to 1 and that shorter lived species tend to have higher initial RA and increase their RA more quickly than do longer-lived species. Overall, our findings indicate, little data exist about RA schedules in perennial plants. Available data suggest a wide range of schedules across species. Collection of more data on RA schedules would enable a tighter integration between observation and a variety of models predicting optimal energy allocation, plant growth rates, and biogeochemical cycles.

  1. Quantifying and understanding reproductive allocation schedules in plants.

    PubMed

    Wenk, Elizabeth Hedi; Falster, Daniel S

    2015-12-01

    A plant's reproductive allocation (RA) schedule describes the fraction of surplus energy allocated to reproduction as it increases in size. While theorists use RA schedules as the connection between life history and energy allocation, little is known about RA schedules in real vegetation. Here we review what is known about RA schedules for perennial plants using studies either directly quantifying RA or that collected data from which the shape of an RA schedule can be inferred. We also briefly review theoretical models describing factors by which variation in RA may arise. We identified 34 studies from which aspects of an RA schedule could be inferred. Within those, RA schedules varied considerably across species: some species abruptly shift all resources from growth to reproduction; most others gradually shift resources into reproduction, but under a variety of graded schedules. Available data indicate the maximum fraction of energy allocated to production ranges from 0.1 to 1 and that shorter lived species tend to have higher initial RA and increase their RA more quickly than do longer-lived species. Overall, our findings indicate, little data exist about RA schedules in perennial plants. Available data suggest a wide range of schedules across species. Collection of more data on RA schedules would enable a tighter integration between observation and a variety of models predicting optimal energy allocation, plant growth rates, and biogeochemical cycles. PMID:27069603

  2. 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.

  3. Reproductive physiology in Zebu cattle. Unique reproductive aspects that affect their performance.

    PubMed

    Galina, C S; Orihuela, A; Duchateau, A

    1987-11-01

    This article describes the reproductive physiology of Zebu cattle and specific strategies that, when used in concert with an understanding of the physiologic differences between Zebu and other cattle, can improve reproductive performance. PMID:3319088

  4. Facilitated selfing offers reproductive assurance: a mutualism between a hemipteran and carnivorous plant.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Bruce; Midgley, Jeremy J; Stewart, Barbara A

    2003-07-01

    Reproductive assurance is frequently used to explain the evolution of selfing but has become controversial from lack of evidence. We studied the pollination system of the near carnivorous plant genus Roridula and showed that reproductive assurance is important in this system. Hemipterans have a digestive mutualism with Roridula and have been implicated in pollination but flowers show adaptations to hymenopteran pollination. We deduce that hemipterans are the primary pollinators of Roridula because seed set is significantly reduced when hemipterans are excluded from the flowers. Using allozyme electrophoresis, we show that hemipterans are responsible for mostly selfed progeny. Although bees still pollinate Roridula on very rare occasions, their exclusion does not affect seed set. The complicated floral structures that occur in Roridula most likely evolved as adaptations for bee pollination. Resident hemipterans facilitate selfing by Roridula, and this acts as a reproductive assurance mechanism because it increases seed production and ensures that plants still reproduce in the absence of more motile, outcrossing pollinators.

  5. 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

  6. Promoting Reproductive Options for HIV-Affected Couples in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mmeje, Okeoma; Cohen, Craig R.; Murage, Alfred; Ong’ech, John; Kiarie, James; van der Poel, Sheryl

    2014-01-01

    HIV-affected couples have unique challenges that require access to information and reproductive services which prevent HIV transmission to the uninfected partner and offspring while allowing couples to fulfill their reproductive goals. In high HIV prevalent regions of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-affected couples require multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) to enhance their reproductive healthcare options beyond contraception and prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to include assistance in childbearing. The unique characteristics of the condom and its accepted use in conjunction with safer conception interventions allow HIV-serodiscordant couples an opportunity to maintain reproductive health, prevent HIV/STI transmission, and achieve their reproductive goals while timing conception. Rethinking the traditional view of the condom and incorporating a broader reproductive health perspective of HIV-affected couples into MPT methodologies will impact demand, acceptability, and uptake of these future technologies. PMID:25335844

  7. Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism.

    PubMed

    Vinale, Francesco; Sivasithamparam, Krishnapillai; Ghisalberti, Emilio L; Ruocco, Michelina; Wood, Sheridan; Lorito, Matteo

    2012-11-01

    Recently, there have been many exciting new developments relating to the use of Trichoderma spp. as agents for biocontrol of pathogens and as plant growth promoters. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the positive effects of these microorganisms on the plant host. One factor that contributes to their beneficial biological activities is related to the wide variety of metabolites that they produce. These metabolites have been found not only to directly inhibit the growth and pathogenic activities of the parasites, but also to increase disease resistance by triggering the system of defence in the plant host. In addition, these metabolites are also capable of enhancing plant growth, which enables the plant to counteract the disease with compensatory vegetative growth by the augmented production of root and shoot systems. This review takes into account the Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism and that may play an important role in the complex interactions of this biocontrol agent with the plant and pathogens.

  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. 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. PMID:11070641

  10. Allopregnanolone as a Mediator of Affective Switching in Reproductive Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Crystal Edler; Schmidt, Peter J.; Rubinow, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Reproductive mood disorders, including premenstrual dysphoria (PMD) and postpartum depression (PPD), are characterized by affective dysregulation that occurs during specific reproductive states. The occurrence of illness onset during changes in reproductive endocrine function has generated interest in the role of gonadal steroids in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders, yet the mechanisms by which the changing hormone milieu triggers depression in susceptible women remain poorly understood. Objectives This review focuses on one of the neurosteroid metabolites of progesterone – allopregnanolone (ALLO) – that acutely regulates neuronal function and may mediate affective dysregulation that occurs concomitant with changes in reproductive endocrine function. We describe the role of the ‘neuroactive’ steroids estradiol and progesterone in reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders to highlight the potential mechanisms by which ALLO might contribute to their pathophysiology. Finally, using existing data, we test the hypothesis that changes in ALLO levels may trigger affective dysregulation in susceptible women. Results Although there is no reliable evidence that basal ALLO levels distinguish those with PMD or PPD from those without, existing animal models suggest potential mechanisms by which specific reproductive states may unmask susceptibility to affective dysregulation. Consistent with these models, initially euthymic women with PMD and those with a history of PPD show a negative association between depressive symptoms and circulating ALLO levels following progesterone administration. Conclusions Existing animal models and our own preliminary data suggest that ALLO may play an important role in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders by triggering affective dysregulation in susceptible women. PMID:24846476

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27066025

  14. Factors Affecting Ice Nucleation in Plant Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ashworth, Edward N.; Davis, Glen A.; Anderson, Jeffrey A.

    1985-01-01

    Factors affecting the ice nucleation temperature of plants and plant tissues were examined. The mass of a sample had a marked effect on ice nucleation temperature. Small tissue samples supercooled to −10°C and were not accurate predictors of the nucleation temperature of intact plants in either laboratory or field experiments. This effect was not unique to plant tissues and was observed in autoclaved and control soil samples. Ice nucleation temperatures of bean, corn, cotton, and soybean seedlings were influenced by the length of subzero exposure, presence of ice nucleation active bacteria, and leaf surface wetness. The number of factors influencing ice nucleation temperature suggested that predicting the freezing behavior of plants in the field will be complex. PMID:16664524

  15. 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...

  16. Getting the right traits: reproductive and dispersal characteristics predict the invasiveness of herbaceous plant species.

    PubMed

    Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26370490

  19. Trade-offs between clonal and sexual reproduction in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae) scale up to affect the fitness of entire clones.

    PubMed

    Van Drunen, Wendy E; Dorken, Marcel E

    2012-10-01

    Many plants combine sexual reproduction with vegetative propagation, but how trade-offs between these reproductive modes affect fitness is poorly understood. Although such trade-offs have been demonstrated at the level of individual shoots (ramets), there is little evidence that they scale up to affect genet fitness. For hermaphrodites, reproductive investment is further divided between female and male sexual functions. Female function should generally incur greater carbon costs than male function, which might involve greater nitrogen (N) costs. Using a common garden experiment with diclinous, clonal Sagittaria latifolia we manipulated investment in reproduction through female and male sex functions of 412 plants from monoecious and dioecious populations. We detected a 1:1 trade-off between biomass investment in female function and clonal reproduction. For male function, there was no apparent trade-off between clonal and sexual reproduction in terms of biomass investment. Instead, male function incurred a substantially higher N cost. Our results indicate that: trade-offs between investment in clonal propagation and sexual reproduction occur at the genet level in S. latifolia; and sexual reproduction interferes with clonal expansion, with investment in female function limiting the quantity of clonal propagules produced, and investment in male function limiting the nutrient content of clonal propagules.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:26831072

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations.

  5. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations. PMID:23621367

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

    PubMed

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. ...

  10. Plant functional traits mediate reproductive phenology and success in response to experimental warming and snow addition in Tibet.

    PubMed

    Dorji, Tsechoe; Totland, Orjan; Moe, Stein R; Hopping, Kelly A; Pan, Jianbin; Klein, Julia A

    2013-02-01

    Global climate change is predicted to have large impacts on the phenology and reproduction of alpine plants, which will have important implications for plant demography and community interactions, trophic dynamics, ecosystem energy balance, and human livelihoods. In this article we report results of a 3-year, fully factorial experimental study exploring how warming, snow addition, and their combination affect reproductive phenology, effort, and success of four alpine plant species belonging to three different life forms in a semiarid, alpine meadow ecosystem on the central Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicate that warming and snow addition change reproductive phenology and success, but responses are not uniform across species. Moreover, traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and life history (early vs. late flowering), mediate plant phenology, and reproductive responses to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we found that warming delayed the reproductive phenology and decreased number of inflorescences of Kobresia pygmaea C. B. Clarke, a shallow-rooted, early-flowering plant, which may be mainly constrained by upper-soil moisture availability. Because K. pygmaea is the dominant species in the alpine meadow ecosystem, these results may have important implications for ecosystem dynamics and for pastoralists and wildlife in the region.

  11. How Ethylene Works in the Reproductive Organs of Higher Plants

    PubMed Central

    De la Torre, Francisco; del Carmen Rodríguez-Gacio, María

    2006-01-01

    Ethylene (ET) is a notable signaling molecule in higher plants. In the year 1993 the ET receptor gene, ETR1, was identified; this ETR1 receptor protein being the first plant hormone receptor to be isolated. It is striking that there are six ET receptors in tomato instead of five in Arabidopsis, the two best-known signaling-model systems. Even though over the last few years great progress has been made in elucidating the genes and proteins involved in ET signaling, the complete pathway remains to be established. The present review examines the most representative successive advances that have taken place in this millennium in terms of the signaling pathway of ET, as well as the implications of the signaling in the reproductive organs of plants (i.e., flowers, fruits, seeds and pollen grains). A detailed comparative study is made on the advances in knowledge in the last decade, showing how the characterization of ET signaling provides clues for understanding how higher plants regulate their ET sensitivity. Also, it is indicated that ET signaling is at present sparking interest within phytohormonal molecular physiology and biology, and it is explained why several socio-economic aspects (flowering and fruit ripening) are undoubtedly involved in ET physiology. PMID:19516984

  12. An offspring signal of quality affects the timing of future parental reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Kölliker, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    Solicitation signals by offspring are well known to influence parental behaviour, and it is commonly assumed that this behavioural effect translates into an effect on residual reproduction of parents. However, this equivalence assumption concerning behavioural and reproductive effects caused by offspring signals remains largely untested. Here, we tested the effect of a chemical offspring signal of quality on the relative timing and amount of future reproduction in the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). We manipulated the nutritional condition of earwig nymphs and exposed females to their extract, or to solvent as a control. There were no significant main effects of exposure treatment on 2nd clutch production, but exposure to extracts of well-fed nymphs induced predictable timing of the 2nd relative to the 1st clutch. This result demonstrates for the first time that an offspring signal per se, in the absence of any maternal behaviour, affects maternal reproductive timing, possibly through an effect on maternal reproductive physiology. PMID:21208942

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25124715

  16. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  17. 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. PMID:20715626

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. Facilitated selfing offers reproductive assurance: a mutualism between a hemipteran and carnivorous plant.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Bruce; Midgley, Jeremy J; Stewart, Barbara A

    2003-07-01

    Reproductive assurance is frequently used to explain the evolution of selfing but has become controversial from lack of evidence. We studied the pollination system of the near carnivorous plant genus Roridula and showed that reproductive assurance is important in this system. Hemipterans have a digestive mutualism with Roridula and have been implicated in pollination but flowers show adaptations to hymenopteran pollination. We deduce that hemipterans are the primary pollinators of Roridula because seed set is significantly reduced when hemipterans are excluded from the flowers. Using allozyme electrophoresis, we show that hemipterans are responsible for mostly selfed progeny. Although bees still pollinate Roridula on very rare occasions, their exclusion does not affect seed set. The complicated floral structures that occur in Roridula most likely evolved as adaptations for bee pollination. Resident hemipterans facilitate selfing by Roridula, and this acts as a reproductive assurance mechanism because it increases seed production and ensures that plants still reproduce in the absence of more motile, outcrossing pollinators. PMID:21659199

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:24666600

  4. Effects of a group-based reproductive management extension programme on key management outcomes affecting reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Brownlie, Tom S; Morton, John M; Heuer, Cord; McDougall, Scott

    2015-02-01

    A group-based reproductive management extension programme has been designed to help managers of dairy herds improve herd reproductive performance. The aims of this study were, firstly, to assess effects of participation by key decision makers (KDMs) in a farmer action group programme in 2009 and 2010 on six key management outcomes (KMOs) that affect reproductive performance over 2 years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), and secondly, to describe KDM intentions to change management behaviour(s) affecting each management outcome after participation in the programme. Seasonal calving dairy herds from four regions of New Zealand were enrolled in the study. Intentions to modify management behaviour were recorded using the formal written action plans developed during the extension programme. KMOs assessed were calving pattern of the herd, pre-calving heifer liveweight, pre-calving and premating body condition score (BCS), oestrus detection, anoestrus cow management and bull management. Participation was associated with improvements in heifer liveweight, more heifers calving in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal calving period, premating BCS and oestrus detection. No significant effects were observed on anoestrus cow management or bull management. KDMs with greater numbers of proposed actions had lower 6 week in-calf rates in the second study year than KDMs who proposed fewer actions. A more effective strategy to ensure more appropriate objectives is proposed. Strategies to help KDMs to implement proposed actions more successfully should be investigated to improve the programme further.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.…

  7. Optimizing reproductive phenology in a two-resource world: a dynamic allocation model of plant growth predicts later reproduction in phosphorus-limited plants

    PubMed Central

    Nord, Eric A.; Shea, Katriona; Lynch, Jonathan P.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Timing of reproduction is a key life-history trait that is regulated by resource availability. Delayed reproduction in soils with low phosphorus availability is common among annuals, in contrast to the accelerated reproduction typical of other low-nutrient environments. It is hypothesized that this anomalous response arises from the high marginal value of additional allocation to root growth caused by the low mobility of phosphorus in soils. Methods To better understand the benefits and costs of such delayed reproduction, a two-resource dynamic allocation model of plant growth and reproduction is presented. The model incorporates growth, respiration, and carbon and phosphorus acquisition of both root and shoot tissue, and considers the reallocation of resources from senescent leaves. The model is parameterized with data from Arabidopsis and the optimal reproductive phenology is explored in a range of environments. Key Results The model predicts delayed reproduction in low-phosphorus environments. Reproductive timing in low-phosphorus environments is quite sensitive to phosphorus mobility, but is less sensitive to the temporal distribution of mortality risks. In low-phosphorus environments, the relative metabolic cost of roots was greater, and reproductive allocation reduced, compared with high-phosphorus conditions. The model suggests that delayed reproduction in response to low phosphorus availability may be reduced in plants adapted to environments where phosphorus mobility is greater. Conclusions Delayed reproduction in low-phosphorus soils can be a beneficial response allowing for increased acquisition and utilization of phosphorus. This finding has implications both for efforts to breed crops for low-phosphorus soils, and for efforts to understand how climate change may impact plant growth and productivity in low-phosphorus environments. PMID:21712299

  8. Intracolonial genetic variation affects reproductive skew and colony productivity during colony foundation in a parthenogenetic termite

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In insect societies, intracolonial genetic variation is predicted to affect both colony efficiency and reproductive skew. However, because the effects of genetic variation on these two colony characteristics have been tested independently, it remains unclear whether they are affected by genetic variation independently or in a related manner. Here we test the effect of genetic variation on colony efficiency and reproductive skew in a rhinotermitid termite, Reticulitermes speratus, a species in which female-female pairs can facultatively found colonies. We established colonies using two types of female-female pairs: colonies founded by sisters (i.e., sister-pair colonies) and those founded by females from different colonies (i.e., unrelated-pair colonies). Colony growth and reproductive skew were then compared between the two types of incipient colonies. Results At 15 months after colony foundation, unrelated-pair colonies were larger than sister-pair colonies, although the caste ratio between workers and nymphs, which were alternatively differentiated from young larvae, did not differ significantly. Microsatellite DNA analyses of both founders and their parthenogenetically produced offspring indicated that, in both sister-pair and unrelated-pair colonies, there was no significant skew in the production of eggs, larvae, workers and soldiers. Nymph production, however, was significantly more skewed in the sister-pair colonies than in unrelated-pair colonies. Because nymphs can develop into winged adults (alates) or nymphoid reproductives, they have a higher chance of direct reproduction than workers in this species. Conclusions Our results support the idea that higher genetic variation among colony members could provide an increase in colony productivity, as shown in hymenopteran social insects. Moreover, this study suggests that low genetic variation (high relatedness) between founding females increases reproductive skew via one female preferentially

  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. Density-dependent reproductive and vegetative allocation in the aquatic plant Pistia stratiotes (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Coelho, Flávia Freitas; Deboni, Liene; Lopes, Frederico Santos

    2005-01-01

    Pistia stratiotes is an aquatic macrophyte that grows in temporary-ponds in the southern Pantanal, Brazil. It reproduces both sexually and asexually and is usually observed forming dense mats on the water surface, a condition favored by the plant's vegetative reproduction coupled with an ability for rapid growth. In this study we examined the effect of densely crowded conditions on the production of reproductive and vegetative structures. In addition, we verified whether there is a trade-off between clonal growth and investment in sexual reproductive structures, and whether there is an allocation pattern with plant size. Individual plant biomass and the number of the rosettes producing sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures both increased with density. Increase in plant size resulted in increased proportional allocation to sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures. Allocation of biomass to reproduction did not occur at the expense of clonal growth. Thus, the density response appears as a increase of rosettes producing sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures. Therefore, long leaves and stolons may be adaptive under densely crowded conditions where competition for light is intense. An important aspect in the study of trade-offs is the size-dependency of the allocation patterns .Usually, larger plants produce more biomass. Therefore, larger plants can allocate more biomass to both vegetative and sexual reproduction than smaller plants and thus show a positive correlation between both traits rather than the expected negative one. PMID:17354448

  11. 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.

  12. Population densities, vegetation green-up, and plant productivity: impacts on reproductive success and juvenile body mass in reindeer.

    PubMed

    Tveraa, Torkild; Stien, Audun; Bårdsen, Bård-J; Fauchald, Per

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is expected to cause earlier springs and increased primary productivity in the Arctic. These changes may improve food availability for Arctic herbivores, but may also have negative effects by generating a mismatch between the surge of high quality food in the spring and the timing of reproduction. We analyzed a 10 year dataset of satellite derived measures of vegetation green-up, population densities, calf body masses and female reproductive success in 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations in Northern Norway. An early onset of spring and high peak plant productivity had positive effects on calf autumn body masses and female reproductive success. In addition, body masses and reproductive success were both negatively related to population density. The quantity of food available, as determined by the onset of vegetation green-up and plant productivity over the summer were the main drivers of body mass growth and reproductive success. We found no evidence for an effect of the speed of spring green-up. Nor did we detect a negative mismatch between early springs and subsequent recruitment. Effects of global warming on plant productivity and onset of spring is likely to positively affect sub-Arctic reindeer.

  13. 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. PMID:26459376

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. [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. PMID:12882120

  20. Alternative reproductive tactics in atlantic salmon: factors affecting mature parr success

    PubMed Central

    Thomaz, D.; Beall, E.; Burke, T.

    1997-01-01

    In Atlantic salmon, as in most salmonids, males can mature early in the life cycle, as small freshwater fish, termed parr, and/or undergo a sea migration before maturing as full-size adults. The alternative life histories are contingent on environmental and social circumstances, such as growth rate, territory quality or any other factor that affects the individual's state. In order to model the choice of life history in this group of commercially valuable species, it is necessary to understand not only the relative contribution of the different male types to subsequent generations, but also to know the factors that affect reproductive success in each type. In this paper we present the results of a study designed to investigate the factors that affect the reproductive success of mature parr. We used highly polymorphic minisatellite DNA markers to analyse paternity in a series of mating experiments where the number and body size of parr were manipulated. The fraction of eggs fertilized by mature parr ranged from 26 to 40 per cent, with individual parr fertilizing up to 26 per cent of the eggs. A strong positive correlation was found between parr size and reproductive success. The relative success of parr decreased with increasing parr number. Data from this and other studies on variation in the timing and degree of parr reproductive success are discussed in relation to the evolution of male mating strategies and life history in salmonids.

  1. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  2. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  3. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:21636469

  10. 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

  11. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Kin recognition affects plant communication and defence.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori; Ishizaki, Satomi; Wetzel, William C; Evans, Richard Y

    2013-04-01

    The ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviours; such ability is less well studied for plants. Many plants, including Artemisia tridentata, have been found to respond to volatile cues emitted by experimentally wounded neighbours to increase levels of resistance to herbivory. We report that this communication was more effective among A. tridentata plants that were more closely related based on microsatellite markers. Plants in the field that received cues from experimentally clipped close relatives experienced less leaf herbivory over the growing season than those that received cues from clipped neighbours that were more distantly related. These results indicate that plants can respond differently to cues from kin, making it less likely that emitters will aid strangers and making it more likely that receivers will respond to cues from relatives. More effective defence adds to a growing list of favourable consequences of kin recognition for plants.

  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. Prepubertal tamoxifen treatment affects development of heifer reproductive tissues and related signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Al Naib, A; Tucker, H L M; Xie, G; Keisler, D H; Bartol, F F; Rhoads, R P; Akers, R M; Rhoads, M L

    2016-07-01

    Prepubertal exposure of the developing ovaries and reproductive tract (RT) to estrogen or xenoestrogens can have acute and long-term consequences that compromise the reproductive performance of cattle. This research examined effects of the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TAM) on gene and protein abundance in prepubertal ovaries and RT, with a particular focus on signaling pathways that affect morphology. Tamoxifen was administered to Holstein heifer calves (n=8) daily (0.3mg/kg subcutaneously) from 28 to 120 d of age, when tissues were collected. Control calves (n=7) received an equal volume of excipient. Weight, gross measurements, and samples of reproductive tissues were collected, and protein and mRNA were extracted from snap-frozen samples of vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, and liver. Neither estradiol nor insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) concentrations in the serum were affected by TAM treatment. Tamoxifen treatment reduced ovarian weight independently from effects on antral follicle populations, as there was no difference in visible antral follicle numbers on the day of collection. Estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and β (ESR2) mRNA, ESR1 protein, IGFI, progesterone receptor, total growth hormone receptor, WNT4, WNT5A, and WNT7A mRNA, in addition to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphorylated MAPK proteins were affected differently depending on the tissue examined. However, neither IGFI receptor mRNA nor protein abundance were affected by TAM treatment. Results indicate that reproductive development in prepubertal Holstein heifer calves is TAM-sensitive, and that bovine RT and ovarian development are supported, in part, by estrogen receptor-dependent mechanisms during the period studied here. Potential long-term consequences of such developmental disruption remain to be defined. PMID:27085397

  17. 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

  18. Aspergillus asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction are differentially affected by transcriptional and translational mechanisms regulating stunted gene expression.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, J; Miller, B L

    1997-01-01

    The Stunted protein (StuAp) is a member of a family of transcription factors that regulate fungal development and cell cycle progression. Regulated stuA gene expression is required for correct cell pattern formation during asexual reproduction (conidiation) and for initiation of the sexual reproductive cycle in Aspergillus nidulans. Transcriptional initiation from two different promoters yields overlapping mRNAs (stuA alpha and stuAbeta) that upon translation yield the same protein. Here we show that multiple regulatory mechanisms interact to control (i) developmental competence-dependent expression of both transcripts and (ii) induction-dependent expression of stuA alpha, but not stuAbeta, by the conidiation-specific Bristle (BrlAp) transcriptional activator. Quantitative levels of both mRNAs are further modulated by (i) an activator(s) located at a far-upstream upstream activation sequence, (ii) feedback regulation by StuAp, and (iii) positive translational regulation that requires the peptide product of a micro-open reading frame unique to the stuA alpha mRNA 5' untranslated region. Gradients in stuA alpha expression were most important for correct cell and tissue type development. Threshold requirements were as follows: metula-phialide differentiation < ascosporogenesis < cleistothecial shell-Hülle cell differentiation. Altered stuA expression affected conidiophore morphology and conidial yields quantitatively but did not alter the temporal development of cell types or conidiophore density. By contrast, the sexual cycle showed both temporal delay and quantitative reduction in the number of cleistothecial initials but normal morphogenesis of tissue types. PMID:9315680

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Depressing Antidepressant: Fluoxetine Affects Serotonin Neurons Causing Adverse Reproductive Responses in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Campos, Bruno; Rivetti, Claudia; Kress, Timm; Barata, Carlos; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2016-06-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants. As endocrine disruptive contaminants in the environment, SSRIs affect reproduction in aquatic organisms. In the water flea Daphnia magna, SSRIs increase offspring production in a food ration-dependent manner. At limiting food conditions, females exposed to SSRIs produce more but smaller offspring, which is a maladaptive life-history strategy. We asked whether increased serotonin levels in newly identified serotonin-neurons in the Daphnia brain mediate these effects. We provide strong evidence that exogenous SSRI fluoxetine selectively increases serotonin-immunoreactivity in identified brain neurons under limiting food conditions thereby leading to maladaptive offspring production. Fluoxetine increases serotonin-immunoreactivity at low food conditions to similar maximal levels as observed under high food conditions and concomitantly enhances offspring production. Sublethal amounts of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine known to specifically ablate serotonin-neurons markedly decrease serotonin-immunoreactivity and offspring production, strongly supporting the effect to be serotonin-specific by reversing the reproductive phenotype attained under fluoxetine. Thus, SSRIs impair serotonin-regulation of reproductive investment in a planktonic key organism causing inappropriately increased reproduction with potentially severe ecological impact. PMID:27128505

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Mutations along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis affecting male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Alevizaki, Maria

    2007-12-01

    Disorders in male reproductive function are caused by mutations of key genes at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary- testicular axis. They may affect the ontogeny and function of the hypothalamic centres governing gonadotrophin synthesis and secretion, the development of the anterior pituitary gland, the production of gonadotrophins and the function of their receptor genes, and finally the genes responsible for testicular hormone production and gametogenesis. This review focuses on mutations that affect the synthesis and secretion of hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone, as well as their testicular receptors, thus covering a selected group of genetic causes of hypo- and hypergonadotrophic male hypogonadism.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27382112

  13. 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. PMID:23438900

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Sub-lethal increases in salinity affect reproduction in fathead minnows.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Zachary; Weisgerber, Jordan N; Pollock, Michael S; Chivers, Douglas P; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-10-01

    Salinization poses a threat to many inland aquatic ecosystems, especially in areas where natural processes are compounded by anthropogenic salinization. Though physiological survival can be a challenge for stenohaline freshwater fishes facing increasing salinity, it is important to note that essential and complex activities such as reproduction may be affected well below physiological tolerance limits. Here, we exposed fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to four levels of salinity in order to assess any impacts on several egg production and behavioral endpoints. We found significant reductions in total eggs produced, percent fertilization, number of spawning days, clutch size, total time males spent in the nest, and duration of nest care events. Our data demonstrate that salinization can have negative effects on critical reproductive endpoints.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Spatial Niche Facilitates Clonal Reproduction in Seed Plants under Temporal Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Shin; Araki, Kiwako S.

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary origins and advantages of clonal reproduction relative to sexual reproduction have been discussed for several taxonomic groups. In particular, organisms with a sessile lifestyle are often exposed to spatial and temporal environmental fluctuations. Thus, clonal propagation may be advantageous in such fluctuating environments, for sessile species that can reproduce both sexually and clonally. Here we introduce the concept of niche to a lattice space that changes spatially and temporally, by incorporating the compatibility between the characteristics of a sessile clonal plant with its habitat into a spatially explicit individual-based model. We evaluate the impact of spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments on the evolution of reproductive strategies: the optimal balance between seed and clonal reproduction of a clonal plant. The spatial niche case with local habitats led to avoidance of specialization in reproductive strategy, whereas stable environments or intensive environmental change tended to result in specialization in either clonal or seed reproduction under neutral conditions. Furthermore, an increase in spatial niches made clonal reproduction advantageous, as a consequence of competition among several genets under disturbed conditions, because a ramet reached a favorable habitat through a rare long-distance dispersal event via seed production. Thus, the existence of spatial niches could explain the advantages of clonal propagation. PMID:25549330

  2. Spatial niche facilitates clonal reproduction in seed plants under temporal disturbance.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Shin; Araki, Kiwako S

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary origins and advantages of clonal reproduction relative to sexual reproduction have been discussed for several taxonomic groups. In particular, organisms with a sessile lifestyle are often exposed to spatial and temporal environmental fluctuations. Thus, clonal propagation may be advantageous in such fluctuating environments, for sessile species that can reproduce both sexually and clonally. Here we introduce the concept of niche to a lattice space that changes spatially and temporally, by incorporating the compatibility between the characteristics of a sessile clonal plant with its habitat into a spatially explicit individual-based model. We evaluate the impact of spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments on the evolution of reproductive strategies: the optimal balance between seed and clonal reproduction of a clonal plant. The spatial niche case with local habitats led to avoidance of specialization in reproductive strategy, whereas stable environments or intensive environmental change tended to result in specialization in either clonal or seed reproduction under neutral conditions. Furthermore, an increase in spatial niches made clonal reproduction advantageous, as a consequence of competition among several genets under disturbed conditions, because a ramet reached a favorable habitat through a rare long-distance dispersal event via seed production. Thus, the existence of spatial niches could explain the advantages of clonal propagation.

  3. 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. PMID:26361480

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26361480

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Food availability affects onset of reproduction in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Vincenzi, Simone; Hatch, Scott; Mangel, Marc; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that suboptimal developmental conditions may lead to faster life histories (younger age at recruitment and higher reproductive investment), but experimental testing of this prediction is still scarce in long-lived species. We report the effects of an experimental manipulation of food availability during early development and at recruitment on the onset of reproduction and reproductive performance (productivity at first breeding) in a long-lived seabird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, breeding on Middleton Island, Alaska. Birds were born and raised in nests with supplemented food (‘fed’) or unsupplemented control nests (‘unfed’), and later recruited into either fed or unfed nests. Fed chicks grew faster than unfed chicks, and males grew faster than females. Birds were more likely to reproduce at younger ages when recruiting into fed nests. Faster growth during development tended to increase age at recruitment in all individuals. Social rank of individuals also affected age at recruitment: B-chicks recruited earlier than A-chicks and singletons recruited later than A- and B-chicks. Productivity increased with the age at recruitment and growth rate as chick, but much of the variability remained unexplained. We conclude that results of this study at least partially support predictions of life-history theory: younger age at first breeding for kittiwakes that experienced suboptimal natal conditions, as well as greater productivity of early recruiting kittiwakes that grew in control nests compared with those that grew in food-supplemented nests. PMID:23576791

  9. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

  10. Group composition affects male reproductive partitioning in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Jutzeler, Eva; Bonfils, Danielle; Mitchell, Jeremy S

    2008-10-01

    Individuals within groups of cooperatively breeding species may partition reproduction, with the dominant pair often taking the largest share. The dominant's ability to reproductively control subordinates may depend on differences in competitive ability, due to, e.g. body size differences, but may also depend on the number of same-sex competitors inside the group. We tested experimentally whether subordinates reproduce more when these subordinates are large or when a second subordinate of the same sex need to be controlled by the dominants, using the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. Dominant pairs were assisted by a large and a small unrelated subordinate; sexes of these fish were varied in a full-factorial design (giving four treatments). Dominant males lost significantly more parentage to the large subordinate male when a small subordinate male was also present, compared to when a small subordinate female was present. However, subordinate paternity was generally low and did not significantly curb total dominant male reproductive output, which was more affected by the sizes and numbers of reproductive females present inside his group. Dominant female maternity, clutch sizes and total output did not depend on the treatments. Subordinate-subordinate reproduction was virtually absent (one out of 874 offspring). Female subordinates were more likely to provide care for their own broods. In contrast, male subordinates did not adjust their level of care to their parentage. Variability in female subordinate alloparental brood care was particularly high, with females showing more care than males in general. We also detected effects of growth rate and food ration on parentage independent of the treatments, most notably: (i) a trade-off between dominant male growth rate and paternity; (ii) a decrease in dominant male paternity with increasing food ration; (iii) a positive effect of growth rate on paternity in small males. We conclude that dominant males

  11. Analgesic exposure in pregnant rats affects fetal germ cell development with inter-generational reproductive consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Afshan; van den Driesche, Sander; Wang, Yili; McKinnell, Chris; Macpherson, Sheila; Eddie, Sharon L.; Kinnell, Hazel; Hurtado-Gonzalez, Pablo; Chambers, Tom J.; Stevenson, Kerrie; Wolfinger, Elke; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Calarrao, Ana; Bayne, Rosey AL; Hagen, Casper P.; Mitchell, Rod T.; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    Analgesics which affect prostaglandin (PG) pathways are used by most pregnant women. As germ cells (GC) undergo developmental and epigenetic changes in fetal life and are PG targets, we investigated if exposure of pregnant rats to analgesics (indomethacin or acetaminophen) affected GC development and reproductive function in resulting offspring (F1) or in the F2 generation. Exposure to either analgesic reduced F1 fetal GC number in both sexes and altered the tempo of fetal GC development sex-dependently, with delayed meiotic entry in oogonia but accelerated GC differentiation in males. These effects persisted in adult F1 females as reduced ovarian and litter size, whereas F1 males recovered normal GC numbers and fertility by adulthood. F2 offspring deriving from an analgesic-exposed F1 parent also exhibited sex-specific changes. F2 males exhibited normal reproductive development whereas F2 females had smaller ovaries and reduced follicle numbers during puberty/adulthood; as similar changes were found for F2 offspring of analgesic-exposed F1 fathers or mothers, we interpret this as potentially indicating an analgesic-induced change to GC in F1. Assuming our results are translatable to humans, they raise concerns that analgesic use in pregnancy could potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and grand-daughters. PMID:26813099

  12. The effect of Bt-transgene introgression on plant growth and reproduction in wild Brassica juncea.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yong-Bo; Darmency, Henry; Stewart, C Neal; Wei, Wei; Tang, Zhi-Xi; Ma, Ke-Ping

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to investigate the relative plant growth and reproduction of insect-resistant and susceptible plants following the introgression of an insect-resistance Bt-transgene from Brassica napus, oilseed rape, to wild Brassica juncea. The second backcrossed generation (BC2) from a single backcross family was grown in pure and mixed stands of Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic siblings under two insect treatments. Various proportions of Bt-transgenic plants were employed in mixed stands to study the interaction between resistant and susceptible plants. In the pure stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants performed better than non-transgenic plants with or without insect treatments. In mixed stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants produced fewer seeds than their non-Bt counterparts at low proportions of Bt-transgenic BC2 plants in the absence of insects. Reproductive allocation of non-transgenic plants marginally increased with increasing proportions of Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure, which resulted in increased total biomass and seed production per stand. The results showed that the growth of non-transgenic plants was protected by Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure. The Bt-transgene might not be advantageous in mixed stands of backcrossed hybrids; thus transgene introgression would not be facilitated when herbivorous insects are not present. However, a relatively large initial population of Bt-transgenic plants might result in transgene persistence when target herbivores are present. PMID:25487040

  13. The effect of Bt-transgene introgression on plant growth and reproduction in wild Brassica juncea.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yong-Bo; Darmency, Henry; Stewart, C Neal; Wei, Wei; Tang, Zhi-Xi; Ma, Ke-Ping

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to investigate the relative plant growth and reproduction of insect-resistant and susceptible plants following the introgression of an insect-resistance Bt-transgene from Brassica napus, oilseed rape, to wild Brassica juncea. The second backcrossed generation (BC2) from a single backcross family was grown in pure and mixed stands of Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic siblings under two insect treatments. Various proportions of Bt-transgenic plants were employed in mixed stands to study the interaction between resistant and susceptible plants. In the pure stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants performed better than non-transgenic plants with or without insect treatments. In mixed stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants produced fewer seeds than their non-Bt counterparts at low proportions of Bt-transgenic BC2 plants in the absence of insects. Reproductive allocation of non-transgenic plants marginally increased with increasing proportions of Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure, which resulted in increased total biomass and seed production per stand. The results showed that the growth of non-transgenic plants was protected by Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure. The Bt-transgene might not be advantageous in mixed stands of backcrossed hybrids; thus transgene introgression would not be facilitated when herbivorous insects are not present. However, a relatively large initial population of Bt-transgenic plants might result in transgene persistence when target herbivores are present.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:12638611

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26405740

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24240278

  3. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Gender differences in Salix myrsinifolia at the pre-reproductive stage are little affected by simulated climatic change.

    PubMed

    Nybakken, Line; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta

    2013-04-01

    Females of dioecious species are known often to prioritize defense, while males grow faster. As climatic change is known to influence both growth and defense in plants, it would be important to know whether it affects the sexes of dioecious species differently. This could have impacts on future sex ratios in nature. We grew four clones of each sex of Salix myrsinifolia in greenhouse chambers under ambient conditions, enhanced temperature, enhanced CO2 or enhanced temperature  +  enhanced CO2 . The females had the greatest growth and also the highest levels of phenolic compounds in twigs, while in leaves some compounds were higher in males, some in females. Enhanced CO2 increased growth equally in both sexes, while growth was not affected by elevated temperature. Phenolic compounds in twigs were, however, lowered under elevated temperature. The gender differences were not strongly affected by the simulated climatic changes, but the effects seen on some highly concentrated compounds may be important. We interpret the intensive growth at pre-reproductive phase as a strategy in females to get an initial advantage before later periods with fewer resources available for growth.

  8. Corticosterone metabolism by chicken follicle cells does not affect ovarian reproductive hormone synthesis in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Rettenbacher, Sophie; Henriksen, Rie; Groothuids, Ton G.; Lepschy, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids affect reproductive hormone production in many species. In chickens, elevated plasma corticosterone down-regulates testosterone and progesterone concentrations in plasma, but also in egg yolk. This suppression could be mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary system but also via local inhibition of gonadal activity by glucocorticoids. As the latter has not been tested in birds yet, we tested if corticosterone directly inhibits ovarian steroid synthesis under in vitro conditions. We hypothesized that degradation of corticosterone by follicular cells impairs their ability to synthesize reproductive hormones due to either inhibition of enzymes or competition for common co-factors. Therefore, we first established whether follicles degrade corticosterone. Follicular tissue was harvested from freshly euthanized laying hens and incubated with radiolabelled corticosterone. Radioactive metabolites were visualized and quantified by autoradiography. Follicles converted corticosterone in a time-dependent manner into metabolites with a higher polarity than corticosterone. The predominant metabolite co-eluted with 20β-dihydrocorticosterone. Other chicken tissues mostly formed the same metabolite when incubated with corticosterone. In a second experiment, follicles were incubated with either progesterone or dehydroepiandrosterone. Corticosterone was added in increasing dosages up to 1000 ng per ml medium. Corticosterone did not inhibit the conversion of progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone into a number of different metabolites, including 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and testosterone. In conclusion, avian tissues degrade corticosterone mostly to 20β-dihydrocorticosterone and even high corticosterone dosages do not affect follicular hormone production under in vitro conditions. PMID:23333751

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. Reproduction of the Medicinal Plant Pelargonium sidoides via Somatic Embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Duchow, Stefanie; Blaschek, Wolfgang; Classen, Birgit

    2015-08-01

    The medicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides DC. (Geraniaceae) was traditionally used for the treatment of the common cold and cough in South Africa. Today an aequous-ethanolic root extract from this plant is approved for the treatment of acute bronchitis and is globally marketed also as an immunostimulant. The increasing demand of the plant material for the industrial production indicates the need of new effective methods for the propagation of P. sidoides. Here we report somatic embryogenesis and in vitro plantlet regeneration from somatic cells of inflorescence shoots and petioles of P. sidoides. A one-week cultivation of explants in media containing different concentrations of thidiazuron (1, 2.2, 3, and 4 mg/L) followed by a cultivation period without phytohormones resulted in the induction of somatic embryos within 2-4 weeks. After 2-4 months, the embryos generated roots and could be transferred into a greenhouse, where flower formation took place and the development of seeds occurred with high germination rates. The root umckalin concentration, determined by high-performance thin-layer chromatography, was comparable to that of seed-cultivated plants (100 ± 6 vs. 113 ± 10 µg umckalin/g dried roots). For the first time, direct somatic embryogenesis has been established as an appropriate cultivation method for P. sidoides plants used as raw material in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, genetically identical plants (chemical races) can be easily generated by this procedure.

  14. Reproduction of the Medicinal Plant Pelargonium sidoides via Somatic Embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Duchow, Stefanie; Blaschek, Wolfgang; Classen, Birgit

    2015-08-01

    The medicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides DC. (Geraniaceae) was traditionally used for the treatment of the common cold and cough in South Africa. Today an aequous-ethanolic root extract from this plant is approved for the treatment of acute bronchitis and is globally marketed also as an immunostimulant. The increasing demand of the plant material for the industrial production indicates the need of new effective methods for the propagation of P. sidoides. Here we report somatic embryogenesis and in vitro plantlet regeneration from somatic cells of inflorescence shoots and petioles of P. sidoides. A one-week cultivation of explants in media containing different concentrations of thidiazuron (1, 2.2, 3, and 4 mg/L) followed by a cultivation period without phytohormones resulted in the induction of somatic embryos within 2-4 weeks. After 2-4 months, the embryos generated roots and could be transferred into a greenhouse, where flower formation took place and the development of seeds occurred with high germination rates. The root umckalin concentration, determined by high-performance thin-layer chromatography, was comparable to that of seed-cultivated plants (100 ± 6 vs. 113 ± 10 µg umckalin/g dried roots). For the first time, direct somatic embryogenesis has been established as an appropriate cultivation method for P. sidoides plants used as raw material in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, genetically identical plants (chemical races) can be easily generated by this procedure. PMID:26287694

  15. 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.

  16. Dynamics of reproductive growth of Lesquerella (Physaria fendleri) over different planting dates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetative and reproductive development information of lesquerella (Physaria fendleri), a new oilseed crop targeted for bio-products, is important to understand especially in the early commercialization stage of this new crop. We determined the effect of fall, winter, and spring planting dates over...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Disruption of amylase genes by RNA interference affects reproduction in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Huvet, Arnaud; Béguel, Jean-Philippe; Cavaleiro, Nathalia Pereira; Thomas, Yoann; Quillien, Virgile; Boudry, Pierre; Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; Fabioux, Caroline

    2015-06-01

    Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection.

  1. Metabolic stressors and signals differentially affect energy allocation between reproduction and immune function.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Elizabeth D; Cooper, Candace L; Demas, Gregory E

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity.

  2. 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. PMID:17412589

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26081278

  7. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of ‘environmental sex determination’. PMID:17251109

  8. 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.

  9. Enrichment materials do not negatively affect reproductive success and offspring survival and weight in mice.

    PubMed

    Shair, Harry N; Nunez, Yasmin; Osman, Mohamed M

    2011-12-19

    Environmental enrichment is designed to improve the overall welfare of laboratory animals, including mice. Few studies have directly assessed the effects of different types of enrichment on mouse offspring survival and growth. The authors examined how survival and growth of C57BL/6 mouse pups are affected by three kinds of cage enrichment materials: compressed cotton squares, two-ply tissues and plastic igloos. During the last week of gestation and the first two weeks postpartum, the authors observed cages with litters and noted use of the enrichment materials, quality of nest construction, number of pups per litter and weight of pups. Both the first and second litters were evaluated for each dam. Dams and pups had continuous contact with the enrichment materials, especially cotton squares and tissues. Neither the presence nor the type of enrichment material influenced the survival and weight of offspring, suggesting that the use of such materials does not negatively impact reproductive success or offspring survival.

  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. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26031902

  13. Life-cycle exposure to the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone affects zebrafish (Danio rerio) development and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Patrick; Bucheli, Thomas D; Wettstein, Felix E; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia

    2013-05-01

    Zearalenone (ZON) is one of the worldwide most common mycotoxin and exhibits estrogenic activity in the range of natural steroid estrogens. The occurrence of ZON has been reported in soil, drainage water, wastewater effluents, and rivers, but its ecotoxicological effects on fish have hardly been investigated. The consequences of continuous long-term ZON exposure, including a subsequent depuration period, as well as transgenerational effects of F0 short-term exposure on F1 generation were investigated. Effects on growth, reproduction activity, physiology, and morphology of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were examined in a 182 day live-cycle experiment. Life-long exposure to ZON for 140 days increased wet weight, body length, and condition factor of female fish at 1000 ng/L, and sex ratio was shifted toward female from 320 ng/L ZON. Only females at 1000 ng/L ZON revealed a 1.5-fold induction of plasma vitellogenin (VTG). Relative fecundity at 1000 ng/L recovered significantly during the depuration period. An increased condition factor in adult female F1 fish implies that exposure of F0 generation to 1000 ng/L ZON affected growth of F1 generation. A negative correlation between relative fecundity in the F1 generation (all groups exposed to 320 ng/L ZON) and the nominal ZON concentrations of the F0 exposure might indicate an influence of F0 exposure on reproductive performance of F1 generation. No exposure scenario affected fertility, hatch, embryo survival, and gonad morphology of zebrafish. Evaluating the environmental relevance of this data, the risk for fish to be harmed by exposure to ZON solely seems rather marginal, but ZON might contribute to the overall estrogenicity in the environment. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 2013.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Timing of cotyledon damage affects growth and flowering in mature plants.

    PubMed

    Hanley, M E; Fegan, E L

    2007-07-01

    Although the effects of herbivory on plant fitness are strongly linked to age, we understand little about how the timing of herbivory at the seedling stage affects growth and reproduction for plants that survive attack. In this study, we subjected six north-western European, dicotyledonous grassland species (Leontodon autumnalis, Leontodon hispidus, Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major, Trifolium pratense and Trifolium repens) to cotyledon removal at 7, 14 and 21 d old. We monitored subsequent growth and flowering (number of inflorescences recorded, and time taken for first flowers to open) over a 107 d period. Cotyledon removal reduced growth during establishment (35 d) for all species, and a further three exhibited reduced growth at maturity. Four species developed fewer inflorescences, or had delayed flowering after cotyledon removal. Although early damage (7 d old) had the greatest long-term effect on plant performance, responses varied according to the age at which the damage occurred and the species involved. Our results illustrate how growth and flowering into the mature phase is affected by cotyledon damage during different stages of seedling ontogeny, and we highlight the ways in which ontogenetic variation in seedling tolerance of tissue loss might impact upon plant fitness in mature plant communities. PMID:17547653

  18. Food restriction negatively affects multiple levels of the reproductive axis in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus.

    PubMed

    Valle, Shelley; Carpentier, Elodie; Vu, Bethany; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Deviche, Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Nutrition influences reproductive functions across vertebrates, but the effects of food availability on the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in wild birds and the mechanisms mediating these effects remain unclear. We investigated the influence of chronic food restriction on the HPG axis of photostimulated house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus. Food-restricted birds had underdeveloped testes with smaller seminiferous tubules than ad libitum-fed birds. Baseline plasma testosterone increased in response to photostimulation in ad libitum-fed but not in food-restricted birds. Food availability did not, however, affect the plasma testosterone increase resulting from a gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH) or a luteinizing hormone (LH) challenge. The number of hypothalamic GnRH immunoreactive (ir) but not proGnRH-ir perikarya was higher in food-restricted than in ad libitum-fed finches, suggesting inhibited secretion of GnRH. Hypothalamic gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH)-ir and neuropeptide Y (NPY)-ir were not affected by food availability. Plasma corticosterone (CORT) was also not affected by food availability, indicating that the observed HPG axis inhibition did not result from increased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This study is among the first to examine multilevel functional changes in the HPG axis in response to food restriction in a wild bird. The results indicate that food availability affects both hypothalamic and gonadal function, but further investigations are needed to clarify the mechanisms by which nutritional signals mediate these effects.

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

    PubMed

    Franks, Steven J; Weis, Arthur E

    2009-11-01

    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.

  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. Selenium status affects selenoprotein expression, reproduction, and F₁ generation locomotor activity in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Penglase, Sam; Hamre, Kristin; Rasinger, Josef D; Ellingsen, Staale

    2014-06-14

    Se is an essential trace element, and is incorporated into selenoproteins which play important roles in human health. Mammalian selenoprotein-coding genes are often present as paralogues in teleost fish, and it is unclear whether the expression patterns or functions of these fish paralogues reflect their mammalian orthologues. Using the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio; ZF), we aimed to assess how dietary Se affects key parameters in Se metabolism and utilisation including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity, the mRNA expression of key Se-dependent proteins (gpx1a, gpx1b, sepp1a and sepp1b), oxidative status, reproductive success and F1 generation locomotor activity. From 27 d until 254 d post-fertilisation, ZF were fed diets with graded levels of Se ranging from deficient ( < 0·10 mg/kg) to toxic (30 mg/kg). The mRNA expression of gpx1a and gpx1b and GPX activity responded in a similar manner to changes in Se status. GPX activity and mRNA levels were lowest when dietary Se levels (0·3 mg/kg) resulted in the maximum growth of ZF, and a proposed bimodal mechanism in response to Se status below and above this dietary Se level was identified. The expression of the sepp1 paralogues differed, with only sepp1a responding to Se status. High dietary Se supplementation (30 mg/kg) decreased reproductive success, while the offspring of ZF fed above 0·3 mg Se/kg diet had lower locomotor activity than the other groups. Overall, the novel finding of low selenoprotein expression and activity coinciding with maximum body growth suggests that even small Se-induced variations in redox status may influence cellular growth rates. PMID:24666596

  2. Life cycle specialization of filamentous pathogens - colonization and reproduction in plant tissues.

    PubMed

    Haueisen, Janine; Stukenbrock, Eva H

    2016-08-01

    Filamentous plant pathogens explore host tissues to obtain nutrients for growth and reproduction. Diverse strategies for tissue invasion, defense manipulation, and colonization of inter and intra-cellular spaces have evolved. Most research has focused on effector molecules, which are secreted to manipulate plant immunity and facilitate infection. Effector genes are often found to evolve rapidly in response to the antagonistic host-pathogen co-evolution but other traits are also subject to adaptive evolution during specialization to the anatomy, biochemistry and ecology of different plant hosts. Although not directly related to virulence, these traits are important components of specialization but little is known about them. We present and discuss specific life cycle traits that facilitate exploration of plant tissues and underline the importance of increasing our insight into the biology of plant pathogens. PMID:27153045

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Reproduction of Plant-parasitic Nematodes on Winter Rapeseed (Brassica napus ssp. oleiferas)

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, E. C.; Montgomery-Dee, M. E.

    1993-01-01

    The reproduction of isolates of five plant-parasitic nematode species on the winter rapeseed cultivars Bridger, Gorzanski, H-47, Lindora, and Viking was evaluated. Each cultivar was a good host for Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus, Meloidogyne hapla, and M. incognita, All rapeseed cultivars were poor hosts for Pratylenchus scribneri, in comparison with a susceptible reference host. Heterodera glycines females rarely developed on any cultivar, but low numbers of juveniles invaded roots and males occasionally reached maturity. PMID:19279854

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu. I. The cycle of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bourdy, G; Walter, A

    1992-10-01

    Ethnobotanical data collection to select pharmacologically active species was carried out within a clearly defined therapeutic context: those plants used during the course of a woman's reproductive life. Extensive bibliographical and field data collection and cross-examination of the information thus gathered have provided us with a clearer picture of the effectiveness of these plant species. Various concepts, behaviours and practices relating to menstruation, pregnancy, birth and birth control were examined in detail from an ethnopharmacological point of view. A list of selected species of particular interest is proposed for further study. PMID:1453707

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice

    PubMed Central

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2015-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20μg/kg/day-750mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities PMID:25765777

  16. 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.

  17. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice.

    PubMed

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A

    2015-06-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20 μg/kg/day-750 mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities. PMID:25765777

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Variation in multiple traits of vegetative and reproductive seagrass tissues influences plant-herbivore interactions.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Becerro, Mikel A; Alcoverro, Teresa; Romero, Javier

    2007-04-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions have strong ecological and evolutionary consequences, but have been traditionally overlooked in marine higher plants. Despite recent advances in seagrass ecology that highlight the importance of herbivory, the mechanisms that regulate the feeding behaviour of seagrass consumers remain largely unknown. Herbivores have been shown to reduce the sexual reproductive success of seagrasses through direct consumption of inflorescences and seeds, but we know little about intraspecific variation in susceptibility to grazing of different seagrass tissues. We contrasted the relative palatability of reproductive and vegetative tissues of the temperate seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the field, and we assessed the feeding preferences among these tissues of the main consumers of the plant, the fish Sarpa salpa and the urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Moreover, we identified the plant traits that explained the observed feeding behaviour. We provide strong evidence for herbivore selectivity among seagrass tissues. In the field, 70-90% of inflorescences were damaged by herbivores compared to 3-60% of leaves of similar age. In feeding assays, the urchin P. lividus showed over a twofold preference for reproductive tissue at various stages of development. By contrast, we detected no feeding activity on either leaves or inflorescences from the fish S. salpa, which is known to migrate to deeper waters soon after flowering starts and during the period of fruit maturation. Despite being the preferred food of urchins, inflorescences were chemically defended, had higher levels of phenolics and lower nutrient and calorific content than leaves. We experimentally demonstrated that leaf structural defences are the primary factor in determining urchin feeding preferences. Removal of plant structure results in a drastic shift in urchin selectivity towards the most nutritious and less chemically defended leaf tissue, indicating that multiple mechanisms of defence to

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... and female reproductive systems play a role in pregnancy. Problems with these systems can affect fertility and ... a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. During the ...

  10. Host-plant adaptation drives the parallel evolution of reproductive isolation.

    PubMed

    Nosil, Patrik; Crespi, Bernard J; Sandoval, Cristina P

    2002-05-23

    Parallel evolution of similar traits in independent populations that inhabit ecologically similar environments strongly implicates natural selection as the cause of evolution. Parallel speciation is a special form of parallel evolution where traits that determine reproductive isolation evolve repeatedly, in closely related populations, as by-products of adaptation to ecological conditions. The outcome of such parallel evolution is that ecologically divergent pairs of populations exhibit greater levels of reproductive isolation than ecologically similar pairs of populations of a similar or younger age. The parallel evolution of reproductive isolation provides strong evidence for natural selection in the process of speciation, but only one conclusive example from nature is known. Populations of the walking-stick insect Timema cristinae that use different host-plant species have diverged in body size and shape, host preference, behaviour and the relative frequency of two highly cryptic colour-pattern morphs. Here we report that divergent selection for host adaptation, and not genetic drift, has promoted the parallel evolution of sexual isolation in this species. Our findings represent a clear demonstration that host-plant adaptation can play a crucial and repeatable role in the early stages of speciation.

  11. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:24391508

  14. Estrus synchronization affects WNT signaling in the porcine reproductive tract and embryos.

    PubMed

    Kiewisz, Jolanta; Kaczmarek, Monika M; Morawska, Ewa; Blitek, Agnieszka; Kapelanski, Wojciech; Ziecik, Adam J

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate an effect of estrus synchronization with prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and PMSG/hCG on WNT4, WNT5A, WNT7A, β-catenin (CTNNB1) and E-cadherin (CDH1) gene expression. The weight of the uterus, morphometrical parameters of the endometrium and the number of CL were recorded. The analysis of estradiol (E(2)), prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and E(2) content in the uterine luminal flushings (ULFs) and progesterone (P(4)) level in the blood serum were conducted. RNA was isolated from endometrial, luteal and embryonic tissue of pregnant non-synchronized (Control; n = 15) and pregnant synchronized (PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG; n = 15) pigs. Whereas there was no change in uterine weight, differences in height of endometrial surface and glandular epithelium were found. However, height of the endometrium, number of the glands and capillaries were unaffected. The total number of the CLs was higher (P < 0.05) in animals treated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The amount of E(2) and P(4) was lower (P < 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively) in pregnant gilts administrated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The concentration of PGF(2α) in ULFs was not affected by hormonal management, while PGE(2) was higher (P < 0.01) in hormonally in comparison to non-hormonally treated pigs. The content of WNT4 mRNA in conceptuses increased on particular Days studied in Control and PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG administered animals. WNT7A and CTNNB1 were affected by PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment in both conceptuses (P < 0.001, P < 0.05) and endometrial tissue (P < 0.001, P < 0.01). The PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment resulted in elevated expression of WNT4 (P < 0.001) and CTNNB1 (P < 0.05) in luteal tissue in comparison to the Control gilts. Moreover, luteal amount of WNT5A mRNA was higher in PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG animals in comparison to the Control group (P < 0.05). Presented data show that exogenous hormones administration can affect gene expression in the porcine reproductive tract and embryo.

  15. CO2, nitrogen, and diversity differentially affect seed production of prairie plants.

    PubMed

    HilleRisLambers, J; Harpole, W S; Schnitzer, S; Tilman, D; Reich, P B

    2009-07-01

    Plant species composition and diversity is often influenced by early life history stages; thus, global change could dramatically affect plant community structure by altering seed production. Unfortunately, plant reproductive responses to global change are rarely studied in field settings, making it difficult to assess this possibility. To address this issue, we quantified the effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen deposition, and declining diversity on inflorescence production and inflorescence mass of 11 perennial grassland species in central Minnesota, U.S.A. We analyzed these data to ask whether (1) global change differentially affects seed production of co-occurring species; (2) seed production responses to global change are similar for species within the same functional group (defined by ecophysiology and growth form); and (3) seed production responses to global change match productivity responses: We found that, on average, allocation to seed production decreased under elevated CO2, although individual species responses were rarely significant due to low power (CO2 treatment df = 2). The effects of nitrogen deposition on seed production were similar within functional groups: C4 grasses tended to increase while C3 grasses tended to decrease allocation to seed production. Responses to nitrogen deposition were negatively correlated to productivity responses, suggesting a trade-off. Allocation to seed production of some species responded to a diversity gradient, but responses were uncorrelated to productivity responses and not similar within functional groups. Presumably, species richness has complex effects on the biotic and abiotic variables that influence seed production. In total, our results suggest that seed production of co-occurring species will be altered by global change, which may affect plant communities in unpredictable ways. Although functional groups could be used to generalize seed production responses to nitrogen deposition in Minnesota prairies, we

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

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; 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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; 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

  19. 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.

  20. Reproductive period affects water intake in heat-stressed dehydrated goats.

    PubMed

    Olsson, K; Josäter-Hermelin, M; Hossaini-Hilali, J; Cvek, K; Hydbring, E; Dahlborn, K

    1996-04-01

    Water intake following dehydration was studied in pregnant (N = 5), lactating (N = 4) and nonpregnant, nonlactating (N = 5) Swedish domestic goats (Capra hircus) to investigate if reproductive period affected drinking. Plasma cortisol concentration and the hematocrit value were measured to evaluate stress. The goats were water deprived from 9.00 h until 15.05 h the next day. They were fed at 7.00 and 15.20 h. On the second day, ambient temperature was increased from 20 degrees C to 38-39.5 degrees C for 5.15 h to accelerate water losses. Water temperature during rehydration was 35 +/- 1 degree C. Plasma Na concentration and osmolality increased most in dehydrated and heat-stressed pregnant and lactating goats. Pregnant goats lost 2.2 kg of their body weight. They drank 3.5 l immediately, followed by 2.5 l during afternoon eating. Lactating goats lost 4.9 kg and drank 6.3 l at once, and 3.9 l during feeding. Nonpregnant, nonlactating goats lost 1.7 kg and drank 2.6 l followed by 0.6 l. The large water consumption in pregnant and lactating goats caused hyponatremia and hemodilution, but they continued to drink during the night (0.5 +/- 0.2 l and 0.8 +/- 0.5 l, respectively). Renal free water clearance increased in all periods, with a long-lasting water diuresis during pregnancy. Plasma cortisol concentrations and the hematocrit values rose in connection with water intake. These results imply that the thirst center became less sensitive to inhibitory signals from the oropharyngeal tract and the diluted blood plasma during pregnancy and lactation. Catching sight of water was the most exciting procedure during these experiments.

  1. Host age, sex, and reproductive seasonality affect nematode parasitism in wild Japanese macaques.

    PubMed

    MacIntosh, Andrew J J; Hernandez, Alexander D; Huffman, Michael A

    2010-10-01

    Parasites are characteristically aggregated within hosts, but identifying the mechanisms underlying such aggregation can be difficult in wildlife populations. We examined the influence of host age and sex over an annual cycle on the eggs per gram of feces (EPG) of nematode parasites infecting wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima Island. Five species of nematode were recorded from 434 fecal samples collected from an age-structured group of 50 individually recognizable macaques. All parasites exhibited aggregated EPG distributions. The age-infection profiles of all three directly transmitted species (Oesophagostomum aculeatum, Strongyloides fuelleborni, and Trichuris trichiura) exhibited convex curves, but concavity better characterized the age-infection curves of the two trophically transmitted species (Streptopharagus pigmentatus and Gongylonema pulchrum). There was a male bias in EPG and prevalence of infection with directly transmitted species, except in the prevalence of O. aculeatum, and no sex bias in the other parasites. Infection with O. aculeatum showed a female bias in prevalence among young adults, and additional interactions with sex and seasonality show higher EPG values in males during the mating season (fall) but in females during the birth season (spring). These patterns suggest that an immunosuppressive role by reproductive hormones may be regulating direct, but not indirect, life-cycle parasites. Exposure at an early age may trigger an immune response that affects all nematodes, but trophically transmitted species appear to accumulate thereafter. Although it is difficult to discern clear mechanistic explanations for parasite distributions in wildlife populations, it is critical to begin examining these patterns in host species that are increasingly endangered by anthropogenic threats.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Reproductive state affects hiding behaviour under risk of predation but not exploratory activity of female Spanish terrapins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Marzal, Alfonso; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2015-02-01

    Female investment during reproduction may reduce survivorship due to increased predation risk. During pregnancy, the locomotor performance of gravid females might be diminished due to the additional weight acquired. In addition, egg production may also increase thermoregulatory, metabolic and physiological costs. Also, pregnant females have greater potential fitness and should take fewer risks. Thus, females should ponder their reproductive state when considering their behavioural responses under risky situations. Here, we examine how reproductive state influence risk-taking behaviour in different contexts in female Spanish terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). We simulated predator attacks of different risk levels and measured the time that the turtles spent hiding entirely inside their own shells (i.e. appearance times). We also assessed the subsequent time after emergence from the shell that the turtles spent immobile monitoring for predators before starting to escape actively (i.e. waiting times). Likewise, we performed a novel-environment test and measured the exploratory activity of turtles. We found no correlations between appearance time, waiting time or exploratory activity, but appearance times were correlated across different risk levels. Only appearance time was affected by the reproductive state, where gravid females reappeared relatively later from their shells after a predator attack than non-gravid ones. Moreover, among gravid females, those carrying greater clutches tended to have longer appearance times. This suggests that only larger clutches could affect hiding behaviour in risky contexts. In contrast, waiting time spent scanning for predators and exploratory activity were not affected by the reproductive state. These differences between gravid and non-gravid females might be explained by the metabolic-physiological costs associated with egg production and embryo maintenance, as well as by the relatively higher potential fitness of gravid females.

  5. Mortality affects adaptive allocation to growth and reproduction: field evidence from a guild of body snatchers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The probability of being killed by external factors (extrinsic mortality) should influence how individuals allocate limited resources to the competing processes of growth and reproduction. Increased extrinsic mortality should select for decreased allocation to growth and for increased reproductive effort. This study presents perhaps the first clear cross-species test of this hypothesis, capitalizing on the unique properties offered by a diverse guild of parasitic castrators (body snatchers). I quantify growth, reproductive effort, and expected extrinsic mortality for several species that, despite being different species, use the same species' phenotype for growth and survival. These are eight trematode parasitic castrators—the individuals of which infect and take over the bodies of the same host species—and their uninfected host, the California horn snail. Results As predicted, across species, growth decreased with increased extrinsic mortality, while reproductive effort increased with increased extrinsic mortality. The trematode parasitic castrator species (operating stolen host bodies) that were more likely to be killed by dominant species allocated less to growth and relatively more to current reproduction than did species with greater life expectancies. Both genders of uninfected snails fit into the patterns observed for the parasitic castrator species, allocating as much to growth and to current reproduction as expected given their probability of reproductive death (castration by trematode parasites). Additionally, species differences appeared to represent species-specific adaptations, not general plastic responses to local mortality risk. Conclusions Broadly, this research illustrates that parasitic castrator guilds can allow unique comparative tests discerning the forces promoting adaptive evolution. The specific findings of this study support the hypothesis that extrinsic mortality influences species differences in growth and reproduction

  6. How do host sex and reproductive state affect host preference and feeding duration of ticks?

    PubMed

    Pollock, Nicholas B; Vredevoe, Larisa K; Taylor, Emily N

    2012-08-01

    Parasitism is one of the most notable forms of symbiosis in the biological world, with nearly all organisms hosting parasites. In many vertebrates, males have higher ectoparasite burdens than females, especially when testosterone concentrations are elevated. Furthermore, reproductive females may have higher ectoparasite burdens than non-reproductive females. It is possible that testosterone-stimulated behaviors in males and offspring investment by females incur energetic costs that inhibit immune function. If questing ticks can sense host sex or reproductive condition prior to attachment, they could potentially choose hosts with the poorest immune function, thereby leading to improved feeding success and decreased feeding duration. In this study, we examined the host-parasite relationship between western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) to test the following hypotheses: (1) ticks prefer male lizards to female lizards. (2) Ticks prefer male lizards with higher testosterone. (3) Ticks prefer reproductive female lizards to non-reproductive female lizards. (4) Ticks feed to repletion more rapidly (decreased feeding duration) on reproductive females and males with higher testosterone. In all three experiments, ticks failed to show a preference for one group over another as demonstrated by similar attachment rates between groups. This suggests that observed differences in ectoparasite loads in free-ranging lizards is due to some other factor than host choice. However, tick feeding duration on female lizards was shorter when hosts were reproductive, suggesting that host reproductive condition alters tick feeding, possibly due to a decreased immune response. Interestingly, ticks fed more slowly on male lizards with elevated testosterone, suggesting that testosterone may actually improve immune function against ectoparasites. PMID:22526292

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:22210199

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23825207

  12. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and multiple stressors influence the reproduction of free-ranging tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting at wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Gilchrist, Tiffany T; Letcher, Robert J; Thomas, Philippe; Fernie, Kim J

    2014-02-15

    Reproductive success of birds is influenced by maternal factors, ambient temperatures, predation, food supply, and/or exposure to environmental contaminants e.g., flame retardants (FRs). Reproduction of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) was compared among waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) and a reference reservoir in Ontario, Canada (2007-2010), to determine the importance of exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) FRs within a complex contaminant cocktail, relative to natural and biological factors known to influence avian reproduction. The birds primarily consumed insects emerging from the reference reservoir and WWTP outflows, where effluent mixed with receiving waters. FR egg concentrations were dominated by 5 PBDE congeners (∑5PBDEs): 2,2'.4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99), 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), 2,2'4,4',6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-100), 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-153), and 2,2',4,4',5,6'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-154), with much lower concentrations of decabromodiphenylether (BDE-209), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), and novel FRs. Although higher than ∑5PBDEs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) egg concentrations were unlikely to affect the swallows' reproduction. Clutch size and timing, fledging, breeding success, and predation, varied significantly among sites, generally being poorer at WWTP1 and better at WWTP2. The early reproductive stages were sensitive to some FRs at measured concentrations. The ∑5PBDEs, maternal age, and minimum ambient temperatures predicted onset of egg laying in the most parsimonious statistical model, and there were positive relationships between egg size and HBCDD or BDE-209 concentrations. However, there were no significant correlations with any reproductive measures, individual BDE congeners or low concentrations of novel FRs, in this first such report for novel FRs and wild birds. Tree swallows are passerines, and passerines may differ from birds of prey

  15. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and multiple stressors influence the reproduction of free-ranging tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting at wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Gilchrist, Tiffany T; Letcher, Robert J; Thomas, Philippe; Fernie, Kim J

    2014-02-15

    Reproductive success of birds is influenced by maternal factors, ambient temperatures, predation, food supply, and/or exposure to environmental contaminants e.g., flame retardants (FRs). Reproduction of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) was compared among waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) and a reference reservoir in Ontario, Canada (2007-2010), to determine the importance of exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) FRs within a complex contaminant cocktail, relative to natural and biological factors known to influence avian reproduction. The birds primarily consumed insects emerging from the reference reservoir and WWTP outflows, where effluent mixed with receiving waters. FR egg concentrations were dominated by 5 PBDE congeners (∑5PBDEs): 2,2'.4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99), 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), 2,2'4,4',6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-100), 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-153), and 2,2',4,4',5,6'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-154), with much lower concentrations of decabromodiphenylether (BDE-209), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), and novel FRs. Although higher than ∑5PBDEs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) egg concentrations were unlikely to affect the swallows' reproduction. Clutch size and timing, fledging, breeding success, and predation, varied significantly among sites, generally being poorer at WWTP1 and better at WWTP2. The early reproductive stages were sensitive to some FRs at measured concentrations. The ∑5PBDEs, maternal age, and minimum ambient temperatures predicted onset of egg laying in the most parsimonious statistical model, and there were positive relationships between egg size and HBCDD or BDE-209 concentrations. However, there were no significant correlations with any reproductive measures, individual BDE congeners or low concentrations of novel FRs, in this first such report for novel FRs and wild birds. Tree swallows are passerines, and passerines may differ from birds of prey

  16. A review of poisonous plants that cause reproductive failure and malformations in the ruminants of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Riet-Correa, Franklin; Medeiros, Rosane M T; Schild, Ana Lucia

    2012-04-01

    The objective of this review is to provide a report on toxic plants causing reproductive problems in ruminants in Brazil. Aspidosperma pyrifolium causes abortion or stillbirth in goats, as well as most likely in sheep and cattle, in the semiarid regions of Northeastern Brazil. Intoxications by Ateleia glazioveana, Tetrapterys acutifolia and T. multiglandulosa result in abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle and sheep, and the same signs have been experimentally observed in goats. These three plants can also cause cardiac fibrosis and a nervous disease with spongiosis of the central nervous system. Other plants known to cause abortion include Enterolobium contortisiliquum, E. gummiferum, Stryphnodendron coriaceum, S. obovatum and S. fissuratum. These plants can also cause digestive signs and photosensitization. Abortions have been reported in animals intoxicated by nitrates and nitrites as well. Infertility, abortions and the birth of weak offspring have been reported in animals intoxicated by plants containing swainsonine, including Ipomoea spp., Turbina cordata and Sida carpinifolia. Trifolium subterraneum causes estrogenism in cattle. Mimosa tenuiflora and, most likely, M. ophthalmocentra cause malformations and embryonic mortality in goats, sheep and cattle in the semiarid regions of Northeastern Brazil.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Benzyl isothiocyanate affects development, hatching and reproduction of the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) applied at micromolar doses decreased Heterodera glycines J2 movement, H. glycines hatching, and reproduction of H. glycines on soybean, Glycine max. Direct exposure of J2 to 30 microM BITC caused an immediate decrease (17%; P < 0.05) in J2 movement relative to 1% methan...

  20. 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. PMID:24681190

  1. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Nystrand, M; Dowling, D K

    2014-11-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring.

  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. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. How does childhood socioeconomic hardship affect reproductive strategy? Pathways of development

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Mark S.; Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In high‐income populations, evidence suggests that socioeconomic disadvantage early in life is correlated with reproductive strategy. Children growing up in unfavorable rearing environments tend to experience earlier sexual maturity and first births. Earlier first births may be associated with higher fertility, but links between socioeconomic disadvantage and larger family size have rarely been tested. The pathways through which early disadvantage influences reproduction are unknown. We test whether physiological factors link childhood adversity to age at first birth and total children. Methods Using data from the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a 1947 British birth cohort, we developed path models to identify possible physiological traits linking childhood socioeconomic status, and poor housing standards, to two reproductive outcomes: age at first birth and total children. We explored birth weight, weight gain after birth, childhood illnesses, body mass index at age 9, age at menarche, and adult height as possible mediators. Results We found direct, negative effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and housing on age at first birth, and of housing on fertility. Although we found links between childhood disadvantage and menarche and height, neither of these were significantly correlated with either reproductive outcome. Age at first birth completely mediates the relationship between childhood adversity and total fertility, which we believe has not been empirically demonstrated before. Conclusions While there are some links between childhood adversity and child health, we find little evidence that physiological pathways, such as child health and growth, link early childhood adversity to reproductive outcomes in this relatively well‐nourished population. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 28:356–363, 2016. © 2015 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26407916

  7. 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

  8. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    PubMed

    Cafazzo, Simona; Bonanni, Roberto; 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

  9. Food restriction affects reproduction and survival of F1 and F2 offspring of Rat-like hamster (Cricetulus triton).

    PubMed

    Liang, Hong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2006-03-30

    Food restriction in parent may have long-term consequence on the reproductive capabilities of the offspring, and these consequences may, in turn, play an important role in population regulation. In this paper, we systematically examined the effect of maternal food restriction on reproduction and survival of maternal individuals, and F1 and F2 offspring of Rat-like hamsters (Cricetulus triton). Food restriction to 75% of that eaten by ad libitum-fed hamsters (75% FR) did not affect the reproductive organs and hormone concentration of maternal females, but 50% FR significantly reduced the size of ovarian organ and estradiol concentration of maternal females. 75% FR significantly reduced the testosterone concentration of maternal males; 50% FR significantly reduced both the size of epididymides and concentration of testosterone of maternal males. 70% FR in maternal females significantly reduced the sizes of reproductive organs and hormone concentrations of both their male and female F1 offspring. FR maternal females also produced significantly more male than female F1 offspring. The sizes of reproductive organs or hormone concentration of F2 males of maternal FR continued to significantly decline, but no such effect was observed in F2 females. However, the number of F2 offspring per F1 female of FR maternal females at birth became significantly smaller and with significantly more males than females. Survival to weaning of F1 and F2 offspring of FR maternal females became significantly smaller during the period from birth to weaning. Thus, the effects of maternal food restriction could be an important mechanism to explain the prolonged low population density that is commonly observed after the population crash of this species.

  10. 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

  11. Endozoochorous dispersal of aquatic plants: does seed gut passage affect plant performance?

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Jordi; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J; Luque, Isabel; Alvarez, Raquel; Charalambidou, Iris

    2005-04-01

    The ingestion of seeds by vertebrates can affect the germinability and/or germination rate of seeds. It is, however, unclear if an earlier germination as a result of ingestion affects later plant performance. For sago pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on both germinability and germination rate have been previously reported from laboratory experiments. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on germination, seedling survival, plant growth and asexual multiplication. Both at the start and end of the winter, seeds were fed to three captive shovelers (Anas clypeata) and planted outdoors in water-filled containers. Plant biomass and its allocation to vegetative parts (shoot and roots), tubers, and seeds were determined in autumn. More duck-ingested seeds than control (uningested) seeds germinated in early winter, but this difference disappeared for seeds planted in late winter, when the treatments were first stratified for 3 mo. None of the variables for measuring seedling survival and plant performance varied between treatments. Under our experimental conditions (no herbivory or competition), ingestion by ducks in early winter resulted in increased performance for seeds surviving gut passage due to enhanced seed germinability, without other costs or benefits for the seedlings.

  12. 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.

  13. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  14. Dietary essential amino acids affect the reproduction of the keystone herbivore Daphnia pulex.

    PubMed

    Fink, Patrick; Pflitsch, Claudia; Marin, Kay

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that nitrogen availability can be an important determinant of primary production in freshwater lakes and that herbivore growth can be limited by low dietary nitrogen availability. Furthermore, a lack of specific essential nitrogenous biochemicals (such as essential amino acids) might be another important constraint on the fitness of consumers. This might be of particular importance for cladoceran zooplankton, which can switch between two alternative reproductive strategies--the production of subitaneously developing and resting eggs. Here, we hypothesize that both the somatic growth and the type of reproduction of the aquatic keystone herbivore Daphnia is limited by the availability of specific essential amino acids in the diet. In laboratory experiments, we investigated this hypothesis by feeding a high quality phytoplankton organism (Cryptomonas) and a green alga of moderate nutritional quality (Chlamydomonas) to a clone of Daphnia pulex with and without the addition of essential amino acids. The somatic growth of D. pulex differed between the algae of different nutritional quality, but not dependent on the addition of dissolved amino acids. However, in reproduction experiments, where moderate crowding conditions at saturating food quantities were applied, addition of the essential amino acids arginine and histidine (but not lysine and threonine) increased the total number and the developmental stage of subitaneous eggs. While D. pulex did not produce resting eggs on Cryptomonas, relatively high numbers of resting eggs were released on Chlamydomonas. When arginine and histidine were added to the green algal diet, the production of resting eggs was effectively suppressed. This demonstrates the high, but previously overlooked importance of single essential amino acids for the reproductive strategy of the aquatic keystone herbivore Daphnia. PMID:22163027

  15. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  16. How work-place conditions, environmental toxicants and lifestyle affect male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Bonde, Jens Peter; Storgaard, Lone

    2002-10-01

    Major temporal and geographical shifts in male reproductive function is presently an issue worldwide. The hormonal disruption hypothesis has achieved considerable attention but epidemiological evidence in support of the theory is lacking. Several occupational hazards to male reproductive function are known but exposure prevalences are hardly sufficient to play a role for reduced sperm count in the general male population. Sedentary work may be an exception. Perhaps prolonged time in the sedentary position exhausts the testicular heat regulation. But so far studies addressing implications of the heat hypothesis in the general population are few. Neither change of sexual behaviour nor reduced period of sexual continence seems to be a likely explanation. Tobacco smoking and consumption of caffeine and alcoholic beverages in adulthood have a rather marginal impact on spermatogenesis and can hardly explain major shifts or regional differences in male reproductive health. However, prenatal effects following smoking during pregnancy might play a role because we have witnessed a smoking epidemic among fertile women in some countries during the second half of the twentieth century. Moreover, if genetic factors play more than a marginal role for testicular function and sperm count, pregnancy planning resulting in reduced family size during the past 100 years could possibly explain a decline in semen quality because the most fertile part of the population reproduce less while the subfertile probably continue to get a limited number of children. PMID:12270022

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Risk factors that affect reproductive target achievement in fertile dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Aungier, S P M; Roche, J F; Diskin, M G; Crowe, M A

    2014-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) the risk factors that influence the achievement of reproductive targets postpartum (pp) and (2) the key factors that influence pregnancy rate following first artificial insemination (AI) in dairy cows. Ninety-eight Holstein-Friesian pp cows were blood sampled from wk 1 to 4 pp for hematology and biochemistry. Reproductive tract health was assessed weekly by ultrasonography and vaginal mucus scoring. Body condition score (BCS), lameness score, and milk yield were assessed every 2 wk. Milk samples for progesterone assay were collected twice weekly and on d 4, 5, and 7 after AI. Risk factors associated with achieving reproductive targets depended on (1) increased metabolic activity of the liver (increased glutamate dehydrogenase at calving and increased γ-glutamyl transpeptidase in wk 4), (2) a competent immune system (increased neutrophils in wk 1; decreased α1-acid glycoprotein in wk 1, 2, and 3), (3) an endocrine system that was capable of responding by producing sufficient triiodothyronine in wk 2 and increased insulin-like growth factor I in wk 3 and 4, (4) a lower negative energy balance status (decreased nonesterified fatty acid concentration in wk 1; decreased β-hydroxybutyrate concentration in wk 2; BCS loss between calving and d 28 pp <0.5), (5) good reproductive tract health [normal uterine scan at d 45 pp; clear vaginal mucus discharge at first ovulation and at d 45 pp; resumed ovarian cyclicity by the end of the voluntary waiting period (≥ d 35 pp)], and (6) adequate diet (to ensure increased glutathione peroxidase in wk 2 and 3 and increased magnesium in wk 4). Risk factors that increased the odds of a successful first AI were previous ovulation(s) (odds ratio=3.17 per ovulation), BCS >2.5 at AI (odds ratio=3.01), and clear vaginal mucus (score=0) compared with purulent mucus (score >0) 4 d after first AI (odds ratio=2.99). In conclusion, this study identified key risk factors in the early pp

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Rincón-Rabanales, Manuel; Vargas-López, Laura I; Adriano-Anaya, Lourdes; Vázquez-Ovando, Alfredo; Salvador-Figueroa, Miguel; Ovando-Medina, Isidro

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; 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 that other external

  14. 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.

  15. Linkages between phenology, pollination, photosynthesis, and reproduction in deciduous forest understory plants.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Gaku; Ida, Takashi Y; Tani, Tomokazu

    2008-02-01

    Light availability in the understory of deciduous forests changes drastically within the growing season due to the foliage dynamics of canopy trees. Because flowering phenology, photosynthetic characteristics, and fruiting success respond to such strong seasonality in light availability, we hypothesized that understory plants in such ecosystems should describe distinct phenological groups or syndromes where "syndrome" is defined only as a set of characteristics that co-occur. To identify these phenological syndromes, we studied the flowering phenology, fruit or seed set, and photosynthetic characteristics for 18 perennial understory herbaceous species that differed in reproductive strategy over eight years in a deciduous forest in northern Japan. Three phenological groups emerged from this study: (1) spring bloomers, flowering and fruiting before the completion of canopy closure; (2) early-summer bloomers, flowering during the progress of canopy closure and fruiting after canopy closure; and (3) late-summer bloomers, flowering and fruiting after canopy closure. The spring bloomers had high photosynthetic rates and high fruiting abilities, but the flowering time varied considerably among years due to yearly fluctuations of snowmelt date. Bumble bee-pollinated species of spring bloomers showed variable seed-set success, while fly-pollinated species showed relatively stable seed sets over the years. The early-summer bloomers showed low fruiting abilities irrespective of pollination success, reflecting severe resource limitation with decelerating light availability during fruit development. Although the late-summer bloomers showed low photosynthetic rates under low-light conditions, high fruit-set success was attained if pollination was sufficient. These results support our hypothesis that phenological syndromes may be found in deciduous forest understory plants. Given that reproductive success of bee-pollinated spring bloomers is highly susceptible to seasonal

  16. 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

  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. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process. PMID:27237588

  19. Retrospective surveillance of metabolic parameters affecting reproductive performance of Japanese Black breeding cows

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Urara; Yamato, Osamu; Otoi, Takeshige; Okamoto, Koji

    2014-01-01

    This retrospective study was conducted to confirm the relationship between pre- and postpartum metabolic parameters and postpartum reproductive performance and to clarify seasonal characteristics of the metabolic parameters by using our metabolic profile test (MPT) database of Japanese Black breeding herds. In evaluation 1, MPT databases of blood samples from multiparous cows collected prepartum and postpartum were divided into two groups according to calving interval, and each MPT parameter was compared. In evaluation 2, the same MPT databases used in evaluation 1 were divided into two groups according to the sampling period. Significant differences were found in the prepartal total protein and postpartal γ-glutamyltransferase in evaluation 1. In evaluation 2, significant differences were found in the prepartal and postpartal total protein, albumin/globulin ratio, and glucose. Clear seasonal differences in MPT results emphasized the usefulness of the MPT in breeding cattle herds fed home-pasture roughage and suggest that unsatisfactory reproductive performance during hot periods reflects inadequate nutritional content of the diet and possible reduced feed intake due to heat stress. PMID:24675835

  20. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process.

  1. 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.

  2. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (<10 %). Because of the great reproductive potential of daughter mites, their inclusion in assessments of grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  3. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  4. Do genetically modified crops affect animal reproduction? A review of the ongoing debate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Shi, F

    2011-05-01

    In the past few years, genetically modified (GM) crops aimed at producing food/feed that became part of the regular agriculture in many areas of the world. However, we are uncertain whether GM food and feed can exert potential adverse effects on humans or animals. Of importance, the reproductive toxicology of GM crops has been studied using a number of methods, and by feeding GM crops to a number species of animals to ensure the safety assessment of GM food and feed. It appears that there are no adverse effects of GM crops on many species of animals in acute and short-term feeding studies, but serious debates of effects of long-term and multigenerational feeding studies remain. The aims of this review are to focus on the latest (last 3 to 4 years) findings and debates on reproduction of male and female animals after feeding daily diets containing the GM crops, and to present the possible mechanism(s) to explain their influences.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:22877763

  8. DESTAF: a database of text-mined associations for reproductive toxins potentially affecting human fertility.

    PubMed

    Dawe, Adam S; Radovanovic, Aleksandar; Kaur, Mandeep; Sagar, Sunil; Seshadri, Sundararajan V; Schaefer, Ulf; Kamau, Allan A; Christoffels, Alan; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2012-01-01

    The Dragon Exploration System for Toxicants and Fertility (DESTAF) is a publicly available resource which enables researchers to efficiently explore both known and potentially novel information and associations in the field of reproductive toxicology. To create DESTAF we used data from the literature (including over 10500 PubMed abstracts), several publicly available biomedical repositories, and specialized, curated dictionaries. DESTAF has an interface designed to facilitate rapid assessment of the key associations between relevant concepts, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of information based on different gene/protein-, enzyme/metabolite-, toxin/chemical-, disease- or anatomically centric perspectives. As a special feature, DESTAF allows for the creation and initial testing of potentially new association hypotheses that suggest links between biological entities identified through the database. DESTAF, along with a PDF manual, can be found at http://cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/destaf. It is free to academic and non-commercial users and will be updated quarterly. PMID:22198179

  9. 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. PMID:27354660

  10. Redeeming qualities: exploring factors that affect women’s use of reproductive health vouchers in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One approach to delivering healthcare in developing countries is through voucher programs, where vouchers are distributed to a specific population for free or subsidized health care. Recent evaluations suggest that vouchers have the potential to extend coverage of priority health services to the poor in developing countries. In Cambodia, a reproductive health voucher program was implemented in January 2011. This study aims to explore women’s early experiences accessing health services with their vouchers at accredited clinics. Methods This qualitative exploratory study used focus group methodology to gather information from five groups of older (>25 years) and four groups of younger (18–25 years) women who were eligible for the voucher program in three rural provinces. Focus groups were digitally recorded, transcribed and translated from Khmer into English. Data analysis was an iterative process, which comprised of open coding to find commonalities that reflected categories or themes and axial coding to relate initial themes to each other. Next, a basic framework for analysis was formed by integrating the themes into the framework. Results Two overarching themes were identified in the data: 1) factors that facilitate voucher use and 2) factors that inhibit voucher use. Within each of these themes, three subthemes were identified: 1) pre-existing factors, 2) distribution factors, and 3) redemption factors. Overall, women expressed positive feelings towards the voucher program, while several areas for program improvement were identified including the importance of addressing pre-existing demand-side barriers to using reproductive health services, the need for more comprehensive counselling during voucher distribution, and the persistent cost of unofficial payments expected by midwives after delivery irrespective of voucher use. Conclusions Early information from program beneficiaries can lead to timely and responsive changes that can help to maximize

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. On-Plant Larval Movement and Feeding Behavior of Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Reproductive Corn Stages.

    PubMed

    Pannuti, L E R; Baldin, E L L; Hunt, T E; Paula-Moraes, S V

    2016-02-01

    Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith (fall armyworm) is considered one of the most destructive pests of corn throughout the Americas. Although this pest has been extensively studied, little is known about its larval movement and feeding behavior on reproductive compared to vegetative corn stages. Thus, we conducted studies with two corn stages (R1 and R3) and four corn plant zones (tassel, above ear, ear zone, and below ear) in the field at Concord, NE (USA), and in the field and greenhouse at Botucatu, SP (Brazil), to investigate on-plant larval movement. The effects of different corn tissues (opened tassel, closed tassel, silk, kernel, and leaf), two feeding sequence scenarios (closed tassel-leaf-silk-kernel and leaf-silk-kernel), and artificial diet (positive control) on larval survival and development were also evaluated in the laboratory. Ear zone has a strong effect on feeding choice and survival of fall armyworm larvae regardless of reproductive corn stage. Feeding site choice is made by first-instar. Corn leaves of reproductive plants were not suitable for early instar development, but silk and kernel tissues had a positive effect on survival and development of fall armyworm larvae on reproductive stage corn.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Can cyanobacterial biomass applied to soil affect survival and reproduction of springtail Folsomia candida?

    PubMed

    Lána, Jan; Hofman, Jakub; Bláha, Luděk

    2011-05-01

    Biomass of cyanobacterial water blooms including cyanobacterial toxins may enter soils, for example, when harvested water bloom is directly applied as an organic fertilizer or when water with massive cyanobacterial biomass is used for irrigation. In spite of this, no information is available about the potential effects on soil arthropods. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of water bloom biomass sampled in five different fresh water lakes on the soil dwelling arthropod, springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola). These samples contained different dominant species of cyanobacteria and varied significantly in microcystin content (21-3662 μg/g dw biomass). No adverse effects on survival or reproduction were observed for any tested sample at concentration up to 4 g dw biomass/kg dw soil. Despite the known hazardous properties of water blooms in aquatic ecosystems, our pilot results suggest that cyanobacterial biomass might have no significant impact on arthropods in soil. It remains a question, if this is due to low bioavailability of cyanobacterial toxins in soil. PMID:21176962

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26223357

  2. 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.

  3. Nanoplastic affects growth of S. obliquus and reproduction of D. magna.

    PubMed

    Besseling, Ellen; Wang, Bo; Lürling, Miquel; Koelmans, Albert A

    2014-10-21

    The amount of nano- and microplastic in the aquatic environment rises due to the industrial production of plastic and the degradation of plastic into smaller particles. Concerns have been raised about their incorporation into food webs. Little is known about the fate and effects of nanoplastic, especially for the freshwater environment. In this study, effects of nano-polystyrene (nano-PS) on the growth and photosynthesis of the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the growth, mortality, neonate production, and malformations of the zooplankter Daphnia magna were assessed. Nano-PS reduced population growth and reduced chlorophyll concentrations in the algae. Exposed Daphnia showed a reduced body size and severe alterations in reproduction. Numbers and body size of neonates were lower, while the number of neonate malformations among neonates rose to 68% of the individuals. These effects of nano-PS were observed between 0.22 and 103 mg nano-PS/L. Malformations occurred from 30 mg of nano-PS/L onward. Such plastic concentrations are much higher than presently reported for marine waters as well as freshwater, but may eventually occur in sediment pore waters. As far as we know, these results are the first to show that direct life history shifts in algae and Daphnia populations may occur as a result of exposure to nanoplastic. PMID:25268330

  4. Structural complexity of the environment affects the survival of alternative male reproductive tactics.

    PubMed

    Lukasik, Piotr; Radwan, Jacek; Tomkins, Joseph L

    2006-02-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics in males are often associated with divergent phenotypes expressed as phenotypically plastic threshold traits. The evolution of threshold traits in these species has been modeled under the conditional evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS). Both strategic and genetic models predict that perturbations to the fitness trade-off between the male morphs will lead to a shift in the ESS switch point of the threshold. So far, demographic factors that influence the competitive ability of male morphs have been investigated and related to intraspecific population variation in male dimorphic thresholds. Here we reveal evidence for the theoretical prediction that abiotic features of the environment, in particular its structural complexity, are likely to influence the ESS threshold. In the male dimorphic mite Sancassania berlesei, we monitored the survival of aggressive fighter males and their benign scrambler counterparts in populations that differed in structural complexity. We found that, consistent with our prediction, the complex habitat favored fighter males, enabling them to kill a greater number of rival scramblers. We found no effect of habitat complexity on the survival of fighter males. These results demonstrate how abiotic as well as biotic aspects of the environment can be important in determining the frequencies of males adopting alternative tactics in different species or populations.

  5. The increased sensitivity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) PCR quantitation in whole blood affects reproductive rate (Ro) measurement.

    PubMed

    Gurtler, Volker; Mayall, Barrie C; Wang, Jenny; Ghaly-Derias, Shahbano

    2014-02-01

    In order to determine the effect of the increase in sensitivity of HCMV detection in whole blood compared to plasma on reproductive rate (Ro) measurement, an optimized human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) quantitative PCR assay was developed. The results presented in this study are summarized by the following three methodological improvements: (i) at values below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 60copies/ml, determination of HCMV load was more sensitive with whole blood than plasma, (ii) for the determination of viral load, whole blood was more sensitive than plasma below 1000copies/ml but little difference was observed above 1000copies/ml and (iii) the measurement of "Reproductive Rate" can be affected by imprecise measurement of HCMV viral load in either plasma or whole blood compartments depending on whether samples were taken from patients on antiviral treatment or from patients where HCMV load was rising. Taken together this study provides methodological improvements suggesting that below HCMV viral load levels of 1000copies/ml (1640IU/ml) both plasma and whole blood should be tested.

  6. Male reproduction is affected by RNA interference of period and timeless in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Tobback, Julie; Boerjan, Bart; Vandersmissen, Hans Peter; Huybrechts, Roger

    2012-02-01

    In all living organisms, behavior, metabolism and physiology are under the regulation of a circadian clock. The molecular machinery of this clock has been conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Besides regulating the circadian timing of a variety of processes through a central oscillating mechanism in the brain, these circadian clock genes were found to have a function in peripheral tissues in different insects. Here, we provide evidence that the circadian clock genes period (per) and timeless (tim) have a role in the male locust reproduction. A knockdown of either of the two genes has no effect on male sexual maturation or behavior, but progeny output in their untreated female copulation partners is affected. Indeed, the fertilization rates of the eggs are lower for females with a per or tim RNAi copulation partner as compared to the eggs deposited by females that mated with a control male. As the sperm content of the seminal vesicles is higher in per or tim knockdown males, we suggest that this phenotype could be caused by a disturbance of the circadian regulated sperm transfer in the male reproductive organs, or an insufficient maturation of the sperm after release from the testes.

  7. 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.

  8. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats.

    PubMed

    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 microg/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.

  9. 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.

  10. Hormone profiles of mares affected by the mare reproductive loss syndrome.

    PubMed

    Volkmann, D; Zent, W; Little, T; Riddle, T; Durenberger, J; Durenbereger, J; Potenza, K; Sibley, L; Roser, J

    2008-10-01

    While searching for the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss syndrome (MRLS), we postulated that 1 of 3 tissues in 40-120 D pregnant mares was the likely primary target of the noxious factor that caused early abortions: The corpora lutea (CL), the endometrium or the fetus and/or its membranes. At this stage of gestation, progesterone (P4) is solely produced by luteal tissue, eCG by endometrial cups in the endometrium and oestrogens by the feto-placental unit. We determined whether concentrations of P4, eCG and/or total conjugated oestrogens (CE) would indicate which tissue was targeted during the MRLS. P4, eCG and CE were measured in single serum samples collected from 216 mares, 60-110 D after ovulation during the 2001 MRLS outbreak. All mares had previously been confirmed pregnant by ultrasonography. The following data was obtained from each mare: Interval from ovulation, pregnancy status and normalcy of fetal fluids at the time of sampling, and pregnancy status 3 weeks after sampling and at term. There were no meaningful differences in hormone concentrations between pregnant mares that had normal and excessively echogenic fetal fluids at the time of sampling. CE were lower (p < 0.05) in mares that aborted after sample collection than in mares the carried to term. In 8 mares from which multiple samples were obtained, CE consistently decreased prior to any decreases in P4 or eCG. Arguments are presented that lead to the hypothesis that the fetal trophoblast was the primary target of the MRLS agent. PMID:18363606

  11. The binary mixtures of megestrol acetate and 17α-ethynylestradiol adversely affect zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hua, Jianghuan; Han, Jian; Wang, Xianfeng; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic progesterones and estrogens are broadly used bioactive pharmaceutical agents and have been detected in aquatic environments. In the present study, we investigated the combined reproductive effects of megestrol acetate (MTA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on zebrafish. Adult zebrafish were exposed to MTA (33, 100 or 333 ng/L), EE2 (10 ng/L) or a mixture of both (MTA + EE2: 33 + 10, 100 + 10 or 333 + 10 ng/L) for 21 days. Results demonstrated that egg production was significantly reduced by exposure to 10 ng/L EE2, but not MTA. However, a combined exposure to MTA and EE2 caused further reduction of fish fecundity compared to EE2 exposure alone, suggesting an additive effect on egg production when EE2 is supplemented with MTA. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and testosterone in the females and 11-ketotestosterone in the males were significantly decreased in the groups exposed to EE2 or MTA alone compared with the solvent control, and the plasma concentrations of the three hormones were further reduced in the co-exposure groups relative to the MTA exposure group, but not the EE2 exposure group. These data indicate that the inhibitory effects on plasma concentrations in the co-exposures were predominantly caused by EE2. Furthermore, exposure to MTA and EE2 (alone or in combination) led to histological alterations in the ovaries (decreased vitellogenic/mature oocytes), but not in the testes. This study has important implications for environmental risk assessment of synthetic hormones that are concurrently present in aquatic systems. PMID:27038209

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lamberti-Raverot, Barbara; Puijalon, Sara

    2012-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Spider mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) mitochondrial COI phylogeny reviewed: host plant relationships, phylogeography, reproductive parasites and barcoding

    PubMed Central

    Breeuwer, Johannes A. J.

    2007-01-01

    The past 15 years have witnessed a number of molecular studies that aimed to resolve issues of species delineation and phylogeny of mites in the family Tetranychidae. The central part of the mitochondrial COI region has frequently been used for investigating intra- and interspecific variation. All these studies combined yield an extensive database of sequence information of the family Tetranychidae. We assembled this information in a single alignment and performed an overall phylogenetic analysis. The resulting phylogeny shows that important patterns have been overlooked in previous studies, whereas others disappear. It also reveals that mistakes were made in submitting the data to GenBank, which further disturbed interpretation of the data. Our total analysis clearly shows three clades that most likely correspond to the species T. urticae, T. kanzawai and T. truncatus. Intraspecific variation is very high, possibly due to selective sweeps caused by reproductive parasites. We found no evidence for host plant associations and phylogeographic patterns in T. urticae are absent. Finally we evaluate the application of DNA barcoding. PMID:17712605

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  1. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits 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 ofA. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Reproduction Does Not Adversely Affect Liver Mitochondrial Respiratory Function but Results in Lipid Peroxidation and Increased Antioxidants in House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Mowry, Annelise V.; Kavazis, Andreas N.; Sirman, Aubrey E.; Potts, Wayne K.; Hood, Wendy R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction is thought to come at a cost to longevity. Based on the assumption that increased energy expenditure during reproduction is associated with increased free-radical production by mitochondria, oxidative damage has been suggested to drive this trade-off. We examined the impact of reproduction on liver mitochondrial function by utilizing post-reproductive and non-reproductive house mice (Mus musculus) living under semi-natural conditions. The age-matched post-reproductive and non-reproductive groups were compared after the reproductive females returned to a non-reproductive state, so that both groups were in the same physiological state at the time the liver was collected. Despite increased oxidative damage (p = 0.05) and elevated CuZnSOD (p = 0.002) and catalase (p = 0.04) protein levels, reproduction had no negative impacts on the respiratory function of liver mitochondria. Specifically, in a post-reproductive, maintenance state the mitochondrial coupling (i.e., respiratory control ratio) of mouse livers show no negative impacts of reproduction. In fact, there was a trend (p = 0.059) to suggest increased maximal oxygen consumption by liver mitochondria during the ADP stimulated state (i.e., state 3) in post-reproduction. These findings suggest that oxidative damage may not impair mitochondrial respiratory function and question the role of mitochondria in the trade-off between reproduction and longevity. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of quantifying the respiratory function of mitochondria in addition to measuring oxidative damage. PMID:27537547

  8. 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.

  9. Self-recognition affects plant communication and defense.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori

    2009-06-01

    Animals have the ability to distinguish self from non-self, which has allowed them to evolve immune systems and, in some instances, to act preferentially towards individuals that are genetically identical or related. Self-recognition is less well known for plants, although recent work indicates that physically connected roots recognize self and reduce competitive interactions. Sagebrush uses volatile cues emitted by clipped branches of self or different neighbours to increase resistance to herbivory. Here, we show that plants that received volatile cues from genetically identical cuttings accumulated less natural damage than plants that received cues from non-self cuttings. Volatile communication is required to coordinate systemic processes such as induced resistance and plants respond more effectively to self than non-self cues. This self/non-self discrimination did not require physical contact and is a necessary first step towards possible kin recognition and kin selection.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Phenotypic plasticity in growth and fecundity induced by strong population fluctuations affects reproductive traits of female fish.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Juha; Urpanen, Olli; Keskinen, Tapio; Huuskonen, Hannu; Sarvala, Jouko; Valkeajärvi, Pentti; Marjomäki, Timo J

    2016-02-01

    Fish are known for their high phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits in relation to environmental variability, and this is particularly pronounced among salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. Resource limitation leads to trade-offs in phenotypic plasticity between life-history traits related to the reproduction, growth, and survival of individual fish, which have consequences for the age and size distributions of populations, as well as their dynamics and productivity. We studied the effect of plasticity in growth and fecundity of vendace females on their reproductive traits using a series of long-term incubation experiments. The wild parental fish originated from four separate populations with markedly different densities, and hence naturally induced differences in their growth and fecundity. The energy allocation to somatic tissues and eggs prior to spawning served as a proxy for total resource availability to individual females, and its effects on offspring survival and growth were analyzed. Vendace females allocated a rather constant proportion of available energy to eggs (per body mass) despite different growth patterns depending on the total resources in the different lakes; investment into eggs thus dictated the share remaining for growth. The energy allocation to eggs per mass was higher in young than in old spawners and the egg size and the relative fecundity differed between them: Young females produced more and smaller eggs and larvae than old spawners. In contrast to earlier observations of salmonids, a shortage of maternal food resources did not increase offspring size and survival. Vendace females in sparse populations with ample resources and high growth produced larger eggs and larvae. Vendace accommodate strong population fluctuations by their high plasticity in growth and fecundity, which affect their offspring size and consequently their recruitment and productivity, and account for their persistence and resilience in the face of high

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. PMID:27213896

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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...

  11. Phytoestrogens and avian reproduction: Exploring the evolution and function of phytoestrogens and possible role of plant compounds in the breeding ecology of wild birds.

    PubMed

    Rochester, Johanna R; Millam, James R

    2009-11-01

    Phytoestrogens are secondary plant compounds, which can act to mimic estrogen and cause the disruption of estrogenic responses in organisms. Although there is a substantial body of research studying phytoestrogens, including their mechanisms of estrogenic effects, evolution, and detection in biological systems, little is known about their ecological significance. There is evidence, however, that an ecological relationship involving phytoestrogens exists between plants and animals-plants may produce phytoestrogens to reduce fecundity of organisms that eat them. Birds and other vertebrates may also exploit phytoestrogens to regulate their own reproduction-there are well known examples of phytoestrogens inhibiting reproduction in higher vertebrates, including birds. Also, common plant stressors (e.g., high temperature) increase the production of secondary plant compounds, and, as evidence suggests, also induce phytoestrogen biosynthesis. These observations are consistent with the single study ever done on phytoestrogens and reproduction in wild birds [Leopold, A.S., Erwin, M., Oh, J., Browning, B., 1976. Phytoestrogens adverse effects on reproduction in California quail. Science 191, 98-100.], which found that drought stress correlated with increased levels of phytoestrogens in plants, and that increased phytoestrogen levels correlated with decreased young. This review discusses the hypothesis that plants may have an effect on the reproduction of avian species by producing phytoestrogens as a plant defense against herbivory, and that birds may "use" changing levels of phytoestrogens in the vegetation to ensure that food resources will support potential young produced. Evidence from our laboratory and others appear to support this hypothesis.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Plant natural variability may affect safety assessment data.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Margarida

    2010-12-01

    Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using "omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences.

  14. 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

  15. Volatile exchange between undamaged plants - a new mechanism affecting insect orientation in intercropping.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Endogenous levels of polyamines in the organs of cucumber plant (Cucumis sativus) and factors affecting leaf polyamine contents.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Shinsuke; Yoneyama, Tadakatsu

    2001-11-01

    Polyamine compositions of various organs from hydroponically cultivated cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Sharp-1) and factors affecting the leaf polyamine content were examined. Diamine putrescine was found most abundantly in the root, while a relatively large amount of spermine was detected in the reproductive organs such as the immature fruit and the calyx (+stamen). Spermidine was present at the highest level in rapidly growing tissues such as newly expanded leaf and fruit at an early developing stage, implying the possible involvement of spermidine in the growth and development of these young tissues. Polyamine content of cucumber leaves changed during the day. Especially, the putrescine content of upper leaves showed a striking decrease from the morning to the night. Alterations of leaf Ca or Mg content did not significantly affect leaf polyamine composition. On the other hand, abnormal cucumber leaves showed altered polyamine composition. Yellowing of the leaf intervein resulted in a striking decrease in spermidine content without a significant change in putrescine and spermine content. By contrast, the leaves infected with the phytopathogen, powdery mildew, showed decreased putrescine and increased spermine content in response to the degree of fungi infection. The possible usefulness of polyamines as a diagnostic marker of plant development and physiological disorder is discussed. PMID:12060288

  3. 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.

  4. Selection on Plant Male Function Genes Identifies Candidates for Reproductive Isolation of Yellow Monkeyflowers

    PubMed Central

    Aagaard, Jan E.; George, Renee D.; Fishman, Lila; MacCoss, Michael J.; Swanson, Willie J.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive isolation promises insight into speciation and the origins of biological diversity. While progress has been made in identifying genes underlying barriers to reproduction that function after fertilization (post-zygotic isolation), we know much less about earlier acting pre-zygotic barriers. Of particular interest are barriers involved in mating and fertilization that can evolve extremely rapidly under sexual selection, suggesting they may play a prominent role in the initial stages of reproductive isolation. A significant challenge to the field of speciation genetics is developing new approaches for identification of candidate genes underlying these barriers, particularly among non-traditional model systems. We employ powerful proteomic and genomic strategies to study the genetic basis of conspecific pollen precedence, an important component of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation among yellow monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp.) resulting from male pollen competition. We use isotopic labeling in combination with shotgun proteomics to identify more than 2,000 male function (pollen tube) proteins within maternal reproductive structures (styles) of M. guttatus flowers where pollen competition occurs. We then sequence array-captured pollen tube exomes from a large outcrossing population of M. guttatus, and identify those genes with evidence of selective sweeps or balancing selection consistent with their role in pollen competition. We also test for evidence of positive selection on these genes more broadly across yellow monkeyflowers, because a signal of adaptive divergence is a common feature of genes causing reproductive isolation. Together the molecular evolution studies identify 159 pollen tube proteins that are candidate genes for conspecific pollen precedence. Our work demonstrates how powerful proteomic and genomic tools can be readily adapted to non-traditional model systems, allowing for genome-wide screens towards the

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    PubMed

    Barber, Larry B; Lee, Kathy E; Swackhamer, Deborah L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2007-04-20

    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, 17beta-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

  7. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants. PMID:22084113

  8. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants.

  9. 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

  10. CRF-Like Diuretic Hormone Negatively Affects Both Feeding and Reproduction in the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Dillen, Senne; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-01-01

    Diuretic hormones (DH) related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH) is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP), a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects. PMID:22363645

  11. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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.

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

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

  17. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

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

  18. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. Factors influencing reproduction of female white-tailed deer on the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, O.E. Jr.

    1987-05-01

    Data were taken on 1103 pregnant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) harvested from the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in South Carolina from 1965--1985 to describe temporal, age-specific, and habitat effects on fetal number. Time periods represented intervals of high and low density. Age significantly affected fetal number both with and without the data from fawns included. Low fetal numbers in yearlings and a high incidence of twinning in older deer were responsible for this effect. Mean number of fetuses per pregnant doe for the 0.5 year old deer (/bar X/ = 1.06) was less than for 1.5 (/bar X/ = 1.56), 2.5 (/bar X/ = 1.73), and greater than or equal to3.5 (/bar X/ = 1.76) year age classes. Temporal and age-specific effects on fetal number among time periods were significant using data from all age classes. These effects were probably not due to density-dependent feedback mechanisms, but to a sampling bias due to differential representation of age classes or habitat of origin in the statistical analyses. Significant differences were observed in fetal numbers between females from the swamp and upland areas both with and without fawn data. Differences between the densities and/or habitat quality in the 2 areas were responsible for this effect. Data were gathered on 2542 female white-tailed deer harvested on the SRP from 1967 to 1985. 48 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  1. Weed host specificity of the aphid, Aphis spiraecola: developmental and reproductive performance of aphids in relation to plant growth and leaf chemicals of the Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata.

    PubMed

    Agarwala, B K; Das, Jhuma

    2012-01-01

    Density, distribution, and nutritional quality of plants are the causal basis of host plant selection in aphids. Nutritional qualities of a plant vary according to its growth stage and also in response to seasonal variation. How host plant growth stages shape aphid performance was studied in Aphis spiraecola Patch (Homoptera: Aphididae) on the perennial Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson (Asterales: Asteraceae). This plant species is the preferred host in the hot and humid tropical parts of northeast and southern India. Variations in developmental and reproductive performances in apterous viviparous female aphids were recorded in relation to differences in leaf chemicals in different growth stages of C. odorata. Aphids reproduced at higher rates in the vegetative stage of C. odorata when developmental time was shortest, and fecundity was higher in a longer reproductive time. Intrinsic rate of increase and net reproductive rate were also recorded to be higher in the vegetative stage of the weed host. In the vegetative stage, leaves contained higher quantity of proteins and nitrogen, which are vital for insect reproduction. Results of this study have demonstrated that A spiraecola showed synchronization of its developmental and reproductive performances to growth stages of C. odorata, which occur in high abundance in the study area.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. Do local adaptation and the reproductive tactic of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) affect offspring metabolic capacities?

    PubMed

    Rossignol, O; Dodson, J J; Marquilly, C; Guderley, H

    2010-01-01

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is an iteroparous, anadromous species that exhibits some of the greatest within-population variability in size and age at maturity of all vertebrates. In the conditional reproductive strategy of salmonids, the male reproductive tactic expressed is believed to depend on an individual male's status relative to others in the population and therefore depends on his capacity to attain a physiological threshold, the exact nature of which is unknown. Although the threshold is influenced by local biotic and abiotic conditions, it is likely to be under genetic control. Our study examined whether the early growth, muscle metabolic capacities, routine metabolic rate, and spontaneous swimming of salmon alevins reared in laboratory conditions varied with the population of origin, maternal investment, and the paternal reproductive tactic. Our experimental design allowed us to establish that neither the population of origin nor the paternal reproductive tactic influenced the physiological capacities of alevins. The strong influence of the mother on alevin metabolic capacities suggests that the bioenergetic differences in metabolic capacities, realized metabolic rates, and activity levels that could eventually dictate the reproductive tactic of male offspring may originate in maternal effects. PMID:20350165

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-13

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:18810498

  13. Valproate affects reproductive endocrine function, testis diameter and some semen variables in non-epileptic adolescent goat bucks.

    PubMed

    Krogenaes, A K; Taubøll, E; Stien, A; Oskam, I C; Lyche, J L; Dahl, E; Thomassen, R F; Sweeney, T; Ropstad, E

    2008-07-01

    Valproate (VPA) is a major antiepileptic drug with a broad spectrum of antiepileptic activity. There is, however, increasing concern about the possible effects of VPA on reproductive endocrine function. This study investigated the effects of valproate, on the endocrine and reproductive system of adolescent, non-epileptic, goat bucks. Nine goat bucks were orally treated with 62.5mg/kg valproate twice daily from 2 to 10 months of age in order to sustain therapeutic plasma concentrations of between 300 and 600 micromol/l. Seven bucks served as controls. Body weights and testicular diameters were recorded. Blood samples were collected for measurement of luteinising hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone three times weekly until sacrifice at approximately 40 weeks of age. Conventional reproductive endpoints were recorded and flow cytometric (FCM) analyses of spermatogenesis, including the sperm chromatin structure were conducted. Valproate-treated bucks had on average a higher body weight, but a lower testis diameter than controls. No significant differences were found for plasma FSH in comparison to controls. Valproate-treated bucks differed significantly from the control group by showing lower plasma concentrations of LH and testosterone and a later onset of puberty. A significantly higher proportion of sperm from valproate-treated bucks showed abnormal chromatin, demonstrating a harmful effect on DNA from valproate treatment. These results demonstrate that valproate was able to induce reproductive effects in goat bucks related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis, as well as to the testes.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. Following Darwin's trail: interactions affecting the evolution of plant mating systems.

    PubMed

    Kariyat, Rupesh R; Sinclair, Jordan P; Golenberg, Edward M

    2013-06-01

    • Since the time of Charles Darwin, the variation in floral characteristics and its effects on plant mating system evolution have fascinated scientists. Recent advances in the field of genetics, molecular biology, and ecology have been very effective in addressing questions regarding mechanisms and interactions underlying the evolution of plant mating systems using various model and nonmodel species. The depth of plant mating system research reflects the complexity and diversity seen in nature, ranging from self-compatible hermaphroditic flowers to separate sexed individuals. Further, the mechanisms involved in the evolution of plant mating systems are much more diverse and differ even among closely related species. Here, as a special section, we present a suite of original papers that range from theoretical modeling to multiyear field research that address different factors affecting plant mating systems, and their effects on shaping interactions between plants, insects, and their environment.

  17. Evaluation of quantitative trait loci affecting intramuscular fat and reproductive traits in pigs using marker-assisted introgression.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Ohnishi, C; Kikuchi, T; Kohira, K; Egawa, S; Terai, S; Nakamura, T; Arata, S; Komatsuda, A; Uemoto, Y

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an experimental backcross (BC) between Chinese Meishan pigs and commercial Duroc pigs. We performed marker-assisted introgression of two QTL for intramuscular fat (IMF) content (IMF population) and three QTL for reproductive traits (reproduction population) from a donor Meishan pig into a recipient Duroc pig. At the fourth BC generation of the IMF population and third BC generation of the reproduction population, carrier animals were selected for the production of animals homozygous for the QTL. Our previous studies have shown that the presence of a Meishan allele on the IMF QTL is associated with low IMF values, and the Meishan allele on the reproductive QTL is associated with large litters. In this study, the presence of a Duroc allele at the IMF QTL on SSC9 resulted in a 0.27% increase in IMF (additive effect = 0.27 ± 0.08), whereas the presence of a Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 resulted in a 0.34% increase in IMF (additive effect = -0.34 ± 0.09). The presence of the Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 thus had the opposite effect to our previous studies, that is, increased IMF. In the reproduction population, we observed no differences between the genotypes of the three QTL in regard to number of corpora lutea or litter size. Marker-assisted introgression at these QTL is thus unlikely to result in an associated increase in litter size. These results show that it is possible to introgress alleles from other breeds into a selection population using molecular markers; any unexpected results might be associated with the genetic background.

  18. Evaluation of quantitative trait loci affecting intramuscular fat and reproductive traits in pigs using marker-assisted introgression.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Ohnishi, C; Kikuchi, T; Kohira, K; Egawa, S; Terai, S; Nakamura, T; Arata, S; Komatsuda, A; Uemoto, Y

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an experimental backcross (BC) between Chinese Meishan pigs and commercial Duroc pigs. We performed marker-assisted introgression of two QTL for intramuscular fat (IMF) content (IMF population) and three QTL for reproductive traits (reproduction population) from a donor Meishan pig into a recipient Duroc pig. At the fourth BC generation of the IMF population and third BC generation of the reproduction population, carrier animals were selected for the production of animals homozygous for the QTL. Our previous studies have shown that the presence of a Meishan allele on the IMF QTL is associated with low IMF values, and the Meishan allele on the reproductive QTL is associated with large litters. In this study, the presence of a Duroc allele at the IMF QTL on SSC9 resulted in a 0.27% increase in IMF (additive effect = 0.27 ± 0.08), whereas the presence of a Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 resulted in a 0.34% increase in IMF (additive effect = -0.34 ± 0.09). The presence of the Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 thus had the opposite effect to our previous studies, that is, increased IMF. In the reproduction population, we observed no differences between the genotypes of the three QTL in regard to number of corpora lutea or litter size. Marker-assisted introgression at these QTL is thus unlikely to result in an associated increase in litter size. These results show that it is possible to introgress alleles from other breeds into a selection population using molecular markers; any unexpected results might be associated with the genetic background. PMID:25099662

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Extreme Reproduction and Survival of a True Cliffhanger: The Endangered Plant Borderea chouardii (Dioscoreaceae)

    PubMed Central

    García, María B.; Espadaler, Xavier; Olesen, Jens M.

    2012-01-01

    Cliff sides are extreme habitats, often sheltering a rich and unique flora. One example is the dioecious herb Borderea chouardii (Dioscoreaceae), which is a Tertiary, tropical relict, occurring only on two adjacent vertical cliffs in the world. We studied its reproductive biology, which in some aspects is extreme, especially the unusual double mutualistic role of ants as both pollinators and dispersers. We made a 2-year pollination census and four years of seed-dispersal experiments, recording flower visitors and dispersal rates. Fruit and seed set, self-sowing of seeds, seedling recruitment, and fate of seedlings from seeds sowed by different agents were scored over a period of 17 years. The ants Lasius grandis and L. cinereus were the main pollinators, whereas another ant Pheidole pallidula dispersed seeds. Thus ants functioned as double mutualists. Two thirds of all new seedlings came from self-sown seeds, and 1/3 was dispersed by ants, which gathered the seeds with their oil-rich elaiosome. Gravity played a minor role to dispersal. Both ant dispersal and self-sowing resulted in the same survival rate of seedlings. A double mutualism is a risky reproductive strategy, but B. chouardii buffers that by an unusual long–term demographic stability (some individuals exceed 300 years in lifespan) and its presence in a climatically very stable habitat, inaccessible to large herbivores. Such a combination of traits and habitat properties may explain the persistence of this relict species. PMID:22984539

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Passive transfer of maternal GnRH antibodies does not affect reproductive development in elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) calves.

    PubMed

    Powers, J G; Baker, D L; Ackerman, M G; Bruemmer, J E; Spraker, T R; Conner, M M; Nett, T M

    2012-09-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone is intermittently released from the hypothalamus in consistent patterns from before birth to final maturation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis at puberty. Disruption of this signaling via GnRH vaccination during the neonatal period can alter reproduction at maturity. The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of GnRH-antibody exposure on reproductive maturation and function in elk calves passively exposed to high concentrations of GnRH antibodies immediately after birth. Fifteen elk calves (eight males and seven females) born to females treated with GnRH vaccine or sham vaccine during midgestation were divided into two groups based on the concentration of serum GnRH antibodies measured during the neonatal period. Those with robust (>15 pmol (125)I-GnRH bound per mL of serum) titers (N = 10; four females and six males) were designated as the exposed group, whereas those with undetectable titers (N = 5; three females and two males) were the unexposed group. Onset of puberty, reproductive development, and endocrine function in antibody-exposed and unexposed male and female elk calves were compared. Neonatal exposure to high concentrations of GnRH antibodies had no effect on body weight (P = 0.968), endocrine profiles (P > 0.05), or gametogenesis in either sex. Likewise, there were no differences between groups in gross or histologic structure of the hypothalamus, pituitary, testes, or ovaries. Pituitary stimulation with a GnRH analog before the second potential reproductive season induced substantial LH secretion in all experimental elk. All females became pregnant during their second reproductive season and all males exhibited similar mature secondary sexual characteristics. There were no differences between exposure groups in hypothalamic GnRH content (P = 0.979), pituitary gonadotropin content (P > 0.05) or gonadal structure. We concluded that suppressing GnRH signaling through immunoneutralization

  8. Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 17α-ethinylestradiol affects non-reproductive behavior and fertility as adults, and increases anxiety in unexposed progeny.

    PubMed

    Volkova, Kristina; Reyhanian Caspillo, Nasim; Porseryd, Tove; Hallgren, Stefan; Dinnétz, Patrik; Porsch-Hällström, Inger

    2015-07-01

    Exposure to estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDCs) during development affects fertility, reproductive and non-reproductive behavior in mammals and fish. These effects can also be transferred to coming generations. In fish, the effects of developmental EDC exposure on non-reproductive behavior are less well studied. Here, we analyze the effects of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on anxiety, shoaling behavior and fertility in zebrafish after developmental treatment and remediation in clean water until adulthood. Zebrafish embryos were exposed from day 1 to day 80 post fertilization to actual concentrations of 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2. After remediation for 82days non-reproductive behavior and fertilization success were analyzed in both sexes. Males and females from the 1.2ng/L group, as well as control males and females, were bred, and behavior of the untreated F1 offspring was tested as adults. Developmental treatment with 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2 significantly increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased shoaling intensity in both sexes. Fertilization success was significantly reduced by EE2 in both sexes when mated with untreated fish of opposite sex. Progeny of fish treated with 1.2ng/L EE2 showed increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased light avoidance in the scototaxis test compared to control offspring. In conclusion, developmental exposure of zebrafish to low doses of EE2 resulted in persistent changes in behavior and fertility. The behavior of unexposed progeny was affected by their parents' exposure, which might suggest transgenerational effects. PMID:26072466

  9. 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....

  10. Evaluation of non-genetic factors affecting calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of traditionally managed Sheko cattle in southwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayou, E; Haile, A; Gizaw, S; Mekasha, Y

    2015-01-01

    The study was conducted to estimate calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of Ethiopia Sheko cattle and to assess non-genetic factors affecting their performance in their home tract as a step towards designing sustainable cattle conservation and improvement strategy. All the growth traits considered in the study were significantly affected by all non-genetic factors considered except for the fixed effects of Agro ecological zones (AEZs) and season of birth which were not significant for post weaning daily gain. Calving interval (CI) and days open (DO) were significantly influenced by AEZs, season and dam parity. Cows that calved in lowland had shorter CI and DO than cows which calved in midland. Cows that calved in short rainy season had Short CI and DO than those calved during dry season or long rainy season. Cows which calved for the first time had the longest CI and DO from the other parities whereas cows on their fifth parity had the shortest CI and DO. AEZ significantly affected lactation milk yield (LMY) and lactation length (LL), but not significant on daily milk yield (DMY) and 305 days yield (305DY). Season was significant on all milk traits considered except DMY. Parity effect was significant on LMY and 305DY, whereas DMY and LL were not affected. The non-genetic factors had significant effects for all of the reproductive; and many of the growth and milk performance traits considered and hence will need to be considered in cattle breed improvement program. PMID:26543703

  11. 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...

  12. Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats.

    PubMed

    Gladbach, David J; Holzschuh, Andrea; Scherber, Christoph; Thies, Carsten; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.

  13. High levels of maternally transferred mercury do not affect reproductive output or embryonic survival of northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon).

    PubMed

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Willson, John D; Cristol, Daniel A; Drewett, David V V; Hopkins, William A

    2013-03-01

    Maternal transfer is an important exposure pathway for contaminants because it can directly influence offspring development. Few studies have examined maternal transfer of contaminants, such as mercury (Hg), in snakes, despite their abundance and high trophic position in many ecosystems where Hg is prevalent. The objectives of the present study were to determine if Hg is maternally transferred in northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) and to evaluate the effects of maternal Hg on reproduction. The authors captured gravid female watersnakes (n = 31) along the South River in Waynesboro, Virginia, USA, where an extensive Hg-contamination gradient exists. The authors measured maternal tissue and litter Hg concentrations and, following birth, assessed (1) reproductive parameters (i.e., litter size and mass, neonate mass); (2) rates of infertility, death during development, stillbirths, malformations, and runts; and (3) the overall viability of offspring. Mercury concentrations in females were strongly and positively correlated with concentrations in litters, suggesting that N. sipedon maternally transfer Hg in proportion to their tissue residues. Maternal transfer resulted in high concentrations (up to 10.10 mg/kg dry wt total Hg) of Hg in offspring. The authors found little evidence of adverse effects of Hg on these measures of reproductive output and embryonic survival, suggesting that N. sipedon may be more tolerant of Hg than other vertebrate species. Given that this is the first study to examine the effects of maternally transferred contaminants in snakes and that the authors did not measure all reproductive endpoints, further research is needed to better understand factors that influence maternal transfer and associated sublethal effects on offspring.

  14. Sexual Reproduction and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the second edition of Plant Propagation Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, we have combined the first edition chapters 36: Sexual Reproduction in Angiosperms and 37: Breeding Horticultural Plants into the present single chapter Sexual Reproduction and Breeding. These topics are so closely relate...

  15. 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

  16. Moisture Source and Diet affect Development and Reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two Predatory Anthocorids from Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; Clercq, Patrick De

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed. PMID:22935002

  17. Moisture source and diet affect development and reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two predatory anthocorids from Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; De Clercq, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed. PMID:22935002

  18. Moisture source and diet affect development and reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two predatory anthocorids from Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; De Clercq, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius